GPW: Longdrive

April 13, 2011 at 10:58 pm Project of the Week: 4/11/11
Long Eddy, NY, USA
4,000 sf. Greenroof

Year: 2008
Owner: Private
Location: Long Eddy, NY, USA
Building Type: Single-Family Residential
Type: Extensive
System: Custom
Size: 4,000 sq.ft.  
Slope: 5%
Access: Inaccessible, Private

Project Description & Details

Located at the top of a hill backed up to a forest and facing a meadow with a distant view, Longdrive, a 4,000 square foot house by Alveary Architecture, sits on a 63 acre property.  The house was designed to be an extension of existing trails and paths that wind through the beautiful landscape.  Abandoned quarries on the property provided the stone for the project’s extensive masonry elements.

A conversation pit with a large stone fireplace dominates and anchors the center of the house.  Radiant-heated stone floors were used throughout the main level while the master bedroom suite and upper stories were floored with reclaimed wood, also used for all interior walls.  A two-sided fireplace serves the master bedroom and its bathroom.  Adjacent is a green house separated by pivoting wood doors providing a tropical retreat during the long winters typical to this location.  The house is covered by a custom designed green roof complimenting the natural setting.  The planted roof on three levels blends into the natural landscape and encourages the wildlife to creep in close to the house.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Architect:  Steve Chrostowski, Alveary Architecture
Plant Provider:
Ed Snodgrass,  Emory Knoll Farms / Green Roof Plants
Growing Media: rooflite
Builder: Dave Unser
Base Roofing: Tower Roofing

Last year, the architect, Steve Chrostowski, entered Longdrive in the  2010 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest. Although it came in fifth – in terms of voting, we selected it as the cover of our  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World – 12 Month Wall Calendar.

Enter this year’s Photo Contest to see how your living roof can be featured for our 2012 Calendar!

Here are a couple of photos of the Longdrive roof during construction on September 24, 2007 and then almost a couple of years later on May 10, 2009:

Steve says the Longdrive living roof is just starting to wake up from its winter nap. Pretty soon it’ll be blooming like this once again, as seen from July 19, 2009:

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!  Click  here to see more information about this project in  The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.  See how you can submit yours  here.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: March 25th, 2011

March 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Our daughter, Anjuli, has been writing, filming and editing our “This Week in Review” video since August, 2010 and each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on   Here’s the transcript for March 25, 2011 –  click on the photo below to see the video, or here.   Enjoy!

–   Hello, I’m Anjuli Velazquez and welcome to This Week in Review for March 25th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Chicago Botanic Garden, Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center built in 2010 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.   When the Botanic Garden opened its new Center, its goal was to “Save the Plants, Save the Planet.”  This 38,000 square-foot building serves as a state-of-the-art research facility and laboratory dedicated to plant conservation and public education.   Designed by Booth Hansen Architects, it was awarded LEED Gold rating.   In addition to serving as a research area, the roof also functions as a living example of sustainable technologies.   One of the low-slung building’s main “classrooms” is its North and SouthGarden Roof, which features an overlook with interactive panels explaining the benefits of rooftop gardens and greenroofs.   The Chicago Botanic Garden placed a white, energy efficient roof system over the atrium part of the building, anda scrim-reinforced waterproofing membrane under the garden roof, both from Sika Sarnafil.  And the waterproofing system includes Electric Field Vector Mapping ® from International Leak Detection, or ILD.   The roof has both built in place greenroofs as well as an area planted with the modular GreenGrid system.

–   To learn more about Chicago Botanic Garden Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center greenroof, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

–   “What’s New“

–   Advertiser Press Release:  LiveRoof Introduces RoofStone: the Integrated Pave Solution for the LiveRoof Hybrid Green Roof.   Engineered to Integrate with the Dimensions of LiveRoof Modules, RoofStone Offers a Complementary Accessory for Rooftop Walkways and Patio.

–   Read our newest Guest Feature: “What’s Greener – White Roof or Green Roofs?  Find Out in Washington, D.C. at the Living Architecture Symposium“ by Steven Peck and Jeffrey Bruce.   They will be focusing on the continuation to build the government green roof and wall market with presentations focused on bottom line benefits, new research, and a trade show featuring new products and services.   Don’t miss the Living Architecture Symposium on April 11th & 12th hosted by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and see the beautiful National Cherry Blossom Festival there in Washington, D.C., too.   Visit for more information and to register today.

–   Joblinks Update:    LiveRoof is seeking an Architectural Product Rep based in Chicago and a Sales Specialist based in Indiana.  Go to to apply to these jobs and check out our other Green Roof Jobs postings.

–   Check out Linda’s latest Sky Gardens Blog posts:   “Earth Hour is Upon Us!“   At 8:30 PM tomorrow, lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour; GPW: Chicago Botanic Garden Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Plant Conservation Science Center; and “Call for Papers: WGIN’s International Green Technology Symposium 2011.” Organizing Secretary Professor Suresh Billore has issued an open invitation to attend and participate in the World Green Infrastructure Network International Green Technology Symposium 2011, which will be held in Indore, India on October 31st through November 2nd later this year. If you’re interested in presenting a paper, you can submit your extended abstract by May 28th to

–   And did you know that now you can read my This Week in Review transcript?   You can, on the Sky Gardens Blog every Saturday.

–   “Upcoming Events“

–   Tomorrow, March 26th: the entire world will be coming together to celebrate Earth Hour.   At 8:30 pm, local time wherever you are, Earth Hour will celebrate a worldwide commitment to ongoing change for the betterment of the one thing that unites us all – the planet.   Your journey can start here by signing up and adding your voice to the hundreds of millions across the globe who have already spoken with their actions.   Check out the inspiring Earth Hour 2011 video to see what the planet’s voice looks like.   What will you celebrate for Earth Hour 2011?

–   March 28th: is the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology Research Seminar in Singapore.

–   March 30th – 31st: is GLOBALCON – Energy, Power & Facility Management Strategies & Technologies in Philadelphia, PA.

–   Also on March 30th – 31st: is the BuildingsNY/GreenBuildingsNY 2011 in New York, NY.

–   March 30th – April 1st: is Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Conference in Kansas City, MO.

–   And on April 1st: is the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition: One Day Training Workshop in Grand River, ON Canada.

–   “In the News“

–   Doug Mayer & David Horn of the North Carolina News Network Blog talk about “Bill would provide incentive to install green roofs.”  A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would give a 75% tax credit for the cost of installing a green roof.   Rep. Susan Fisher said the State Capitol is already leading by example with its own green roof and also says, “We have a garden up there.   We have a system of rain collecting instruments that help us to conserve water.”

–   Jessica Cheam of the Straits Time announces “Boost to green the Singapore skyline.”  She says, “Singapore’s tall buildings are going green.”  The National Parks Board will subsidize up to half the cost of sprucing up these structures with plants for rooftop gardens or for green walls.   Ms. Grace Fu, Senior Minister of State for National Development said there was a “strong support from developers to integrate greenery with their skyrise developments.”  In 2009, the Government set a target for Singapore to have an extra 50 hectares of skyrise greenery by 2030.  It launched the Green Roof Incentive Scheme to encourage developing green roofs on existing buildings and has helped 14 organizations since.

–   Susan DeFreitas of Earth Techling, reports on “Post Katrina Lower 9th Ward Homes Go Green.”   After the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the historic Lower 9th Ward saw more than 4,000 homes destroyed.   Two years later, you’d expect re-construction in the area, but that was not the case when world famous actor andhumanitarian Brad Pitt visited the area.   Frustrated by what he saw, he met with local community groups and families to see what he could do-and shortly after, established the Make It Right Foundation, a non-profit charged with a mission  to build 150 green, affordable, high-quality homes in the neighborhood closest to the levee breach: the Lower 9th Ward.   In March of 2008, Make It Right accomplished its first project and since then has completed over 70 new homes designed by 21 local, national and international architects, who donated their designs for single family homes and duplexes.   And because all of the homes built by Make It Right have been certified as LEED Platinum for their energy efficiency and sustainability, this section of New Orleans is now “the largest, greenest neighborhood of single family homes in America,” according to the U.S. Green Building Council.   Green features of  Make It Right  homes include solar photovoltaic systems; low-VOC paints, carpets, adhesives and finishes; and recycled materials wherever possible.   You’ll also find native plants, rain gardens and even green roofs.   Information on Make It Right’s homes-in-progress is available online, visit this article for the link.

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

–   Have something you think we should know about and post on our website?   You can send us your green articles, videos and images to

–   Stay up-to-date with what’s going on at by subscribing to our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube, following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook and being a member of our network on LinkedIn.

–   This has been This Week in Review for March 25th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez and I’ll see you next week!

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

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

~ Linda V.

Call for Papers: WGIN”™s International Green Technology Symposium 2011

March 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm

Professor Suresh Billore, PhD, DSc, Organizing Secretary,  has issued an open invitation to attend and participate in the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) International Green Technology Symposium 2011, which will be held in Indore, India on October 31 through  November 2, 2011.

This prestigious greenroof symposium is the first of its kind in India!   Organized by GREEN TAKNIKI – Restoring Nature, the International Symposium  on  Green Technology (Green Roof, Green City, Rain Harvesting) will be held under the auspices of the World Green Infrastructure Network (with President Professor Manfred Köhler of  Germany) and co-hosted by the Mayor of Indore.

If you’re interested  in presenting a paper, please submit your extended abstract (1,000) words) by May 28, 2011 to

Professor Suresh Billore  also encourages non-paper contributors to attend, which will  include joining one full session workshop on Green Roofs, Rain Harvesting, and the LEED and GRP designations.   Tours to this exotic and  burgeoning green locate will also be offered!

Sponsorship opportunities are available.   Details on the Symposium and participation can be found  at their website:, and in the attached International Green Technology Symposium 2011 flyer.

Dates To Remember  
Receipt of Extended Abstracts: May 28, 2011
Acceptance of Extended Abstracts: June 28, 2011

Receipt of full length paper: August 1, 2011
Acceptance of full paper: August 15, 2011

Submission of Registration Form along with Registration Fee Registration fee by: August 1, 2011

Stay tuned, more info coming!

~ Linda V.

A Look (Again) at Airport Greenroofs

February 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

We all know that airports occupy and consume huge areas of land mass, destroying ecosystems and creating massive urban heat islands of impermeable, hot surfaces.  Take, for example, the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) shown below – notice how the highest temperatures, shown in red, are the roof surfaces of the ATL terminal and concourses, followed by runways, parking and cargo areas:

You may remember that back in 2005 I wrote the paper “European Airport Greenroofs – A Potential Model for North America,” which looked at impacts of using a greenroof within airports as well as some of the potential barriers to greenroofs.  I highlighted three massive and highly successful examples of greenroofs in place at the Amsterdam,  Zürich, and Frankfurt International Airports.

At the time, only one greenroof had been installed at aviation facilities within the U.S. or Canada – at the King County International Airport Terminal Building (2003).  The FAA and others had been hesitant given wildlife management issues, in particular the real threat of bird strikes.

Since then, many additional  greenroofs have been constructed at airports worldwide with, not surprisingly, the City of Chicago leading the pack as part of their O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP).

I had the pleasure of revisiting the issue last week at the Atlanta Aero Club at the beautiful Capital City Club in downtown Atlanta, where I was invited to give a short 5-minute presentation for their bi-monthly luncheon by the Club’s President, Steve Champness.

Steve and his better half, Nancy Petroline, (both pilots) are friends of ours and felt the mixture of my passion for greenroofs and the very important fact that the President of Delta Air Lines, Ed Bastian, was the Keynote Speaker was prime for me to address greenroofs as sustainable design at airports here.  Plus, the President of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, Joe Lombardo, was also on hand and both airline leaders received awards to celebrate their unique and important contributions to the airline industry.

“The Atlanta Aero Club is dedicated to providing a forum for matters affecting aviation in the Atlanta area, both commercial and general; recognizing and awarding those making the greatest contribution to furthering aviation in the Atlanta area; communicating and disseminating information affecting aviation; and promoting all aviation and recognizing its importance to the metropolitan area and to the State of Georgia.”

It was great to hear Ed Bastian again, and he shared his own passion for Delta Air Lines as a successful company coming through restructuring as well as a firmly dedicated hometown company (the number 1 employer here in Atlanta), highly invested in both its customers and employees.  In fact, last month Delta marked 70 years in Atlanta with a celebration for employees and partners, and a $1.4 billion profit profit sharing payout was distributed on February 14.

Regarding investments, Delta’s plan is to allocate more than $2 billion in enhanced global products, services and airport facilities through 2013.  In addition to improving Sky Clubs and upgrading its domestic fleet, Delta will offer full flat-bed seats on more than 100 widebody aircraft, feature personal, in-seat entertainment for both BusinessElite and Economy class customers on all widebody flights, and complete new terminal facilities for international customers at its two largest global gateways – Atlanta and New York-JFK.


I was excited to speak to the approximate 150 members and guests of the Atlanta Aero Club, who were mostly pilots.  Although  I’m not a pilot, many of you who have been following me for years know that greenroofs is my second career ~ in January, 1996 I went back to school and received a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from The University of Georgia in 2000 ~ while flying internationally as a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines (which I still do, at a minimum).  I feel very fortunate to be able to combine my two careers – so you can see my particular interest in greening our airport roofs!

After some additional research and feedback, I began to add to the list of aviation profiles we have listed in The Greenroof & Greenwall  Projects Database.  Here’s the scoop:

We know that Chicago has led the way in North America in greenroof implementation for the past decade, including its airports.  Above is an an aerial photo with “Urban Heat Island Priority Tiers” superimposed which identify hot spots at the O’Hare International Airport (ORD) while showing current and proposed greenroofs here.

Although Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) has a combined coverage of over 500,000 sf, the largest individual continuous greenroof at any airport in the world is found on the 4-acre FedEx Main Sort Building at O’Hare.

Located next to an active runway, the 174,442 sf roof was installed in May of last year and is just one of four buildings with vegetated roofs comprising the massive FedEx Cargo Relocation Project, totaling about 190,000 ft.

O’Hare also boasts the first FAA Control Tower in the U.S. with a greenroof, so we must be feeling pretty good about constructing them now at airports, now, don’t you think?  According to the Chicago Department of Aviation, there is currently 229,355 sf of green roof space at O’Hare International Airport, with an additional 108,816 sf proposed at the United Airlines Cargo Facility (as of February, 2011).

Chicago’s Midway Airport (MDW) currently has 3,179 sf of greenroof space on the parking garage, with another 17,640 sf of greenroof proposed for the Consolidated Rental Car Facility.  To learn more about Chicago’s greening initiatives at airports, see their Airports Going Green website (where you can even see PowerPoint presentations of the last two annual Airports Going Green  Conferences), the Sustainable Airport Manual, and visit the Chicago Department of Aviation’s website.

In the U.S., we now have at least 17 airport area greenroofs totaling almost 300,000 sf, and Chicago’s not the only government leader, either.  Take Portland Oregon (PDX), above, for example, the U.S. Army and Air Force, and Heritage Flight, below:

And Canada has at least 3 totaling about 3,000 sf, an intensive greenroof (below) and extensive greenroof at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) – not to mention their stunning greenwall at YVR Canada Line Station 4 – and an extensive greenroof at Toronto International (YYZ):

Here are some other cool living roofs atop airport buildings found internationally:

See what we have by searching The Greenroof & Greenwall  Projects Database by selecting “Aviation” under Building Type > Application Type – if you want to define it, select a country, city, etc.

Does this mean that’s all there is?  Of course not.  This Projects Database is a living research document and because it’s community driven, we reply on everyone to help us keep it up to date.  In fact, I have seen airport greenroofs myself at Narita International in Japan (NRT), Madrid (MAD), and Paris’ Charles de Gaulle (CDG) – (see a couple of photos below) – that aren’t included in the Projects Database because I don’t have enough info yet.

And I know there’s more at Paris’ Orly International Airport (ORY), Bordeaux (BOD), Stuttgart (STR), Münich (MUC), Bremen (BRE) and Düsseldorf (DUS), with many others planned or on the boards.  So, I’d like to ask our greenroof community to please send in your photos and info on greenroofs across the world and I’ll share the profiles for all to see, like Jörg Breuning, of Green Roof Service, has been doing for years – see below the Fire Brigade at Stuttgart International Airport:

Because of time constraints, I couldn’t get into key design considerations with regard to the correct site selection of growing media and plants, but just touched on the importance of having a multi-disciplinary team on the Airport Wildlife Landscape Management team.  Here’s my updated version of the “An Overview of Greenroofs at Airports: Greening Rooftops as Sustainable Design” Power Point which I presented last week to the Atlanta Aero Club:

Even though I was limited to just five minutes, I ended with a few slides of examples about combining photovoltaics with greenroofs – hey, if we’re going to be sustainable, we may as well go all the way!

I’d like to give Steve Champness another big Thankyou! for offering and me this great opportunity to introduce vegetated roofs to many, and encourage sustainable design with greenroofs (and walls) at our public, private, and military airports worldwide.  We need more leaders such as the City of Chicago, the City of Portland, OR, and others to continue to push building integrated greenery forward.

It’s easy to understand how Atlanta’s largest urban heat island, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, can be significantly mitigated by incorporating living, breathing, greenroofs.   Maybe Hotlanta won’t be so hot any more with some local support, strategic planning, and government and corporate visionaries.

Count me in for local support here in The ATL!

Ed Bastian, President of Delta Air Lines, and me on February 16, 2011 at the Atlanta Aero Club Luncheon.

~ Linda V.