Award-Winning Landscape Designs
We’ve won multiple awards over the years.
Here’s a few of our best!
Bronze Award for Green Roof Building
Press Release: Houston-based Landscape Company Constructs First Extensive Green Roof in the Greater Houston Area
HOUSTON – Picture This Landscape™, was selected by builder Jacob White Construction Co. to install the first extensive green roof in the greater Houston area. The green roof project broke ground in December 2006 and is scheduled for completion in early February, 2007 at 251 Medical Center Boulevard, in Webster, Texas.
President and CEO of Picture This Landscape™, Bruce Gunderson stated, “We are pleased to be a pioneer in our industry and to construct the first green roof top of this caliber in the Greater Houston area.” The green roof at 251 Medical Center Boulevard will be one of three LEED certified green roof buildings in the state of Texas; the others located in Dallas and Austin. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED standards evaluate site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources and indoor environmental quality. “The objective of a green roof is to make a building both eye pleasing and energy efficient,” stated Jeff Mickler of Jacob White Construction Company. “Due to rising energy costs and an increased interest in green technology, we believe green roof buildings present an opportunity for growth in commercial real estate development.”
Picture This Landscape™, formerly known as Picture This Landscape, was founded in 1986. It has won silver and bronze Texas Excellence in Landscape (TEIL) awards in residential design and landscape installations from the Texas Nursery & Landscape Association. The company provides custom landscape and design services for residential and commercial properties.
Houston Business Journal: Environmentally-Friendly Grass Hits the Roof of Webster Building
Houston Business Journal – March 23, 2007 by Monica PerinHouston Business Journal
A Houston landscaping company has installed the first “green” roof on a commercial building in the Houston area. It is only the third roof in the state that meets national standards for environmentally-friendly buildings.
Bruce Gunderson, founder of Picture This Landscape (formerly known as Picture This Landscape Inc.), designed the project for a recently completed medical office building at 251 Medical Center Blvd. in Webster.
The roof is certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Green Building Rating System, a benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The other two LEED building roofs in the state are located in Dallas and Austin.
LEED standards evaluate site sustainability, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.
“The objective of a green roof is to make a building both eye-pleasing and energy-efficient,” says Jeff Mickler, owner of Houston-based Jacob White Construction Co., which built the building and brought in Gunderson to design the roof treatment.
Gunderson says the roof is covered with eight to nine inches of a special lightweight soil that costs about three times as much as regular soil and is planted with grasses that are drought-tolerant and don’t have deep roots.
The idea is to insulate the rooftop so the sun can’t penetrate it, which helps bring down electricity bills.
The grass retains water when it rains, and the property is designed to collect rainwater under the parking lot, filter it, and pump it up to the roof to irrigate the grass. Called gray water, it is also used to irrigate landscaping in the parking lots, so the property uses no city water for these purposes.
The grass on the roof is bisected with walkways of lightweight lava gravel to provide access for maintaining the grass, although it does not require mowing, only weeding, Gunderson says. It is not lawn grass, but landscaping grass.
The medical building roof is not intended as a public area, although some green buildings in other parts of the country, where the practice has been around longer, are designed for public use.
Together with energy-efficient windows and other features, the Webster building is expected to use 65 percent less electricity than a similar conventional building.
The project was the first environmental landscaping deal for Gunderson’s small company, which he started in the 1980s after graduating from college with a finance degree.
Because Houston’s economy was in the midst of a bust at that time, Gunderson began his career by cutting lawns. Now, his company has locations in Clear Lake and Humble/Kingwood, and he is expanding into other parts of the Houston area under the new name.
Gunderson believes traditional residential and commercial landscaping will likely continue to be the bulk of his business, but he expects to see a growing demand in Houston for such green projects as the Webster roof.
Medical Building is Solid Gold with a Roof That is Producing a Lot of Green
Even without its 14,559 square foot living roof, the 251 East Medical Center in Webster, TX was green from the beginning. At the project’s inception, Developer and General Contractor, Jacob White Construction of Houston, wanted the building to stand apart from all other commercial buildings in the Houston area. This wasn’t going to be your typical three-story 48,000 square foot medical building. 251 East would be the first LEED Gold certified building this side of Austin.
As land prices continue to increase around the Houston-metro area, especially in proximity to the hospitals, the availability of affordable medical office space continues to decrease. “It’s getting harder and harder for physicians to find space they can afford,” said Jeff Mickler, President of Jacob White Construction. “Our goal was to develop prime medical space near the hospital that would be affordable, not only to build but to occupy as well,” he added. Achieving affordability meant considering the unconventional, which led Mickler and the project team to take a closer look at the LEED certification process.
KUHF Interview Transcript (August 15, 2007)
Webster Building Installs Grass and Soil-Covered Roof for Energy Efficiency
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
By: Ed Mayberry
A medical office building in Webster is utilizing a grass and soil-covered roof for energy efficiency. Houston Public Radio Business Reporter Ed Mayberry visited the water-retaining green roof with the landscapers who installed the plants.
The building at 251 Medical Center Boulevard was built with a green roof in mind, according to Bruce Gunderson with Picture This Landscape.
Houston first extensive Green Roof “Well, a lot of people ask me, ‘well, do you have to cut the grass?’ because it’s not really a grass, as you can see now that you’re up here. It’s grassy-type plants, but it’s not really a turf or lawn or anything that you can cut, so basically, it’s just a matter of making sure that you keep the weeds out. You’re not going to get a whole lot of that. The only way it could happen is if we get wind that can blow seeds up this highor maybe birds bring it in. and actually last spring, as soon as we got this projet in, we were amazed some of the birds that were chasing us around when we were walking aruond because they were already nesting here.” Ed: “What did you have to do, what modifications did you have to bring to the building to be able to handle the water, you know, coming and going, that kind of thing?” “Well, the drains were already set in place. About a four-inch layer of foam had to be installed on top of the roof. This roof is not flat–it has many slopes. And there’s about 30–correct me if I’m wrong, Leonard–about maybe 32 drains on top of this building?”
Leonard Moncivais worked with Gunderson to establish the soil and plants on the rooftop.
“See, if you notice right here, we’re on, this is one of the high points. Everything flows that way and this way. Again, from that side, it flows to the middle also, where you have–I don’t know if you could see that swell?” Ed: “Does this type of business lend itself, you know, this medical sort of community here lend itself maybe to trying something like this than maybe other kinds of industries?” “I think people, especially going through some kind of rehab or that need to be in a hospital but can get up and walk around, this would be great for stuff like that. Or you can come out and enjjoy a garden without actually leaving the building.”
Gunderson says the landscape on the roof looks great when you’re up there walking around, but it also looks good from the sky.
“And we thought well, gee, we could lay it out and measure it and it should look just fine from here, you know, as we’re walking on top of it. What is it really going tolook like from the air when a helicopter flies over it? And that was really our main concern–will it show all of our flaws and everything, but it really turned out to be very nice, and you can see everything turned out to be very symetrical and it worked out.”
The property is designed to collect rainwater, filter it, and pump it up to the roof for irrigation.
“The structure is such that this thing can retain up to maybe 12 inches of water on top of the building and so there’s a heavy load that they had to calculate all the engineering and so forth so that it really becomes a lot more energy-efficient. So they found something called an Inca retaining drain, is what they call it, and it’s a filter fabric that they layed out on top of the liner. It has springs on top of that so the water can actually filter through. It retain the soil so the water can freely flow quickly to the drain. But it seems to be working very efficiently.”
Ed Mayberry, Houston Public Radio News.
Texas Nursery & Landscape Association’s Bronze Texas Excellence in Landscaping Award