15 Aug 2017
Birds eye view of the vegetated roof on Mastery Cramer Hill Elementary.
Architectural rendering of Cramer Hill Elementary School in Camden, New Jersey designed by Blackney Hayes Architects.

Mastery’s first newly constructed school, Cramer Hill Elementary utilizes the latest approaches in construction technology.

CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES — The start of the new school year will be a fresh start, in more ways than one, for the Camden community that the new Mastery Cramer Hill Elementary school will serve.

“This brand new, safe and beautiful facility is one step in the right direction offering a world class education to Camden kids,” says Joseph Ferguson, Chief Operations Officer, Mastery Charter.

“That first day of school, what will really matter to me is that students and parents take pride in the school that was designed and built with them in mind. I want them to take ownership and truly believe this is a place where they can learn, and grow.”

World Class Education for Camden Kids

The city of Camden suffers extremes of poverty, and is reported to have among the nation’s highest violent crime rates. Many kids are in schools that are historically lower performing – in the bottom 10 per cent statewide – some in classrooms with no windows and no natural light.

Happy second-graders at one of Mastery's 24 schools in Philadelphia and Camden.

So impressed with their approach to education, talk show host Oprah Winfrey generously donated $1 million to the Mastery Charter organization.

Come September that will change for up to 750 local students who will attend the new school on East State and River Streets. Ferguson says that when students arrive at their new school, he wants them to “experience joy and great instruction.”

Cutting Edge Approach to Education and Technology

The vegetated roof, a high performing StormCap™ system, will be part of the learning as it is visible from classrooms on two levels. “In the construction of this new facility, the green roof presented a very economical and environmentally friendly stormwater solution,” says Ferguson. “It also provides an educational opportunity. Our teachers are excited and are looking forward to program the space in the future. We want students to be able to appreciate it. We want it to be part of the science program, by explaining why we have it, how it works, and how it helps the environment.”

Panorama photo of the construction of the Mastery Cramer Hill Elementary School vegetated roof.

Architects Kevin Blackney and Troy Hill of Blackney Hayes Architects designed the building. They say the green roof was proposed early in the design process to help with storm water management, and also as a learning tool. “This is Mastery’s first newly constructed school and in keeping with their cutting edge approach to education and technology, they thought it was important to utilize the latest approaches in construction technology,” said Troy Hill. “The green roof technology also gives the teachers the opportunity to use its function and maintenance to supplement their curriculum.”

The vegetated roof and pervious parking reduce runoff and manage stormwater on-site helping keep the local waterways clean. “Like most projects in urban environments with aging infrastructure, the storm sewer in the area is “combined” with the sanitary sewer flows,” explained engineer Charles Chelotti. “During heavy rainfall events, this combined system discharges directly to the local waterways and rivers. For this specific project, although there was net reduction in impervious coverage from the pre-existing condition, it was still necessary to reduce the impact to the “combined” system in the area, some of which may be over 100 years old.”

In addition to superior stormwater management, the vegetated roof offers other benefits for the building and the environment such as cooling the building, prolonging the lifespan of the roof itself, providing natural habitat and reducing the urban heat island effect. Also, research shows that biophilic design has direct advantages to students and teachers as views of natural landscapes from classrooms benefit academic achievement and behavior.

Workers unroll the sedum blanket onto the growing medium.

A team of workers from Ganter Contractors install the nearly 3000 square feet of vegetated roof in less than one day.

Ferguson, who is overseeing the construction of Mastery’s brand new building, is excited, too.

In mid-July under the blazing sun, Ferguson was present to watch workers from Ganter Contractors install the nearly 3000 square feet of vegetated roof in less than one day. “It looked very organized and straightforward. The team knew exactly what they were doing and I was very impressed with how efficient the installation happened.”

With school just around the corner, the team continues to work hard on the finishing touches to welcome new, eager students who will learn to love to learn.

About Mastery Charter Cramer Hill 
Mastery Charter operates 24 schools in the cities of Philadelphia and Camden. Cramer Hill Elementary is their first newly constructed school and will welcome up to 750 students and their families from kindergarten through 8th grade. From music to art to field trips – students will get a well-rounded education. Mastery schools are a special place where children experience the joy of learning in a safe, positive environment with a focus on 5 core values: respect, responsibility, hard work, teamwork and kindness.

StormCap pre vegetated roof systemAbout the Vegetated Roof System 
Innovative and easy to install, this green roof system is enhanced by the Urbanscape® Needled Hydro Mineral Blanket to maximize stormwater retention and keep weight down. The vegetated roof system uses pre-grown mats, engineered growing medium and high performing base layers loosely laid on a Sika Sarnafil roofing membrane making a more reliable roof.

StormCap™ vegetated system has superior water retention properties.
This green roof is customizable and contributes to 8 additional LEED points in the following credit categories:
• SS – Site Development Protect or Restore Habitat; Open Space; Rainwater Management; and, Heat Island Reduction
• EA – Optimize Energy Performance
• MR – Environmental Production Declarations
• EQ – Thermal Comfort; Acoustic Performance


Contact us with about your green roof project. We can help design and supply the right system for your building and location. Please contact us by email info@stormwatercaptureco.com or call 855-786-7626.

22 Mar 2017
green roof systems

Launching advanced solutions:  Innovative rooftop technology for Designers, Landscape Architects, Engineers and Building Owners


NEW YORK, USA, March 21, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — In recent years, flooding has occurred more frequently affecting a broader range of communities than ever before. Dense urban development, aging sewer systems and increasingly extreme weather are some of the main causes – calling for increased on-site stormwater management. The Stormwater Capture Co™ crew is on top of it with rooftop solutions to reduce the impact of major rain events on your building, your city and neighboring watersheds.

With deep roots in vegetated roofing, the Stormwater Capture Co™ team delivers breakthrough products that will help achieve results. The goal is simple: To be the “go-to-single-source-solution” for the complete system package, to certify and train qualified installers and to demystify green roofing for owners and designers alike.

“Whether it’s a second level rooftop garden, a 10th floor amenity space, or a non-accessible rooftop on the 25th story, there is a vegetated roof solution for almost every building. Our team simplifies the task of choosing the right vegetated roof for your building,” said Richard Aronson, General Manager at Stormwater Capture Co. “With a wealth of experience in our field, our team provides specialized technical and design consulting, as well as a high level of customer support whether it’s for bid package preparation or on-going maintenance. We pride ourselves as being a one-stop shop where you get everything you need in a greenroof, and nothing you don’t.”
Capture Rainwater On Site: Start With Your Roof

One of the products offered is the StormCap™ system, a high performing, easy to install green roof enhanced by Urbanscape®’s needled mineral hydro blanket. Manufactured by Knauf Insulation, the hydro blanket offers superior water retention making it ideal for vegetated roofs, as it is lightweight, can supplement or, in some cases, replace heavy growing media and can act as a water reservoir and support plant health.

During a major rain event, the StormCap™ system will retain 2.6″ of rainfall or 1.6 gallons per square foot. StormCap™ is also easy to cut and fully customizable.

With premium base layers, the StormCap™ system contributes to 8 additional LEED points in the following credit categories:

• SS – Site Development Protect or Restore Habitat; Open Space; Rainwater Management; and, Heat Island Reduction
• EA – Optimize Energy Performance
• MR – Environmental Production Declarations
• EQ – Thermal Comfort; Acoustic Performance


Custom Feature: Biodiversity

A perfect addition to the StormCap™ vegetated roof is the BioPocket™, a custom feature that provides an island of biodiversity and enhanced aesthetics where you want it. Working like a butterfly or bee island, the BioPocket™ is used to create a berm, or knoll, on your green roof to provide habitat and food for pollinators. The BioPocket™ brings a burst of color, perennials or grasses and is placed on various depths of growing media, depending on the building load capacity and your design goals.

A perfect addition to the StormCap vegetated roof is the BioPocket™, a custom feature that provides an island of biodiversity and enhanced aesthetics where you want it.

Control runoff under patios, walkways and fire-free zones

Walkways can also be designed to help absorb rainwater using the innovative SpongePaver™ System which incorporates the needled mineral hydro blanket with a drainage mat under a traditional paver. This offers a unique solution to control stormwater runoff on the rooftop.

The SpongePaver™ System incorporates the needled mineral hydro blanket with a drainage mat under a traditional paver to help control runoff under rooftop patios, walkways and fire-free zones.

Stormwater Capture Co serves the Great Lakes region and the rest of the north eastern United States, helps meet your goals whether the roof is a leading edge award-winning design or best value-for-money. Come meet us at the North/East Roofing Contractor’s Association (NERCA) Annual Convention and Trade Show, March 28-31, 2017 in Atlantic City, N.J. where samples of the StormCap™ system and the BioPocket™, among other products, will be shown.

01 Feb 2017

The most notable development to date in vegetated roofing is the production of the needled mineral hydro blanket – a non-petroleum and formaldehyde-free alternative.

Knauf’s innovative needling manufacturing process provides dimensional stability without use of chemical binders.  The needled hydro blanket is formed by mechanical interconnection of pure mineral fibers.Needled Mineral Hydro Blanket

This process forms a structurally stable, lightweight and porous material with longer fibers that maintains excellent water holding properties. It is consistently hydrophilic, even after various weather cycles throughout the year. Up to 90% of the material retains rainwater. When wet, the majority of the retained water is easily available for the plants uptake.

The water absorption characteristics are not affected over time as nothing rinses away and will remain the same throughout the lifetime of the products.

The Needled Mineral Hydro Blanket is ideal for vegetated roofs, as it:

  • can supplement, or in some cases replace, heavy growing media
  • can act as a water reservoir and support plant health
  • achieves greater LEED credits
  • performs exceptionally and reliably as a rooftop stormwater management tool over the lifespan of the vegetated roof

Needled Mineral Hydro Cubes and Hydro Flocks

hydro cubesThe above needled, binderless, mineral wool also comes in the form of small hydro cubes (about 0.7 cubed) or hydro flocks (0.1-0.7 inch pieces) to mix with traditional growing media.

This is an innovative method of  improveing traditional growing media. Cubes and flocks contribute to better soil structure, water holding capacity and aeration of growing media. The retained rainwater inside the hydro cubes or hydro flocks is easily available for plant uptake, improving plant survivability. Cubes and flocks are specially recommended for patios, terraces and home gardening.


01 Dec 2016

Many remember the Eastern United States flooding of June 2006, a widespread flood that affected numerous watersheds and communities from North Carolina to upstate New York, causing millions of dollars in damages and taking 16 lives.

In the Federal Triangle, two metro stations were flooded and several federal buildings such as the National Archives, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice and several Smithsonian museums were forced to temporarily close.


In response to severe weather events such as the 2006 flood, District Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) prepared and recently released the Climate Ready DC Plan which identifies 77 actions to reduce risks to infrastructure and its citizens. Among other things, the plan aims to make “100% of District waterways fishable and swimmable by 2032″. No small feat.

One goal is to “Relieve pressure on stormwater infrastructure and reduce long-term flood risk” with a target of capturing 75% of rainwater on-site for filtration or reuse. The first on its action list for stormwater management is the creation of two million additional square feet of green roofs by 2032. Such actions will “help prevent runoff from ruining river water quality and destroying plant and animal habitats”.

Mayor Vincent Gray’s ambitious vision is for Washington to become the” healthiest, greenest, and most livable city in the United States”. In achieving these goals, Washington “will be a model of innovative policies and practices that improve quality of life and economic opportunity”.

It is am important and grand plan. Let’s not only wish them luck but let’s work together to make it happen.

Photos credits: Sierra Club