Green Roof Research Summit at the University of Maryland on August 16-17, 2012

August 5, 2012 at 5:43 pm

By Steven M. Cohan, Ph.D.
Professor of the Practice
Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture
University of Maryland

The First Annual Mid-Atlantic Green Roof Science and Technology Symposium will be hosted by the University of Maryland (UMD) in College Park, Maryland.  International and national green roof researchers will be presenting the latest results of their respective programs.

“Redefining Green Roof Science”

This is the first venue that has brought these individuals together along with representatives from government agencies to collaborate on defining green roof performance parameters.

Attendance at this event will enable individuals to become informed of the latest green roof research developments as well as technology that is being used to monitor the performance of these systems.  The speaker presentations on Thursday, August 16 will segue way into Friday’s panel discussions on August 17 which will focus on establishing guidelines for green roof designers based upon performance parameters.

Registration is available on line at:


Schedule of Events:

Day 1: Thursday, August 16, 2012

8:00  –  8:15:  Welcome and Statement of 2012 Mid-Atlantic Green Roof Science and Technology Symposium (MGRST) Mission by  Dr. Steven Cohan, University of Maryland
8:15 – 9:00:   Keynote:  “Evolvement of Germany’s Green Roof Quality Assurance” by  Prof. Dr. Manfred Kohler, University of Applied Sciences
9:00 – 9:45:  “The Need for Establishing Performance Metrics” by  Charlie Miller, Roofmeadow

9:45  –  10:15:  Coffee / Soda Break

10:15 – 11:15:  “Establishing Monitoring Protocols; Challenges in Data Collection and Reporting”  by  Dr. Stuart Gaffin, The Earth Institute, Columbia University and  Dr. John Lea-Cox, University of Maryland
11:15 – 12:15:  “Substrates” by  Dr. Andrew Ristvey, University of Maryland and Dr. Brad Rowe, Michigan State University

12:15 – 1:15:  Boxed Lunch

1:15 – 2:15:  “Hydrology” by  Dr. Elizabeth Fassman, University of Auckland and Olyssa Starry, graduate student, UMD
2:15 – 3:15:  “Plant Palettes…Succession Sustainability, Ecological Templates” by  Ed Snodgrass, Emory Knoll Farms, Dr. Colleen Butler, St. Mary’s University, and  Dr. Brad Rowe, Michigan State University

3:15 – 3:45:  Coffee / Soda Break

3:45  5:15:  “Standardizing Green Roof System Performance for U.S. Conditions” by  Dr. Rob Berghage, PSU, Dr. Stuart Gaffin, The Earth Institute, and Dr. Elizabeth Fassman, University of Auckland

5:30 – 7:00:  Cocktail Reception / Poster Session Stamp Student Union

Dinner on your own with friends and colleagues.

Day 2: Friday, August 17, 2012

8:00 – 8:45:  Keynote: “Importance of Developing Standards for Designing and Monitoring Performance in German Green Roof Systems” by  Prof. Dr. Manfred Kohler, University of Applied Sciences

Panel Discussions

9:00 – 10:00:  “Standards and Environmental Regulations” with  Stewart Comstock, Maryland Department of Environment and  Rebecca Stack, District Department of the Environment
10:00  –  10:45:  “Case Studies” with Charlie Miller, Roofmeadow, Mike Furbish, Furbish Company, and Ed Snodgrass, Emory Knoll Farms
10:45  –  11:30:  “Green Roof Management” with Ed Snodgrass, Emory Knolls Farms, Darren DeSteffano, GSA, and Dr. Brad Rowe, Michigan State University
11:30  –  12:00:  Wrap-up with Dr. Elizabeth Fassman, Charlie Miller, and Ed Snodgrass

12:00 – 1:00 Box Lunch, Tour of UMD Green Roof Platforms.

Read the Speaker Bios here, and print the Schedule of Events here.

Once again, to register please visit:  We hope you will join us in sharing the latest green roof research from Germany, New Zealand, and the U.S.!

Steven M. Cohan, Ph.D.
Professor of the Practice
Department of Plant Science & Landscape Architecture
University of Maryland
2124 Plant Sciences Building
College Park, MD 20742
(301) 405-6969’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.

Greenroofs & Walls of the World(TM) Virtual Summit 2011 Closing Address

July 4, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Today it’s my pleasure to air my own very short and sweet “Linda’s Summary and Virtual Summit Close” from our inaugural 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World(TM) Virtual Summit on and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

Aramis and I are very proud of’s initial virtual conference offering and are in the works to announce plans for an even wider spread out international affair!  Before we do that, though, we must thank various people without whom this endeavor would have been impossible:

  •  Our illustrious keynotes and speakers.
  •  The many global industry associations and non-profit organizations who supported us.  All of the brave participant souls – hopefully including you – who signed up for the first virtual conference of our greenroof and greenwall industry in the world!  Although we had a fantastic line up of world renown leaders, thinkers, and designers, you didn’t know what to expect – but you joined in the conversation just the same – thank you!
  •  And, most importantly, we’d like to acknowledge once again our 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World (TM) Virtual Summit Sponsors and Exhibitors and tell you how much we appreciate your continued support:

Event Sponsors:


Tremco Incorporated is a leading supplier of sustainable roofing systems, including vegetative, cool roofing and more. We are committed to building upon this base to create new mechanisms that improve sustainability and value for our customers.


American Hydrotech is the global leader in the development of waterproofing and roofing technology, and is considered a single source supplier of greenroof systems.


Grant Associates is a Landscape Architecture consultancy specialising in the creative design of both urban and rural environments. We are involved in a number of forward looking projects throughout the UK, Europe and the Far East, often working with some of the world’s leading architects and designers.

Green Living Technologies International (GLTi) is a US based green roof, wall and only soil based true vertical agriculture manufacturer/designer. Standard Green Living Wall systems are available as a 2′ x 2′ x 3″ configuration or with custom dimension and depth.

GREEN ROOF BLOCKS allow every building owner to have a green roof. Self contained, portable units can be arranged and rearranged as you see fit and are compatible with all roof membranes

Weston Solutions, in partnership with American Builders & Contractors (ABC) Supply Company, introduced the new GreenGrid System in August 2001. The modular greenroofing system can be placed over existing low slope roofs.

Emory Knoll Farms is a perennial nursery specializing in green roof plants, currently stocking over 100 varieties of green roof plants. Co-owner Ed Snodgrass is also a greenroof horticultural consultant.

International Leak Detection (ILD)’s trained & certified inspectors perform non-destructive integrity tests of waterproofing membranes utilizing the patented Electric Field Vector Mapping technology. Membrane defects are located with pin point accuracy.

JDR Enterprises provides key components for successful greenroofs, as attached systems or as individual units. J-DRain GRS is a pre-assembled greenroof drainage system consisting of a high strength dimple core, root barrier fabric, and filter fabric.

ROOFMEADOW develops greenroof projects throughout the United States, offering the Roofmeadow family of greenroofs. These are light-weight, low-maintenance vegetated roof covers that are ideal for retrofit installations on existing buildings.


AMENA (Asociacion Mexicana para la Naturacion de Azoteas) is an association created in 2005 to investigate, inform and train on the environmental, social & economic benefits of greenroofs. Here you can share ideas, news, projects, research, materials, services & regulations related to greenroofs.

The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) continues to serve as a benchmark for environmental stewardship by embracing the best environmentally, socially, and economically responsible practices at our airports. Our goal is to complement and promote the City of Chicago’s commitment to sustainable initiatives and to enhance the quality of life for our citizens.

City of Portland Environmental Services provides Portland residents with water quality protection, watershed planning, wastewater collection & treatment, sewer installation & stormwater management.

The Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology, or CUGE in short, is jointly established by the National Parks Board and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency. CUGE has a critical mass of knowledge to share and advance expertise on urban greenery and ecology. CUGE provides professional skills training programmes for all levels of professionals and is a national training institution of the Landscape Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ). CUGE serves as a regional repository of best practices to advance urban and green living environment. CUGE will serve as the lead training provider for all levels of the landscape industry workforce. It will use the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) System to train and certify skills training and facilitate career development in the landscape industry.

Green Roofs Australasia is a not-for-profit membership organization with an elected committee that draws together the various governmental, organizational and business groups and individuals interested in being kept informed about green roof science, technology, practice, regulations and specifications.

The basic idea of the International Green Roof Association (IGRA) is to support the Green Roof market on an international level by sharing knowledge and experiences in the field of Green Roof technology and public relations – serving as a global networking & coordination centre.

The International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA) was formed by voluntary workers in the greenroof industry. Our aim is to be a peace-loving organization that protects the global environment, constructs low-carbon, energy, livable, and beautiful landscape ecology; enhancing agricultural development, improving land utilization, and promoting human sustainable social development.

The Green Roof Centre, in association with is an independent advice and resource centre offering bespoke consultancy services. We aim to educate and up-skill the public and construction industry with training, conferences and tours.


Thank you so much in putting your faith in this exciting, fledgling yet burgeoning Internet marketplace for information seekers and product and services providers! You’ll hear more from us about the 2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World(TM) Virtual Summit in late July.

Enjoy my little closing video (not my best photo)!  Visit the Virtual Summit 2011 play list to see “Linda’s Summary and Virtual Summit Close” or click below:

Watch all the 2011 videos on our exclusive Virtual Summit 2011 play list, or see them all now available on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube:

Episode #12: “Wind. Water. Heat. Grow. Greenroofs. Panel Session with Dr. Bill RetzlaffDavid AponteKevin Songer, and Joe Webb.
Episode #11: “GreenRoofs in Australasia” by Matthew Dillon.
Episode #10: “The Vertical Garden – from Nature to Cities: An Interview with Patrick Blanc” by Patrick Blanc and Linda Velazquez with an introduction by Caroline Menetre.
Episode #9: “Sloped and Complex Green Roofs” by Richard Hayden.
Episode #8: “The Portland Ecoroof Program: A Cross-section of the Green Roof Movement in Portland, Oregon” with Tom LiptanMatt BurlinAmy ChomowiczCasey Cunningham, and Alice Meyers.
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 RiveraBronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.Robert BiederJon BeuttlerJess DannhauserJavier 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 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design” by Haven Kiers and me.
Episode #1: Opening Keynote Address “A New Place” by Charlie Miller.
VS2011 Opening Address by Linda Velazquez (me!).

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).

Hopefully I’ll see you in February for our Greenroofs & Walls of the World(TM) Virtual Summit 2013!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 19: Green Roofs Without the Hype Panel Presentation

April 18, 2012 at 12:42 am

Today we have the pleasure to air the “Green Roofs Without the Hype” Panel Presentation with Patrick Carey, Dr. Robert Berghage, Charlie Miller, and Ed Snodgrass from our inaugural 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit on and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

Since Earth Day is coming up, I felt this panel of industry leaders and experts would make a great choice to honor the occasion!

Two of these gentlemen have been long standing editorial contributors to – Ed Snodgrass as The Plant Editor (2004) and Patrick Carey as The Architecture Editor since 2005.

Ed’s an accomplished nurseryman, author, proponent of sustainable business practices, and an all around affable guy with a big heart, and writes the (very occasional!) column “Ask Ed.”  We had the pleasure, along with our attendees, of having Ed as one of our Keynote Speakers at our Virtual Summit last September – look for his video “Right Plant, Right Place” coming up soon.  Read my in-depth interview with him at his family farm, Emory Knoll Farms, here.

Speaking of both Earth Day and Ed Snodgrass, make sure you see or record Ed’s appearance on the Martha Stewart Show this Friday, April 20, 2012.  In honor of Earth Day, Martha invited Ed to talk about – what else? greenroofs!

I have known Patrick Carey since 2000, when we corresponded about research and greenroofs (or greenruffs, as he says!).  He is very near and dear to Aramis and me, and is a brilliant (yet mental) philosopher, architectural/greenroof designer, and excellent writer, albeit in a rambling, existential kind of manner.  His column, “A View from the Sky Trenches,” has also come only occasionally, which can be expected of people who have to work for a living instead of writing for us in a consistent manner.  I asked Patrick to lead the panel discussion as the moderator, and in fact he chose the other three panelists to be on his team.

As you know if you read my blog posts, I hold Charlie Miller very dear to me as an inspiration and mentor since I’ve known him for years – I also asked him to be one of our four Keynote Speakers for our 2011 Virtual Summit – you can see my blog post about it here and see the Episode #1 “A New Place” video listed below.

Dr. Bob Berghage is a newer acquaintance, my having met him finally along with the late, wonderful, Dr. Dave Beattie in Nuertingen, Germany in 2004 at the inaugural International Green Roof Congress sponsored by IGRA.  He’s extremely knowledgeable, outspoken, and friendly – a great combo for a professor!

I think the four made an excellent and very smart panel, and I’m sure you’ll agree:

Patrick Carey, GRP, lives in Seattle, WA, USA and has a degree in architecture and is principal of hadj design, a green roof design-build company.  Patrick is also director of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild’s Green Roof Project and a trainer with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities where he facilitates the Green Roof 101, 201, 301, & 401 Courses.  Patrick is also a contributing editor on (2005); he is the Architecture Editor (2005).  He writes an occasional architectural column entitled “A View from the Sky Trenches,” where he selects and discusses pertinent greenroof industry topics.

Patrick was the Moderator for “Green Roofs Without the Hype.”

Dr. Robert Berghage lives in University Park, PA, USA.  Robert D. Berghage, PHD is an Associate Professor in Horticulture and Director of the Center for Green Roof Research at Penn State.  He has been a member of the Penn State faculty since 1994 and was a member of the Faculty of New Mexico State University from 1989 to 1994.  He received a Ph.D. and MS in Horticulture from Michigan State University and a BS in Botany from the University of Michigan.  He conducts research in phytoremediation and plant growth in modified environments.  Current projects mainly focus on green roofs where Dr. Berghage, along with colleagues in engineering and graduate and undergraduate students have been working to evaluate green roof materials, plants, and systems and to quantify the beneficial functions of green roofs.  He teaches Plant Propagation, Herbaceous Plant Identification and Use, and Eco-roof Technology classes in Horticulture.  He is state Floriculture and Greenhouse Crop Production Extension Specialist and the serves on the Penn State Stormwater Management Advisory Committee.

Charlie Miller, P.E. lives in Philadelphia, PA, USA and is the Principal of Roofmeadow. Charlie Miller has 30 years of experience in projects related to civil and environmental engineering.  In 1997, Charlie formed Roofscapes, Inc. (now Roofmeadow) to introduce green roof technology as a new tool for managing stormwater in urban and developing areas in the United States.  He has written four new ASTM standards that are specifically intended for use by the green roof industry, and is currently at work on the new ASTM Standard Guide for Vegetated Green Roof Systems.  Charlie’s firm provides project delivery services, including feasibility studies, design consulting, preparation of construction documentation, construction management, and long-term maintenance and support for green roof installations.  Projects have included the design and installation of the well-known green roof for Chicago’s City Hall.  Roofscapes, Inc. supports and supervises a national network of landscape contractors that specialize in green roof installation.  It also partners with several national roofing manufacturers in order to offer complete green roof assembly packages.  Over 200 green roofs have been installed by Roofmeadow contractors. Consulting services offered by Roofmeadow focus on providing affordable green roof options for controlling stormwater and nurturing green space in cities.

Edmund Snodgrass lives in Street, MD, USA and is co-owner of Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants. Edmund Snodgrass started the first green roof nursery in North America and has collaborated on green roof research with colleges and universities.  He is co-owner and president of Emory Knoll Farms Inc.  Ed speaks and lectures widely on green roofs and has presented in England, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Canada and the US.  In 2009, Ed was the recipient of the Spencer P. Ellis award from the Maryland Chapter of American Society of Landscape Architects and is the 2011 recipient of the G.B. Gunlogson Award from the American Horticultural Society.  Ed is the co-author of Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living, 2011; The New American Landscape: Leading Voices on the Future of Sustainable Gardening, 2011; The Green Roof Manual: A Professional Guide to Design, Installation, and Maintenance, 2010; and Green Roof Plants, A Planting and Resource Guide, 2006.

Ed is also a contributing editor on (2004): the Plant Editor where he answers reader questions, writes occasional articles, and features seasonal greenroof plants in “Ask Ed.”

The premise of the “Green Roofs Without the Hype” Panel Session is:

Here are four people with the knowledge to speak frankly about the current state of affairs in green roofing.

This panel focuses on the designation and evaluation of expertise, appropriate background and training, roadblocks to research and education, design origination and control, chain of custody issues, installation, and the residential market.

After the panel presentation on the second day of the 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit, Patrick Carey, Dr. Robert Berghage, Charlie Miller, and Ed Snodgrass were available for the live Q & A session; the transcript was available archived for 30 days for participants of the Virtual Summit – unfortunately, we do not have it available now – one of the reasons to participate in 2013’s Virtual Summit!

Note: Due to technical and other difficulties from the second party vendor who filmed our illustrious panel of four, this video does not have our standard 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit branding, including the shots from Google Earth.

Enjoy!  Visit to see “Green Roofs Without the Hype” or click below:

Watch earlier videos on our exclusive Virtual Summit 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 20th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.