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World’s Largest Green Roof Planned for Cupertino Development

RCS World
July 16, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.

By Cass Jacoby, RCS Reporter.

30-acre green roof proposed for the Hills at Vallco Mall revamp will be the largest green roof in the world and will be the crowning accomplishment of the community. 

Once a thriving spot in the city, the Vallco Shopping Mall in Cupertino, California is a mostly demolished half-dead mall. That is, it was until the new owners announced a $3 billion plan to radically revamp the mall into a hybrid downtown-style retail and rental home space rebranded “The Rise.” 

The Real Deal reports the ambitious project unveiled by Sand Hill Property Company will replace the current mall and parking lot with a downtown grid-pattern sporting 2,400 homes — half of which would be affordable housing — almost two million square feet of offices or labs and a new shopping and entertainment district in Cupertino. That isn’t even mentioning the number-one feature of the plan: a 30-acre community park built above and around the mall’s buildings that stands to become the largest green roof in the world! 

“There will be nothing like it when we are done,” Reed Moulds, Sand Hill managing director told the Mercury News. “We believe its community focus will make this a remarkable place to live, work, dine, play, learn and recreate.” 

While the promises of the family friendly atmosphere within this entertainment district the project promotes is attractive, it is the estimated $300 million green roof that is drawing eyes. The largest green roof proposed of late will undeniably be The Rise’s focal point. Designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, the Real Deal reports plans for the 30-acre park to begin at street level before rising and spreading across small bridges constructed above the new buildings.  

GreenRoofs.com writes that the fully accessible public park atop The Rise will restore the pre-development character of the Cupertino landscape, featuring a 3.8-mile trail network, as well as vineyards, orchards and gardens featuring native and drought tolerant plants. 

Sand Hill, according to Architect Magazine is committed to achieving a LEED Platinum, the highest possible certification for environmental design. The green roof will be part of an energy concept wherein natural ventilation and smart technology of the green roof will regulate the temperature in and around the buildings, improving resource efficiency and mitigating climate change through its use of both captured storm water and recycled water. 

Further, the Plan.It claims that a green roof of this size will work to reduce the urban heat island effect, improve public health, minimize water run-off, improve water and air quality, improve energy efficiency of the buildings, and promote bio-diversity.  

With its spectacular green roof, the introduction of The Rise marks a new defining moment for Silicon Valley and the beginning of a new post-Coronavirus era for urban design. 

Stay up to date with the latest roofing industry news when you sign up for the RCS Week in Roofing e-news. 

Photo credit: Rafael Viñoly Architects



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