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Learn About Green Walls with Linda & George in Atlanta

July 14, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Green architecture is really hot right now and after about a decade and a half’s worth of exploring the ecology of organic greenroof architecture in North America, greenwalls are the newest darlings in the green building world here and abroad.

More than just “green bling,” as one proponent told me recently, greenwalls add many benefits on their own to a building envelope.    While creating a lush and deliciously tactile  tapestry of living plants, they offer a showy feast for the eyes that are much more visually accessible than many of  their roofing counterparts.

I was asked to present on the subject last November for a local Atlanta USGBC group by Julia Gray Hines, ASID, RID, LEED AP ID+C of Chartreuse Inc. Interior Design Studio, and of course I  propsed our Green Wall Editor, George Irwin, too.   Julia suggested Atlanta City Hall  as a possible location, and I knew it was perfect because of their beautiful greenroof and the willingness of  its  resident (and entertaining)  landscape architect and greenroof guru, Bill Brigham, ASLA, to share his experiences.

Learn about early  influential designers such as the ground-breaking Austrian painter and architect Friedensreich  Hundertwasser, and more recent innovator French botanist  Patric Blanc and his Le Mur Vegetal, seen  above left  at the Musée du Quai Branly,  and see how designers are  pushing the limits in my compilation of the Top Hot Trends in  International Greenroof and Greenwall Design.   I’ll also provide a sneak preview of the Greenroofs.com Top 10 List for 2010 (which I’ll present along with our Design Editor, Haven Kiers, in Vancouver, B.C. at the upcoming 8th Annual CitiesAlive! Conference later this year).

Understand the differences between green façades and living walls from George Irwin, the many new systems available today –  along with options for growing media (including none at all!)  – as well as the new and exciting economic and social benefits and opportunities for urban vertical farming.

Presented on Thursday, July 22, 2010  by the USGBC Atlanta Events & Education Committee, you’ll receive 1.5 LEED Credential Maintenance Units offered, and the cost is an extremely affordable $10 for members and $20 for non-members!

Registration is open from 3:30-4:30 pm at Atlanta City Hall, 55 Trinity Avenue SW Atlanta, GA 30303, on the fifth floor Cafeteria where  Bill will be on hand to show off the Atlanta City Hall Pilot Greenroof, the first public municipal non-irrigated vegetated roof, and then George and I will  speak from 4:30 to 6:00 pm.

Come join us next week for the USGBC  Georgia Chapter  “Green Walls, Red Tomatoes and Urban Farming,” a fun and informative afternoon  on the surging proliferation of  these architecturally  important, and sexy,  planted façades!   For more info, download the PDF here.


See you ~ Linda V.

Take a S.W.I.M. Coalition Green Roof Tax Credit Survey

July 5, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Kate Zidar, from the Stormwater Infrastructure Matters (S.W.I.M.) Coalition in New York City, is asking for feedback regarding obtaining the current greenroof tax credit in NYC.   S.W.I.M. is a coalition dedicated to “ensuring swimmable waters around New York City through natural, sustainable stormwater management practices in our neighborhoods. This approach is environmentally and fiscally responsible because it utilizes stormwater, currently viewed as waste, as a resource.”

S.W.I.M. supported the initial legislation that created the NYC  green roof tax credit and by collecting feedback on the process, they hope to evaluate its effectiveness and improve future results for those who either attained or attempted to attain this noteworthy credit.

“We hope that our friends and members in green roof-related professions who have experience with the tax credit will spend a few minutes answering these questions.” ~ Kate Zidar

She assures us it’s very short and sweet (there’s all of nine questions), and  that all of our  feedback is invaluable.   Take the “NYC Green Roof Tax Credit…did it work for you?” survey available on SurveyMonkey here  and send any commentary to Kate at: swimmablenyc@gmail.com.

~Linda V.

Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof Opens!

June 30, 2010 at 3:33 pm

The City of Toronto has many great greening initiatives going for it, including their groundbreaking Green Roof Bylaw put into effect in May of 2009.  In fact, they were one of the first municipalities in North America – if not the first – to install a test/research greenroof in 2000:  The Toronto City Hall Green Roof Demonstration Project.

Now obsolete/defunct, we’ve kept the original profile up in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database for research and archive purposes (but it’s not included in the total project or sf/m2 numbers).

Why is it obsolete?  In 2009 the City of Toronto started the much larger Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof, which encompasses the public square surrounding Toronto City Hall.  Completed in late May, the grand opening of the brand new 36,500 sf Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof was held on May 29 and May 30, 2010 to coincide with Doors Open Toronto 2010, the yearly architectural open house of interesting and important buildings across the city.

Kees Govers of LiveRoof Ontario Inc. supplied the modular LiveRoof system, and shares some photos of the opening day celebration of the Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof “in all its glory” from May 29:

Kees says that Greenroof Designer/Contractor Terry McGlade of Flynn Canada Ltd, Gardens in the Sky, considers this the best greenroof his company has ever installed!

“I must say that this project is by far the most outstanding that our company has done to date- both from a beauty perspective and an end use.  And because we were the general contractor and the green roof installer we were able to have input on the quality of workmanship.” ~ Terry McGlade

From all accounts, similar sentiments were felt from the David Miller, Mayor of Toronto, Joe Pantalone, the Deputy Mayor, and their staff.  Green Roofs for Healthy Cities‘ Steven Peck was also on hand, seen below left with Kees in the middle and Terry McGlade, right:

“This project was more than 12 years in the making.  It’s not everyday a city gets a new park in the downtown.” ~ Steven Peck

According to the City of Toronto tally, 22,000 people visited the Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof during Doors Open Toronto this year. Aramis and I saw it under construction from our hotel room in late October of last year, when we attended the CitiesAlive! World Green Roof Congress, photo left from my blog post.

Read the in-depth coverage in the Daily Commercial News’ “Building Toronto city hall green roof posed host of challenges” by Saul Chernos of June 25, 2010; Globe and Mail’s “An oasis at the top of City Hall” by Lisa Rochon of May 31, 2010, and see more photos and learn more about this lovely municipal living roofspace in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database here.

Patrick Biller, Green Roof Maintenance & Installation with Flynn Canada, Gardens in the Sky, sent us the following two recent photos of the Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof (when he was working on the project):

If you have any updated info and/or photos, please send them!

Happy Greening,

~ Linda V.


Pedalpalooza and Ecoroof Bike Tour

June 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Matt Burlin tells us that Portland, Oregon’s Pedalpalooza is coming up very soon, and the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services is taking part this year with an Ecoroof Bike Tour.  The tour will take place on this Saturday, June 19th, from 10 am – 1 pm and includes viewings of North and Northeast Portland residential ecoroofs.

Space is limited, and in fact is almost full!   Please RSVP to BESEcoroof@portlandoregon.gov, and you’ll receive confirmation via email.   You can also reserve via phone by calling 503.823.7914.

Make sure to stay up to date with Portland, OR, ecoroof hapennings at their Ecoroof Blog on the Portland Online website – there are lots of new project reports, photos, and related articles getting posted every week.

Happy pedaling and greenroof sightseeing!

~ Linda V.