Watch the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 Video: “From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” Panel with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark

June 2, 2016 at 8:01 am

Are you are interested in the key impacts of green roofs and walls—what they are, how impacts can be predicted, what factors affect performance, and how performance compares to predictions? Then you cannot miss the “From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” Panel Session with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark video from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design above or on our VS2015 Virtual Summit 2015 playlist on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

It’s been almost a year since we concluded our third Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit, and as promised, we are now releasing the 23 videos from our 30+ international speakers to the general public.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video From Passive House to Cold North


The panel discussion will lead to some conclusions about how vegetative envelope components could influence the wider development of residential and commercial buildings based on the Passive House and Zero Net Energy concepts.  Four experts will share their knowledge of these topics through brief presentations followed by a lively discussion.

Moderator Allen Lee leads a wide range of studies related to energy efficiency and technologies.  Bob Cameron brings to the panel information from a study comparing replicate buildings that allowed measurement of the effects of different green building components on energy use, comfort, wastewater treatment, and food growing.  Karen Liu shares her extensive knowledge of the impacts of green roofs and how they depend on climate differences, seasonal variations, and other factors.  Chris Wark draws upon his broad experience in the analysis of green roofs, development of green roof systems, and systems thinking related to Passive House design.

Robert “Bob” D. Cameron, PhD

Virtual Summit 2015 Video From Passive House to Cold North

University Park, PA, USA. Bob spent more than two decades directing the global environmental programs of a Fortune 30 multi-national conglomerate. In the late ‘70s in collaboration with NASA, he designed, permitted, and constructed the first constructed wetlands to treat wastewater from the natural gas industry. Working on every continent except Antarctica, Bob designed award winning environmental programs based on sustainability concepts. Later as President of his own corporation, he de-engineered historic buildings destined for the wrecking ball, which he then relocated and reconstructed with green architectural features.

Pursuing a life-long goal, he recently earned his doctorate from Penn State University at the Center for Green Roof Research. His thesis entailed the invention and construction of a functional architectural system to attenuate wastewater pollutants while reducing a building’s energy use and providing a platform for urban agriculture. Currently, Bob has an appointment with the Department of Landscape Architecture at Penn State University and teaches collegiate courses and conducts research on greenroofs, livings walls, constructed wetlands, aquaponics, and artificial islands while also managing Eco Applied Technologies, a consulting firm for commercial, residential, and industrial applications. He has lectured on sustainable technologies around the world and in 2013 he literally circumnavigated the globe while working on environmental issues in numerous countries, including teaching environmental engineering for several months at a Chinese university which culminated in the design and construction of a living wall with the students. See the 2:45 video of his early work at Penn State “Robert Cameron investigates biofilters to clean dirty water.”

Publisher’s Note:  Read his March 2015 Guest Feature “An Integrated Biofilter System to Contribute to Net Zero Architecture While Providing Decentralized Wastewater Treatment” here on

Amy Chomowicz (Organizer)

Portland, OR, USA. Amy Chomowicz is the Program Administrator for the Sustainable Stormwater Management Division and the Ecoroof Program, City of Portland Environmental Services. Amy has worked in the water quality and watershed restoration fields for 23 years and worked on her first ecoroof project in 1997. Prior to that, Amy worked in energy conservation and renewable energy.

Accepted by Amy Chomowicz, the City of Portland received a 2013 Green Roof Leadership Award for Municipalities from the International Green Roof Association (IGRA) at the 2013 International Green Roof Congress.

Publisher’s Note:  Amy came up with this idea for the panel and had intended to spotlight greenroofs and walls and their energy implications.  Once she realized that prior work commitments wouldn’t allow her to participate, she continued to help organize it and invited Allen Lee, PhD to moderate instead. By the way, you can hear from Amy and her colleagues from Bureau of Environmental Services at The City of Portland, Oregon in their presentation from our inaugural Virtual Summit 2011 in “The Portland Ecoroof Program” A Cross-section of the Green Roof Movement in Portland, Oregon, USA.”

Allen Lee, PhD, LEED AP (Moderator)

Virtual Summit 2015 Video From Passive House to Cold North

The roof of a family housing project in Portland, OR.

Portland, OR, USA. Allen Lee, Ph.D., is an executive director in the Energy Services Division in Cadmus’ Portland, Oregon office. He has more than 25 years’ experience in energy and environmental research and leads a wide range of studies related to energy efficiency and technologies. His management and technical expertise includes demand side management, energy services, codes and standards, green buildings, externalities analysis, and renewables. He has managed more than 60 energy program evaluations and a comparable number of other projects.

He has conducted research on the energy and environmental impacts of green roofs for more than 15 years. He co-developed the original green roof energy analysis module for DOE’s EnergyPlus building simulation model. Dr. Lee has a PhD in policy analysis from the RAND Graduate School, a master of science in aerospace engineering from the University of Southern California and a bachelor of science in engineering from Caltech.

Allen publishes widely on energy issues and has presented papers and made presentations at numerous conferences. He is a co-author of “Residential Efficiency Crossroads: Opportunities for the Future.” Besides being a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional, he is a member of the Association of Professional Energy Managers and the Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP).

Karen Liu, PhD

Virtual Summit 2015 Video From Passive House to Cold North

Toronto, Canada. Dr. Karen Liu is a Product Manager for Bonar Xeroflor GmbH. Karen has been conducting green roof research since 2000 when she was a research officer at the National Research Council in Ottawa. She has also led the green roof research team at British Columbia Institute of Technology in Vancouver, BC.

Karen established the first North American field facility dedicated to green roof research and conducted several field studies across Canada to study the climate sensitivity of the technology. She now focuses her work on research and product development at Xeroflor. Karen received her PhD from the University of Toronto, Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry.

Publisher’s Note:  Read her November 2015 Guest Feature “Designing Green Roofs for Stormwater Management Technological Advances Offer Low-Weight Options.”

Christopher G. Wark

Virtual Summit 2015 Video From Passive House to Cold North

Thermogram of a Passivhaus building, with traditional building in background.

New York, NY, USA. Christopher Wark has 26 years of multidisciplinary engineering experience providing technical and analytical support for manufacturers, universities and national labs. For the past 12 years, he has focused his efforts on technical solutions in building design and is currently an Associate with BuroHappold Engineering, managing the Analytics group in their New York office.

In 2002, Chris established SHADE Consulting/Green Roof Innovations with his wife Wendy. With SHADE, Chris developed and marketed several innovative modular eco-roof systems, a roof system heat transfer and cost computer program, and conducted green roof system heat transfer analyses for 5 major cities and organizations. In 2010, he developed a modular planting system in partnership with Guiyang Chuangjia High-Tech Accelerator Co. LTD in Guiyang, China.

Chris has also been involved in other thermodynamic related work at Caterpillar Inc., Lawrence Livermore National Lab and two private research laser development companies. He has presented at numerous conferences, has several articles published on a wide variety of engineering topics, and has had the privilege of working directly with several universities, including Stanford’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) program.

Chris holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Washington State University where his graduate work focused on thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and combustion. He has also been a contributing editor, the Energy Editor, with since 2011. Download Chris Wark’s complete 32-page Green Roof Energy Series (PDF, 2011). ~ VS2015

Read about the “From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” Panel Session with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark video’s 5 Key Learning Objectives which I identified for participants of the Virtual Summit 2015.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video From Passive House to Cold North

We welcome your input and suggestions to make our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2017 more accessible, interactive, and a just better all around global social media experience!

~ Happy watching,

Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP Publisher

~ Also enjoy these released videos available now from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design:

A Higher Purpose – Benefits to Human Health and Education through Green Roofing by Elizabeth Hart.

“A Green Building Should Look Green, Which Means Hairy! Dr. Ken Yeang Keynote Interview by Linda Velazquez.”

The 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2015″ by Linda Velazquez and Haven Kiers.’s VS2015 Opening Address from Linda Velazquez.”


The Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 Speakers.

Invitation to the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015.

VIRTUAL SUMMIT 2015 teaser from Groncol.

Small Scale Green Roofs at the Virtual Summit by Dusty Gedge and John Little.

Don’t Miss the Last Early Bird Rate for Grey to Green on May 5!

May 3, 2016 at 9:00 am

Grey to Green 2016

We are just under a month away from the 4th Annual Grey to Green Conference on Green Infrastructure and Climate Change presented by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.  As a Media Partner once again, wants you to save some money and take advantage of their last Early Bird Registration!

Register by this Thursday, May 5th and save up to $50 off Delegate Pass ($325 CDN).

Grey to Green 2016

Join us and your colleagues at the 4th Annual Grey to Green Conference this summer in Toronto, the most populous city in Canada and the home to innovative green infrastructure policies, design, and technologies. Take advantage of the Canadian/American exchange rate where Americans can expect savings of up to 20%.

Held on June 1 – 4 at Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science, Grey to Green 2016 is about the value of green infrastructure (bioswales, green roofs and walls, urban forests, etc.) as an important tool in the fight to both mitigate against and adapt to climate change.

Here are FOUR reasons that you shouldn’t miss Grey to Green this year:

1. Tour Toronto’s Most Innovative Green Infrastructure Projects:

Grey to Green 2016

Ryerson University Rooftop Farm Tour

University of Toronto GRIT Lab Tour

Pan Am Village/ Canary District Tour

Learn about all of the tours here.

2. Enhance Your Knowledge with Professional Development Training Courses:

Attend the following training courses at Grey to Green to improve your professional practice and earn continuing education (professional development) hours:

  • Make it Work: How to Properly Construct LID Green Infrastructure
  • Introduction to Rooftop Urban Agriculture
  • Green Walls 101: Systems Overview and Design
  • Green Infrastructure: Policies, Performance, and Projects
  • Advanced Green Roof Maintenance

3. Networking Among Industry Professionals on the Lake:

Grey to Green 2016

Come and spend the night at Harbourfront Toronto! Tickets include beer sampling, light dinner, expert-led Green Infrastructure Tour of Music Garden & HTO Park and unique opportunities to network with green infrastructure industry professionals.

4. Attend Technical Sessions by Canadian Industry Professionals:

Grey to Green 2016

Toronto’s New Green Streets:
Building a Resilient City
Sheila Boudreau, City of Toronto

Financial Tools to Support Adaptation: Stormwater Charges and Fees
Victoria Kramkowski, City of Mississauga

Grey to Green 2016

Toronto’s Green Roof By Law and its Positive Impacts on Resiliency
Jane Welsh, City of Toronto

Coming Full Circle: The Future of Living Architecture Design
Craig Applegath, Dialog

Conference Delegate Pass includes all sessions & keynote speakers, trade show, hospitality (coffee breaks & lunch on trade show floor), and webcast proceedings.

Grey to Green 2016

Investment in living green infrastructure within our communities will help us mitigate and adapt to climate change and to stimulate much needed employment for a broad range of professionals, and Grey to Green 2016 highlights this goal.

Grey to Green 2016

For more information visit Grey to Green at

Hopefully we’ll see you there!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP Publisher

In Memoriam: Wolfgang Behrens, the Father of Green Roofs

February 29, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Guest Post by Joy Schmidt


Wolfgang Behrens on his “sedum sofa.” Photo by Joy Schmidt.

Wolfgang Behrens, the father of green roofs, you will be missed.

It is with great regret and deep sadness that I announce the passing of Wolfgang Behrens, father of green roofs.  Yesterday, my life-long mentor and very dear friend died in his home, surrounded by his three daughters and aware of their presence.

As much as this is a difficult time for family and friends, I also know it’s important to celebrate a life worth remembering.

The world has lost a pioneer today.

Wolfgang touched people’s hearts.  He was a man with a vision and unlimited fondness and curiosity for his life’s work.  His vision has inspired the planting of green roofs around the world.  And through every single one, he continues to live.

I could tell you stories about our time working closely together for so many years; breaking into a new field is not without its moments . Some funny.  Some exciting.  Some were even terrifying.

But what comes to mind right now, honestly, is my last visit with him in November.  It was in some ways reminiscent of the many years we sat in his kitchen together, laughing and planning away, with the lovely fields where he did his experimenting, visible from his picture window.

There was much sadness on that visit as his wife was very ill.  But there was also beauty and light.  We went for a walk together through his aqua park, a sea of water lilies, Wolfgang’s creation and pride and joy.  Mr. Behrens especially enjoyed his walks when the lilies were in bloom.  Well, it was November and they were just starting to go dormant.  That was, unfortunately, to be our last walk together.  As short as it was, it was a sweet moment that I will always remember.

As I prepare to return to Germany for the funeral, my mind is heavy with the loss of a generous and noteworthy man.  Wolfgang Behrens, your legacy will live on.  But you will be missed.

Kind regards,

~ Joy Schmidt


Joy is owner and President of Vitaroofs International, Inc., based in Mississauga, Ontario.  Prior to working and living in Canada, she played a key role as part of the green roof movement in Germany as Project Manager at Wolfgang Behrens System Development. 1,000 green roofs later, she was personally been involved in some of North America’s most celebrated projects including the Ford River Rouge Plant along with Wolfgang Behrens. Joy’s contributions have extended to accredited programming for architects, government task forces and research and development.  She’s also been published as a leading expert in The Rise of Living Architecture, and is a contributing editor here on  Joy writes the occasional column, “On the Road with the Green Roof Lady.”

Contact Joy Schmidt at T: +1 (905) 565-9669; F: +1 (416) 352-7678; or visit

Video & Project of the Week for January 4, 2016: Humber River Hospital

January 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm Project of the Week: 1/04/16


Humber River Hospital
Toronto, ON, Canada
141,998 sf. Greenroofs


Project Description & Details

North America’s first fully digital hospital, Humber River Hospital is a lean, green and digital showcase facility with some of the latest medical technology available today integrated throughout to support excellence in care. The facility serves a catchment area of more than 850,000 people in the northwest Greater Toronto Area and the new 1.7 million square foot facility, designed by HDR, Inc. opened in October 2015 and operates 656 beds in 2015/2016, with capacity to expand to 722 beds by 2025/2026. Committed to achieving LEED® Silver certification and tracking LEED Gold, one of the many impressive features in the new Humber River Hospital is the 13,192 square meters of green roofing, visible from a majority of the patient rooms and treatment areas of the hospital. In addition, the gigantic art installations on the north and south facades, titled “Aspen Grove,” are glass murals that recall a colorful woodland scene, representing the harmonization of the hospital with the local community.

Flynn Canada crews completed 140,000 square feet of LiveRoof green roofs spanning over 17 different levels, compiled of 4 inch LiveRoof tray systems. With planting designed by Terry McGlade of Flynn Canada and Kees Govers of LiveRoof Ontario, it was comprised of sedums and perennials, specifically shade-orientated perennials such as Hostas and Bergenia, and grasses and chives for sun areas intermixed with sedum varieties. Planting was designed as sustainable as possible to LEED Sites standards with no potable water to be used in future years. The project was delivered under Infrastructure Ontario’s Alternative Finance and Procurement program, where the public and private sectors join forces to provide needed infrastructure for communities. By providing natural beauty and function, the Humber River Hospital green roof contributes to the new healthcare facility’s overall focus on sustainability.

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


Year: 2015
Owner: Plenary Healthcare Partnerships
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Building Type: Healthcare
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 141,998 sq. ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Inaccessible, Private



Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect and Healthcare Consulting: HDR Inc.
General Contractor: PCL Construction
Roofing, Green Roofing and Sheet Metal Cap Flashing Installation: Flynn Canada Ltd
Modular Greenroof System: LiveRoof®
LiveRoof Grower/Supplier: Kees Govers, LiveRoof Ontario
Landscape Architect: Quinn Design Associates
Facilities Management: Johnson Controls
Managed Equipment Services (MES): GE Healthcare
Structural Engineering & Building Envelope Consulting Services: Halsall Associates


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Humber River Hospital 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.

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Love the Earth, Plant a Roof (or Wall)!

~ Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP