WaterBuild: The Many Facets of Water Resilience, by Joanne Rodriguez

October 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm

At Greenbuild 2017’s WaterBuild, engage in discussion of how water resilience intersects with equity, technology and infrastructure.

Originally posted at GreenBuild 2017 on October 13, 2017

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Many Facets of Water Resilience

With the extreme weather events of the past month—hurricanes, floods, drought and wildfires—it may indeed be time to more urgently think about water resilience and water risk mitigation. How are you and your community incorporating water resilience and water sustainability in planning and design? When water quality hangs in the balance, and we have too much or too little water, what is the downstream effect?

“The second WaterBuild summit at the Greenbuild International Conference & Expo will focus on resilience to climate and storm related community stresses, with specific emphasis placed on the role of innovative infrastructure solutions. We are faced with the growing threat of frequent extreme weather events as our bridges, tunnels, levees, dams, buildings, and streets continue to age. At WaterBuild, leaders come together to drive discussion around innovative solutions that will ensure the survivability and sustainability of our cities and communities.” ~ WaterBuild 2017

Join us at Greenbuild Boston, from November 8 – 10, 2017, as we dive deep into water resilience at the WaterBuild Summit: Rising Above: Using Innovative Solutions To Build Resilience on November 7. Industry experts are convening for a full day of programs and discussion that you won’t want to miss.

Here are just a few considerations at the nexus of water and resilience that we’ll be exploring at WaterBuild 2017:

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Water resilience and technology

We know that our communications and energy infrastructure can be crippled by a severe storm, but how can technology help us predict and model our design shortcomings? Technology can help us track performance of our infrastructure, including rainwater quantity and quality, potable water quality, wastewater processing and water access.

We can use an emerging set of tools to adapt to the “new normal” of our severe weather cycles. At this year’s WaterBuild Summit, we will be talking about and applying some of the emerging technologies, as well as revisiting some of the existing technologies that might help us plan better and adapt better in the long term.

Water resilience and equity

Many residents displaced by flood events do not have the available resources to rebuild new homes, restore their old homes or return to live in recovering communities. When the water rises or spoils, it does so indiscriminately. Its impacts are rarely felt equally.

How we plan for those often predictable impacts, and how we provide support services doesn’t have to be indiscriminate; it can be done with intention. This year’s WaterBuild program will build on the 2016 summit and deepen discussion on this important topic, giving consideration to how water can negatively impact a community and how to design with greater equity in mind.

Water resilience and grey/green infrastructure

We have developed amazing feats of engineering to manage and mitigate risks to water quantity and quality. When deployed effectively, these can complement nature’s many tools in its toolbox.

Engaging communities and design teams in dialogue about how to apply both grey and green infrastructure to have the greatest impact on adaptation is essential to developing solutions that will last. There are many dimensions to infrastructure development. Considering the greatest multiple outcomes of a solution set will set the standard of gaining the greatest return on investment.

“The U.S. Green Building Council is committed to developing practical solutions to social equity challenges, including those that arise from issues related to bias in communities of diverse racial, economic and social composition. At the heart of the summit will be the belief that equitable access to quality water is paramount to resilience. In order to ensure the safety and security of diverse communities, we must address concerns around potable water availability and use, water capture and treatment, water reuse, wastewater management, and more.” ~ WaterBuild 2017

Summit Sessions

Numerous sessions will be held at WaterBuild including: The WaterBuild Opening Session; Design with Climate: A resilient neighborhood for Cambridge; Collaborative Research, Tool-Making, and the Water Challenge; Towards Net Zero Water in LEED: a Forum on Whole Project Water Use; WaterBuild Luncheon; Charrette: Resiliency, Equity, and Water Management at Chelsea Creek; Water-Energy-Food Nexus, Powered by Pecha Kucha; The New Paradigm for EcoDistrict On-Site Water Management; Rising to Meet the 21st Century Clean Water Challenge, Powered by Pecha Kucha; Innovative Water Management in Our Nation’s Capital; and the Combined Closing Plenary.

See the descriptions of all of the WaterBuild Summit Sessions here.

Come and Be a Part of WaterBuild 2017

Join us at WaterBuild to discuss all these important aspects of water resilience at Greenbuild 2017 in Boston.

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

~ Joanne Rodriguez

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Joanne Rodriguez has two decades of experience working within the building products and construction communities, with an emphasis on sustainable building impacts and high performance building envelope assemblies. In 2017 she fully launched GreenStructure–a multi-disciplinary environmental consulting firm founded in 2012, housing over 20 years of experience in the built environment. With expertise in strategic sustainability and resiliency planning, she has coupled her highly technical background with the emerging trends in ecosystems and risk mitigation to become a green infrastructure asset specialist. GreenStructure has experience in zero-landfill and waste diversion programming, energy efficiency audits, and sustainable roof and building envelope solutions.

At Tremco, she was responsible for the development of sales and marketing platforms focused on sustainability in the built environment. She was responsible for the implementation of programs like Roof Recycling and Zero Landfill. She has worked with architects and engineers across the country in the development of specifications and drawings that meet the highest technical standards. LEED AP through the USGBC, she is a former member of the Construction Specifications Institute Strategic Planning Task Team, past President of Chicago CSI, a frequent National speaker on topics related to sustainability impacts (water, energy, air) of building envelope technologies, as well as a speaker and participant for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America meetings in Chicago and Denver focusing on Women in the Workforce and Sustainable Buildings. She has participated as an expert in the first two Resilient Cities Summits, hosted by the National League of Cities, Urban Land Institute and USGBC, intended to address urban issues related to health, wellness, and resilient design solutions. Rodriguez was the co-Chair of Tremco Group’s Green Chemistry team, which worked to examine the potential hazards and risk posed to employees, contractors and community through raw material and product usage.

She is on the EPA’s Environmentally Preferred Purchasing Pilot Panel for Paints/Coatings, helping to develop the technical framework of how the Federal Government will purchase materials now and in the future. She is currently a part of the USGBC WaterBuild Advisory Group for GreenBuild 2017 and was a speaker at the International Roofing Expo, as well as a Keynote Speaker for Greenroofs.com Virtual Roof and Wall Summit 2017. Joanne has participated as a moderator and in design Charrettes for Cities Alive. Her vast experience working across many stakeholders has proven to be beneficial in addressing complex issues related to material use, health related impacts, durability and life-cycle impacts.

Greenbuild 2017 WaterBuild Many Facets Water Resilience Joanne Rodriguez

Publisher’s Note: Greenroofs.com is extremely proud to have Joanne Rodriguez as one of our Keynotes for this year’s 2017 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, currently running on demand through December 31, 2017.  Read all about Joanne’s Keynote video, “Roofing BMP’s for Low-Impact Development Projects” where I had the pleasure of interacting with Joanne during her highly informative session.  If you’re not already registered, sign up with the Special Round#2 Discounted Rate of only $25.

Contact Joanne Rodriguez at: 630-235-1526 or greenstructureus@gmail.com.

Watch the “Green Infrastructure Design and the Biophilic Effect” Keynote Address by Mary Ann Uhlmann from Our Virtual Summit 2013

January 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm

In anticipation of Greenroofs.com‘s spectacular 2015 Virtual Summit on April 6 through May 31 – and in order to familiarize you with the event – we are now making the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 videos publicly available on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube to all free of charge.

Today we have the pleasure to air the “Green Infrastructure Design and the Biophilic Effect” Keynote Address by Mary Ann Uhlmann, who at the time was Manager, Vegetated Roof Systems Program Development for Tremco, Inc.  We’ve known Mary Ann for several years, introduced by Ralph Velasquez, one of our former Contributing Editors and the previous Executive Director of Sustainability with Tremco Inc.  Mary Ann is highly energetic, personable, and highly intelligent.  Soft spoken, she has an undeniable sharp wit and is a joy to listen to or speak with.

As you may recall, Tremco Incorporated has been the leading supporter – the Rare Earth Sponsor – of our past two Virtual Summits, and Greenroofs.com is extremely thankful for their visionary leadership and patronage.   Tremco Inc. is a leading supplier of sustainable roofing systems, including vegetative, cool roofing and more.


In her Keynote Video Mary Ann asks, “Are vegetated roofs and walls inevitable? Are they an answer to a deep longing to connect with nature? The Biophilic Effect, a theory popularized by biologist and naturalist, Edward O. Wilson, suggests that mankind’s feelings about nature are innate, though not easily expressed in rational language. Emotions etched into our psyches millions of years ago when early man lived on open savannahs now express themselves in our desire to create park-like settings in the landscape. And now on our buildings. Are we inevitably drawn to create vegetated roofs in our urban landscapes?

In this keynote speech, I’ll pose this provocative question. I’ll introduce the theory of Biophilia, explain the adaptations we see in the landscape industry and finally in the emerging green infrastructure industry – what I call the final frontier for the Biophilic Effect.”

Here’s more:


Atlanta, GA, USA. Mary Ann Uhlmann is [former] Manager, Vegetated Roof Systems Program Development for Tremco, Inc., and an environmental horticulturist. Her role is to provide clients with the highest quality vegetated roofing system and living architecture options possible. With experience from involvement in a large and diverse assortment of vegetated roofing projects across the US, she can offer clients successful, customized, high performance solutions. Mary Ann’s industry focus is to enlighten both the public and Tremco clients about the important role vegetated roofing and living architecture can play in mitigating manmade environmental challenges while enhancing the livability and sustainability of our cities and communities.

Mary Ann has been in the green industry for over 13 years, is an Accredited Green Roof Professional (GRP), a Certified Sustainable Urban Landscape Planner, and a Certified Plant Specialist. She studied architecture at the University of Florida and environmental horticulture at the University of Georgia, TCS. She is a member of the Georgia Green Industry Association, Board Member 1999-2001; ASLA, USGBC, and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

Prior to Tremco, Mary Ann was the owner of The Gardening Lifestyle for 5 years and developer, GardenTrends Showcase. She has appeared on HGTV’s GroundBreakers and My Dream Garden. ~ VS2013   

Watch the Keynote Video “Vegetation Development on Extensive Green Roofs Over Time” by Mary Ann Uhlmann below or see it specifically on its own channel, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013:

Our second foray in the world of virtual conferences, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, was very successful at bringing together people from around the world to learn, discuss, and network in our field of living architecture.  This time partnering with the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN), between Greenroofs.com and WGIN we produced 36 videos involving 59 esteemed international speakers, specifically: 22 Individual Presenters, including 5 Keynotes; 5 Panel Sessions; and 9 Collaborative Presentations.

Watch these other VS2013 videos released so far:

Vegetation Development on Extensive Green Roofs Over Time Video by Christine Thuring.

Investigación de Azoteas Verdes de la Universidad Autónoma Chapingo – Green Roof Research at the Chapingo Autonomous University Video by Dr. Gilberto Navas.

Sky Parks in the Public Realm – Elevating Green Ways and Urban Connectivity Panel Session with Dr. Maureen Connelly, Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, Randy Sharp, and Dr. Tan Puay Yok.

Skyrise Ag: 5 Ways to Local Food Production Collaborative Video with Helen Cameron, Mohamed Hage, George Irwin, Ben Flanner and Alan Joaquin.

Building-Integrated Vegetation: Redefining the Landscape or Chasing a Mirage? Opening Keynote Video by Aditya Ranade.

Mexico City’s Green Plan & Green Roofs – Areas Verdes de la Ciudad de Mexico & Azoteas Naturadas Video by Tanya Müller García.

The Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort Video by Jaron Lubin.

Phyto Kinetic: Gardens in Movement Video by Marc Grañén.

Profiles of Women Business Leaders Greening the Way Collaborative Video with Barbara Deutsch; Lexie Hain and Marguerite Wells; Vanessa Keitges; and Joy Schmidt.

Green Walls and Maintenance – Needs, Opportunities and Best Practices Panel Session Video with Melissa Daniels, Christopher Lyon, Steven Peck, and James Sable.

Reflections of a Green Roof Campaigner and Visions of the Future Keynote Video by Dusty Gedge.

Urban Green in Australia Video by Matt Dillon.

2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + A Look into 2013 Collaborative Video with Linda S. Velazquez and Haven Kiers.

We hope you will join us in watching all of these as we present them!

Happy watching,

~ Linda V.

Also see these videos below in various languages on our exclusive Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 greenroofs.TV playlist:

Virtual Summit 2013 Highlights Video

Virtual Summit 2013 Trailer

VS2013 Linda Velazquez Promo

VS2013 Steven Peck Promo

VS2013 Julian Briz Promo – Spanish

VS2013 Matt Dillon Promo

VS2013 Manfred Koehler Promo – German

VS2013 Francois Lassalle Promo – French

VS2013 Eun-Heui Lee Promo – Korean

VS2013 Dorthe Romo Promo

VS2013 Wang Xianmin Promo – Mandarin Chinese

VS2013 Tanya Mueller Promo – Spanish