Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 16: Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Wall to Table

March 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Today we have the pleasure to air the panel presentation “Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Wall to Table” with George Irwin, Tom Ferraro, and U.S. Congressman Tom Reed from our inaugural  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

We’re happy that George is an  editorial contributor to Greenroofs.com as The Green Wall Editor (2008).  Outspoken and sometimes even a bit brazen, he always  shoots from the hip and  writes from the heart and George  has become a true friend and staunch supporter of ours.  With George’s excellent work combining his greenroof and greenwall systems with  education for  youth and the  underprivileged plus his implementation of vertical food farms, I felt he would make an excellent leader of a panel on the subject.

This panel of experts addresses how urban agriculture is on the rise globally – up the walls and on rooftops.  Fresh, local crops benefit the entire community for many reasons.  U.S. Congressman Tom Reed from the 29th district of New York, Tom Ferraro, CEO of Foodlink – a national network of 200 food banks – and George Irwin, CEO of Green Living Technologies International (GLTi), provide interactive conversation and commentary concerning the impact of education, economics and opportunity around local food production with green walls and roofs.

Rochester-based GLTi started in New York City and has since grown nationally and internationally through education and collaborative hands-on projects with local youth, the underprivileged and disadvantaged in New York and Los Angeles and with business partnerships in Santiago, Dubai, and beyond to include their Food Factory and more.

George Irwin is founder and CEO of Green Living Technologies International, LLC (GLTi), a privately held company manufacturing patented Green Living Walls and Green Living Roofs, and is a global pioneer in vertical agriculture.  Prior to founding GLTi, George was a landscape contractor for two dozen years.  He holds a degree in education and his mission is to help create sustainable solutions to the challenges of food insecurity and the dearth of job opportunities for at risk youth throughout America’s inner cities. His efforts have earned him recognition as an official education partner for the New York City Department of Education and additional higher education facilities, with the development of a GLTi-dedicated degree track in “Green Tech” education at secondary schools in multiple states.  The first high school is scheduled to open in September of 2012.  George is also a contributing editor on Greenroofs.com (2008); he is The Green Wall Editor and talks about his own experience as well as industry happenings within the field.

George is the Moderator for “Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Wall to Table.”

Tom Ferraro is Executive Director of Foodlink.  Founded in 1978, it has grown to serve a 10-county area in the Greater Rochester area.  As a founding member of Feeding America, Foodlink is part of a national network of 200 food banks whose mission is to provide hunger relief, eliminate the root causes of hunger, improve health and promote economic development.  They do this through the distribution of food to a network of agencies and by empowering individuals through nutritional and agricultural programs.  Foodlink’s vision is to build a hunger-free community and sustainable regional food system in which every individual has access to nutritious food and is empowered with the tangible skills to lead a healthy and productive life.  Locally, they rescue and redistribute over 11 million pounds of food annually to a network of 450 programs.  Today, the food bank’s network of agencies serve 102,000 meals each week, or over 5 million meals annually to an estimated 125,000 different people.

U.S. Congressman Tom Reed was elected to represent the 29th District of New York in a special election held November 2, 2010.  He took office during the “lame duck” session of the 111th Congress and began his own full two year term in the 112th Congress on January 5, 2011.  In June 2011 Congressman Reed was recently appointed to the Committee on Ways and Means and serves on the Human Resources and Oversight subcommittees of Ways and Means.  Tom previously served on the Rules, Judiciary, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.  He graduated from Alfred University in 1993 with a degree in Political Science and from the Ohio Northern University College of Law in 1996.  Tom says, “Job creation and the nation’s financial health are the most important challenges facing the country and upstate New York.”

After the presentation on the second day of the 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit, George Irwin and Tom Ferraro were available for the live Q & A session; 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 “Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Wall to Table” 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 17th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

Welcome to Kevin Songer, Greenroofs.com’s Tropical Green Roofs Editor!

March 27, 2012 at 9:57 pm

We are so pleased to welcome Kevin Songer to our ever-growing band of contributing editors here on Greenroofs.com!

I first became aware of Kevin through his many posts within our industry blogosphere a couple of years ago, and  finally  started corresponding with him after I read about the wonderful  Breaking Ground Green Roof in Jacksonville, Florida.

He is quite a dynamo in the greenroof & vegetated wall arena and the social media world as well!  I enjoyed and admired his work with native plantings so much that we made the Breaking Ground Green Roof  the  Greenroofs.com Greenroof Project of the Week for June 27, 2011.

After reading about his work here in high-wind prone northeastern Florida, I realized that Kevin would make an excellent panel member for our nascent Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit.  And so along with  Dr. Bill Retzlaff,  David Aponte,  and  Joe Webb, the idea for the  “Wind. Water. Heat. Grow. Greenroofs.” Panel Session was born for our inaugural 2011 Virtual Summit:

And now, continuing on this windy theme, comes Kevin’s basis for his weekly blog column about this particularly  interesting  yet tricky subject: Tropical Green Roofs.

There are so many sides to Kevin Songer – where do I begin?  How about here, in  About Us:

Kevin Songer, J.D., ISA Certified Arborist & Municipal Specialist, LEED AP BD+C, is our Tropical Green Roof Editor (March, 2012).

Kevin serves as green roof expert for MetroVerde, a Florida based vertical green design company.  He was awarded the 2011 “˜Green Hero’ of the year award and the 2009 Innovation in Landscape and Water Conservation recognition by the Northeast Florida Chapter of the USGBC.  Kevin has spoken of the economic and ecological benefits associated with green roofs at numerous functions and seminars.  He served on Greenroofs.com’s “Wind, Water, Heat, Grow. Greenroofs.” panel during the 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit.

Kevin writes a daily green roof blog, Living Green Roofs, and contributes green roof notes to the Native Plant and Wildlife Garden web project. Kevin also holds an undergraduate degree in biology and the Juris Doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law with a focus in environmental law. Kevin lives in Jacksonville, FL with his wife Judy.

Read Kevin Songer’s first post here on Greenroofs.com:  Intro to Tropical Green Roofs.

I hope you’ll enjoy Kevin’s posts as the Tropical Green Roofs Editor and become part of the discussion – I certainly plan to!

Happy Greening,

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.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: March 16, 2012

March 24, 2012 at 2:23 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 16th, 2012 from our daughter, Anjuli, 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 16th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

– Our project of the week is the Soleil @ Sinaran built in 2011 in Singapore.  These 36-story twin towers offer trendy professionals and young couples a 50 meter lap pool, two spa pavilions and eight entertainment pavilions – all are covered with extensive greenroofs.  They also have themed lounges and expansive sky gardens, with gymnasiums on the 20th floor of each tower.  The Soleil @ Sinaran has been awarded the BCA Green Mark Gold showing collaborative effort on its part to achieve sustainability in the built environment.

Elmich‘s greenroof system contributed substantially to the condominium’s green initiative and the 1,150 square meter greenroofs give the condos a resort-like ambiance while protecting and prolonging the waterproofing membrane on the rooftops and mitigating Singapore’s urban heat island effect.  The Elmich Greenroof is both lightweight and easy to install and was the ideal system for this project.  Elmich Greenroof is comprised of a VersiDrain ® 25P water retention and drainage layer, a geotextile filter layer and EnviroMix ® GR – a primarily inorganic soil-less lightweight planting media – and drought-tolerant plant species that require little or no maintenance.

– To learn more about the Soleil @ Sinaran,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photo).

What’s New

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 14: “The Work of ATVBrasil” by Joao Manuel Linck Feijo.

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

Advertiser Press Releases:

– Sika Limited is gearing up for its biggest Ecobuild exhibition yet as it prepares to demonstrate its “Solutions for a Sustainable Future”

Plant Connection Installs Living Wall That Helps Patients Heal.

Joblinks

–  Roofmeadow is now hiring a Project Field Specialist and a Landscape Designer in Philadelphia, PA.

Industry News

– The American federal government spends about $500 billion per year on services and products and about almost half of it is allocated to use services and buying products from small businesses in America.  Did you know that you can now search for opportunities to install and maintain “green roofs?”  If you have business in our industry, you might be asking yourself if the American federal government wanted your products or services.  There aren’t any charges to register or join up and the procedure to be part of it is pretty simple.

–  The Society of Environmentally Responsible Facilities (SERF) announced this week it’s launched into the Chicago market.  The East Lansing, Michigan-based green building certification organization brings affordable, streamlined and accessible environmental certification to the metro’s building owners, managers and developers.  As part of SERF’s Chicago launch, it is certifying two Chicago buildings: the office portion of the iconic 330 North Wabash building, and the Norcon Construction headquarters. Additionally, the organization established a Chicago office and appointed a regional director to oversee operations and outreach efforts for the region.

–  Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) and The Horticultural Society of New York (HSNY) are pleased to announce the return of the popular Green Roof Boot Camp training series to New York City, from March 22nd to the 25th.  This event will include a tour of the NYC Parks & Recreation Department’s greenroof laboratory on Randall’s Island – a unique opportunity to examine over 25 different greenroof systems side-by-side.  The Parks Department’s 29,000 square foot greenroof is one of the only projects in the country to feature such a vast array of different systems.  You can read about this project in depth in the June 2011 Guest Feature Article by Artie Rollins and John Robilotti from NYC Parks and Recreation – see our Archives section.

Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest post: Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 14: The Work of ATVBrasil

Upcoming Events

-From March 3rd through April 22nd: is The Orchid Show – Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens, in The New York Botanical Gardens, New York.

–  March 16th-25th: is the National Home Show, in Toronto, Canada.

–  March 20th: is Reinventing the Connecticut Garden Lecture, in Wilton, CT.

–  March 20th-21st: is Water & Environment 2012, CIWEM’s Annual Conference, in London, England.

–  March 20th-22nd: is Ecobuild 2012, in London, England.

–  Also March 20th-22nd: is the North/East Roofing Contractors Association’s Convention & Trade Show in Mashantucket, CT.

–  March 21st-25th: is the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, in San Mateo, CA.

–  And March 23rd: is the Low Impact Development (LID) Expo 2012, in Sarasota, FL.

– “In the News“

–  A News Release from AHS.org says “The American Horticultural Society has announced the winners of its annual book awards.”  Each year, the American Horticultural Society recognizes outstanding gardening books published in North America with its annual Book Award.  One of those is  “Small Green Roofs”  by our greenroof colleagues  Nigel Dunnett,  Dusty Gedge, John Little and  Edmund (ED) C. Snodgrass,  one of our contributing editors here on Greenroofs.com.

Judge Greg Williams says its “a real trailblazer because it is the only in-depth guide to do-it-yourself green roofs, with plenty of case studies to build confidence and provide ideas for homeowners.”  Another judge, Fiona Gilsenen was impressed with the authors’ “approach, ethos and emphasis on using green roofs to encourage biodiversity, plus making it doable in a wide range of places.”  Congratulations, guys!  Check our greenroof bookstore for more info on this book and other greenroof and greenwall related books and magazines.

–  Jennifer Maloney of the Wall Street Journal talks about what’s “Fun for Kids, Good for the Waterways.”  She says New York City has enlisted trees, greenroofs, and massive tanks in its effort to reduce the untreated wastewater that overflows the city’s waterways each year and now it’s looking at schoolyards.  The city’s Department of Environmental Protection is developing a plan with the national non-profit group, Trust for Public Land, to build up to 10 green playgrounds that will capture the first inch of rain in every storm.

Five proposed schoolyards in Brooklyn and Queens are going through soil tests and if they are picked, will be transformed into public playgrounds with features like rain barrels, raised gardens, porous pavers and an under-layer of gravel that holds water during a storm then seep gradually into the ground.  A recent project, at P.S. 164 in Borough Park, Brooklyn, served as a pilot of sorts for the new initiative, because it includes some of the same rainwater-retention features, including a greenroof.  The first few new playgrounds should be open to the public by the end of next year.

– 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 16th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV. I’m Anjuli Velázquez and I’ll see 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.