Friday, August 29, 2008

Landscape(s) Planting(s) and "upgrade(s)"

I find the upgrade business to be very "entertaining". When you see the rush to plant, to make, to do, (sim. to a home depot fashion mall) the effort is seen to make changes and not review the selections. The front entry ways of the towers have been "improved" by entry glass canopies. The tops of which already are "dirty" and the lighting of which is questionable in quantity since this is a supposed "sustainable" change. The plantings selected are "birch" and "grasses" that tend to be allergy plants. The plants themselves already show the ability to accumulate "trash" and are low maintenance to help in reducing our energy use, and water use on site. The grass today on site in the middle of a hot morning was being watered (tends to burn the grass and waste water) so why we are "replanting" seems questinable when the installed water system "the cadillac" of water control systems was never installed correctly or operated efficiently on site. Than you have the images of the new tree planted where once a majestic cypress tree stood. The other image shows the size of the meadow cypress trees. The new one a stick, that will take years to reach full maturity. What is interesting is that typically in urban forrestry replacement trees, you pick a sim. style or type, and one that is significantly "started" and of a larger root ball, possible a quick growing tree to also help in retaining the canopy lost. Again not the case and the urgency as shown was to remove the prior tree and planter, (once again a question of integrity) as they have not replaced the conc. box planter/seat, and instead have moved onto other projects on site. The usual effort of parkmerced is to fix quick, and not "back-check" the prior effort to ensure it is doing well. In a similar vein the tower painting a quick one-coat install shows bleed through on painted towers. So my guess is that they will be coming back through for another coat soon. The generator's in the landscape I noted in a previous post, already have been "enlarged" for plantings around the units, and tall black stacks now protrude from the tops (exhaust). Its so nice to have a landscape design interrupted by such boxes. Regardless of the emergency use and improvement to the towers, these boxes could have been sunken underground, or placed within the tower basements through alternative methods that may cost more, but would not impact visually the landscape as much.

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