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Now Playing at the Virtual Summit 2015: “From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” Panel with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark

on May 1, 2015 at 5:12 pm under

In celebration of honoring Earth Day 2015 and our planet’s ecology through healthy, regenerative design, we are highlighting each of the 23 awesome videos from our 30+ spectacular speakers from‘s Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design, running through May 31st.


Our hope is that by familiarizing you more with each presentation and its particular benefits, you will be enticed to join us during our wonderfully easy-to-navigate online Virtual Summit!  And, along with the speakers’ input, I will identify 5 Key Learning Objectives or “takeaway” bullet points that each video presentation provides to participants.

VS2015-CameronLeeLiuWarkToday we are spotlighting the panel presentation “From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” with Dr. Bob Cameron of Penn State University in University Park, PA, Dr. Allen Lee of Cadmus in Portland, OR, Dr. Karen Liu of Xeroflor Canada in Toronto, Canada, and Chris Wark of BuroHappold Engineering in New York City.

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Amy Chomowicz, the Program Administrator for the Sustainable Stormwater Management Division and the Ecoroof Program with the City of Portland Environmental Services, came up with this idea for the panel several months ago, intended to spotlight greenroofs and walls and their energy implications.  Once she realized that prior work commitments wouldn’t allow her to participate, she continued to help organize it and invited Allen Lee, PhD to moderate instead, whom we didn’t know prior, but he was great – thank you, Amy and Allen!

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We missed Amy but the panel did an awesome job!  By the way, you can hear from Amy and her colleagues from BES in their presentation from our inaugural Virtual Summit 2011 in “The Portland Ecoroof Program” A Cross-section of the Green Roof Movement in Portland, Oregon, USA.”

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We have been familiar with Dr. Karen Liu’s research work for years now, and see her often at conferences around the world (look for an upcoming Guest Feature article coming from her soon!)  And we’ve known the wonderful Bob Cameron for a good many years now from his work at Penn State, and we were fortunate to spend a good deal of time with him on our 6-day tour of China in 2012 after we both spoke at the awesome Hangzhou World Green Roof Conference 2012.  Look for his accompanying research article “An Integrated Biofilter System to Contribute to Net Zero Architecture while Providing Decentralized Wastewater Treatment” soon on

Also, don’t miss Bob’s second presentation here at the Virtual Summit 2015 titled “Versatile Living Walls & Roofs: International Applications for Agriculture, Energy Conservation, Pollution Attenuation, and Aesthetics.” And, he also participated at our Virtual Summit 2013 on the Panel Session “Theory & Field Studies: An Interview with Dr. Ian Balcom from Lyndon State College of Vermont & Dr. Robert Cameron from Penn State – Phytoremediation Chapter Two” with Patrick Carey.


Chris Wark has been a contributing editor, aptly enough the Energy Editor, with since 2011, and he and his wife Wendy, have been good friends of ours since 2004.  In 2011 he completed a 32-page, 7-part Green Roof Energy Series (PDF, 2011) which is a great backgrounder for this discussion!  Chris also participated in our inaugural Virtual Summit 2011 – watch his video “E = MC2 of Green Roofs” on our YouTube channel.

University Park, PA, USA. “Robert “Bob” D. Cameron, PhD spent more than two decades directing the global environmental programs of a Fortune 30 multi-national conglomerate. In the late ‘70s in collaboration with NASA, he designed, permitted, and constructed the first constructed wetlands to treat wastewater from the natural gas industry. Working on every continent except Antarctica, Bob designed award winning environmental programs based on sustainability concepts. Later as President of his own corporation, he de-engineered historic buildings destined for the wrecking ball, which he then relocated and reconstructed with green architectural features.

Pursuing a life-long goal, he recently earned his doctorate from Penn State University (PSU) at the Center for Green Roof Research. His thesis entailed the invention and construction of a functional architectural system to attenuate wastewater pollutants while reducing a building’s energy use and providing a platform for urban agriculture. Currently, Bob has an appointment with the Department of Landscape Architecture at Penn State University and teaches collegiate courses and conducts research on greenroofs, livings walls, constructed wetlands, aquaponics, and artificial islands while also managing Eco Applied Technologies, a consulting firm for commercial, residential, and industrial applications.” Read his complete bio here from the VS2015.

Portland, OR, USA. Amy Chomowicz (Organizer) is “the Program Administrator for the Sustainable Stormwater Management Division and the Ecoroof Program, City of Portland Environmental Services. She  has worked in the water quality and watershed restoration fields for 23 years and worked on her first ecoroof project in 1997. Prior to that, Amy worked in energy conservation and renewable energy. ~ Read her complete bio here from the VS2015.

Portland, OR, USA. “Allen Lee, PhD, LEED AP (Moderator), is an executive director in the Energy Services Division in Cadmus’ Portland, Oregon office. He has more than 25 years’ experience in energy and environmental research and leads a wide range of studies related to energy efficiency and technologies. His management and technical expertise includes demand side management, energy services, codes and standards, green buildings, externalities analysis, and renewables. He has managed more than 60 energy program evaluations and a comparable number of other projects.

He has conducted research on the energy and environmental impacts of green roofs for more than 15 years. He co-developed the original green roof energy analysis module for DOE’s EnergyPlus building simulation model. Dr. Lee has a PhD in policy analysis from the RAND Graduate School, a master of science in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California and a bachelor of science in engineering from Caltech.” Read his complete bio here from the VS2015

Toronto, Canada. “Karen Liu, PhD is a Product Manager for Bonar Xeroflor GmbH. Karen has been conducting green roof research since 2000 when she was a research officer at the National Research Council in Ottawa. She has also led the green roof research team at British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, BC.

Karen established the first North American field facility dedicated to green roof research and conducted several field studies across Canada to study the climate sensitivity of the technology. She now focuses her work on research and product development at Xeroflor. Karen received her PhD from the University of Toronto, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry. ~ Read her complete bio here from the VS2015.

New York, NY, USA. “Christopher Wark has 26 years of multidisciplinary engineering experience providing technical and analytical support for manufacturers, universities and national labs. For the past 12 years, he has focused his efforts on technical solutions in building design and is currently an Associate with BuroHappold Engineering, managing the Analytics group in their New York office. In 2002, Chris established SHADE Consulting/Green Roof Innovations with his wife Wendy. With SHADE, Chris developed and marketed several innovative modular eco-roof systems, a roof system heat transfer and cost computer program, and conducted green roof system heat transfer analyses for 5 major cities and organizations. In 2010, he developed a modular planting system in partnership with Guiyang Chuangjia High-Tech Accelerator Co. LTD in Guiyang, China.

Chris holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University where his graduate work focused on thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and combustion. ~ Read his complete bio here from the VS2015.


You will benefit from these 5 Key Learning Objectives as Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark share on the subject:

1) Focus on key impacts and economics of greenroof and greenwall vegetative envelope components including energy and stormwater.  Identify what they are, how you can predict outcomes, what prediction tools are out there; a look at using greenroof and greenwall crops with biofilters in PA, others greenroof gardens in NYC, Portland, and China where rooftop farming is becoming very popular;

2) How does nature work, from an energy standpoint, using biology in regards to greenroofs and walls?  Integrating green building components relative to factors of energy – what kind of media, locations, building geometry, orientation, should people be looking at, i.e. optimizing greenroof to greenwall ratio. What ideas does everyone have for incorporating living green components into buildings?  The growth of pvs and greenroofs are discussed; 

3) Bob: His multi-year study at the PSU Green Roof Center concentrated on biowalls and greenroofs as a water resource and how these systems could be used to not only clean but also reduce the energy need and concurrently grow crops.  Get detailed results on how he achieved EPA’s cleanliness standards in less than 24 hours and at the same time reduced both the exterior and interior temperatures of the buildings; 

4) Karen: Started in 2000 with the National Resource Council in Ottawa performing multiple tests on various sites in Toronto and Vancouver, BC concentrating on temperature variances between winter and summer on greenroofs and growing media depth differences on water retention and energy savings;

5) Chris: Discussion on performance building concepts of the 90’s PassiveHaus movement originating in Dusseldorf, Germany and Net Zero Buildings, how to minimize the amount of energy generated within a small building through correct design and material components and evaluation of lifestyle issues and aesthetics.  Green building industry has grown so much in the last 20 years and PassivHaus has matured along the way – can we be doing more? Greenroofs are a promising part of it.

Watch the 1:05:05 video presentation “From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” Panel now playing at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015.  If you have not yet registered (only $49 or 25), please do:

Registration fee:

$49 – special discounted pricing;

$25 for students/faculty and government professionals

All Video Presentations, Q & A Transcripts, & Exhibitor Booths are On Demand +
Networking Live 24/7 through May 31, 2015

Earn CEUs including 10 GRP CEUs.  Register here.



Registration Open through May 31st for the Virtual Summit 2015

We hope you will support our work!  Please remember that these video presentations will not be made public for at least one year.

Happy watching and participating,

~ Linda V.

Learn more about these awesome video presentations and their 5 Key Learning Objectives at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015:

“A Green Building Should Look Green, Which Means Hairy!” by Dr. Ken Yeang.

“Biodiversity in the Sky – How Green Roofs Can Be Designed as Wild Life Refuges” by Dr. Stephan Brenneisen.

Green Roofs to New Cities” by Dr. Diana Balmori.

“A Higher Purpose – Benefits to Human Health and Education through Green Roofing” by Elizabeth Hart.

“Beyond Extensive and Intensive: Defining the Comprehensive Green Roof” by Molly Meyer.

“Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge.