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Video & Project of the Week for July 20, 2015: Prudential Tower Living Wall

July 21, 2015 at 5:27 pm

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 7/20/15


Prudential Tower
Newark, NJ, USA
1,760 sf. Greenwall


Project Description & Details

Located on a prominent site that faces Broad Street and overlooks the newly renovated Military Park, the $444 million, 650,000 sf Prudential Tower will redefine the park’s western edge and strengthen the city’s downtown core, providing a state-of-the-art office building for more than 3,000 employees. A massive G-O2® green wall spanning 32′ x 55′ faces the main entrance in the new plaza, and is one of the largest in New Jersey. Designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF), the project is seeking LEED Gold certification and includes many other green amenities such as a 5th-floor cafeteria that steps out onto a green roof garden.

Drawing on inspiration from Prudential’s logo, the Rock of Gibraltar, KPF extrapolated segments of the rock outcropping’s stratification and created the living wall’s composition and plant color selection. Collaborating with Plant Connection, W Architecture & Landscape Architecture designed a plant palette that met the client’s needs and was also tailored to address the different microclimates that occur on the living wall. Plant Connection carefully overlaid the final design onto their panel grid and after refinements began growing the living wall panels at their 42-acre nursery late last summer. Overwintering in their greenhouses, Plant Connection was able to closely monitor the project and ensure it would be ready for this spring. The G-O2® Living Wall, along with the other green architecture at Prudential Tower, will set a high standard for sustainable development in the area.

Find more photos and additional information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.


Year: 2015
Owner: Prudential Financial
Location: Newark, NJ, USA
Building Type: Corporate
Type: Living Wall
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 1,760 sq.ft.
Slope: 100%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Landscape Architect:
W Architecture & Landscape Architecture
Green Wall System: G-O2 Living Walls, Plant Connection, Inc.
Manufacturer & Grower: Plant Connection, Inc.
Installation: Let It Grow
Maintenance: John Mini Distinctive Landscapes


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Prudential Tower Living Wall Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the profile.

Would you like one of your projects to be featured? We have to have a profile first!

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

~ Linda V.

London Green and Solar Roof Conference 28th September 2015 (and the French Solar Green Roof Law that Is Not Yet a Law)

July 21, 2015 at 7:00 am

By Dusty Gedge
President, European Federation of Green Roofs and Walls Associations
and Livingroofs.org

The news that the French have passed a law on green roofs and solar roofs has been captivating people around the world.  It was a great pleasure to be part of the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2015 – my presentation with Nathalie Baumann on Biosolar Roofs generated quite a bit of interest.  Most of the conversations since have been about the so-called French Law.  This makes the forthcoming European Biosolar Roof Conference in London on 28th September even more relevant.


Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly on a biosolar roof in southern Germany. Photo Credit: Optigrün International AG.

The Solar Green Roof Law that is Not Yet a Law

The French ‘Law’ is still generating a lot of traction on the social networks and even in political circles.  Just last week I had an email regarding a forthcoming White Paper – ‘I am currently researching a White Paper that looks at whether the UK Government could implement legislation akin to the recent French decree that specifies all new commercial builds must have partial green roof or solar array.’  A number of UK politicians have also been in touch.

The irony is that the law in question is, in fact, not a law.  The statement on green and solar roofs sits with the new Loi de la Biodiversité is not yet legally enshrined.  In fact, this weekend I gathered from a recent news piece in French that the French Senate has stripped out many of the progressive elements within the proposed law, including the statement on green and solar roofs.

So the law that isn’t law that got the social networks all abuzz is perhaps no more.  Referring to the French article:

“The National Assembly wanted to see installation of green roofs or including renewable energy devices on retail space under construction. Deleted again by senators who seem to prefer ultra-artificialized cities and at the expense of the quality of life of those who live there. However, they appreciate seeing advertising banners installed instead…”

The National Assembly in France and the French Environment Minister, Ségolène Royal, may try to re-instate the statement but we will have to wait and see whether the law that is not a law actual becomes a legal entity.

Since Nathalie Baumann’s and my video presentation at the 2015 Virtual Conference, I have been inundated with emails from planners across the world wanting to understand the ‘law that isn’t quite a law.’


This brings into focus the general thrust of our video presentation – the Biosolar Roof Project.  Intelligent planning and design should work towards combining green roof and solar technologies – it should not aim towards an ‘either or’ situation.

This where we come to the detail of the proposed French Law – the original statement inserted into the act stated ‘green roofs AND solar’.  However, this was changed in the first reading in the lower house ‘…to put on a supermarket surface either solar panels or green roofs or the combination of both partially or on the whole surface…’

If this scenario finally becomes legal in France and is followed by other countries, including the UK, it could be to the detriment of a burgeoning green roof market.  Why?  The average developer would turn to solar in preference to green roofs.

The ‘Bio’ element of the Biosolar Roof Project focuses on the provision of biodiversity on green roofs through the use of solar panels.  Solar panels on green roofs can in fact, through good design, provide a more diverse native floral community, which in turn benefits biodiversity, especially pollinators.  This fits neatly into the European Green Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services Strategy that aims to address Europe’s declining biodiversity.


The conference in London condenses the Biosolar Roof Project’s array of information and stories from across Europe where biosolar roofs are being installed, including in London.  The project ends this year but the London conference in September is a new beginning – one that aims to ensure professionals working in the built environment and contractors in the fields of landscape and renewable energy have the knowledge and awareness to deliver biosolar roofs across Europe.

The conference will be of interest to policy makers, building owners, facility managers, architects, landscape architects, ecologists and sustainability professionals.

One Roof for Energy or One Roof for Ecosystem Services is Not Smart.

The conference and the Biosolar Roof Project will show that we do not have to be reductive when it comes to designing roofs.  We can make a future where roofs deliver the benefits each technology has for society, in one place, on one roof.

The conference will also highlight the need for a biodiversity approach to the specification and design of green roofs to support Europe’s pollinators.  A biosolar future for roofs in Europe can easily be replicated across the globe, to ensure that our cities are resilient, adapted to climate change and support a low carbon economy that embraces biodiversity.

I know that this will have little effect on the ‘law that isn’t quite a law’ in France.  It may, however, influence other countries, especially my own, to take a more inclusive and intelligent approach to sustainable roofs.


The European Biosolar Roof Conference will be held at the London Living Room at City Hall, London, on 28th September 2015.  Download the Conference Brochure.

Hopefully some of you may attend and I look forward to seeing you in London to help further the cause.

Dusty Gedge
President, European Federation of Green Roofs and Walls Associations


London, UK. Dusty Gedge is a green roof campaigner and designer, who has actively promoted green roofs in the UK since 1997. He has designed a number of seminal roofs and helped develop the London Green Roof Policy. He is also the current President of the European Federation of Green Roofs and Walls Associations (EFB), and sits on the EU’s working group for the green Infrastructure and ecosystem services policy. His work in Europe over the last few years working on a Pan-European green roof course and he is currently advising on a project on green roofs, pollinators and solar power – Biosolar Roofs.

Dusty is co-author of Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living, 2011 and DIY Guide to Green & Living Roofs, among other publications. In 2004 Dusty co-founded Livingroofs.org, a non-profit organisation established to promote, advise upon and seek research into green roofs and similar structures within the context of urban and rural regeneration. With John Little he has written a small-scale green roof guide to help individuals, buildings and landscape contractors to construct small wildlife friendly green roofs. He is also a designer of green roofs and other green infrastructure through his consultancy. Dusty is also a regular speaker at conferences through UK, Europe and the world.

As a birdwatcher first and foremost he has always had a vision that good green infrastructure and green roofs should deliver for biodiversity as well other headline issues connected with cities and climate change adaptation.

Contact Dusty at: dusty@dustygedge.co.uk.

Video & Project of the Week for July 13, 2015: Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center

July 14, 2015 at 11:48 am

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 7/13/15


Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
Atlanta, GA, USA
68,000 sf. Greenroofs


Project Description & Details

The former site of the iconic Rich’s Department Store (Atlanta’s most popular retailer throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries), the present Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center serves as the home of several federal agencies, including the GSA and EPA Region 4, and is one of Atlanta’s most environmentally friendly facilities. The center encompasses the six-story Rich’s Building and its beloved clock as the cornerstone of the facade (from 1924), the 10-story Midrise, the eight-story Bridge Building, and the 24-story high-rise Tower. Utilizing American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, the $2.6 million project renovation’s goals, consistent with the General Services Administration’s roofing program, were to provide thermal and moisture protection; conserve energy and the environment; reduce utility costs; and help attain energy security by meeting Energy Independence and Security Act requirements.

In testing the roofs’ structural integrity, it was determined that part of the Rich’s portion could not support a vegetated roof; it was changed to a white, 60 mil Tremco “Cool Roof.” But the two Tremco vegetated roofs are highlights of the buildings with planting plans designed by Tremco Roo?ng’s Mary Ann Uhlmann. Installed by Greenrise Technologies, more than 198,000 colorful sedums, delospermas, native cacti, alliums and more were planted 3 per sf and are set in 4″ of growing media from ItSaul Natural. The combination of roofing systems is meeting the project goals, providing such benefits as a lower installed cost than planned, cutting heating and cooling costs, reducing stormwater runoff by more than 600,000 gallons, and reducing the strain on rooftop HVAC equipment. The collaborative efforts of the National Building Contractors team and the GSA designed a vegetated roof system that not only reduced greenhouse gas emissions but also recycled 80% of the existing roof material including the pavers, waterproofing membrane, and rigid insulation.

Find more photos and additional information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.


Year: 2010
Owner: GSA
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Building Type: Municipal/Government
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 68,000 sq.ft.
Slope: 2%
Access: Accessible, Private

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Original Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
GSA Architects: Roland Royster and Steven Moore
General Contractor: National Building Contractors
Engineer and Roof Consultant: Michael E. Clark, MEC&A
Waterproofing: Tremco
Greenroof System: Tremco
Senior Field Advisor: Jim Lohmann, Tremco
Horticulturalist and Greenroof Designer: Mary Ann Uhlmann, Tremco
Vegetative Roof Project Manager: Scott McGaughey, Greenrise Technologies
Growing Media, Plant Installation, & Maintenance: Greenrise Technologies
Growing Media: ItSaulNatural
Plant Supplier: Saul Nurseries


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the profile.

Would you like one of your projects to be featured? We have to have a profile first! Submit Your Project Profile.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.

First Early Bird Discount for 2015 CitiesAlive Conference in NYC Ends This Wednesday, July 15!

July 13, 2015 at 4:09 pm

Did you receive our eNews Blast Friday informing you that the first and best Early Bird Discount for Green Roofs for Healthy Cities‘s 2015 CitiesAlive Conference in awesome NYC was extended and now ends this Wednesday, July 15?


Once again as a Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) Media Sponsor for CitiesAlive, we here at Greenroofs.com want to let you know about this Early Bird Discount for the 2015 CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference in New York City – take advantage by Wednesday, July 15!

Register here by July 15th to receive the first early bird rate – the lowest rates to attend CitiesAlive.
Use discount code CA2015EARLYBIRD.

GRHC asks “What’s New for 2015?”

More Tours, Networking Cruise, and Exclusive Rooftop Dining!


This year CitiesAlive has the largest selection of tours yet!  Enjoy all that New York City has  to offer in green roofs, living walls and green buildings with these amazing projects.

Image: Queens Botanical Garden
Credit: Peggy Rockefeller

After a full day of programming on October 6, delegates will board the Private Yacht Zephyr and sail for two hours around the New York harbor. Great food and an open bar.

Image: Zephyr Yacht
Credit: Circle Line Downtown

Join delegates for an exclusive rooftop dining and networking experience at Brooklyn Grange. Catered by Brooklyn Grange, with yields straight from their rooftop garden.

Image: Brooklyn Grange
Credit: Shantanu Starick

Green roofs and walls have a vast but unrealized potential to address many of the fundamental challenges facing New York City. For the first time CitiesAlive is heading to the Big Apple October 5-8, 2015. New York City is home to thousands of designers, millions of people and boasts numerous Awards of Excellence winning projects.

CitiesAlive delegates will partake in technical sessions that focus on the latest scientific research, design, products, and policies all of which are critical to meeting the challenge of promoting healthy and resilient people and places in New York City. Delegates can tour leading edge projects and research facilities plus see some unique sites such as the High Line, Javits Center, and Brooklyn Grange.

Some tour locations are not available for view by the general public.


Terrapin partner and co-founder Bill Browning has received this year’s Design for Humanity Award, presented by the American Society for Interior Designers.

Bill Browning will be featured at CitiesAlive as a keynote speaker. His address will inform you about the science of biophilic design and how living architecture contributes to productivity, health, and happiness.

Birgit Siber is a principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects where sustainable design is central to her work. She incorporated the first large scale living wall biofilter at the University of Guelph-Humber.

Along with Alan Darlington, Founder and Vice President of Nedlaw Living Walls, Birgit will explore the design, functionality, and return on investment of living wall biofilters.

Bruce Fowle co-founded FXFOWLE in 1978 and has guided the firm to international recognition for excellence in design, pioneering socially and  environmentally responsible architecture and planning.

Using the renovation and expansion of the Javits Center as a case study, Bruce will discuss the complexity of choreo-graphing the updating of the building systems.

Join over 60 expert speakers at North America’s only conference dedicated to green roofs and walls around the theme of resilience for people, communities and places.

  • Learn how green roofs and walls can treat gray and blackwater.
  • Participate in discussions on improving the policy climate in New York City.
  • Uncover the latest in native plant research and designing for maximum biodiversity.
  • Get involved in discussions about wind uplift regulations.
  • Discover programs that supply funding for your green roof project.
  • Learn about the opportunities and challenges associated with multi-unit residential projects.
  • See how green roofs and walls can contribute to healthier people through biophilic design.
  • Discover the latest advances in growing media research on alternative inputs.
  • Learn how to design for maximum stormwater retention.


CHECK OUT THE FULL PROGRAM ONLINE AT http://citiesalive.org/.

Stay at the Conference Hotel: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge

CitiesAlive attendees receive a discounted rate of only $299 (plus applicable taxes) for a deluxe room.  Click here to book a room at this rate.


Of course Aramis and I will be there along with some of Greenroofs.com‘s contributing editors – plus a few hundred of our colleagues!

Don’t miss this great opportunity to save money for the CitiesAlive Conference in New York!

 These rates won’t be available again.  Last chance!  Register Now.

See you there!

~ Linda V.