The Greenroofs.com 2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design

November 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm

2012 has been a whirlwind year for an amazing assortment of spectacular living architecture projects, and Haven Kiers and I have taken notice.  Did you see our  October 16, 2012 Greenroofs.com Announces the “2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design”  Press Release about it?

Here we go:

2012 marks the sixth year of our “Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design.”  Compiled by our Design Editor Haven Kiers, MLA, LEED AP, GRP and I, we have been proud to share the Top 10 List at the following conferences so far:

The 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference in Chicago, IL on October 17-20, 2012 and the  WGIN World Green Roof Conference 2012 (WGRC) in Hangzhou, China on October 22-26, 2012.

Next up is the International Green Conference 2012 in Bangalore, India on November 26-28, 2012, and, of course, we will be presenting it at our second  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 on February 12 through March 13, 2013.  And for the Virtual Summit we will add a twist – a sneak peek into projects on our radar for the 2013 Top 10 List.  Haven and I always have a great time showing amazing examples of living architecture and will be available afterward for a live Q & A session – right from the convenience of your desktop, laptop or mobile device.

So, what’s it all about in 2012?

Starting with trends that we’ve seen in previous years that have either refused to go away or have sprung back with new vigor within the last year, we continue to see amazing integration of urban agriculture into new and existing structures, the use of vegetation to create soothing and healing gardens within hospital settings, and the design of schools that incorporate living architecture into their basic curriculum.  As always, we doff our caps to the fantastic skyscrapers that spiral up through the clouds and the client specific boutique greenroofs that defy categorization.

We are also excited to highlight new trends in green infrastructure.  This year, museums embraced their inner green goddesses and began highlighting living art both in and outside of their walls (and roofs).  Another rising trend features elevated walks.  Capturing everything from bridges, railways and promenades, this category features stunning expanses of elevated greenery.  And new this year, we’re incorporating two of the greenest cities in the world as categories in and of themselves, starting with tropical Singapore, a “herban” oasis that has started a green revolution on the island nation.

We culminate our Top 10 List of Hot Design Trends with a look at Chicago, an early trendsetter in city greening and now the definitive leader in living and green infrastructure and our #1 spot for 2012.

The Greenroofs.com Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design for 2012:

10) Client Specific “Boutique” Greenroofs
9) Green Museums: Art Living Inside & Out
8) Educational Facilities as Green Living Laboratories
7) Upward Spirals of Green
6) Hospitals Healing through Living Architecture
5) Gardens in the Clouds: Stacking & Stepping with Vegetation
4) Sky Farms on the (High)Rise
3) Singapore: A City within a Sky Garden
2) Green Elevated Walks: Bridges, Railways & Promenades
1) Chicago’s Trend-Setting Style: A “Miracle Mile High” City of Plants & Leadership

If you didn’t make it to one of the fabulous physical conferences listed above, please join us in January and February 2013 for our second annual Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013 to experience first hand our fast-paced, lively, and presentation jam packed with awesome and sometimes incredible greenroof & greenwall photos of projects worldwide.

After the 2013 Virtual Summit, we will be happy, once again, to post our video of the 2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design on our Top 10 page and on  greenroofsTV, our video channel on YouTube.

See you in Bangalore or at the Virtual Summit in 2013!

Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: July 6, 2012

July 10, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video.  Here is the transcript from July 6, 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 6th, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the Hotel Gaia-B3 Vertical Ecosystem built in 2012 in Bogotá, Colombia.  B3 Hotels are a Colombian-born brand of select service hotels located in key markets throughout the country for the budget conscious business traveler.  The Hotel Gaia-B3 Vertical System was completed on March 1, 2012, with more than 25,000 plants representing 55 different species covering 400 square meters and 8 floors.

The project involved a lot of research and planning; and prior investigation of appropriate plants was conducted by the Spanish firm Paisajismo Urbano in local tropical forest jungles, resulting in 40% local native plants being used.  The hydroponic Vertical Ecosystem will allow local species to self-pollinate and it carries biological nutrients and pest repellent which is recycled through the remotely controlled irrigation system.  To the delight of its owners, the Hotel Gaia-B3 vertical garden has become quite popular in Bogotá and has turned into its own tourist attraction.

– To learn more about the Hotel Gaia-B3 Vertical Ecosystem, 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 Closing Address by Linda Velazquez.

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

Advertiser Press Release:

–  Hamline University Tops Off Anderson Center with [an] 1,800-Square-Foot LiveRoof ® Green Roof with Plants Grown Locally by Bachman’s.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts:  “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Closing Address,” and “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: June 29, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

–  Going on since July 4th and through the 10th: is the 2012 Perennial Plant Symposium, in Boston, MA.

– July 7th-15th: is the Singapore Garden Festival 2012, in Singapore. (Follow @SGGardenFest)

– And July 12th: is a Green Roof Symposium, in Oklahoma City, OK.

– “In the News“  

–  ENR.com talks about “Green Roofs Take Root in India.”  They say green roofs and rooftop gardens are “gaining ground in India.  Technology and climate is playing an important role in their environmental payback.”  The Confederation of Indian Industry’s Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre (CII-Godrej GBC) was one of the first commercial buildings in India to have a green roof and it houses the India Green Building Council.

Green roofs mitigate the urban heat island effect, minimize a building’s impact on the micro-climate and living habitat, cool the interiors of buildings, and the plants reduce CO2 levels in the air and overall pollution.  According to India’s census last year, urbanization is expected to touch 40% of the population by 2021, and planning authorities have designated 533 infrastructure projects worth about $11.1 billion to meet this demand.  Green roofs are the smart way to go with this projected increase in urbanization.

–  Darren Quick of Gizmag, says “Eco-friendly ATM accesses environmental savings.”  Brazil’s Edra Equipamentos has created an eco-friendly ATM booth made from environmentally friendly recycled materials.  A photovoltaic solar panel on the roof powers the booth’s LED lighting at night, and during the day, natural light comes through a clear “Solatube” system coated with a 3M film that blocks more than 80% of infrared rays to help keep the inside cool.

The roof can also be fitted with a rainwater collector, making it possible to grow plants.  And the booth also features an automatic door and an entry ramp for wheelchair access.

– 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 greenwall 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 July 6th, 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 Greenroofs.com.*


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

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: June 29, 2012

June 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Each week you can expect to learn What’s New here on Greenroofs.com through our “This Week in Review” video. Here is the transcript from June 29,  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 June 29th,  2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

–  Our project of the week is the  Banyan Street Manor Rooftop Farm & Vertical Gardens built in 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Located in the Kalihi section of Honolulu, Banyan Street Manor debuted the first USDA Certified Organic rooftop farm on top of an affordable housing project along with three vertical gardens.  A variety of Asian herbs and more than 20 types of produce including tomatoes, lettuce, eggplant, and green beans will be grown on the roof.  40% of the produce will be grown free of charge to building residence and the remaining produce will be sold to Whole Foods Market and other local grocery stores.

Distributors of  Green Living Technologies International, 1st Look Exteriors, will manage and maintain the 790 sf of Green Living Walls and the 2,000 square foot roof top organic garden.  A cooling feature of Banyan Street Manor is a white roof, and photovoltaic panels generate electricity to power the common areas and offset overall operating costs.  It will also feature the largest living wall in the state.

– To learn more about the Banyan Street Manor  Rooftop Farm  &  Vertical Gardens,  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 29: “Closing Keynote Address – Gardens By the Bay, Singapore” by Andrew Grant.

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

–  Guest Feature Article

– Read our Guest Feature Article, “Copenhagen, the Green City for the Third World Green Roof Congress,” by Dusty Gedge.

–  The Greenroofs.com eNewsletter

– Our June 2012 eNewsletter is out!  Check your inboxes for what’s been going on here all month long and if you’re not subscribed, click on the mail icon on our homepage and enter your e-mail address!  (Or  Subscribe  now.)

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  “˜Living Wall’ Is Part of Fashion Valley Makeover Plans installed by GreenScaped Buildings.

Industry News

–  EPA has released a series of six fact sheets on incorporating green infrastructure measures into National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) wet weather programs.  The series builds upon existing EPA authority, guidance, and agreements to describe how EPA and state permitting and enforcement professionals can work with permittees to include green infrastructure measures as part of control programs.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts:  “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 29: Closing Keynote Address – Gardens by the Bay, Singapore” and “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: June 22, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

 June 30th: is the Early Bird Registration deadline for the World Green Roof Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

 –  July 6th-8th: is the 2012 Perennial Plant Symposium, in Boston, MA.

– “In the News“

–  Melissa Harris, of the Chicago Tribune reports on “Living green wall planned for InterContinental Chicago.”  The chief executive of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Laurence Geller, plans to add life to the InterContinental Chicago hotel on North Michigan Avenue with a 9,800-square-foot green wall.  If approved by the City Council, this will be the largest wall of its kind in North America.  Chicago is known for its greenroofs but has few green walls, experts say, due to the cost and climate.

The new Rivers Casino in Des Plaines has a small indoor one, and the Chicago Botanic Garden’s new children’s garden has four outdoor walls that cover about a total of 670 square feet.  The team is working with Green Living Technologies International, which has great experience and built the walls at the botanic garden. The plants will be grown indoors and slowly, over several months, be rotated to a 90-degree angle before being planted on the wall.

–  Kevin Ma of the St. Albert Gazette, talks about “Garden experiment takes over Enjoy Centre roof.”  He says, “rooftop gardens bring efficiency and exotic tomatoes,” and that “city residents could get to eat Boxcar Willie in about a month if all goes well at an experimental rooftop garden at the Hole’s greenhouse.”  Volunteers gathered to help plant four rooftop gardens at the Enjoy Centre last week.  The gardens are part of an experiment by the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) to test the effects of plants on Alberta roofs.  The test modules on the four roofs contain custom-made dirt, that has specific nutrient and water-retention levels, sensors and plants.

The team will track heat, moisture, photosynthesis and carbon storage rates in the modules over the next five years.  They are also conducting an experiment with 61 tomato plants on the roof to see if they can grow local food.  These are black, purple, and striped tomatoes with names like Boxcar Willie and Amish Paste.  The team is growing 28 varieties, about 80% of which are heritage tomatoes; and if all goes well, the vegetables should be ready for the Prairie Bistro restaurant downstairs by August.

– 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 greenwall 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 June 29th,  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 Greenroofs.com.*


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

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs & Walls of the World(TM) Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 29 Closing Keynote Address: Gardens by the Bay, Singapore

June 27, 2012 at 9:36 am

Today we have the pleasure to air the Closing Keynote Address “Gardens by the Bay, Singapore” by Andrew Grant from our inaugural 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World(TM) Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

Gardens by the Bay is an amazing new major public park from the visionary green leadership of Singapore National Parks, ready to debut in two days!  This is one of my favorite presentations, too.

At the time of filming and putting together landscape architect Andrew Grant’s fantastic PowerPoint presentation last September, 2011, Gardens by the Bay was well under construction with many areas almost finished.

Of course, it is finished now!  So Andrew added new video and photos of the last few months to his presentation for an updated version, such as the gorgeous photo below of the lighted conservatories and Supertrees covered in multi-covered epiphytic plants, putting on a magical night show:

Following an international design competition in 2009, the team led by Grant Associates was selected to prepare the masterplan for Marina South Gardens in Singapore as part of the National Parks Board Gardens by the Bay project.

The design is based on the shape of an orchid, and because of this Haven Kiers and I included this project in our 2010 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design in our #3 spot, “Biomimicry as Eco-literacy & Holistic Design.”

At the heart of the design are the 25, 30, 37, 42, and 50m Supertrees – vertical structures to sustain air plants and climbers, provide water harvesting and spectacular light displays, and much more.

You can download the Grant Associates PDF project profile sheet here.

Aramis and I met Andrew in November, 2010 when we we both presented at the International Skyrise Greenery Conference in the beautiful tropical island nation of Singapore.  Of course, he spoke about the progress of this stunning project, and we found out later that not only is Andrew and his team very talented, he is a really nice guy!

Fortunately, Gardens by the Bay was one of the sites on our tour of Singapore, and you can see some of my photos of the construction taken from some high vantage points, here the Marina Barrage followed by the even spectacularly higher Marina Sands Hotel:

More info:

Andrew Grant is a landscape architect, principal and Director of Grant Associates located in Bath, UK. Andrew Grant BA (Hons), CMLI, Hon FRIBA, studied Landscape Architecture at Heriot-Watt University/Edinburgh College of Art, 1977-1982.  Andrew formed Grant Associates in 1997 to explore the emerging frontiers of landscape architecture within sustainable development.

His approach is driven by a fascination with creative ecology and the promotion of quality and innovation in project work.  He has built up experience in all scales and types of projects from sub-regional planning to the detailing of the smallest piece of new landscapes.  He is a member of CABE Space and the South West Regional Design Panel.

In Andrew’s keynote address he gives the participant an overview on “Gardens by the Bay, Singapore.”  Gardens by the Bay consists of three distinctive waterfront gardens in the heart of Marina Bay that will define Singapore as the world’s premier tropical garden city.  The presentation shows the scope and content of this spectacular 101-hectare project with particular reference to the innovative use of vertical planting and ecological management systems.

18 ‘Supertrees’ provide a framework for vertical gardens rising 25 to 50m above the ground.  Strategies for sustaining planting within the cooled conservatories and the specific designs for the 40m high ‘mountain lattice’ within the cool moist conservatory are discussed along with spectacular graphics and construction photos.

By the way, Gardens by the Bay will be officially unveiled on June 29!  Andrew is in Singapore for the opening of the project and says that it is all looking spectacular and especially the Supertrees and Cloud Forest Mountain.

We can’t wait to return to Singapore and visit this awesome site.  If you are fortunate enough to live or be visiting there, please send us some photos!  Visit the Gardens by the Bay website here.

Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “Gardens by the Bay, Singapore” or click below:

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

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).

Well, folks, that’s it for all of the video presentations from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World(TM) Virtual Summit 2011!  Next week we’ll show my very short 1:57 VS2011 Summary and Virtual Summit Close video, and then you’ll have to wait over a year from now to see more on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.  Unless, of course, you join us for our second Greenroofs & Walls of the World(TM) Virtual Summit 2013!

Speaking of which, we are in the planning stages for our second virtual conference venture, to be held in February through March, 2013 with many more expert speakers, trade show exhibitors, and lots of cool new features.  You’ll need to register for it to see all of the live presentations and Q & A sessions, unlimited video, audio and text chatting as well as visiting live reps in the spectacular Expo, bigger and better than last year!

Stay tuned for some exciting announcements soon.

~ Linda V.