Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 18: Combining Green Roofs with Photovoltaics

April 11, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Today we have the pleasure to air Roland Appl’s video presentation “Combining Green Roofs with Photovoltaics” from our inaugural  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

Aramis and I first met Roland in Nürtingen, Germany in 2004 at the inaugural International Green Roof Congress sponsored by IGRA – the International Green Roof Association.  What a first class person and a first class event!  After the conference, the native German was our amiable and knowledgeable Green Roof Tour leader who took our large group to several beautiful sites around  Nürtingen and  Unterensingen.

One was the awesome ZinCo International Headquarters with about 12 expansive extensive greenroofs, above, and one beautiful intensive greenroof, below, on site used for hosting visitor and employee gatherings.  The premises was later used as testing grounds for developing their solar system used in conjunction with vegetated roofs.

Another stop, included in Roland’s video, is  ZinCo’s first project combining the two green technologies of greenroofs and photovoltaics – the Schule Unterensingen, below, where 200 solar panels and an extensive greenroof grace the top roof of this large primary school in Unterensingen.  Read more in my previous Sky Gardens column about the 2004  International Green Roof Congress  here.

By the way, both  ZinCo GmbH and ZinCo USA have been steady advertising supporters of Greenroofs.com since 2003, and  ZinCo USA is one of our esteemed Sponsors.  We’re grateful for their continued support!

Roland Appl has been working as a green roof engineer for more than 25 years in the Stuttgart region in Germany.  As the Technical Director of the green roof system developer and supplier ZinCo, he has been involved in several technical innovations (e.g. thermally insulating green roofs, green roofs and photovoltaics).  He is designing green roof systems dedicated to all kind of possible applications.  Roland is member of the research group “Green Roofs” of the FLL and he was also speaker at the GRHC conferences in Boston, Minneapolis, Baltimore and Toronto.

In 2009 Roland Appl was elected president of the International Green Roof Association ( IGRA), which was responsible for the “International Green Roof Congress 2009 “Bringing Nature Back to Town” in Nürtingen  near Stuttgart.  IGRA was also one of the organisers of the Skyrise Greenery Conference 2010 in Singapore (read my blog post about it here).

In Roland’s presentation, he explains how the synergistic effects of combining green roofs with photovoltaics are not limited to their installation – the substrate serves as ballast against wind-uplift and they are also noticeable in their operation: solar module efficiency is normally linked to temperatures.

As evaporation from the green roof cools the photovoltaic modules, in turn the process increases their efficiency – this is an important contribution to the environment and to climate protection.

Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “Combining Green Roofs with Photovoltaics” 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:

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 19th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: April 6, 2012

April 7, 2012 at 9:42 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 April 6th, 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 April 6th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the Salmon Creek School & Environmental Center, built in 2009 in Freestone, California.  This LEED ® Platinum certified school is the first public school in California to receive this highest level of LEED ® certification.  The educational building is also a community and environmental education center that focuses itself on place-based learning and developing eco-literacy among its students and parents.  SYMBIOS eco-tecture worked with students, administrators, community and environmental groups to design and plan a living roof that would be educational and functional.  The cafeteria food comes from the organic garden; the walls are not only natural plaster but also clean the air; and natural light is strategically introduced to keep the kids perky and to help heat the building in the winter.

In the summer the green living roof keeps the school cool, in the winter keeps it warm and creates a habitat for wildlife all year long.  Biodiversity was emphasized in the planting scheme of the greenroof, which included 12 species of drought-tolerant succulents, three of which are native to California.  Salmon Creek that runs through the school’s property is currently undergoing a multi-year restoration project to restore the Coho Salmon populations and therefore a net zero stormwater discharge rate was mandated.  Other sustainable features of the building include passive solar design, daylight harvesting, a 30 kilowatt PV solar system, eco-plasters and floor finishes, reclaimed lumber and recycled content steel framing low-water use fixtures, and more.

– To learn more about the Salmon Creek School & Environmental Center,  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 17: “Sustainability in Plant Production” by Lluis Recasens Pahí.

–  Contributing Editor

–  Also read Haven Kiers’ new “Chic Sustainability Watch: Trends, Projects & People – Disappearing Acts.”

Advertiser Press Releases:

Tecta America Expert Angie Durhman Named Opening Speaker for the NYC Green Roof Science Symposium.

Industry News

–  Toronto is the first city in North America to have a bylaw to require and govern the construction of green roofs on new development.  It was adopted by Toronto City Council in May 2009, under the authority of Section 108 of the City of Toronto Act.  The Bylaw applies to new building permit applications for residential, commercial and institutional development made after January 31, 2010 and will apply to new industrial development as of April 30, 2012.

– New York City Planning Commission unanimously approves Zone Green proposal.  Zone Green is the most comprehensive effort of any city in the nation to sweep aside obstacles to green buildings and energy efficiency – eliminating barriers to green roofs to energy generation and to rooftop agriculture.  Zone Green will give homeowners and building owners new opportunities to make investments that save them energy, save them money, and improve our environment.

–  Forty-six ASTM International standards covering various aspects of building construction are cited in the 2012 International Green Construction Code.  Published by the International Code Council, the new model code addresses the construction and remodeling of residential as well as commercial structures.  The IgCC is expected to increase cost savings and job growth while enabling safe and sustainable building design and construction.  ASTM green construction standards such as E2399 on green roof systems, C1549 for solar reflectance and E2635 on water conservation in buildings are part of the 2012 code.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 17: Sustainability in Plant Production,” “Enter the 2012 “˜Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!’ Earth Day Photo Contest Now!,” and “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: March 29, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

– Speaking of our 2012 “˜Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!’ Earth Day Photo Contest, make sure you enter your favorite greenroof and then get friends and family to vote for it daily!  The winner gets $100 plus a lot of air time!  Going on now through April 22nd: Enter the 2012 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest, on our Greenroofs.com Facebook page!

– “In the News“

–  Peter Raabe of the American Rivers Blog, has “A Vision Of Green Roofs In Durham, NC.”  He says “North Carolina has a stormwater problem.”  Many of its rivers are polluted due to stormwater runoff.  The state has put rules into effect to clean up its act and Durham is at the center, on one side, Jordan Lake and the other, Falls Lake reservoirs, and both have strict clean up requirements due to the poor land use practices around them.

Beyond stormwater runoff reductions, greenroofs could offer many benefits to Durham like reducing roofing maintenance, improving building energy efficiency, reducing urban heat island effect, improving habitat for wildlife, improving air quality and the potential creation of a green economy work force.  American Rivers has partnered with Downtown Durham, Inc. and they put on a forum for more than fifty city and business leaders that explored the potential of greenroof enhancements in Durham.  The forum created momentum within Durham and they are on their way to creating a more sustainable city.

– Texas A&M University talks about “Interdisciplinary green roof effort to engage wide variety of students.”  Next fall, 1,000 students from a variety of academic programs, including architecture, construction science, environmental geosciences, environmental studies, landscape architecture, horticulture and meteorology at Texas A&M, will begin working together on an interdisciplinary, three-year project to install and monitor a greenroof and living wall atop a campus building.  Assistant professor of landscape architecture and leader of this project,   Texas A&M University  , says this initiative is aimed at preparing students to become leaders in energy conservation and resource management.

In the project’s first year, students will have learning experiences beyond a traditional classroom setting, as they build, install and maintain all of the elements of the greenroof, including physical structures, standard meteorological and soil monitoring instrumentation, planning and plant maintenance, manual measurement and associated live and stored data processing and display.  This project is funded by a $100,000 Texas A&M reallocation grant for enhancing students’ preparation for the workplace and society through high-impact learning experiences.

– 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 April 6th, 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 17: Sustainability in Plant Production

April 4, 2012 at 6:43 am

Today we have the pleasure to air Lluís Recasens Pahí’s “Sustainability in Plant Production” from our inaugural  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

We first started corresponding with Lluis early last year when he contacted us very enthusiastically about the in depth work he is doing in the Catalan region of Spain.  He wanted to submit a Guest Feature Article with us about his plant research and testing yet once we decided on hosting the Virtual Summit, I felt this would make a great topic.

Although Lluis speaks Spanish, Catalan, Portuguese, Italian and English, he preferred to present his video in Spanish.  So you will find this is our first video  presented  in another language,  Spanish, with English subtitles (translated by me)  – Chinese being the second (not translated by me!), coming up soon.

Lluís Recasens Pahí lives in Tarragona, Spain, is a horticultural engineer, and co-founder of the first Escuela de Horticultura y Jardineria de España (Horticulture and Gardening School of Spain), 1982-1988.

Lluis has worked in various high level managerial positions within the fertilizer (controlled and slow release fertilizers) and ornamental horticulture industries for The Scotts Company and Nosterra Ibérica S.A Europa.  Presently, Lluís is Profesor de Horticultura (Professor of Horticulture) at the Institut d ´Horticultura i Jardineria de Reus (Institute of Horticulture and Gardening of Reus) in Catalonia, Spain, and he also is a consultant on various projects including maintenance of greenroofs and greenwalls.

In Lluís’ very informative  video  presentation, sustainable crop production is addressed with a focus on greenroofs and walls in the areas of Reus, Ampurias, Guadalajara, Tarragona, and Barcelona, Spain, utilizing plant selections with minimum agronomic requirements (low demands on maintenance, water intake, and disease control) as well as contemplating the use of environmentally friendly and respectful materials.  Using these technologies will ensure more sustainable parterres, greenroofs, and greenwalls through their material selection and plant diversity.

He says that by using biodegradable materials and encouraging recycling and biodiversity, we reduce our water requirements and the maintenance program is respectful of the environment and the ecosystems, plus we contribute to the implementation and popularization of these sustainable processes.

Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “Sustainability in Plant Production” 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:

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 18th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: March 30, 2012

March 31, 2012 at 10:05 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 30th, 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 30th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the Mary Catherine Bunting Center at Mercy built in 2010, in Baltimore, Maryland.  This 18-story 688,000 square foot hospital offers spacious, beautifully appointed private rooms, convenient front door drop-off, an expansive 2-story atrium lobby, three eco-friendly rooftop meditation gardens, and operating rooms equipped with advanced technology including robotics.

Mercy installed 17,500 square feet of greenroofs, totaling about $1 million, in three different locations.  The gardens provide rest and recovery for the hospital’s patients, families and staff and they reduce the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the interior of the building.  The rooftop gardens feature recycled furnishing materials, native plantings and a water feature.  Clinically proven, experts say that even a view of nature from a hospital window can improve patient recovery.

– To learn more about the Mary Catherine Bunting Center at Mercy,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

–  The Greenroofs.com eNewsletter

– Our March 2012 eNewsletter is out, so be sure to check it out all the highlights for this month!  To  subscribe to our newsletter just click the envelope icon on our homepage.

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 16: “Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Wall to Table“ with George Irwin, Tom Ferraro and U.S. Congressman Tom Reed.

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

Contributing Editor

– Also read Kevin Songer’s first contributing blog post as our new Tropical Green Roof Editor.

Industry News

– A new report released by the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition identifies green infrastructure as a cost solution policy makers should be considering on the eve of the Ontario Budget and in subsequent political discussions centered on doing more with less.  Health, Prosperity and Sustainability: The Case for Green Infrastructure in Ontario argues taxpayer dollars spent on green infrastructure offer a greater return on investment because of the multiple economic, health and environmental benefits.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 16: Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Wall to Table,” “Welcome to Kevin Songer, Greenroofs.com’s Tropical Green Roofs Editor!,” “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: March 23, 2012,” and “Less than a Week to go for Earth Hour 2012!”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  Tomorrow, Saturday, March 31st: is Earth Hour at 8:30pm local time, Worldwide!

–  And April 5th-6th: is the ASLA Texas Chapter – Regional Conference & Expo, in Grapevine, TX.

– “In the News“

–  Dean Johnson of the USDA Blog says, “USDA Works to Reduce Its Environmental Footprint – Here’s How.”  He asks, “did you know that USDA manages 193 million acres of land; occupies approximately 89 million square feet of office and laboratory space and operates over 23,000 buildings?  And if this isn’t enough, USDA also operates a fleet of over 40,000 motor vehicles and equipment.”  It’s reducing its reliance on nonrenewable energy by improving energy conservation, increasing efficiency and promoting renewable energy projects and programs, supporting green transportation and travel practices that reduce harmful emissions, increasing operational and fuel efficiency, and reducing nonrenewable fuel use.

The Department created the USDA Sustainable Operations Council to help keep this effort going.  For example, the USDA greenroof on Court 5 of the South Building saves energy and reduces excessive stormwater runoff, which in turn supports their efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay.  USDA’s future plans include reducing GHG emissions from USDA operations by 21% by 2020, increase use of energy performance-based contracting investments by $5 million over the next 2 years, complete energy evaluations of USDA’s most energy-intensive facilities by July 1st, 2012, and increase alternative-fuel use in fleet vehicles by 10% by 2014.

– Jim Motavalli of the Mother Nature Network talks about “Paving paradise: It’s time to reinvent the parking lot.”  Some great ideas are getting realized when it comes to parking lots and multi-story garages, like having music festivals on garage roofs, green gardens and solar canopies.  One person helping the cause is Eran Ben-Joseph, an MIT professor who has a new book, “Rethinking a Lot: The Design and Culture of Parking.”  Ben-Joseph’s happy parking lot has “a forest of solar canopies to “˜produce energy while lowering heat,’ porous asphalt to stop stormwater runoff and trees “˜planted in rows like an apple orchard, so [the park] could sequester carbon and clean contaminated runoff,’ and has regular activities, including farmers markets, games of street hockey, tailgate parties, and the aforementioned concerts and film screenings.”

Motavalli says he loves the greenroof idea.  The 12-story parking garage at 900 North Michigan in Chicago has a 16,866 square foot greenroof, and the new Yankee Stadium has a unique garage rooftop park that covers seven acres and a full city block, with trees and plants, a soccer/football field, a 400-meter running track, eight handball courts, four basketball courts and a workout place.

– 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 30th, 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.