’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: May 11, 2012

May 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here is the transcript from May 11, 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 May 11th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the  U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, DHS St. Elizabeths Campus, currently in the construction process in Washington, D.C.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is consolidating its headquarters in the National Capital Region at St. Elizabeths Campus to provide a more unified and secure campus that brings together its executive leadership and operational management.  Phase 1 is scheduled to deliver in 2013, Phase 2 in 2014, and Phase 3 has a projected completion date of Q4 2016.

The Phase 1 U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters will feature several construction and operating measures in accordance with its proposed LEED Gold certification, including: over 400,000 square feet of green roof used for stormwater management consisting of wet ponds, bio-swales and step pools, and energy efficiency, enhanced commissioning of all building systems, use of green housekeeping measures after completion and occupancy, and use of low-emitting construction materials and furnishings.  Due to the variety of plants ranging from shrubs to grasses to Sedum mats from Sempergreen, there are four different soil blends on the project.  Rooflite ® growing media was specified, with Roofmeadow ® as the growing media consultant.  In all, 18 roofs, nine courtyards, and two parking garages will be covered with living roofs.

– To learn more about the U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, DHS St. Elizabeths Campus,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

– Watch our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 22: “Sustainability at a Small Business: Emory Knoll Farms” by John Shepley, one of our contributing editors – the Green Business Editor.

And find the rest of the videos in this series on our GreenroofsTV page and/or our greenroofsTV YouTube channel.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts:  “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 22: Sustainability at a Small Business: Emory Knoll Farms,” “Early Bird Registration Ends on May 15 for the 10th Annual CitiesAlive in Chicago!,” and “’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: May 4, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  May 11th-13th: is EPIC – The Vancouver Sun Sustainable Living Expo, in Vancouver, BC, Canada. @EPIC_Expo

–  May 12th-15th: is Resilient Cities 2012 – World Congress on Cities & Adaptation to Climate Change, in Bonn, Germany. @ICLEI_ResCities

–  May 13th-16th: is Green Building Design & Interiors Arabia 2012, in Saudi Arabia.

–  May 15th: is the deadline for the Early Bird Registration date for CitiesAlive 2012.

–  May 16th-18th: is Greening the Heartland 2012 – Building Community Conference, in Indianapolis, Indiana. @GTH2012 #GTH2012

–  May 17th-19th: is the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition, in Washington, D.C. @AIANational #aia2012

–  And May 18th: is the Portland Ecoroof Symposium – The Bottom Line on Portland Green Rooftops, in Portland, Oregon.

– “In the News“

–  Alistair Guthrie of The Guardian UK, asks “Carbon emissions: can buildings be elegant and efficient?”  He says some buildings have been able to integrate art and science, an important combination of being sustainable and aesthetic.  Over 70% of a typical city’s greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings and the construction industry itself consumes more than 12% of the world’s water.  It’s now more important than ever that engineers and designers work together to achieve emissions targets and meet needs for future inhabitants of our planet.

A beautifully strong example of the art-science combo needed is the living roof at the California Academy of Sciences, one of the most eco-friendly buildings in the world.  The academy’s 2.5-acre green roof blends into the surrounding Golden Gate Park and meets exceptional LEED Platinum standards.  It has reduced its water usage by 76.9% through grey water reuse, low-flow WCs, kitchen sinks and showers.  The building has saved 34% in energy by locating its photovoltaic cells around the edge of the green roof.  Other recognizable landmarks that combine beauty and sustainability include London’s Shard building and the Eden Project in Cornwall, where part of the James Bond film, Die Another Day, was filmed.

–  The Daily Mail offers you “New York’s secret skyline: Amazing aerial shots give rare glimpse of city’s hidden rooftop world.”  This incredible collection of aerial photographs taken above New York, include lush gardens, restaurants, swimming pools and tennis courts.  Thanks in part to Mayor Bloomberg’s eco-friendly roofscaping initiatives, the tops of dozens of buildings have been transformed into amazing outdoor living spaces and models for green-city living.  Pilot and photographer Alex MacLean took these stunning images for his new book, Up on The Roof: New York’s Hidden Skyline Spaces.

In the book’s introduction, architecture critic Robert Campbell writes, “Rooftops will be the lungs of the denser city of the future.  As the world urbanizes, the rooftops will connect us with nature, with wind and sun and rain and snow, with the natural processes of growth and decay.”  Over the years, MacLean has clocked up more than 6,000 flying hours and has published ten books of his aerial photography.  His new book contains 184 beautifully detailed photographs and is available on Amazon.  Check out the full article for more amazing photos!

– 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 and share your greenroof or greenwall info with the world!

– Make sure to keep up with everything 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 May 11,  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*

Did we miss something?  We’d love to hear from you!

~ Linda V.

Greenroof CEO Vanessa Keitges Named as Female Startup Entrepreneur in Oregon

February 16, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Great news for women in the marketplace as well as for the greenroof industry!  Vanessa Keitges,  President &  CEO of Columbia Green Technologies, Inc., has been included in a recent shortlist of prominent females promoting startup businesses in the state of Oregon from  Oregon Business.

[The photo previously posted here of Vanessa was removed on March 2, 2012 at the request of Sustainable Business Oregon.]

Based in Portland, Oregon, Columbia Green’s core technologies are focused on vegetative roofs and based on sustainable functions that help manage the quality and quantity of stormwater, energy use, and air and water pollution.  Vanessa purchased the company along with local investors in 2009 and it is currently experiencing significant growth under her leadership.

We met Vanessa a couple of years ago in Atlanta, and were impressed by her friendliness and enthusiasm.  We saw her again in Vancouver, B.C. and most recently at CitiesAlive 2011 in Philadelphia at the end of November/beginning of December.  Firestone,  one of Columbia Green’s major partners, very generously sponsored the Thursday night “After Party” at Con Murphy’s, a local Philly bar.  Great fun was had by all!

Oregon enjoys an increasingly vibrant startup scene and although the state has a long history of women starting small businesses, typically they have been smaller, retail establishments.  But recent trends show women  forming “highly scalable businesses” with a growing number in the tech sectors.    After speaking with Linda Weston – executive director of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network and a pioneering female entrepreneur herself – Linda Baker,  Managing Editor of Oregon Business,  decided to compile a list of “female entrepreneurs and investors who are pushing the start-up scene forward.”

Vanessa Keitges is a sincere and highly energetic and motivated individual who certainly deserves the attention from the Oregon business community – here’s what she said when I asked her how she reacted to the news:

“It is great to be recognized as one of the women powering the startup scene here in Portland. I am humbled to be included with the group of women that are mentioned in the Oregon Business article “Women Help Power Startup Scene” and their stellar experience and reputations.

One of the main themes of this article is that these women are running highly scalable businesses and this certainly resonates with our efforts here at Columbia Green. When we win a new green roof project, our goal is to exceed all customers’ expectations. We don’t just want the first green roof project, we want to prove that we can be a long term partner to our customer. This is one of the major ways that we scale our business.” ~  Vanessa Keitges

To read more and see the entire list of Oregon’s startup women, where the author invites the public to submit more names of “other notable women driving 21st century entrepreneurship” at “Women help power startup scene” from Oregon Business (Sustainable Business Oregon), please contact the publication or Vanessa, see phone number below.

Due to positive growth in the ecoroof industry,  Columbia Green Technologies recently announced the opening of their new website and Boston Regional Headquarters.

Contact Vanessa  Keitges  at:  503.327.8723.

Congratulations, Vanessa!

~ Linda V.


Portland Celebrates Ecoroof Month in March

February 23, 2011 at 10:07 pm

By Matt Burlin

The ecoroof industry in Portland, Oregon, has been making great strides.   Since 2008, the City of Portland has offered an incentive of $5 per square foot of ecoroof on approved projects.  Over 100 projects have been funded so far for over 8 acres in vegetated roof space, and the funding will be offered twice annually until 2013.   The City now boasts nearly 13 acres of ecoroofs (extensive green roofs) and close to 28 acres of green roofs (intensive and extensive combined).

The entire month of March will include ecoroof-themed events and presentations.   During the first week we welcome Dr. Stephan Brenneisen, green roof and biodiversity expert, who will participate in a design charrette and share a presentation on his work in Basel, Switzerland.

There will also be several ecoroof project tours throughout the month that are free and open to the public.   The calendar of events can be found on the City of Portland’s Ecoroof Portland  website.


The high point of the month will be the third annual Ecoroof Portland event, which will take place on Friday, March 18, 2011  at the Oregon Convention Center.

The event brings together professionals from throughout the ecoroof industry as well as all business owners, homeowners, and developers with an interest in ecoroofs.   More than 60 local ecoroof designers, landscapers, contractors, architects, consultants, nurseries, suppliers, manufacturers, researchers, non-profits and community groups will be on hand at this free, public event to share their knowledge with Portland citizens about greening our local rooftops to protect our rivers and streams.

(To apply to be a vendor, visit, email Jake at or call 503.226.2377 for more information.)

We’re very excited about our keynote speakers for this event.  Wolfgang Ansel, Director of the International Green Roof Association  (IGRA), and renowned green roof designer Paul Kephart, of Rana Creek Living Architecture,  will headline this year’s program. (Last year we were lucky to have‘s Linda Velazquez and Emory Knoll Farms’ Ed Snodgrass as our keynote speakers!).

Additional programming includes case studies of high profile ecoroof and green building projects, and live demonstrations with ACE Academy (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) students and faculty.

 ~ 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 our facebook page.

Pedalpalooza and Ecoroof Bike Tour

June 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Matt Burlin tells us that Portland, Oregon’s Pedalpalooza is coming up very soon, and the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services is taking part this year with an Ecoroof Bike Tour.  The tour will take place on this Saturday, June 19th, from 10 am – 1 pm and includes viewings of North and Northeast Portland residential ecoroofs.

Space is limited, and in fact is almost full!   Please RSVP to, and you’ll receive confirmation via email.   You can also reserve via phone by calling 503.823.7914.

Make sure to stay up to date with Portland, OR, ecoroof hapennings at their Ecoroof Blog on the Portland Online website – there are lots of new project reports, photos, and related articles getting posted every week.

Happy pedaling and greenroof sightseeing!

~ Linda V.