Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: November 18, 2011

December 27, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here’s the transcript from November 18th, 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 November 18th on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Rooftop Healing Gardens built in 2010 in Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. The 90,000 sf LEED-Gold certified facility has other sustainable building elements besides the “wellness” area rooftop garden, including an array of over 200 solar photovoltaic panels that provide the hospital with 45 kilowatts of power and a Connection to the Natural World, Places of Healing and Respite. “Martha’s Vineyard Hospital was able to meet this innovative credit by incorporating many Planetree patient-focused elements into the new facility that enhanced patient healing; including views, natural light, privacy, and access to healing gardens.” Weston Solutions’ Northeast GreenGrid team provided a plant mix including grasses, perennials, and sedums that are proven to be reliable in the Northeast climate and that bloom at various times during the season, creating an always welcoming space for hospital visitors, patients, and staff.

To learn more about the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Rooftop Healing Gardens, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage.

What’s New“

–   Our new 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall Calendar will be available soon for purchase, so check back and get a fun gift for you, your family, friends, staff and clients!

Industry News Update

–   The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) just released a new report, “Rooftops to Rivers II: Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and Combined Sewer Overflows.” It looks at 14 cities that are choosing to use green infrastructure as a cost-effective means to reduce the flooding and water pollution caused by both extreme and everyday storms.

–   Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: November 4, 2011,” “This Week in Review” for October 28th, 2011 and our GPW.

– “Upcoming Events“

–   November 16th-23rd: Dusty Gedge will have Living Roofs Presentations & Workshops in various locations in New Zealand.

–   November 28th-December 9th: is a Conference of the Parties COP17 2011 Climate Summit in Durban, South Africa.

–   November 30th: is a Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Green Roof Professional Exam in Philadelphia, PA.

–   November 30th-December 1st: is the GOVGREEN Conference and Exposition in Washington, DC.

–   November 30th-December 3rd: is the CitiesAlive 2011 9th Annual Green Roof & Wall Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Greenroofs.com will be there – will you?   Linda and Haven Kiers will be presenting their Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design on Friday, December 2, so don’t miss it!

–   And December 1st: is a Green Wall and Roof Forum by Green Living Technologies in Philadelphia, PA.

– “In the News“

–   Gail Johnson of Globe and Mail, talks about how it’s “Easy to be green when your roof saves you money” in Port Coquitlam, Canada. She says, “Thousands of hand-planted sedums and succulents cover the roofs of Walmart and Canadian Tire, anchor tenants at the Onni Group’s Fremont Village shopping centre.” The newly opened outlets abide by the Canadian bylaw that requires buildings of more than 5,000 square meters to use greenroof technology. Mayor Greg Moore realizes that there was some resistance from developers to the city’s new sustainability initiative but the shift to green roofs is a sign of things to come. Developers are now expressing interest in using environmentally sound technology in smaller structures as well. We know that greenroofs help reduce stormwater run off and help offset the urban heat-island effect which they can do through daily dew and evaporation cycles, allowing plants to cool cities during hot weather. Energy savings continue throughout the life of the building, which typically would be twice as long as a traditional roof.

 

–   Craig Welch of The Seattle Times, reports on “Vancouver, BC, works to be greenest of all.” Vancouver has announced its desire to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. Welch says, “The city is moving to reduce solid waste by 50 percent, cut residents’ carbon footprints by a third and dramatically increase public transit, walking and bike use. It is packing citizens in more densely, trying to encourage more locals to grow food and generally urging lighter living on the land.” One example of how the city is striving to be the greenest is in its drive to substantially cut the waste it sends to landfills. Canada is increasingly making industries take responsibility for disposal of the products they sell, which means that citizens can drop unwanted goods off at facilities paid for by their manufacturers. Vancouver has already achieved success as it continues to get attention from around the world for its efforts to be an eco-leader; and it is inspiring a new generation of innovators.

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 November 18th, 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  Greenroofs.com.*

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

~ Linda V.

Order Your 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar Now!

December 13, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again – the end of 2011 – when we start looking ahead and planning for the next!

What better way to stay up to date with greenroof and greenwall happenings around the world than with our brand new 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall  Calendar?  Now in our fifth year of publishing, the Calendar combines two of our most popular destinations on Greenroofs.com: The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database and Upcoming Events.

We’re very happy with the beautiful projects highlighted and hope you will be, too.  See the  Press Release here.

The 2012 Calendar has 78 events posted from across the globe and the cover features the luscious, top to bottom plant-enveloped Private Brussels Residence Vertical Garden & Greenroof by Patrick Blanc and Philippe Samyn.  Inside you’ll find full color glossy photos of projects from Honolulu, Long Island City, Chicago, Culpeper, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Atlanta, San Francisco, Delft, New York City, Beachwood, and Baltimore.

Special thanks go to our participating Sponsors of the 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar:    Barrett Company,  Green Living Technologies,  Green Roof Blocks,  GreenGrid, International Leak Detection,  LiveRoof, rooflite ®,  Roofmeadow,  Saul Nurseries,  Tremco,  Xero Flor America, and  ZinCo-USA.

And thanks to these Greenroofs.com’s Sponsors who weren’t featured this year –  American Hydrotech and  Conservation Technology –  but whose support also makes our website possible (along with all of you who are listed in  The Greenroof Directory)!

By the way, if you’d like to see all the previous years’ calendar projects, click here.

The  2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar will make a perfect holiday gift for you, your staff,  and your green architecture like-minded friends and family, so order now in time for all the upcoming  holidays and the  new year.

Enjoy and happy greening!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: November 4, 2011

November 8, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here’s the transcript from November 4th, 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 November 4th on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

– Our project of the week is the  Cuartel de Ballajá Greenroof built in 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Ballajá Infantry Barracks Building was constructed by the Spanish army between 1854 and 1864 and is one of the most impressive structures made by Spain in the New World. Used until 1898 as infantry barracks and permanent housing for approximately a thousand soldiers, it consisted of rooms for officers, solders and their families, storage, kitchens, dining rooms, jail cells and stables for horses. Today, the Ballajá Barracks houses several educational and cultural organizations, namely the Museo de Las Américas, on the second floor of the building since 1992.

The extensive  rooflite ® green roof was part of several “green intervention” projects done to the barracks, including a 151.2 KW PV system with 720 solar panels. Completed less than a month ago, the new 24,000 sf green roof was designed by the architect Edmundo Colon with the help of GRP David Aponte. The green roof also has greenwalls and an artificial wetland built to manage higher roof storm water amounts, which is used on a needed basis as the supplemental irrigation system.

– To learn more about the Cuartel de Ballajá, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage.

What’s New“

– Over at Sky Gardens, read Linda’s latest posts, “CITYGREEN’s Latest Issue is Available: Parks – Enhancing Liveability in Cities“ and our GPW.

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  Innovations to GreenGrid Green Roof Take Stormwater Retention to a New Level.

Guernsey Residents Enjoy Alumasc’s ZinCo Green Roof.

Sika Sarnafil Roof Recycling Program Recognized by Society of Plastics Engineer.

Nathan Phillips Square Wins 2011 Award of Excellence – LiveRoof ® Hybrid Green Roof System Supports Transformation in Front of Toronto’s City Hall.

Industry News Update

EPA announced a commitment to using an integrated planning process to help local governments.

– “Upcoming Events“

–  November 5th: is the Fall Garden and Home Festival in El Cajon, California.

– November 8th-9th: is the 3rd Annual Retrofitting & Planning Sustainable Suburbs Summit in Toronto, Canada.

– November 9th-12th: is the Greening Cities Conference in Sydney, Australia.

– Also November 9th-12th: is GREEN CITIES at National League of Cities’ Congress of Cities & Exposition in Phoenix, Arizona.

– And on November 11th: is Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Green Infrastructure: Policies, Performance and Projects in New York, New York.

–  Check out our homepage for more Upcoming Events!

– “In the News“

– Joe Eaton of theSF Gate  says “California Academy of Sciences‘ roof is thriving.” The academy’s roof is planted with beach strawberry, bush monkeyflower, and many other species of herbs, shrubs, annuals, perennials, grasses, succulents, and ferns. One “success story” was self-heal, prunella, a purple-flowered mint herb, Frank Almeda, California Academy of Science’s senior curator, said “bumblebees just love it.” Also loving the roof are butterflies, they are really happy with the tall yellow-blossomed Hooker’s evening primrose.

Part of the roof’s message is that a plant and animal partnership is very important. Almeda said, “it’s important to learn that plants don’t just make it on their own…they have a long evolutionary partnership with pollinators.” The roof attracts insects and other creatures like bumblebees and honeybees, white and West Coast lady butterflies, and even a red-tailed hawk. Human visitors love the roof, too – and you can learn more when you take a tour.

– Emma Dutton and Bethany Leggett of Medill Reports: Chicago, report on “Indoor harvest of fresh produce part of new green arrivals at O’Hare.” They say “the latest modernization at O’Hare International Airport includes an aeroponic vegetable, herb and edible flower garden.” Some of the restaurants are using lettuce, cilantro and basil grown from the 26 vertical columns inside the airport.

Tim Blank, founder and president of Orlando-based Future Growing, designed the aeroponic garden for O’Hare and said, “in this particular case, we’re growing all this food crop right here from farm to table. So we’re bypassing the transportation and the chilling and all those components that create a huge carbon footprint to the plant. Water is one of the number one issues that we’re dealing with in this country. There is a water crisis, especially out West where most of this food is grown.” The indoor garden is one of the latest green initiatives by the Chicago Department of Aviation to increase the sustainability of Chicago airports, showcased at the fourth annual Airports Going Green Conference.

By the way, the O’Hare Aeroponic Garden is featured in the Greenroofs.com 2011 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design.  If you missed our inaugural Virtual Summit, the next time you can see Linda and Haven’s Top 10 presentation will be next month in Philadelphia for the 9th annual Cities Alive Green Roof & Wall Conference!

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 November 4th, 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  Greenroofs.com.*

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

~ Linda V.

Notre Voyage Fantastique: Chicago & Patrick Blanc

September 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm

All Photos by Caroline Menetre Unless Otherwise Noted
Story by Linda Velazquez and Caroline Menetre

Along with my son and cameraman Joey Velazquez, our Greenroofs.com contributor Caroline Menetre and I flew up to Chicago on September 10 to interview world renown French botanist, Patrick Blanc,  at the beautiful 4-star Sofitel Chicago Water Tower for the upcoming Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011.

We had an awesome time with him and  thoroughly  enjoyed our short stay in the Windy City!  Caroline goes first and then I’ll follow with my reflections:

Caroline Menetre: Last Thursday I had the fantastic opportunity and pleasure to go to Chicago with Linda and her son,  Joey  (known for his  photography and  film work – he’s also the director/videographer for the Sky Gardens – Greenroofs of the World™  videos),  for her exclusive pre-summit interview with Patrick Blanc.

Most of you Greenroofs.com devotees know of the noted French botanist and artist and his spectacular green wall installations all over the world.  I can honestly say this man’s work was (one of) the main impetuses for me going back to school in horticulture and to some day design like he does.  (I can dream, can’t I?)

There are numerous facets of Patrick’s knowledge and skills to admire, but as an artist I’m drawn to the design aesthetics, and well…he’s the master.  Each installation is a magnificent work of art.

It was an honor to meet Patrick, and a thrill to sit-in and listen to such an intimate interview and conversation.  He was enthusiastic and passionate about his work, understandably.  I aspire one day to actually see some of his installations in person. And should Atlanta ever be the lucky recipient of his work, I’ll be the first one on-site. (Linda told him I would happily volunteer for any work!)

Linda will expound on the exclusive interview with Patrick, so I will just give a brief synopsis of our quick trip.  We arrived early in the morning and went straight to the “magnifique” Hotel Sofitel for Joey (videographer extraordinaire) to set up for shooting later that day.

Patrick had two lectures that day – a master class to graduate students at the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of technology and the Alliance Française de Chicago (he had also given a lecture the day before at the Chicago Botanic Gardens),  so we had some time in between sessions for a quick stroll around “the greenest, most environmentally friendly city in the nation.”

I could go on and on about all of the greening and environmental efforts achieved in Chicago, but the most obvious visual aspect is the lushly planted medians and storefront streetscapes. While the average Chicago visitor marvels at the upscale boutiques, restaurants, and hotels along “The Magnificent Mile” on Michigan Avenue, I strolled the stretch with head down, scanning from curb to curb, oohing and aahing at every plant and artful planting (shops? what shops?).

Of course, I had to photograph most of them for planting inspiration, and I also saw them as beautiful floral paintings – even did some effects on a few:

 

During our meandering travel towards  Millennium Park, we did take a detour – into the Apple Store – to inquire if we could see their greenroof.  Not accessible to the public, we were treated to a behind the scenes tour up on the top floor where the employees can enjoy overlooking their greenroof from the huge glass expanse of their conference room.  Very nice!

And finally, before heading back to the hotel, we strolled the famous expanse of the 1 million+ sf greenroof that is  Millennium Park, and the beautiful Lurie Garden – the featured nature component of one of the world’s largest greenroofs.  The 2.5- acre garden is a combination of perennials, bulbs, grasses, shrubs and trees.  It was a beautiful day to enjoy the park, and an additional pleasure to our trip.


Chicago and Patrick Blanc.  These are a few of my favorite things…

Linda: Chicago was beautiful and we had a great day overall – neither Caroline nor I had been back here in a few years, and Joey had never been, so it was great roaming around like tourists.  When we passed the Apple Store and Caroline suggested we stop in and see if we could actually visit the roof, I thought she was crazy – but, after showing my card – we were in!  Very cool GreenGrid modular greenroof!  The  employees  love it.

Believe it or not, I had never made it previously to  Millennium  Park – wow, what a great job the City of Chicago and all the excellent designers did on creating such an interactive and attractive space for all to enjoy!

Of course the highlight was capturing Patrick Blanc on film and creating an interview to remember.  When Patrick agreed to speak at our  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 last June, we weren’t sure what format he’d be using because of his hectic travel schedule.  So when we were offered the chance to interview him here in the U.S., we jumped at the opportunity.  What a charmer he is, and what a pleasure we had!

“As a botanist, Patrick Blanc is at home in the jungles from Bali to the Amazon. As a landscape artist, he has brought breathing walls and biodiversity to the grandest hotels, restaurants and stores of Le Tout-Paris and worked with French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier on the catwalk. But what the man with green hair is best known for is the “vertical garden”, an idea seeded in the heart of Paris on rue d’Alsace that spread to Jean Nouvel’s Quai Branly Museum before being exported all over the world.” ~ Chicago.Cervantes.es

Very charismatic, “The Green Man” had on his customary green accents – flowered shirt, gorgeous brocaded paisley Indian jacket, shoes, streaks in his hair…

A genuinely nice guy, Patrick is best known for creating the hydroponic  Le Mur Végétal or  the Vertical Garden living wall system.  Also a botanist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, he specializes in plants from subtropical forests and spends several months out of each year combing lushly foliated jungles and other exotic landscapes in search of new species for testing and additional research for use in his creations.

Of course, his work is highly popular and he is insanely sought out as a botanist, artist, and designer.  We talked about some of his current projects, like Central Park in Sydney, Australia, with architect and long time collaborator Jean Nouvel, where over 12 vertical gardens envelope the façades with garden boxes and vertical wires incorporated into the loggias that wrap the towers in plant life.

Although Aramis and I met Patrick last November when I spoke at the International Skyrise Greenery Conference in Singapore, the only work of his that I have seen live is the gorgeous living tapestry at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris, which we also talked about – these are a few of my photos from May of last year:

Yet over the five years of our Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design, Haven Kiers and I have highlighted many of his projects – whether conceptual (top below) or real (bottom below), they simply are all stunning! Look for some more of Patrick Blanc’s works during this year’s Top 10 List,  which  we’ll be inaugurating at the  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011.

Patrick is very passionate about his work and very optimistic about the future of ecological design.  We spoke about his early inspirations and aspirations – and I mean early.  He was into tropical aquariums and plants at the tender age of five and started creating and manipulating designs at eight!  Clearly, his scientific mind was off and running, and it hasn’t stopped since.

After my interview, Patrick signed my copy of The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City, 2008 – a big, beautiful coffee table book that just happens to capture his spirit, work, and purpose in glorious color.  But, stay tuned – the upcoming revised edition with profiles of all his new projects is coming in October, 2011!  I guess I’ll just have to buy it, too…

Patrick’s integration of the huge number of plant species he always includes in his work is a testimonial to his belief in the value of plant community biodiversity.

His quick smile and easy laugh plus his open sharing of ideas made our interview very pleasant and fun – look for about 30 minutes of my exclusive interview with him on September 27, 2011, interwoven with film from one of his recent lectures.

If you haven’t registered yet for the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011, please do so here.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Jean-Luc Le Gouallec of MurVegetalPatrickBlanc.com for inviting us,  Aimée Laberge of  the Alliance Française de Chicago (who, along with Air France, the participation of the Services Culturels of the French Consulate in Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Chicago Architecture Foundation and the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology sponsored Patrick’s visit) for arranging our Chicago visit,  Carrie Makris of the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower who graciously allowed us to scope out the best site and set up filming,  and most importantly to the lovely and talented Patrick Blanc for his time and participation!

See you online on September 27 & 28!

~ Linda V. & Caroline Menetre