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on the road with the green roof lady archives


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Joy Schmidt writes "On the Road with the Green Roof Lady" (October, 2013).  Fondly known as "The Green Roof Lady" Joy was initiated to the industry 20 years ago, inventing green roof systems and educating the global marketplace alongside Wolfgang Behrens, literally from scratch.  Joy is owner and President of Vitaroofs International, Inc.  The company is a rebranding of the green roof business that she owned and operated for the past 11 years, under the Xero Flor Canada Ltd. label.  Prior to working and living in Canada, Joy played a key role as part of the green roof movement in Germany as Project Manager at Wolfgang Behrens System Development.

1,000 green roofs later, she’s personally been involved in some of North America’s most celebrated projects, including the Ford Guinness Book of Records River Rouge Plant and the Vancouver Olympic Village.  Joy’s contributions have extended to accredited programming for architects, government task forces and research and development with National Research Council Canada (NRC), Michigan State University, St Mary’s University, UBC-O, SAIT Polytechnic and BCIT.  She’s also been published as a leading expert in The Rise of Living Architecture.

Change aside, Joy still packs her fleece and hard hat to climb up those construction sites, no matter the weather!  She also remains steadfast in her commitment to do the right thing, especially when it makes good business sense.

email: joy (at)
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On the Road with the Green Roof Lady

The Green Roof Must Go On!

By Joy Schmidt

All Photos Courtesy of Vitaroofs International.

Warm, cold or even a mite frigid, the green roof must go on!

Joy in her gear in B.C.

Joy in gear ready for the rooftop.

I just got back from overseeing the installation of the Surrey Civic Centre green roof in British Columbia, Canada... that's right, in November!!


Positioning the crane.

While our jobs are international, everything we grow is local.  As a result, I always plan to get out to our job sites to facilitate key points in the project.  One such key point is installation.  There’s a lot more to installing a green roof than planting a garden...  read more>>

So You Want a Green Roof?

By Joy Schmidt, The Green Roof Lady
On the Road with The Green Roof Lady Inaugural Column


All Photos Courtesy of Vitaroofs International Unless Otherwise Noted.

Hello friends, welcome to the inaugural edition of a new series: On the road with the green roof lady!  I’m Joy Schmidt, President of Vitaroofs International Inc.  I have personally been involved in some of North America’s most celebrated projects and, 20 years later, I have a lot of green roof stories to tell!

Some are humorous.  A few are surprising.  All offer insight.  I recently shared a bit more about my background when I spoke about a paradigm in sustainability entrepreneurship at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture earlier this year.  Please watch the video at the bottom of this article.

Olympic Village Greenroofs; Photo by Flightpath Aerial.

For our inaugural edition of this new series, I thought I’d offer something a little more foundational, to kick things off.  I have witnessed green roofs come a long way in my career.  I remember rubbing my knuckles raw knocking on doors to no avail and, yet, today I have the pleasure of working with clients and design professionals armed with increasingly ambitious parameters...  read more>>

Joy Schmidt, The Green Roof Lady

Joy Schmidt
President, Vitaroofs International Inc.
1087 Meyerside Drive, Unit 7-8
Mississauga, Ontario L5T 1M5, Canada
Tel.: +1 (905) 565-9669 x215 Fax: +1 (905) 564-9669 and

Follow @vitaroofs on Twitter and linkedin with Joy Schmidt

The opinions expressed by our Guest Feature writers and editors may not necessarily reflect the beliefs of, and are offered to our readers to simply present individual views and experiences and open a dialogue of further discussion, debate and research.  Enjoy, and if you have a particular comment, please contact the author or send us an email to:


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