Happy Earth Day! The Winner of the 2012 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest is…

April 22, 2012 at 4:50 pm

First of all, Happy Earth Day! It’s hard to believe that this is the 42nd year of recognizing April 22 as such an important date.

“Earth Day 1970 capitalized on the emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns front and center.

The idea came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda.” ~ EarthDay.org – Earth Day: The History of A Movement

…Getting back to the contest, this year we received a total of 12 entries from six different countries.  Without further ado, with 101 votes, the Winner of Greenroofs.com‘s 2012 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof! Earth Day Photo Contest is…

Patrick Biller, who submitted the Toronto City Hall entry- congratulations for selecting a great project and for rallying your supporters!

As you know, the mission of the yearly “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest is simply to have fun by creating interest in all kinds, styles, and sizes of beautiful living architecture, all while highlighting some outstanding designs. Designed to be quick and simple, it’s basically is a popularity contest among our international readership.  Any and all types of greenroofs are always eligible, any place on Earth.

Patrick, who hails from lovely Toronto, said in his entry:
“Toronto City Hall is an extremely important historical building in the city, and is also the city symbol.  This is the first time since the opening of Toronto City Hall in 1965 that the podium roof is a functional, beautiful public space. Although originally envisioned as a public gathering place, it never lived up to that billing due to the 120,000 sq ft of interlocking pavers without a shred of vegetation.  This $2.3-million green roof, which at 3,400 square metres is the largest in Toronto, is part of a $42.7-million plan to redo Nathan Phillips Square, set for completion in 2012.  The Nathan Phillips Square green roof was constructed with the LiveRoof brand hybrid modular green roof system. It contains a combination of 6″ deep and 4” deep LiveRoof Standard Modules. It has everything from ornamental grasses to perennials, sedums, trees, benches for the public, a state of the art irrigation system, and advanced LED lighting.  This roof has become an important urban park and is enjoyed thoroughly by tourists and residents of this beautiful, vibrant city every day. Visit http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=1121 for more info on the project and more photos.” ~ Patrick Biller

We’ve highlighted Toronto City Hall before as our Greenroof Project of the Week – when it was still called the “Toronto City Hall Green Roof Demonstration Project,” which was disassembled in 2009, below, and in September, 2010, too:

Newly reopened to the public in 2010, we’ll be featuring the Nathan Phillips Square Toronto City Hall Podium Green Roof tomorrow as our Greenroof Project of the Week in honor of Earth Day and Patrick’s submission – and Patrick will be receiving $100 for his entry, too.

Here’s another shot of Toronto City Hall by Patrick Biller:

The project receiving the second highest number of votes, 56, was the Aliso Viejo in San Juan Capistrano, California, submitted by Lauren Moss:

The third spot went to the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC) in East Alton, Illinois, submitted by Joe Donnelly, which received 32 votes:

Thank you to all who entered and participated! All awesome projects!  View all of the entries here.  They are all unique and beautiful in different ways, and if we don’t already have them included in our Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database, I hope to soon.  And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to Like us on Facebook and become part of Greenroofs.com’s online community.

By the way, if you are interested in learning more about Earth Day, here are some short, outstanding, and inspirational videos:

EarthDay.org’s “Earth Day: The History of A Movement” is an original 2:48 video broadcast by Frank Blair on NBC News from Wednesday, April 22, 1970 – very cool!  Look for the ending statement about global warming warnings if pollution wasn’t checked.

And Russell McLendon in MNN – Mother Nature Network – blogs about “Earth Day: 8 epic videos of our planet.”  He writes that “in honor of Earth Day’s all-inclusive nature, here’s a video tribute to all seven continents – plus the oceans and atmosphere – that highlights some of the planet’s less obvious wonders.”

These time lapse videos are simply spectacular!  I hope you enjoy them when you have time – they’re all about three minutes long.

Happy Earth Day and remember to “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!”

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: November 4, 2011

November 8, 2011 at 10:41 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 from November 4th, 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 November 4th on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

– Our project of the week is the  Cuartel de Ballajá Greenroof built in 2011 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Ballajá Infantry Barracks Building was constructed by the Spanish army between 1854 and 1864 and is one of the most impressive structures made by Spain in the New World. Used until 1898 as infantry barracks and permanent housing for approximately a thousand soldiers, it consisted of rooms for officers, solders and their families, storage, kitchens, dining rooms, jail cells and stables for horses. Today, the Ballajá Barracks houses several educational and cultural organizations, namely the Museo de Las Américas, on the second floor of the building since 1992.

The extensive  rooflite ® green roof was part of several “green intervention” projects done to the barracks, including a 151.2 KW PV system with 720 solar panels. Completed less than a month ago, the new 24,000 sf green roof was designed by the architect Edmundo Colon with the help of GRP David Aponte. The green roof also has greenwalls and an artificial wetland built to manage higher roof storm water amounts, which is used on a needed basis as the supplemental irrigation system.

– To learn more about the Cuartel de Ballajá, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage.

What’s New“

– Over at Sky Gardens, read Linda’s latest posts, “CITYGREEN’s Latest Issue is Available: Parks – Enhancing Liveability in Cities“ and our GPW.

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  Innovations to GreenGrid Green Roof Take Stormwater Retention to a New Level.

Guernsey Residents Enjoy Alumasc’s ZinCo Green Roof.

Sika Sarnafil Roof Recycling Program Recognized by Society of Plastics Engineer.

Nathan Phillips Square Wins 2011 Award of Excellence – LiveRoof ® Hybrid Green Roof System Supports Transformation in Front of Toronto’s City Hall.

Industry News Update

EPA announced a commitment to using an integrated planning process to help local governments.

– “Upcoming Events“

–  November 5th: is the Fall Garden and Home Festival in El Cajon, California.

– November 8th-9th: is the 3rd Annual Retrofitting & Planning Sustainable Suburbs Summit in Toronto, Canada.

– November 9th-12th: is the Greening Cities Conference in Sydney, Australia.

– Also November 9th-12th: is GREEN CITIES at National League of Cities’ Congress of Cities & Exposition in Phoenix, Arizona.

– And on November 11th: is Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Green Infrastructure: Policies, Performance and Projects in New York, New York.

–  Check out our homepage for more Upcoming Events!

– “In the News“

– Joe Eaton of theSF Gate  says “California Academy of Sciences‘ roof is thriving.” The academy’s roof is planted with beach strawberry, bush monkeyflower, and many other species of herbs, shrubs, annuals, perennials, grasses, succulents, and ferns. One “success story” was self-heal, prunella, a purple-flowered mint herb, Frank Almeda, California Academy of Science’s senior curator, said “bumblebees just love it.” Also loving the roof are butterflies, they are really happy with the tall yellow-blossomed Hooker’s evening primrose.

Part of the roof’s message is that a plant and animal partnership is very important. Almeda said, “it’s important to learn that plants don’t just make it on their own…they have a long evolutionary partnership with pollinators.” The roof attracts insects and other creatures like bumblebees and honeybees, white and West Coast lady butterflies, and even a red-tailed hawk. Human visitors love the roof, too – and you can learn more when you take a tour.

– Emma Dutton and Bethany Leggett of Medill Reports: Chicago, report on “Indoor harvest of fresh produce part of new green arrivals at O’Hare.” They say “the latest modernization at O’Hare International Airport includes an aeroponic vegetable, herb and edible flower garden.” Some of the restaurants are using lettuce, cilantro and basil grown from the 26 vertical columns inside the airport.

Tim Blank, founder and president of Orlando-based Future Growing, designed the aeroponic garden for O’Hare and said, “in this particular case, we’re growing all this food crop right here from farm to table. So we’re bypassing the transportation and the chilling and all those components that create a huge carbon footprint to the plant. Water is one of the number one issues that we’re dealing with in this country. There is a water crisis, especially out West where most of this food is grown.” The indoor garden is one of the latest green initiatives by the Chicago Department of Aviation to increase the sustainability of Chicago airports, showcased at the fourth annual Airports Going Green Conference.

By the way, the O’Hare Aeroponic Garden is featured in the Greenroofs.com 2011 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design.  If you missed our inaugural Virtual Summit, the next time you can see Linda and Haven’s Top 10 presentation will be next month in Philadelphia for the 9th annual Cities Alive Green Roof & Wall Conference!

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 green wall 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 November 4th, 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.

Greenbuild and Greenroofs in Toronto!

October 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

The U.S. Green Building Council’s  annual conference and expo, Greenbuild, is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building.  And now the USGBC is hosting its first Greenbuild outside the United States.

Greenbuild 2011 is being held in Toronto, Canada from October 4-7 and is celebrating what’s NEXT for green building!  What innovative ideas will you bring?  Learning, Networking and Celebrating – Greenbuild is a perfect opportunity to meet with green building colleagues, network with leading industry professionals and learn from international representatives from around the world.

Greenroof and Greenwall Exhibitors:

As usual, Greenbuild will showcase the latest in innovative products and services, exemplifying the idea of utilizing green to grow business to attendees from around the world.  The Expo Hall will be open October 4-6, 2011.

Don’t miss exhibits from American Hydrotech – Booth#2024N, Bison Innovative Products – Booth#244N, CETCO – Booth#339N, Conservation Technology – Booth#218N, Flynn Canada – Booth#6328S, Green Living Technologies International – Booth#6653S, GreenGrid/Weston Solutions – Booth#6514S, ILD (International Leak Detection) – Booth#7140S, KISSS America – Booth#6250S, LiveRoof – Booth#125N, MGV GroRoof/Metro Green Visions – Booth#340N, Rooflite – Booth#642N, Sedum Master – Booth#6450S, Sempergreen – Booth#3542S, Sika Sarnafil – Booth#4942S,  – Booth#6135S, VAST Enterprises – Booth#6940S, XeroFlor America – Booth#241N and ZinCo USA – Booth#3651S.

Did you know that Greenbuild 2011 is streaming live, and you can watch from home? Live streaming sessions include the opening plenary with Thomas Freidman, Cokie Roberts, Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell and Paul Farmer; the closing plenary; Master Speakers Neri Oxman, Frans Johannson and Amory Lovins; and LEED Master Series sessions.  Very cool!

Greenroofs at Greenbuild:

Thursday, October 6:  OF05 – Enacting a Green Roof by Law –  Nathan Phillips Square Toronto City Hall Podium Green Roof

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to Tour the award-winning 37,000 sf  LiveRoof Green Roof Installation at Toronto City Hall.  Featured in an off-site educational session at Greenbuild, the guided tour is part of “OF05 – Enacting a Green Roof by Law” and will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2011, 3:00-5:30 p.m.

“The 37,000-square-foot podium green roof at Toronto City Hall is the largest publically accessible extensive green roof in all of Canada.  This LiveRoof project stands out as a prominent element in the revitalization of Nathan Phillips Square. It has won several awards, including a 2011 Regional Honour Award from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.” ~ Dave MacKenzie, horticulturalist and president, LiveRoof, LLC.

And, Terry McGlade, environmental business development representative at Flynn Canada Ltd, the company that installed and project managed the overall green roof contract for Toronto City  Hall says:

“Toronto is the first North American city to require new developments to include green roofs. Greenbuild will offer an educational session devoted to the development, implementation, results, and future of Toronto’s pioneering initiative. The guided tour of the City Hall green roof is sure to be a highlight of this off-site session.”

Friday, October 7: HD13 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities – Greenroof and Wall Tour

“The green roofs and walls on this tour provide excellent examples of integrated design that improve the quality of life for inhabitants of the building and for the surrounding community. One of the more important features of a green roof or wall is its ability to enhance other sustainable features. From providing food and biodiversity in an urban setting, to enhancing a building’s air quality and improving on-site sustainable energy production, green roofs and walls provide dynamic and aesthetically pleasing components to green buildings. These projects are all uniquely Canadian through their location (both interior and exterior) and a hardy plant selection, as well as their functions and required maintenance through the various seasons of Toronto.” ~ Greenbuild

Visit the Greenbuild website to learn more.

Happy Greening!

~ Linda V.