Happy New (Challenging) Year 2017 and Let’s Get Involved

January 28, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Happy New Year to all and continued prosperity!

With the new leadership in the U.S., 2017 promises to be a challenging one for those of us in the pro-environment industry, here and abroad.  With the elections past and a new president in office, many of us feel disillusioned, angry, and even scared with the looming specter of the new administration’s upcoming four years.  But even if you say and believe “He’s not My president,” like it or not he actually is for now – but there is always something we can do as citizens to not feel so disenfranchised.  We can be part of the solution (or at least the opposition)!

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

Joseph Velazquez in Atlanta for the The March for Social Justice and Women. Photo by Hilary Bradford, Atlanta, 2017.

Even if you were not particularly politically active in the past, as I have been, for me this is the time for our collective similar-minded community to speak up and contribute our thoughts and actions.  We can voice our opinions and fight for a just, open, healthy, pro-environment and all-embracing peaceful community – on a small scale for all of our people and places, and on a grand scale for the future health of our planet.  Even if you voted for Trump for a host of other reasons, it must be clear that his policies on the environment and energy are dire, at best and to say the least.

Earlier this month two of our family members participated in The March for Social Justice and Women, which had an attendance of about 60,000 here in Atlanta and 3,000,000 globally.  On February 16 Aramis and I are planning to attend the Climate & Health Meeting: How the Climate Crisis Affects Public Health from The Climate Reality Project in partnership with the American Public Health Association, Harvard Global Health Institute, the University of Washington Center for Health and the Global Environment, and Dr. Howard Frumkin, former director of the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health at the Carter Center.  Originally scheduled as a 3-day conference, it was unexpectedly cancelled earlier this month:

The Climate & Health Meeting is being held following the abrupt cancellation of a major climate change-public health conference planned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin told The Washington Post that the CDC’s event was called off preemptively in an attempt to avoid any entanglements with the then-incoming Trump Administration, which has nominated several climate deniers to key cabinet positions relating to the environment and already has ordered science-based government agencies to cease the release of important public information and put a freeze on Environmental Protection Agency grants and contracts that could, according to the Post, “affect everything from state-led climate research to localized efforts to improve air and water quality to environmental justice projects aimed at helping poor communities.” ~ The Climate Reality Project

And we are keeping our eyes open for more information on the 2017 People’s Climate March on Washington just announced two days ago for April 29:

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

A steering committee of more than two dozen organizations is organizing the event. It is supported by the major national environmental groups and an array of social justice, religious, and labor groups, ranging from the Hip Hop Caucus to the Franciscan Action Network to the BlueGreen Alliance. More than 100 groups have endorsed the march. ~ InsideClimateNews

Climate reality is just that – science-based and real, here to stay.  Preaching to the choir here, we all know how climate change affects so many aspects of our lives, and we believe that designing with nature by incorporating plants on, over, and within our built environment can ameliorate at least our own neighborhoods and urban heat islands.  Greening buildings and creating green infrastructure is what we all do in some form or another – it’s our industry, so let’s get involved!

In the past many have devoted their time and effort to promoting Earth Hour, March 25; Earth Month, April; or specifically Earth Day, April 22.  But these events are meant to serve as reminders that our planet should be revered and protected every day of the year, not just sometimes.

So what can we do?  Beyond writing and calling your state senators and representatives, why not join or see what The Climate Reality Project, Earth HourEarth MonthEarth Day and these other organizations are doing, too: 350.orgNRDCAvaaz, League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, EARTHJUSTICEGreen AmericaGreenpeace, Scientists’ March on Washington, ACORE, WWF, Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and of course Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, our own North American industry association, among so many others!

Of course, we would love to have you join/follow us our social media networks, too, to voice your opinion within our specific industry: Greenroofs.com Network on LinkedIn; Facebook; Twitter; GreenroofsTV Channel on YouTubePinterest; and our eNewsletters.

Earlier this month on January 18 both NASA and NOAA announced that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded (since 1880), to the indifference of climate-deniers.  Previously, 2015 held the title of Warmest Global Year on Record.

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

In the past I have always believed in supporting our U.S. presidents – at least having respect for the Office of the President, but for me currently there is very little to respect in the persona of Donald Trump.  But with enough voices and actions, perhaps we can create some change and at least make his tenure palatable.

And to this effect, we hope you join us for our 4th biennial 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit starting on April 9 through April 30. With a distinguished Advisory Group for 2017 and easier and more socially interactive online platforms, come network with us along with a host of fellow influencers from around the world, and bring your voice to the global table.

Happy New Challenging Year 2017 Let's Get Involved Climate Change

Here’s to peace, love, happiness, thriving business, and action for all in 2017!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher

Save the Dates for the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit: April 9 – 30!

January 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Greenroofs.com is excited to announce the dates for our upcoming 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture on April 9 – 30!

Save Dates 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit April 9-30

Held previously in 2015, 2013 and 2011, our biennial Virtual Summits have been very successful at bringing together people from around the world to learn, discuss, and network in our fields of green infrastructure and living architecture via the power of the Internet – and we have new speakers and cool special features to make 2017 the best to date!

“Imagine a world of green: What are we doing to advance living architecture?” ~ Greenroofs.com’s Virtual Summits

Building upon these initiatives, our 4th foray into the world of online virtual conferences embraces these awesome, inspiring, and highly esteemed Keynotes confirmed for the 2017 Virtual Summit so far:

EMILIO AMBASZ:
Commendatore (Commander) della Rep. Italiana, Ordine della Stella d’Italia; Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects; Honorary International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects; ISA 2014 Medal for Science, The Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bologna; First Madre Terra Awardee

Save Dates 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit April 9-30

Emilio Ambasz is a highly acclaimed green architect, award-winning industrial and graphic designer, author, and former Curator of the Department of Architecture and Design for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, and is best known for his “Green over Gray” philosophy of design sensitivity.  Since its inception in 1976 as building consultants and planners, Emilio Ambasz & Associates has created a belief in and identification with quality to find representative expression in form, performance, added value, and strong symbolic content.

In all its projects, the firm seeks to reconcile the building with nature with the complete integration of building and the landscape.  A pioneer of ecological architecture, just a few of Emilio’s iconic living architecture portfolio projects include the ACROS Fukuoka Prefectural International Hall in Japan, Environment Park (EnviPark) in Turin, Italy, and the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus) in Venice, Italy.  The design sense in all three of these examples reconciles a developer’s desire for profitable use of a site with the public’s need for open green space:

Save Dates 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit April 9-30

 

STEPHEN RITZ:
STEM / STEAM Executive Director, National Health, Wellness and Learning Center at CS 55 in South Bronx; Founder of Green Bronx Machine; 2015 Global Teacher Prize Top Ten Finalist; TED TALK 2012: A Teacher Growing Green in the South Bronx

Save Dates 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit April 9-30

For over 30 years Stephen Ritz has been a science teacher/administrator in the nation’s poorest congressional district, the South Bronx.  His mantra is “Si se puede!” (Yes you can!) using “Amer-I-Can” innovation and spirit in his message of hope, urgency, and resilience.  As founder of the student-led Green Bronx Machine, his super-charged energy focuses on education, affordable local food systems, and 21st century workforce development.

Years ago Stephen’s class had the first living wall in an NYC school growing veggies and herbs, and in 2016 opened the National Health, Wellness and Learning Center, a 100+ year old reclaimed school library, with indoor gardens, robotics, a 100% mobile classroom kitchen with broadcast capabilities, solar and pedal power stations, computer lab, outside gardens, and more.  The innovative STEM/STEAM curriculum is integrated with plant-based teaching lessons that align with core school curriculum.  His upcoming book The Power of a Plant: A Teacher’s Odyssey to Grow Healthy Minds and Schools (May 2017), is his inspiring story about how incorporating gardening and plants into teaching curriculum moved the graduation rate of students from 17% to 100% and improved attendance to 93% in his South Bronx high school.

Save Dates 2017 Greenroofs Walls World Virtual Summit April 9-30

New in 2017

For maximum engagement between speakers and participants from across the globe, for the VS 2017 we’ll be offering some very social platforms so you can easily watch your favorite videos then network in real time with your favorite speakers with new ways to connect, watch, and interact.  Come join us online to find out!

People, Projects & Design

Our website and the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summits: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture have always been focused on People, Projects & Design:

PEOPLE: Creative thinkers, innovators, and trailblazers sharing project-focused organic “vegitecture”

PROJECTS: International icons of sustainability: early successes + current & visionary profiles of excellence in design

DESIGN: Proven standards of diverse green technologies + dynamic and cutting edge designs for greening the planet with building integrated greenery: bioclimatic, biodiversity, biomimicry & chic sustainability

This is what and who we are.  Stay tuned for more exciting information, coming soon!

We’ll keep you posted along the way, but for now please Save the Dates now for April 9 – 30, 2017 for your participation in the 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher

Project of the Week for December 19, 2016: Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus)

December 19, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Project of the Week Veneto Eye Bank Foundation Emilio Ambasz

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 12/19/16

GreenroofandGreenwallProjectsDatabaseLogo

Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus)
Mestre-Venice, Italy
76,910 sf. (estimated) Greenroof, Landscaped Terraces & Below Grade Parking Garage (On Structure Greenroof)

Project of the Week Mini Description & Details

The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation is a non-profit, social welfare organization and regional center for cornea transplantation and research into epithelial stem cells. One of the leading eye banks in Europe, the 50,000 sf medical facility houses several functions: a surgical facility, stem cell research laboratories, eye treatment center, administrative offices as well as the EIDON Foundation educational facility, which includes a 450-seat auditorium. Designed by green architect Emilio Ambasz in 2008, it is situated on a flat, triangular-shaped 2.8 hectare site. Located near a local railroad, major roadway, traffic roundabout, and the entrance to a new regional hospital, the Venice-Mestre Hospital, also designed by Ambasz, the Foundation is highly visible.

Project of the Week Veneto Eye Bank Foundation Emilio Ambasz

Project of the Week Veneto Eye Bank Foundation Emilio Ambasz

The triangular-shaped building is defined by two 12 meter high trapezoidal walls, clad in pre-stained copper set at right angles to each other. The two extreme points of the orthogonal walls seem about to touch each other, reminiscent of The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. In the triangular space created by these walls, a volume is defined by a series of landscaped terraces at each floor level, making up one side. On the opposite side, the building rises as a series of steps that lead to a flat planted roof garden. These steps make the entire living roof an outdoor amphitheater. A parabolic opening forms the main entrance through this stepped facade. Administrative, research, and surgical functions are located on the three floors above ground while a ground level circular courtyard provides light to the educational spaces located below ground. All of the spaces receive direct natural sunlight from the large walls of glass placed at a distance from the edge of the vegetated terraces. The combination of the plantings and deep overhangs minimize the impact of heat loads by blocking sunlight during the middle of the day. A below grade parking garage eliminates all visible cars on the site to ensure a continuous green surface around and onto the building’s roof. The Veneto Eye Bank Foundation embraces architect Emilio Ambasz’s philosophy of “The Green Over the Gray,” or the landscape over the building.

Project of the Week Veneto Eye Bank Foundation Emilio Ambasz

Project of the Week Veneto Eye Bank Foundation Emilio Ambasz

Year: 2008
Owner: Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus
Location: Mestre-Venice, Italy
Building Type: Non-Profit/Research
Type: Semi-Intensive
System: Custom
Size: 76,910 sq.ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Private

Project of the Week Veneto Eye Bank Foundation Emilio Ambasz

Project of the Week Veneto Eye Bank Foundation Emilio Ambasz

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect: Emilio Ambasz, Hon. FAIA
Architect of Record: Studio Altieri-Alberto Altieri
Emilio Ambasz & Associates Collaborators: Lucas Fornari, Luca Cerutti, Giulio Altieri, Valentina Altieri, Alessandro Melotto, Francesco Viero, Chiara Urso, Giulia Andreotti, Peter Norris, and Bradley Whitermore
Photographer: Enrico Cano
A.T.I. for Project & Construction: C.O.MES. scrl Costruzione nuovo Ospedale di Mestre
Società Consortile a Responabilità Limitata: Astaldi (Mandatary), Ing. E. Mantovani (Building Company), Mattioli
Mechanical Plants: Cofathec Progetti (Project), STEAM (Consultants)
Electrical Plants: Gemmo Impianti (Project), TIFS (Consultants)
Consultant: Prof. Vitaliani, TIFS
Frameworks: Permasteelisa
Lighting: Disano
Flooring: Marazzi
Lifts: Schindler
Climate Control: Cofatech

Project of the Week Veneto Eye Bank Foundation Emilio Ambasz

Project of the Week Veneto Eye Bank Foundation Emilio Ambasz

View the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation PROJECT PROFILE to see ALL of the Photos and Additional Information about this particular project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Project of the Week Veneto Eye Bank Foundation Emilio Ambasz

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Veneto Eye Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banca degli Occhi del Veneto Onlus) 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 on Greenroofs.com? We have to have a profile first! Submit Your Project Profile.

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

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week for November 21, 2016: Yahoo! Commuting Coop Living Wall

November 21, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Project Week Yahoo! Commuting Coop Living Wall Lockport

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 11/21/16

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Yahoo! Commuting Coop Living Wall
Lockport, NY, USA
475 sf. Greenwall

Project of the Week Mini Description & Details

Completed in 2015, Yahoo!’s newest data center is a 155,000 square foot complex in Lockport, NY. PKJB Architectural Group and others utilized integrated building design to eliminate HVAC units, resulting in 40% less energy and 95% less water usage than conventional facilities. Located within the cool climate of nearby Niagara Falls, the air-cooled data center, which can accommodate 50,000 servers, is based on an unlikely design: the chicken coop. Known as the Yahoo! Commuting Coop (Y!CC), the buildings are long and narrow to provide good air circulation and shaped similar to a chicken coop. Yahoo! is committed to being an environmentally responsible company, and the addition of a G-O2® Living Wall by Plant Connection is just one leafy example.

Project Week Yahoo! Commuting Coop Living Wall Lockport

In 2016 Yahoo! incorporated the acoustic Living Wall into their Y!CC utility space because they were interested in increasing their “green” presence. They felt the gorgeous new building for their call center in upstate New York would be a perfect spot. Not only would the living wall provide the “green” exposure they desired, they also felt it would greatly contribute to the aesthetic beauty of their new facility. Installed and maintained by Dore Landscape Associates, the living wall is segmented into seven sections and spans 62 feet. Its curvilinear design flows through the panel groupings and helps create one continuous living wall, while providing contrast to the existing façade. Nine varieties of sedum were planted to create the organic, free flowing design, supplying four seasons of interest, color, and texture. Similarly, other cloud computing providers are all trying to use renewable energy to power their data centers, helping to contribute to reductions in global warming, cut energy costs and comply with regulations. But Yahoo! demonstrates that nothing more boldly says you are being environmentally conscious than a green wall greeting visitors and employees!

Project Week Yahoo! Commuting Coop Living Wall Lockport

Project Week Yahoo! Commuting Coop Living Wall Lockport

Year: 2016
Owner: Yahoo! Inc.
Location: Lockport, NY, USA
Building Type: Corporate
Type: Living Wall
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 475 sq.ft.
Slope: 100%
Access: Accessible, Private

Project Week Yahoo! Commuting Coop Living Wall Lockport

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect: PKJB Architectural Group
Engineer: KPFF Consulting Engineers
Steel Fabricator: Apollo Steel
Construction: M.A. Mortenson Company
Green Wall System: G-O2 Living Walls, Plant Connection, Inc.
Manufacturer & Grower: Plant Connection, Inc.
Planting Design: Sabrina Buttitta, BSLA, Plant Connection, Inc.
Installation: Dore Landscape Associates
Maintenance: Dore Landscape Associates
2009-2010 Construction Management: Structure Tone

Project Week Yahoo! Commuting Coop Living Wall Lockport

View the Yahoo! Commuting Coop Living Wall PROJECT PROFILE to see ALL of the Photos and Additional Information about this particular project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Project Week Yahoo! Commuting Coop Living Wall Lockport

Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Yahoo! Commuting Coop 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 on Greenroofs.com? We have to have a profile first! Submit Your Project Profile.

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

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher