Year In Review

Phew. What a year! Here is a snapshot of some of the most exciting things that have happened at DeepRoot since last January.

135 Silva Cell installations worldwide

An average of about 11 Silva Cell projects were installed every month in 2013. Our technical coordinator, who attends almost every installation, is still reeling.

There were so many great projects that we’re proud to have been a part of. Featured ones from this year include Winslow Way (Bainbridge Island, WA), Veteran’s Administration Hospital parking lot (Orlando, FL), light rail transit plaza and 2nd Avenue NW (both in Calgary, AB), Ohio State Fairgrounds (Columbus, OH), Historic 4th Ward Park (Atlanta, GA), Derby Midland Station (Derby, United Kingdom), Haas School of Business (Berkeley, CA) and Dortmund Square (Leeds, United Kingdom).

3 new hires

We grew – a lot! This year we added three incredible people to DeepRoot:

Shawn Freedberg is our new account manager for the the Western United States. He is a former landscape architect with great experience seeing projects from the initial design phase through construction documentation and installation. Shawn is passionate about the urban landscape (witness his graduate school project on improving Providence’s urban tree canopy) and has worked in the landscape architecture profession since 2002.

Rachel Roberts is our inside sales manager, working closely with our sales and operations department to qualify, coordinate, and report on sales processes for our projects. Rachel previously worked as a landscape architect and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from the Presidio Graduate School.

Emma Thorne is based in London and is the operations and sales coordinator for our UK subsidiary, DeepRoot Urban Solutions, Ltd. Emma is responsible for customer service, sales, operations and many other aspects of our UK business. Emma has a wealth of experience in the UK construction industry having dealt with consultants, architects, government organisations, blue chip clients, and construction contractors throughout her time in the trade.

 A lot of videos

We branched out in to video this year and had a great time doing it. The most ambitious project was a time lapse video of a Silva Cell installation at the University of California-Berkeley Haas school of business. It turned out wonderfully. We also introduced you to our CEO, Graham Ray, and created simple instructions on how to use root barriers, ArborTie, and geomembranes. Of all the videos, we probably had the most fun filming “Meet DeepRoot,” where we introduced the San Francisco office and generally had a great time.

A new website

The DeepRoot website got a major upgrade this year, and now looks great on all devices (desktops, tablets, and phones). This is especially handy for people who are out in the field. We also added new information about who works here, our key contributing consultants, and media/news released. You’ll also notice that our blog layout has changed for the same reasons.

Soil volume minimums gain traction

We learned about four new cities that have soil volume minimums for trees (and know there are more we haven’t even discovered yet!). Raleigh, NC and Durham, NC, Toronto, ON, and Tigard, OR have all implemented policies that guarantee street trees a minimum amount of soil volume. This requirement disrupts the short cycle of planting trees in tiny openings and then ripping them out and replacing them when they fail to thrive. We believe that minimum soil volumes are an essential step to long-term improvements to canopy cover in urban areas.

Final thoughts

This blog started almost four years ago, and has changed a lot in voice and scope from those early days. Sharing news, research, and ideas related to green infrastructure remains an incredibly important part of our work. Starting now, we will go down from three posts a week to two. The content we cover will stay the same, but by reducing our posting frequency slightly, we’ll be able to cover topics in more depth and be more research-driven. We think this will only enhance what we can offer. It will also give us some more free time to write and share our perspective on other sites and to reach more planners, designers, engineers, and arborists who are pushing for green infrastructure solutions in their communities.

What I’ve written about here aren’t the only things that happened this year, but they are some of the best. Thanks for your interest and commitment to green infrastructure solutions, and happy wishes for the end of 2013.

Leda & the DeepRoot team

Flickr credit: Joe Shlabotnik

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