Before the second day of Ecoroof Portland‘s Vendor Fair and program sessions, Tom Liptan co-led an ecoroof tour starting at 8:30 a.m. Along with Jason King of TERRA.fluxus, on March 13 the group was comfortably and efficiently transported by ecoShuttle around northeast Portland to see a variety of roofs, below.
I’m sorry to say we just couldn’t make ourselves get up early enough to join in! But our trusty friends Casey Cunningham at the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and Jason shared these photos with us (I hope to add/update these profiles soon to The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database) – by the way, Jason King is a very talented landscape architect here and has been involved with many ecoroof projects, including the Multnomah County Multnomah Building, top photo above.
After the 10:30 Intro to Portland Ecoroof session, Commissioner Dan Saltzman welcomed everyone and spoke about the City’s vision for a sustainable future and some of their ongoing projects. Then I was introduced as the keynote speaker, sharing my presentation “Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design.” A compilation of my favorites from the past three years of Haven Kiers, our Design Editor, and my Top 10 List of Hot Design Trends in Greenroof Design, I also added some outstanding projects that will make our Top 10 for 2010 (under construction), including this one below, the $90 million Oregon Sustainability Center, designed by Portland firms SERA Architects and GBD Architects:
Saturday’s first afternoon session was all about case studies – small and large, public and private. Kevin Falkerson, AIA, and Kerrie Lee Cole, GRP, of SYMBIOS shared their experience of design-based solutions with the Salmon Creek School living roof, from concept through construction and follow-up. The LEED Platinum Sonoma County, California environmental center has many eco-friendly features, offering the students of this K-8 grade school numerous opportunities for place-based learning – about the ecology of the natural site and the greenroof itself.
The semi-intensive roof sports a diverse palette of non-native and native sedums and succulents, accented with beautiful detail plantings including boulders and rocks. See a photo gallery here.
Next up was the energetic Walt Quade, a general contractor with Cully Construction Co. (and Green Home Oregon), who built his own energy-conscious, partially underground home with a custom-designed 1,490 sf greenroof in north Portland. He also started from research to conception through several design options, before deciding on the one that would best suit his family’s needs and desires. Walt not only described the construction process step-by-step, he also provided insights on lessons learned. His message was clear: ecoroofs do not need to be a high cost item if you are knowledgeable about products, and they are not that difficult to execute – but you do need to know your limitations and hire professionals when necessary. See his photo gallery here.
Karl Schultz from the Port of Portland followed with the new sustainable headquarters facility for the Port of Portland at PDX, Portland International Airport. Situated in front of the terminal which is connected to the parking garage, the 10-floor LEED Gold-designed facility has extensive daylighting, high performance glazing, radiant heating and cooling ceiling, reflective membrane, and a Living Machine – an organic wastewater treatment system that treats wastewater onsite to be used in the building for non-potable uses.
The structure also features an intensive built in place greenroof on the 8th floor and the larger 10,000 sf LiveRoof modular greenroof on top of the 9th floor on the north side installed for rainwater treatment – both incorporate “adaptive plant Micromist irrigation.”
The final session was the very interesting, informal, and lively “The Ecoroof Doctors are IN” panel with Tom Liptan, Ed Snodgrass, Patrick Carey, Dave Elkin, and Alice Meyers from the BES Ecoroof Incentive Program. They offered advice and fielded many questions from architects, homeowners, and designers about a ton of subjects – from which are the best plants to benefits of modular vs. built in place systems to construction details.
Earlier this year, March was declared “Ecoroof Portland” month by Mayor Adams, and the learning and fun didn’t stop with Ecoroof Portland 2010 – here are a few more opportunities to learn what they’re all about from sponsors the Portland Audubon Society, Urban Greenspaces Institute, and the City of Portland (check for space availability):
South Waterfront Ecoroof Tour, March 27th
Green Roofs and Living Walls for Wildlife, March 30th – with one of our perennial favorites, Brit Dusty Gedge of Livingroofs.org
Downtown Ecoroof Tour, March 31st
We left Portland with a greater understanding of how City employees, from the Mayor to City Commissioners to everyone at BES, view their work. I felt that the employee buy-in for eco-friendly stormwater management options for a cleaner and greener Portland is just amazing! It was evident from everyone we met how much they loved their jobs and how strongly they felt that ecoroofs were a real solution. They really impressed me with their friendliness, professionalism, and dedication – thanks for inviting me!
Oregon is a land of widely different people, places, and ecosystems, and the beautiful City of Roses is always a pleasure to visit. The City of Portland serves as a shining example to the rest of the U.S. on how municipal government can really work effectively for and with their people to promote healthy, sustainable development. Ecoroof Portland is a win-win event for everyone here – the citizens, the City employees, and as a result from all the support and financial incentives, the local environment as well. Stay in touch by visiting the City’s BES website.
~ Linda V.