Greenwall Project of the Week for September 9, 2013: Cheminée EPAD

September 17, 2013 at 10:11 am Project of the Week: 9/9/13

Cheminée EPAD
(EPAD Ventilation Chimney)

Paris, France

600 sf. Greenwall



Project Description & Details

Located at the western-most extremity of the ten-kilometer-long Historical Axis of Paris, the 560 hectares area (5.6 million square meters) with 180,000 daily workers, and 3.5 million square meters (37.7 million sq ft) of office space make la Défense Europe’s largest purpose-built business district. At present there are 67 monumental artworks, making this the largest open-air contemporary art gallery in France.

With a 300,000 Euro budget, the Cheminée EPAD in la Défense was completed in 2004 in collaboration with architect Edouard François and botanist Patrick Blanc. The 16 m high former concrete cylinder functions as a ventilation shaft for the underground circulations; most ventilation chimneys in the district are covered in mosaics, but here the very creative solution was to clad it in 20 rows of copper planters filled with wooden garden stakes and various species of morning glories which climb upwards.


Year: 2004
Owner: EPAD
Location: Paris, France
Building Type: Other
Type: Living Wall
System: Custom
Size: 600 sq.ft.
Slope: 85%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Click here to see more information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

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Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V. Updates & Happy Holidays!

December 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Hello readers and fellow colleagues,

I hope you have all been enjoying your holidays with family and friends with an eye towards the New Year – especially  after our collective escape from the dire but thankfully misled (or misinterpreted) Mayan  predictions on the winter solstice of 12.21.12!

Kidding aside, we here at  have simply been swamped since late summer with various milestones including our trips to Chicago followed immediately by 2 weeks in China, not to mention orchestrating our 2nd annual  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013.

And, by the way, I couldn’t make it to The International Green Conference in Bangalore, India last month – a recent bout with upper respiratory problems were aggravated with all the traveling and I developed ear issues and was told not to fly for a few months.  I was extremely upset but everyone told me that the Conference was wonderful.

And so I’ve been very behind in my various blog posts ~ so one of my New Year’s  resolutions  is to catch up here at Sky Gardens with the following blog posts:

– On a personal note, most of you who have been following us for years know that I have been an international flight attendant with Delta Air Lines for a long time (hey, I didn’t want to give up my “day” job until I knew this greenroof gig would work out!)…well, as of  September  1, I  officially  retired after 33 years of loving (almost) every bit of it!  I had the  privilege  of working with the best people ever – the end of an era…

– The 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference in Chicago – what a great town!  For now I will say it was great, one of the very best get-togethers we as an industry have enjoyed so far.  If you  have  photos to share, please send them to – there was a lot I missed and then Aramis and I had to leave Saturday morning following the conference since we left for Shanghai the next day and we missed out on all the tours (I also took a class on Wednesday, so I couldn’t go then, either).

– The World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) World Green Roof Congress in Hangzhou, China which was simply awesome!  The resort was beautiful and the organization was amazing as there were at least 1,400 – 1,500 attendees – the largest crowd I’ve ever presented to before (I presented Haven Kiers’ and my “2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design“).

We had a day of touring  followed  by 2 days of the  wonderful  speakers, excellent food and hospitality, ending with another day of touring.  Each  evening  there was a celebratory feast – Professor Xianmin Wang and his awesome International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA) team of William Wei, Lisa and many others are to be highly commended.  We then followed this  sumptuous  experience with an additiional 8 or 9 more days of once in a  lifetime  touring around  China!

– All about our  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013  on February 12 through March 13, 2013 –  it’s going to be very different from last year. First of all, this time we’ve  partnered  with the  World Green Infrastructure Network  and we’re thrilled to have them on board to provide an ever greater world stage.

You’ll enjoy  a full 30 days of scheduled and on demand video Keynotes, panel sessions, individual and combo presentations with a lot more interactive fun with scheduled live Q & A chat  sessions  with  speakers and other greenroof & greenwall enthusiasts from around the globe, plus visiting the  Sponsor Spaces and Social Media Areas.  Here are our 5 distinguished Keynotes:

New this year is the Prize Center where you’ll accumulate points for cool prizes; the Joblinks Lounge where you can post jobs wanted and view job openings; and the Inspiration Nook where you can post under 3-minute videos about your research idea, project, or poster boards (no commercial ventures!) and participate in scheduled chat discussions which will be included on the Agenda.

In order to feature our Sponsors and exhibitors, we will also offer 4 dedicated days – one per week – to our Expo Trade Show, each anchored by a Keynote Presentation and a Panel Discussion from leading authorities.  By the way, we’d like to thank Tremco for once again committing their greenroof industry leadership through our highest level of  Sponsorship  – the Rare Earth Sponsor!

Other News:

– Starting in the New Year, our “This Week in Review” news roundup video, hosted by our daughter Anjuli Velazquez, will come back as “This Month in Review.”

– We’re currently  scheduling our “Greenroof or Greenwall Project of the Week” series – if you’d like to see your project highlighted, first of all we need to have a profile for it in the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database!  (We are still backlogged with entries but hope to be up to date within a month).

We only spotlight profiles that have 10 or 11 photos and lots of descriptive content.  People ask us if they have to be listed in the Greenroof Directory to be selected, and the answer is no – although we do highlight our advertisers about 4:1 as compared to non-advertisers for their loyalty.

Advertising with Us  is extremely affordable, and we certainly appreciate the support!  Plus there’s no better place in our industry to have your company listed than with us, the #1 website in the world for greenroofs.

– And ordering our  2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Wall Calendar is still an inexpensive (only $9.95 including shipping & handling within the U.S.and Canada) and perfect last minute gift to ring in the New Year.

That’s it for now – we’d like to wish you and yours Seasons Greetings & a Happy New Year 2013!

~ Linda V. & all of us here at

Happy Earth Day! The Winner of the 2012 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest is…

April 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm

First of all, Happy Earth Day! It’s hard to believe that this is the 42nd year of recognizing April 22 as such an important date.

“Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center.

The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.” ~ – Earth Day: The History of A Movement

…Getting back to the contest, this year we received a total of 12 entries from six different countries.  Without further ado, with 101 votes, the Winner of‘s 2012 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof! Earth Day Photo Contest is…

Patrick Biller, who submitted the Toronto City Hall entry- congratulations for selecting a great project and for rallying your supporters!

As you know, the mission of the yearly “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest is simply to have fun by creating interest in all kinds, styles, and sizes of beautiful living architecture, all while highlighting some outstanding designs. Designed to be quick and simple, it’s basically is a popularity contest among our international readership.  Any and all types of greenroofs are always eligible, any place on Earth.

Patrick, who hails from lovely Toronto, said in his entry:
“Toronto City Hall is an extremely important historical building in the city, and is also the city symbol.  This is the first time since the opening of Toronto City Hall in 1965 that the podium roof is a functional, beautiful public space. Although originally envisioned as a public gathering place, it never lived up to that billing due to the 120,000 sq ft of interlocking pavers without a shred of vegetation.  This $2.3-million green roof, which at 3,400 square metres is the largest in Toronto, is part of a $42.7-million plan to redo Nathan Phillips Square, set for completion in 2012.  The Nathan Phillips Square green roof was constructed with the LiveRoof brand hybrid modular green roof system. It contains a combination of 6″ deep and 4” deep LiveRoof Standard Modules. It has everything from ornamental grasses to perennials, sedums, trees, benches for the public, a state of the art irrigation system, and advanced LED lighting.  This roof has become an important urban park and is enjoyed thoroughly by tourists and residents of this beautiful, vibrant city every day. Visit for more info on the project and more photos.” ~ Patrick Biller

We’ve highlighted Toronto City Hall before as our Greenroof Project of the Week – when it was still called the “Toronto City Hall Green Roof Demonstration Project,” which was disassembled in 2009, below, and in September, 2010, too:

Newly reopened to the public in 2010, we’ll be featuring the Nathan Phillips Square Toronto City Hall Podium Green Roof tomorrow as our Greenroof Project of the Week in honor of Earth Day and Patrick’s submission – and Patrick will be receiving $100 for his entry, too.

Here’s another shot of Toronto City Hall by Patrick Biller:

The project receiving the second highest number of votes, 56, was the Aliso Viejo in San Juan Capistrano, California, submitted by Lauren Moss:

The third spot went to the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) in East Alton, Illinois, submitted by Joe Donnelly, which received 32 votes:

Thank you to all who entered and participated! All awesome projects!  View all of the entries here.  They are all unique and beautiful in different ways, and if we don’t already have them included in our Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database, I hope to soon.  And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to Like us on Facebook and become part of’s online community.

By the way, if you are interested in learning more about Earth Day, here are some short, outstanding, and inspirational videos:’s “Earth Day: The History of A Movement” is an original 2:48 video broadcast by Frank Blair on NBC News from Wednesday, April 22, 1970 – very cool!  Look for the ending statement about global warming warnings if pollution wasn’t checked.

And Russell McLendon in MNN – Mother Nature Network – blogs about “Earth Day: 8 epic videos of our planet.”  He writes that “in honor of Earth Day’s all-inclusive nature, here’s a video tribute to all seven continents – plus the oceans and atmosphere – that highlights some of the planet’s less obvious wonders.”

These time lapse videos are simply spectacular!  I hope you enjoy them when you have time – they’re all about three minutes long.

Happy Earth Day and remember to “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!”

~ Linda V.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays From!

December 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm

We’re chilling a bit here at with the whole family home for the holidays, and hope you are enjoying time with family and friends, too!

By the way, we’re keeping up our two fantastic weekly highlights through the end of the year:  The Tremco Headquarters as our Greenroof Project of the Week (GPW) profile and the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 3: Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino, Chicago Department of Aviation video (22:37).  Make sure to learn more about each if you haven’t already done so.

Amidst the cooking, eating, and playing with new Christmas toys, we’ve also got some catching up to do this week, and now’s a great time to do it.   In terms of blogging, I’ve been behind ever since Thanksgiving…we’ll also be adding a bit more projects and photos to the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database, working on our December eNewsletter, and more…

A couple of reminders through the end of 2011:

Make sure to order your 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall  Calendar

…And, if you are considering advertising with us on, now’s the time!  We are offering a 20% discount now through December 31 for all new customers in The Greenroof Directory and banner advertising  – existing customers will receive 10% off for upgrades.  If you’re in the business, you need to be listed in The Greenroof Directory!  Governments, non-profits, professional organizations, and universities are always listed for free.

No snow here in Atlanta this year, but I always long for it at Christmas having grown up in the Chicago area with one side of the grandparents in North Dakota.

Wherever you are – in the balmy tropics, a  wintry  wonderland, or somewhere in between, we hope everyone is able to relax a bit with some down time with your families, and we hope to hear from you in the New Year!

~ Season’s Greetings from our family to yours,

Linda V.