Green Roofs Cap UA's $14.6M Hillside Auditorium Project

by George Waldon  on Monday, Jul. 23, 2012 12:00 am  

A rendering of the University of Arkansas' Hillside Auditorium on Dickson Street in Fayetteville captures a southern perspective of the three-tiered green roof construction.

The Hillside Auditorium taking shape in Fayetteville is adding some new twists to green construction in Arkansas. Budgeted at $14.6 million, the project on the campus of the University of Arkansas features a three-tiered roof design that will support trees, shrubbery, ornamental grasses and other plantings.

The configuration reflects a design vision that melds topography with structure in a form tied together by man-manipulated greenery.

The 35,150-SF building will house two auditoriums (auditoria in collegiate Latin parlance) with fixed seating for 455 and 296.

The Hillside Auditorium will be crowned with an event pavilion supported by a catering kitchen and enclosed on three sides by high-efficiency glazing that opens to a 6,800-SF green rooftop highlighted by a stand of Athena elms.

The hardy shade tree is noted for its thick, rounded foliage. This lacebark hybrid sports glossy green leaves that turn to yellow in the fall.

"What makes the space underneath unique are two auditoria with long structural spans and no columns," said Todd Shafer, associate with Perry Dean Rogers Partners Architects of Boston, the design architect.

"We wanted to downplay the building and establish more of a natural look. That really drove the design to have three green roofs that tie into the building and the terrain itself."

The middle section accounts for most of the remaining 11,500 SF of green roof, a surface area capable of bearing up to 9 inches of soil and landscaping.

The building is registered to attain a Silver LEED certification rating with an energy-saving amenity lineup that includes a high-efficiency HVA system, LED lighting and high-performance glass that allows daylighting in the main lobby between the two auditoriums.

John Allison, the project's architect of record, said the scale and multilevel aspect of the Hillside Auditorium's green roof set it apart from other Arkansas efforts.

"I'm not sure if there is anything as extensive as this in the state," said Allison, president of John Allison Architects Inc. of Little Rock. "When we started, there weren't many green roofs around here. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the biggest in Arkansas.

"It's a great project. It's one of those that we will have great satisfaction in once it's up and running."



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