Chesapeake Elevates Baltimore Landmark with Rooftop Irrigation
When Silo Point – touted as one of America’s most award winning conversion projects on the East Coast – needed one-of-a-kind irrigation solutions, they turned to two-time “Best of Baltimore” award-winning sprinkler specialist, Chesapeake Irrigation & Lighting.
Located in Baltimore’s Locust Point neighborhood, the 228-condo residential complex was converted from a historic high-rise grain elevator back in 2008.
Our firm was recommended for the job by a former irrigation client. Pleased with the work that Chesapeake had provided when he lived in a single family home, the current Silo Point board member recommended us for extensive work for the complex’s grounds – not to mention their 10th floor rooftop planters.
Even though we had an inside vote of confidence, we still had to delve into the competitive bidding process. Faced with steep competition – yet eager for the high rise work ahead of us – we went in with both guns blazing and won the job.
Irrigating Silo Point’s grounds was relatively straightforward. While potential exists in any former concrete facility to uncover assorted weirdness once the digging starts – this particular project yielded no surprises at ground level.
Getting to the 10th floor was interesting, though.
Taking it to the Top
As it turns out, 20 ft. lengths of pipe are not elevator friendly. All piping had to be cut in half and squeezed into the elevator. All materials, tools, and assorted equipment followed suit, necessitating multiple trips.
Once on the roof, there was no ground to put the pipes in. Instead, pavers were lifted, and pipes, wires, valves, and fittings were assembled and then delicately routed through the void between the roof membrane and the paver bottoms. This process was accomplished in fits and starts, as components were assembled, pavers lifted, and everything was placed just so.
To achieve irrigation, we then had to drill holes in strategic locations both in the planters and their respective stepping stones – ensuring that these holes were never too visible, and that the hardscaping was left with a clean appearance. Pipes were subsequently routed to the planters, and drip irrigation installed.
Throughout, careful coordination with the plumber was crucial. Our plumber basically had to cut into a water line in the elevator lobby and route that line outside to provide us with water.
For the grounds around the building, the plumber had to find a creative way to tap into water in the basement – a cavernous space beneath huge, concrete silos, where a person could easily get lost without lights.
From Roof to Woof
Because many of Silo Point’s residents own dogs, an artificial turf area exists on the grounds where the pooches can do their thing. Chesapeake implemented a separate, dedicated irrigation zone just for that spot, setting it to come on more often than the rest of the property for cleaning purposes and to wash away odors.
From start to finish, both inside and out, the Silo Point irrigation project took two weeks, and a crew of six. We hope to continue to perform maintenance for the property, and will soon be hauling an electric air compressor up ten stories to blow out and winterize the rooftop system.