Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: October 28, 2011

November 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here’s the transcript from October 28th  and 21st, 2011 from our daughter, Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velazquez and welcome to This Week in Review for October 28th, 2011 as well as last week, October 21st  on GreenroofsTV.

–  Projects of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the PECO Main Office Building built in 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The rooftop garden, on the top of an eight-story section of the building, holds growing media up to 8 inches thick, and the vegetative covering will reduce rainwater runoff by up to 70 percent and provide better insulation. With an anticipated investment of $15.3 million, the initiative also includes the opening of PECO’s first green building in West Chester, replacement of the landmark Crown Lights messaging system atop the company’s Center City headquarters, energy efficiency upgrades at many of the company’s offices and service centers across the region to comply with LEED certification, as well as community and customer support for energy efficiency and environmental benefits. Mayor Michael Nutter has recognized the roof as a step forward in his quest to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America. In the effort to encourage a critical mass of enlightened Philadelphians to support the development of urban roof top landscapes, the PECO green roof is proving to be a key player. Roofmeadow and the Philadelphia Horticultural Society closely track the native plants to identify those that are best able to endure the harsh conditions of a windy, riverside rooftop.

– To learn more about the PECO Main Office Building  greenroof, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

– Our project of the week last week was the Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Vertical Extensive Green Wall Testing Facility built in 2009 in Singapore. The Landscape Design and Horticulture programme from the School of Life Sciences and Chemical Technology at the college embarked to develop simpler green walls for high rise buildings where 90% of residences are dwellers. Then they evaluated shallow rooted plant species for their growth habit, disease susceptibility, nutrient deficiencies and maintenance requirements. The 2-year research on sustainable plant species for the green wall involved 40 students from the Landscape Design and Horticulture programme and the outcome was a 12m x 2.5m vertical extensive green system uniquely designed for the climate in Singapore.

– And to learn more about the Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Vertical Extensive Green Wall Testing Facility, search project id number “1330” in our Projects Database and/or check out Linda’s blog post about it at Sky Gardens.

What’s New“

Industry News Update

-The next round of ecoroof incentives is now open & the City of Portland is again offering FREE technical workshops.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ Awards of Excellence Winners Announced – congratulations to all the great projects and winners, in particular to one of our Contributing Editors, Patrick Carey of hadj Design as the Green Roof Designer, who won in the Green Roof Extensive Residential category for the Hood Canal Project, a private residence in Quilcene, WA.  The greenroof on this coastal residence is a perfect example of a small-scale project with an even smaller development impact.

– The EPA asked ASLA to collect case studies on projects that successfully and sustainably manage stormwater. ASLA members responded with 479 case studies from 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada – by the way, one of the projects where Linda was the greenroof design consultant is included – Rock Mill Park in Alpharetta, Georgia.

– The NY State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection reached a draft agreement to reduce combined sewer overflows into area water bodies. The agreement modifies New York City’s approach to improving harbor water quality, under which the city will invest an estimated $187 million in green infrastructure projects by 2015, part of a planned $2.4 billion public and private investment over the next 20 years.

– Guest Feature

Read “Welcome to the 9th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference: Restoring Urban Water: Philadelphia Takes the Lead“ by Steven Peck.

-Contributing Editor

– Also, read Christine Thuring‘s latest article “GREEN ROOFS ON THE CURVE Virtual Conferencing: WOW it’s NOW!“

Advertiser Press Release:

LiveRoof ® Hybrid Green Roof System Selected for Five New Green Roof Projects in North Carolina.

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Vote for Colombian Greenroofs in “˜Innovadores de America’ – Innovators of America by November 7!,” “GreenRoofs in Australasia’s Greening Cities Conference 2011 in Sydney,” “Are You Going to the International Green Technology Symposium in India?,” “Fall 2011 Portland Ecoroof Opportunities,” “GREEN ROOFS ON THE CURVE 2011,” “Watch the Highlights Video of the ,” “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: October 14th, 2011,” and our GPWs  for the  PECO Main Office Building and  Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Vertical Extensive Green Wall Testing Facility.

– “Upcoming Events“

– Today is the last day to participate in our Archived Mode of the  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011, so be sure to watch whatever video you haven’t watched yet or you’d like to watch again as well as download info from our sponsors Tremco and American Hydrotech and all of the exhibitors and associates!

– October 26th-29th: is the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association Conference Rosemont, Illinois.

– October 28th-30th: is a Green Living Technologies – Green Roof/Green Wall Installer and Maintenance Technician Certification Training in Penfield, New York.

– October 29th-30th: is a Green Roofs Course, Brighton Permaculture Trust in Brighton, United Kingdom.

– October 30th-November 2nd: is the ASLA 2011 Annual Meeting & EXPO in San Diego, California.

– October 31st-November 2nd: is WGIN’s International Green Technology Symposium 2011 in Indore, India.

– November 3rd-6th: is a GRHC Green Roof Boot Camp in San Francisco, California and on the 4th, there’s a GRHC Advanced Green Roof Maintenance in Chicago, Illinois.

–  Check out our homepage for more Upcoming Events!

– “In the News“

– Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announces that the “Tamachi Building Co. Invites Kindergarten Children to Potato Dig At Company’s Rooftop Garden.” They are offering a fun learning opportunity about the environment as a corporate social responsibility activity. They say, “Within the rooftop garden, a 21.5 square meter vegetable garden has been used for potato cultivation. Sweet potato was selected for planting because during the summer season it offers a high green coverage ratio, thereby providing excellent heat insulation; also, sweet potatoes offer good opportunities for children to dig and taste. The remainder of the garden is being utilized primarily for planting grass, flowers and evergreens.”

–  AnnMarie Costella of the Queens Chronicle, reports on “Queens gets a bit cooler with another green roof.” She says the “Jamaica Wastewater Treatment Plant is [the] latest location [to] be outfitted.” A variety of large and small flowering plants have been planted on this 6,000 square foot building, which will be able to absorb up to 13,000 gallons of rainwater and lessen the amount that gets dumped into the sewer system that leads to the Jamaica Bay. This green roof is part of the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan, which calls for $2.4 billion worth of green projects over the next 20 years in order to reduce combined sewer overflows and increase buildings’ absorption of ultraviolet light. Green roofs also improve insulation, interior cooling and energy efficiency.

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 green wall 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 October 28th and 21st, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez 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.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: October 7, 2011

October 10, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here’s the transcript from October 7th, 2011 from our daughter, Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velazquez and welcome to This Week in Review for October 7th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV. We’ve been so extremely busy with our inaugural Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011, that we haven’t been able to have a This Week in Review for a few weeks, so allow me to catch you up with what’s been going on here at Greenroofs.com.

–  Project of the Week

– Our project of the week is Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street built in 2004 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The former police station from the 1920s was renovated in 2003 with the greenroof installed the following year.  The six-story complex has 75 apartments for the graduate students and “the garden courtyard provides a beautiful outdoor amenity space for residents and has made this housing building one of the most popular places to live on campus.”  The American Hydrotech project profile states, “The once unsightly rooftop is now a 10,000 square foot Garden Roof ® providing pleasing views and helping to add a sense of place and community for the graduate student residents there.  The Garden Roof will significantly increase the life expectancy of the roof and is also helping to control stormwater runoff.”  The rooftop plantings include a mix of succulents, sedums and delosperma, drought tolerant varieties that are perfect for Boston temperatures.

– To learn more about the Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.  Also, to learn about our projects of the week for the past few weeks, you can go to the Sky Gardens Blog and read Linda’s posts about each one.  Or, go to our Projects Database and search project ID number “825” for the World Expo Zaragoza 2008/Zentro Expo Zaragoza greenroof from ZinCo, project ID number “553” for the Musée du quai Branly green wall by Patrick Blanc, and project ID number “996” for the Casa Feliz Studios greenroof from Tremco.

What’s New“

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  Industry News

–  According to Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the City of Toronto’s award winning Green Roof Bylaw has already resulted in more than 1.2 million square feet of new green space planned on new commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential developments across the City.

– Smart Growth America – Through a grant from the U.S. EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities’ Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, Smart Growth America is pleased to offer free technical assistance to help communities implement smart growth strategies to build stronger economies while protecting human health and the environment.

– American Rivers – Want to create 1.9 million American jobs and add $265 billion to the economy? Upgrade our water infrastructure. That’s the message of Water Works: Rebuilding Infrastructure, Creating Jobs, Greening the Environment, a report by Green For All, in partnership with American Rivers, Pacific Institute, and the Economic Policy Institute. The report looks at an investment of $188.4 billion in water infrastructure””the amount the EPA indicates would be required to manage stormwater and preserve water quality. That investment would inject a quarter of a trillion dollars into the economy, create nearly 1.3 million direct and indirect jobs and result in 568,000 additional jobs from increased spending.

–    Joblinks:  C. M. Hobbs has a job opening for a Grower/Plant Propagator on the west side of Indianapolis, IN, USA.

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Greenbuild and Greenroofs in Toronto!,” our GPWs for the last few weeks, “Thank You to Our Sponsors and the Winner of the 2nd iPad2 at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 is…,” along with other Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 related posts, “Notre Voyage Fantastique: Chicago & Patrick Blanc“ by Linda and Caroline Menetre, “Remembering and Rebuilding: Ten Years After 9/11,” and “Greenroofs.com’s This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: September 9, 2011.”

– “Upcoming Events“

Until October 28th: All of the content from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 – Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design is still very much live, so you can access it all on demand and tell your friends and colleagues to continue to register!  You can even continue to chat live while in the virtual environment via video, audio, or text through October 28!

– October 1st-23rd: Leverage – Strengthening Neighborhoods through Design Exhibition in Philadelphia, PA.

–  Check out our homepage for more Upcoming Events!

– “In the News“

–  Roberta Cruger of Treehugger reports on “The 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s Focus on Sustainable Design.” She says “From a green roof to locally harvested trees, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum opens on the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center with a dedication and much media coverage of every angle, including Steven Spielberg’s The Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero.” A grove of more than 400 swamp white oak trees, all harvested from within a 500-mile radius of the World Trade Center, on the Plaza act as a beautiful green roof for the 9/11 Memorial museum, the train station and other facilities 70-feet below street level. These trees are meant to represent the renewal of life in their natural cycles. The irrigation system includes stormwater capture in underground storage tanks to save energy and resources and the site is seeking LEED gold certification.

– The San Francisco Chronicle announces that “Academy of Sciences [is] honored with another green building award.” The say “everyone’s favorite combination of aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum has received a second Platinum rating from the council’s LEED program.” And this one’s for operations and maintenance. The extensive vegetation on the living roof consists almost entirely of natural species and the glass walls allow views from 98% of occupied spaces. Also, they use 100% recycled paper in all its printers and they are all Energy Star-rated.

– Caroline McMillan of the Charlotte Observer talks about “Green roof sprouts up in the suburbs.” LEED-accredited architect, Rebecca Fant and her mechanical engineer husband, John Alday, have recently installed their very own greenroof. Their porch roof was in need of restoration, so they decided to go green with the help of LiveRoof ® vegetation. They aren’t reaping the full benefits of greenroofs like managing stormwater runoff, keeping their house warm in the winter and cool in the summer yet because their greenroof is just over their porch but Fant says, “it’s a little teaser for what we’re trying to do inside the house, as we renovate and improve the energy efficiency and other environmental features.”

– 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 green wall 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 October 7th,  2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez 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.

GPW: Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street

October 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 10/3/11
Harvard Graduate Student Housing  at 29 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA, USA
10,000 sf.  Greenroof

Year: 2004
Owner: The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Location: Cambridge, MA, USA
Building Type: Educational
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 10,000 sq. ft.
Slope: 1.5%
Access: Accessible, Private

Project Description & Details

The Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street is a great example of adaptive reuse – the former police station was transformed into a new six-story residence hall containing 75 apartments. Because all of the building’s units looked out onto this roof, Jonathan Levi Architects proposed to capture this space aesthetically and identified the unattractive blacktopped roof over the existing one-story parking garage for change.

Landscape architects Richard Burck Associates introduced shade tree plantings and new sidewalks within the mix of succulents, sedums and delospermas found in the Garden Roof Assembly from American Hydrotech. Now, the award-winning second-floor garden courtyard provides a beautiful outdoor amenity space for residents and has made this housing building one of the most popular places to live on campus.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Greenroofing System: American Hydrotech
Plant Supplier: Green Roof Plants/Emory Knoll Farms
Plant Installation: Valley Crest
Architect: Jonathan Levi Architects
Associate Architect: Bergmeyer Associates
Landscape Architect: Richard Burck Associates
General Contractor: Bond Brothers
Hydrotech Applicators: Chapman Waterproofing and Foye & Letendre Landscaping
Environmental Engineer: Pine and Swallow Associates, Inc.
Structural Engineer: Weidlinger Associates Inc.

Google maps link

Additional Info

Motivating factors for the refurbishment of the Harvard Graduate neo-Georgian  residences were both economic and political, according to Susan  Keller, vice president of residential  real estate at Harvard.

“Because of the tight and expensive housing market, and because of municipal pressure on the university to house more students, the number of affordable apartments close to campus.” ~  Architectural Record, December 2004

In a concerted effort to ameliorate unattractive views and create a usable greenspace for the student housing residents, Jonathan Levi Architects and landscape architects Richard Burck Associates decided upon a greenroof as their answer to cover an unused and  decidedly  ugly garage roof in close proximity and full view of the common areas.

Jonathan Levi also happens to be Adjunct Professor, Department of Architecture at  Harvard and his company designed the 29 Garden St. Graduate Housing Complex to provide 143 beds for students from a wide array of graduate programs.  The project’s 75 residential units include studio, double-studio, two bedroom and faculty three bedroom unit types.

Other components of the community complex include a residential food servery/ convenience store, a dining commons/multi-function room seating 45-80, an informal lounge, a garage with parking for 62 cars, a laundry facility, a campus police substation, double-height communal spaces, and their new 10,000 square foot rooftop garden terrace.

“We became interested in the idea of a “˜graduate house'””something akin to the undergraduate houses, a place that would spur a sense of community. Residents would be drawn from different schools and programs, we saw it also as fitting in with the academic trend toward greater mixing of disciplines,”  said  Jonathan Levi  in Architectural Record, December 2004.

Entrances to faculty apartments are joined  by a balcony that extends the entire length of the building and  each of the three bedroom, third-floor faculty apartments is accessed via stairs leading from the courtyard garden.

The newly created exterior passageway and grand stair lead from Garden Street to the courtyard garden one level above.

The Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street is the recipient of the  ASLA 2007  Professional Awards General Design Honor Award for the landscape architecture firm of  Richard Burck Associates, Inc.

“The adaptive reuse of a former police station and parking garage transformed 29 Garden Street into a new residence hall for Harvard University graduate students, faculty, and employees. At the street level, we were charged with improving a 5,000 square foot pedestrian environment with shade tree plantings and renovated sidewalks. The program also called for the creation of a second floor level 10,600 sf garden courtyard on the unadorned roof of the existing parking garage. This space would not only be an outdoor amenity for the residents, but also provide access to Garden Street, the parking garage below and a row of third-floor units above. Programmatically, it needed to accommodate sitting, studying, and socializing for individuals or small groups.”  ~ Project Narrative from  Richard Burck Associates, Inc.

This site plan of 29 Garden Street residence hall above shows the spatial relationship of the garden courtyard to the architecture.  The drawing is cut through the third-story level apartments to emphasize the connections between the second-story garden courtyard and Garden Street, the hallways and specific units.

“Our intention was to create a garden with a varied and changing two-dimensional composition given the considerable constraint of a limited soil loading capacity. We created a patterned ground plane comprised of two cohorts of extensive vegetation, alternating in bands of greens and reds for most of the growing season. A wide variety of sedum species were carefully chosen for their hardiness in extensive planting systems as well as their ability to create year round interest. Paths of wood decking and concrete unit pavers cut through the vegetation beds and allow for areas of strolling and seating along the way. Intensive planters support Arnold Promise Witch hazels and Junipers for screening purposes where the garage structure can accommodate the added load needed for the three-foot soil depth.” ~ Project Narrative from  Richard Burck Associates, Inc.

The landscape architects said that their main challenge was not to exceed the 65 lbs/cf dead load throughout the majority of the space.  As a result, the depth of the extensive planter beds could not exceed 6-8″ and accommodate the layers of waterproofing and drainage as well as the proper cultural requirements of the sedums.

“What a great way to expose students to contemporary issues and solutions. It’s so simple, yet nicely detailed, and shows a lot of restraint.” ~ ASLA  2007 Professional Awards Jury Comments

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!  Click  here to see more information about this project in  The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database. See how you can submit yours  here.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.

The Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Runs Through October 28!

October 6, 2011 at 10:05 am

Our vision of producing and sharing the virtual experience to our industry with our inaugural Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 was successful, and we couldn’t have done it without the great support of many people, in particular our main patron, Rare Earth Sponsor  TREMCO, along with Emerald Sponsor American Hydrotech.

Thanks again also to our Exhibitors  Grant Associates,  Green Living Technologies,  Green Roof Blocks,  GreenGrid Roofs,  Green Roof Plants,  ILD,  J-DRain, and  Roofmeadow – although the lifeblood of any conference is its speakers, the sponsors and exhibitors make it happen – none of this would have been possible without their financial support!

We are so proud to have put together the most amazing community of talented international speakers that you could have asked for – all leaders in their fields.  See the Speakers page and read all about them and their presentations.

Speaking of our Sponsors, Exhibitors, and Speakers, I’d like to stress that although the 2 live days have passed, the end of the Virtual Summit is on October 28 – if you missed out on September 27 & 28, you can still register until October 28!

You can’t beat the price of only $49 – or $25 for students/faculty/government professionals to access all 32 of our great panel sessions, interviews, presentations, and live Q & A commentary plus see the latest from manufacturer/supplier and organization/government exhibitors.

Visit all of our truly unique and innovative areas  within the virtual environment: the Rare Earth and On Demand Auditoriums, the Tremco Meeting Room, the Sky Terrace Networking Lounge, the Media Lounge, and the International, North American & Associates Pavilions at the Expo – did you know you can still chat with your fellow online attendees either in a public or private via video, audio, or text while logged in?

We’re putting together an awesome Highlights Video of our wonderful participants to give you a taste of what you are missing – look for it soon!  We hope to see you still in Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!  Register  here.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.