Now Playing at the Virtual Summit 2015: “Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by Kerry Ross

May 4, 2015 at 4:55 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.


Today we are spotlighting the individual presentation “Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by the lovely Kerry Ross, GRP, the most wholesome and genuine person you’ll ever meet, whose design/build company company specializes in vegetated roofs and sustainable building design.


We’ve known her for many years now, maybe just two or three years after starting in 1999 when she was a design architect and project manager.  I believe we first met her at the first CitiesAlive conference (2003) back when it was called “Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities” and she struck me as a wonderful person.  We met her husband Bob (also an architect) shortly thereafter and have spent some great time together at conferences in London, Canada, and throughout the U.S. – awesome people!  Kerry is quite the excellent photographer, too – actually, both of them.


She has traveled extensively and is extremely active in the Alberta greenroof scene.  In fact, she received the 2009 Civic Award of Excellence: Individual from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities – read about it here.

While some myths about the suitability of green roofs in Alberta persist given the challenging and extreme climate, Kerry’s video includes a range of very in-depth case study projects in which she was involved in four of the province’s six main ecoregions.


Alberta, Canada. “As one of the first Green Roof Professionals, Kerry Ross operates Green T Design, Inc. a design-build company focused on lessening impacts of buildings on the environment through the continuum of landscape and architecture – green roofs and living walls.

In her efforts to bring greater awareness of the benefits and viability of green roof technology in the region, she co-founded the Alberta Ecoroof Initiative in 2004 and spearheaded the Alberta Prairie Green Roof Symposium in 2009. With the support of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and a subsequent Canada Council Award, Kerry traveled extensively to Iceland, Scandinavia and Northern Europe to study and document cold-climate green roofs and living walls. Kerry currently leads the Vegetated Roof Replacement & Research Project on Calgary’s Municipal Hall and in addition to contributing a number of articles on green roofing is engaged in the development of guidelines for green roofs for stormwater management for the City of Calgary.” ~ Read her complete bio here from the VS2015.


You will benefit from these 5 Key Learning Objectives as Kerry Ross shares on the subject:

1) Alberta’s very challenging climate conditions of its 4 ecoregions (Banff, Calgary, Edmonton, Stettler) resulting in the need to be irrigating with harvested rainwater.  Some of the natural ecosystems are studied (rough fescue grasslands) which could be suitable greenroof candidates evolved to suit the environment to be regionally appropriate; discussions of recent floods; importance of research; her vision;

2) Banff: Case study and lessons learned of: Bison Courtyard at Bear Street – owner wanted an eco-model for the town; McDonough + Partners was the lead and they used their guiding principles, resulting in Alberta’s first sustainable mixed-use complex with both extensive and intensive greenroofs in 2004; 

3) Calgary: Alberta Ecoroof Initiative, a hands-on research site with 4 different demonstration plots (2004) on the Alastair Ross Technology Centre in the University of Calgary Research Park.  The continued collaboration improves understanding of greenroofs in the region, in addition to expanding the plant palette; thermocouple sensors and a climate monitoring station allow studies of the micro-climate impacts and heat flow through the roof. Vegetated Roof Replacement at Calgary Municipal Hall (2014 & 2015) – a highly visible r & d site whose purpose was to draw attention and spark interest in greenroof retrofit projects; organized an education and outreach center; for scientific monitoring, she partnered with Dr. Maureen Connelly’s lab at BCIT;

4) Edmonton: Royal Alexandra Hospital, Robbins Pavilion (2011), one of the most northern major cities in North America to incorporate greenroofs. The Ted & Lois Hole Healing Garden is a combination of extensive, semi-intensive, and intensive greenroof gardens, enjoyed by many patient rooms and common areas with diverse vegetation;

5) Stettler: ATCO Electric Service Center’s new energy efficient operations center located in an office and industrial complex was designed to enhance customer service (2013).  Rainwater is captured on roofs for reuse; numerous challenges are discussed including climate, a broken irrigation system, and plant issues.

Watch the 38:31 video presentation “Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” 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.

“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.

Watch the Panel Session “Sky Parks in the Public Realm – Elevating Green Ways and Urban Connectivity” with Dr. Maureen Connelly, Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, Randy Sharp, and Dr. Tan Puay Yok from Our Virtual Summit 2013

January 7, 2015 at 2:30 pm

In anticipation of’s spectacular 2015 Virtual Summit on April 6 through May 31 – and in order to familiarize you with the event – we are now making the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 videos publicly available on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube to all free of charge.

Today we have the pleasure to air the Panel Session “Sky Parks in the Public Realm – Elevating Green Ways and Urban Connectivity” with Dr. Maureen Connelly, Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, Randy Sharp, and Dr. Tan Puay Yok.  How can we captivate the use of under-utilized area of rooftops and explore our city in elevated plan and section for the creation of new amenities space and vibrant public places, and for bridges as pedestrian and cycle transportation routes, and even for food security opportunities?

How can an exploration of Sky-Gardens and elevated green ways support Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan – and vice-versa? The City of Singapore, through experience and precedents, can provide a global context to advance the vision.


Dr. Maureen Connelly of the Centre for Architectural Ecology, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) School of Construction and the Environment leads this panel with Deputy City of Vancouver Manager Sadhu Johnston and Randy Sharp of Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture in Vancouver, B.C. Canada with Tan Puay Yok of the Department of Architecture of the National University of Singapore in Singapore.

Here’s more about the speakers:

VS2013 Sky Parks Panel - Click for more info!

Maureen Connelly, MAIBC, PhD: Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Dr. Maureen Connelly, MAIBC is Director, Faculty, at the Centre for Architectural Ecology, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) School of Construction and the Environment. Combining a science background with a professional affiliation as an architect, Maureen developed the vision, oversaw the construction and the instrumentation of the BCIT green roof research facility in 2002. Her initial research focused on the architectural and planning impact of green roofs, which led to the Phase 1 research on stormwater and thermal performance. Maureen developed the first credited course on green roofs in Canada.

Current research focus is on the quantification of the acoustical capacity for green roofs and walls to reduce sound transmission through buildings reduce noise build up in urban areas and enhance personal and shared soundscapes. She continues to direct the strategic research and planning process at the BCIT Centre for Architectural Ecology. Maureen received the BCIT Applied Research Award for outstanding contribution to the advancement of knowledge, and of economic and societal well-being through the application and implementation of new technology and most recently accepted the Canadian Institute of Energy 2010 Research and Development award on behalf of the Centre.

Sadhu Aufochs Johnston: Vancouver, B.C., Canada. As Deputy City Manager, Sadhu contributes to the overall management of the City of Vancouver. Sadhu Johnston oversees the environmental and emergency management areas within the City Manager’s Office including oversight of the implementation of the Greenest City Action Plan, including programs such as curbside organics collection; public bike share implementation; district energy strategy development; and electric vehicle station deployment, among other areas.

Sadhu also has oversight of resilient city initiatives such as the city’s earthquake plan, the city’s heavy urban search and rescue team and the city’s climate adaptation strategy development and implementation. Sadhu is a founder and co-chair of the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN), a network of over 120 municipal staff focused on greening their cities, representing over 50 million urban dwellers in North America. Sadhu is also chair of the executive committee of the STAR Community, which helps cities and counties achieve meaningful sustainability through the first national framework for local community efforts and tools that measure progress.

Prior to moving to Vancouver, Sadhu served as Mayor Richard M. Daley’s Chief Environmental Officer responsible for the City of Chicago environmental initiatives and was involved in the development and implementation of the Chicago Climate Action Plan; city’s blue cart recycling system; creation and oversight of a green jobs strategy for Chicago; and oversight of programs to engage Chicago’s businesses and residents such as Earth Hour, Green Hotels, the Green Office Challenge, and the GreenWorks Awards.

Sadhu also served as the Commissioner of the City of Chicago’s Department of Environment (DOE). Prior to working for the City of Chicago, Sadhu served as the Executive Director of the Cleveland Green Building Coalition.

Randy Sharp, BLA, BCSLA, FCSLA, ASLA, GRP: Vancouver, B.C., Canada. Randy Sharp is the co-founder and principal of Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture. Randy launched his career in 1977 with his involvement in the redesign of Granville Island, respected as one of the most successful examples of civic space in North America, and founded Sharp & Diamond shortly after. Focused on improving the urban environment and making sustainable methods visible, Randy authored Ecological Based Site Development: A Regional Guide to Design, Construction and Maintenance, commissioned by Metro Vancouver, and the WaterWise Landscape Guidelines for the City of Vancouver.

Randy’s interest in green roofs, living walls, and rain gardens has kept him as a leader and active participant in international conferences and a member of the Canada, Cascadia, and US Green Building Councils. Randy is a pioneer in ecological design in Vancouver and is still as passionate about making the city as beautiful today as he was over 35 years ago.

Tan Puay Yok, PhD: Singapore. Dr. Tan Puay Yok is an Associate Professor in the Department of Architecture of the National University of Singapore, where he contributes to the Masters programs in landscape architecture and integrated sustainable design. His teaching and research are centered around the policies, practices and management of greenery and ecology in the context of a high density and compact city like Singapore.

Prior to joining the academia, Puay Yok spent a number of years in of the National Parks Board, which is the national custodian of urban greenery and nature reserves of Singapore. He contributed in various capacities, including the management of the living collection of the Singapore Botanic Gardens and management of research programs, including that of its Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology (CUBE). He has been actively involved in research, promotional efforts and policy formulation in the highrise greening of Singapore (known as Skyrise Greening locally since the commencement of active promotion in the early 2000s). Since then, he has contributed to 19 publications in this area, including the first book on plant selection for green roofs in the tropics, development of the first green roof and green wall research demonstration projects in Singapore, development of a monetary incentive scheme on green roof implementation, and provided input on various related policies.” ~ VS2013

Watch “Sky Parks in the Public Realm – Elevating Green Ways and Urban Connectivity” with Dr. Maureen Connelly, Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, Randy Sharp, and Dr. Tan Puay Yok below or see it specifically on its own channel, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013:

Our second foray in the world of virtual conferences, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, was very successful at bringing together people from around the world to learn, discuss, and network in our field of living architecture.  This time partnering with the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN), between and WGIN we produced 36 videos involving 59 esteemed international speakers, specifically: 22 Individual Presenters, including 5 Keynotes; 5 Panel Sessions; and 9 Collaborative Presentations.

Watch these other VS2013 videos released so far:

Skyrise Ag: 5 Ways to Local Food Production Collaborative Video with Helen Cameron, Mohamed Hage, George Irwin, Ben Flanner and Alan Joaquin

Building-Integrated Vegetation: Redefining the Landscape or Chasing a Mirage? Opening Keynote Video by Aditya Ranade.

Mexico City’s Green Plan & Green Roofs – Areas Verdes de la Ciudad de Mexico & Azoteas Naturadas Video by Tanya Müller García.

The Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort Video by Jaron Lubin.

Phyto Kinetic: Gardens in Movement Video by Marc Grañén.

Profiles of Women Business Leaders Greening the Way Collaborative Video with Barbara Deutsch; Lexie Hain and Marguerite Wells; Vanessa Keitges; and Joy Schmidt.

Green Walls and Maintenance – Needs, Opportunities and Best Practices Panel Session Video with Melissa Daniels, Christopher Lyon, Steven Peck, and James Sable.

Reflections of a Green Roof Campaigner and Visions of the Future Keynote Video by Dusty Gedge.

Urban Green in Australia Video by Matt Dillon.

2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + Look into 2013 Collaborative Video with Linda S. Velazquez and Haven Kiers.

We hope you will join us in watching all of these as we present them!

Happy watching,

~ Linda V.

Also see these videos below in various languages on our exclusive Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 greenroofs.TV playlist:

Virtual Summit 2013 Highlights Video

Virtual Summit 2013 Trailer

VS2013 Linda Velazquez Promo

VS2013 Steven Peck Promo

VS2013 Julian Briz Promo – Spanish

VS2013 Matt Dillon Promo

VS2013 Manfred Koehler Promo – German

VS2013 Francois Lassalle Promo – French

VS2013 Eun-Heui Lee Promo – Korean

VS2013 Dorthe Romo Promo

VS2013 Wang Xianmin Promo – Mandarin Chinese

VS2013 Tanya Mueller Promo – Spanish

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Announces 11th Awards of Excellence Winners

October 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm

The 11th Awards of Excellence Winners Announced: Celebrating outstanding green roofs and walls across North America by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC).

“GRHC is very pleased to celebrate this year’s Awards of Excellence winners for their outstanding contributions to the world of living architecture. Everyone involved with these projects should be proud of this recognition, as over 35 of North America’s most innovative new examples of living architecture were submitted, making for very tough competition.” ~ Steven Peck, Executive Director, GRHC


Selected to evoke the theme of CitiesAlive 2013, Securing Urban Resiliency with Living Architecture: Food – Water – Energy,” these are the 2013 AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS:

Extensive Institutional Award
Project: Kauffman Performing Arts Center & District Garage, Kansas City, MO
Award Recipient: Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company
The green roof atop one of the most architecturally advanced arts centers in the U.S. beautifully complements the building, and is the largest stormwater detention facility in the State of Missouri.

Small-Scale Residential Award
Project: Skyhigh Residence, Fairfax, CA
Award Recipient: SYMBIOS eco-tecture
Built on a steep hillside that gives the inhabitants gorgeous views of the surrounding wildlands and nearby mountains, the Skyhigh Residence green roof offers a direct connection to the area’s ecosystem.

Exterior Green Wall Award
Project: Sam Cuddeback Assembly Wing, Drew School, San Francisco, CA
Award Recipient: ROMA Design Group
Besides being an extraordinary educational resource for the high school, this living wall brings a vibrant lushness to the public environment of the city.

Interior Green Wall Award
Project: Papadakis Integrated Science Building, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Award Recipient: Diamond Schmitt Architects
This living wall, the largest on a U.S. university campus, invites a more full engagement with the university experience while cleaning the building’s air and reducing energy consumption.

Intensive Residential Award
Project: The Visionaire, New York City, NY
Award Recipient: MKM Landscape Architecture
The roof terrace at The Visionaire maximizes the productive capabilities of this certified LEED Platinum building, combining urban agriculture, stormwater retention, and impressive plant variety.

Intensive Institutional Award
Project: Vancouver Island University, Duncan, BC
Award Recipient: Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture
The green roofs at VIU successfully connect the university to both the ecosystem of the Cowichan Valley and the values and culture of local Cowichan Tribes.

Extensive Commercial/Industrial Award
Project: Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility, Petaluma, CA
Award Recipient: SYMBIOS eco-tecture
Situated along the Petaluma River, this green roof helps the water recycling facility it sits on provide clean water for the community, while also demonstrating the sustainable aspects of building integrated vegetation.

Special Recognition Award
Project: Olive Street Residence, Winchester, MA
Award Recipient: Recover Green Roofs, LLC
Bringing green roofs to a suburban residential location where they frequently are not seen, the judges chose to recognize this project for the example it sets for lower density development across North America.

In addition to these projects being honored, three individuals have also been recognized for their outstanding contributions to the green roof and wall industry:

Research Award
Winner: Dr. Maureen Connelly, British Columbia Institute of Technology

President’s Corporate Award
Winner: Douglas York, Ewing Irrigation Products, Inc.

Civic Award
Winner: Scott Potter, Director, Nashville Metro Water Services

See each one from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities here.  For additional information, please contact Rebecca Black, Director of Business Development, GRHC at: or 416.535.2586.


Make sure to join the celebration to honor the GRHC winners and highlight these outstanding individuals and projects at CitiesAlive at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis on Friday, October 25, 2013 at the Awards of Excellence Luncheon.

Kudos to all!  See you there!

~ Linda V.

Watch Our Awesome Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2013 Panel Sessions!

February 5, 2013 at 4:06 pm

There is one week left until the start of the Greenroofs & Walls of the World(TM) Virtual Summit 2013!

You’ve already heard that our excellent Keynotes are Green Roof Campaigner & President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations (EFB) Dusty Gedge, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Founder & President Steven Peck, Arquitectura Organica green architect Javier Senosiain, Lux Research Intelligence Team Senior Analyst Aditya Ranade, and Vegetated Roof Systems Program Development Manager for Tremco, Inc. & Environmental Horticulturist Mary Ann Uhlmann.

And our Panel Sessions for this year’s Virtual Summit 2013 are going to be just as awesome! and WGIN have brought together the best and brightest minds to discuss pertinent issues concerning our industry today.

Hear from these exceptional speakers and leaders, and participate in the live 15-minute Question and Answer Sessions that follow online:

Opening Day: Tuesday, February 12, 2013:

Green Walls and Maintenance with Melissa Daniels, Christopher Lyon, Steven Peck (Moderator), and James Sable

The VS2013 Green Walls Panel - click to learn more!

Steven Peck, Founder and President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities in Toronto, Canada leads this panel with Melissa Daniels of Plant Connection in Riverhead, New York, Christopher Lyon of Tournesol Siteworks in Hayward (outside of San Francisco), California, and James Sable of greenscreen® in Los Angeles, California.

Opening Day of the Expo Wednesdays: Wednesday, February 13:

Environmental Healing through Phytoremediation – Chapter One with Patrick Carey (Moderator), Dr. Alan Darlington, Dr. Paul Mankiewicz, and Dr. Clayton Rugh

VS2013 Phytoremediation Panel 1 - Click to learn more!

Patrick Carey of Hadj Design in Seattle, Washington leads this panel with Dr. Alan Darlington of NEDLAW Living Walls in Breslau, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Paul Mankiewicz of the Gaia Institute in New York City, and Dr. Clayton Rugh of Xero Flor America in Durham, North Carolina.

Tuesday, February 19:

Theory & Field Studies: An Interview with Dr. Ian Balcom from Lyndon State College of Vermont & Dr. Robert Cameron from Penn State – Chapter 2 with Patrick Carey (Moderator)

VS2013 Phytoremediation Panel 2 - Click to learn more!

Patrick Carey of Hadj Design in Seattle, Washington follows up the “Environmental Healing through Phytoremediation – Chapter One” Panel Session here with Dr. Ian Balcom in Lyndonville, Vermont and Dr. Bob Cameron in University Park, Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, February 27:

La Agricultura Urbana en Iberoamerica y Espana”“Urban Agriculture in Ibero-America and Spain in Spanish with Dr. Julian Briz, Dr. Jose Mari­a Duran-Altisent, Dr. Isabel de Felipe, Tanya Muller Garci­a (Moderator), Dr. Gilberto Navas, and Joaquin Sicilia Carnicer

VS2013 Agricultura Urbana Panel in Spanish - Click to learn more!

In Mexico City, Tanya Muller Garci­a, Secretary of the Environment for Mexico City, Federal District, Founder of AMENAAsociacion Mexicana para la Naturacion de Azoteas (National Mexican Greenroof Association), and Vice President of World Green Infrastructure Network of Mexico City leads this panel with Dr. Gilberto Navas of the Chapingo Autonomous University along with their colleagues in Madrid, Spain:  Dr. Julian Briz of PRONATUR – Sociedad Espanola para la Naturacion Urbana, Dr. Jose Maria Duran-Altisent of the Escuela Tecnica Superior de Ingenieros Agronomos (ETSIA) at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, Dr. Isabel de Felipe of the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and Joaquin Sicilia of Sicilia y Asociados Arquitectura.

Wednesday, March 6:

Sky Parks in the Public Realm – Elevating Green Ways and Urban Connectivity with Dr. Maureen Connelly (Moderator), Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, Randy Sharp, and Dr. Tan Puay Yok

VS2013 Sky Parks Panel - Click for more info!

Dr. Maureen Connelly of the Centre for Architectural Ecology, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) School of Construction and the Environment leads this panel with Deputy City of Vancouver Manager Sadhu Johnston and Randy Sharp of Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture in Vancouver, B.C. Canada with Tan Puay Yok of the Department of Architecture of the National University of Singapore in Singapore.

So, if you haven’t already registered yet, do so below – this includes access to all of the Speaker videos and all of the virtual environment, too, including the Expo Pavilions and all the different Lounges and Social Media Spaces:

Regular Price $99


WGIN Members (including Green Roofs for Healthy Cities – Get GRP credits!) & Advertisers $39

Associates $59

Students/Staff/Faculty & Government $29

See our Registration Page for more information and Register Here.

See you online next Tuesday!

~ Linda V.