2014 is the Year of Action – Plan, Engage and Network!

January 30, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Happy New 2014 to everyone in our greenroof and greenwall community, and to your families as well!

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While implementing (and breaking) our New Year’s resolutions and planning for the new year, the world has also been dealing with some challenging freak weather lately.

As in other areas of the southern United States, here in the metro Atlanta area we just experienced a devastating near complete shutdown of interstates and highways after Tuesday’s snowfall – in fact, the governor issued a state of emergency for the entire state of Georgia.  Due to the snow, heavy traffic and sheets of ice, motorists were inching by or stranded for hours on hazardous roads, children had to stay overnight at schools (reports say about 8,000 students across Georgia and Alabama woke up yesterday in school gyms or on buses), and we have experienced thousands of accidents.  At present, there are still hundreds of abandoned cars all over the roadways.

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“Tennis courts like a sauna” and “extreme heat.” – After 2013’s recently being declared Australia’s hottest year on record, Melbourne experienced three consecutive days of extreme heat above 40°C during the recent Australian Open.  Some spectators, ball kids, and tennis players became ill or fainted during these sizzling hot days when temperatures reached up to 109°F (43°C) .  To avoid heat stress they placed bags of ice on their heads and necks between points and the scorching heat even halted play.

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Results of global warming?  Maybe.  At least these are examples of some major temperature extremes in just the first month of our new year!

On Tuesday, here in the U.S. we watched President Obama’s fifth State of the Union address before Congress. Just a couple of his economic proposals regarding climate and energy highlighted working with states and communities on climate change resiliency and cutting pollution plus urging our Congress to end tax benefits for the oil industry and use revenues to invest in advanced vehicles that use cleaner fuels.  Awesome.

Obama says let’s make 2014 “a year of action.”  Certainly we cannot continue to heavily depend on high-carbon fossil fuels but must continue to strive towards a sustainable approach to drive innovation and embrace clean renewable energy solutions.

In our greenroof and wall world we all, too, must take a look at how we conduct business and how we can make it better – more profitable, more sustainable, more inclusive.  What are you doing within your organization to lower costs, increase sales or open up areas of debate?  Share your 2014 stories and strategies with us – we’d love to share your experience through a Guest Feature Article or blog post here on Sky Gardens.

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Here at Greenroofs.com we have been brainstorming ourselves.  We sat down to plan: our activities for Earth Hour and Earth Day (should we bring back our Love the Earth, Plant a Roof Photo Contest?), which conferences we will attend (possibly Grey to Green in Toronto in June; World Green Infrastructure Congress, Sydney in September; Qingdao International Ecocity & Green Roof Conference in China in October; CitiesAlive in Nashville in November), and think about what we want to accomplish and how can we best maximize our time, serve our community, and continue to change to reflect the evolving needs of our readership.

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We are convinced that information sharing and open communication are key to a vibrant, growing living architecture industry.  As markets continue to open up across the world through private and public support, opportunities abound – locally and globally.

Along those lines I just wrote a chapter in the upcoming book entitled Green Cities around the World to be published soon by PRONATUR (a Spanish rooftop agricultural group head by Dr. Julian Briz and Dr. Isabel de Felipe, member of the World Green Infrastructure Network or WGIN) and WGIN itself.  It’s entitled “Greenroofs & Greenwalls in the New Millennium: The Influence of the Age of Technology through Online and Social Media.”

I present an overview of how the advancement of greenroof and wall design, construction, and the industry itself has flourished since the turn of our new 21st century with the advent of the widespread use of the Internet, through its innate entrepreneurial spirit, and the continuing rise of information technologies.

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Did you know that, according to Internet World Stats, by December 31, 2000 the Internet had 360,985,492 users worldwide and by June 30, 2012 the amount had exploded to 2,405,518,376 users?  Our views of culture, social relationships, and how we interact in the world of e-business have forever changed through electronic media and smart devices.   The Internet has altered the way we do business forever – surfing the net has become a way of life around the world.

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And, as most people know, social media is no longer an emerging new world in cyberspace, but an exponentially growing online reality of fantastical proportions.  The impact and importance of social media and how it is changing the landscape of both the personal and professional worlds cannot be overstated.  Here are some recent figures of the most widespread social networking websites used to create new online business contacts and friendships with people who share similar interests:

Facebook  (1.26 billion users as of December, 2013);
LinkedIn (259 million users as of October, 2013;
Twitter (500 million total users as of October, 2013):
Google+ (540 million monthly active users as of October, 2013):
Pinterest (70 million users as of July, 2013;
Tumblr (216.3 million monthly visitors as of May, 2013):
Flickr (87 million users as of March, 2013);
and Instagram (more than 75 million monthly active users as of December, 2013).

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This brings me to planning for our third virtual conference, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2015: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture.  We firmly believe this platform is the future, a synthesis of technology and social media – education, entertainment, and social networking – interacting directly with people across the world in our highly targeted community.  We’ve been searching for a new, lower cost medium to be able to broadcast the amazing video content provided by so many brilliant individuals and hard working organizations and further engage everyone in lively video, audio and text chatting.

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While strategizing new relationships and collaboration partnerships, we continue to investigate out-of-the-box ideas and certainly welcome your input for an even greater, fun and vibrant virtual summit in 2015.  Next month we’ll start airing our 37 videos from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013.  We hope these keynote, panel sessions, and individual videos will inform and inspire you!

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2014-AnjuliandNickyinSnowLet’s make 2014 a year of taking new actions: plan your business and marketing strategy along with your educational and personal growth goals; engage your friends, associates, and peers to help you execute your plans; and network with new social endeavors, online and in real life!  If you’re not already connected with us, do so.

Stay warm (or cool), and try and have fun, no matter the circumstances.

I hope to see you at a physical conference or chat online soon!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: August 31 and September 7, 2012

September 7, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on  Greenroofs.com  through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here is the transcript from August 31 and September 7, 2012 from our daughter,  Anjuli  – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velázquez and welcome to “This Week in Review” for August 31st & September 7th, 2012 on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Projects of the Week

–  Our Project of the Week this week is the Origin Energy Greenwall Project, built in 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.  The Origin Energy head office at 321 Exhibition Street is a commercial complex consisting of premium office and retail space, aiming to be the best practice in sustainability and energy efficiency through the design and installation of a state of the art trigeneration plant.  The tallest greenwall in Australia was recently completed here by Mark Paul of The Greenwall Company.

Spanning 22 floors, each floor has its own unique planting make up, specifically designed to maximize varying angles and lighting.  Utilizing non-biodegradable inorganic media, their greenwalls are grown with epiphytic and lithophytic plants which provide some of the country’s endangered species with a home in order to preserve their existence.  And, the Greenwall Company builds its walls from 94% of recyclable materials.

–  Our Project of the Week  last week was the Central Park Praha, Phase 1, built in 2009, in Prague, Czech Republic.  Located near the historic Prague city center, Central Park Praha is a new multi-family residential complex by designers A96 Architects and AED Project.  Attractive exteriors and innovatively designed interiors are combined with environmental considerations and energy efficiency.  The layout of the apartment complex was inspired by the natural environment, transforming its sharp features into a park through an artificial green embankment, which is actually a terraced building with greenroofs and façades.

The greenroof connects the grounds of the park with the residential buildings and creates a seamless green transition.  The pitched roofs were realized using the Optigreen “slope roof system type T,” an anti-slip system for roof slopes up to 45 °, necessary to keep the substrate and pre-cultivated sedum mats in place.

–  To learn more about the Origin Energy Greenwall Project,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage  (or on the above photos); and to learn more about the Central Park Praha, Phase 1, search project ID #1392 in our Projects Database.

What’s New

–  The Greenroofs.com eNewsletter

– Our August,  2012 eNewsletter was released last week, so be sure to check it out! Catch up on what was new in August, what we’ve been blogging about in our latest Sky Gardens posts, Advertiser Press Releases and more!  Or, subscribe  now.

–  Welcome

– We’d like to welcome two new advertisers here at Greenroofs.com!  Basques Hardwood Charcoal is a manufacturer of a horticultural amendment for rooftop media.

– And Vector Mapping/IR Analyzers has been performing vector mapping integrity testing since 1984.

–  Guest Feature Article

– Make sure to read Steven Peck’s guest feature article, “10th Anniversary – CitiesAlive Returns to Chicago To Celebrate and Plan Ahead“ all about the upcoming event in October – register by September 15 to receive the Early Bird Discount!

–  Advertiser Press Release:

–  Optigreen International (AG) has developed a new Green Roof system: Retention Roof Meander 30.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts:  “The World Green Roof Congress, Copenhagen 2012 in 3 Weeks!” and “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: August 24, 2012.”

–  Industry News

The NRCA is offering a new LEED Guide entitled “A Roofing Professional’s Guide to LEED ®” which includes specifics about vegetative roofing points.

– “Upcoming Events“

– Going on since September 1-30: is the 9th Annual Architecture and the City Festival in San Francisco, CA.

– September 6th-9th: is the 2012 Waterproofing Contractors Association (WCA) Fall Convention, in Myrtle Beach, SC.

– September 11th-14th: is the CONSTRUCT2012 and the CSI Annual Convention, in Phoenix, AZ – Follow on Twitter: @CONSTRUCTshow #CONSTRUCT

– September 12th: is the Greenroof Design & Construction Workshop, Wetland Studies & Solutions, in Gainesville, VA.

– September 13th-14th: is the European Conference on Sustainable Renovation of Buildings, in Karlsruhe, Germany.

–  And September 15-16 is the 10th Annual San Francisco Living Home Tours.

– “In the News“

–  James Bruggers of The Courier-Journal Blog, talks about “Louisville Housing Authority shows off new green roof.”  Louisville Metro Housing Authority’s Vine Street administration building features a new green roof with more than 1,200 plantings, including different grasses, ground coverings, serviceberry trees and various types of bushes; and it cost less than a traditional roof replacement.

It also has a walkway and benches for its building occupants to take a break and enjoy the lovely view it offers while it is helping to reduce the urban heat island effect.  This new sustainable addition will save on the building’s energy cost all year long, keeping it cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

– The staff at Buffalo Rising says, “NFTA Bus Shelter Gets A Living Green Roof.” eco_logic STUDIO, the company behind this project, said that this bus shelter is “a demonstration project for NFTA utilizing an existing bus shelter.  In the last year NFTA has installed about 100 PV systems on bus shelters.  This is the first green roof!”

Just some of the benefits this green roof will help to do are to absorb pollution and put back clean air in the environment, help keep the inside of the shelter cool in the summer and help to improve rain retention.

– To learn more about these stories and new ones posted daily, go to our  In the News  or  Newslinks  section of our website.

– Send us your green articles, videos and images to  editor@greenroofs.com  and share your greenroof or greenwall info with the world! – Make sure to keep up with everything  Greenroofs.com  by following us on  Twitter, liking us on  Facebook, being a member of our network on  LinkedIn, and subscribing to our  greenroofsTV channel  on YouTube!

– This has been This Week in Review for  August 31st & September 7th,  2012 on  GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velázquez 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.

Greenroofs.com”™s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: May 6th, 2011

May 9, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on  Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.   Here’s the transcript for May 6, 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 6th, 2011,  on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Growing Up – also known as 131 Queen Street – greenroof built in 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.  Melbourne’s skyline is now a little greener with the completion of the world’s first fully-funded, competition-designed, retrofitted green roof.  The Growing Up project was launched to retrofit a green roof on a Central Business District building and to demonstrate the environmental and social benefits of green roofs on city buildings.  BENT Architecture won the design competition established for the project, and the 10-story office building at 131 Queen Street was chosen as the site.  KHD Landscape Engineering Solutions and Green Roof Technologies were involved in creating the green space as part of the $300,000 project, working together to provide end-to-end design, construction and maintenance services for green roofs.  The Growing Up project won the Melbourne Design Award for Commercial Architecture for 2010.

–   To learn more about the Growing Up (131 Queen Street) greenroof, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage.

–   “What’s New“

–  Advertiser Press Release:  LiveRoof ® Adds [a] New Regional Sales Representative in Florida.

–   The Winner of our 2011 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest is the Aqua in Chicago, Illinois!  Congrats to Linda Smith from Barrett Company who submitted this lovely project which received the most votes from all the entries!  You can learn all about the Aqua at the Sky Gardens Blog.

–   Read Haven Kiers‘ latest Sky Gardens post “American Institute of Architects Select their 2011 COTE (coat) Top Ten Green Projects.”   Now in its 15th year, the AIA and its Committee on the Environment, or COTE, have once again selected their top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions that protect and enhance the environment.  See the three great 2011 Top Ten Award Winners that have incorporated greenroofs into their design.

–   Speaking of Sky Gardens, make sure to catch up on all of Linda’s latest posts: “GPW: Growing Up (131 Queen Street),” “The Winner of our 2011 “˜Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!’ Earth Day Photo Contest Is…,” and last week’s script for “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV.”

–  Industry News

–   There is a New Sustainable Design 101 resource available for students and teachers from the American Society of Landscape Architects.  In addition to the animations, the resource now includes 20 case studies of sustainable projects of all sizes, including master plans, university campuses, urban farms, backyards, and greenroofs!

–   “Upcoming Events“

–   May 10th-12th: is Garden+Landscaping Middle East in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

–   And May 12th-14th: is the AIA 2011 National Convention and Design Exposition in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Don’t miss exhibits from American Hydrotech, Bison Innovative Products, CETCO, Colbond, GreenGrid/Weston Solutions, LiveRoof, Sika Sarnafil, Tremco and ZinCo USA.

–  For more Upcoming Events visit our homepage.

–   “In the News“

–   Tafline Laylin of Inhabitat.com says “It’s Always Play Time at Henning Larsen’s Beautiful Green-Roofed Day Care Center in Denmark.”  Its tall windows let in lots of light while a special climate zone allows the children to play without gloves despite the cruel winters.  Wedged into a hillside, this building keeps energy consumption to a minimum and also features a small herb and vegetable garden for the kids.  As usual, Inhabitat has more stunning photos, so go to the article and browse their gallery.

–   Another article with beautiful pictures is “House Ocho with a Lively Green Roof.”  Preston Koerner of Jetson Green talks about this project in Carmel, California designed by Feldman Architecture, whose most notable detail is its dynamic greenroof that blends in with the hillside of the Santa Lucia Mountains.   House Ocho has additional green aspects which include the integrated photovoltaic skylights, custom windows to optimize passive solar heating, thermal mass in the form of concrete floors, radiant heat floors, recycled denim insulation, and sustainably harvested wood floors.  You can read more about this project in our Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database at the link below (http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=1116) or just type in Project ID # 1116 on the Projects Database search screen under Keyword.

–   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.

–   This has been This Week in Review for May 6th, 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.