Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 22: Sustainability at a Small Business: Emory Knoll Farms

May 9, 2012 at 10:27 am

Today we have the pleasure to air John Shepley’s video presentation “Sustainability at a Small Business: Emory Knoll Farms” from our inaugural  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

John has been a colleague for several years now and last year he became an  editorial contributor to Greenroofs.com as the  Green Business Editor where he writes his column “Sustainable Business Insights.”  As co-owner of Emory Knoll Farms, we had known him for a long time but finally got to meet him and his lovely wife, Trish, in Baltimore for the 6th annual Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference (now called CitiesAlive).  We found out first hand what a wonderful human being he is and what a great outlook on life he and his family have.

John Shepley has worked as an engineer, technical manager, business manager, and management consultant.  He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University, 1984.  Since then he has lived and worked in Baltimore and surrounding areas, with a couple of years in Copenhagen Denmark building a new metro system there.

In 2004, John co-founded Emory Knoll Farms, Inc. in Harford County.  Emory Knoll Farms grows plants exclusively for green roofs, and in addition to serving the green building industry, they operate a socially just and sustainable business.  John is a founding board member of the Baltimore Biodiesel Cooperative (2004-2009), and has served on the board of the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance since 2006, where he has been chairman since 2009.  John is passionate about renewable energy, sustainable living and business, and promoting a living local economy.  He drives a vegetable-powered truck, and has an electric Mazda RX-7.  John is also a contributing editor on Greenroofs.com (2011): the Green Business Editor (2011) and contributes Sustainable Business Insights.  Currently, John is living and working near Milan, Italy with his wife Trish.

In  “Sustainability at a Small Business: Emory Knoll Farms” John  says that even when a business owner has a clear intention of operating sustainably, when faced with limited resources there are many choices and compromises to be made.

John Shepley walks with you down the path towards sustainability that he and Ed Snodgrass have taken at Emory Knoll Farms; from the initial concept of operating a sustainable business to the realities of social and environmental responsibility, and making a living at the same time.  This case study includes opportunities that were realized and a discussion of why some are yet to be.

Since Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants had an exhibitor booth in the North American Expo Pavilion, participants of the Virtual Summit were able to visit with John during the two live days to further discuss some of the challenges faced by us all in our quest to operate a sustainable business.

By the way, last year John and Ed were included in Businessweek.com’s yearly profile of 25 ventures  of America’s most promising social entrepreneurs  selected from reader suggestions.  Read my blog post,  Ed Snodgrass & John Shepley Voted Two of America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs 2011, to learn more.

Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “Sustainability at a Small Business: Emory Knoll Farms” 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 23rd installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: April 27, 2012

April 28, 2012 at 2:43 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 April 27, 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 April 27, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is  the Nathan Phillips Square Toronto City Hall Podium Green Roof built in 2009 in Toronto, Canada.  The public square surrounding Toronto City Hall was designed with the original architectural structure in mind.  The landscaped gardens, courtyards, terraces, furniture and walkways provide unique views of downtown from this urban oasis in the heart of the city.  This 3,400 square meter green roof is the largest in Toronto and the recipient of a 2011 Canadian Society of Landscaped Architects Regional Honour Award, a 2011 Design Exchange Award Silver Award for Landscape Architecture – Public, and the 2011 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities 2011 Award of Excellence in the Extensive Institutional Category.

The green roof consists of three formal conditions: a sedum mosaic, a paved courtyard that frames the curved chamber and a deck café that occupies the prow.  The perimeter garden is treated as a field in purple, pink, yellow/orange and green sedums.  This ground cover is planted in a pre-vegetated tray system with shade tolerant species concentrated in the shadows of the City Hall’s towers.  The Nathan Phillips Square green roof was constructed with the LiveRoof hybrid modular green roof system.  It contains a combination of 6 inch deep and 4 inch deep LiveRoof Standard Modules; and the project was grown at the LiveRoof Ontario nursery during the summer of 2009, and installation started on September 1st, 2009.

–  To learn more about the Nathan Phillips Square Toronto City Hall Podium Green Roof,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

–   Speaking of the Nathan Phillips Square Toronto City Hall Podium Green Roof, congratulations to our 2012 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest winner, Patrick Biller!  Patrick submitted the Toronto City Hall entry and we featured that project as our Project of the Week this week, in honor of Earth Day and his submission.  He’ll also be receiving $100 for his entry.  Congrats!

–  The Greenroofs.com eNewsletter

– Look for our April 2012 eNewsletter in your inbox or our homepage.  If you’re not  subscribed, you can click on the mail icon by our social media links on our homepage, enter your e-mail address and you’ll get our monthly eNewsletter to let you know what’s been going on that month here at Greenroofs.com!

–  Contributing Editor

–   Read Ed Snodgrass’ “A Green Roof Day in New York“ (with The Martha Stewart Show) Blog post.

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 20: “The Current Situation and Future of Green Roofs in China” by Wang Xianmin.

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

Advertiser Press Releases:

LiveRoof ® Hybrid Green Roof System Selected for Chattanooga City Council Project.

Joblinks

–  Compost Supply is now hiring a Green Sales Hero in Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

– Evergreen Environments is looking for a Green Roof Specialist in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

Industry News

–  Illinois EPA Interim Director John Kim announced the award of nearly $5 million in Green Infrastructure Grants designed to reduce the amount of pollution running into Illinois waterways from stormwater sources.  Applicants applied for grant awards in three categories: Combined Sewer Overflow Rehabilitation; Stormwater Retention and Infiltration; and Green Infrastructure Small Projects.  The $5 million in grants will result jobs for installation of green structures by construction workers and the trades, as well as to create work for professional engineers and public works staff designing Best Management Practices and developing and submitting permits, and construction oversight.

–  In their recent report, Banking on Green, American Rivers explained the many benefits of using green roofs and other techniques like rain gardens and green streets to save money, reduce energy use and flooding, and keep people healthy and water clean.  Now, working with Goodby Silverstein & Partners they’ve just released Get More Green – an interactive tool that lets you virtually “green” a roof in your own community to find out how much money you’ll save in heating and cooling costs as well as how much dirty water you’ll keep out of your local river!

– The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and its Committee on the Environment (COTE) has selected the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.

The projects will be honored at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition in Washington, D.C. 2012 Top Ten Award Winners with Green Roofs include the Mercy Corps Global Headquarters in Portland, Oregon, the Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the University of Minnesota Duluth – Bagley Classroom Building in Duluth, Minnesota.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

–  Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 20: The Current Situation and Future of Green Roofs in China,” “Happy Earth Day! The Winner of the 2012 “˜Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!’ Earth Day Photo Contest is…,” and “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: April 20, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  April 27th-28th: is Green Living Roofs, a Green Living Technologies International Professional Installer training module at the State University of New York (SUNY) Ulster, in New York, NY.

–  April 30th: is the 3rd Annual Massachusetts Sustainable Economy Conference, in Boston, MA.

–  April 30th-May 25th: is the WBK International Green Roof Course, ZHAW in Waedenswil (Campus Gruental) with excursions to various regions of Switzerland.

–  May 2nd: is the “Making Engineered Green Roof Systems Work For Any Application” Seminar by Architek, The VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre, in Vancouver, Canada.

–  May 2nd-3rd: is BuildingsNY/GreenBuildingsNY, in New York, NY.

–  And May 2nd-4th: is Living Future – Women Reshaping the World, in Portland, Oregon.

– “In the News“

– Kaid Benfield of the NRDC Switchboard Blog, talks about “Toronto’s leadership for green roofs.”  Since January 2010, Toronto has been paving the way for North American cities with their requirements of having green roofs on new commercial, institutional, and multifamily residential developments across the city; and next week, the requirements will include new industrial development as well.

Toronto’s municipal bylaw indicates that smaller residential and commercial buildings are exempt but the larger the building, the larger the green roof must be.  The largest buildings are required to have 60% of their available roof space to be vegetated.  For industrial buildings, the bylaw will require that 10% of available roof space be covered, unless the building uses cool roofing materials on 100% of the roof space and has stormwater retention to catch at least 50% of the annual rainfall.  Last fall, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities announced that Toronto’s green roof requirements had already resulted in more than 1.2 million square feet of new green space in the city.

– Lorena Galliot of the State of the Planet Blog, says “There’s no one-size-fits-all green roof, studies show.” Researchers are looking at how the types of vegetation used in greenroofs affects their functioning.  Sedum is a popular choice for green roofs because of their hardiness, shallow root systems and low maintenance requirements.  Two new studies are showing that grasses or taller shrubs may actually be more effective than sedums at reducing stormwater runoff.  It all depends on where in the world you are, there is no one-size-fits-all greenroof.

An author of the UK study, Nigel Dunnett, said that previous research on the efficiency of greenroofs had focused on their design and structural components, not on the types of plants used.  He also said, “There is a tendency in the green roof world to imply that all greenroofs are the same, and deliver benefits in the same way,” but that “vegetation choices can, to some extent, also influence green roof performance.”  Co-author of the Italian study, Sergio Andri, agreed and stressed that rooftop vegetation should reflect local growing conditions, and imitate natural ecosystems.  Local grasses can be an effective and a low-maintenance way of covering a greenroof.

– 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 April 27, 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.

A Green Roof Day in New York

April 25, 2012 at 5:57 pm

By Ed Snodgrass

Much like Tarzan, King Kong and Crocodile Dundee I look out of place in New York.  I am a country boy by both birth and disposition.  So when I got a call from The Martha Stewart Show to be a guest on their Earth Day show I knew if I accepted I would have to be in Manhattan for a day or two and I would just have to make the most of it and find a way through my discomfort of urban spaces.

I got into New York Sunday afternoon and met Andrea Mason who produces the gardening segments of the Martha Stewart Show.  We worked through the afternoon preparing for the next day’s show.  We talked through the green roof mock-up and planted some areas of the roof and left other to plants on the show.  Geoff Rosen, the producer of the show stopped by to talk about the segment and frame some questions and other logistics. Before we knew it four hours had gone by.  It’s amazing how much work eight minutes of television takes.

I called my friend Patrick Cullina in Brooklyn to see if he had time to hang out.  Patrick was recently Vice President of Horticulture and Park Operations at the High Line and was formerly Vice President of Horticulture and Science at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Patrick is a great plantsman but also a serious basketball fan as am I.  We talked urban horticulture and hoops over hip food (menus with more adjectives than nouns) in Greenwich Village.

I woke early Monday morning and walked down to the High Line.  I hadn’t seen it since the second phase had been completed and before 8 AM it was already bustling both with people and with plants.  The redbuds were in bloom with foamflower fizzing under them.  It was like spring time in the Smokies but with a cityscape as a backdrop.

Angie Durhman from Tecta America was in New York by chance – we had talked a couple days earlier and she offered to take me to see the USPS Morgan Processing and Distribution Center roof, some 67,000 sq.ft. of extensive roof.  I jumped at the chance, but I had to be at the Martha Stewart studio by noon so it was a quick visit.

It was well worth it.  In contrast to the High Line, the USPS roof is a simple, easy landscape.  I enjoy the complexity of the High Line but I also enjoy the elegance of a properly maintained extensive green roof.  I saw Columbia University’s weather station up there and thought, these are the kind of roofs we need to measure.

Off to the studio and to very foreign scenes to me like a green room, hair and make-up, a very busy crew of people moving in all directions and finally the stage manager comes to get me and place me on my spot for the segment and then eight minutes of green roof talk with Martha Stewart and then off stage and done.

The people on the show could not have been nicer or more professional and it’s clear there is a real environmental concern at the show from top to bottom.

See the 5:25 The Martha Stewart Show Earth Day Show video clip here.

Happily, I was in car and through the Holland Tunnel before rush hour.  As I merged onto the New Jersey Turnpike, I thought I was happy to have taken the chance to go to New York but happier still to head back to the farm.

~ Ed Snodgrass
ed.snodgrass@greenroofplants.com

Publisher’s Note:  Read past “ask ed” archives here.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: April 20, 2012

April 22, 2012 at 1:59 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 April 20th, 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 April 20th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the Library of Congress Packard Campus of National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, built in 2005 in Culpeper, Virginia.  This $120 million, former Cold War United States Federal Reserve bunker, facility is built into the side of Mount Pony in Culpeper, southwest of Washington, D.C., and was created through a partnership between Packard Humanities Institute, the United States Congress, the Library of Congress, and the Architect of the Capitol.  A state-of-the-art facility where the Library of Congress acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts, and sound recordings, the Library of Congress Packard Campus is not only home to the largest library in the world but is also one of the largest greenroofs in the U.S.  The vegetated roof protects the film vaults which contain the nation’s heritage of film in their original nitrate form.

With plants provided by Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants, SmithGroup covered the center with a 228,000 square foot roof garden, while blending the design into the rural Virginia hillside; and the greenroof has the added benefit of helping to keep the temperatures inside the storage facility stable for up to two weeks in the event of a long-term power outage.  International Leak Detection performed the EFVM ® integrity test on the various roof slopes to ensure the membrane installation was watertight prior to the installation of the plantings.

– To learn more about the Library of Congress Packard Campus of National Audio-Visual Conservation Center,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

– There’s still time to enter the 2012 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest! If you have a greenroof photo you want to submit, go to our Facebook page and upload it!  Make sure to tell your friends and family to vote for it daily until Earth Day, April 22nd!

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 19: Panel Session “Green Roofs Without the Hype” with Patrick Carey, Dr. Robert Berghage, Charlie Miller, and Ed Snodgrass.

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

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  Iowa State University Selects LiveRoof ® for Memorial Union Green Roof.

Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance, Kee Safety Announce Cooperative Effort to Market Rooftop Fall Protection Equipment.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

–  Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “See Ed Snodgrass on the Martha Stewart Show on Friday, April 20, 2012!,” “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 19: Green Roofs Without the Hype,” and “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: April 13, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  Don’t forget going on now through Sunday, April 22nd is our “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest!  So make sure to like our Facebook page, if you haven’t already, upload your greenroof photo and then get your friends and family to vote for it!

–  April 21st-22nd: is Green Festival – A Joint project of Global exchange & Green America, in New York, NY.

– April 22, 2012 is the 42nd Anniversary of Earth Day.  Building on the major achievements of Earth Day 2011 and A Billion Acts of Green ®, Earth Day Network is working to reach even more people all over the world to promote environmental awareness.  Support Earth Day!

Your support enables Earth Day Network to power the environmental movement and ensure a healthy and sustainable planet for all of us.  Your contributions and purchases help mobilize communities, implement environmental education programs and support Earth Day events and actions around the world.

From greening schools in post-Katrina New Orleans to improving water and sanitation services in a refugee community in Ghana, EDN supports and coordinates thousands of Earth Day events worldwide each year.  Earth Day, April 22, is the largest secular holiday in the world, now celebrated by more than one billion people.

–  April 23rd-25th: is a Design-Build for Water/Wastewater Conference, in Phoenix, AZ.

–  April 26th-27th: is Green California Summit and Exposition, in Sacramento, CA.

–  And April 27th: is a Green Rooftop Co-Working & Philanthropy Event, in Sydney, Australia.

– “In the News“

–  Tom Oder of the Mother Nature Network, tells you “How to install a green roof.”  Installing a green roof can be an ambitious project for anyone who doesn’t really know what they’re doing.  It’s always good to get professional help but if you want to try a smaller version, like on your dog house or porch roof, and don’t mind getting your hands dirty, here’s a do-it-yourself guide.  In this article, you can read about what a green roof is, choosing the location, choosing the weight, using a flat or sloped roof and then, how to install it.  He also tells you what kind of soil to use, which plants are ideal, and talks about the many benefits of green roofs, like the aesthetically pleasing effect, reducing heating and cooling costs, and more.

Robin Andrews, of the Greenbuild division of Saul Nurseries and ItSaul Plants in Alpharetta, GA said, “In areas of the country where summers are hot and dry, fall installation of matted plants is recommended because plants acclimate and establish best when the climate is mild.”  So if you’re interested, you can find this article in our newslinks and read all about how to install your own green roof.

–  Kevin Haas of the Rockford Register Star, announces “Green roof will top it all off at Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford.”  He says, “the roof of the Nicholas Conservatory will go from gray to green this summer.”  This green roof will provide many benefits like, reducing the building’s energy costs, extending the life of the roof, managing stormwater, and providing habitat for birds and insects.

Hundreds of trays filled with a variety of heat- and drought-tolerant plants will be installed, for year-round vegetation, plant color, and beauty.  The new roof is one of several features that helped the conservatory earn its LEED-certification; they also have solar panels and a geothermal system.  Go to the full article to also watch a short video with Ruth Miller, facility manager at Nicholas Conservatory, where she talks about the new green roof.

– 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 April 20th, 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.