CTBUH-IIT Team Wins Grant for Green Wall Façade Research

September 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm

By  Payam Bahrami, Ph.D., A.AIA

As most of us know, placing climbing plants on building façades is an effective way to reduce building energy consumption, mitigate the urban heat island effect and create natural habitat areas in cities.  These green walls lower heat transfer by reducing the façade’s exposure to solar radiation and wind, cutting the façade  surface temperature and providing extra facade insulation.

Figure 1. Example of an ivy-covered façade in London.

A collaborative team of researchers from the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture and the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) is conducting a research project evaluating the effect of green walls on building façade thermal performance and building energy savings.  The research was funded by a seed grant from the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research (WISER).

This year-long project is focused on developing a model to predict the effective thermal resistance of a plant layer placed on the façade.  A sensitivity analysis will determine which plants have the highest effect on the façades’ thermal resistance in different weather parameters.  The study also examines the importance of facade orientation, façade material, and climate zone.

To confirm the model’s predictions, the team has conducted an experiment measuring the thermal performance of the ivy-covered façade of Siegel Hall building at the Illinois Institute of Technology ion Chicago, which was designed by famed modernist architect Mies van der Rohe.  Future steps include calculating the average annual thermal resistance of the plant layer based on a combination of the selected parameters and façade orientations.

Additionally, an annual energy simulation will be conducted for a building model with a plant-covered façade to define building energy savings.  The simulation results will be used to form recommendations for building designers to lower building energy consumption through the use of green walls.

We will keep you posted on our progress.

Payam Bahrami, Ph.D., A.AIA
CTBUH Research Associate
Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
S.R. Crown Hall, Illinois Institute of Technology
3360 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60616, USA
312.567.3287; pbahrami@ctbuh.org
www.ctbuh.org

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: August 24, 2012

August 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here is the transcript from August 24, 2012 from our daughter, Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velázquez and welcome to “This Week in Review” for August 24th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the  ABN AMRO Plaza, 6th Floor Podium, built in 2005 in Chicago, Illinois.  ABN AMRO Plaza is a 1.4 million square foot, 29-floor commercial office building located in the West Loop area of Chicago and is certified LEED-EB Gold.  The green roof on the 6th floor was primarily built for the use of the ABN AMRO employees.  It was designed to be an occupied green roof with 50% planted area and 50% paver area with plantings which are a mix of trees, perennial plants, and annual flowers in planters of mixed heights.  Former Mayor Daley’s objective was to make Chicago America’s greenest city, and this building has contributed towards making Chicago a cleaner, healthier, more energy-efficient environment for its citizens.

This project has won numerous awards including the IIDA Design Award, Crain’s Real Estate Development of the Year and Midwest Construction Commercial Project of the year.  And, it also won the 2007 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Awards of Excellence in the Intensive Industrial/Commercial category.  The “Greenroof-Roofscape ®” waterproofing assembly, supplied by Barrett Company, consists of 215 mils thick Barrett “Ram Tough 250″ rubberized asphalt membrane, polyester reinforcement, SBS protection course, 60 psi extruded polystyrene insulation, and a root barrier.

– To learn more about the ABN AMRO Plaza, 6th Floor Podium,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

– Welcome to our new sponsor, Vegetal i.D.!  They are one of the largest nurseries dedicated to green roof and living wall solutions.

– And welcome back to our new advertiser, Capitol Greenroofs, a full service landscape architectural and contracting firm out of Virginia.

Advertiser Press Release:

–    LiveWall ®, the Planted Wall System Designed in Harmony with Nature, Supports Diversity and Versatility in Green Wall Design.

Industry News

–  EPA Invites Students to Compete in Campus RainWorks Challenge.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest post:  “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: August 17, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  September 1st-7th: is the World Urban Forum 6, in Naples, Italy.

– “In the News“

–  A Press Release from PR Newswire announces “Postal Service Saves Millions in Energy Costs.”  The U.S. Postal Service recently reported that it had reduced its total facility energy consumption by nearly 26% since 2003.  Robust energy measurement systems and practical steps, like the ones noted by the Go Green Forever Stamps, Adjust the Thermostat and Turn off Lights Not in Use, contributed to the reduction, which is about the same amount of energy used annually by 90,000 households.

The Postal Service’s first green roof opened in 2009 on top of the Morgan Mail Processing and Distribution Facility in New York, and is the city’s largest green roof.  The agency’s second green roof, on top of the Syracuse Colvin-Elmwood Post Office, was built at no cost to the Postal Service through the sustainability Save the Rain partnership with Onondaga County, New York.  Each roof has an expected lifespan of 50 years, they will help reduce the amount of stormwater runoff flowing into the city’s water systems, and are part of the U.S. Postal Service’s commitment to creating sustainable spaces and facilities.

– Matt Vande Bunte of MLIVE, talks about “How a stormwater fee could make Grand Rapids “˜sexy.'”  A new report to be reviewed by the Grand Rapids City Commission recommends increased funding, through a tax or user fee, for the public stormwater system.  It embraces the concept of giving properties a way to reduce the new cost by installing green infrastructure.  The added cost would be a monthly fee of about $2-$8, and this “rain tax” is becoming a hot topic in Michigan.

West Michigan Environmental Action Council’s executive director, Rachel Hood, says “It’s the (low-impact development) that makes stormwater sexy.  What is recommended in the report is an approach that provides for low-impact development incentives.”  Mayor George Heartwell said, “We’ve got to find a way to fund stormwater.  The issue is how do you fund stormwater.  I think creating a stormwater utility with an equitable assessment process is the fairest and best way to do it.”

– To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our In the News or Newslinks section of our website.

– Send us your green articles, videos and images to editor@greenroofs.com and share your greenroof or greenwall info with the world!

– Make sure to keep up with everything Greenroofs.com by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, being a member of our network on LinkedIn, and subscribing to our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube!

– This has been This Week in Review for August 24th,  2012 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velázquez and I’ll see you next week!

*This week’s episode is sponsored by The Greenroof Directory, brought to you by Greenroofs.com.*


Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: March 23, 2012

March 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here is the transcript from March 23rd, 2012 from our daughter, Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velázquez and welcome to “This Week in Review” for March 23rd,  2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the WaterShed House, built in 2011 in Washington, DC.  This prototype solar house entry from the team at the University of Maryland won the U.S. Department of Energy 2011 Solar Decathlon – an award-winning program that challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive.  WaterShed is a solar-powered home inspired and guided by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, interconnecting the house with its landscape to promote sustainability and ecosystem protection.  Two rectangular modules form the house, and it is capped by a split-butterfly roof, which is well suited to capturing and using sunlight and rainwater.

Key features of the house include a greenroof to retain stormwater and reduce the volume and velocity of run-off, and constructed wetlands to filter stormwater and grey water for reuse.  The south module of the WaterShed House has an extensive greenroof supplied by the LiveRoof ® Hybrid Green Roof System with LiveRoof Lite modules.  LiveRoof modules feature the company’s Soil Elevator™ and Moisture Portal™, horticultural innovations that establish a greenroof as a cohesive ecosystem.  The LiveRoof design unifies the entire installation into a naturally functioning biological system.  Natural function maximizes plant health, long-term sustainability, rooftop aesthetics, roof membrane protection, and environmental benefits.

– To learn more about the WaterShed House,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 15:  “E = MC2 of Green Roofs: Ranking Energy Benefits by Mission, Climate and Construction” by  Christopher Wark.

And find the rest of the videos in this series on our GreenroofsTV page and/or our greenroofsTV YouTube channel.

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  Tremco Headquarters Renovation Receives Cleveland Engineering Society Award.

Tecta America Corp. Announces Enhancement of Tecta Green Website.

LiveRoof ® Launches Overburden Removal Warranty Program for its Green Roof System.

Work and relaxation on a pitched roof: functional roof landscape at SOLON SE in Berlin-Adlershof by ZinCo.

Joblinks

Sika Sarnafil USA is seeing an Inside Sales Representative in Canton, MA.

Industry News

–  The District of Columbia is a national leader in the total amount of Greenroofs constructed – second only to Chicago, IL in the total area of greenroofs per capita.  The District’s Green Roof Rebate Program is the perfect way to fund your greenroof – and it’s now back in full swing.  Anacostia Watershed Society is offering $5 per square foot on a first-come, first-served basis for qualified DC buildings of any size!

– Guest Blogger

– Read our guest blog post, “Greening the District with Green Roofs,” by Laura S. Washington, Green Roof Rebate Program Coordinator, of the Anacostia Watershed Society.  And also our guest feature article, “Portland Builds Over 100,000 Square Feet of Greenroofs in 2011,” by Casey Cunningham, Landscape Architect with the City of Portland’s Sustainable Stormwater Division.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

And over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “CitiesAlive Call for Papers Extended to March 29, 2012,” “Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV for March 16th, March 9th, and 2nd, 2012″ respectively, and “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 15: E = MC ² of Green Roofs: Ranking Energy Benefits by Mission, Climate and Construction.”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  March 23rd & 24th: is the Open House & Plant Sale, Good Earth Plants & GreenScaped Buildings, in San Diego, CA.

– March 23rd-25th: is the Better Living Show – Home, Garden & Lifestyle, in Portland, OR.

– March 29th-30th: is the 10th Annual New York State Green Building Conference, in Syracuse, NY.

– “In the News“

–  Richard Lee, of the Danbury News Times, reports on “LaurelRock adds “˜green walls’ to its offerings.”  Earlier this week, LaurelRock, a Wilton-based landscape design and installation business, hosted George Irwin, CEO of Green Living Technologies International [and one of our contributing editors], where he demonstrated how his company creates green walls.  LaurelRock is the exclusive installer of GLTi’s patented panel technology in the company’s service area.  LaurelRock President Burt DeMarche believes gardeners will be interested in GLTi’s “edible walls” concept, because they can produce fruits, vegetables, and herbs in an easier way for gardeners who want to grow their own food but don’t have the time or energy to do it the “old-fashioned way.”

At the Millstone Farm presentation, George stood by a 2×6 foot frame holding plants including moss, waffle leaf, palm, ferns and more; and he said, “this wall has light indoor plants which are relatively low maintenance.  They provide an incredible opportunity to clean the air in the room” and that his “idea was to mimic Mother Nature.  It provides an opportunity for roots to migrate from cell to cell.”  Green Living Technologies International developed a program with the Innovation Charter School in Harlem, where students learn the technology, preparing them for work a companies like LaurelRock.

–  Bill Marken, of Garden Design Magazine, talks about “Green Roofs.”  He reflects on the evolution of greenroofs being just an “eco-fantasy” to becoming the current “eco-solution.” He says greenroofs have become natural fits for many public buildings, thanks to the environmental and financial benefits like energy efficiency, storm-water management, sound insulation, while also being habitats for birds, bees, butterflies, and other insects and animals that help our environment.  Residential greenroofs will accomplish most of the same environmental goals but the financial benefits will take longer to realize.  There are do-it-yourself kits nowadays but developing a sustainable green roof usually calls for someone who knows the structural demands, assembly systems, drainage, local conditions, plants, and maintenance.

To explore the possibilities of having a greenroof of your very own, author Ed Snodgrass, and contributing editor here at greenroofs.com, suggests starting out with a doghouse or a birdhouse.  He says, “starting with a birdhouse is a good first step to getting your feet wet and understanding the limits – and opportunities – of growing plants in such a shallow root space.”  And from there, there’s no place to go but up!

– To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our In the News or Newslinks section of our website.

– Send us your green articles, videos and images to editor@greenroofs.com and share your greenroof or greenwall info with the world!

– Make sure to keep up with everything Greenroofs.com by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, being a member of our network on LinkedIn, and subscribing to our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube!

– This has been This Week in Review for March 23rd,  2012 on GreenroofsTV. I’m Anjuli Velázquez and I’ll see you next week!

*This week’s episode is sponsored by The Greenroof Directory, brought to you by Greenroofs.com.*


Did we miss something? We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 15: E = MC2 of Green Roofs: Ranking Energy Benefits by Mission, Climate and Construction

March 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

Today we have the pleasure to air Christopher Wark’s video presentation “E = MC2 of Green Roofs: Ranking Energy Benefits by Mission, Climate and Construction” from our inaugural  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

Chris has been an  editorial contributor to Greenroofs.com as The Energy Editor since 2010.  In April 2011 he completed his seven-part series entitled “Cooler Than Cool Roofs: How Heat Doesn’t Move Through a Green Roof.”   He and his wife, Wendy, have been  great friends of ours since we met them in 2003 in Chicago, at the first Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards & Trade Show.  Here they are on the Highline when we visited in New York City back in May, 2010:

Christopher Wark has 23 years of multidisciplinary engineering experience providing mechanical, analytical, and electronics support and services to manufacturers, universities and national labs.  For the past 10 years, he has focused his efforts on the development and promotion of technical solutions in architecture and construction.  Chris is currently an Associate with WSP Flack + Kurtz, managing their building analysis group.

Before joining WSP Flack + Kurtz, Chris was a Senior Energy Analyst for Viridian Energy & Environmental. Previous to that, he provided energy analysis and LEED consulting services for several companies, including subsidiaries of the Integral Group, and served as Technical Sales Manager for Mentor Graphics Mechanical Analysis Division (formerly Flomerics Inc.), offering energy and air flow analysis solutions for architectural engineers.

In 2002, Chris established SHADE Consulting/Green Roof Innovations with his wife Wendy.  With SHADE/GRI, 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 has also been involved in other thermodynamic related work, including advanced engine research and fuel cell system development at Caterpillar Inc. and laser development at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and 2 private research laser development companies.  He has presented at numerous conferences, has several articles published on a wide variety of engineering topics, and has had the privilege of working directly with several universities, including Stanford’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) program.  Chris holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering (with a minor in Materials Science) from Washington State University.  His graduate work focused on thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and combustion.

In Chris’ video he discusses how the amount of energy savings from a green roof is determined by a combination of its mission:  How the building spaces are used; climate:  Where in the world, where in the neighborhood; and construction:  Building size, shape, and internal design.  Best and worst candidates are examined.  During the Virtual Summit, Chris’ video presentation was followed by a live  15-Minute Live Q & A; the transcript was available archived for 30 days for participants of the Virtual Summit – unfortunately, we do not have it available now – one of the reasons to participate in this year’s Virtual Summit!

Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “E = MC2 of Green Roofs: Ranking Energy Benefits by Mission, Climate and Construction”  or click below:

Watch earlier videos on our exclusive Virtual Summit greenroofs.tv play list, or see the following Virtual Summit videos now available on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Episode #12: “Wind. Water. Heat. Grow. Greenroofs.”  Panel Session with  Dr. Bill Retzlaff,  David Aponte,  Kevin Songer, and  Joe Webb.
Episode #11: “GreenRoofs in Australasia”  by  Matthew Dillon.
Episode #10: “The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities: An Interview with Patrick Blanc”  by  Patrick Blanc  and  me  with an introduction  by  Caroline Menetre.
Episode #9: “Sloped and Complex Green Roofs”  by  Richard Hayden.
Episode #8: “The Portland Ecoroof Program: A Cross-section of the Green Roof Movement in Portland, Oregon”  with  Tom Liptan,  Matt Burlin,  Amy Chomowicz,  Casey Cunningham, and  Alice Meyers.
Episode #7: “Constructing Gardens in the Sky”  by  Terry McGlade.
Episode# 6:  “Sky Meadows – Integrating People and Nature: Sustainable Green Roofs and Roof Gardens”  by  Dr. Nigel Dunnett.
Episode #5:  “Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx”  Panel Session with  New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera,  Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.,  Robert Bieder,  Jon Beuttler,  Jess Dannhauser,  Javier Lopez  and  Steve Ritz.
Episode #4:  Keynote Address “CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility – The Who, What, Where, When and How” by  Ralph Velasquez.
Episode #3:  “CDA Leads the Way for Incorporating Green Roof Space in an Airport Environment”  by  Rosemarie Andolino.
Episode #2:  “2011 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design”  by  Haven Kiers  and  me.
Episode #1:  Opening Keynote Address “A New Place”  by  Charlie Miller.
VS2011 Opening Address  by Linda Velazquez (me!).

If you’re looking for an overview, make sure to see our 2011 Virtual Summit Highlights video (6:18) and our 2011 Virtual Summit Trailer (2:59).

Check back next week on GreenroofsTV for our 16th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.