Greenroofs.com Updates & Happy Holidays!

December 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Hello readers and fellow colleagues,

I hope you have all been enjoying your holidays with family and friends with an eye towards the New Year – especially  after our collective escape from the dire but thankfully misled (or misinterpreted) Mayan  predictions on the winter solstice of 12.21.12!

Kidding aside, we here at Greenroofs.com  have simply been swamped since late summer with various milestones including our trips to Chicago followed immediately by 2 weeks in China, not to mention orchestrating our 2nd annual  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013.

And, by the way, I couldn’t make it to The International Green Conference in Bangalore, India last month – a recent bout with upper respiratory problems were aggravated with all the traveling and I developed ear issues and was told not to fly for a few months.  I was extremely upset but everyone told me that the Conference was wonderful.

And so I’ve been very behind in my various blog posts ~ so one of my New Year’s  resolutions  is to catch up here at Sky Gardens with the following blog posts:

– On a personal note, most of you who have been following us for years know that I have been an international flight attendant with Delta Air Lines for a long time (hey, I didn’t want to give up my “day” job until I knew this greenroof gig would work out!)…well, as of  September  1, I  officially  retired after 33 years of loving (almost) every bit of it!  I had the  privilege  of working with the best people ever – the end of an era…

– The 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference in Chicago – what a great town!  For now I will say it was great, one of the very best get-togethers we as an industry have enjoyed so far.  If you  have  photos to share, please send them to linda@greenroofs.com – there was a lot I missed and then Aramis and I had to leave Saturday morning following the conference since we left for Shanghai the next day and we missed out on all the tours (I also took a class on Wednesday, so I couldn’t go then, either).

– The World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) World Green Roof Congress in Hangzhou, China which was simply awesome!  The resort was beautiful and the organization was amazing as there were at least 1,400 – 1,500 attendees – the largest crowd I’ve ever presented to before (I presented Haven Kiers’ and my “2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design“).

We had a day of touring  followed  by 2 days of the  wonderful  speakers, excellent food and hospitality, ending with another day of touring.  Each  evening  there was a celebratory feast – Professor Xianmin Wang and his awesome International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA) team of William Wei, Lisa and many others are to be highly commended.  We then followed this  sumptuous  experience with an additiional 8 or 9 more days of once in a  lifetime  touring around  China!

– All about our  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013  on February 12 through March 13, 2013 –  it’s going to be very different from last year. First of all, this time we’ve  partnered  with the  World Green Infrastructure Network  and we’re thrilled to have them on board to provide an ever greater world stage.

You’ll enjoy  a full 30 days of scheduled and on demand video Keynotes, panel sessions, individual and combo presentations with a lot more interactive fun with scheduled live Q & A chat  sessions  with  speakers and other greenroof & greenwall enthusiasts from around the globe, plus visiting the  Sponsor Spaces and Social Media Areas.  Here are our 5 distinguished Keynotes:

New this year is the Prize Center where you’ll accumulate points for cool prizes; the Joblinks Lounge where you can post jobs wanted and view job openings; and the Inspiration Nook where you can post under 3-minute videos about your research idea, project, or poster boards (no commercial ventures!) and participate in scheduled chat discussions which will be included on the Agenda.

In order to feature our Sponsors and exhibitors, we will also offer 4 dedicated days – one per week – to our Expo Trade Show, each anchored by a Keynote Presentation and a Panel Discussion from leading authorities.  By the way, we’d like to thank Tremco for once again committing their greenroof industry leadership through our highest level of  Sponsorship  – the Rare Earth Sponsor!

Other Greenroofs.com News:

– Starting in the New Year, our “This Week in Review” news roundup video, hosted by our daughter Anjuli Velazquez, will come back as “This Month in Review.”

– We’re currently  scheduling our “Greenroof or Greenwall Project of the Week” series – if you’d like to see your project highlighted, first of all we need to have a profile for it in the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database!  (We are still backlogged with entries but hope to be up to date within a month).

We only spotlight profiles that have 10 or 11 photos and lots of descriptive content.  People ask us if they have to be listed in the Greenroof Directory to be selected, and the answer is no – although we do highlight our advertisers about 4:1 as compared to non-advertisers for their loyalty.

Advertising with Us  is extremely affordable, and we certainly appreciate the support!  Plus there’s no better place in our industry to have your company listed than with us, the #1 website in the world for greenroofs.

– And ordering our  2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Wall Calendar is still an inexpensive (only $9.95 including shipping & handling within the U.S.and Canada) and perfect last minute gift to ring in the New Year.

That’s it for now – we’d like to wish you and yours Seasons Greetings & a Happy New Year 2013!

~ Linda V. & all of us here at Greenroofs.com

Are you all set for the 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference in Chicago next week?

October 12, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Are you all set for the 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference at the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago next week?

Presented by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and the City of Chicago, it’s going to be quite a unique experience and lots of fun as well.

Learning, Networking, and Celebrating 10 Years in our Industry!  

Here are some highlights:

You’ll experience Phenomenal Programming with some of the foremost leaders in our fields with four concurrent sessions featuring expert speakers on policy, design and research topics.   The “˜On the Roof With’ sessions provide an opportunity to learn from distinguished panelists and discuss emerging issues and opportunities with experts.

(Make sure to come to Haven Kiers’ and my 2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof &   Greenwall Design on Friday, October 19 from 2:30 – 4:00 pm.)

The Training Courses on Wednesday, October 17 are leading-edge.   Work towards your GRP or get professional education credits.

Although the walking tours have been sold out for a while, the Bus Tours on Saturday, October 20 will also be  fantastic!

CitiesAlive serves as an opportunity for numerous Committee Meetings on Wednesday, October 17 (except for the GRP Committee on October 18th) – get involved with your association!   Contact Paul Erlichman at perlichman@greenroofs.org if you are interested.

– The Trade Show is bigger and better than ever with 70+ exhibitors.   See lots of cool new exhibits and experienced product and service providers – all happy to show you their wares and discuss your next project!   Be there for the opening on Wednesday, October 17 @ 6:00 pm.

– “The Rise of Living Architecture book release will be celebrated on Thursday, October 18th from 1 – 2 pm in the Rendezvous Lounge at the Congress Plaza Hotel.   Participants include architects and landscape architects, planners, engineers, policy makers, and the manufacturers who share their dreams and aspirations for the industry.

Steven Peck says:  

“Congratulations!   The Rise of Living Architecture Commemorative Edition is upon us and it is packed with fabulous pictures by Brad Temkin, an essay by yours truly, great interviews with many industry leaders, a Forward by outstanding biophilic academic Stephen Kellhert, as well as great project images and many insights into the future!!!”

I’m quite honored to be included in this commemorative book.   You know I’ll be at the book signing, and I’ll also be giving away some of our brand new 2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendars.

Did you know that proceeds from the book will go to support ongoing training and development activities of GRHC and GIF?

The Receptions, Lunches, Parties and After-Parties will be a wonderful time to reconnect with your colleagues and see friends you haven’t seen in a year!

Visit www.citiesalive.org to learn more and, if you still haven’t yet, register to learn about the future of green infrastructure and avoid on-site costs.  

See you next week!

~ Linda V.

Only 4 Weeks for the WGIN World Green Roof Conference 2012 in Hangzhou: Chinese Visa Tips

September 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

On October 22 through 26, greenroof and greenwall professionals from around the world will  gather and share information, encourage multi-national participation and business, and see wonderful local green infrastructure projects  with the opportunity to tour amazing cities and sites beyond at  the  2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Conference.

Our Chinese World Green Infrastructure Network friends from the  International Rooftop Landscaping Association  put it more eloquently:

“[The]  World Green Roof Conference (WGRC) will build a friendly public platform for elites both from the Vertical Planting industry around the world and those who share concern for the global environmental protection to exchange information on new concepts, technologies and policies of ecological environmental protection as well as to promote the development of Green Roof industry in all countries, thus contributing to tackling global warming and solving the conflict between human and land.” ~  2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Conference

Hangzhou West Lake, via wallpaperstravel.com

I count myself honored (and lucky!) to be one of the keynote speakers for the event; I will be presenting Haven Kiers’ and my annual Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design for 2012.

The Forbidden City; Photo Courtesy of Wang Xianmin

Aramis and I are so excited about our upcoming trip!  We hope you have also made plans to attend this once in a lifetime opportunity as well.

The Great Wall; Photo Courtesy of Wang Xianmin

Not only are we looking forward to reuniting with old friends and making new ones, we are thrilled to be going on Tour Two, the 6-day “Beijing and Xi’an, the Tour of China’s Ancient Capital Cities” afterwards.  We can’t wait!

Yu Garden; Photo Courtesy of Wang Xianmin

By the way, Tour Two is a 4-day tour to “Suzhou and Shanghai.”  Having to choose between the two was painful, so we decided to spend two days in Shanghai after the tour.

Century Avenue, Shanghai; Photo Courtesy of Wang Xianmin

One thing you will definitely need is your Chinese visa.  It’s not hard to get, it’s just time consuming, so if you haven’t done the paperwork yet, hop to it!

If you are a U.S. citizen, visit the Chinese Embassy in the U.S. website for all the requirements.

Here are some tips for U.S. Citizens:

The People’s Republic of China currently maintains one Embassy in Washington D.C., but also maintains 5 consulates-general in the following U.S. cities: New York; Chicago; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and Houston, TX.  If you live in any of these, you can walk your application in with no appointment necessary.

If not, you can use one of the online services available who will walk in your application to your corresponding state (check here).  Since we live in Atlanta and our corresponding Chinese consulate is in Houston, we opted for this and used travisa – which can help any world citizen.  Check out the U.S. citizen  requirements, time schedule, and fees.

We chose the  China Regular (5 Business Days) processing time and mailed it overnight, just in case.

About the # 5. Official Invitation from China – ask the  2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Conference  organizers for this – they will email you an Invitation Letter in your name in PDF which you’ll print and include with your package.  Contact William Wei,  Secretary-general,  International Rooftop Landscaping Association for complete information at:  wrgmay2010@hotmail.com.

NOTE:   Unless you have your  own account with UPS, FedEx, etc., do NOT include a prepaid return envelope as travisa will mail it back to you using their own account (which you’ll have to pay for anyway).

Scenic Hangzhou, via HANGZHOU.GOV.CN

If you haven’t already, make sure to read Greenroofs.com’s guest feature article  You’re Invited to Hangzhou, China for the 2012 World Green Roof Congress, By  Wang Xianmin, Secretary-general of the  2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Conference.

Hope to see you in Hangzhou next month!

~ Linda V.