In Memoriam: Wang Xianmin

September 18, 2015 at 7:11 pm

As reported yesterday, we regret to announce the passing of Mr. Wang Xianmin or Wang Xian Min (in Chinese) of Beijing, China on August 19, 2015 at the age of 72 years.

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Wang Xianmin

Xianmin Wang was the secretary-general of the WRGA, the World Green Roof Association, which produces the annual China World Green Roof Conferences (WGRC).  Also known as the International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA,) the organization is a founding member of the World Green Infrastructure Network – WGIN.

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A true leader of Chinese greening efforts, Wang Xianmin was the founder (2006) and former secretary-general of the Beijing Green Roof Association.  He graduated from Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics.  Among others, Xianmin Wang authored Beautiful Award for Second World Landscape Planning and Design Contest Set (Chinese Edition), 2015; Roof Garden Design and Case Analysis, 2013; China 2010 Shanghai World Expo venue three-dimensional Green, 2011; and Roof Garden, 2007.

Professor Wang enjoyed numerous accomplishments through his life, and was devoted to promoting green infrastructure throughout China.  In addition to the above named posts, here are just a few more:

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L to R: Wang Xianmin in 2014 China Qingdao City with the world’s ecological green roof of the General Assembly and 2013 China Nanjing World Green Roof Assembly. Photos courtesy of IRLA.

Wang Xianmin was the Secretary-general of the Association of Professional Committee of China Building Energy Efficiency and International Association for the Promotion of the Electric Vehicle, 2015-2013;
Secretary-general of the 2014 (Qingdao), 2013 (Nanjing), and 2012 (Hangzhou) China World Green Roof Conferences;
Deputy Chief of the Vertical Greening Academic Group of China Green Building Council;
Former Secretary-general of the Great Wall Green Engineering Organizing Committee;
Former Deputy Dean of the Asia-Pacific Education Centre of Peking University;
Former Director of the Research Center for Better Business China.

See his remembrance from the WGRA and IRLA in Mandarin Chinese here (click on translate to see the English version).

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L to R: Wang Xianmin in Hangzhou, China 2012 World Green Roof Assembly; Hainan, China 2011 World Green Roof Assembly; and Shanghai, China 2010 World Green Roof Assembly. All photos courtesy of IRLA.

Ed Snodgrass of Emory Knoll Farms told us the news, and has this to say about Professor Wang:

“Wang Xianmin, Professor, founder of China’s Green Roof Associations, and the Executive Vice President of International Rooftop Landscaping Association passed away recently.  Mr. Wang was a warm and gentle man that I have had the pleasure to get to know and work with over the last four years.  He worked hard to promote green roofs and green walls in China.

He was adept at making everyone feel welcome and cared for.  He will certainly be missed.” ~ Ed Snodgrass

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L to R: Mr. Mung; Mr. Snodgrass; Mr. Wang.

We remember Mr. Wang fondly for his beautiful nature and decades of very important work; here are some thoughts from his fellow WGIN members:

“Professor Xianmin Wang was responsible for the thriving green infrastructure industry in China by holding many conferences including Hainan 2010, the Shanghai Expo 2011, World Congress in 2012, Nanjing 2013.  Professor Wang made many friends in Australia when he spoke in Sydney in 2011 and at the 2014 World Green Infrastructure Congress.  He was well respected internationally and loved for his warmth, generosity and passion about green roofs.” ~ Matthew Dillon, Green Roofs Australasia

On August 25 Green Roofs Australasia observed a 3-minute moment of silence with China at 2100.

“Professor Wang was leading the charge to bring Green roofing into the mainstream in China.  He had a huge smile, and a gentleness and kindness about him that made everyone feel welcome!  He will be missed!  ” ~ Steven Peck, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

A board member of the World Green Infrastructure Network, Mr. Wang is also remembered on the WGIN website:

“WGIN members appreciate his great work on Green infrastructure over many years.  We will keep him in our best memories as professional and as long year friend. ” ~ Manfred Koehler, World Green Infrastructure Network

Professor Wang was a great conference organizer and believer in the promotion of new ideas as well as youth.  Below he’s speaking in Qingdao, 2014 promoting greenroofs and green energy as a member of the International Association for the Promotion of the Electric Vehicle:

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Here he is (middle, left of Mr. Mung) in Nanjing at the 2013 Award Ceremony of Green Award International Landscape Planning Competition:

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Aramis and I met Professor Wang for the first time in Singapore where he and I both spoke in 2010 at the inaugural International Skyrise Greenery Conference.  We were captivated by his genuine smile, gentle demeanor and fierce commitment to engage us to come to China and help spread the word about greenroofs and greenwalls, which we did in 2012 along with Steven, Matt, Manfred, and many more.

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Left to right: Manfred Kohler, Julian Briz, Francois Lassalle, Patrick Blanc, Florian Betlzer, Aramis Velazquez, Isabel de Felipe, Karla Dakin, Dorte Romo, Linda Velazquez, Damian Tang, Ho Wan Weng, Zuoshuang Zhang, and Professor Wang Xianmin.

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Organized again by Wang Xianmin and his great staff at IRLA, the 2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Conference was attended by hundreds – I would guess about 1,600.  It was a fantastic event and we all were treated like royalty.

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Afterwards about 10 of us went on an amazing whirlwind 6-day tour to several cities including Beijing and Xi’an, the Great Wall of China – and we even had two airplane trips.

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Professor Wang met us in Beijing and treated us to a dinner extravaganza including awesome food, musicians, acrobats, and even a magician.  Led by Professor Wang’s right hand man, William Wei (middle photo, left), our experiences will be greatly cherished and it was truly a trip of a lifetime.

Back at home, Professor Wang graciously participated in both Greenroofs.com’s inaugural Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 and in 2013.  See his videos below:

“The Status of Chinese Green Roofs & Featured Presentations from the 2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Congress” for the Virtual Summit 2013: Wang Xianmin  gave us an overview of greenroof challenges and growth in China and invited participants to attend the 2013 China World Green Roof Congress in Nanjing held in October of that year. Following Wang Xianmin’s video, you can see videos that IRLA shared with Greenroofs.com from the 2012 Hangzhou China•World Green Roof Congress, in both Mandarin and English.

Promo for the Virtual Summit 2013: We filmed Professor Wang at the 2012 Hangzhou China•World Green Roof Congress in November, 2012.

For the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Professor Wang presented “The Current Situation and Future of Green Roofs in China.”

We visited with Professor Wang last October in Sydney at the 2014 World Green Infrastructure Congress, and will always remember him respectfully and fondly.

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Professor Wang Xianmin will be greatly missed and we send our heartfelt condolences to his family, colleagues, and supporters in China and across our greenroof and greenwall community!

Please add your comments, too.

In memoriam,

~ Linda V.

We Mourn the Loss of Two Greats in Our Industry: Xianmin Wang and Dr. Mark Simmons

September 17, 2015 at 5:35 pm

We are very sad to announce the recent passing of two wonderful gentlemen within our greenroof and greenwall industry:

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Professor Xianmin Wang of the International Rooftop Landscaping Association in Beijing, China (left) and Dr. Mark Simmons of the Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Texas (right).

Both men died at the end of August, and our hearts go out to their respective families and colleagues across the globe!

We have been compiling comments and some photos from associatess and will post individual In Memoriam reflections for each starting tomorrow.

If you have anything to share with our community, please send to me at: linda@greenroofs.com.

Thank you,

~ Linda V.

A Successful Nanjing World Green Roof Congress 2013 — a New Landmark of China’s Greening Industry

November 7, 2013 at 12:59 pm

By Annie Xu
Photos Courtesy of the International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA)

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The 2013 Nanjing World Green Roof Congress was successfully held in the Purple Palace from September 15th to the 17th.

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The event was sponsored by the China Association of Building Energy Efficiency, Nanjing Municipal People’s Government, China Green Building Council of Chinese Society for Urban Studies, Department of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of Jiangsu Province, World Green Infrastructure Network and the International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA).

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The group pictures above are of the smog in Beijing this past June.  We can see clearly there are 18 days of haze in merely a month, which brought Beijing to the top 10 cities with the worst air quality in China.  In fact, it’s not only Beijing that is in this situation, but many other cities in China are suffering from this severe pollution as well.  As the air quality and environmental pollution are getting worse and worse, the Chinese government has also realized that it’s time we should do our best to restore fresh air, clear water and vigorous nature, which contributed to the theme of the Nanjing Congress: vertical greening dispelling haze, conservation culture beautifying cities and towns.

During the congress, we visited several outstanding greening projects in Nanjing, all of which expouse advanced ideas and technologies.  For example, all buildings in the Zidong International Creative Park, the cooperator of the congress, have attained the standard of national green building, and all of the buildings have green roofs.

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“Phoenix Valley” boasts mobile remote controlling for all of its rooftops offering precise irrigation solutions.

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A little different from Phoenix Valley, here you can see “Hexi New Ecocity,” with the idea and realization of the new ecocity as green architecture and smart city, along with vertical greening.

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Among all the projects, the most creative one should be the “Tree Cube” in Changzhou, because the buildings have made micro circulation and zero garbage discharge come true.

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These projects are just typical representatives of green architecture in China.  Through this Congress, Chinese designers and people who are enthusiastic in greening can exchange ideas with experts all over the world, and also learn experience from them, thus enabling more people to construct more green projects like these.

With this goal, and to facilitate the communication among designers from different countries, the award ceremony of the Green Award International Landscape Planning Competition* was held simultaneously with the 2013 Nanjing World Green Roof Congress.  Academician Zhaozhen Meng, left below, attended the ceremony as award presenter.

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The 2013 Nanjing Congress, with over a thousand attendees, greatly inspired students, manufacturers and designers as well.

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Above you can see the Award Ceremony of the highly successful Green Award International Landscape Planning Competition, with IRLA Vice Chairman Wang Xianmin, left middle, and Zhaozhen Meng, right middle.

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The Sino-Singapore Green Land Property Forum, Sino-Japan Hanging Garden Forum and forums about new materials and technologies pointed out bright ways for relevant Chinese workers in our industry.  After the three-day congress, many attendees told the council they felt fruitful and willing to learn more about how to practice the theories.  They also expressed their anticipation of the 2014 Qingdao World Green Roof Conference.

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With all these magnificent achievements from the 2013 Nanjing Congress this time, we believe that in the future, more classic projects will spring up, and our greening industry will prosper in every corner of the world.

We invite you to participate in the 2014 Qingdao World Green Roof Conference!

~ Annie Xu

*Publisher’s Note: Read more about the Green Award International Landscape Planning Competition at my blog post of July, 30, 2013, “Contributions Wanted for Green Award – an International Landscape Planning Competition & Photo Contest: Nanjing World Green Roof Congress 2013.”

Annie Xu works in the International Department of the International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA). Contact Annie at:

Email: wrgmay2010@hotmail.com
Web: www.wgrc.cn; Tel:+86 10 67115339
Address: Building 4, No. 9 Yuan, Institution of Construction, Sanlihe Road, Haidian District, 100037, Beijing, PRC

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.