Voting Open for GRHC’s The Great Community Resiliency Contest thru September 25 at 10 AM Eastern!

September 23, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Don’t forget to vote  for Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ (GRHC) The Great Community Resiliency Project Contest through the deadline of this Wednesday, September 25th, at 10 AM Eastern!  The idea is how living architecture can create more resilient communities in face of climate change, resource shortages, natural disasters and environmental degradation – and the winner will win a free delegate pass to CitiesAlive in San Francisco.

CitiesAlive2013-Great Community Resiliency Project Contest

“Thank you for to everyone who submitted to our Great Community Resiliency Project Contest. We had submissions from all over the globe…from France, to Brazil, the US and beyond. Our submission period has ended; and we’ve selected the top five finalists. Thank you again for your ideas; and we hope to see you at CitiesAlive in October.

The five finalists are: Brien Spier, Fred M. Hunter, Jenny Hill, Joao Manuel Linck Feijo and Bradley Klein. Voting will be open until Wednesday September 25th at 10:00 AM EST. The idea with the most votes (combined ‘Likes’ and ‘Shares’ on Facebook & ‘Likes’ and ‘Repins’ on Pinterest) will win a delegate pass to CitiesAlive. So be sure to ‘Like’ & ‘Share’ your favorite ideas on Facebook and and ‘Like’ and ‘Repin’ your favorite ideas on Pinterest.”  ~ Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

The editor’s top picks will be published in the November (Winter 2013/2014) issue of the Living Architecture Monitor magazine. The person with the most votes will win a delegate pass to CitiesAlive11th Annual Green Roof & Wall Conference in San Francisco from October 23-26, 2013. At CitiesAlive, we will be examining how living architecture technologies can contribute to resilient buildings and communities.

In 2012, the United States experienced 11 extreme weather related disasters, each causing in excess of $1 billion in damages and many more on a smaller scale. Recently, Hurricane Sandy pummelled the U.S. so hard that the economic impact will likely top $60 billion. Natural disasters have an enormous impact on our infrastructure, ecosystems and on the health and livelihood of those affected. We are far from fully understanding the hidden potential of how living architecture systems can help our communities cope when various disasters strike.

“A Resilient City is one that has developed capacities to help absorb future shocks and stresses to its social, economic, and technical systems and infrastructures so as to still be able to maintain essentially the same functions, structures, systems, and identity.” ~

As you know, the 2013 CitiesAlive Conference will be held on October 23 -26 in San Francisco.

GRHC: 2013 CitiesAlive in San Francisco

CitiesAlive delegate pass includes: access to all core conference programming (opening plenary and reception, technical sessions, lunch, trade show, CitiesAlive themed party at the California Academy of Sciences and the Awards of Excellence luncheon).

CONTACT: For more information, contact Jennifer Foden Wilson, editor of the Living Architecture Monitor magazine at or 416-971-4494 ext. 231.

Congrats to the final 5!  Make sure to add your vote – I just did…

~ Linda V.

Join Us at the VS2013 for Spanish Week Now to Celebrate the Work of Our Mexican and Spanish Colleagues!

February 25, 2013 at 3:09 pm

As we enter Week #3 at our Virtual Summit 2013 registration continues to climb and we hope you decide to be cutting edge by participating, too!

Please support our work and commitment to keeping future fees low and accessible to all by registering now – use either the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities discount codes of GCOM or GRHC for only $39.  

Here’s the Agenda for Week #3 – with live Q & A’s to follow as noted.   Watch all of these videos in the Rare Earth Auditorium, sponsored by Tremco:

Monday, February 25, 2013 – now On Demand:

Investigación de Azoteas Verdes de la Universidad Autónoma Chapingo – “Green Roof Research at the Chapingo Autonomous University by Dr. Gilberto Navas with live Q & A

The research professor describes the exposition of the main field of investigation and gives a description findings along with advice for other burgeoning research, in Spanish with English subtitles.

Tuesday, February 26:

Áreas Verdes de la Ciudad de México & Azoteas Naturadas – “Mexico City’s Green Plan & Green Roofs by Tanya Müller García – no live Q & A

Tanya is the Secretary of the Environment for the Federal District of Mexico City and provides an inventory of green areas of Mexico City as well as examples of future green roof projects in Mexico, in Spanish with English subtitles.

Expo Wednesday, February 27 at the Expo Pavilions:

VS2013: Expo Pavilions

Expo Wednesdays are Feb. 13, 20, 27 & Mar. 6 – four full days of live action where you’ll see leading companies and learn about their products and services.   Also peruse The Associates Pavilion, where you’ll learn about different world organizations.   Visit both all 30 days and leave them a message if it’s not a Wednesday!

Expo Wednesday February 27 in the Rare Earth Auditorium:

Panel Session La Agricultura Urbana en Iberoamérica y España – “Urban Agriculture in Ibero-America and Spain – in Spanish with Dr. Julian Briz, Dr. José María Durán-Altisent, Dr. Isabel de Felipe, Tanya Müller García (Moderator), Dr. Gilberto Navas, and Joaquin Sicilia Carnicer with live Q & A

You’ll find Tanya Müller García and Dr. Gilberto Navas in Mexico City discussing Urban Agriculture with their colleagues Dr. Julian Briz, Dr. José María Durán-Altisent, Dr. Isabel de Felipe, and Joaquin Sicilia Carnicer in Madrid, in Spanish.

VS2013: Keynote Javier Senosiain

Keynote Address by Javier Senosiain: “Bioarchitecture (in Spanish with English subtitles) with live Q & A

What do Nautilus House (Nautilus), the Flower (la Flor), the Mexican Whale (la Ballena Mexicana), the Shark (el Tiburón), the Satellite Set (el Conjunto Satélite) and the Nest of Quetzalcóatl (el Nido de Quetzalcóatl) all share in common?   These fantastical spaces were all designed by Senosiain.   Prepare for a spectacular feast for the eyes as the green “organic architect” from Mexico City shares his sensuous, sinuous, ecologically informative works with us, in Spanish with English subtitles.

Thursday, February 28:

A Tale of Two Hydroponic Living Wall Systems from Canada and Spainby Dr. Alan Darlington and Ignacio (Nacho) Solano – live Q & A with Nacho Solano

Now on demand, this collaborative video features the innovative work of NEDLAW Living Walls from Canada in English and Paisajismo Urbano from Spain, in Spanish with English subtitles.   Connect today at the Q & A with Nacho Solano in Spanish.

Naturación Urbana en España” – Urban Greening in Spainby Dr. Julian Briz, Dr. José María Durán-Altisent, Dr. Isabel de Felipe, and Joaquin Sicilia Carnicer with live Q & A

Four Spaniards from the worlds of academia and architecture share their views on the current situation in Spain, in Spanish with English subtitles.  Their videos serve as backgrounders for the Panel Session “La Agricultura Urbana en Iberoamérica y España” – “Urban Agriculture in Ibero-America and Spain.”

~ Connect with Social Media Open 24/7 thru March 13!


Learn about all the presentations so far from Week #1 and Week #2 now On Demand along with their Q & A chat transcripts.

See the Agenda, Agenda-at-a-Glance, and Speakers pages for the complete list of dates and times.

Registration for the entire 30 days:
Regular Price $99


WGIN Members (including Green Roofs for Healthy CitiesGet GRP credits!) & Advertisers $39

Associates $59

Students/Staff/Faculty & Government $29

See our Registration Page and Register Here. will be online throughout the 30 days of the Virtual Summit and hope to see you via video, audio or text chatting.     Come visit our booth – where we’ll be offering a Special Advertising Discount to participants to get listed in The Greenroof & Greenwall Directory.

Thank you to our Rare Earth Sponsor, Tremco, along with our growing list of exhibitors – by the way, it’s still not to late to exhibit!

If you haven’t yet, Register Now and support our work.   It’s a great way to see who’s doing What, Where, and How, not to mention all the networking opportunities to connect with your peers.

Win a chance for an Amazon Gift Card of $100 just for participating!

Plus, participate to win one of three $100 Amazon gift cards to attendees who visit the most booths and see the most videos.

See you online!

~ Linda V.

VS2013: Sponsors and Exhibitors

Green Roofs: Mainstream and the Industry

August 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Anyone working on green roofs outside of Europe probably has the impression that green roofs are mainstream back in the Motherland (i.e., central Europe, where green roof systems were developed in the late 1970s).  That a green roof professional in Germany or Switzerland never has to answer that ever-popular question, “What’s a green roof and what’s it for?” because everybody either knows what it is, has one of their own, or works in some inter-related industry.

Well, I’d like to set it straight.  In fact, even in the Green Roof Motherland, where millions of m2 are covered in green roofs, many people have not got a clue what a green roof is or what it’s for.  I’ve been working on a green roof project in Germany the last 3 summers in a row, and have encountered countless individuals who don’t know what to make of my profession when they first hear it.  And it’s not the profession, either, it’s the green roof bit.

I suppose green roofs are hard to see from below, so even a totally vegetated roofscape would remain anonymous.  Only those in the know will notice the typical green roof species growing in the pavement cracks and look up for the affirmative flower heads peeking over the parapet.  And in the case of municipal support mechanisms, green roofs are just one of several solutions for rainwater retention, so not really all that special.  Thus, although widespread, I think it’s safe to say that green roofs still inhabit a small niche within European culture’s radar.

That’s why I find these current Orange Me advertisements so striking.  The Swiss  telecom  provider is using green roofs as the backdrop to their current advertising campaign, both on their website and on placards and posters.

The green roof aspect of the advert is a subtle after-thought, adding simply a tactile basis to imagining what is must be like to play Frisbee above the skyline of a big city. The ad is underscored by the keyword “freedom,” which gives the sense of breezy calmness.  Perhaps the players are high enough above the city that they can actually speak to each other from their respective rooftops?

Perhaps this advertising campaign will put an end to the “what is”¦” questions and guesses of function and intent.  Hah, just wait, in the near future we’ll start getting comments like, “Oh, do you mean grass roofs like the ones meant for highrise recreation?”

Hard facts: green roof markets are still growing

My observations above, of interacting with Europeans about their green roof awareness, are clearly rooted in the present and near-past.  This advertising campaign must, in fact, be a sign of the future, namely one where green roofs really have arrived to mainstream awareness.  Recent reports from two green roof industry associations suggest this may be true.

In Germany, the green roof industry association FBB (Fachvereinigung Bauwerksbegrünung e.V.) recently surveyed its membership and reports that the green roof market grew by around 19% between 2008 and 2011, with extensive green roofs holding 87% of that area (calculated according to m2).

See Figure 1 below for the % proportion by intensive and extensive green roofs per year.  The FBB estimates that 8 to 10 million m2 green roofs are installed per year in Germany.  Not bad for a market that was established over 20 years ago.

Figure 1

Across the pond, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) reports an increase by 115% (in m2 coverage) over last year, suggesting an “era of triple digit growth” by its corporate membership’s reported activities.

The North American green roof industry association identified the top 10 metropolitan regions for square footage installed in 2011 and found that Washington DC has overtaken Chicago (for that year, not total are greened), which had always held the lead since the survey began in 2004.

Figure 2

(Caveat: Remember that the annual GRHC survey is only sent out to its corporate membership, missing out on numerous companies, government entities and the like.  Of course, it is a great market indicator, nonetheless.)

In any case, are green roofs completely mainstream?  Unfortunately, not yet.  Is the market growing?  You bet!  Hopefully green roofs will continue to populate various advertising channels and further enter the collective subconscious of the world’s consumers.

~ Christine”™s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: July 8, 2011

July 10, 2011 at 8:47 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 July 8, 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 this week, July 8th 2011 on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is Universal Studios Singapore, built in 2010.  Asia’s first movie-theme park, Universal Studios Singapore is a casino-resort off the south coast of the island nation.  It’s an integral part of Resorts World Sentosa, and celebrated its grand opening on May 28th of this year.  Among the make-believe world of movies, roller-coaster rides, theme dining and shopping, the Park also has dealt with down-to-earth issues and has sustainable green features including solar panels and green roofs, which were extensively integrated into the theme park’s concept and design, showing its firm commitment to energy conservation and responsible environmental management.  Totaling  about 35,000 square meters, the massive green roofs provide an insulating shield against Singapore’s tropical temperatures, helping to cool building interiors and their immediate surroundings, mitigating urban heat island effect as well as contributing aesthetically to the  ambiance  of the park.  Elmich Green Roof was used as the wide structural spans of the immense roofs with their VersiDrain ® 25P water retention and drainage layers, EnviroMix ® GRs and VersiCell ® structural drainage and insulation cells.

– To learn more about Universal Studios Singapore,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

What’s New“

–  Advertiser Press Releases:

–  KISSS America’s Water Efficient Product Is “Smart” For Smart Irrigation Month.

–  Over at the Sky Gardens Blog, check out Linda’s latest posts: Enter the International Skyrise Greenery Awards 2011 by August 1!  GRHC Awards of Excellence Submissions was due this week on July 6th, “Roofmeadow Creates Philly’s First Bus Shelter Green Roof,” and our GPW as well as’s “TWIR” on GreenroofsTV.

–   “Upcoming Events“

– July 9th: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is having an Introduction to Rooftop Urban Agriculture Course in New York, New York and another one on July 11th in Toronto, Canada.

– July 9th-12th: is the 2011 Association of Horticulture Professionals (OFA) Short Course in Columbus, Ohio.

– July 14th-15th: Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is having a Green Roof Boot Camp in Kansas City, Missouri (101 and 201 courses only).

–  And don’t forget our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 – Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design conference and expo is coming up next month, August 23rd & 24th online around the world!  Registration information coming soon!

–   “In the News“

–  Katherine Scott of invites you to “Take a tour of PECO’s green roof.” The 45,000 square foot green roof on the eighth floor of the PECO Building is the largest ever installed on an existing building in Philadelphia. Liz Williamson of PECO says they “made a very definite decision to choose plants that were drought resistant or drought tolerant.” Such plants include 12 different species of sedums, which have a root system that help retain moisture and are low-growing and low-maintenance, ornamental grasses and perennials, all of which are growing locally in Pennsylvania. You can go directly to to watch their news story about the greenroof.

– Amy Zimmer of DNAinfo talks about “Upper East Side Co-op Builds Rooftop Garden For Children.” Plymouth Tower co-op resident Sheila Tendy in Manhattan had a vision about letting children of the building learn about food by getting their hands dirty, planting and taking care of fresh herbs, hot peppers, eggplants, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, and strawberries themselves. She says, “It’s just a matter of realizing you can grow things in small quantities and grow food for yourself. It’s not that difficult. A ‘farm’ could be a 6-inch pot on your windowsill.” Tara Reddi, another parent in the building, who runs several Plymouth Tower kids events, long dreamed of doing a garden for the co-ops’s kids; and says “The best thing has been planting with the kids and having them discover how wonderful it is to put their hands in the earth and plant something and watch it grow.”

–   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 July 8th, 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.