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

March 18, 2011 at 10:00 pm

Our daughter, Anjuli Velazquez, has been writing, filming and editing our “This Week in Review” video since August, 2010 and each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com.     She’s become quite popular, and we thought it would be a great idea to start posting her transcript, too, to make things easier to research.   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 March 18th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–   Our Project of the Week is The Department Store, Stephen Marr Hair Salon Greenwall built in 2009 in Takapuna, New Zealand.  In 2010 The Department Store was named top retail concept store in the world by Monocle magazine.   One of the centerpieces of the store is the lush interior greenwall on the top floor.  The double-sided greenwall, designed and installed by Natural Habitats Landscapes, is New Zealand’s first interior greenwall.   The wall is 10 meters long by 2 meters high and boasts well over 1,000 individual plants.  It divides the upper level, promoting unique spaces that can be used for presentations like fashion shows.  The building has had skylights installed to ensure the wall is given as much natural light as possible, and so the use of supplementary man-made lighting is kept at a minimum.   This greenwall is an original and breathtaking piece of artwork, but also offers some incredible environmental benefits, like: increased thermal insulation to buildings, noise dampening, and creating cleaner and better quality air, which means healthier buildings and people.   From a commercial perspective, the greenwall increases the building’s value and has also been found to raise employee productivity.

–   To learn more about The Department Store, Stephen Marr Hair Salon Greenwall, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

–   “What’s New“

–   Check out Linda’s latest Sky Gardens Blog posts about the New Zealand greenwall, and the “CitiesAlive 2011 Call for Paper and Poster Abstracts.”   Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is pleased to be working with the City of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society as co-hosts for CitiesAlive, the 9th Annual Green Roof & Wall Conference to be held later this year in Philadelphia from November 29th to December 3rd.   GRHC says they’re looking for papers that display novel ideas on taking a green approach to storm water management through the use of green infrastructure, indoor greening and residential green infrastructure.   All applications are due by April 15th, and for more information you can visit this blog post and/or e-mail Luna Ghose at lghose@greenroofs.org.

–   Do you think green walls can’t survive in the cold; they don’t look good in the winter, they are only viable in the south or indoors”¦ well, think again!   Contributing Editor George Irwin writes about Winter Interest with Green Walls in his latest column and shows some pretty interesting photos of various looks.

–   Advertiser Press Release: Irrigation Water Technologies America, Inc. recently signed an exclusive agreement with Australia-based Irrigation Water Technologies to manufacture and distribute the revolutionary water conserving KISSS product in North America.

–   Green Roof Jobs:   Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect is seeking resumes for a Landscape Architect/Designer with 5-6 years experience for their busy Buffalo, NY office, so make sure to check this job and many others in JobLinks if you’re looking to work in our industry!

–   “Upcoming Events“

–   March 18th – 27th: is the WMG Water Harvesting Certification in Phoenix, Arizona.

–   March 22nd: is the 2011 Green Roof Technology Workshop in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

–   March 23rd – 27th: is the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show in San Mateo, California.

–   March 24th – 27th: is a Green Roofs for  Healthy Cities – Green Roof Boot Camp in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

–   March 25th – 26th: is the GreenScaped Buildings Spring Open House in San Diego, California.

–   March 25th – 27th: is the Better Living Show – Home, Garden & Lifestyle in Portland, Oregon.

–   And don’t forget that on Saturday, March 26, 2011 at 8:30 PM (local time, wherever you are), lights will switch off around the globe for Earth Hour and people will commit to actions that go beyond the hour.   With Earth Hour almost upon us, the organization’s thoughts, as well as ours, are with the people of Japan during this incredibly challenging and sad time for their country.

–   “In the News“

–   Kathleen E. Carey of the Delaware County Daily Times reports on “Green LEEDs to platinum: SAP America earns distinction for utilizing environmental sources for newest building.”  The Newtown Square campus of SAP America Inc. in Delaware County is holding one of the highest environmentally sustainable distinctions in the world with its new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum level construction.  Just some of the features that have led to its LEED Platinum certification are: its entry to the building – the passageway features a floor comprised of recycled materials, including seashells and pieces of crushed bottles and glass; glass panels surrounding the building with the goal of directing 90 percent of daylight to reach 75 percent of the employees; underneath the floors are tubes that transfer the natural temperature of the Earth which is generated from the 10 geothermal wells in the rear of the property to the inside of the building; and a rooftop garden that spans more than 1 acre which features lavender, rosemary, sedum and butterfly bushes.

–   Katie Kosier of Care2.com talks about “Removing Barriers to Green Building.”  With the help of Philadelphia based Re:Vision Architecture, Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility company, PECO, installed a 45,000-square-foot vegetated green roof on its headquarters in central Philadelphia.  It’s the largest in urban Pennsylvania and the roof absorbs more than 1.5 million gallons of rainwater runoff annually, it reduces air temperature in the summer and   it also provides a beautiful habitat for wildlife.   Principle Scott Kelly of RVA, says “For us, it’s about removing barriers to green building.”   You can find more information about the PECO Greenroof in our International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database by typing in Project ID number 851.

–   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 editor@greenroofs.com.

–   Stay up-to-date with what’s going on at greenroofs.com 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.

–   By the way, did you know that now you can watch YouTube videos just like this one on DirecTV?  That’s fun!

–   Still haven’t picked up one of our 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World 12 Month Wall Calendar yet?   Go to greenroofs.com/calendar.htm and order some today!   Thanks to George Irwin for this great photo!

–   This has been This Week in Review for March 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.

“Greenroofers” at the Greenest of the Green: Greenbuild 2010

November 17, 2010 at 6:43 pm


Lovely Chicago is simply the greenest of the green cities, and there’s no doubt that Greenbuild is the greenest of the green conferences!   See this short and fun video, “Generation Green: Redefining  our Future”  with tons of cool photos around town.   It asks us to “Re: think Chicago” and is all about the merits of the Windy City –  its 25 miles of public waterfront, for example, and how it’s “Re-evolutionizing the Building Industry” by greening everything from to parks and buildings to schools and jobs:

 

Thousands of building enthusiasts and  professionals from across the globe participate at Greenbuild for three days of  informative educational sessions, renowned speakers, green building tours, seminars, and various networking events.   Chicago’s LEED-certified McCormick Place West on  Lake Shore Drive – with its 96,000 sf Green Roof Blocks™ modular system greenroof that retains about 77,812 gallons of stormwater that would otherwise flow into Lake Michigan – is the host for this  exciting annual event.

Held from November 17 through November 19, 2010, retired U.S. General Colin L. Powell kicked off Greenbuild 2010 this morning at the Greenbuild Opening Plenary:  

General Powell inspired the packed room – filled with roughly 12,000 Greenbuild attendees – with messages of leadership and optimism – and a great sense of humor! ~ Greenbuild 2010

Showcasing the latest in innovative products and services, the Greenbuild International Expo is the world’s largest expo hall devoted completely to all forms of green building, including greenroofs and greenwalls!   We try and attend at least the Expo every year, but weren’t able this  time because of our heavy travelling schedule (Mexico City in October and Singapore at the beginning of November), but if you’re there you can:

Support Greenroofs.com’s Advertisers by visiting them on the Trade Show floor:

Advanced Building Products, Inc. – Booth# 595
American Hydrotech, Inc. – Booth# 1345
Bison Innovative Products – Booth# 280
CETCO – Booth# 2254
Colbond Inc. – Booth# L1919
Conservation Technology – Booth# 2182
Green Innovations LTD – Booth# 1631
Green Roof Blocks – Booth# 413 – See President Kelly Luckett, also one of our Contributing Editors, The Green Roof Guy
GreenGrid / Weston Solutions, Inc.
– Booth# 939
International Leak Detection (ILD) – Booth# 2222
LiveRoof, LLC – Booth# 2279
rooflite / Skyland USA, LLC – Booth# 1588
Sika Sarnafil – Booth# 930
Tecta America Corp. – Booth# 378
Tremco – Booth# 423
VAST Enterprises – Booth# 2094
Xero Flor America – Booth# 781

And Green Roofs for Healthy Cities has had a booth there for several years now, promoting the North American Green Roof Industry Association.   Make sure to visit them at Booth # T24 and pick up a Green Roof Tour Map showing all their members’ booths, and get ready to attend the 8th  Annual Green Roof and Green Wall Conference – CitiesAlive! in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. on November 30 – December 3, 2010.

 

Of course, the International Expo is just one great component of this great green show of shows, so for more information about this wonderful city, the line up of speakers, educational programs and activities for 2010 Greenbuild, please visit: http://www.greenbuildexpo.org/

Happy Greening in Chicago! ~ Linda V.

The Roots of Washington DC”™s Green Roof Boom

October 27, 2010 at 11:59 pm

By Dave Hilary



Roofs are turning green all around the Washington DC area.   Every year since 2005, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), a network of public and private organizations promoting the green roof industry, has performed ranked cities by total square footage of new green roof installations for their corporate members.   And every year, Washington DC has been on the list.   In 2006 DC had 301,751 square feet of green roofs, and by 2009 it was approaching two million square feet of green roofs.   What’s behind this dramatic rise?  
 
GRHC points out that municipalities appearing near the top of the list, as Washington DC does in all but 2007, usually have governments that encourage green roofs through policies and programs.   Those governmental efforts are also closely tied to improving water quality.

According to a report by the Casey Trees Endowment Fund and Limno-Tech, Inc.,  DC has to vastly better manage its sewer outflows since the Anacostia, Potomac and Rock Creek Rivers currently do not meet federal water quality standards.   (Publisher’s Note: On a related note, see our 2006  Guest Feature by Gregory Long, RLA.) By an account in the Washington Post, just half-an-inch of rain washes billions of gallons of raw sewage and runoff directly into the Anacostia, mostly because of an outdated storm water system.   The fix on the drawing boards is three underground storm water storage tunnels with an estimated cost of $1.9 billion when the project was first dreamed up, but now closer to $2 billion as the city continues trying to put the funds together.

And while the media coverage for commercial and government green roof projects is robust, the residential scene appears to be a sleeping giant.   A thesis  by Harriet Zipp and Britt Zimmerman found that just by installing green roofs on DC’s many traditional, flat roof, row houses the area could reduce its storm water flows by more than 12 percent.

But water quality improvement is not the only environmental issue DC is trying to address with its green roof build out.  The area lost 64 percent of its heavy tree cover between 1970 and 2000, according to an American Forests, Urban Ecosystems Analysis.   Trees and plant life help to keep the urban environment cooler and also help to clean the air, something that could go a long way toward lowering the city’s high asthma rates.   The Children’s Environmental Health Network and the DC Department of Health, put the area’s asthma rates at 6.5 percent for children and 5 percent for adults in 2004.

The federal government with its large real estate footprint in DC has been keen on green roofs from all perspectives since a series of environmentally-focused executive orders.   From the early beginnings by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2006 on its  1,200 square foot  departmental administration building greenroof  (plus a brand new 3,700 square foot one on their Whitten Building, below), to the Department of Transportation’s 2007 building sporting a 68,000 square foot green roof, the federal government has been setting the example.

Responsible for the natural and indoor environments in the District of Columbia, the The District Department of the Environment (DDOE)  is #2 in the USA for area of green roofs (1 million square feet of installed green roofs).   In 2008 DC’s mayor called for the city to come up with its own green roof demonstration project before the end of the year.   In response, the Reeves Center now supports a 4,000 square-foot green roof and One Judiciary Square has an 8,000 square-foot green roof.
 

Private organizations and corporations are also heavily investing in green roofs in DC.   Recently, the World Wildlife Fund replaced a decrepit 24-year-old roof with a green roof that is claimed to be the third largest in the city.   The organization received a $7 per-square-foot grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund a portion of the project.   And the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) retofitted their headquarters with a green roof in 2006.

Parking lots offer their fair share of runoff to the overburdened storm water system but in at least one case the parking lot has been replaced by a building with not only a green roof, but one that retains all the storm water from the site.   The Walter E. Washington Convention Center collects and uses that storm water to irrigate the green roof and its street level plantings.

In addition to government and private sector clients, DC is also home to a growing number of community organizations that work to educate citizens about the benefits of going green.   Chief among these in the green roof field is DC Greenworks, a non-profit that works with city residents and builders to promote sustainable building and urban agriculture.   DC Greenworks also helps job seekers train for and connect with green jobs around the area.     You can also check out some of their featured projects here.

So what is it about the Washington area that makes it such a haven for green roofs and other sustainable design projects?   The most important factors seem to be a committed local green building community on the supply side, and a critical environmental need (in this case the Anacostia River runoff water crisis) combined with a healthy dose of government incentives to help stimulate the demand side.   The federal government is certainly a major player on some projects, but by no means the only game in town.

Dave Hilary is a Washington DC-based green roof enthusiast who maintains Green Roof Plan, an informational resource on green roof design, construction and maintenance.  

 

Boston GreenFest 2010 is Next Week!

August 12, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Boston GreenFest 2010 is next week, running from August 19 – 21, and we just wanted to make you aware of the latest dates, features, and opportunities.   Did you read our earlier July Guest Feature about it from Demetria Spinrad, intern at one of the promoters,  Foundation for a Green Future, Inc.?   It’ll give you more background info – see:   Green Roofs at Boston GreenFest 2010.

Interested in sponsoring and exhibiting?   There are still a few slots open for exhibitors in some EcoNiches.   Call 617-477-4840 to find out whether your nonprofit or business could be a part of this year’s festival.   Find more information about sponsoring and exhibiting on their website.   Hurry – the deadline for signing up as an exhibitor is Friday, August 13th!

One new cool, sustainable feature this year is that instead of providing bottled water, they will have a fresh water fountain provided by the MWRA – Massachusetts Water Resources Authority – so bring a reusable container for water.

“We hope you’ll stop by Boston City Hall Plaza to take part in our region’s largest multicultural environmental festival. With three days of performances, hundreds of exhibitors and vendors, dozens of fashion shows, a green jobs forum, and activities for children and adults, Boston GreenFest will definitely have something for everyone.” ~ Dr. Karen L. Weber, organizer

Here’s the quick of it:

Thursday, August 19, 2010:             10 AM to 4:30 PM     Green Jobs Forum
                                                                                                 5 PM to 10 PM       Kick-Off Concert
Friday,  August 20, 2010:                   10 AM to 10 PM     (Exhibits 10 AM to 6 PM)
Saturday,  August 21, 2010:            10 AM to 10 PM     (Exhibits 10 AM to 4 PM)

Tickets go on sale at 5 pm on Thursday, August 19 at Boston City Hall, the Main Stage.

Major Features:

– Native American Drum & Dance Ceremony
– Green Jobs Forum
– Gubernatorial Green Debate
– Over 200 Exhibitors
– 75+ Live Performances
– The Great Escape with Alexanderia!
– EcoCafé, EcoGallery, EcoBazaar
– GreenFilmFest
– EcoFashion and Salsa EcoFashion Show
– One Gallon Challenge
– GreenFest Time Tunnel
– EcoPhoto Contest for Boston Public Schools
– Fun for Kids!

They’re  also holding a  Gubernatorial Green Debate  on Saturday, August 21 at 4 pm.   Come talk to the candidates – there will be plenty of space with 20,000 seats!

Try your luck with their 50/50 Raffle, and see the Performance Schedule  for the events, activities and times.  Visit the Boston GreenFest website  for directions and more info.  Oh, yeah, did I mention it was FREE?

Enjoy ~ Linda V.