Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: October 7, 2011

October 10, 2011 at 11:44 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 October 7th, 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 October 7th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV. We’ve been so extremely busy with our inaugural Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011, that we haven’t been able to have a This Week in Review for a few weeks, so allow me to catch you up with what’s been going on here at Greenroofs.com.

–  Project of the Week

– Our project of the week is Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street built in 2004 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The former police station from the 1920s was renovated in 2003 with the greenroof installed the following year.  The six-story complex has 75 apartments for the graduate students and “the garden courtyard provides a beautiful outdoor amenity space for residents and has made this housing building one of the most popular places to live on campus.”  The American Hydrotech project profile states, “The once unsightly rooftop is now a 10,000 square foot Garden Roof ® providing pleasing views and helping to add a sense of place and community for the graduate student residents there.  The Garden Roof will significantly increase the life expectancy of the roof and is also helping to control stormwater runoff.”  The rooftop plantings include a mix of succulents, sedums and delosperma, drought tolerant varieties that are perfect for Boston temperatures.

– To learn more about the Harvard Graduate Student Housing at 29 Garden Street, click on our project of the week photo on our homepage.  Also, to learn about our projects of the week for the past few weeks, you can go to the Sky Gardens Blog and read Linda’s posts about each one.  Or, go to our Projects Database and search project ID number “825” for the World Expo Zaragoza 2008/Zentro Expo Zaragoza greenroof from ZinCo, project ID number “553” for the Musée du quai Branly green wall by Patrick Blanc, and project ID number “996” for the Casa Feliz Studios greenroof from Tremco.

What’s New“

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  Industry News

–  According to Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the City of Toronto’s award winning Green Roof Bylaw has already resulted in more than 1.2 million square feet of new green space planned on new commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential developments across the City.

– Smart Growth America – Through a grant from the U.S. EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities’ Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program, Smart Growth America is pleased to offer free technical assistance to help communities implement smart growth strategies to build stronger economies while protecting human health and the environment.

– American Rivers – Want to create 1.9 million American jobs and add $265 billion to the economy? Upgrade our water infrastructure. That’s the message of Water Works: Rebuilding Infrastructure, Creating Jobs, Greening the Environment, a report by Green For All, in partnership with American Rivers, Pacific Institute, and the Economic Policy Institute. The report looks at an investment of $188.4 billion in water infrastructure””the amount the EPA indicates would be required to manage stormwater and preserve water quality. That investment would inject a quarter of a trillion dollars into the economy, create nearly 1.3 million direct and indirect jobs and result in 568,000 additional jobs from increased spending.

–    Joblinks:  C. M. Hobbs has a job opening for a Grower/Plant Propagator on the west side of Indianapolis, IN, USA.

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Greenbuild and Greenroofs in Toronto!,” our GPWs for the last few weeks, “Thank You to Our Sponsors and the Winner of the 2nd iPad2 at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 is…,” along with other Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 related posts, “Notre Voyage Fantastique: Chicago & Patrick Blanc“ by Linda and Caroline Menetre, “Remembering and Rebuilding: Ten Years After 9/11,” and “Greenroofs.com’s This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: September 9, 2011.”

– “Upcoming Events“

Until October 28th: All of the content from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 – Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design is still very much live, so you can access it all on demand and tell your friends and colleagues to continue to register!  You can even continue to chat live while in the virtual environment via video, audio, or text through October 28!

– October 1st-23rd: Leverage – Strengthening Neighborhoods through Design Exhibition in Philadelphia, PA.

–  Check out our homepage for more Upcoming Events!

– “In the News“

–  Roberta Cruger of Treehugger reports on “The 9/11 Memorial & Museum’s Focus on Sustainable Design.” She says “From a green roof to locally harvested trees, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum opens on the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center with a dedication and much media coverage of every angle, including Steven Spielberg’s The Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero.” A grove of more than 400 swamp white oak trees, all harvested from within a 500-mile radius of the World Trade Center, on the Plaza act as a beautiful green roof for the 9/11 Memorial museum, the train station and other facilities 70-feet below street level. These trees are meant to represent the renewal of life in their natural cycles. The irrigation system includes stormwater capture in underground storage tanks to save energy and resources and the site is seeking LEED gold certification.

– The San Francisco Chronicle announces that “Academy of Sciences [is] honored with another green building award.” The say “everyone’s favorite combination of aquarium, planetarium and natural history museum has received a second Platinum rating from the council’s LEED program.” And this one’s for operations and maintenance. The extensive vegetation on the living roof consists almost entirely of natural species and the glass walls allow views from 98% of occupied spaces. Also, they use 100% recycled paper in all its printers and they are all Energy Star-rated.

– Caroline McMillan of the Charlotte Observer talks about “Green roof sprouts up in the suburbs.” LEED-accredited architect, Rebecca Fant and her mechanical engineer husband, John Alday, have recently installed their very own greenroof. Their porch roof was in need of restoration, so they decided to go green with the help of LiveRoof ® vegetation. They aren’t reaping the full benefits of greenroofs like managing stormwater runoff, keeping their house warm in the winter and cool in the summer yet because their greenroof is just over their porch but Fant says, “it’s a little teaser for what we’re trying to do inside the house, as we renovate and improve the energy efficiency and other environmental features.”

– 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 October 7th,  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.

Thank You to Our Sponsors and the Winner of the 2nd iPad2 at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 is…

September 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Greenroofs.com’s inaugural  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 was simply awesome!


Thank you to our Rare Earth Sponsor, TREMCO, for making it a reality, especially Ralph Velasquez!  Ralph, Executive Director of Sustainability with  Tremco,  was one of our Keynote Speakers and created a wonderful video presentation about CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility.

Also, we are very grateful to the support of our Emerald Sponsor, American Hydrotech.  Richard C. Hayden, RLA, ASLA, CLARB, is the Garden Roof Department Manager at  American Hydrotech and  shared some amazing projects and experience with “Sloped and Complex Green Roofs.”

As you already know the winner of our first iPad2 given away for early bird registrants was James Neville of Neville Environmental Services from Vancouver, B.C., Canada…

Without further ado, the winner of the second Apple iPad2 is…

Kira Udo, Student at Georgia Perimeter College!

Kira lives in Roswell, Georgia, just a stone’s throw from us here in Alpharetta. She is studying French with a concentration in Business Administration.  She’s interested in greenwalls and loves the work of Patrick Blanc.  Congratulations!

All of the content of the  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 is available online through October 28, 2011. That includes the:

Tremco Meeting Room;
Tremco Booth in the International Pavilion;
American Hydrotech Booth in the North American Pavilion;
All of our other Exhibitor Booths in The Expo Pavilions including Grant Associates, Green Living Technologies, Green Roof Blocks, GreenGrid Roofs, Green Roof Plants, ILD, J-DRain, and Roofmeadow;
The Associates Booths at the Associate Pavilion;
The featured presentations and expert panel discussions with live Q & A records in the Rare Earth Auditorium;
and the rest of our stellar cast of  international  luminaries in the On Demand Auditorium.

It’s certainly not too late to register and see all of these amazing speakers and their interaction with our audience!  Registration will be open through October 28, 2011.

Here’s what one attendee had to say afterwards:

“Thank you for hosting the Virtual Summit 2011.  The event was extremely useful to me.  I’ve been working with green roofs here in Florida since 1995 and feel I learned more in two days than in most years since the time I first started growing plants way back, on a tin roof.

Most importantly though, the enthusiasm and success of others was so very important.

Here in Florida we lag behind the rest of the nation and the world.  But that is changing.  I know green roofs here will evolve just as beautifully and successfully as elsewhere.

Just seeing the inspirational work of others gave me the boost I needed.  Thank you and Aramis and the staff and speakers.  The Greenroofs.com Virtual Summit 2011 showed the world the importance of your outreach and informational organization.” ~ Kevin Songer

Thanks, Kevin!  If you  weren’t  able to join us live, we hope you will still sign up and enjoy the 32 presentations at your leisure through October 28!

See you at a physical conference somewhere in the world soon, and remember,

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.

GPW: Musée du quai Branly

September 26, 2011 at 12:07 am

Greenroofs.com Project of the Week: 9/19/11
Musée du quai Branly Greenwall
Paris, France
8,600 sf. Greenwall

MuseeduquaiBranlyPB

Year: 2005
Owner: Musée du quai Branly
Location: Paris, France
Building Type: Museum
Type: Living Wall
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 8,600 sq.ft.
Slope: 100%
Access: Accessible, Open to Public

Project Description & Details

Situated close to the Eiffel Tower, the Musée du quai Branly features indigenous art, cultures and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The museum complex contains several buildings, as well as a mediatheque and a garden. The building was designed by architect Jean Nouvel, and the façade measures approximately 13,000 sf (1,200 m). Yet its most noticeable feature is the stunning and now iconic 200 m long by 12 m tall living wall covering the entire northwest façade, punctured by large windows.

Designed by Patrick Blanc using his hydroponic Le Mur Végétal system, the Musée du quai Branly greenwall is one of Blanc’s most famous vertical gardens, and one of the most highly photographed in the world. Facing the River Seine with a park and small streets in between, the micro-climate creates a good environment for a large variety of plants. A range of species were selected from the world’s main temperate zones, including North America, Europe, the Himalayas, China, Japan, Chile, and South Africa. Patrick insisted that the biodiversity represented in this vertical garden echo the cultural diversity of artists the world over, whose works were on exhibit in that very museum.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Architect: Jean Nouvel
Green Wall Designer: Patrick Blanc
Green Wall System: Le Mur Végétal
Planning Phase Project Director: Françoise Raynaud
Construction Project Director: Isabelle Guillauic

Google Maps Link

Additional Info

Nicknamed MQB, the Musée du quai Branly opened in June, 2006. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum hosts a variety of shows, concerts, cinema and cultural activities all year round. Behind a sound-proofed glass wall is a secluded garden where visitors can sit and relax after their tour.

At first, residents were unsure of the new living wall cloaking the four-story building, and now they are highly protective of it.

I was in Paris last year in May and of course I made sure to visit the Musée du quai Branly, not the inside, just the outside. To say I was fascinated is an understatement! As I examined plant species at eye level I started following flowing drifts of plant communities diagonally, upwards, downwards…

The building was enveloped in different shades and sizes of green, red, yellow, lilac, pink and white. I started to feel like the reflective windows were just getting in the way of the beautiful picture, yet after a while of observing the colors of the sky change and white billowy clouds pass by, the juxtaposition of modern architecture and the look of a primeval forest was somewhat surreal.

MuseeduquaiBranlyLV11

Writing in the 2006 New York Times article “Quai Branly: A perverse, magical space” Nicolai Ouroussoff says, “By contrast, the exterior of the administration building is swallowed up by a vertical carpet of exotic plants punctured by big windows. On some stories, the plants invade the building, crawling down the interior walls. (“When you put in little flowers, people are happy,” Nouvel said of his design.)”

MuseeduquaiBranlyCT

I can see that. The building is almost magical in its irreverent disregard for the status quo of boring flat façades of “normal” buildings – the undulating plant masses, the lushness of the sensuous sweeping bands of vegetation, and the desire to touch them all draws the visitor into the façade itself, as if it were a sub-tropical forest floor on its side. Photos above and below by contributing editor Christine Thuring in 2009.

MuseeduquaiBranlyCT2

One of the very best qualities about Patrick Blanc’s works is that the plants really look like they are the structure – not just planted on top of it. Integrated design at its finest!  Patrick is a great proponent of plant biodiversity – the wall contains over 15,000 plants and 150 different species from around the world.

MuseeduquaiBranlyCT4

It was fun watching some people’s reactions as they passed by – the thoroughfare that runs along the left bank of the Seine is very close to the Eiffel Tower, and the street is heavily populated with tourists.  I guess Parisians have had a few years to become accustomed to the rather large structure and have since become nonplussed – but I noticed that most passersby had to stop, look at the wall and then touch it, as if to make sure the plants were real!

MuseeduquaiBranlyCT3

A lot of people gingerly felt the many varieties of species, and in fact Patrick Blanc told me that he and architect Jean Nouvel not only expected people to touch them, they hoped they would! Some wanted to put up a screen or see-through barrier so people couldn’t access the plants, but Patrick stood his ground and said most certainly not, that it was part of the experience to use all the senses to really appreciate this living work of art.

As a result, some portions of the living wall need to be replaced occasionally, and Patrick said he was fine with that – sometimes folks pick the “pretty flowers and leaves” and don’t realize it’s a living being.

I saw several areas where the felt had obviously been replaced and stapled in new – to be honest, I’ve seen this in numerous applications of this type of living wall system, although this is the first (but certainly not last) and only Patrick Blanc greenwall I’ve seen.

The patented Mur Végétal system has been around for about 15 years now, and there are many knock-offs.  Patrick says he’s flattered and welcomes the opportunity for others to learn from his many years of research an experience with the hydroponic system.

Paris is a refined global city always seeking new ideas and ideals, and the Musée du quai Branly is a modern museum living in this classic setting, yet it also has been designed to contradict and inspire.  Just like Patrick Blanc’s magical vertical garden wall.

“This is a museum built around a specific collection, where everything is designed to evoke an emotional response to the primary object, to protect it from light, but also to capture that rare ray of light indispensable to make it vibrate and awaken its spirituality. In a place inhabited by symbols of forests and rivers, by obsessions of death and oblivion, it is an asylum for censored and cast off works from Australia and the Americas. It is a loaded place haunted with dialogues between the ancestral spirits of men, who, in discovering their human condition, invented gods and beliefs. It is a place that is unique and strange, poetic and unsettling.” ~ Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Read about my visit with Patrick Blanc a couple of weeks ago here, and don’t miss my exclusive video interview with Patrick Blanc and his “The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities” video presentation at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 on September 27 & 28.

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!  Click here to see more information about this project in The International Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.  See how you can submit yours here.

Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!

~ Linda V.

 

Notre Voyage Fantastique: Chicago & Patrick Blanc

September 14, 2011 at 11:40 pm

All Photos by Caroline Menetre Unless Otherwise Noted
Story by Linda Velazquez and Caroline Menetre

Along with my son and cameraman Joey Velazquez, our Greenroofs.com contributor Caroline Menetre and I flew up to Chicago on September 10 to interview world renown French botanist, Patrick Blanc,  at the beautiful 4-star Sofitel Chicago Water Tower for the upcoming Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011.

We had an awesome time with him and  thoroughly  enjoyed our short stay in the Windy City!  Caroline goes first and then I’ll follow with my reflections:

Caroline Menetre: Last Thursday I had the fantastic opportunity and pleasure to go to Chicago with Linda and her son,  Joey  (known for his  photography and  film work – he’s also the director/videographer for the Sky Gardens – Greenroofs of the World™  videos),  for her exclusive pre-summit interview with Patrick Blanc.

Most of you Greenroofs.com devotees know of the noted French botanist and artist and his spectacular green wall installations all over the world.  I can honestly say this man’s work was (one of) the main impetuses for me going back to school in horticulture and to some day design like he does.  (I can dream, can’t I?)

There are numerous facets of Patrick’s knowledge and skills to admire, but as an artist I’m drawn to the design aesthetics, and well…he’s the master.  Each installation is a magnificent work of art.

It was an honor to meet Patrick, and a thrill to sit-in and listen to such an intimate interview and conversation.  He was enthusiastic and passionate about his work, understandably.  I aspire one day to actually see some of his installations in person. And should Atlanta ever be the lucky recipient of his work, I’ll be the first one on-site. (Linda told him I would happily volunteer for any work!)

Linda will expound on the exclusive interview with Patrick, so I will just give a brief synopsis of our quick trip.  We arrived early in the morning and went straight to the “magnifique” Hotel Sofitel for Joey (videographer extraordinaire) to set up for shooting later that day.

Patrick had two lectures that day – a master class to graduate students at the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of technology and the Alliance Française de Chicago (he had also given a lecture the day before at the Chicago Botanic Gardens),  so we had some time in between sessions for a quick stroll around “the greenest, most environmentally friendly city in the nation.”

I could go on and on about all of the greening and environmental efforts achieved in Chicago, but the most obvious visual aspect is the lushly planted medians and storefront streetscapes. While the average Chicago visitor marvels at the upscale boutiques, restaurants, and hotels along “The Magnificent Mile” on Michigan Avenue, I strolled the stretch with head down, scanning from curb to curb, oohing and aahing at every plant and artful planting (shops? what shops?).

Of course, I had to photograph most of them for planting inspiration, and I also saw them as beautiful floral paintings – even did some effects on a few:

 

During our meandering travel towards  Millennium Park, we did take a detour – into the Apple Store – to inquire if we could see their greenroof.  Not accessible to the public, we were treated to a behind the scenes tour up on the top floor where the employees can enjoy overlooking their greenroof from the huge glass expanse of their conference room.  Very nice!

And finally, before heading back to the hotel, we strolled the famous expanse of the 1 million+ sf greenroof that is  Millennium Park, and the beautiful Lurie Garden – the featured nature component of one of the world’s largest greenroofs.  The 2.5- acre garden is a combination of perennials, bulbs, grasses, shrubs and trees.  It was a beautiful day to enjoy the park, and an additional pleasure to our trip.


Chicago and Patrick Blanc.  These are a few of my favorite things…

Linda: Chicago was beautiful and we had a great day overall – neither Caroline nor I had been back here in a few years, and Joey had never been, so it was great roaming around like tourists.  When we passed the Apple Store and Caroline suggested we stop in and see if we could actually visit the roof, I thought she was crazy – but, after showing my card – we were in!  Very cool GreenGrid modular greenroof!  The  employees  love it.

Believe it or not, I had never made it previously to  Millennium  Park – wow, what a great job the City of Chicago and all the excellent designers did on creating such an interactive and attractive space for all to enjoy!

Of course the highlight was capturing Patrick Blanc on film and creating an interview to remember.  When Patrick agreed to speak at our  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 last June, we weren’t sure what format he’d be using because of his hectic travel schedule.  So when we were offered the chance to interview him here in the U.S., we jumped at the opportunity.  What a charmer he is, and what a pleasure we had!

“As a botanist, Patrick Blanc is at home in the jungles from Bali to the Amazon. As a landscape artist, he has brought breathing walls and biodiversity to the grandest hotels, restaurants and stores of Le Tout-Paris and worked with French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier on the catwalk. But what the man with green hair is best known for is the “vertical garden”, an idea seeded in the heart of Paris on rue d’Alsace that spread to Jean Nouvel’s Quai Branly Museum before being exported all over the world.” ~ Chicago.Cervantes.es

Very charismatic, “The Green Man” had on his customary green accents – flowered shirt, gorgeous brocaded paisley Indian jacket, shoes, streaks in his hair…

A genuinely nice guy, Patrick is best known for creating the hydroponic  Le Mur Végétal or  the Vertical Garden living wall system.  Also a botanist at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, he specializes in plants from subtropical forests and spends several months out of each year combing lushly foliated jungles and other exotic landscapes in search of new species for testing and additional research for use in his creations.

Of course, his work is highly popular and he is insanely sought out as a botanist, artist, and designer.  We talked about some of his current projects, like Central Park in Sydney, Australia, with architect and long time collaborator Jean Nouvel, where over 12 vertical gardens envelope the façades with garden boxes and vertical wires incorporated into the loggias that wrap the towers in plant life.

Although Aramis and I met Patrick last November when I spoke at the International Skyrise Greenery Conference in Singapore, the only work of his that I have seen live is the gorgeous living tapestry at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris, which we also talked about – these are a few of my photos from May of last year:

Yet over the five years of our Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design, Haven Kiers and I have highlighted many of his projects – whether conceptual (top below) or real (bottom below), they simply are all stunning! Look for some more of Patrick Blanc’s works during this year’s Top 10 List,  which  we’ll be inaugurating at the  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011.

Patrick is very passionate about his work and very optimistic about the future of ecological design.  We spoke about his early inspirations and aspirations – and I mean early.  He was into tropical aquariums and plants at the tender age of five and started creating and manipulating designs at eight!  Clearly, his scientific mind was off and running, and it hasn’t stopped since.

After my interview, Patrick signed my copy of The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City, 2008 – a big, beautiful coffee table book that just happens to capture his spirit, work, and purpose in glorious color.  But, stay tuned – the upcoming revised edition with profiles of all his new projects is coming in October, 2011!  I guess I’ll just have to buy it, too…

Patrick’s integration of the huge number of plant species he always includes in his work is a testimonial to his belief in the value of plant community biodiversity.

His quick smile and easy laugh plus his open sharing of ideas made our interview very pleasant and fun – look for about 30 minutes of my exclusive interview with him on September 27, 2011, interwoven with film from one of his recent lectures.

If you haven’t registered yet for the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011, please do so here.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Jean-Luc Le Gouallec of MurVegetalPatrickBlanc.com for inviting us,  Aimée Laberge of  the Alliance Française de Chicago (who, along with Air France, the participation of the Services Culturels of the French Consulate in Chicago, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Chicago Architecture Foundation and the College of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology sponsored Patrick’s visit) for arranging our Chicago visit,  Carrie Makris of the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower who graciously allowed us to scope out the best site and set up filming,  and most importantly to the lovely and talented Patrick Blanc for his time and participation!

See you online on September 27 & 28!

~ Linda V. & Caroline Menetre