Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 10: The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities: An Interview with Patrick Blanc

February 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Today we have the pleasure to air my own pre-summit interview with Patrick Blanc followed by his excerpted video presentation of “The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities” from our inaugural  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

The ever-popular and elusive Patrick Blanc has been an inspiration for thousands of botanists, designers, and lovers of lush, tropical-looking living walls alike.

Aramis and I first met him in lovely Singapore in November, 2010 when I spoke at the  International Skyrise Greenery Conference and we were thrilled when we were able to set up this interview in Chicago for our 2011 Virtual Summit.  I flew up there last September with Caroline Menetre and my  son,  Joey Velazquez (known for his  photography and  film work – he’s also the director/videographer for the  Sky Gardens – Greenroofs of the World™  videos), who filmed the interview segment.

We had a great time with Patrick, who’s very warm and inviting.  You can read more about our visit at Notre Voyage Fantastique: Chicago & Patrick Blanc, by Caroline Menetre and me.

Patrick Blanc, PhD is the creator of the Vertical Garden (Le Mur Végétal)  hydroponic living wall system and is a botanist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, where he specializes in plants from subtropical forests.  Since 1982, he has studied the many ways plants adapt to extreme conditions.  Patrick has received numerous awards and worked with Jean Nouvel, Andree Putman, Frances Soler, Edouard Francois, Jaqueline et Henri Boiffils, Herzog et de Meuron, Mark Newson, Saguez et Partners, and many others.  Patrick is the author of The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City, 2008, and the upcoming revised edition coming in April of this year.

In his The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities Patrick explains that “Since more than half the human population is now living in cities, the façades of the high rise building must be seen as a valuable place for bringing back the nature into the cities.

“For each new single project, I have answered with new shapes and new plant species.  The Vertical Garden is no longer a vertical panel; it is now possible to freely create it on various structures like columns, spirals, slopes or even vegetal ceilings.”

I’m sure you’ll enjoy our interview with Patrick Blanc which  precedes his awesome video presentation which  was filmed previously in front of a live audience.  We talk about many subjects including how he chooses his plants, his travels across the world in search of new ones, current projects, and plans for the future.  Learn all about Patrick’s work at his website, Vertical Garden Patrick Blanc.

Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities: An Interview with Patrick Blanc” or click below:

Watch earlier videos on our exclusive Virtual Summit greenroofs.tv play list, or see the following Virtual Summit videos now available on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

If you’re looking for an overview, make sure to see our  2011 Virtual Summit Highlights video (6:18) and our  2011 Virtual Summit Trailer (2:59).

Check back next week on GreenroofsTV for our 11th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: February 3, 2012

February 14, 2012 at 10:29 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  February 3rd, 2012 with an overview from the beginning of the new year  from our daughter,  Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velázquez and after a short hiatus, welcome back to This Week in Review!  First of all, we here at Greenroofs.com wish all of you a very healthy and prosperous New Year, and hope you’re off to a great start in 2012!

This is not only a “This Week in Review” for February 3rd, 2012, but also pretty much a “This Month in Review for January 2012,” here on GreenroofsTV.

–  Projects of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the Private Brussels Residence Vertical Garden & Greenroof built in 2006 in Brussels, Belgium. The architect of the private home is Philippe Samyn with Patrick Blanc as the botanist and designer of the Vertical Garden Wall. Construction took eight years with one year of fine-tuning the plant selection and as a result, the four-story house is covered completely in plants on three sides, plus the roof. It was Patrick Blanc’s first opportunity to design an entire house in vegetation, including the rooftop. Patrick had to carefully select the numerous plant species for the lush semi-circular facade form, keeping in mind sun patterns and micro climates. Water is collected from the rooftop edges and used for irrigation and is supplemented by a well; also, any runoff is recycled.

To learn more about the Private Brussels Residence Vertical Garden & Greenroof, designed by the internationally famously fascinating Patrick Blanc, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photo).

– Read about the following Projects of the Week that we’ve featured since my last “This Week in Review” – find them in   Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database using their profile ID # below each photo (or click on the photo):

– December 26 & 19, 2011: Tremco Incorporated Headquarters #1371

– January 2, 2012: Delft University of Technology Library #534

– January 9, 2012: Heritage Flight #1253

– January 16, 2012: Queens Botanical Garden Visitor and Administration Center #653


– January 23, 2012:  Arbroath Abbey Visitor Centre #79

What’s New

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 8: Panel Presentation “The Portland Ecoroof Program: A Cross-section of the Green Roof Movement in Portland, Oregon” with Tom Liptan, Matt Burlin, Amy Chomowicz, Casey Cunningham, and Alice Meyers.  If you haven’t already, check out these first 7 episodes on our greenroofsTV page and on YouTube:

Episode 7: “Constructing Gardens in the Sky” by Terry McGlade

Episode 6: “Sky Meadows – Integrating People and Nature: Sustainable Green Roofs and Roof Gardens” by Dr. Nigel Dunnett

Episode #5: “Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx” Panel Session with New York State Senator Gustavo Rivera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Robert Bieder, Jon Beuttler, Jess Dannhauser, Javier Lopez and Steve Ritz

Episode #4: Keynote Address “CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility – The Who, What, Where, When and How” by Ralph Velasquez

Episode #3: “CDA Leads the Way for Incorporating Green Roof Space in an Airport Environment” by Rosemarie Andolino

Episode #2:   2011 Top 10 Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design by Haven Kiers and Linda Velazquez

Episode #1: Opening Keynote Address   “A New Place“  by Charlie Miller

–  Don’t forget: the  2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall Calendar is still available for purchase – now at the discounted rate of $9.95, so order yours today!

–  Advertiser Press Releases:

Xero Flor Green Roof Products Receives Cradle to Cradle Certification for Environmental Stewardship.

Green Living Technologies International – New Jersey Farm to School Network announces Winter Conference – It Takes a Village: Collaborations in Good Food and School Gardens.

Sika Sarnafil announces that the United States Postal Service NY – the Largest Vegetated Green Roof in New York City – has won the 2011 RoofPoint™ Excellence in Design Awards.

SKYLAND USA, LLC – rooflite ® Announces Launch of New Spanish Website: www.techosvegetales.com.

RUBBERMASTER/A & A Melters are approved by Material Manufacturers.

Green Roof Technology introduces the “˜Sun-Root’ Living Roof System – Green Roofs embrace Renewable Solar Energy.

GLTi Green Training Course Added at the State University New York (SUNY) Ulster.

Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance Adhesive added to BioPreferred Program.

–    Joblinks Update

– LiveRoof is now hiring a Sales Specialist – Wisconsin in Spring Lake, Michigan, USA.

– Prides Corner Farms (a LiveRoof ® Licensed Grower) is looking for a Green Roof Sales Specialist in the Metro NY area.

Guest Feature

– Read Todd Skopic’s guest feature article, “All-Aboard the Greenroof Ship at the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters.”

–  Industry News Update

–    This week, the NRDC released a new report on how local and state governments can stimulate potentially billions of dollars of private investment, to offset the costs of repairing our nation’s broken stormwater infrastructure. It’s worth a read for policymakers, investors, and anyone who receives a wastewater or stormwater bill from a local utility. The new report, “Financing Stormwater Retrofits in Philadelphia and Beyond,” uses the City of Brotherly Love as a test case to explore how innovative financing mechanisms, currently being used for energy efficiency retrofits, can be adapted to the stormwater management context.

– The Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) has announced the first three projects to be certified by the nation’s most comprehensive system for rating the sustainable design, construction and maintenance of built landscapes. The corporate headquarters of an international manufacturing company, a new university green space and a children’s playground in an urban park are the first to be recognized for their sustainable land practices from among 150-plus pilot projects that began the certification process in summer 2010.

– The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is providing incentive funding to increase green roof coverage within its service area. The Regional Green Roof Initiative will provide up to $5 per square foot of an approved green roof project. The District’s interest in green roofs is to hold rainwater where it falls, thereby diminishing the risk of sewer overflows and improving the overall water quality in the region. In addition to managing stormwater, green roofs offer numerous additional environmental, economic, and social benefits.

– The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is once again providing rebates, at $5 per square foot, for green roofs to qualified applicants for the third consecutive year. The Anacostia Watershed Society is administering the program for DDOE and believes this is a great opportunity to help people cover some costs of their proposed green roofs as well as an opportunity to reach out to those unfamiliar with this technology all in an effort to help restore the watershed.

Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 episodes, “Stephen Ritz, South Bronx Educator/ Administrator at TEDx Manhattan “˜Changing the Way We Eat’ Tomorrow!,” “8 House Honored by the AIA,” and our GPWs.  Also read “Current Green Roof Trends in Germany (2011)” by Christine Thuring.

– “Upcoming Events“

– February 2nd-4th: is the 11th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in San Diego, CA.

– February 7th: is an EPA Green Infrastructure Forum in New York, NY.

– February 8th-9th: is BUILDEX Vancouver at the Vancouver Convention Center in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

– Also February 8th-9th: is Better Buildings By Design Conference 2012 in Burlington, VT.

– February 8th-10th: is ProGreen EXPO 2012 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO.

– And February 15th: is the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities class, Green Infrastructure: Policies, Performance and Projects, held at the Southface Institute Eco-Office in Atlanta, Georgia.

– “In the News“

–  Daniel Beekman of the New York Daily News, reports on “Classroom farm at Bronx public high school, Green Bronx Machine, shut down despite fresh successes.” He says that the “celebrated classroom farm that yielded fresh produce and great jobs for students at a South Bronx public high school has been quietly shut down.” For two years, Discovery High School special education teacher, Steve Ritz, used green walls to teach his students about science and technology and how to grow your own vegetables in an urban setting. Lesson plans he developed there are now being used at the college level at the State University of New York. Steve says he’s “disappointed… [and] the kids loved it,” also that the Green Bronx Machine “really took root because it cultivated minds and harvested hope.”

He created the Green Bronx Machine after meeting George Irwin, founder and CEO of Green Living Technologies, and they began growing vegetables while developing a curriculum. Students trained by Irwin even got summer jobs installing green roofs. This program has helped the Bronx students and every one of them who took part in the program has begun college or is on the track to getting there. Senator Gustavo Rivera said, “Steve is a guy who can get people energized about healthy eating…he has proven he can get students to care about school. I hope that continues.” We all hope it does and are confident that Steve will continue his work with the Green Bronx Machine and help even more students.  Check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/green.BX.machine.

– Lauren Lloyd of the LAist talks about “From Rooftop to Fork: Downtown LA Club Grows Its Own Greens.” She says, California’s largest urban farming operation, Farmscape, recently wrapped a first-of-its-kind project in Downtown LA. A large rooftop garden, designed to grow fresh organic greens sits on top of The Jonathan Club. The 200-square-foot custom organic garden will produce greens such as snap and snow peas, spinach, arugula, lettuces, a variety of herbs and much more in the winter growing season, as well as fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and figs. Farmscape and the club are loving their new garden.

Farmscape CEO, Jesse DuBois, says “we’re excited to be able grown the freshest produce possible for The Jonathan Club’s new head chef,” and that “we hope that building this rooftop garden right in the middle of Los Angeles demonstrates that food cultivation can happen almost anywhere.” It can happen almost anywhere, and hopefully other urban restaurants and buildings will follow in their footsteps.

–  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 February 3rd, 2012 on   GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velázquez and I’ll see 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: November 11, 2011

December 27, 2011 at 12:21 am

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 11th, 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 11th on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Master Builders Association Durban, Westville greenroof built in 2010 in Durban, South Africa. The Master Builders Centre was built in 1982 as a commercial building comprising about 3600 square meters of commercial space. Some of the finishes on the building were becoming old and unsightly, also the exhibition space had lost popularity, so it was time re-look at the utilization of this space and introduce new activities that would not only add beauty to the building, but also add energy savings. The greenroof is mainly comprised of indigenous plants, which require minimal water, are able to propagate themselves, and are less susceptible to pest outbreaks and harsh climates. Also, the green roof increases the vegetation on the property, promotes biodiversity and reduces the rate and volume of stormwater discharge. The roof podium area was planted with two separate systems designed by Green Roof Designs cc, one half using recyclable HDPE green roof modules and the other half using treated softwood timber boxes, which were constructed using both local timber source providers and workers from the area.

To learn more about the Master Builders Association Durban, Westville greenroof, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage.

What’s New“

–   We’d like to welcome Kawasaki Greenhouses, a supplier of plants and pre-vegetated mats in East Moriches, New York as a new Greenroof Directory advertiser.

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  LiveRoof ® Hybrid Green Roof System Takes Home a Readers’ Choice Award From Greenbuild.

–  American Hydrotech promotes Kevin Serena to Garden Roof Technical Sales Coordinator.

–   Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: November 4, 2011,” “This Week in Review” for October 28th, 2011 and our GPW.

– “Upcoming Events“

–  We’d like to say Happy Veterans Day to those of you in the United States and Happy Remembrance Day to our Commonwealth and other friends from across the world!

–   This weekend, November 12th-13th: is Green Festival – A Joint project of Global exchange & Green America in San Francisco, CA.

– November 16th: is Vegetative Roofs – Making Buildings Come Alive Seminar, NCBE Construction Training Center, in Santa Rosa, CA. This educational seminar on vegetative building systems as an effective strategy towards meeting green building requirements is presented by Kevin S. Falkerson and Kerrie Lee Cole of SYMBIOS and our own Design Editor, Haven Kiers.

–   November 16th-18th: is Build Boston 2011, Seaport World Trade Center in Boston, MA.

–   And November 18th: is Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Integrated Water Management for Buildings and Sites in Toronto, Canada.

– “In the News“

–   Brian Cross of the Windsor Star, says “U of W building to impress.” The $112 million Centre for Engineering Innovation is pretty impressive already with its greenroof and living wall but Phase 2 will add 75 foot long wood beams in the ceiling of a four-story atrium. The first phase was completed in the summer and has faculty and students working in research labs. The second phase has three art lecture halls, innovative heating and cooling systems and a rooftop that will become “an academic oasis.” The 10,300 sq ft green roof will be used as a park where students and faculty could eat lunch or relax between classes, and also some students will be studying how much water the roof will divert from storm sewers. Mark Beaulieu, a principal from the architectural firm overseeing the project, says, “I think this will be the greatest learning tool on campus…the building itself is Construction 101, 102, and 103. Structural, mechanical, electrical, the pneumatics of a building, it’s all going to be there to see.”

–   Julia Flynn Siler of the Wall Street Journal, talks about “The Green Man Whose Gardens Defy Gravity.” Have you ever wanted to learn more about the personal side of Patrick Blanc, the Internationally-known French botanist and inventor of the vertical garden? Well, Siler has written an article all about him: from how he starts his day, “often with a glass of white wine or champagne,” to other daily activities like experimenting with plants and vertical systems in his home and drawing sketches about whatever project he is currently working on. Right now he is involved with a private San Francisco high school garden, which is his largest garden in the United States, using more than 4,500 plants. Drew School, in the lower Pacific Heights area, has only California native plants in its garden and small orange-red blossoms are starting to peep through the foliage. You can read more about this vertical garden, how “The Green Man” grew up with his love and inspiration of nature, and an exclusive Wall Street Video at the full article online.

Of course, if you attended our inaugural Greenroofs & Walls of the World™  Virtual Summit, you had the opportunity to see a rare 30 minute interview with Patrick by Linda Velazquez.

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 11th, 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.

Order Your 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar Now!

December 13, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again – the end of 2011 – when we start looking ahead and planning for the next!

What better way to stay up to date with greenroof and greenwall happenings around the world than with our brand new 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall  Calendar?  Now in our fifth year of publishing, the Calendar combines two of our most popular destinations on Greenroofs.com: The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database and Upcoming Events.

We’re very happy with the beautiful projects highlighted and hope you will be, too.  See the  Press Release here.

The 2012 Calendar has 78 events posted from across the globe and the cover features the luscious, top to bottom plant-enveloped Private Brussels Residence Vertical Garden & Greenroof by Patrick Blanc and Philippe Samyn.  Inside you’ll find full color glossy photos of projects from Honolulu, Long Island City, Chicago, Culpeper, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Atlanta, San Francisco, Delft, New York City, Beachwood, and Baltimore.

Special thanks go to our participating Sponsors of the 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar:    Barrett Company,  Green Living Technologies,  Green Roof Blocks,  GreenGrid, International Leak Detection,  LiveRoof, rooflite ®,  Roofmeadow,  Saul Nurseries,  Tremco,  Xero Flor America, and  ZinCo-USA.

And thanks to these Greenroofs.com’s Sponsors who weren’t featured this year –  American Hydrotech and  Conservation Technology –  but whose support also makes our website possible (along with all of you who are listed in  The Greenroof Directory)!

By the way, if you’d like to see all the previous years’ calendar projects, click here.

The  2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar will make a perfect holiday gift for you, your staff,  and your green architecture like-minded friends and family, so order now in time for all the upcoming  holidays and the  new year.

Enjoy and happy greening!

~ Linda V.