Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 25: Biodiversity and Greenroofs Panel Presentation

May 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Today we have the pleasure to air the panel presentation “Biodiversity and Greenroofs” with Christine Thuring, Nathalie Baumann, Gary Grant, and Dusty Gedge from our inaugural  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on  greenroofs.tv and our  GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

This is truly a panel of experts (and an exceptionally great bunch of people) on the subject of greenroofing and biodiversity issues!  We’ve known Dusty the longest, first corresponding with him in 2002 when he was the lead for the Black Redstart Action Plan with the London Biodiversity Partnership – read about it in his December 2003 Guest Feature Article “Wild Roofs:  Current research into green roofs and biodiversity in London.”

We finally met this outspoken, friendly, fast-talking Brit in 2003 in Chicago, for the first Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference & Trade Show (now CitiesAlive), and became fast friends.  I visited this former clown/punk rocker, now  ornithologist, eco-activist, living roof consultant/promoter and “tweeter extraordinaire” in London in 2003, and he took me out for a fast-paced day of greenroof hopping that I’ll never forget – read my January 2004 “Sky Gardens ~ Travels in Landscape Architecture” (the previous incarnation of this blog).

Since then, we’ve seen him at numerous conferences, and Dusty has also contributed “Green Roofs for a Changing Climate – The 2nd London World Green Roof Congress” from August 2010 and “Livingroofs.org ~ A New Independent Green Roof Organisation for the UK” from November 2004.

He was also our very gracious host when Aramis and I attended the first World Green Roof Congress in London, presented by CIRIA in partnership with Livingroofs.org,  which  I blogged about in my  November 10, 2008 “An Awesome World Green Roof Congress in London! Day 1” (unfortunately, I never got around to blogging about the second day nor the awesome greenroof tour that followed!).  Dusty Gedge is simply a wonderful human being.

The always lovely Christine, above left with me, has been a long standing  editorial contributor to Greenroofs.com as The Student Editor (2004-present) where she writes a biannual newsletter “Green roofs on the curve” and answers student inquiries.  She is also a collaborator on many exclusives here on Greenroof.com over the years, collectively known as “Christine’s Ramblings.”

She is very sharp, yet is a sweetheart of a person and also  a great friend of ours. We’ve had the pleasure of witnessing her growth and contributions to the greenroof world from a MSc. Horticulture student at the “Centre for Green Roof Research“ at Penn State (2005) to her current role as a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield and various endeavors in between.  She is quite the world  traveler  and has reported for us about her visits to Paris, Germany, and India, and  London, among others.  Read my “The Swiss-Canadian Green Roof Gal: An Interview with Christine Thüring” of May 24, 2009 to learn a little more about her earlier years.

The Swiss  Nathalie Baumann, below right, is also very bright and  passionate  about her long time work with biodiversity, especially ground nesting birds on greenroofs, around the Basel area.  An research student and associate of Dr. Stephan Brenneisen from the  Zurich Applied University,  we first met her in September 2005 when we attended  The World Green Roof Congress (where I presented my paper “An International Call for The Greenroof Projects Database“) in Basel.  It was a great conference with lots of wonderful speakers, and afterwords we went on a greenroof tour guided by the soft-spoken and very knowledgeable Nathalie.

Over the years, Nathalie has always been very helpful about sharing her thoughts and experience with us, and so we knew she’d make a great addition to this panel.

Although we knew him the least, we were also thrilled to have another Brit, Gary Grant, on our panel.  We’ve known him as a great environmentalist and ecologist in the UK and Asia for years, and met him in London in 2008 at the  first World Green Roof Congress where he spoke about his work when he was with EDAW, UK.

Currently a director with the Green Roof Consultancy along with Dusty, Gary is also very personable and friendly, and loves to share his ideas and wealth of expertise with others.

Read more:

Christine Thuring has been working with green roofs since 2001 in various capacities, including installation, advocacy, research, consulting, design, and education.  Prior to green roofs, she worked as a field botanist and restoration ecologist.  With a BSc in Environmental Resource Science & Biology (Trent University) and MSc Horticulture (The Pennsylvania State University), Christine is currently doing her PhD in Landscape Ecology (University of Sheffield).  She co-founded Green Roof Safari, and offers consulting and technical translation through Chlorophyllocity.  She is a contributing editor on Greenroofs.com; she is the Student Editor and also writes Christine’s Ramblings.

Christine moderated the panel on “Biodiversity and Green Roofs” where she also spoke about her research on plant community development and ecological processes on extensive green roofs with time.

Nathalie Baumann (BioGeograph/Social Anthropologist) accomplished her Master’s of Sciences degree at the University of Basel, Switzerland.  Afterwards she worked on different projects of NGO’s like WWF Switzerland in the context of River Ecology, Biodiversity Assessment, Urban Ecology and Ecology of ground nesting birds.  Since 2005 she has been the Research Associate of Dr. Stephan Brenneisen at the Competence Centre of the Institute Environment and Natural Resources of the Zurich Applied University in Wädenswil, Switzerland.  One of her main topics is the research project: Ecological Compensation of Roofs: Vegetation and Ground Nesting Birds (e.g. investigating on the success of broods, improving therefore green roof design, etc.).

Nathalie spoke about “Green Roofs / Natural Roofs = Biodiverse Habitats and Ecological Compensation in Urban Space: 15 Years of Experience in Switzerland.”

Dusty Gedge is a green roof campaigner and designer, who has actively promoted green roofs in the UK since 1997.  He has designed a number of seminal roofs and help develop the London Green Roof Policy.  He is also the current President of the established three PhD studies on green roof research and has a particular interest in biodiversity on green roofs.  He is also a writer, blogger and sometimes TV presenter.  Dusty is co-author of Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living, 2011 and DIY Guide to Green & Living Roofs, among other publications.  In 2004 Dusty co-founded Livingroofs.org, a non-profit organisation established to promote, advise upon and seek research into green roofs and similar structures within the context of urban and rural regeneration.

Dusty spoke about “Designing and Working for Biodiversity on Green Roofs for Over 10 Years.”

Gary Grant is an independent ecologist with 30 years of experience of ecological survey and assessment, habitat creation and restoration, green infrastructure planning and site design and management.  He works closely with built-environment professionals encouraging them to use the ecosystem services approach.  Gary began work with the London Wildlife Trust in the 1980s and moved into consultancy in 1989, designing his first green roof in 1992.  He wrote Green roofs and façades, 2006.  Until 2009, he was a Director at AECOM Design + Planning working on large scale planning projects like the London 2012 Olympic Park, amongst others.  Gary’s current emphasis is on green infrastructure planning and climate change adaptation projects, as well as the design of building-integrated vegetation (green roofs and living walls).

Gary spoke about “My First Biodiverse Green Roof in 1992, Considerations for Planning and Design and Some Thoughts on the Future.”

In the  “Biodiversity and Greenroofs”  Panel Presentation,  original research and unique experiences were discussed, from field work upwards to bigger picture perspectives, as well as corresponding experiences with legislation on urban nature conservation.

Nathalie Baumann speaks to her six years working on ground-nesting birds in Switzerland and the ecological compensation value that green roofs offer in this regard.  Christine Thuring speaks to her current work on plant community development and soil formation on old extensive green roofs in Germany.  Gary Grant speaks about lessons learned from his first green roof in 1992, which happened to be designed for biodiversity, and offers insight into planning and designing green roofs, thoughts on the future and commentary on potentials and limitations.  Dusty Gedge speaks to his 10 years’ work towards conservation of invertebrate and avifauna in London, and of transferring the scientific results into legislation.

As with all the other panel presentations, a concurrent live Q & A accompanied the panel session during the actual  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit presentation with Christine Thuring, Nathalie Baumann, Gary Grant, and Dusty Gedge.  The commentary is no longer available for you to see – one reason to attend the upcoming Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit – so you can participate and put your two cents worth in!

Note: Due to technical and other difficulties from the second party vendor who filmed our illustrious panel of four, this video does not have our standard  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit branding, including the shots from Google Earth.  We are, however, planning on adding it soon to the four affected presentations so that they may be effectively identified for posterity.  Also, in this particular video the  second party vendor used the incorrect banner with the wrong date – our event was held on September 27 and 28, 2011, not in August.

Enjoy!  Visit  greenroofs.tv to see the “Biodiversity and Greenroofs” Panel Presentation or click below:

Watch earlier videos on our exclusive Virtual Summit  greenroofs.tv play list, or see the following Virtual Summit videos now available on our  GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

If you’re looking for an overview, make sure to see our  2011 Virtual Summit Highlights video (6:18) and our  2011 Virtual Summit Trailer (2:59).

Check back next week on GreenroofsTV for our 26th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

See Ed Snodgrass on The Martha Stewart Show on Friday, April 20, 2012!

April 18, 2012 at 11:51 am

Well, we knew that greenroofs would eventually make it into mainstream America – and finally they have!

Ed Snodgrass, co-owner of Emory Knoll Farms / Green Roof Plants (and Contributing Editor here on Greenroofs.com), will be on the Hallmark Channel’s “The Martha Stewart Show” on this Friday, April 20, 2012!

Since I’ll be working, I’ve already set my DVR is record Friday’s show – how exciting!  Check the Hallmark Channel/The Martha Stewart Show website for your area time listings.

“The Earth Day Show,” as it’s touted, is described as follows:

“Go green with environmentally friendly ideas for your home and outdoor space.  Build your own lush rooftop garden with a handy guide from Ed Snodgrass, president and founder of Emory Knoll Farms.  Plus, a look at Disneynature’s remarkable new film, “Chimpanzee.”

~ “The Martha Stewart Show

I don’t know about “Chimpanzee” yet, but I can bet that it will be fun to watch Ed!  He filmed at the studio on Monday, April 16 and here Ed is below on the set:

Chip, The Martha Stewart Show set designer, is on Ed’s left, and Andrea Mason, who produces the garden segments, is on Ed’s right.

Ed says they constructed the shed mock up, above, to highlight differences between green and non-greened roofs and show the basics of small scale projects, including various growing media and planting options.

Ed is also promoting his book Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living, 2011, which he co-wrote with Nigel Dunnett, Dusty Gedge, and John Little.  I’m sure that viewers will appreciate the unlimited DIY possibilities here.

How appropriate that Martha is showcasing greenroofs on Earth Day – congratulations, Ed and kudos to Martha Stewart and staff for raising the public’s awareness of greenroofs!

By the way, make sure to see Ed’s collaboration on the “Green Roofs Without the Hype” panel presentation video, now playing on our GreenroofsTV Channel on YouTube.

As I always say, “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!”

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: March 16, 2012

March 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here is the transcript from March 16th, 2012 from our daughter, Anjuli, click on the photo below to see the video, or here. Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velazquez and welcome to “This Week in Review” for March 16th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

– Our project of the week is the Soleil @ Sinaran built in 2011 in Singapore.  These 36-story twin towers offer trendy professionals and young couples a 50 meter lap pool, two spa pavilions and eight entertainment pavilions – all are covered with extensive greenroofs.  They also have themed lounges and expansive sky gardens, with gymnasiums on the 20th floor of each tower.  The Soleil @ Sinaran has been awarded the BCA Green Mark Gold showing collaborative effort on its part to achieve sustainability in the built environment.

Elmich‘s greenroof system contributed substantially to the condominium’s green initiative and the 1,150 square meter greenroofs give the condos a resort-like ambiance while protecting and prolonging the waterproofing membrane on the rooftops and mitigating Singapore’s urban heat island effect.  The Elmich Greenroof is both lightweight and easy to install and was the ideal system for this project.  Elmich Greenroof is comprised of a VersiDrain ® 25P water retention and drainage layer, a geotextile filter layer and EnviroMix ® GR – a primarily inorganic soil-less lightweight planting media – and drought-tolerant plant species that require little or no maintenance.

– To learn more about the Soleil @ Sinaran,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photo).

What’s New

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 14: “The Work of ATVBrasil” by Joao Manuel Linck Feijo.

And find the rest of the videos in this series on our GreenroofsTV page and/or our greenroofsTV YouTube channel.

Advertiser Press Releases:

– Sika Limited is gearing up for its biggest Ecobuild exhibition yet as it prepares to demonstrate its “Solutions for a Sustainable Future”

Plant Connection Installs Living Wall That Helps Patients Heal.

Joblinks

–  Roofmeadow is now hiring a Project Field Specialist and a Landscape Designer in Philadelphia, PA.

Industry News

– The American federal government spends about $500 billion per year on services and products and about almost half of it is allocated to use services and buying products from small businesses in America.  Did you know that you can now search for opportunities to install and maintain “green roofs?”  If you have business in our industry, you might be asking yourself if the American federal government wanted your products or services.  There aren’t any charges to register or join up and the procedure to be part of it is pretty simple.

–  The Society of Environmentally Responsible Facilities (SERF) announced this week it’s launched into the Chicago market.  The East Lansing, Michigan-based green building certification organization brings affordable, streamlined and accessible environmental certification to the metro’s building owners, managers and developers.  As part of SERF’s Chicago launch, it is certifying two Chicago buildings: the office portion of the iconic 330 North Wabash building, and the Norcon Construction headquarters. Additionally, the organization established a Chicago office and appointed a regional director to oversee operations and outreach efforts for the region.

–  Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) and The Horticultural Society of New York (HSNY) are pleased to announce the return of the popular Green Roof Boot Camp training series to New York City, from March 22nd to the 25th.  This event will include a tour of the NYC Parks & Recreation Department’s greenroof laboratory on Randall’s Island – a unique opportunity to examine over 25 different greenroof systems side-by-side.  The Parks Department’s 29,000 square foot greenroof is one of the only projects in the country to feature such a vast array of different systems.  You can read about this project in depth in the June 2011 Guest Feature Article by Artie Rollins and John Robilotti from NYC Parks and Recreation – see our Archives section.

Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest post: Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 14: The Work of ATVBrasil

Upcoming Events

-From March 3rd through April 22nd: is The Orchid Show – Patrick Blanc’s Vertical Gardens, in The New York Botanical Gardens, New York.

–  March 16th-25th: is the National Home Show, in Toronto, Canada.

–  March 20th: is Reinventing the Connecticut Garden Lecture, in Wilton, CT.

–  March 20th-21st: is Water & Environment 2012, CIWEM’s Annual Conference, in London, England.

–  March 20th-22nd: is Ecobuild 2012, in London, England.

–  Also March 20th-22nd: is the North/East Roofing Contractors Association’s Convention & Trade Show in Mashantucket, CT.

–  March 21st-25th: is the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show, in San Mateo, CA.

–  And March 23rd: is the Low Impact Development (LID) Expo 2012, in Sarasota, FL.

– “In the News“

–  A News Release from AHS.org says “The American Horticultural Society has announced the winners of its annual book awards.”  Each year, the American Horticultural Society recognizes outstanding gardening books published in North America with its annual Book Award.  One of those is  “Small Green Roofs”  by our greenroof colleagues  Nigel Dunnett,  Dusty Gedge, John Little and  Edmund (ED) C. Snodgrass,  one of our contributing editors here on Greenroofs.com.

Judge Greg Williams says its “a real trailblazer because it is the only in-depth guide to do-it-yourself green roofs, with plenty of case studies to build confidence and provide ideas for homeowners.”  Another judge, Fiona Gilsenen was impressed with the authors’ “approach, ethos and emphasis on using green roofs to encourage biodiversity, plus making it doable in a wide range of places.”  Congratulations, guys!  Check our greenroof bookstore for more info on this book and other greenroof and greenwall related books and magazines.

–  Jennifer Maloney of the Wall Street Journal talks about what’s “Fun for Kids, Good for the Waterways.”  She says New York City has enlisted trees, greenroofs, and massive tanks in its effort to reduce the untreated wastewater that overflows the city’s waterways each year and now it’s looking at schoolyards.  The city’s Department of Environmental Protection is developing a plan with the national non-profit group, Trust for Public Land, to build up to 10 green playgrounds that will capture the first inch of rain in every storm.

Five proposed schoolyards in Brooklyn and Queens are going through soil tests and if they are picked, will be transformed into public playgrounds with features like rain barrels, raised gardens, porous pavers and an under-layer of gravel that holds water during a storm then seep gradually into the ground.  A recent project, at P.S. 164 in Borough Park, Brooklyn, served as a pilot of sorts for the new initiative, because it includes some of the same rainwater-retention features, including a greenroof.  The first few new playgrounds should be open to the public by the end of next year.

– To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our In the News or Newslinks section of our website.

– Send us your green articles, videos and images to editor@greenroofs.com and share your greenroof or greenwall info with the world!

– Make sure to keep up with everything Greenroofs.com by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook, being a member of our network on LinkedIn, and subscribing to our greenroofsTV channel on YouTube!

– This has been This Week in Review for March 16th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV. I’m Anjuli Velázquez and I’ll see next week!

*This week’s episode is sponsored by The Greenroof Directory, brought to you by Greenroofs.com.*


Did we miss something? We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: March 2, 2012

March 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here is the transcript from March 2nd, 2012 from our daughter,  Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velázquez and welcome to  “This Week in Review” for March 2nd, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

– 360 Smith Street Residences built in 2011 in Brooklyn, New York. These 19th century garden brownstones are in the heart of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and have easy access to public transportation, schools, playgrounds, the waterfront, and downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan. The greenroof that sits atop the new residential building offers a unique 360 degree view of the Manhattan skyline and downtown Brooklyn. It is 6700 sq ft of relaxation for its residents while serving as a vital role in stormwater retention.

An Optigreen drainage profile from Conservation Technology was used and Sempergreen green roof sedum mats were installed for the extensive area. The rooflite ® depth is 3.5 inches for most areas; and Joe Donnelly of rooflite ® said, “What a stunning project – visual interest in all seasons. Well planned, and well executed by Future Green. Created a beneficial space for all residents of the building. When we visited the project in November 2011, the superintendent remarked on how easy his maintenance has been, and a party crew was there to set up tiki torches and equipment for a resident’s event. Add that to the list of green roof benefits – happy management and happy residents.”

– To learn more about the 360 Smith Street Residences,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

–  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 12: Panel Session “Wind. Water. Heat. Grow. Greenroofs.” with Bill Retzlaff, David Aponte, Kevin Songer and Joe Webb.

And watch the rest of the videos in this series on our  GreenroofsTV page and/or our  greenroofsTV YouTube channel.

The Greenroofs.com eNewsletter

– Our February 2012 eNewsletter is out!  Subscribe now and check it out.

–  Advertiser Press Releases:

Joblinks Update

– Ginkgo Sustainability is seeking a Green Roof Installation Foreman in Toronto, Canada.

–  Intrinsic Landscaping, Inc. is looking for a Maintenance Supervisor in Glenview, Illinois.

–  Apex Green Roofs is looking for an Intern to aid in maintenance tasks in Somerville, Massachusetts.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

–  Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 12: Panel Session “Wind. Water. Heat. Grow. Greenroofs.,” “Chic Sustainability Watch: Trends, Projects & People – Some Newly Started, Almost Done, & Finished,” and “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: February 24th, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  March 4th-7th: is Green Cities 2012 – THINK Conference, in Sydney, Australia.

–  March 4th-11th: is the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show, in Philadelphia, PA.

–  March 6th: is What’s up (on the roof) with winter? Seminar, Minnesota Green Roofs Council, in St. Paul, MN.

–  March 6th-8th: NESEA Building Energy 12 Conference and Trade Show, in Boston, MA.

–  March 7th-8th: is the GREENPRINTS Conference & Trade Show, at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, in Atlanta, GA.

–  And also March 7th-8th: is GLOBALCON – Energy, Power, & Facility Management Strategies & Technologies, in Atlantic City, NJ.

– “In the News“

–  Clare Peddie of the Herald Sun, offers us “Living in the future: a glimpse of a zero-carbon home.” This home, that is to be built in South Australia, was designed as part of the Zero Carbon Challenge competition and features green walls covered in vines to cool the house in the summer and keep it warm in the winter.

Team Collaborative Future was one of the four finalists and wanted to take a different approach to shading, and the team’s lead architect, Brett Aylen, said “the vines are deciduous…in summer it’s going to be quite green, quite dense shade – then in winter it’s going to lose leaves so you get the winter sun.” The home will also feature solar panels, is set to begin construction mid-year, and you can follow the project at facebook.com/zerocarbonchallenge.

– Ben Martin of The Ecologist, reports on “Lofty ambitions: why green roofs are the future of urban gardening.” He asks, “run out of space in your garden? Look to higher ground and you’ll find an eco-friendly solution.” Greenroofs are becoming more popular across the world as more and more people are getting in the know and realizing the many benefits greenroofs have to offer. Sedum and plantation expert, Jim Blundell, lists a couple greenroof benefits: they provide a mini-habitat for birds, bugs, and butterflies, so you can have your own mini eco-system on your roof, and in urban areas where there isn’t a lot of green space, greenroofs can breathe some life back into that “concrete jungle.”

We know that greenroofs offer energy savings, reduce stormwater run-off, improve air quality, reduce the urban heat island effect, increase biodiversity and a roof’s lifespan. And Dusty Gedge, wildlife consultant, greenroof expert, and friend here at Greenroofs.com, added the benefit of the eye-pleasing qualities that beautiful flowers and plants can bring into our lives: he says, “people should view [them] as a sustainable measure, but also as a real life enhancement. The pleasure I get from it is huge.”

Building your own greenroof is no easy task, and does require research. But the benefits are worth the time and effort and we offer help for you to get started. You can visit our Projects Database to learn about specific projects all around the world and you can search our Greenroof Directory to find some manufacturers, suppliers, professional services, and more in your area to help you on your way.

–  To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our In the News or Newslinks section of our website.

–   Send us your green articles, videos and images to  editor@greenroofs.com and share your greenroof or greenwall info with the world!

– Make sure to keep up with everything  Greenroofs.com by following us on  Twitter, liking us on  Facebook,  being a member of our network on  LinkedIn, and  subscribing to our  greenroofsTV channel on YouTube!

– This has been This Week in Review for March 2nd, 2012 on   GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velázquez and I’ll see you next week!

*This week’s episode is sponsored by  The Greenroof Directory, brought to you by  Greenroofs.com.*

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.