Echo Rooftop Terrace Debuts in Miami

The Echo Rooftop Terrace and Garden – a new and first-of-its-kind rooftop system – has 93 percent recycled content derived from shredded recycled tire material and repurposed concrete waste material

Billed as “a world unto itself” the Estates at Acqualina,  is a $1.8 billion dollar residential oceanfront complex featuring condo, apartment, single-family and penthouse residences in two fifty-story high rise towers overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Sunny Isles, Miami, Florida.

CM Shredders

Nestled between the two towers is Villa Acqualina, a five-story 45,000 sq. ft. amenity complex housing a health and fitness sanctuary, Circus Maximus, a speakeasy and world class restaurant with unobstructed ocean views. Topping it all is Echo Rooftop Terrace and Garden—a new and first-of-its-kind rooftop system with 93 percent SCS Global-certified recycled content derived from shredded tire material and repurposed concrete waste material.

Echo Rooftop Terrace and Garden is the product of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Shredded Tire, Inc., a seven-year old company founded by roofing and construction specialist Richard Spreen.  Inspired by news reports several years ago showing discarded tires from a failed reef lying on the ocean floor off the coast of Fort Lauderdale, Spreen combined his building and roofing expertise with his desire to find a practical solution for scrap tires.

With more than thirty-one years in the roofing and construction industry and an extensive knowledge of construction materials, Spreen recognized the benefit of adding recycled rubber to concrete.  It could be poured, molded and handled like concrete and at the same time result in construction products that were lighter, stronger and more economical than conventional concrete products.  Also, recycled materials were being recognized for their environmental benefits and builders were requesting more garden roof areas to help with Green Building LEED credits.

“All the major projects were taking roofs from just being roofs to playgrounds, bars, dancefloors, tennis courts and more,” Spreen said.

After several years of development, Echo Block and Echo Flow were created using a patented custom blend of recycled tire rubber and concrete waste material.

Spreen said he’s most proud of the size of the tire material used in the mix.  “We use playground grade tire chips derived from passenger tires, “ he said. They take a lot less energy to produce and have the buy-in of scrap tire processors in Southern, Florida.

All the steel is removed and recycled.  From the manufacturing/product development side, the nylon strands protruding from the tire chips are where the magic happens, Spreen said.  “We mix them with the three different types of cement—silica flume and cement slag, both of which are waste concrete products, and Portland cement. It’s about a third, third, third of each,” he said.  The cement flume and slag not only increase the waste content and decrease the need for so much Portland cement, they add strength to the product,  he said.

Shredded Tire mixes this three-cement custom blend in dry form with the tire chips. The nylon strands on the frayed textile edges receive the cement mix very well, impregnating the cement mix in the nylon. Droplets of water are added to the dry mix as it spins in the mixer and after about three minutes it froths and becomes stationary on the nylon and the rubber tire material.

This mixture is taken out of the mixer and poured into molds to form Echo Block and Echo Flow construction  blocks which are used as a base for beautiful  rooftop  terrace/gardens ,” Spreen said.

“One of our first rooftop garden projects out of the gate is the Estates at Acqualina–one of the largest projects in Miami”, Spreen said.

Construction on the 8,000 sq. ft. rooftop began in late 2019 but with the pandemic intervening, was completed in August 2021.

“The grass covered Villa Roof looks like it was always destined to be there. It is a compliment to all the other spectacular exterior finishes on these extraordinary twin towers,”  Suprema USA,  a waterproofing supplier to the project said.

To build the rooftop terrace, a waterproof membrane was applied to the concrete slab followed by insulation panels. Shredded Tire installed a base layer of sloping insulated 2 ft by 2 ft Echo Blocks topped with a layer of  reverse sloping, permeable Echo Flow blocks to create a flat walking surface through which water then flows and goes to drains installed under the permeable Echo Flow block layer, keeping the drains out of sight and the roof terrace aesthetically pleasing. This is topped with artificial turf or tile to maintain the flat walking surface.

The overall design allows Echo blocks to be removed to create a functional green roof with set-in planting areas, seating and other amenities,  Adnan Velic, Technical Director at Shredded Tire, said.

“The most interesting attribute to the roof system is the fact that the finished walking surface is both flat and permeable,” he said.

The Estates at Acqualina project recycled and repurposed 12,000 scrap tires in the Echo Roof Terrace and Garden.

Echo Roof Blocks have been tested and approved to resist hurricane force winds, are moisture resistant, mold and bug resistant, have a tested uplift strength of -502.5 PSF, a safety factor of 2 and qualify for LEED credits by bringing 93 percent recycled content to roofing components that presently have zero percent recycled content, Velic said.

All of the blocks are Dade County NOA (Notice of Acceptance), approved for concrete and steel decks and have a class A Fire Rating by UL.

Spreen said the company spent two years developing the Echo construction products, followed by three years of testing that resulted in two U.S. patents and two Miami Dade NOA

Earlier this year, the European Union (EU) approved 20 of 20 Shredded Tire claims submitted for a patent. “The EU patent expands our global reach and opens up licensing opportunities for manufacturing, distribution and marketing of the entire product line”, he said

Shredded Tire also holds patents for its products in Canada, South Africa, Israel and Australia.

© Scrap Tire News, December 2021