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 & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 19: Green Roofs Without the Hype Panel Presentation

April 18, 2012 at 12:42 am

Today we have the pleasure to air the “Green Roofs Without the Hype” Panel Presentation with Patrick Carey, Dr. Robert Berghage, Charlie Miller, and Ed Snodgrass from our inaugural 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

Since Earth Day is coming up, I felt this panel of industry leaders and experts would make a great choice to honor the occasion!

Two of these gentlemen have been long standing editorial contributors to Greenroofs.com – Ed Snodgrass as The Plant Editor (2004) and Patrick Carey as The Architecture Editor since 2005.

Ed’s an accomplished nurseryman, author, proponent of sustainable business practices, and an all around affable guy with a big heart, and writes the (very occasional!) column “Ask Ed.”  We had the pleasure, along with our attendees, of having Ed as one of our Keynote Speakers at our Virtual Summit last September – look for his video “Right Plant, Right Place” coming up soon.  Read my in-depth interview with him at his family farm, Emory Knoll Farms, here.

Speaking of both Earth Day and Ed Snodgrass, make sure you see or record Ed’s appearance on the Martha Stewart Show this Friday, April 20, 2012.  In honor of Earth Day, Martha invited Ed to talk about – what else? greenroofs!

I have known Patrick Carey since 2000, when we corresponded about research and greenroofs (or greenruffs, as he says!).  He is very near and dear to Aramis and me, and is a brilliant (yet mental) philosopher, architectural/greenroof designer, and excellent writer, albeit in a rambling, existential kind of manner.  His column, “A View from the Sky Trenches,” has also come only occasionally, which can be expected of people who have to work for a living instead of writing for us in a consistent manner.  I asked Patrick to lead the panel discussion as the moderator, and in fact he chose the other three panelists to be on his team.

As you know if you read my blog posts, I hold Charlie Miller very dear to me as an inspiration and mentor since I’ve known him for years – I also asked him to be one of our four Keynote Speakers for our 2011 Virtual Summit – you can see my blog post about it here and see the Episode #1 “A New Place” video listed below.

Dr. Bob Berghage is a newer acquaintance, my having met him finally along with the late, wonderful, Dr. Dave Beattie in Nuertingen, Germany in 2004 at the inaugural International Green Roof Congress sponsored by IGRA.  He’s extremely knowledgeable, outspoken, and friendly – a great combo for a professor!

I think the four made an excellent and very smart panel, and I’m sure you’ll agree:

Patrick Carey, GRP, lives in Seattle, WA, USA and has a degree in architecture and is principal of hadj design, a green roof design-build company.  Patrick is also director of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild’s Green Roof Project and a trainer with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities where he facilitates the Green Roof 101, 201, 301, & 401 Courses.  Patrick is also a contributing editor on Greenroofs.com (2005); he is the Architecture Editor (2005).  He writes an occasional architectural column entitled “A View from the Sky Trenches,” where he selects and discusses pertinent greenroof industry topics.

Patrick was the Moderator for “Green Roofs Without the Hype.”

Dr. Robert Berghage lives in University Park, PA, USA.  Robert D. Berghage, PHD is an Associate Professor in Horticulture and Director of the Center for Green Roof Research at Penn State.  He has been a member of the Penn State faculty since 1994 and was a member of the Faculty of New Mexico State University from 1989 to 1994.  He received a Ph.D. and MS in Horticulture from Michigan State University and a BS in Botany from the University of Michigan.  He conducts research in phytoremediation and plant growth in modified environments.  Current projects mainly focus on green roofs where Dr. Berghage, along with colleagues in engineering and graduate and undergraduate students have been working to evaluate green roof materials, plants, and systems and to quantify the beneficial functions of green roofs.  He teaches Plant Propagation, Herbaceous Plant Identification and Use, and Eco-roof Technology classes in Horticulture.  He is state Floriculture and Greenhouse Crop Production Extension Specialist and the serves on the Penn State Stormwater Management Advisory Committee.

Charlie Miller, P.E. lives in Philadelphia, PA, USA and is the Principal of Roofmeadow. Charlie Miller has 30 years of experience in projects related to civil and environmental engineering.  In 1997, Charlie formed Roofscapes, Inc. (now Roofmeadow) to introduce green roof technology as a new tool for managing stormwater in urban and developing areas in the United States.  He has written four new ASTM standards that are specifically intended for use by the green roof industry, and is currently at work on the new ASTM Standard Guide for Vegetated Green Roof Systems.  Charlie’s firm provides project delivery services, including feasibility studies, design consulting, preparation of construction documentation, construction management, and long-term maintenance and support for green roof installations.  Projects have included the design and installation of the well-known green roof for Chicago’s City Hall.  Roofscapes, Inc. supports and supervises a national network of landscape contractors that specialize in green roof installation.  It also partners with several national roofing manufacturers in order to offer complete green roof assembly packages.  Over 200 green roofs have been installed by Roofmeadow contractors. Consulting services offered by Roofmeadow focus on providing affordable green roof options for controlling stormwater and nurturing green space in cities.

Edmund Snodgrass lives in Street, MD, USA and is co-owner of Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants. Edmund Snodgrass started the first green roof nursery in North America and has collaborated on green roof research with colleges and universities.  He is co-owner and president of Emory Knoll Farms Inc.  Ed speaks and lectures widely on green roofs and has presented in England, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada and the US.  In 2009, Ed was the recipient of the Spencer P. Ellis award from the Maryland Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects and is the 2011 recipient of the G.B. Gunlogson Award from the American Horticultural Society.  Ed is the co-author of Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living, 2011; The New American Landscape: Leading Voices on the Future of Sustainable Gardening, 2011; The Green Roof Manual: A Professional Guide to Design, Installation, and Maintenance, 2010; and Green Roof Plants, A Planting and Resource Guide, 2006.

Ed is also a contributing editor on Greenroofs.com (2004): the Plant Editor where he answers reader questions, writes occasional articles, and features seasonal greenroof plants in “Ask Ed.”

The premise of the “Green Roofs Without the Hype” Panel Session is:

Here are four people with the knowledge to speak frankly about the current state of affairs in green roofing.

This panel focuses on the designation and evaluation of expertise, appropriate background and training, roadblocks to research and education, design origination and control, chain of custody issues, installation, and the residential market.

After the panel presentation on the second day of the 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit, Patrick Carey, Dr. Robert Berghage, Charlie Miller, and Ed Snodgrass were available for the live Q & A session; the transcript was available archived for 30 days for participants of the Virtual Summit – unfortunately, we do not have it available now – one of the reasons to participate in 2013’s Virtual Summit!

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.

Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “Green Roofs Without the Hype” 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 20th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: December 16, 2011

December 29, 2011 at 12:46 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 December 16th  and 9th, 2011 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 December 16th  and 9th, 2011 on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Projects of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Orchard Central Mall Greenwalls built in 2009 in Singapore. Orchard Central Mall is Singapore’s tallest and first vertical pure-retail mall, and has a 160m façade featuring a faceted membrane which functions as a massive media wall, adding visual vibrancy to Orchard Road. The rooftop gardens offer a great spot for dining alfresco, sipping coffee, or enjoying afternoon tea, and feature three large living walls, a balcony rail on the 11th floor, and two lower green walls on the 12th floor roof terrace.

Orchard Central Mall is a winner of the Singapore Institute of Architects and National Parks Board Skyrise Greenery Awards in 2009. The award aims to promote skyrise greenery in Singapore and to recognize the greening efforts in high rise developments by owners/developers, architects, landscape architects/designers, and landscape contract managers. VersiCell sub-soil drainage modules were used in the landscaped areas and planter boxes to facilitate efficient drainage of water and the Elmich Green Wall systems were installed on the 11th and 12th floors of the mall.

–  Our project of the week for last week was  The Ramona Apartments, in Portland, OR.   The Ramona Apartments is a new mixed-use, midrise apartment building consisting of six stories of wood-framed construction over a concrete podium. In addition to the ecoroof, the building’s courtyard contains permeable surfaces, plants, gravel and sand that are designed to filter and retain stormwater. Together with the roof, these elements treat one hundred percent of the property’s stormwater. Additional benefits of the ecoroof are the mitigation of the urban heat island effect and providing an environment for native habitat.

–  To learn more about the Orchard Central Mall Greenwalls, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage and for The Ramona Apartments, type in Project ID #1384 in the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

What’s New“

–  Our  2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall Calendar is now available for purchase! The Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ series combines two of our most popular destinations on Greenroofs.com: The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database and Upcoming Events. It’s a great way to highlight fabulous projects and our website Sponsors, our highest level of advertising. Kudos to all the sustainable designers out there as well as the companies and organizations who back us up with ecologically friendly products and services. You can get the perfect holiday gift for your family, friends, staff and clients for only $12.95 which includes shipping within the U.S, and Canada, or a special discount for orders of 10 or more!

–  Every week we’ll be uploading a video from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 to our greenroofsTV page and YouTube channel. Last week we featured our Opening Keynote Address by Charlie Miller, P.E. of Roofmeadow: “A New Place.” And this week we’re highlighting the “2011 Top 10 Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design“ by Linda Velazquez and  Haven Kiers, so be sure to check them out and stay tuned for more!

Advertiser Press Releases:

–   New Green Building Product Announcement: Introducing LiveRoof ® Maxx: the Eight-Inch Deep module for the LiveRoof ® Hybrid Green Roof System.

–  Welcome to our new Greenroof Directory advertiser H. Keith Wagner Partnership out of Burlington VT!

Industry News Update

–   The City Planning Commission unveiled a proposal this week to amend New York City’s zoning code to make it easier for buildings to incorporate environmentally friendly additions such as solar panels, wind turbines and wall insulation. The package of rule changes, dubbed Zone Green, would permit solar panels, greenroofs, storm water detention systems, skylights and other green features on buildings, despite height restrictions, and would allow owners to install wind turbines up to 55 feet above rooftops on waterfront buildings and buildings taller than 100 feet.

–    Joblinks Update

Columbia-Green is looking for a Sales Manager based in the Midwest or East Coast, USA.

The Horticultural Society of New York (The Hort) is seeking a Greenroof Research Intern in New York, NY.

–   Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts:  “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 2: The Hot Top 10 List by Linda Velazquez and Haven Kiers,” “Order Your 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar Now!,” “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 1: Charlie Miller,” and  “See all the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Videos on greenroofs.tv!“

– “Upcoming Events“

–   The Water-Harvesting Certification Training program in Phoenix takes place from February 24th to March 4th, 2012 and applications are due December 30th, 2011.

– “In the News“

–   Matt Hickman of Mother Nature Network blogs about “Evergreen homes: Green Roof House.” In his monthly series of spotlighting green residential building projects from his home state of Washington, Hickman talks about the Green Roof House and says, “When building up to accommodate a growing family, the owners of the Green Roof House not only added a second floor to their Seattle bungalow but neighbor-pleasing elements like a green roof and living wall.”

This House was showcased as part of the 2011 Seattle Green Home Tour and includes numerous green amenities like a solar PV system, a living wall, a rainwater catchment system and a greenroof. Working with a growing family who could only build up and not out, the design-build firm Batt + Lear, went up to the roof to see exactly how a 2nd story would impact the neighbors’ view. Not wanting to make any additional living space unfortunate for the neighbors or clash with the existing architecture, they decided to build the 2nd floor addition on the front half of the home and install the beautiful greenroof on the back half. Now when the neighbors look out their windows, instead of black asphalt to look at, they’ll have a lush colorful landscape.

–   Robin L. Eschler of WomensRadio.com, talks about “Green Roofs and a 300 Year Old Business: An interview with Ed Snodgrass.” Traditional farming, raising corn, cattle, llamas, Christmas trees and now greenroof plants, Emory Knoll Farms has been around for over 300 years. Ed Snodgrass, current Emory Knolls Farm co-owner, international horticulturalist, author and avid conservationist, and contributing editor here at Greenroofs.com, is carrying on the success of the six-generations-family-owned business in northern Maryland.

Today the majority of Emory Knolls Farm is supporting indigenous trees, native meadow plants, native fauna and over ninety species of birds and the nursery is the only one in North America that is dedicated just to greenroof plants. Emory Knoll Farms is currently involved in over 800 projects and has incorporated as a B-Corporation, or Benefit Corporation, and actively uses the principles of the Natural Step process, a set of four principles developed in Sweden for sustainable manufacturing. You can learn more about Ed and Emory Knoll Farms at GreenRoofPlants.com.

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 green wall 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 December 16th  and 9th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez and I’ll see you in a couple weeks with our This Year in Review!

– Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Greenroofs.com!

*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 & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011: Final Roundup of Expert Speakers!

September 21, 2011 at 11:12 pm

Greenroofs.com‘s  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 is less than a week away!  We’re coming into the homestretch with our Virtual Summit and we certainly hope you will join us!

Watch our short, fun, trailer here (under 3 minutes):

Last week I highlighted international professionals from Germany, Mexico, Canada, Chile, and the U.S., and here is the remaining line-up of wonderful, talented speakers at our inaugural online event, also from countries around the world:

Wolfgang Ansel, Germany: The Director of the International Green Roof Association (IGRA) will present  “Green Roof Policies – An International Review of Current Practices and Future Trends.”

 

Caroline Menetre, USA:  The landscape designer, graphic designer, environmental horticulturist, and contributing editor on Greenroofs.com will introduce the “The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities – An  Interview” with Patrick Blanc.

 

Matthew Dillon, Australia: The Vice President of GreenRoofs Australasia and member of World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) will present “GreenRoofs in Australasia.”

 

João Manuel Linck Feijó, Brazil: The principal of Ecotelhado, Director of ATVBrasil, and World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) board member will present  “The Work of ATVBrasil.”

 

Lluis Recasens Pahí, Spain: The Professor of Horticulture at the Institut d ´Horticultura i Jardineria de Reus will present “Sustainability in Plant Production.”

 

Dr. Clayton Rugh, USA: The botanist and biologist and Manager & Technical Director of Xero Flor America will present “One Decade of Ultralight Green Roof Proof-of-Concept on Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant.”

 

John Shepley, USA: The engineer, co-founder of Emory Knoll Farms, founding board member of the Baltimore Biodiesel Cooperative, chairman of the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Alliance and contributing editor on Greenroofs.com will present “Sustainability at a Small Business: Emory Knoll Farms.

Linda Velazquez, ASLA Associate, LEED AP, GRP, USA: The founder, publisher & editor of Greenroofs.com and principal of Sky Gardens Design will co-present the “2011 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design” with Haven Kiers.

Remember,  Government professionals and faculty/students have the special discounted rate of only $25 – that’s for both days plus the 30 days archived on-demand through October 28, 2011.   Other professionals are offered the $49 registration rate.

If you haven’t yet, register today!  Please help us spread the world – tell your colleagues, Twitter followers, Facebook fans, newsletter subscribers, and LinkedIn connections to register here.

I think there’s plenty of room in our relatively close-knit greenroof and wall community to explore new information technologies together and not feel threatened by competition – don’t you?  In fact, don’t you agree we should celebrate each other’s innovations?

This is the  social  media event of the year!  We need to support each other and continue to find ways to collaborate and share information.  We’re thrilled with the many features we have up our sleeves, and we hope you will be, too.

See you next week!

~ Linda V.