Popular Tags:

Roland Appl’s CitiesAlive! Photo Tour

November 22, 2009 at 12:29 am

Last month’s Cities Alive!  Congress  offered many  opportunities to tour many examples of Toronto’s various  green infrastructure  practices, including greenroofs, green walls, and green streets.   Christine and I both shared our experiences on two different “sustainable tours,” and now we  invite you on a visual photo tour of six  locales visited  from a German colleague of ours.   Roland Appl, International Green Roof Association  (IGRA) President   & ZinCo‘s Technical Director,   joined the guided walking Tour A: “Spectacular Green Roofs in Downtown Toronto” and shares these photos with us from October 21, 2009:

University of Toronto – Trinity College – St. Hilda’s College Residence:

St. Hilda's College Residence Greenroof; Photo by Roland Appl

St. Hilda's Greenroof Garden; Photo of 10.21.09 by Roland Appl

The Metro Toronto YMCA:

The Metro Toronto YMCA Greenroof, newly planted on October 21, 2009; Photo by Roland Appl

A View of the runningtrack at the Metro Toronto YMCA

The Drs. Paul and John Rekai Centre; Photo by Roland Appl on 10.21.09

The Drs. Paul and John Rekai Centre:

The Drs. Paul and John Rekai Centre; Photo by Roland Appl on 10.21.09

The Drs. Paul and John Rekai Centre; Photo by Roland Appl on 10.21.09

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC):

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) on October 21, 2009 by Roland Appl

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) on October 21, 2009 by Roland Appl

Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) on October 21, 2009 by Roland Appl

401 Richmond:

401 Richmond by Roland Appl

401 Richmond on a beautiful fall day in 2009

Photo by Roland Appl of Zinco and IGRA

The Robertson Building, 215 Spadina:

The Robertson Building, 215 Spadina Green Wall

The Robertson Building at 215 Spadina Greenroof; Photo by Roland Appl

Thanks, Roland!   I’ve created some initial profiles of each of these projects for The Greenroof Projects Database, and we’d appreciate if you have additional information and you’d like to share with us and the international greenroof community!   Please send additional text, designers/manufacturers of record, greenroof area, and photos to: projects@greenroofs.com.

~ Linda V.

Christine’s Reflections on CitiesAlive!

November 13, 2009 at 4:17 am

After Linda’s great coverage of the CitiesAlive! Congress, I’m hard pressed to find anything more to say! However, since I was living in Toronto around the time that green roofs were first launched there, and went on a different Congress tour, I’m glad for the chance to reflect.

The opening ceremony on Monday evening was classy, with a unique green roof touch to it. Once you’d had enough drinks and hors d’oevres in the City Hall foyer, you could go to the roof to see the project. It was fun to stroll through the disorderly chaos of a modular installation, frozen in time until the workers would return next morning.

Photo courtesy Roland Appl (ZinCo GmbH)

In fact, the original green roof on Toronto City Hall was my very first introduction to green roofs, as I happened to be there the day of its official launch (Nov. 20, 2000). Funny story, that… I’d just moved to Toronto, fresh out of University and looking for work in the environmental field. On my 2nd day in town, I rang up all the companies I’d (blindly) submitted my resume to, and soon had Steven Peck on the phone. I imagine the City Hall event was a perfect diversion for him to get this young keener off his case. Nine years later…hah!

In any case, it’s impressive to consider that this huge renovation replaces the original modular demonstration boxes. If anything, this suggests that the demonstration was successful and convincing! It certainly also helps that Toronto’s mayor since 2003, David Miller, has introduced an impressive range of environmental policies in his time, including the Toronto green roof strategy of 2008. A lot can happen when open-minded and forward-thinking people step into positions of authority!

The Congress

Tuesday was the only day of talks, which I found a bit hectic. With 4 concurrent tracks going on, and no papers to take home, it was hard to decide which track to go to. Even at the trade show over lunch and coffee, I found this limited  time frame  really challenged the fine balance between catching up with good colleagues/ friends and meeting new ones.

Happily, the congress provided social/ networking opportunities on all three evenings. On Tuesday the Steamwhistle Brewery hosted a BBQ with delicious local brews, as a backdrop to the results of the  CitiesAlive! International Student Design Challenge (Transforming the Face of Buildings). Congratulations to all the faculty-led student teams for their leafy designs! The images below show the first- and second-place winners. First place went to  Cliffside Village, and second place to Compods, both designed by  students from  Ryerson University Architectural Science.  To see the full results of the competition, click  here.

First Place: Cliffside Village

Second Place: Compods

The Tours: GTAA Partners in Project Green

Wednesday was tour day, and I chose to learn more about GTAA Partners in Project Green. The Greater Toronto Airport Authority covers 12,000 ha of industrial and commercial land, including more than 12,500 businesses, and falls under the jurisdiction of 3 municipalities (Mississauga, Toronto and Brampton). Partners in Project Green was founded by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and GTAA.

I was particularly keen on this tour because the Toronto airport, with its recent mega-redevelopment of Terminal 1, seemed the antithesis of anything “green.” How could such a major development resulting in more air travel be described as a solution for “reducing carbon emissions?” Let’s return to this point later on. The image below shows Toronto Pearson International Airport in the centre, with some features marked to provide some orientation (i.e. Terminal 1, Highway 427 and Etobicoke Creek Stormwater Management Facility). The lands surrounding the airport are part of the GTAA, and therefore also of Partners in Project Green.

Toronto Aerial

The tour started in FESTI (Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute), a LEED silver-certified building which came into operation in 2007. A state-of-the-art facility, FESTI features many technologies to minimize its environmental footprint, such as a solar wall, green roof, recycled building materials and water-saving systems.  This building has a small Sedum mat green roof, around 1,000 sf in size. At the time of planning, the authority lacked references for green roofs and airports, and was therefore conservative due to its uncertainties about animal and bird use. Pity they missed Linda’s paper about Green Roofs and Airports.

FESTI Green Roof

After an extensive tour of FESTI, we went to check out the Etobicoke Creek stormwater management facility. Located under the apron adjacent to Terminal 1, this subterranean facility receives stormwater from an expansive catchment area. It is located underground because surface land is a premium. In order to remain structurally sound underneath taxiing planes, millions of tonnes of concrete were used. Our tour guide, the Head of Environment for GTAA, told us that this project won an award for “the most concrete used in an environmental project.” He wryly added that you can win an award for almost anything these days.

Model of the Etobicoke Creek stormwater management facility

The image  above shows  a model of the Etobicoke Creek stormwater management facility. Note the walkway in the top-right of the image. To give you a sense of how deep and huge this facility is, our guide was monitoring oxygen (and other gases) while we were underground, informing us that “evacuation could not be ruled out.” The model shows how the system works. Stormwater enters the first cell (top of image), then overflows consecutively until the last cell. From the last cell, stormwater passes through two oil separators (the white shapes), which are filled with coalescing plates to trap oil particles, and then released into Etobicoke Creek.

One of four stormwater cells

Welcome to what I affectionately recall to as “the caverns.” The image above shows one cell; and the sub-cells within each cell direct water flow. The image below shows the  walkway, along with a  series of tipping buckets (to the left). When the cells need to be flushed of physical debris, these buckets are rotated to release a deluge of water into each cell.  In this image, note also the trough (almost central in the image) which serves to transfer overflow water from one cell to the next. Many thanks to our tour guides from GTAA for this tour!

Walkway with tipping buckets visible on left

From the airport, our tour continued to the Bayer Headquarters in another corner of the GTAA area. The two Bayer representatives who toured us around the facility showed us everything that made corporate Bayer a great place to work, including an “Outback” walking trail, deluxe fitness facilities, and an 8,500 sf green roof.

The Bayer Green Roof

Installed in October 2007, this Sedum-Allium roof serves purely for “˜green’ image. Inasmuch, the company is not interested in the benefits that green roofs provide and is not doing any performance monitoring. Concurrent with our visit, a 6,500 sf cool roof was being installed on a neighbouring roof.  I was actually a bit taken aback at how confidently our tour guides revealed their limited understanding about green roofs, especially considering our group comprised experts in this field. Where my tireless advocate/ educator side would’ve normally been happy to step up and clarify certain details, the corporate confidence encouraged me rather to let it slide. Let the plants “hibernate.”

Concluding thoughts

As far as the overall congress goes, Toronto certainly deserves applause for hosting Canada’s biggest ever green roof gathering. I was very happy to be there! For me personally, it was a wonderful excuse to travel home from Europe.  However, if I were an international delegate without the added perk of catching up with family and friends on either side of the congress dates, I would not have been pleased with the structure of the congress. Considering that delegates came from as far away as Japan, Australia, and Ecuador, I imagine that many of the congress participants were jet lagged. And  all for one single day of information sharing (for which no materials were provided to take home), one day of tours and a couple social events..?

Regarding the tour that I went on, I was unequivocally glad for the opportunity YYZ_Christine with Pipesto learn more about how the international airport functions; visiting the stormwater “˜caverns’ was a highlight of my life. Seriously.

Overall, and whether or not this was intentional, for me the tour provided a straightforward understanding of how corporate North America uses the word “green.” I learned that “corporate responsibility” looks as good as its intent, which is a bit weak and not fully informed. In both cases the green roofs may as well have been ordered out of a catalogue. They were so small and plain that it was hard to find anything interesting to discuss (which was perfect since nobody knew much about them anyway, neither performance nor function). These green roofs were simply novel additions to the corporate environmental portfolio, in which appearance has more value over performance.

Recalling my original curiosity, this may also explain how the new Terminal 1 is attributed to reducing emissions and stormwater runoff. Our guide from GTAA explained that the larger apron at Terminal 1 means that planes now queue and taxi less, thereby reducing the projected emissions compared to when it was smaller.

This logic is reminiscent of the typical emissions reduction reasonings associated with Kyoto, isn’t it, namely comparative extrapolation rather than baseline reduction strategies. With regards to stormwater, while we were impressed to see how this issue is managed I didn’t really get a clear answer of stormwater is reduced (and “reduced” is the term used, several times). Further to emissions, stormwater and  the LEED-certified building, additional green initiatives include the Airport’s cogeneration facility, xeriscaping, and reuse of 99% recycled material from the old terminal (by weight).  Considering the scale of the Airport lands, such commitments play a big role to its ecological impacts (however misleading the corporate statements are).

TBG_green shed

The Mexican Fiesta which closed the Congress at the Toronto Botanical Gardens was fun, with a live mariachi band and free Coronas for all. Terry McGlade did a great job of showing people the green roofs, and it was a great way to close off the Congress. Linda did a great job of summarizing the Fiesta, with wonderful photos, so if you haven’t read her blog post please do check it out!

~ Christine

Watch the Premiere of Sky Gardens ~ Greenroofs of the World!

November 3, 2009 at 3:25 pm

After a long 16 months,  the first episode of our WebTV series Sky Gardens ~ Greenroofs of the World will be up and ready to see on Sunday, November 8, 2009.   You can watch Episode 1: Rock Mill Park on the Greenroofs.TV Channel on Greenroofs.com and YouTube.     Download our Press Release here.

Episode 1 Screenshot

The Sky Gardens ~ Greenroofs of the World video series grew naturally out of my previous column “Sky Gardens ~Travels in Landscape Architecture” which ran from June, 2003 through April, 2006 here on Greenroofs.com.   With that column I was combining my various fields of expertise, and the  description read:

“What do you get when you cross a landscape in the sky with an ecological designer, greenroof website publisher, and an international flight attendant?   Why, a column entitled “Sky Gardens ~ Travels in Landscape Architecture” of course!   Welcome to the ramblings of my unique bird’s eye perspective of the world, as I continue to visit new cities and noteworthy landscape architecture projects ~ both at ground and greenroof level.”

My hectic schedule proved too much for such an indepth column, and it evolved into  this Sky Gardens ~ where cool green meets lofty blue Blog.   But I still wanted to pursue the thought of examining greenroof projects in-depth: the who, where, what, why and how’s of the entire planning and design process.   Our oldest son, Joey, is a screenwriter with film experience and so with  the help of his film production company,  Red Hand Productions, last year I decided to channel this vision into a more visual medium – video.

We selected one of my own designs here in Alpharetta for the first episode, and it’s been a true labor of love.   I’ve been involved with the Rock Mill Park project since 1999 when I interned as a student of landscape architecture with the City of Alpharetta.   I was thrilled when my design for “Celebrating Ecological Design in a Native Landscape” became a reality with construction of The Greenroof Pavilion and Trial Gardens of Rock Mill Park in 2007.   So many talented and generous people contributed to this endeavor, and being able to film and share this project built on such an environmentally sensitive and culturally important former Cherokee-owned site was an honor for me.   See 2008’s Love the Earth: Plant a Roof! and What I Did on My Summer Vacation”¦ for a little more background info.

 Rock Mill Park in the 1830's

Rock Mill Park in the 2000's

I think you’ll enjoy our first episode, where we interviewed many people involved in the project and filmed on site at Rock Mill Park; Alpharetta City Hall at Mayor Arthur Lechtas’ office; the City of Alpharetta Engineering/Public Works Department; the historic Log Cabin  at the former site of Milton High School; Saul Nurseries “Swamp” location; and the former Cherokee capital, New Echota in Calhoun, GA, now a Historic Site.

Overhead view of Rock Mill Park; Photo by Harris Hatcher

We’ve had some trials and tribulations along the way, but that just makes it more special now that it’s done!   On November 8 you can see Episode 1: Rock Mill Park in four 10-minute installments on our home page and the Greenroofs.TV page on our website, where they will be added to the Greenroofs.com playlist on the greenroofstv channel on YouTube, found at http://www.youtube.com/greenroofstv.   All four videos will be lined up in order for easy viewing.

Look for our second Sky Gardens ~ Greenroofs of the World episode which highlights the gorgeous Cook+Fox Architects LLP  corporate headquarters in Manhattan, NY, and details some of the greening initiatives that New York City is spearheading, coming soon to GreenroofsTV!

~ Linda V.

CitiesAlive! ’09 Day Tour & Evening Fiesta

November 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Thursday, October 21 dawned grey and overcast for the various Sustainable Toronto Green Roof Tours offered by the CitiesAlive! World Green Roof Infrastructure Congress, with a promise of sprinkles in the air.   Aramis and  I headed over to the Tremco  Luxury Bus Tour line and since it was the most popular, there were two buses.   We got the smaller of the two “Luxury Coaches” and indeed they were luxurious, with some distinct design accents!

Dancing on the Ceiling? The Party Bus.

Plush interiors with overhead strip lighting on the mirrored ceiling and four Captain’s chairs set the mood and so we dubbed ours the “Party Bus.”   Since we were the first in line, Aramis and I claimed the super  comfortable seats, along with friends Lauren Gould  from Miami and Manfred Köhler from Berlin.   Everyone got a choice of a selection of boxed lunches, which by the way was very good, and Tremco had provided umbrellas which was thoughtful since we did need to use them later.

Biowall Lobby Signage

Paul Sheehy of Tremco  and Rick Buist of Bioroof were our bus hosts and after about a 40-minute delay – there was some confusion about the departure time – we were on our way to our first stop, The JAS Robertson Building, also known as 215 Spadina.   Erin MacKeen from Urban Space Property Group, the client/developer, ushered us into the main lobby and we were pleasantly  greeted with a lush, beautiful 8m wide x 3.6m high (24 m ² or about 258 sf) Nedlaw living wall, with design by Beth Anne Currie.  

The Biowall

The Robertson Biowall‘s soil-less system recycles the nutrient rich irrigation continuously and has two one thousand watt light system grow lights that provide some seasonal UV light, which are on about four hours/day.   Several varieties of native and exotic indoor flowering plants are set in pockets of  a special fabric and the effect is stunning –  the wall looks like  a scene  taken from a tropical jungle.

We then  went up atop the 5th floor to see the lovely 4,000 sf extensive greenroof, which is enjoyed by the 40 tenants and visitors to the Robertson Building.   Since this is a Bioroof system above the membrane, Rick led this portion of the tour.   We emerged from an enclosed 400 sf glass atrium onto the wood deck viewing platform, which offered great views of the cityscape.

The Robertson Meadow

The Robertson Roof

Designed and installed by Gardens in the Sky  in 2004, half of the roof is vegetated and this is Toronto’s earliest urban example of a meadowlike roof, left to naturalize.   Planted with over 10 species of Ontario native perennials, including Green-Headed Coneflowers, New England Asters, Goldenrod, and Black-Eyed Susans, the 6″ deep growing medium is highly organic at about 40%, which actually has the same proportions as when initially installed.   Left to their own measures the plants have really flourished – what a  lovely wild looking  roof!   And at the time, no previous greenroof had been designed specifically with biodiversity as its motivating factor, and as a result, the roof has become a “poster greenroof” for the City of Toronto and its greening efforts.   Aside from biodiversity of plants, the living roof also has a variety of other animals including bees, butterflies, and birds.   Energy retrofits of the Robertson Building include a solar thermal system, and the tenants are so happy with the many environmental features of the building that there is a waiting list for new ones.

The Solar Thermal System on the Robertson Roof

Next up we visited the gorgeous Covenant House Toronto  greenroof, also using a Bioroof system, this time over a Tremco waterproofing membrane.   John, the Physical Facilities Manager, and Shawn from Tremco escorted us through this welcoming, beautiful, and secure building.   Covenant House Toronto is an emergency shelter for runaways and homeless youth for ages 16-24.   Although some stay for months, the average stay here is five days,  and many of the young people return often for continuing educational support or sometimes just a hot meal and a warm, safe  bed to sleep at night.   The director showed us an informative and heartwarming video in the words of former residents about their experiences and how the caring and nurturing of the dedicated staff helped them transform  into successful adults  today.

The Covenant House Greenroof

Guitarist and Rick

Bioroof  added a  unique touch and set  a mellow  mood on the roof  by providing  a jazz guitarist as we toured the 7,200 sf roof.   Approximately 5,000 perennials, raised vegetable planters, a wetland area, a fish pond with a fountain, and an overhead trellis are just some of the features of this outdoor classroom.   Designed to comply with the City of Toronto’s Green Roof Incentive Pilot (now Eco-Roof Incentive Program), Rick explained the numerous sustainable features of the 6″ deep extensive greenroof  which incorporates  12″ intensive planters with built in seating.   Each of the intensive planted areas are used for a particular educational program, and the vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, various herbs, etc.) are used in the kitchen.

Photodegradable Netting

Photodegradable netting is used as erosion control throughout.   The focal area concentrates on the area of the curving steel and wood arbor, with a variety of plantings, hanging baskets and a unique feature – a dry river bed.   More than simply decorative, it collects water here and directs it to the single roof drain.

Arbor and Dry River Bed

Covenant House Goldfish Pond

And the kids love the goldfish in the elevated pond!   Filled with water plants, it also introduces sound with  an umbrella spray, and you can sit on the ledge and touch the water – it’s an overall  great design!

Afterwards we headed to the Toronto Water Treatment Plant where John Campbell of Tremco was our guide.   Exploring the varied ideas of roof sustainability, we saw two types of cool white roofing  installations side by side, a Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) system and a white calcite aggregate roof on an inverted, protected assembly by Tremco.

The BIPV roof facing the water

The Aggregate White Roof

Although the BIPV roof was installed after the  aggregate roof, the white aggregate roof looked much cleaner, and in fact we were told required minimal maintenance.

The final stop on our  tour brought us to the large Tremco complex where  Paul Sheehy, Ontario Manager at Tremco, was our host.  Tremco treated us to lovely wine and cheese refreshments after our long day (very well received by all!).   Paul also introduced his 19-year old daughter, Lynn Sheehy, a freshman in college who needed to interview three people for her journalism and communications class.   She needed feedback on the CitiesAlive! Congress, and asked for volunteers after the program had finished.

Tremco's Paul Sheely

Tremco has many years of experience in the roofing industry and now has over 1 million sf of greenroofs installed within Canada alone, with many more in the pipeline.   So after Paul gave us some more history on Tremco  and their company philosophy, we cautiously climbed up the steel rung ladder onto the roof in the light rain to see their highly efficient solar array installation with tracking system.   Ashleigh Uiska of Fishburn Building Sciences Group very knowledgeably fielded some technical questions about the PV system – the Tremco engineer was just a bit late but answered more questions for us later.

The Tremco Solar Installation

Rick then spoke about his company and range of products and demonstrated step-by-step how to install a Bioroof System,  above the membrane.   It’s always interesting to see exactly how systems are built, and Rick went into great detail about each layer and noted important installation aspects of each, especially around parapets, flashings, and edging.   Everyone was given a parting gift of a pre-seeded jar with  Bioroof Eco Mix growing media,  but those of us crossing the border had to decline due to Customs regulations!

The Bioroof Installation with Insulation - next up come the Drainage Boards...

Prior to closing, Aramis felt the need to volunteer me to speak with Lynn since no one had volunteered themselves.   She was really cute and I felt my interview was just rolling along when she ran out of tape…We suggested she also interview Lauren Gould, greenroof enthusiast, who attends many greenroof conferences as well as those from other green industries, to get her take on the Congress.   After Lauren, Lynn spoke with Melanie Mullen, an environmental blogger from Canada who also covers  the vegetated roof field.

Aramis speaking with Lynn

We all loaded back into the Party Bus for one last voyage to the CitiesAlive! Closing Gala at the Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG), where Terry McGlade of Gardens in the Sky was our host.    He took us on a tour of TBG’s main greenroof designed by  his company  in 2005,  planted with a colorful Sedum mix.   Highly visible  due to its slope, the 646 sf extensive greenroof ranges from 20 ° to 30 °.   Soprema was the system used, and a geo-textile was included to ensure growing media retention. Terry McGlade and company

We also visited the smaller one located on the property, too.   The Annie Shed is the first registered straw bale building in Toronto, constructed through two weekends of hands-on workshops.   The vegetation on this roof was planted as part of a research effort by Ryerson University.

The Anne Shed, named after Anne Callahan

The Toronto Botanical Garden grounds are lovely and the abundunce of nicely tended flowering perennials, vine-clad walls, and beautiful trees in the gardens was  appreciated by all  on this autumn day.

Creeping vines

Photographers Everywhere!

The Gala itself was a Mexican Fiesta celebration, honoring the host city for the second World Green Roof Infrastructure Network Congress: A Sustainable Alternative for Big Cities  in Mexico City, to be held on October 7-9, 2010.    Reception co-host Tanya Müller Garcia, President of WGRIN Mexico member AMENA (Asociación Mexicana para la Naturación de Azoteas), and Director of ‘Reforestacion Urbana, Parques y Ciclovia’ (Urban Forestry, Parks and Bikeways) in Mexico City, welcomed us and  presented “Outstanding Public and Private Green Roofs Across Mexico.”   Flowing margaritas and Corona beer, tasty food, and a lively Mariachi band gave us a preview for things to come at next year’s Congress.   Prof. Dr. Manfred Köhler of Hochschule Neubrandenburg (University of Applied Sciences) and World Green Roof Infrastructure Network (WGRIN) Chair thanked everyone for attending and showed slides of unique greenroofs from around the world.

Marco, Christine, Roland, Linda & Aramis at the Toronto Botanical Gardens; Photo by Dusty Gedge

All in all we had a great time seeing old friends, although there wasn’t enough time to catch up with everyone!   We were very impressed with the feel of the Congress, and felt like we really received a lot for our money.   The receptions, coffee breaks, Tuesday lunch and barbecue dinner, and tours were all included in the Congress fee, which in comparison to other conferences was quite low at only $149 for members of GRHC, or $249 for non-members.   Since my individual membership had expired, we finally bit the bullet and Greenroofs.com became a Corporate Member of GRHC for the first time.  

My suggestions for future CitiesAlive! Congresses is to make the presentation sessions a 2-day event, not just one, and if possible, not have four concurrent tracks, but two.    It was simply too much information in too little time.   It works alright for the  Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communties Conferences, but they differ in that it is feasible for more than one person in a company to attend  since you’re dealing with domestic travel (for most of us).   People can swap notes, and in any case you get a CD with all the papers for later review.   We also should have received a CD or booklet on the actual papers for this first Congress, which would have helped also since there were quite a few presentations that were hard to understand due to the breadth of international participants.   I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I feel  WGRIN could charge more in the future to help cover a 2-day event (keeping the tours included) which would be more beneficial to all.

Toronto at Night

Toronto is a beautiful city with much to be proud – the last time we were here was in June of 2000, when  I attended a green roof workshop by Steven Peck,  when  Green Roofs for Healthy Cities was a consortium of five companies.   Attended by about 20 people including Steven, architect Monica Kuhn, Dr. Brad Bass (who showed Aramis and me his wonderful research of rooftop hydroponic plantings at the University of Toronto), greenroof designer/contractor Kaaren Pearson, John Beaudry, formerly with the Chicago Department of Environment, City of Chicago engineer Kevin LaBerge, and Marie-Anne Boivin of Soprema, among others, it was my first  introduction to the fledgling greenroof community.

Covenant House Toronto's Hope: Our Future Healing Garden

The kids at Covenant House Toronto have a spot reserved in their rooftop garden for future seeds of success.   Our industry has come along way in the past 10 years and working together we can continue to promote healthy living architecture and make greenroofs and green walls standards within the architecture world, not just the green architecture world.

Happy Greening!

~ Linda V.