”™s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: May 27th, 2011

May 31, 2011 at 7:01 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 May 27, 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 May 27th, 2011, on    GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Unilever Corporate Headquarters designed by HDR, Inc,  built in 2009 located in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.  The greenroof project is a 16,000 sq ft membrane roof retrofit over a 4-story office building, and the existing roofs needed to be replaced because they were leaking and showing signs of deterioration. Unilever desired a roofing system with an enjoyable appearance, considering its high level of visibility from the next door conference room space.  A new “˜Hydrotech‘ monolithic membrane system with an extensive “˜LiveRoof‘ pre-vegetated tray system was used.   A large variety of 15 types of Sedum and one Delosperma was planted.  To learn more about the Unilever Corporate Headquarters greenroof, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.

What’s New“

–  Joblinks:   Robert Ebl Inc is looking for a part-time Intern in the western suburbs of Chicago, IL.

–  You can go to more information on this job and other Green Roof Job postings.

–  Advertiser Press Release:   Thanks partly to Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance, Local School and Students of The Kenton County School District in Kentucky have benefited from the state’s Largest Solar Electric Installation.

LiveRoof and GreenFeathers, Inc. Announce Jenny Ruthven as the New Regional Sales Representative in the Pacific Northwest for the LiveRoof Hybrid Green Roof System.

–  Manufactured by VAST Enterprises, Firestone SkyPaver™ Composite Roof Pavers were Selected for Projects in Illinois, Nebraska and Ohio.

Alumasc Provides ZinCo Green Roof for Pioneering Eco-Spa.

–   Make sure to read George Irwin’s latest article “The Next Add-On Service for Green Roofs and Green Walls“ where you can read about his “take on the latest profitable service for landscape contractors, roof garden and green wall professionals and garden lovers alike.

–   Over at the Sky Gardens Blog, check out our new Guest Blog post by Matt Burlin, the Outreach Coordinator for Sustainable Stormwater Management with the City of Portland Environmental Services. He reminds us that June 1 is the deadline of the sixth round of the Ecoroof Incentive. Also see Linda’s latest posts for our GPW, the Unilever Corporate Headquarters, and last week’s “˜This Week in Review‘ on GreenroofsTV.

–   “Upcoming Events“

–   May 1st – July 31st: is the Integrated Habitat Design Competition (IHDC) 2011 in London, United Kingdom.

–   May 27th – 29th: is ROOF INDIA 2011 in Mumbai, India.

–   May 28th: is ARCSA’s 100-Level Workshop, Introduction to Rainwater Harvesting in Atlanta, Georgia.

–   Also May 28th: is the Call for Papers Deadline for the WGIN’s Internationals Green Technology Symposium 2011 in Indore, India.

–   May 28th – 30th: is Resilient Cities 2011 – World Congress on Cities & Adaptation to Climate Change in Bonn, Germany.

–   June 1st: is the Application deadline to submit projects to the City of Portland Green Roof Incentive program.

–   June 1st – 4th: is Growing Local – 19th Annual Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) in Madison, Wisconsin.

And also June 1st – 4th: is the Green Roof for Heathy Cities – Green Roof Boot Camp in Chicago, Illinois.

–  For more Upcoming Events visit our homepage.

–   “In the News“

–  Lorna Thorpe of The Guardian talks about “British Land – offering urban shelter and habitats for insects and rare birds.” She says, “British Land won over the judges for its contribution to local biodiversity – urban habitats that provide shelter and foraging for insects, rare birds and plants in the heart of London.”     In one of the most effective ways to enhance biodiversity, British Land is setting the standard for biodiverse green roofs at many of its buildings; and over the past few years they have installed green roofs on all of its most recent office developments in central London, along with retrofitting them to some existing buildings.

–   Andrew Michler of says that “Green-Roofed Minneapolis Central Library is a Civic Lesson on Eco Design.” Minneapolis has one of the greenest libraries and the third largest library collection per capita in the US. The Minneapolis Central Library by Pelli Clark Pelli hosts a huge atrium that splits the building into layers of light-filled spaces to help encourage visitors to find a nice book and stay awhile. A series of greenroofs, advanced cooling and heating systems, and low-energy lights cuts the library’s energy use by nearly a third, teaching everyone by example exactly how deep green design benefits everyone.

–   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  May 27,    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.

Ecoroof Incentive Deadline – One Week Away!

May 26, 2011 at 1:24 pm

By Matt Burlin

Portland is preparing for the deadline of the sixth round of the Ecoroof Incentive.  The City offers $5 per square foot of ecoroof (extensive green roofs) on all approved projects, and the next deadline is June 1, 2011.

Since 2008, the ecoroof incentive has been awarded to 125 projects for 8.3 acres.  In total there are close to 300 ecoroofs in Portland covering 14 acres, and 421 green roofs (extensive and intensive) totaling nearly 30 acres.  Here are a couple of Portland ecoroof incentive recipients:

On a smaller scale, the project above is a Portland State University Bike Shelter with a total of 1,120 ft ² of ecoroof.

On a considerably larger scale, above you can see The Ramona – Affordable Housing in Northwest Portland with 31,000 ft ².

The incentive round follows a successful month of March – designated “˜Ecoroof Month‘ by Portland City Council.  One great outcome was the completion of ecoroof test plots designed for habitat and biodiversity, below:

The project evolved from discussions with  Stephan Brenneisen during his visit in March, and the test plots were installed with the help of his colleague Raphael Schneider during April.

Finally, the Greenroof Information Think-tank, a network of businesses, organizations, and green roof professionals in the Pacific Northwest, has grown to 270 since 2009.  This past year, the group consulted with Gunderson Manufacturing in the design of a pilot habitat ecoroof on their industrial property in Northwest Portland, seen above.

~ Matt Burlin

Matt Burlin is the Outreach Coordinator for Sustainable Stormwater Management with the City of Portland Environmental Services (BES). Contact Matt at 503.823.7863 or his new email address: Visit the City of Portland’s website for complete info. You can also stay up to date by liking their facebook page.

Ecoroof Portland, Day 1

March 23, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Since the 1990s, Portland, Oregon,  has worked hard to  earn its reputation as a sustainable building pioneer.   Very socially conscious, it’s also a very young city  in terms of energy and spirit.   As the host of Ecoroof Portland 2010, the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services  (BES) does  a great  service to its citizens with this free yearly event with information and technical assistance about ecoroofs – other sponsors included ReDirect Guide, EcoMetro, KXL radio, KINK radio, Portland Business Journal, Left Bank Annex, and ecoShuttle.

A large number of BES staff was on hand to assist, but Matt ran the show.   Matt Burlin  is the  Outreach Coordinator, Sustainable Stormwater Management, City of Portland Environmental Services, and  did an excellent job of organizing and coordinating everything!   Held at the Left Bank Annex  close to the Rose Quarter,  Ecoroof Portland  was easily accessible by public transportation, and in fact, the city encouraged folks to do just that.   The industrial urban space venue was chock full of environmentally friendly features including great daylighting, recycling bins everywhere, and water conservation features in the restrooms.

The program provided options for all levels of sophistication – beginner, professional, researcher, and those who were ready to put  an ecoroof  on their own house or commercial structure.   Friday started out at a very civil 10:30, with  “An Introduction to Ecoroofs in Portland” given by Matt and Amy Chomowicz (also offered on Saturday morning).   Attendees heard about general ecoroof information – how they work, why they’re important, and what resources are available in Portland  to help you get started on your own project  to  gain skills and experience in the industry.

The Vendor Fair was open at 10:00, and I was surprised to see how full both the intro session and exhibitor area was for a Friday morning.   We skipped the intro and perused the trade show on the main floor, mingling with  old friends and meeting new ones.

These regional expos are so important for a variety of reasons, and it also gives us an opportunity to meet with local reps of some of our advertisers, too, and learn about business in their neck of the woods – we connected with “new” folks from Tremco, Tournesol Siteworks, American Hydrotech, Xero Flor America, GreenGrid, ILD, and Etera Green Roof Plants (Northwest Horticulture), below.

I was pleased that there was  such a high number of professional firms  exhibiting  among the manufacturers and suppliers, for example landscape architects Lando & Associates Landscape Architecture(who have worked on many ecoroofs here including The Metro Headquarters Greenroof) and  Walker Macy (who worked on the Platinum LEED OHSU CHH building, among others).   Architects, consultants, contractors, structural engineers, and researchers also had booths.

In addition to product and service vendors, non-profit organizations and community organizations were also here including the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities booth, which was manned by Patrick Carey, a trainer for all of the courses needed to get your GRP designation – the 101, 201, 301 and 401.

And it was great to see Ecoroofs Everywhere  and meet Greg Haines,  above left, after all these years (who used to work at BES, seen with Matt, right).   Greg has been installing ecoroofs in Portland since 2002 when he co-founded Ecoroofs Everywhere as a non-profit organization (since 2007 it has been a for-profit partnership).   Of course, the City of Portland had  booths to answer questions about their Ecoroof Grant Program (they gave out beautiful posters) and, a  website  and tool to educate and motivate people about site specific stormwater management options, and city grants and incentives for each.


At noon,  Environmental Services Director Dean Marriott welcomed everyone, gave us a quick  update on the Ecoroof Grant program and introduced the keynote speaker, Ed Snodgrass.   Ed, in his usual laid back and affable way,  presented “Ecosystem Services: How Ecoroofs Contribute to Sustainable Cities” sharing his thoughts on how greenroofs  add benefits to our highly sealed urban areas by mimicking natural processes within the bigger picture.   He showed multiple examples of how the natural technologies of plants and soil protect the environment, economy, and equity in cities through connecting living roofs, rain gardens,  porous paving/vegetated parking lots and other systems, while  providing  stormwater management, energy reduction, cooling properties, treatment of graywater and sewage, wildlife habitat and more – for example  the corporate campus of Mercedes-Benz, below, a model of sustainability.

Next  came current research and monitoring efforts specific to the area.  Portland State University (PSU) graduate student Debbie Beck gave a presentation on “Greenroof Soil and Water Quality – Changes in Runoff Water Quality When Biochar is Mixed into a Greenroof Soil.”   Growing media needs to be designed to ensure low concentrations of nutrients in stormwater runoff;  biochar is a soil amendment made from the pyrolysis of waste products, ranging from biomass to tires in a carbon-net-negative process.   It was evaluated for its ability to retain nutrients in greenroof soils, and Debbie also  presented findings on its cleansing properties.

Tim Kurtz, PE, from the City of Portland BES  talked about  “Stormwater Monitoring of Three Ecoroofs in Portland, Oregon”  explaining that although ecoroofs have become a primary option for reducing roof runoff into sewers and streams, at present they’re all treated the same, regardless of growing media depth or composition.   Data was presented from the Hamilton Apartments, the Multnomah County Multnomah Building, and the Portland Building, above,  to determine which greenroof design and maintenance variables are most important to maximize stormwater retention.

 And featured speaker  Dr. David Sailor from PSU presented “Energy Performance of Ecoroofs – the Role of the Roof in Affecting Building Energy and the Urban Atmospheric Environment” – enlightening us how energy analysis of ecoroof performance requires sophisticated techniques and that complex energy balances on vegetative roofs vary from time of day and season to season.   Dr. Sailor concluded with his initial results of studies involving both greenroofs and photovoltaics, with a focus on potential system interactions and synergies.   His findings clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of the two technologies working together – the plants fare better with some shading from the harsh sun and the panels perform better from a cooler rooftop.

“Portland’s Shift to a Sustainable Future: The Role of Ecoroofs” took over the late Friday afternoon session with an interactive panel featuring Dan Vizzini of City of Portland Environmental Services, Tom Puttman of  David Evans and Associates, and Tom Liptan, ASLA, Ecoroof Technical Program Manager with BES.   Fourteen years after ecoroof guru Liptan installed his own atop his garage, the City continues to boost implementation of green infrastructure practices, including a target of 43 acres of ecoroofs by 2013. The panelists discussed their evolution from “grey to green” and how these changes will influence the fabric of  their city.

At 6:00 pm the Vendor Fair was closed to the public, and the City provided a lovely reception for the exhibitors and speakers.   This casual gathering and networking opportunity was a great time just to relax a bit.   Matt and Linda Dobson  (she manages  BES’s Stormwater Team) welcomed Portland Mayor  Sam Adams and it was easy to understand the city’s success with their ecoroof initiatives – you could feel the Mayor’s pride, commitment and  passion for their projects and staff.   He extended an open invitation to all to embrace sustainable business practices and sustainable design, and let us know that the City was looking into funding low interest loans.   He also informed us that he was talking up the challenge to green his own garage roof,  Ã  la Tom Liptan!

Tom Liptan then introduced me in such a nice way, reminiscing about my student days at UGA and how I called him back in 1998 wanting to know all about his garage greenroof and what could we do to promote these earth-friendly roof covers.   I presented a short demo of The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database – how it began with my 1999 research study when I initially had about 30 case studies, to how it’s grown to 1,023 at the moment; why I felt the industry needed an open, free resource for compiling and maintaining a clearing house of sorts.

Ed was up next and Tom also shared his funny recollections of meeting him several years ago.   Ed showed some very unique and interesting” Greenroofs from Around the World” with a fast-paced show of his highlight reel.

Afterwards we were off to the  richly decorated  Alu Wine Bar for a glass of a spectacular local pinot noir (2007 Arterberry Maresh from Dundee Hills, OR) with a bevy of BES people.   From there  Aramis, Ed and I  met Patrick and Brian Heather, GRP,  from SolTerra  for dinner at the very funky and famous Cajun Montage – quite a noisy and fun local favorite!   Patrick and Brian have been collaborating on various projects in Portland and Seattle, and we topped the evening off with a visit to the mixed-use SolTerra offices to see some of their innovative handiwork.   SolTerra provides a variety of services and products for the solar, ecoroof, and living wall markets, and what we saw looked very impressive!

Tomorrow I’ll wrap up our visit  and experiences at Ecoroof Portland 2010 ~ Linda V.