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.

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.