Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 21: Green Roof Technology Sails Around the World

May 2, 2012 at 8:22 am

Today we have the pleasure to air Jörg Breuning’s  video  presentation “Green Roof Technology Sails Around the World” from our inaugural  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on and our  GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

Originally  from Germany,  Jörg has been living in the U.S. since the later 1990’s, starting his business  Green Roof Service (now Green Roof Technology) along with former business partner Peter Philippi.  His company has greened or consulted on many award-winning greenroofs here in the U.S. and in Germany.  We’ve known him for almost a decade and his warm smile matches his expertise and workmanship pertaining to greenroofs.

Back in the summer of 2008 he told me about the first cruise ship that Celebrity Cruises had greened – the  Solstice –  and we were happy to publish his Guest Feature Article about this unique experience, “Modern Green Roof Technology Literally Shipped from Germany!,” in November, 2008.  It was such as novel idea that Haven Kiers and I featured it in our 2008 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Design.

Our readers weren’t the only ones impressed with this gorgeous sea-faring greenroof – in 2009, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities awarded the  Celebrity Solstice Cruise Ship – Lawn Club a  Special Recognition Award for its many green features and corporate leadership.  Since then, Celebrity Cruises has more ships with greenroofs – hence the topic of  Jörg’s presentation!

Jörg Breuning is the principal of Green Roof Technology (previously Green Roof Service) which offers a full range of design services to meet green roof, green wall, and natural swimming pool/bio-filtration pool needs.  Jörg began working with green roofs in 1980 and brought the first modern green roof technology to the U.S. in 1999 with the Chicago City Hall project.

His expertise is known by universities, architects, manufacturers and installers across the U.S. and in Europe.  He is especially recognized for his ability to bridge the gap between theory and practice offering the most efficient green roof solutions.  Also, he co-founded Green Roof Safari.

In “Green Roof Technology Sails Around the World”  Jörg  points out that playing golf, croquet or bocce in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean may sound like a far fetched dream.  However, Green Roof Service LLC in Bel Air, Maryland made this dream come true for Royal Caribbean and their half a million guests.

In this seminar Jörg Breuning explains the engineering and installation of live grass on Cruise Ships that face some of the most extreme environmental challenges.  Nice, green, and beautiful, it is the ultimate green roof experience.

Enjoy!  Visit to see “Green Roof Technology Sails Around the World” or click below:

Watch earlier videos on our exclusive Virtual Summit 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 22nd installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

GPW: Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central

December 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm Project of the Week: 11/28/11
Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central
Philadelphia, PA, USA
5,000 sf. Greenroof

Year: 2008
Owner: Free Library of Philadelphia
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA
Building Type: Library
Type: Semi-Intensive, Test/Research
System: Custom
Size: 5,000 sq. ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Project Description & Details

Consisting of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Free Library of Philadelphia is one of the most widely-used educational and cultural institutions in the city with more than six million visits annually.

Part of Mayor Michael Nutter’s green initiatives and the first on a city-owned building, the four story Beaux-Arts Parkway Central Library’s green roof demonstration project is divided into two areas flanking the east and west sides of the central roof terrace above the main entrance. 100 cubic yards of  rooflite ® growing media support more than 5,400 plants. Sedums include Murale White Stonecrop, Blue Cadet Creeping Sedum, and Blue Spruce Stonecrop along with grasses such as Blue Grama, Feather Reed Grass, Blue Fescue, and Prairie Dropseed. The accessible green roof offers informative signage and a beautiful view of central Philadelphia from the terrace.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Architect: Moshe Safdie and Associates
Architect: Kelly Maiello
Landscape Architect: Lager Raabe Skafte Landscape Architects
Greenroof Consultant: Peter Philippi, Green Roof Service, LLC
Roofing Contractor: U.S. Roofing
Growing Media: rooflite ® Extensive MC, Skyland USA
Planting Installation: Galbally Landscaping
Project Manager: Jim Pecora, Free Library of Philadelphia
Lead Project Coordinator: Fredda Lippes, City of Philadelphia
Moisture Retention Mat, Drainage Board, Root Barrier & Protection Fabric: Carlise

Additional Info

The City of Philadelphia is fast becoming a very green-oriented city due to Mayor Michael A. Nutter and the efforts of many.  The City is currently working on a $2 billion stormwater plan to rethink  the way the city deals with rain.   And, their Stormwater Management Practices Design Guidelines include specifics on greenroofs.

“The 25-year plan, which has been hailed as a national model, envisions green roofs on office buildings, porous pavement on city streets and parking lots, and plants and trees with tubs of gravel below ground to hold water and stall runoff in a storm.” ~ of June 2, 2011

See the most recent version of the Philadelphia Stormwater Management Guidance Manual (Version 2.0 revised 4/29/2011).

Specifically pertaining to greenroofs, the City  offers up to $100,000 in business tax credits.   For more info, download the Business Privilege Tax Application for the Green Roof Tax Credit, Philadelphia Code § 19-2604(8).

The Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central is located on Logan Circle at 19th and Vine Street in Philadelphia and the greenroof project was initiated by Fredda Lippes, RA, LEED AP, Dept. of Public Property and Mayor’s Office of Sustainability for The City of Philadelphia.  The Library’s greenroof was designed by Moshe Safdie and Associates, the Library’s nationally-renowned architect of the Parkway Central Library’s expansion project and numerous other high-visibility living roofs (such as the Vancouver Public Library).  Sustainability and green building practices are being incorporated into the new 180,000 square-foot addition, and the Library is seeking a silver LEED designation for the new building.

“I want to commend all of those involved in making this vision a reality.  This project is another example to cities across the country of what can happen when many different sectors – government, business and non-profits – work in partnership towards a common goal.” ~ Mayor Michael A.  Nutter

Completed at a cost of $200,000, the greenroof is mostly an extensive design with some semi-intensive areas varying from a 6″ to 12″ soil depth range.   Located on the south side of the building and accessible off the 4th floor of the Skyline room, the Library greenroof terrace offers spectacular views of downtown.

Staging for the construction of the greenroof included closing of the streets by police.   Here you see the rooflite ® supersacks of growing media being trucked in:

By the way, rooflite ® says that it takes the crane operator to unload each sack in about 3 seconds!

Monitoring of the roof has included temperature recordings:

“The summer roof temperature prior to the green roof installation was recorded as 128 degrees on the ballasted areas to 170 degrees on the exposed black EPDM – the green roof surface would average approximately 30-40 degrees less than the ballasted area.” ~Delaware Valley Green Building Council

Informative signage was an important factor for The Free Library of Philadelphia to help educate the public on the many benefits of greenroofs:

“Every Great City Needs a Great Library!” ~ The Free Library of Philadelphia

Watch a short (1:51) construction video by The Free Library of Philadelphia below:

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!   Click here to see more information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.   See how you can submit yours here.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: December 2, 2011

December 28, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here’s the transcript from December 2nd, 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 2nd  on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Free Library of Philadelphia Parkway Central built in 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Free Library is one of the most visited educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.   On September 29, 2008, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter cut a green ribbon and officially unveiled the Parkway Central Library’s new greenroof demonstration project atop the four story 1927 Beaux-Arts building. The green roof was made possible through generous support from H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest, PECO, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Quita W. Horan.

The 5,000 square foot greenroof is protected by an EPDM waterproofing membrane and includes 100 cubic yards of rooflite growing median and more than 5,400 plants. The Library’s greenroof demonstration represents the first greenroof on a city-owned building and is part of the Mayor’s initiative to make Philadelphia one of the greenest cities in the country. The accessible greenroof offers a beautiful view of central Philadelphia from the terrace. Green Roof Technology, formerly Green Roof Service, was also a consultant on the project.

To learn more about the Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central greenroof, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage.

What’s New“

–   Make sure to read our latest articles. Ralph Velasquez, our Guest Contributing Editor, asks, “Are those products you buy really Green? Or are you a victim of Greenwashing?” in his latest column, “The Six Sins of Greenwashing.” And Andrés Ibáñez Gutiérrez, Faculty of Architecture for the University of Hong Kong and Biotectonica S.A.S, Colombia, talks about “Pioneering Vegetated Architecture in Colombia: From Research to Regulations,” in his guest feature article.

Advertiser Press Releases:

$2,000 is Available Toward School Garden Projects: Green Living Wall School Garden – Green Living Technologies Mobile Edible Wall Unit Qualifies.

Industry News Update

–   The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the General Services Administration (GSA) have joined forces to promote the Federal Green Challenge Initiative in New England federal facilities.

–  New York City’s Green Infrastructure Program will give out up to $4 million more in grants to build greenroofs, rain gardens, rainwater harvesting, right-of-way bioswales and other projects to reduce and manage stormwater.

–   Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Hope to See You @ CitiesAlive 2011 in Philly This Week!“  and our GPW.

– “Upcoming Events“

–   Going on now through Saturday, December 3rd: is Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ CitiesAlive 2011 9th Annual Green Roof & Wall Conference in Philadelphia, PA.

–   December 6th: is an Ecoroof Seminar for Professionals, City of Portland, BES, in Portland, OR.

And December 6th-8th: is the Ecobuild America Conference in Washington, DC.

– “In the News“

–   Denise Piper of the Whangarei Leader, talks about “Living roof concept `great branding.” She quotes Dusty Gedge, president of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations, about living roofs when he spoke to 40 people as one of four talks in New Zealand last week. He says “living roofs could be great branding for Northland,” and that “Hundertwasser [Austrian painter and architect who embraced the living roof concept] obviously loved this part of the world. Living roofs could add subtly to the tourist route.” The Hundertwasser toilets in Kawakawa are well known for their grass roofs. The Hundertwasser Art Centre proposed for Whangarei to have a living roof park, ramping up from the ground to the top of the building.

–   Will Parsons of Environmental Data Interactive, reports on “Green wall unveiled at Edgware Road Tube station.” The 200 square meter green wall was completed this week with a ceremony that saw the Mayor of London’s director of the environment, Kulveer Ranger, add the final piece into place. The project took only a month to complete and is part of the London Clean Air Fund, financed by the Department for Transport; and the 15 varieties of plants used in the wall will improve the air quality by trapping particulate matter coming from traffic emissions. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said of the green wall: “Delivering cleaner air for London is a top priority for me and this ingenious green wall traps harmful pollution on one of our busiest roads, helping to cleanse the air at this popular spot as well as helping to soften and beautify the local environment.”

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 and share your greenroof or green wall info with the world!

– Make sure to keep up with everything 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 2nd, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez and I’ll see you next week!

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

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

~ Linda V.”™s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: May 20th, 2011

May 22, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on through our “This Week in Review” video.   Here’s the transcript covering May 20 and May 13, 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 May 20th as well as for May 13th, 2011, on    GreenroofsTV since we took a week off.

–  Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is SeQuential’s Biofueling Retail Station built in 2006 in Eugene, Oregon.  This biofuel station is an example of realistic, feasible, and sustainable technologies demonstrating real world solutions that reduce energy usage and local water quality impacts.  These features include solar panels on the fuel pump canopies, passive solar design of the convenience store, and a vegetated roof that is part of a site-stormwater system including bioswales and a detention pond.  Habitats staff, who were also project managers, designed the fuel station site plan, landscape and stormwater features, and designed, installed and planted the vegetated roof, which contains over 4,800 individual plants in 5 inches of soil.

–  Last week we featured Aqua, the winner of our “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest.  Designed to comply with LEED certification, Aqua is a mixed-use residential skyscraper overlooking Harbor Park on the shores of Lake Michigan and is setting new heights for innovation and beauty among Chicago skyscrapers.  Each floor of the 82-story tower has an architectonic facade of curvaceous white concrete balconies, and the 80,000 sf intensive Greenroof-Roofscapes ® System roof garden by Barrett Company caps Aqua’s three-story podium roof, providing a naturalistic, eco-friendly landscape.  And an International Leak Detection (ILD) system was installed to protect against membrane damage as well as other electric field leakage problems.

–  To learn more about SeQuential’s Biofueling Retail Station, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage, and for Aqua, go to the Projects Database landing page and under Keyword > Project ID # > simply type in “1136.”

–   “What’s New“

–  Joblinks:    Apex Green Roofs is looking for an Office Administrator/Manager in Boston area, MA.  You can go to more information on this job and other Green Roof Job postings.

–  Advertiser Press Release:  Bel Air receives its first Green Roof donated by local green roof design firm Green Roof Service.

–  Industry News

–   Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is pleased to announce that it is now accepting submissions for the 2011 Green Roof and Wall Design Awards of Excellence, presented at CitiesAlive: the 9th Annual Green Roof & Wall Conference in Philadelphia, PA November 30th through December 3rd, 2011.

– Make sure to check out our latest Guest Blog post on the Sky Gardens Blog, “Rainwater Harvesting on Greenroofs?“ by Steve Williams.

– And while at Sky Gardens, read Linda’s latest posts about the last two GPW’s for “SeQuential’s Biofueling Retail Station“ and “Aqua;” “Dr. Karen Weber Receives NEWIEE Achievement Award;” and “’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: May 6th, 2011.”

–   “Upcoming Events“

–  -Today and tomorrow, May 21st: is Green Living Technologies International (GLTi) Certification Training in Detroit, MI.

– And on May 22nd: is GLTi Urban Farming & Edible Walls in Detroit, MI.

– May 21st-22nd: is Green Festival – A Joint project of Global exchange & Green America in Seattle, WA.

– May 23rd-29th: is the 3rd Annual High-Performance Building Week, in Washington, DC.

– May 23rd: is ARCSA’s 100-Level Workshop, Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting in Athens, GA.

– And May 24th-25th: is the 200-Level 2-Day ARCSA Rainwater Harvesting Accreditation Course in Athens, GA with the 300-Level 2-Day ARCSA 2-Day Design & Construction Workshop on May 26th-27th.

– May 24th-28th: is the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London.

–  For more Upcoming Events visit our homepage.

–   “In the News“

–  Bobby Tanzilo of reports on “Central Library renews environment via green roof.”  Instead of going for a conventional roof last year when the library needed to replace its 25-year-old roof, a 30,000 sf greenroof was constructed and 132 solar electric panels were added to generate about 36,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.  On the first floor, there is an area dedicated to the greenroof initiative and the library’s public services manager, Christine Arkenberg, says “everyone’s very enthused about it.”

– The Norman Transcript announces “University of Okla. receives EPA Award.”  The University of Oklahoma was among winners of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awards presented earlier this week at the state Capitol.  The university received the 2010 Performance and Innovation in the State Revolving Fund Creating Environmental Success in EPA Region 6, because of its experimental green roof project that reduces stormwater runoff and blocks solar radiation.

– The Clemson Newsroom releases “Clemson University institute to study ‘vertical farming’ feasibility in Charleston.”  Research elements of the proposed vertical are water and energy self-sufficiency by incorporating elements of alternative energy sources and gray water collection and reuse; greenroof and vertical garden technologies; sustainable production of high-quality organic foods within a reduced urban footprint; enhanced hydroponics; rooftop and vertical wetlands for water quality treatment; and community-based sustainable development education.

– Blair Kamin of the Chicago Tribune reflects on “A mayor who left his mark on Chicago’s cityscape.”   His (Mayor Richard Daley) record-setting 22 years in office led to an urban legacy and dramatic changes including mega-projects like Millennium Park, former commuter railroad tracks which now arguably houses the world’s largest greenroof.  In total, Chicago now boasts more than 7 million sf “” more than any other city in America “” of planted roofs.

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

–   Have something you think we should know about and post on our website?   You can send us your green articles, videos and images to

–   Stay up-to-date with what’s going on at by subscribing to our  greenroofsTV channel on YouTube, following us on  Twitter, liking us on  Facebook and being a member of our network on  LinkedIn.

–   This has been This Week in Review for  May 20th and May 13th,    2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez and I’ll see you next week!

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

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

~ Linda V.