Watch the “Green Infrastructure Design and the Biophilic Effect” Keynote Address by Mary Ann Uhlmann from Our Virtual Summit 2013

January 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm

In anticipation of‘s spectacular 2015 Virtual Summit on April 6 through May 31 – and in order to familiarize you with the event – we are now making the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 videos publicly available on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube to all free of charge.

Today we have the pleasure to air the “Green Infrastructure Design and the Biophilic Effect” Keynote Address by Mary Ann Uhlmann, who at the time was Manager, Vegetated Roof Systems Program Development for Tremco, Inc.  We’ve known Mary Ann for several years, introduced by Ralph Velasquez, one of our former Contributing Editors and the previous Executive Director of Sustainability with Tremco Inc.  Mary Ann is highly energetic, personable, and highly intelligent.  Soft spoken, she has an undeniable sharp wit and is a joy to listen to or speak with.

As you may recall, Tremco Incorporated has been the leading supporter – the Rare Earth Sponsor – of our past two Virtual Summits, and is extremely thankful for their visionary leadership and patronage.   Tremco Inc. is a leading supplier of sustainable roofing systems, including vegetative, cool roofing and more.


In her Keynote Video Mary Ann asks, “Are vegetated roofs and walls inevitable? Are they an answer to a deep longing to connect with nature? The Biophilic Effect, a theory popularized by biologist and naturalist, Edward O. Wilson, suggests that mankind’s feelings about nature are innate, though not easily expressed in rational language. Emotions etched into our psyches millions of years ago when early man lived on open savannahs now express themselves in our desire to create park-like settings in the landscape. And now on our buildings. Are we inevitably drawn to create vegetated roofs in our urban landscapes?

In this keynote speech, I’ll pose this provocative question. I’ll introduce the theory of Biophilia, explain the adaptations we see in the landscape industry and finally in the emerging green infrastructure industry – what I call the final frontier for the Biophilic Effect.”

Here’s more:


Atlanta, GA, USA. Mary Ann Uhlmann is [former] Manager, Vegetated Roof Systems Program Development for Tremco, Inc., and an environmental horticulturist. Her role is to provide clients with the highest quality vegetated roofing system and living architecture options possible. With experience from involvement in a large and diverse assortment of vegetated roofing projects across the US, she can offer clients successful, customized, high performance solutions. Mary Ann’s industry focus is to enlighten both the public and Tremco clients about the important role vegetated roofing and living architecture can play in mitigating manmade environmental challenges while enhancing the livability and sustainability of our cities and communities.

Mary Ann has been in the green industry for over 13 years, is an Accredited Green Roof Professional (GRP), a Certified Sustainable Urban Landscape Planner, and a Certified Plant Specialist. She studied architecture at the University of Florida and environmental horticulture at the University of Georgia, TCS. She is a member of the Georgia Green Industry Association, Board Member 1999-2001; ASLA, USGBC, and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

Prior to Tremco, Mary Ann was the owner of The Gardening Lifestyle for 5 years and developer, GardenTrends Showcase. She has appeared on HGTV’s GroundBreakers and My Dream Garden. ~ VS2013   

Watch the Keynote Video “Vegetation Development on Extensive Green Roofs Over Time” by Mary Ann Uhlmann below or see it specifically on its own channel, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013:

Our second foray in the world of virtual conferences, the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013: Connecting the Planet + Living Architecture, was very successful at bringing together people from around the world to learn, discuss, and network in our field of living architecture.  This time partnering with the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN), between and WGIN we produced 36 videos involving 59 esteemed international speakers, specifically: 22 Individual Presenters, including 5 Keynotes; 5 Panel Sessions; and 9 Collaborative Presentations.

Watch these other VS2013 videos released so far:

Vegetation Development on Extensive Green Roofs Over Time Video by Christine Thuring.

Investigación de Azoteas Verdes de la Universidad Autónoma Chapingo – Green Roof Research at the Chapingo Autonomous University Video by Dr. Gilberto Navas.

Sky Parks in the Public Realm – Elevating Green Ways and Urban Connectivity Panel Session with Dr. Maureen Connelly, Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, Randy Sharp, and Dr. Tan Puay Yok.

Skyrise Ag: 5 Ways to Local Food Production Collaborative Video with Helen Cameron, Mohamed Hage, George Irwin, Ben Flanner and Alan Joaquin.

Building-Integrated Vegetation: Redefining the Landscape or Chasing a Mirage? Opening Keynote Video by Aditya Ranade.

Mexico City’s Green Plan & Green Roofs – Areas Verdes de la Ciudad de Mexico & Azoteas Naturadas Video by Tanya Müller García.

The Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort Video by Jaron Lubin.

Phyto Kinetic: Gardens in Movement Video by Marc Grañén.

Profiles of Women Business Leaders Greening the Way Collaborative Video with Barbara Deutsch; Lexie Hain and Marguerite Wells; Vanessa Keitges; and Joy Schmidt.

Green Walls and Maintenance – Needs, Opportunities and Best Practices Panel Session Video with Melissa Daniels, Christopher Lyon, Steven Peck, and James Sable.

Reflections of a Green Roof Campaigner and Visions of the Future Keynote Video by Dusty Gedge.

Urban Green in Australia Video by Matt Dillon.

2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + A Look into 2013 Collaborative Video with Linda S. Velazquez and Haven Kiers.

We hope you will join us in watching all of these as we present them!

Happy watching,

~ Linda V.

Also see these videos below in various languages on our exclusive Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 greenroofs.TV playlist:

Virtual Summit 2013 Highlights Video

Virtual Summit 2013 Trailer

VS2013 Linda Velazquez Promo

VS2013 Steven Peck Promo

VS2013 Julian Briz Promo – Spanish

VS2013 Matt Dillon Promo

VS2013 Manfred Koehler Promo – German

VS2013 Francois Lassalle Promo – French

VS2013 Eun-Heui Lee Promo – Korean

VS2013 Dorthe Romo Promo

VS2013 Wang Xianmin Promo – Mandarin Chinese

VS2013 Tanya Mueller Promo – Spanish’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: July 20, 2012

July 21, 2012 at 12:11 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 July 20, 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 July 20th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the  Nashville Music City Center built in 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.  This Center is a 1.2 million square foot convention center just finished last month in the South of Broadway district in Nashville.  The finished roof has three independent greenroof sections on its wavy roof; and also features a 360,000 gallon water reclaim tank, which is used for things like flushing the toilets and site irrigation.  With the design of the grand ballroom portion of the roof, the Music Center Team envisioned installing solar panels.

The Center is working to achieve LEED Silver status, and a prominent feature of this will be the 175,000 square-foot greenroof, designed to flow along with the rolling hills of Tennessee.  Rooflite ® provided the growing media, Sempergreen the pre-vegetated mats, Sika Sarnafil the waterproofing membrane and the greenroof was designed by Roofmeadow.

– To learn more about the  Nashville Music City Center,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photos).

What’s New

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  Introducing LiveScreen ®, the Mobile Version of LiveWall ®, the Planted Wall System Designed in Harmony with Nature.

–  Contributing Editor

– Read the latest article from our contributing editor Ralph Velasquez, “Sustainability, Friend or Foe?“

Industry News

–  ASTM Sustainability Committee develops standard for use of expanded shale, clay and slate in vegetated roofing systems.

–  NASA has released a fact sheet detailing efforts to research, use, and improve upon the concept of greenroofs.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest post:  “’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: July 13, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  July 27th: is the RCI Region II Meeting, in Charleston, SC.

– “In the News“

–  The Materials Handling World Magazine talks about “Leading supplier of single ply roof membranes, Sika-Trocal Helps Reduce “˜Carbon Pawprint.'”  Sika-Trocal has helped to keep stray and abandoned dogs sheltered at the Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres in Shrewsbury and Loughborough (UK).  Sika-Trocal’s single ply roof membranes have been used on these buildings to create beautifully stunning greenroofs.  Specialist roofing contractor Telclad was assigned to complete the roof installations, and developed a series of retention battens that would be strong enough to restrain the curved greenroof from slippage while meeting Sika-Trocal’s installation standards.

Delivered by main contractor McPhillips and designed by architects Peter Napier & Co., the facilities were built as environmentally sustainable as possible to help reduce the Dogs Trust’s carbon “pawprint.”  The design incorporated materials with low environmental impact including rainwater harvesting, solar panels and a greenroof, helping the building to become the first of its kind to achieve the highest BREEAM Outstanding rating in the world.

–  Business Green says, “Scientists: Green walls lead to cleaner cities.”  “Lining cities with wall[s] of vegetation could reduce air pollution by 30 per cent at less cost than current policies.”  According to a new research published in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology, plants can clean the air of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, which cause a huge portion of the 35,000 to 50,000 of premature deaths in the UK that are attributed to outdoor air pollution each year. The World Health Organization’s outdoor air quality database puts the figure of air quality related premature deaths at more than one million a year worldwide.

Scientists at the Universities of Birmingham and Lancaster say pollution struggles to escape “street canyons,” which makes planting green walls of grass, climbing ivy and other plants way more effective at filtering out pollutants than previously thought. Transport for London has installed green walls at Edgware Road station and at The Mermaid in Blackfriars, as part of a package of targeted short term measures introduced where particulate levels are at their highest.

– 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 July 20th, 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.’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: February 17, 2012

February 18, 2012 at 6:55 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  February 17th, 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 February 17th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

–  Project of the Week

– Our project of the week is the John Theurer Cancer Center at the Hackensack University Medical Center built in 2011 in Hackensack, New Jersey. This center is a nonprofit, teaching and research hospital that has grown to become the largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in New Jersey. The Center would not be possible without the generous $10 million donation by Helena Theurer in memory of her husband John. The new facility offers patients an environment that promotes spiritual as well as physical health and the roof garden is a key component of the hospital’s efforts to make the patient experience as pleasant and stress-free as possible.

GreenGrid greenroof modules were installed as well as a demonstration vegetable garden that allows patients to learn about growing healthy foods while recovering amongst a beautiful scenery. In addition to the walk-through roof terrace garden at the second floor, tranquility/ meditation rooms and fitness center are available to help patients and caregivers relax and rejuvenate. And the four-story lobby atrium also boasts a 40-foot high hydroponic living wall with over 30 plant species accompanied by a 24-foot waterfall. In 2001, Hackensack University Medical Center was the first hospital in the nation to adopt completely green cleaning practices.

– To learn more about the John Theurer Cancer Center at the Hackensack University Medical Center,  click on our project of the week photo on our homepage (or on the above photo).

What’s New

–  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Video

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

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

–  Advertiser Press Releases:

Green Roof Technology releases new Podium Roof Garden Assessment.

Time-Lapse video captures complexity of a green roof installation by Living Roofs, Inc.

Contributing Editor Columns

– Check out Ralph Velasquez’s “Greenwashing Follow-up.”

– And George Irwin’s latest article, “Hydroponic Living Walls – DIY – Really?“

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, Haven Kiers and Linda have started a new series called “Chic Sustainability Watch: Trends, Projects & People.”  Make sure to read Haven’s first post:  Chickens and Urban Agriculture.”  Read Linda’s latest blog posts: “Greenroof CEO Vanessa Keitges Named as Female Startup Entrepreneur in Oregon,”’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV for February 3rd & 10th, 2012, and “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 10: The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities: An Interview with Patrick Blanc.”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  February 22nd-24th: NRCA’s 125th Annual Convention & International Roofing Expo 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

– February 23rd: is a Green Walls 101: Introduction to Systems and Design in New York, New York.

– And February 24th-25th: is the “It Takes a Village: Collaborations in Good Food and School Gardens” Winter Conference in Pleasantville, New Jersey.

– “In the News“

–  Mary Catherine O’Connor of the Blog says, “Streetscaping reduces stormwater runoff, pollutants, at utility campus.” California’s Burbank Water and Power, an electric and water utility campus, has been making some green upgrade to their facilities, including a new electric power plant in 2005 and more recently, five different stormwater management systems, all designed to reduce stormwater run-off. There are planters with drought and storm tolerant plants diverting stormwater, permeable concrete pavers, and biofilters on the redesigned roof; and the administrative building has its own greenroof which collects about 70% of its rainwater while reducing air pollutants and lowering building temperatures. Also, the Burbank Water and Power campus has been entered as a pilot site into the Sustainable Sites Initiative, which aims to create voluntary national guidelines and performance benchmarks for sustainable land design, construction and maintenance practices.

–  Laura Mihelich of Medill Reports: Chicago talks about [how]”Chicago restaurants move toward hyper-local food production.” She says, “more and more restaurants in Chicago are producing their own ingredients – up on the roof.” Restaurant owners are becoming smarter and realizing that converting their urban rooftops to green gardens not only helps to reduce their environmental impact and save them money in the long run, but are also supporting local food production. Business partners Isaac Weliver and Daniel Greenwald are planning to build the largest rooftop garden in the Midwest atop their restaurant, for now being called “The Local Root,” at about 20,000 square feet – scheduled for an April opening.

The Bleeding Heart Bakery and Café in West Town is another restaurant hoping to open a greenroof this spring and patrons there will be able to dine on the rooftop which offers a new and beautiful dining experience. We all know the many benefits greenroofs provide but added benefits for restaurant buildings are the contributions they make toward increasing local food production, which is great news for business owners and their guests alike.

–  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 February 17th, 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*

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

~ Linda V.

GPW: Tremco Incorporated Headquarters

January 8, 2012 at 11:59 pm Project of the Week: 12/19 & 26/11
Tremco Incorporated Headquarters
Beachwood, OH, USA
9,000 sf. Greenroof

Year: 2010
Owner: Tremco, Inc.
Location: Beachwood, OH, USA
Building Type: Corporate
Type: Semi-Intensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 9,000 sq. ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Accessible, Private

Project Description & Details

Tremco Incorporated is dedicated to the development of high-performance buildings characterized by energy efficiency, limited environmental impact and low operating costs. Last year (in 2010) they began a foundation-to-roof renovation of its 40-year-old-headquarters with the goal to transform the building into a showcase of sustainability that would achieve LEED Gold certification.

Tremco’s new 46,000 sf corporate headquarters incorporated numerous sustainable features into its renovation including four types of sustainable roofing systems. The vegetated roof features 46 species with almost 16,000 plants, designed with four different sections to create a variety of low-maintenance plant life and edibles; the new HQ also has a living facade trellis system on several walls on top of the roof. During the renovation, Tremco sent nothing to landfills. Almost 100 percent of everything removed was recycled, reused or burned for energy.

Designers/Manufacturers of Record

Waterproofing: Tremco, Incorporated
Modular Greenroof System: BioTray Vegetated Roof Delivery System, Tremco Roofing
General Contractor: Tremco, Incorporated
Roofing Contractor: Warren Roofing and Crawford Roofing, Inc.
Design/Build: Tremco Incorporated/WTI
Greenroof Designer: Evan Tozier, Rana Creek Restoration Habitat
Green Facade System: FRP planters and VertiGreen trellis, Tournesol Siteworks

Additional Info

Completely renovated from top to bottom at a cost of $5.5 million, the 40-year old Tremco Incorporated (an RPM Company) headquarters is now a sustainable, high performance building that is energy efficient, has limited environmental impact and operates with the lowest possible life-cycle costs.

Made possible by their parent RPM Building Solutions Group companies and other partners, the objectives were to improve energy efficiency and conserve water; reduce operational costs; provide a safer, healthier facility; and protect the natural environment by reducing our carbon output, lowering the local heat island effect, and recycling and reusing material to keep it from being hauled to a landfill.  Their goal is to become one of the few LEED Gold certified facilities currently located in Ohio.

The wealth of internal expertise of the sister companies was obvious and the project was viewed as a showpiece of their innovative people, services, and products as well as of sustainable construction technology.

“It leverages what we do best: help building owners maintain what they have. That was the driving force behind the company’s coatings business. Since our company was founded, our goal has been to help owners extend the life of their roofs and, ultimately, their entire building. That’s the best form of sustainability, and it minimizes what goes to landfills. We wanted to demonstrate what we could do in a bigger and better way and what better way to walk the talk than with our own headquarters.” ~ Deryl Kratzer, President of the Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance Division in Roofing Contractor, October 2011

Construction best practices that WTI, the general contractor on the project, and its subcontractors followed to increase the project’s sustainability included:

  • Onsite sorting of materials
  • Recycling of all non-hazardous material
  • Chain-of-custody documentation for all off-site recycling
  • Reusing materials as applicable
  • Verifying that materials are certified for LEED credit

You can follow their blog, “Building Green on Green – The Tremco Headquarters Green Transformation” which chronicled the renovation of Tremco Incorporated’s headquarters and continues to report on sustainability concerns for the company.  For example, in October, 2010 Tremco HQ launched a commitment to being a zero landfill facility and as of the end of October, 2011, it had kept more than 190,000 pounds out of the landfill since November 2010.

According to the website, the Tremco HQ renovation’s most noteworthy sustainable features include four types of sustainable roofing systems:

  • Vegetated roof featuring local plants. Low impact lighting and a water capture system are integrated with the roof with a pathway of recycled materials. Signs describe the roof’s features and provide information about the plant palette.
  • The ENERGY STAR ® qualified Rock-It™ roof surfacing system, composed of white gravel set in white adhesive.
  • A white, reflective, single ply system installed beneath a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system.
  • A thin-film rooftop PV system is used to generate electricity for the building.  A second PV system on a white reflective roof will be installed on the South building.

  • A Dryvit Outsulation Plus ® MD exterior wall system featuring Dryvit’s TerraNeo™ finish. The system provides an energy efficient, insulated facade and can be applied directly to the existing slate, eliminating the time and potential waste of removing the facade.
  • High-performance, double pane, tinted windows that exceed minimum energy standards.  Tremco sealants and gaskets are used, along with Tremco’s Proglaze ® ETA (Engineered Transition Assembly) to ensure an airtight transition from window to wall.
  • New sidewalks, with decorative concrete from Increte Systems, are supported by gravel from one of the building’s existing roofs.
  • A 1.8kW rated wind turbine installed on the property helps generate electricity.
  • Numerous interior upgrades such as ADA-compliant restrooms, interior window treatments, elevator modernizations with eco-friendly technology and ADA compliance.
  • Mechanical/Engineering/Plumbing upgrades such as new control system that ensures an accurate operating schedule of HVAC and lighting as well as improved zone control; modifications to the central air handling system to enable variable flow, resulting in significant energy savings; and replacing the cooling tower with a variable speed model that also eliminates the need for water treatment.

During renovation for the greenroof, they took it down to the deck and installed a system including a two-ply vapor retarder, insulation, a TPA (Tri-Polymer Alloy) adhered membrane, engineered growing media and plants, as well as Tremco’s own Bio-Tray Vegetated Roof Delivery System.

Interpretive signage identifies the plants and describes benefits and the system, among other issues:

Craig Nelson, vice president of construction operations for WTI, said that the R-value for the vegetative roof is above 100.

The 46 different kinds of plants on the roof also include edibles – herbs and fruits such as basil and blueberries that the company is using in its own cafeteria.

Walkways were made from slate recycled from the original mechanical room wall facades, and low-impact lighting was installed so the walkways could be used in the evening.

Tournesol Siteworks‘ FRP planters and VertiGreen trellis were employed for the living walls which support freestanding plantings within the roof garden as well as attached to building walls, providing areas to camouflage unattractive mechanical systems and feature beautiful plantings.

“This renovation gives us an exceptional opportunity to show our commitment to sustainability to our customers, staff, suppliers and others,” says Randy Korach, president of Tremco Inc. in, October 2011.

In addition to an 84% reduction in natural gas usage, a 43% reduction in electricity, an Energy Star rating between 85 and 90, and far better use of water resources, the Tremco HQ has also become a teaching tool for customers.  The lobby display shows actual performance and an upper level classroom for AIA-approved courses contains a cross-section of the vegetative roof.  You can also recieve a CD-ROM that shows how the structure was transformed and explains the technologies involved.

See the Tremco Headquarters Sustainable Renovation video (5:28) below on Tremco’s YouTube Channel:

The greenroof is featured in the 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall Calendar in the month of November and is the film location of Ralph Velasquez’s Keynote Address, “Corporate Social Responsibility – The Who, What, Where, When and How” from our inaugural Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011:

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.