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2010 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design

on October 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm under

2010 marks the  fourth year of our  “Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall  Design” – download the Press Release here.  

Compiled by our Design Editor, Haven Kiers, and I, this year’s list of categories represents amazing examples of  both vegetated roofs and walls since the concept of “Building Integrated Greenery”  knows no boundaries,  and in fact blurs the distinction  between  a structure’s various planes.

As usual, we search the globe for the new and newsworthy and look for common threads among the most-often times spectacular and  uncommon, projects.   Our favorite sites are Inhabitat, designboom ®, ArchDaily, JETSON GREEN… just to name a few – and we also get project news from the designers themselves, as well as members of organizations such as Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the International Green Roof Association,, etc., in addition to our own readers!

The focus of the Top 10 Trends of 2010 illustrates global shifts in thinking about how we can manipulate the built environment through design to lessen its burden on the Earth’s climate, energy, and natural resources, and increase the overall productivity of our built structures.   Showcased are simply stunning and important  built projects, those that are still on the boards, and several amazing, beyond forward-thinking conceptual designs that hopefully will materialize in the future!

Without further ado:

Top 10 List

10) Client Specific “˜Boutique’ Greenroofs
We’ve had this category each year, and it’s kind of a catch all for projects that are too unique to fit into their own category

9) Green Sporting Venues
From construction jobs, to parking, ticket sales, and concessions revenue, sporting venues bring in big bucks to a community and can be the lifeblood of a local economy. It should come as no surprise, then, that the trend in sporting venue construction is high end and green to attract an upscale clientele while simultaneously bringing in government subsidies. New baseball   & soccer stadiums, basketball arenas, tennis centers and even Olympic stadiums are sporting greenroofs these days.

8)  A Symbiosis of Ecology & Architecture
It’s not enough to just design beautiful buildings any more. These days, structures need to be aesthetically stunning, sustainable. and more. Form still follows function, but we’re finding ways to design with nature, not just on top of it.

7) Greenwalls as Public Art
We’ve seen greenwalls used to advertise products, feed the homeless, and remove particulate matter from the air, but what about greenwalls as objects of art, themselves? Vegetated murals are the newest form of public art.

6) Daylighting Greenroofs
If there’s anything we’ve learned from the green building movement, it’s the importance of natural light to reduce energy consumption, connect people to the outdoors, and improve employee & student satisfaction and productivity. Pairing skylights and windows with greenroofs is the natural next step in sustainable design.

5) The Greening of Latin America
European, Asian and North American greenroofs have hogged the spotlight for long enough. Slowly but steadily, greenroofs and greenwalls have been sprouting up throughout Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America – all with a unique, local Latin flair.

4) Building Integrated Greenery for a Cooler Planet
We all know that vegetation helps cool buildings, and designers are taking it to a new level. Building Integrated Greenery – greenwalls and greenroofs – are increasingly integrated with sustainable building design to naturally manufacture cool air that reduces the need for energy hogs like air conditioners.

3) Biomimicry as Eco-literacy & Holistic Design
Designers are increasingly taking the lead from Mother Nature by creating structures that operate like natural organisms. Biomimicry informs the public by incorporating principles from the natural world into the design and function of buildings.

2)   Megacities & Redevelopment Enveloped in Green
What more can  we say?   Designers and city planners are thinking bigger and greener!

1) Tower Oases as Skyrise Urban Ag
Last year our #1 category was “Towers of Power” – Mega Vertical Structures Linking Earth and Skywhich blurred the distinction between greenroofs and greenwalls.

For 2010 we continue on that theme – burgeoning populations and rapid urbanization are making vertical urban agriculture hot these days.   Most of these visionary projects are still in the conceptual phase, but with the support of governments and the exploding imagination of designers, building integrated agriculture is well on its way to becoming a towering urban reality.

I presented the 2010 Top 10  a couple of weeks ago in Mexico City at the WGIN World Green Roof Congress (an awesome conference – more on that later!), and will be presenting it next week in Singapore for the 2010 International Skyrise Greenery Conference, and both Haven and I will be hand for the 8th Annual 2010 Green Roof and Green Wall Conference – CitiesAlive! in Vancouver, B.C. in December.     Because of the time limitations for presenting at these conferences, ranging from 20 – 30 minutes, we can only show 4 or 5 representative projects in each category, although there are many more out there!

You can view the 2009, 2008 and 2007 PowerPoint presentations of the Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Design,  and we’ll be posting  our 2010 PowerPoint in mid December, where we’ll post additional projects, too, for our newly titled “Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design.”

Happy Greening!

~ Linda V. and Haven K.