WaterBuild: The Many Facets of Water Resilience, by Joanne Rodriguez

October 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm

At Greenbuild 2017’s WaterBuild, engage in discussion of how water resilience intersects with equity, technology and infrastructure.

Originally posted at GreenBuild 2017 on October 13, 2017

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Many Facets of Water Resilience

With the extreme weather events of the past month—hurricanes, floods, drought and wildfires—it may indeed be time to more urgently think about water resilience and water risk mitigation. How are you and your community incorporating water resilience and water sustainability in planning and design? When water quality hangs in the balance, and we have too much or too little water, what is the downstream effect?

“The second WaterBuild summit at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo will focus on resilience to climate and storm related community stresses, with specific emphasis placed on the role of innovative infrastructure solutions. We are faced with the growing threat of frequent extreme weather events as our bridges, tunnels, levees, dams, buildings, and streets continue to age. At WaterBuild, leaders come together to drive discussion around innovative solutions that will ensure the survivability and sustainability of our cities and communities.” ~ WaterBuild 2017

Join us at Greenbuild Boston, from November 8 – 10, 2017, as we dive deep into water resilience at the WaterBuild Summit: Rising Above: Using Innovative Solutions To Build Resilience on November 7. Industry experts are convening for a full day of programs and discussion that you won’t want to miss.

Here are just a few considerations at the nexus of water and resilience that we’ll be exploring at WaterBuild 2017:

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Water resilience and technology

We know that our communications and energy infrastructure can be crippled by a severe storm, but how can technology help us predict and model our design shortcomings? Technology can help us track performance of our infrastructure, including rainwater quantity and quality, potable water quality, wastewater processing and water access.

We can use an emerging set of tools to adapt to the “new normal” of our severe weather cycles. At this year’s WaterBuild Summit, we will be talking about and applying some of the emerging technologies, as well as revisiting some of the existing technologies that might help us plan better and adapt better in the long term.

Water resilience and equity

Many residents displaced by flood events do not have the available resources to rebuild new homes, restore their old homes or return to live in recovering communities. When the water rises or spoils, it does so indiscriminately. Its impacts are rarely felt equally.

How we plan for those often predictable impacts, and how we provide support services doesn’t have to be indiscriminate; it can be done with intention. This year’s WaterBuild program will build on the 2016 summit and deepen discussion on this important topic, giving consideration to how water can negatively impact a community and how to design with greater equity in mind.

Water resilience and grey/green infrastructure

We have developed amazing feats of engineering to manage and mitigate risks to water quantity and quality. When deployed effectively, these can complement nature’s many tools in its toolbox.

Engaging communities and design teams in dialogue about how to apply both grey and green infrastructure to have the greatest impact on adaptation is essential to developing solutions that will last. There are many dimensions to infrastructure development. Considering the greatest multiple outcomes of a solution set will set the standard of gaining the greatest return on investment.

“The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to developing practical solutions to social equity challenges, including those that arise from issues related to bias in communities of diverse racial, economic and social composition. At the heart of the summit will be the belief that equitable access to quality water is paramount to resilience. In order to ensure the safety and security of diverse communities, we must address concerns around potable water availability and use, water capture and treatment, water reuse, wastewater management, and more.” ~ WaterBuild 2017

Summit Sessions

Numerous sessions will be held at WaterBuild including: The WaterBuild Opening Session; Design with Climate: A resilient neighborhood for Cambridge; Collaborative Research, Tool-Making, and the Water Challenge; Towards Net Zero Water in LEED: a Forum on Whole Project Water Use; WaterBuild Luncheon; Charrette: Resiliency, Equity, and Water Management at Chelsea Creek; Water-Energy-Food Nexus, Powered by Pecha Kucha; The New Paradigm for EcoDistrict On-Site Water Management; Rising to Meet the 21st Century Clean Water Challenge, Powered by Pecha Kucha; Innovative Water Management in Our Nation’s Capital; and the Combined Closing Plenary.

See the descriptions of all of the WaterBuild Summit Sessions here.

Come and Be a Part of WaterBuild 2017

Join us at WaterBuild to discuss all these important aspects of water resilience at Greenbuild 2017 in Boston.

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

~ Joanne Rodriguez

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Joanne Rodriguez has two decades of experience working within the building products and construction communities, with an emphasis on sustainable building impacts and high performance building envelope assemblies. In 2017 she fully launched GreenStructure–a multi-disciplinary environmental consulting firm founded in 2012, housing over 20 years of experience in the built environment. With expertise in strategic sustainability and resiliency planning, she has coupled her highly technical background with the emerging trends in ecosystems and risk mitigation to become a green infrastructure asset specialist. GreenStructure has experience in zero-landfill and waste diversion programming, energy efficiency audits, and sustainable roof and building envelope solutions.

At Tremco, she was responsible for the development of sales and marketing platforms focused on sustainability in the built environment. She was responsible for the implementation of programs like Roof Recycling and Zero Landfill. She has worked with architects and engineers across the country in the development of specifications and drawings that meet the highest technical standards. LEED AP through the USGBC, she is a former member of the Construction Specifications Institute Strategic Planning Task Team, past President of Chicago CSI, a frequent National speaker on topics related to sustainability impacts (water, energy, air) of building envelope technologies, as well as a speaker and participant for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meetings in Chicago and Denver focusing on Women in the Workforce and Sustainable Buildings. She has participated as an expert in the first two Resilient Cities Summits, hosted by the National League of Cities, Urban Land Institute and USGBC, intended to address urban issues related to health, wellness, and resilient design solutions. Rodriguez was the co-Chair of Tremco Group’s Green Chemistry team, which worked to examine the potential hazards and risk posed to employees, contractors and community through raw material and product usage.

She is on the EPA’s Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Pilot Panel for Paints/Coatings, helping to develop the technical framework of how the Federal Government will purchase materials now and in the future. She is currently a part of the USGBC WaterBuild Advisory Group for GreenBuild 2017 and was a speaker at the International Roofing Expo, as well as a Keynote Speaker for Greenroofs.com Virtual Roof and Wall Summit 2017. Joanne has participated as a moderator and in design Charrettes for Cities Alive. Her vast experience working across many stakeholders has proven to be beneficial in addressing complex issues related to material use, health related impacts, durability and life-cycle impacts.

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Publisher’s Note: Greenroofs.com is extremely proud to have Joanne Rodriguez as one of our Keynotes for this year’s 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, currently running on demand through December 31, 2017.  Read all about Joanne’s Keynote video, “Roofing BMP’s for Low-Impact Development Projects” where I had the pleasure of interacting with Joanne during her highly informative session.  If you’re not already registered, sign up with the Special Round#2 Discounted Rate of only $25.

Contact Joanne Rodriguez at: 630-235-1526 or greenstructureus@gmail.com.

Video & Project of the Week for July 6, 2015: Fenway Farms

July 9, 2015 at 1:14 pm

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 7/06/15


Fenway Farms
Boston, MA, USA
7,000 sf. Greenroof


Project Description & Details

Seeded atop the roof of the Red Sox front office and the Gate A entrance of Boston’s beloved Fenway Park, Fenway Farms is the new 7,000 square foot rooftop garden designed to provide 4,000 pounds of organic produce to ballpark attendees each year. Since its completion for Opening Day on April 13, 2015, Fenway Farms has invigorated what was once an oddly shaped, unused roof into a thriving rooftop farm. The transformation was initially conceived by Linda Pizzuti, wife of Boston Red Sox owner John Henry, as part of an ongoing campaign by the Red Sox to exemplify and promote healthy and responsible ways of living. As such, the project was engineered with sustainability in mind on all levels, is highly visible to ballpark attendees, and has been included as a stop on the official Fenway Park tour.

Covered with a waterproofing membrane from Carlisle, Recover Green Roofs designed and built Fenway Farms using its Recover Aerated Media Module system, which features a series of 5-gallon non-woven fabric-lined crates made of 50% recycled plastic content. Located long the 3rd base side of Fenway Park, the site is equipped with an automated Weathermatic Smartlink drip irrigation system to conserve water while supporting the farm’s rotating array of vegetables and herbs. Crops are sown in locally sourced Vermont Compost Company soil, and Fenway EMC Chefs are incorporated into the process of selecting which plants will be grown each season. They then utilize the weekly harvests in salads and fresh side dishes prepared in the EMC Club kitchen, incorporating a range of arugula, snap peas, and rosemary in the spring season to eggplant and potatoes come the summer months. Fenway officials hope to teach fans and younger folks about the importance of sustainability and healthy living, and Fenway Farms is a tool for that education.

Find more photos and additional information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.


Year: 2015
Owner: Boston Red Sox
Location: Boston, MA, USA
Building Type: Commercial
Type: Intensive
System: Custom
Size: 7,000 sq.ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, By Appointment

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Membrane Manufacturer & Supplier: Carlisle
Membrane Installation: Chaffee Roofing
Filter Fabric Supplier: Root Down Hydroponics
Soil Media Supplier: Vermont Compost Company
Plant Supplier: Natick Community Farm and seeds by Green City Growers (gcg)
Green Roof Design & Installation: Recover Green Roofs
Irrigation Design & Installation: Recover Green Roofs
Irrigation Control System: Weathermatic Smartlink
Irrigation Supply/Consultant: Northeast Nursery
Farming Company: Green City Growers
Modular Greenroof System: Recover Aerated Media Module (RAMM), Recover Green Roofs


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Fenway Farms Project of the Week Video below or see it on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the profile.

Would you like one of your projects to be featured? We have to have a profile first! Submit Your Project Profile.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.

Video & Project of the Week for December 8, 2014: Simmons College School of Management

December 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 12/08/14


Simmons College School of Management
Boston, MA, USA
2,000 sf. Greenroof


Project Description & Details

Located in the heart of Boston, Simmons College is a nationally recognized private university. Offering undergraduate education for women and renowned coeducational graduate programs, it also has the nation’s first MBA program designed specifically for women. Designed by CannonDesign architects, the $63 million Simmons College School of Management and Academic Building was formerly a parking lot. The LEED Gold certified structure encloses the newly formed Simmons Quadrangle creating a new center for campus life and concealing a five-level 700-car subterranean parking garage below.

The building includes four state-of-the-art general-use classrooms, four School of Management-specific classrooms, an executive education conference room, and a green roof patio. Installed by Apex Green Roofs, the Roofmeadow Type II design has primarily drought tolerant sedum species with mounds of flowering perennials and grasses at deeper depths, which range from 4″-8″. Overlooking the quad, the semi-intensive greenroof is available to faculty and students to enjoy.

A powerful reflection of Simmons’ commitment to environmental sustainability and of their responsible stewardship of economic resources, the project has been included in Simmons College’s curricula in environmental science and ethics/philosophy, further enhancing their sustainable mindset.

Find more photos and additional information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

Year: 2008
Owner: Simmons College
Location: Boston, MA, USA
Building Type: Educational
Type: Semi-Intensive
System: Single Source Provider
2,000 sq.ft.
Slope: 2%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public


Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect: CannonDesign
Apex Green Roofs
General Contractor:
Lee Kennedy Co.
Greenroof System:
Roofmeadow Type II


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Simmons College School of Management and Academic Building – Project of the Week Video below or see it on our greenroofs.TV on YouTube:

Did we miss your contribution? Please let us know to add you to the profile.

Would you like one of your projects to be featured? We have to have a profile first! Submit Your Project Profile.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.

Boston GreenFest 2011 is Open!

August 18, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Boston GreenFest 2011 just opened at Boston City Hall at 5:00 pm!

Organized by Dr. Karen Weber and The Foundation for a Green Future, Inc., it’s the region’s largest environmental and multicultural festival.   Boston GreenFest celebrates the many ways we can create a better world by greening our lives and our communities.

Boston GreenFest 2011 HOURS:

Thursday, August 18: 5 pm – 9:30 pm:  Performers & Food –  Bill McKibben will be your EcoMC!
Friday, August 19: noon – 9:30 pm:  Exhibitors/Food/Vendors/Performers
Saturday, August 20: 11 am – 8 pm:  Exhibitors/Food/Vendors/Performers

The EcoParty continues every night at the  Hard Rock Café presented by Afrodesiacity!

The website says to stop by the EcoKids area for Radio Disney, TryOutToys and FIRST Lego Robots and that MassBike will run a Valet Bike Parking Service all day Friday & Saturday at the City Hall steps.


– Native American Drum Ceremony
– Green Fireworks and Light Show
– Transportation Tomorrow Today!
– Over 200 Exhibitors
– 200 Live Performances
– GreenSouleStage
– Great Escape with Alexanderia!
– EcoSalsa Fashion Show
– Jambalaya and Samba Dancers
– YMAA Kung Fu Demonstration
– NESA Gymnastic Presentation
– Tap Off with Boston Tap Company
– Green Entrepreneur Small Biz Forum
– EcoCafé, EcoGallery, EcoBazaar
– GreenFilmFest
– EcoFashion Pop-Up Shop
– One Gallon ChallengeTM
– EcoTimeTrail
– BPS EcoPhoto Contest
– EcoPoetry with Seitu
– Boston GreenFest Quilt
– Fun for Kids!

The Foundation for a Green Future, Inc. is dedicated to ensuring a green future for our planet and is proud to host this event.  We must teach, support and model sustainable ways to live for ourselves and our children. Green roofs are an important part of the solution.  This festival will go beyond our roofs.  It will get to the core of  GREEN SOLUTIONS for our  entire Boston Community.”

These are the EcoThemes for 2011:

Ң Green Roofs, Green CitiesӢ EcoDesign and Green BuildingsӢ Sustainable Business & InvestingӢ College ImpactӢ CommunicationsӢ Our Food & FarmsӢ WaterӢ EnergyӢ GreenTech,CleanTechӢ Our CommunityӢ Green HomesӢ Green LifestylesӢ TransportationӢ Walk & BikeӢ Health & WellnessӢ Healthy Minds & SpiritӢ Fitness & RecreationӢ EcoFashion & ShowsӢ International PerspectivesӢ Green PerspectivesӢ EcoKids

Speaking of “EcoThemes,” don’t miss one of our contributing editors, George Irwin – The Green Wall Editor –  of Green Living Technologies International (GLTi), who will be speaking about greenroofs and walls.  His lecture is part of an interactive hands on demonstration of an authentic  800 sf  greenroof installed on the Boston City Hall plaza as part of the weekend display.

The set up is part of an AIA lecture series by GLTi and they are offering AIA credit hours at no cost to attendees.  Visit the GLTi booth to learn all about vegetative roofs and living walls, and to pick up a free copy of Greenroofs.com‘s Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 2011 Calendar (limited number)!

If you live in the Boston area, you’ll find lots of music, fun, and learning activities here for the whole family, and get to participate in a really clean and green  environment.  Visit  Boston GreenFest 2011 for more info.

~ Linda V.