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Green Roof Service introduces the Lawn Club on Celebrity Solstice

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Celebrity Cruise shipWhen Celebrity Solstice launches in December, 2008, vacationers will find that the grass really is greener on a Celebrity Cruises vacation.

The ship will present an industry first on the top deck of the ship: real, growing grass, set in an innovative new country club environment known as “The Lawn Club" on Celebrity Solstice invites guests to enjoy bocce, croquet and picnic with wine and cheese. “Feel the grass between your toes or practice your putting promises the advertising of Celebrity Cruises.

Find on YouTube a great video about the LawnClub

Ship FactsOccupancy:
122,000 Length:
1,033 ftBeam:
121 ft Draught:
27 ft Cruise Speed:
24 kts Inaugural ---- Revenue Cruise Date: November 23, 2008 ----

Celebrity Cruise ship green roofBut Let’s Start from the beginning:
In April, 2008, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Celebrity Cruises awarded Green Roof Service LCC the contract to design, engineer, install and maintain a green roof on their largest ship ever built in Germany the Celebrity Solstice. Green Roof Service LLC developed and designed the entire setup for the Lawn Club and subcontracted the installation to Borchers GmbH Company in Papenburg, Germany.

“We just installed a green roof on an office building at Meyer Werft and now we continue on their ships joked Bernhard Mescher, engineer at Borchers Company.

Richard D. Fain, Chairman of Celebrity Cruises said, “Everything about the Celebrity Cruises brand is authentic. Our vision for a completely genuine experience demanded nothing less than real grass, and we sought out the right innovation to make that vision a reality.

mowing the grass on the Celebrity Cruise ship green roofRealizing the need for authenticity, flexibility and durability in this unusual and highly demanding design, Uwe Harzmann, CEO at Optigreen AG assured, “We are able to modify our components and we will meet all requirements including the FLL Guidelines (German Green Roof Guidelines - Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsbau Landschaftsentwicklung e.V.

Green Roof Service's list of requirements had more than 100 items and many things seemed contrary to one another.

Here were some of the most important key requirements and considerations for designing a sea-faring green roof:

  • The layer set-up must support the Arctic, Northern Europe, Mediterranean and tropical weather conditions.
  • Fire prevention to meet international marine fire standards.
  • Wind resistant for wind speeds 100 mph and wind gusts over 120 mph.
  • Stable against sliding - ship tilts up to 12° or 27%
  • Highly salt tolerant
  • Environmental friendly materials and run-off behavior.
  • Maximum weight: 130 metric tons.
  • Prime turf grass for activities like Bocce, croquet and golf putting.
  • Resistant for foot traffic.
  • Comprehensive set-up to exchnage grass easy and fast.
  • Maintenance program, physically fit and well trained lawn keepers.

Logistical Challenges:

croquet on the Celebrity Cruise ship green roofWhen sitting on the Solstice on the grass of The Lawn Club in the Sunset Bar, guests will also enjoy spectacular views in a relaxed atmosphere 120 ft above sea level. Everything looks nice, green and beautiful and no one could even imagine the construction challenges we encountered along the way. The Solstice is the largest passenger ship ever built in Germany and keep in mind that the ship yard is 50 miles off shore. Getting the materials up on deck 15 stories high within a two week time frame from a ship yard where more than 2,500 people and more than 50 contractors were working all at the same time, while hundreds of containers were being loaded sounds like an impossible endeavor, right? Yet Meyer Werft built the $750 Million Solstice in only 10 months where time is money and everybody and everything had to work 24/7.

The Celebrity Solstice embraces many eco-responsible elements and she sets the bar very high when it comes to sustainability. In addition to the half-acre green roof, here are some other environmentally-friendly features:

  • Entire ship with mostly LED lightning technology saves over 20% of power.
  • Four Hybrid (Common Rail Diesel-Electro) engines.
  • All roofs have photovoltaics (including glass roofs).
  • Advanced biological waste water treatment facility.
  • Recycling and separation of trash and waste.
  • Fresh water production with reused heat and reverse osmosis and low chlorine.
  • Reuse and refining of oil on board.
  • Run-off collection tank only for green roof.
  • Corporate leadership with “Save The Waves” program.

birds eye view of Celebrity Cruise ship green roofDepending on many issues (climate, foot traffic, etc.) the grass might need to be changed to warm season Bermuda grass. When? I don’t know since this has never done before; only time will tell. The only thing I know is that the system (the layers set-up) will work in every climate, every region and with every type of grass where ever the ship cruises.

We literally demonstrated that modern green roof technology and the German Green Roof Guidelines (FLL) work all around the world from North to South and West to East. Rest assured the FLL is a valuable guideline for plantings on impervious areas on Earth (and sea). There is no better demonstration of a high quality project than on the truly first mobile green roof traveling the seas of the world.

We simply delivered what was ordered and nobody else was able to deliver: Nice, green, and beautiful.

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