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.

Now Playing at the Virtual Summit 2015: “Versatile Living Walls & Roofs: International Applications for Agriculture, Energy Conservation, Pollution Attenuation, and Aesthetics” by Dr. Bob Cameron

May 22, 2015 at 3:55 pm

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

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Our hope has been that by familiarizing you more with each presentation and its particular benefits, you would be enticed to join us during our wonderfully easy-to-navigate online Virtual Summit!  And I have been identifying 5 Key Learning Objectives or “takeaway” bullet points that each video presentation provides to participants – and we have come to the end of our long list of speakers and their excellent video presentations.

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In our final 2015 presentation, today we are spotlighting the individual “Versatile Living Walls & Roofs: International Applications for Agriculture, Energy Conservation, Pollution Attenuation, and Aesthetics” by the awesome Dr. Bob Cameron from Penn State, who also contributed at the Virtual Summit 2015 in this year’s “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.

And, Bob 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.  As you know, we feel Bob is just a great all around guy and we always welcome his contributions!  In fact, make sure to read his May Guest Feature research article, “An Integrated Biofilter System to Contribute to Net Zero Architecture while Providing Decentralized Wastewater Treatment” on Greenroofs.com coming later.

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You’ll notice that all of his photos here demonstrate the many varied modes of transportation he used on his recent travels around the world including the Netherlands, Belgium, India, China, Mongolia, South Korea, Hawaii, then mainland USA – and he crisscrossed China by many, many ways.

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Regarding this video Bob says “Living walls and roofs can be designed to provide functional architecture. These functions can include the growth of food products, reducing pollutants in air and water, and minimizing building energy use.  Specific research and field applications of these functions from both the USA and China will be described.  Potential pitfalls are also discussed.”

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.

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You will benefit from these 5 Key Learning Objectives as Bob Cameron shares on the subject:

1) The journey should be just as interesting as the destination: His exciting but daunting teaching at Qingdao Agricultural University in China for a couple of months last year – learn all about this 4-month sojurn including visits to numerous greenroofs and greenwalls some of the issues relating to government ownership;

2) Four examples of what he observed: in India he focused on the “golden triangle” to Delhi and its living walls, an expansive agro production on a roof outside of Shanghai, living walls in Kunming, and living walls and greenroofs in Seoul; 

3) Discussions of the various issues regarding living walls and roofs as confronted in India, China, and South Korea – transitional climates, wrong plants, lack of knowledge of greenwall technology, water requirements – underscoring lack of maintenance.  For example, at an airport in India the client wanted a lifetime guarantee on their new greenwall but refused to pay for any annual maintenance;

4) Main problem throughout the world is available palette of plants for both interior and exterior living walls, although growing; traveling around Asia, he went to remote areas to look for the potential of plant species to be adapted and brought to the nursery industry including karst topography, limestone formations, Alpine areas, the Gobi Desert including a very biodiverse oasis, and the Holy Mountains;

5) Different drivers: Many case studies including a roof garden outside of Hangzhou from an owner who wanted uncontaminated veggies for his workers utilizing Feng Shui; The Bund in Shanghai with its stunning “flower wall” over 100 ft along constructed for beauty – part of the Chinese philosophy; Kunming in southwest China believe planners and designers’ projects should be “harmonious & liveable” with flower walls and wall planters on highways and parking garages allowing facades to be covered in green; the mega project at the Beijing International airport symbolizes a dragon.

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Watch the 34:56 “Versatile Living Walls & Roofs: International Applications for Agriculture, Energy Conservation, Pollution Attenuation, and Aesthetics” by Dr. Bob Cameron 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.

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VS2015-PeopleProjectsandDesign

Registration Open through May 31st for the Greenroofs.com 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.

“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.

“Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by Kerry Ross.

“Greening the World Inside and Outside” by Mark Paul.

“Greenwalls in Middle Earth” by Graham Cleary.

“Pollinators on the Parapets” by Angie Durhman.

“Small Scale Green Roofs” by Dusty Gedge and John Little.

“Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin.

“Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 2 with Patrick Carey and Darius Jones.

“Soil Ecological Processes on Green Roofs: Research and Observation Meet Theory and Intuition” Inspiration Nook Video by Christine Thuring.

“Stewardship of Rooftop Ecosystems” by Michael Furbish, Brad Garner, and Dr. Whitney Griffin.

“The Development of Revolutionary Large Scale Vegetated Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Foundation of a New Industry” by Pablo Atuesta.

“The Great Green Roof Review: Success & Succession” by Jenny Hill and Terry McGlade.

Only Two Weeks Left for the Greenroofs.com Virtual Summit 2015! See the “Greenroofs.com 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2015” by Haven Kiers & Linda Velazquez Now.

“Two Extremes in Waterwise Design from Denver, Colorado and Athens, Greece” by Andrew Clements and Karla Dakin.

“Urban and Social Needs of Green” Inspiration Nook Video by Marc Grañén.

“Using a Climate and Ecological Template Approach for Plant Selection for Extensive Green Roofs” by Ed Snodgrass.

Now Playing at the Virtual Summit 2015: “Using a Climate and Ecological Template Approach for Plant Selection for Extensive Green Roofs” by Ed Snodgrass

May 21, 2015 at 2:17 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 Greenroofs.com‘s Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design, running through May 31st.

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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.

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Today we are spotlighting the individual “Using a Climate and Ecological Template Approach for Plant Selection for Extensive Green Roofs” by the wonderful Ed Snodgrass, quintessential plantsman and co-owner of Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants, responsible for supplying 7,618,400 square feet of greenroof plants (and counting!).

Ed has collaborated on many excellent books, which you can all all find in our Bookstore by the way, and we’ve known him from way back – since 2002.  He was one of our keynote speakers from our inaugural Virtual Summit 2011, and you can see his video “Right Plant, Right Place” Opening Keynote Address by Ed Snodgrass on our YouTube channel here.

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Ed has also been a contributing editor on Greenroofs.com since 2004 as the Plant Editor where he answers reader questions, writes very occasional articles, and features seasonal greenroof plants in “Ask Ed.”  But with all of his traveling lately, we certainly can’t criticize him too much – plus we love him dearly anyways.

You can read my 2009 “From Llamas to Greenroofs: An Interview with Ed Snodgrass” to get a glance into his life.  He’s so amiable and knowledgeable it seems like most everyone in our industry knows him!

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Ed says “This talk will focus on plant selection using climate types for selection, understanding the difference between a continental and maritime climate, for example, and what that means for plant survival and maintenance.  This talk will also look at plant selection and the promise of the delivery of ecosystem services such as habitat creation or biodiversity.”

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Street, MD, USA. “Edmund C. Snodgrass is president and founder of Emory Knoll Farms, Inc. and Green Roof Plants, North America’s first nursery specializing in green roof plants and horticultural consulting. Edmund has consulted on projects throughout the US and also in England, France, New Zealand, China, Australia and Morocco. Since its inception, Emory Knoll Farms has supplied plants for over 1000 green roof projects.

Edmund is the co-author of Green Roof Plants, A Planting and Resource Guide, (Timber Press, 2006), The Green Roof Manual: A Professional Guide to Design, Installation, and Maintenance (Timber Press 2010), Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living (Timber Press 2011), and The New American Landscape: Leading Voices on the Future of Sustainable Gardening (Timber Press 2011).” ~ Read his complete bio here from the VS2015.

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You will benefit from these 5 Key Learning Objectives as Ed Snodgrass shares on the subject:

1) Plant selection relative to the function of the plants and the geography of the roof location.  What do we want from them, what are we asking these plants to do, and what are we asking them not to do on the harsh locations of rooftops;

2) Use not only the USDA Plant Heat Zone and Hardiness Maps but also the World Maps of Köppen-Geiger Climate Classification as they give much more data regarding rainfall and the Grimes Triangle showing the 3 ecological strategies of plants by type: Ruderals, or pioneers, which are disturbance-tolerators; Competitors, which are long term winners; and the Stress-tolerators which can live where nothing else can; 

3) Habitat examples with these attributes to visit: the alvar plains in upstate New York, Huntington Botanical Gardens in CA, pioneer thermophyllic herbaceous communities on rock outcroppings in central Europe, Lava Beds National Park in CA;

4) Plants develop different strategies depending on where they live, e.g. removal of chlorophyll, live during the good times only, size; see what’s growing on naturally occurring roofs in urban areas – examples from Morocco and China; developing cultivars for greenroofs selected especially for a particular stress;

5) How do we want plants to perform?  For example as larval sources, urban beekeeping, stormwater management, highly evapotranspirative, amelioration of atmospheric deposition.  A look at two distinct greenroofs at the University of Melbourne.  Plant specification has gone from really thinking about it to being very casual, so it’s time to reenergize some of our scrutiny.

Watch the 27:25 “Using a Climate and Ecological Template Approach for Plant Selection for Extensive Green Roofs” by Ed Snodgrass 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.

VS2015-OnDemand-long

VS2015-PeopleProjectsandDesign

Registration Open through May 31st for the Greenroofs.com 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.

“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.

“Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by Kerry Ross.

“Greening the World Inside and Outside” by Mark Paul.

“Greenwalls in Middle Earth” by Graham Cleary.

“Pollinators on the Parapets” by Angie Durhman.

“Small Scale Green Roofs” by Dusty Gedge and John Little.

“Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 1 with Patrick Carey, Peter Ensign, and George Irwin.

“Social Healing with Greening” Panel – Part 2 with Patrick Carey and Darius Jones.

“Soil Ecological Processes on Green Roofs: Research and Observation Meet Theory and Intuition” Inspiration Nook Video by Christine Thuring.

“Stewardship of Rooftop Ecosystems” by Michael Furbish, Brad Garner, and Dr. Whitney Griffin.

“The Development of Revolutionary Large Scale Vegetated Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Foundation of a New Industry” by Pablo Atuesta.

“The Great Green Roof Review: Success & Succession” by Jenny Hill and Terry McGlade.

Only Two Weeks Left for the Greenroofs.com Virtual Summit 2015! See the “Greenroofs.com 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2015” by Haven Kiers & Linda Velazquez Now.

“Two Extremes in Waterwise Design from Denver, Colorado and Athens, Greece” by Andrew Clements and Karla Dakin.

“Urban and Social Needs of Green” Inspiration Nook Video by Marc Grañén.