Now Playing at the Virtual Summit 2015: “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

May 1, 2015 at 5:12 pm

In celebration of honoring Earth Day 2015 and our planet’s ecology through healthy, regenerative design, we are highlighting each of the 23 awesome videos from our 30+ spectacular speakers from‘s Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design, running through May 31st.


Our hope is that by familiarizing you more with each presentation and its particular benefits, you will be enticed to join us during our wonderfully easy-to-navigate online Virtual Summit!  And, along with the speakers’ input, I will identify 5 Key Learning Objectives or “takeaway” bullet points that each video presentation provides to participants.

VS2015-CameronLeeLiuWarkToday we are spotlighting the panel presentation “From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” with Dr. Bob Cameron of Penn State University in University Park, PA, Dr. Allen Lee of Cadmus in Portland, OR, Dr. Karen Liu of Xeroflor Canada in Toronto, Canada, and Chris Wark of BuroHappold Engineering in New York City.

VS2015-How VegetativeEnvelopeComponentsImpactBuildings4

Amy Chomowicz, the Program Administrator for the Sustainable Stormwater Management Division and the Ecoroof Program with the City of Portland Environmental Services, came up with this idea for the panel several months ago, 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, whom we didn’t know prior, but he was great – thank you, Amy and Allen!

VS2015-How VegetativeEnvelopeComponentsImpactBuildings3

We missed Amy but the panel did an awesome job!  By the way, you can hear from Amy and her colleagues from BES 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.”

VS2015-How VegetativeEnvelopeComponentsImpactBuildings2

We have been familiar with Dr. Karen Liu’s research work for years now, and see her often at conferences around the world (look for an upcoming Guest Feature article coming from her soon!)  And we’ve known the wonderful Bob Cameron for a good many years now from his work at Penn State, and we were fortunate to spend a good deal of time with him on our 6-day tour of China in 2012 after we both spoke at the awesome Hangzhou World Green Roof Conference 2012.  Look for his accompanying research article “An Integrated Biofilter System to Contribute to Net Zero Architecture while Providing Decentralized Wastewater Treatment” soon on

Also, don’t miss Bob’s second presentation here at the Virtual Summit 2015 titled “Versatile Living Walls & Roofs: International Applications for Agriculture, Energy Conservation, Pollution Attenuation, and Aesthetics.” And, he also participated at our Virtual Summit 2013 on the Panel Session “Theory & Field Studies: An Interview with Dr. Ian Balcom from Lyndon State College of Vermont & Dr. Robert Cameron from Penn State – Phytoremediation Chapter Two” with Patrick Carey.


Chris Wark has been a contributing editor, aptly enough the Energy Editor, with since 2011, and he and his wife Wendy, have been good friends of ours since 2004.  In 2011 he completed a 32-page, 7-part Green Roof Energy Series (PDF, 2011) which is a great backgrounder for this discussion!  Chris also participated in our inaugural Virtual Summit 2011 – watch his video “E = MC2 of Green Roofs” on our YouTube channel.

University Park, PA, USA. “Robert “Bob” D. Cameron, PhD 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 (PSU) 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.” Read his complete bio here from the VS2015.

Portland, OR, USA. Amy Chomowicz (Organizer) is “the Program Administrator for the Sustainable Stormwater Management Division and the Ecoroof Program, City of Portland Environmental Services. She  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. ~ Read her complete bio here from the VS2015.

Portland, OR, USA. “Allen Lee, PhD, LEED AP (Moderator), 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.” Read his complete bio here from the VS2015

Toronto, Canada. “Karen Liu, PhD 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. ~ Read her complete bio here from the VS2015.

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 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. ~ Read his complete bio here from the VS2015.


You will benefit from these 5 Key Learning Objectives as Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark share on the subject:

1) Focus on key impacts and economics of greenroof and greenwall vegetative envelope components including energy and stormwater.  Identify what they are, how you can predict outcomes, what prediction tools are out there; a look at using greenroof and greenwall crops with biofilters in PA, others greenroof gardens in NYC, Portland, and China where rooftop farming is becoming very popular;

2) How does nature work, from an energy standpoint, using biology in regards to greenroofs and walls?  Integrating green building components relative to factors of energy – what kind of media, locations, building geometry, orientation, should people be looking at, i.e. optimizing greenroof to greenwall ratio. What ideas does everyone have for incorporating living green components into buildings?  The growth of pvs and greenroofs are discussed; 

3) Bob: His multi-year study at the PSU Green Roof Center concentrated on biowalls and greenroofs as a water resource and how these systems could be used to not only clean but also reduce the energy need and concurrently grow crops.  Get detailed results on how he achieved EPA’s cleanliness standards in less than 24 hours and at the same time reduced both the exterior and interior temperatures of the buildings; 

4) Karen: Started in 2000 with the National Resource Council in Ottawa performing multiple tests on various sites in Toronto and Vancouver, BC concentrating on temperature variances between winter and summer on greenroofs and growing media depth differences on water retention and energy savings;

5) Chris: Discussion on performance building concepts of the 90’s PassiveHaus movement originating in Dusseldorf, Germany and Net Zero Buildings, how to minimize the amount of energy generated within a small building through correct design and material components and evaluation of lifestyle issues and aesthetics.  Green building industry has grown so much in the last 20 years and PassivHaus has matured along the way – can we be doing more? Greenroofs are a promising part of it.

Watch the 1:05:05 video presentation “From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings” Panel now playing at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015.  If you have not yet registered (only $49 or 25), please do:

Registration fee:

$49 – special discounted pricing;

$25 for students/faculty and government professionals

All Video Presentations, Q & A Transcripts, & Exhibitor Booths are On Demand +
Networking Live 24/7 through May 31, 2015

Earn CEUs including 10 GRP CEUs.  Register here.



Registration Open through May 31st for the Virtual Summit 2015

We hope you will support our work!  Please remember that these video presentations will not be made public for at least one year.

Happy watching and participating,

~ Linda V.

Learn more about these awesome video presentations and their 5 Key Learning Objectives at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015:

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

“Biodiversity in the Sky – How Green Roofs Can Be Designed as Wild Life Refuges” by Dr. Stephan Brenneisen.

Green Roofs to New Cities” by Dr. Diana Balmori.

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

“Beyond Extensive and Intensive: Defining the Comprehensive Green Roof” by Molly Meyer.

“Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge.

Last 2015 Grey to Green Conference Early Bird Discount Ends Friday on May 1!

April 29, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Join our colleagues at Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) in Toronto on June 1st – 2nd, 2015 to delve into the latest ideas and innovations in urban agriculture at their 2015 Grey to Green: A Conference Exploring the Economics of Local and Regional Food Systems and Resilience.


As a Media Partner of the 2015 Grey to Green Conference, is pleased to share more info with you from GRHC.  For those of us living in the U.S., as an attendee you will receive a 20% or more discount because of the current exchange rates.

But most importantly for now is for you to take advantage of the Early Bird Discount which ends this Friday, May 1st:

2015G2G-Discount2Register for Grey to Green by End of Day May 1st and Save

“Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is hosting its annual regional conference Grey to Green 2015 with a focus on local and regional food systems and resilience. We will be exploring new developments in Urban Agriculture and Green Infrastructure that are taking place across North America and around the world.

What now seems a novelty, may soon become a necessity. Urban and regional food systems are the focus of GRHC’s Grey to Green Conference, taking place June 1st and 2nd in Toronto. With severe droughts in California, and over $2.5 billion in food imports alone into Ontario from that region, there are huge opportunities to grow more food in cities, on buildings and in our region.

Now is the time to get involved and learn about the convergence of agriculture and architecture, how to animate communities into greater self-sufficiency and ensure that regional agriculture lands can continue to feed cities.

Grey to Green 2015 promises to be two days packed with information, ideas, best practices, tools and results that you can easily adapt for your projects.

Space is limited, so register before May 1st to reserve your spot and enjoy a $50 early-bird discount. US attendees can take advantage of the current exchange rate to receive an additional 20% off.” ~ Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

2015G2G-KeynotesBe INSPIRED by keynote speakers Roger Schickedantz of William McDonough + Partners and Jeff Warschauer of Nexus Greenhouse Corp sharing their ground-breaking AGRITECTURE (the new frontier that integrates agriculture and architecture) projects, and by Eric Corey Freed of International Living Futures Institute explaining how to leverage the challenges of resiliency and expand your business.

EXPLORE the challenges and achievements of rooftop farming with detailed case studies from FoodShare, Ryerson University, AccessPoint Danforth, Brooklyn Grange, and Whole Foods.

PARTICIPATE in panel discussions with Kathy MacPherson of Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, Lauren Baker of City of Toronto and Debbie Field of FoodShare about urban food systems and regional agricultural policies.

GET DIRTY in hands-on workshops about urban rooftop farming, soil and green walls, facilitated by Ben Flanner of Brooklyn Grange, Susan Antler of Compost Canada, and Melissa Daniels of Plant Connection.

REGISTER NOW to enjoy the last Early Bird rate.

See the full list of speakers at


Join your colleagues in Toronto this June to explore the economics of urban agriculture and resilience – and don’t miss out on the last Early Bird Discount on May 1!

~ Linda V.

Program Launch for 2015 Grey to Green Conference and Early Bird Discount by March 31

March 13, 2015 at 3:35 pm

Earlier this month, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities launched their program for the 2015 Grey to Green: A Conference Exploring the Economics of Local and Regional Food Systems and Resilience.


Held on June 1-2, 2015 in Toronto, Grey to Green features the cutting edge of design and policy practice, and will showcase more than 50 leading thinkers and doers across a diverse range of fields which reveal many dimensions of architecture, agriculture and our food system.  The multi-disciplinary program is packed with fantastic project case studies, useful designs, business models and analytic tools.

“Building our capacity to grow food in cities and the surrounding region, on vacant lands and upon the roofs and walls of buildings is critical to securing our resilience in the decades to come. Learn from the pioneers, the movers and shakers at Grey to Green.” ~ Steven Peck, Founder/President, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities


Register by March 31st and SAVE $100 (government and for-profit registrants).

The conference is $199 CDN.  Due to the favorable exchange rate (20 – 25% savings), this translates into about $150 US – if you register by March 31st.

William McDonough + Partners has championed food production as a component in a sustainable vision for the planet.  Keynote speaker Roger Schickedantz, Director and Architect at William McDonough + Partners will profile a variety of paradigmatic projects that include rooftop food production at varying scales, ranging from experimental hydroponic greenhouses to a commercially viable 80,000 sq. ft. production facility.

Eric Corey Freed, Vice President, International Living Future Institute will deliver a keynote address in which you will discover how the threat of climate change is already affecting your business. You’ll uncover how to take more of a leadership position by using natural principles to make your facility more resilient and sustainable.

Trade Show & Tours
The trade show brings together exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in products, services and designs.  Tours: Gain exclusive access and information to local projects such as the new Corktown Common, Sugar Beach, Sherbourne Common, Eastdale Collegiate Institute Rooftop Farm, Access Point on Danforth and Ryerson University’s Rooftop and Community Garden projects.  These projects are pushing the boundaries of integrating green infrastructure and design for multiple benefits.

Professional training courses offered as part of the Grey to Green Conference include: Introduction to Rooftop Urban Agriculture; Green Walls 101: Systems Overview and Design; Green Infrastructure: Policies, Performance and Projects; Integrated Water Management for Buildings and Sites; Integrated Water Management for Buildings and Sites III: Water Storage and Cisterns; and a new soil workshop developed by Compost Canada.

This year at Grey to Green learn from speakers such as: Ben Flanner, Head Farmer and President, Brooklyn Grange; Shelley Petrie, Director, Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation; Liat Margolis, Director, GRITLab; Debbie Field, Executive Director, FoodShare Toronto; Lauren Baker, Food Policy Specialist, City of Toronto/ Public Health; Lauren Mandel, Project Manager, Roofmeadow LLC and Owner, EAT UP LLC and more!


See the full list of speakers at is once again proud to be a Media Partner for Grey to Green!

Media Contact: Steven Peck at and 416-971-4494 x. 233.

Sounds like a great deal for a great line-up!

~ Linda V.

Video & Project of the Week for March 2, 2015: Stinson Transport Centre, STM – Société de transport de Montréal (Montreal Transit Corporation)

March 3, 2015 at 10:00 am Project of the Week: 3/02/15


Stinson Transport Centre, STM –
Société de transport de Montréal (Montreal Transit Corporation)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
80,200 sf. Greenroof


Project Description & Details

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM), the Montreal Transit Corporation, is a public transport agency that operates transit bus and rapid transit services in Quebec, Canada. Due to the increased demand for public transit, the STM needed a new transport centre to accommodate its growing fleet. In order to minimize its impact on neighboring residents, the 350,000 sf centre’s site was situated in a declining industrial sector. The main objective of the project was to minimize the ecological footprint of the site by integrating most of the circulation for bus parking inside the building.

Lemay Associés Architecture Firm designed the 165 million dollar building according to the principles of sustainable development. This giant two-story building has the capacity for up to 300 buses, including 100 articulated (double) buses. Stinson is expected to be the first LEED Gold certified transport centre in Canada. The design intent was to achieve a seamless weaving of the project into the surrounding urban fabric. The “weaving” meshed together the structural grid of the building and the landscape into a new multifunctional feature, clearly identifiable on the massive roof using a Vegetal I.D. greenroof system. Over 80,000 square feet of their Standard Mix of HYDROPACK made the STM building the largest greenroof in Quebec as well as the signature of the project.

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

New! The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is featured in’s brand new 2015 Wallpaper Projects Gallery – download yours for free.

Year: 2013
Owner: STM
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Building Type: Municipal/Government
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
80,200 sq.ft.
Slope: 2%
Access: Inaccessible, Private


Designers/Manufacturers of Record:

Architect: Lemay Associés Architecture
Greenroof System: HYDROPACK, Vegetal i.D.
Greenroof Installation: Le Toits Vertige
General Contractor: LA Hébert
Landscape Architect: Version Paysage
Civil Engineer: Pasquin St-Jean et associés
Electrical Engineer: Bouthillette Parizeau et associés
Transportation Consultant: Roche Ltd


Project of the Week Video Feature

Watch the Stinson Transport Centre, STM – Société de transport de Montréal (Montreal Transit Corporation) 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.