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Boston GreenFest 2009

August 17, 2009 at 12:48 am

Boston GreenFest 2009Coming up this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, August  20-22 is the second annual Boston GreenFest 2009  held on the steps of City Hall in lovely Boston, Massachusetts.

Even in its infancy,  the inaugural Boston GreenFest 2008  was very well attended and created a lot of excitement among locals, visitors,  and politicians alike with a fun combination of exhibits, presentations, food, dance, film and environmental awareness.

The organizer is a friend and colleague, Dr. Karen L. Weber, LEED AP, Coordinator of  Boston GreenFest and Executive Director of Foundation for a Green Future, Inc.   She is an extremely energetic person with a lot of flair, enthusiasm and commitment to greening our built environment, and has devoted countless hours to this wonderful festival celebrating many aspects of green thinking and green living.   Karen is also a greenroof designer and her Foundation for a Green Future provides “opportunities to build an environmentally-friendly world from the rooftop down and the ground-up”  focusing on  greenroof technology and greening our urban spaces through education programs, community outreach, green jobs training, research and development, promotion of green businesses, and greenroof subsidies.

Boston GreenFest 2009 will bring together community groups, corporations, small businesses, nonprofits, government agencies and citizens to share new technologies and ideas that can immediately change our daily lives and help bring about a more sustainable future.

Boston GreenFest 2009, the Foundation for a Green Future, Inc., and local volunteers will seek to connect with a broad audience from across all Boston neighborhoods to bring an inspiring message of action and change.   Together  they will work toward sustainability through art, music, fashion, discussions and interactive exhibits.   By engaging participants, young and old,  they will search for new ideas to reduce our impact on our planet.

Festival-goers will learn what it means to eat and grow local organic food, improve nutrition and health care, make better decisions about what we wear and the products we use for our personal care, green our city, build healthy communities, take action politically and personally, create green jobs and engage in a sustainable, green economy.

GreenFest 2008 Crew
“Boston GreenFest 2009 is a celebration of our environmental progress and a call to action for communities, citizens and corporations committed to an even brighter future,” says Karen Weber, Coordinator of Boston GreenFest 2009.   “We can no longer wait for someone to tell us what to do to improve our world.   We need to find the solutions ourselves.   The answers are within reach and we applaud the many groups in and around Boston already making positive change worthy of celebration and recognition.”

Jim Hunt, Chief Advisor to the Mayor on Environment and Energy, writes:   “Mayor Menino and the City of Boston are excited to welcome GreenFest back to City Hall Plaza.   This year’s program looks to encourage and support local community development, promote health and wellness strategies, educate the public on energy conservation and alternative transportation, and update the public on sustainability initiatives that are being pursued city, state, and nationwide.   The festival looks to combine educational programming with art projects and interactive components for area residents.    It offers something for everyone interested in sustainability issues.  

“The city is proud to serve as host for this event and we hope residents will take advantage of the myriad workshops, exhibits and demonstrations to learn what steps they can take to “go green.”   Please join the Mayor and me at Boston GreenFest 2009.    It will be a great festival and we look forward to your participation.”

For more info, please contact:

Dr. Karen L. Weber, LEED AP
Coordinator, Boston GreenFest 2009
www.bostongreenfest.org
Executive Director, Foundation for a Green Future, Inc.   (Green our roofs, green our planet!)
4 Archdale Road, Boston, MA   02131
Tel 617-477-4840/Fax 617-522-5447
www.foundationforagreenfuture.org

A lot of fun to be had at the Boston GreenFest 2009 with all the bands and more.If you live in the Boston area, don’t miss out on a lot of (wicked) fun and entertainment,  especially some wonderful music with three stages  including over 40 live acts, and the GreenFilmFest: A series of films about going green, including The Greening of Southie, Fresh, Out Of Balance: ExxonMobil’s Impact on Climate Change and “Flow: the Film.”  

The Kick-off Concert is on Thursday, August 20, 2009 from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm and the Festival runs from August 21- 22 from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.   I hope you attend, and make sure to go and say hello to Karen and crew!

~ Linda V.

Turfed Roofs of Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

August 14, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Aramis sent me this  interesting greenroof photo  yesterday from  “Pictures of the Day”  (August 13, 2009) in the Wall Street Journal Blogs:

Torshavn turf roof by Bob Strong, Reuters
“A worker mowed the grass roof of a government building near Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, Thursday. (Bob Strong/Reuters)”

Very cool photo!   I don’t know if I’d like to be the maintenance guy, though.

Torshavn Harbor, by Erik Christensen, Faroeislands.dk

Torshavn Harbor, by Erik Christensen, Faroeislands.dk

Situated in the North Atlantic halfway between Scotland and Iceland, the Faroe Islands are composed of 18 hilly islands covering about 1400 sq. km and remain relatively unknown.   The Vikings founded the first parliament on the Tinganes peninsiula  in Tórshavn in 825 AD, and the name of the city means Thor’s Harbour, named after the god of thunder and lightning in Norse mythology.   The Faroese usually refer to their capital simply as Havn – harbour, and with a population of about 19,000 (2008) the  city is carpeted with many traditional sod covered roofs.  

Skansin in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, June 25, 2004, by Erik Christensen, Wikipedia

Skansin in Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, June 25, 2004, by Erik Christensen, Wikipedia

Tinganes is the old part of town, and small wooden houses covered with turf roofs are a common sight.   The oldest one dates back 500 years.

Turf Roofs Everywhere in Torshaven, photo by Jon Fossa, faroeislands.dk

Turf Roofs Everywhere in Torshaven, photo by Jon Fossa, faroeislands.dk

I’ve  only enjoyed  seeing photos of this rugged, picturesque archipelago nation, but have never visited (not yet, at least).     Have any of you?   Tórshavn appears to be a charming medieval city and we’d love to have someone knowledgeable write a Guest Feature on it for Greenroofs.com, especially about their extensive use of turf roofs and how (if at all) their methodology has changed throughout the years.

Please let me know if anyone is interested!

~ Linda V.

Tinganes in Torshavn, photo by Erik Christensen from Faroeislands.dk

Tinganes in Torshavn, photo by Erik Christensen from Faroeislands.dk

Faroeislands.dk
Wikipedia

Congrats to all the new GRP’s!

August 4, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Green Roof Professional Designation

After almost seven weeks of intense scrutiny and review, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) has relased the names of their first “graduating class” of GRP’s, or Green Roof Professionals (download the Press Release “First Green Roof Professionals (GRPs) Announced” of July 21, 2009 here.    These hardy  100+ represent the inaugural group of professionals across multi-disciplinary fields to sit for and pass the GRP exam, held in Atlanta on June 5, 2009 at the 7th Annual Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards & Trade Show.

The purpose of the GRP exam is to establish greenroof professional viability in our growing industrial sector.   Jeffrey L. Bruce, Chair of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, whom I interviewed in May said, “We are very pleased with the caliber of the new GRPs and the fact that they come from both the green arts side, i.e., the living components of a green roof, and the black arts side, i.e., the nonliving components. Industry experts from both the black and the green arts have worked hard over the past six years to develop training materials and a professional exam that covers best practices across the spectrum of professionals, in order to improve multi-disciplinary knowledge and practice in the field.”

Congratulations to the new designees and so many people involved  in the whole process!   Many of our friends, colleagues, and several of our Contributing Editors received their GRP designtion, including Kelly Luckett, The Green Roof Guy; Patrick Carey, The Architecure Editor; and Haven Kiers, The Design Editor.   In fact, Kelly was on the GRHC Training and Accreditation Committee which developed the Green Roof Professional Accreditation program, and he can attest to the countless hours put in by all to ensure quality, integrity  and equity.   But don’t feel too badly for them as, of course, everyone on the GRP Training and Accreditation Committee was grandfathered in and didn’t have to take the actual test!

So what about me?   Remember when I said I was going to take it, too, and to join me?   Yeah, well that never happened.   Long story, but kind of typical for me, I waited too long to actually sign up for the exam and when I tried, it was closed.   It was probably a blessing in disguise, because I hadn’t studied at all and was going to cram for the test at the last minute…   Now I can plan accordingly, study like a normal person and take the GRP exam in any of these North American cities this fall: Chicago (Sept. 18), New York (Oct. 16),  Toronto (Oct. 19), and Seattle (Oct. 30).   And since I am also a greenroof designer, I do think it will be a good thing for me to have, along with my BLA and LEED AP.

So, did you take the test?   What do you think about it?   Share your comments here with us.

See the complete list of Green Roof Professionals in the latest issue of the Living Architecture Monitor online or download a PDF from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities here.   Once again, a job well done to all!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com Announces the 2009 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Design!

June 8, 2009 at 3:29 pm

2009 marks the third year of our “Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Design” – download the Press Release here.   Compiled by our Design Editor, Haven Kiers, and I, we presented the Top 10 List on Friday, June 5, 2009 at the 7th Annual Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards and Trade Show in Atlanta, GA.

Our time slot was changed by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities from 9:30 am to 8:00 am, so if you went by an older Agenda, you missed us!

In 2007, we explored “chic sustainability” and looked at examples of trailblazing and trendsetting greenroof design.   Last year, we turned to greenroof industry professionals for inspiration and guidance and asked them to share their top 10 trends of 2008 with us.   Together we chose “The Influence of LEED on Design Professionals = Pushing the Green Envelope,” “Sky High Cool Green Schools,” and “Eco-Communities & Eco-Cities” for the top three spots.

This year, the projects we have chosen all share a similar concept – the desire to improve their surrounding environment.   The focus of the Top 10 Trends of 2009 is on greenroof design as a means to combat problems in our world of the built environment versus nature, and restore sustainability to the eco-system.

Sandton City Shopping Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

I feel the common element running through all the categories this year is the increasing shift in viewing the building not as a single physical element to be manipulated, but holistically – integrating the site, building envelope, and roof with cultural awareness – creating vegetated surfaces in 3-D and truly linking nature to human design.

Without further ado, the

2009 HOT TRENDS in GREENROOF DESIGN:
Top 10 List

10) Client Specific “˜Boutique’ Greenroofs

9)     Design Competitions: Promoting Future Inspiration

8)     Earth-Sheltering for Sustainable Site Design

7)     Master Plans – Greenroofs in Every Corner

6)     Sustainable Stimulus: Green Buildings Creating Green Collar Jobs

5)     LID Strategies: Celebrating Water with Greenroofs, Rain Gardens, Stormwater Catchment & Beyond

4)     Championing the Green Machine: Policy Driven Ecological Development

3)     Healthy, Efficient & Affordable Green Housing

2)     Sky-High Green Living on the Rise: Condos, Townhomes and Lofts
 
1)     “Towers of Power” – Mega Vertical Structures Linking Earth and Sky

The Lilypad, a floating ecopolis with greenroofs and greenwalls for future climate change refugees

As usual, we included built projects, those on the boards, and several which are stunningly conceptual, like “The Lilypad” by Vincent Callebaut, above and below, designed to make us really push  our notion of the possibilities of function and design, and to reprioritize  and rethink our global view of our diminishing natural resources.   Actually, The Lilypad is a “Tower of Power” – Mega Vertical Structures Linking Earth, Sky, and Water!

The Lilypad by Vincent Callebaut. A completely self-sufficient floating city, each is designed to hold around 50,000 people

Missed our presentation?   No problem –  click on  the 2009 PowerPoint here:

Click here to view the Top 10 PowerPoint for 2009

You can also view the 2008 and 2007 PowerPoint presentations of the Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Design, and the papers, too.   We’ll be posting the 2009 paper – with hyperlinks to each project in The Greenroof Projects Database –  by the end of the month.

Happy Greening!

~ Linda V.