“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.

Beautiful & Green Eden House for Sale

August 3, 2010 at 4:25 pm

At the beginning of June I had the opportunity to tour the beautiful home at  901 Moreland Avenue, or Eden House, as it’s also known, here in Atlanta.

The invitation-only “Friends Fusion” Open House was attended by over 100 people eager to see the environmentally friendly home.   The clean lines, airy design, and  careful selection of materials and textures gives this  contemporary home a luxurious feel without being fussy.   And while  it has many green features, the most striking is the living roof!

Designed by David Butler,  LEED AP, of David Butler & Associates, Inc.  and developed by Eastworks LLC, the Gold LEED for Homes certified,  3 bedroom, 2.5 bath is just one year old.   In addition to its LEED status, 901 Moreland Avenue has a  number of other  green credentials  such as  the Earthcraft ® certification and  HERS (Home Energy Rating System) – a program of the EPA’s Energy Star for Homes which includes being  Energy Star ® Indoor Air Quality Package Certified and  having Energy Star ®  and Watersense Appliances ®.    What it all boils down to is the home was built responsibly, to save energy and water and promote superior indoor  air quality.

The corner site allows for great visibility for many of the exterior sustainable features:   The 1,500 extensive greenroof wraps almost completely  around  the four  sides and draws a lot of looks from passersby.   The eight rain barrels are used as a gravity rain water harvesting and irrigation system, and two are located on the second story roof for direct irrigation of the greenroof.  

An interesting feature is that two of the rain barrels are connected by rain chains instead of the usual downspouts, which creates a lively interplay of the water as it descends.

Passive cooling is accomplished through a solar thermal canopy, which is also visible from the main street.   A  convenient ramp way provides accessibility and in fact the entire first floor is wheelchair accessible.   The interior is urban chic smart, yet very cozy in a uber-hip way and Environmentally Preferable Products (EPP) were specified throughout.

For example, the bamboo flooring is stunning, they only used  no or low VOC paint, and the well-designed small kitchen has reclaimed concrete countertops and a snazzy recycled glass mosaic backsplash.

And David designed the  house to really take advantage of natural light and ventilation – there are several skylights and a wide  breezeway connects to the separate  third bedroom (or other flexible space), bathroom  and garage.
 

The two bedrooms on the  upper floor benefit  from the cross ventilation positioning of the windows, and you can see how the living roof is visible from many angles upstairs.   The windows frame it beautifully ~ how wonderful to wake up to such greenery at eye level, but on the second floor!

The festive  Open House event was well put together and although the main  purpose was to showcase its many features (and offer it for sale), the organizers also celebrated the project’s recent LEED Gold certification  by  raising over $500 for Prevent Child Abuse Georgia  with a raffle.   Some of the big prizes included a solar thermal panel and frame and a water conserving Kohler toilet.

The film by Landon Donoho, “Sky Gardens Atlanta,” (I was a producer)  was premiered and guests got to see David Butler  being interviewed here last October by Landon when the green-minded architect shared his  experiences building this gorgeous, modern, single family dwelling.

The event was actually sponsored by many of the companies providing services and products, and they all set up shop in the  bright, walkout basement.   This team of specialists reported a brisk evening sharing green building techniques and product information with the inquisitive guests.

Greenroof-related sponsors included JDR Enterprises, Inc., who  supplied J-DRain drainage products; ERTH Products, who supplied the growing media; and T+E Design, Inc., who provided landscape architecture services.  As usual, it was great to see Janet Faust, LEED AP, GRP of JDR and it was very nice to meet Thomas Nichols, RLA, of both ERTH Products and T+E Design, Inc.   Others present were Gutter Water, LLC, rain water recovery system; CORT, Peachtree Home Staging; Woodman Insulation; Hardwoods Incorporated; PlumbWorksInc.; and Muffley & Associates, real estate solutions.

It’s wonderful to see architects and developers are taking (calculated) risks by taking on green construction, and I highly commend David Butler and Eastworks LLC for their innovation, commitment, and leadership with Eden House’s lovely architecture and healthy living environment!   Hopefully we’ll see more  sustainable development projects from this company soon.    For more info, please contact Nicholas Brown of Muffley & Associates at: 404.848.0996 or David Butler at: 404.589.0800.

Read more about the project in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database here, and if you’re in the market for a sleek 1,986 sf home in a bustling Atlanta  location, want dramatically lower utility bills, less maintenance, better use of the sun, a healthier living environment and fewer adverse impacts on the environment, this could be your new home!

Happy greening,

~ Linda V.