Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 7: “Constructing Gardens in the Sky”

January 25, 2012 at 9:37 am

Today we have the pleasure to air  Terry McGlade’s video presentation titled  “Constructing Gardens in the Sky”  from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

Terry is a powerhouse of unending energy, creativity and expertise within the greenroofing industry.  We’ve known him for almost 10 years when he wrote me about the similarity of the names between my then column “Sky Gardens ~ Travels in Landscape Architecture” here on (which ran from 2003-2006) and his company Gardens in the Sky – a  greenroof  design/build, contractor, and installation expert.  He’s a great guy with a deadpan sense of humor whom we respect and enjoy:

Terry McGlade is one of Canada’s best known greenroof experts. Terry is a creative, dynamic forward thinking horticulturalist and landscape designer with 30 years of experience and has been designing and building gardens in the Toronto area since 1982.  He created his first roof garden in 1985, and installed his first green roof in 1999.  Terry is the founder and President of Gardens in the Sky which has built over 50 greenroofs and numerous roof gardens and received many awards.  Now part of Flynn Canada Ltd., Gardens in the Sky has the advantage of being part of Canada’s leading building envelope trade contractor.  They deliver outstanding green roofs & roof gardens for commercial, institutional, & industrial projects.  Terry has been involved in the design and execution of some of Canada’s largest and most complex green roofing projects in the commercial, institutional and residential market areas.

In “Constructing Gardens in the Sky” Terry says that each greenroof has its own design.  Sites that appear similar are not, given wind patterns, sun patterns, slope and drainage issues.

This presentation delves into case studies of three different greenroofs both from an installation perspective and a lessons learned perspective.  Biodiversity of each roof is discussed along with growth habits of the installed greenroofs.  Assumptions in the original design concepts are re-evaluated vis-à-vis the existent greenroof.

Enjoy! Visit to see “Constructing Gardens in the Sky”  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 8th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

Greenbuild and Greenroofs in Toronto!

October 5, 2011 at 1:46 pm

The U.S. Green Building Council’s  annual conference and expo, Greenbuild, is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building.  And now the USGBC is hosting its first Greenbuild outside the United States.

Greenbuild 2011 is being held in Toronto, Canada from October 4-7 and is celebrating what’s NEXT for green building!  What innovative ideas will you bring?  Learning, Networking and Celebrating – Greenbuild is a perfect opportunity to meet with green building colleagues, network with leading industry professionals and learn from international representatives from around the world.

Greenroof and Greenwall Exhibitors:

As usual, Greenbuild will showcase the latest in innovative products and services, exemplifying the idea of utilizing green to grow business to attendees from around the world.  The Expo Hall will be open October 4-6, 2011.

Don’t miss exhibits from American Hydrotech – Booth#2024N, Bison Innovative Products – Booth#244N, CETCO – Booth#339N, Conservation Technology – Booth#218N, Flynn Canada – Booth#6328S, Green Living Technologies International – Booth#6653S, GreenGrid/Weston Solutions – Booth#6514S, ILD (International Leak Detection) – Booth#7140S, KISSS America – Booth#6250S, LiveRoof – Booth#125N, MGV GroRoof/Metro Green Visions – Booth#340N, Rooflite – Booth#642N, Sedum Master – Booth#6450S, Sempergreen – Booth#3542S, Sika Sarnafil – Booth#4942S,  – Booth#6135S, VAST Enterprises – Booth#6940S, XeroFlor America – Booth#241N and ZinCo USA – Booth#3651S.

Did you know that Greenbuild 2011 is streaming live, and you can watch from home? Live streaming sessions include the opening plenary with Thomas Freidman, Cokie Roberts, Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell and Paul Farmer; the closing plenary; Master Speakers Neri Oxman, Frans Johannson and Amory Lovins; and LEED Master Series sessions.  Very cool!

Greenroofs at Greenbuild:

Thursday, October 6:  OF05 – Enacting a Green Roof by Law –  Nathan Phillips Square Toronto City Hall Podium Green Roof

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to Tour the award-winning 37,000 sf  LiveRoof Green Roof Installation at Toronto City Hall.  Featured in an off-site educational session at Greenbuild, the guided tour is part of “OF05 – Enacting a Green Roof by Law” and will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2011, 3:00-5:30 p.m.

“The 37,000-square-foot podium green roof at Toronto City Hall is the largest publically accessible extensive green roof in all of Canada.  This LiveRoof project stands out as a prominent element in the revitalization of Nathan Phillips Square. It has won several awards, including a 2011 Regional Honour Award from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.” ~ Dave MacKenzie, horticulturalist and president, LiveRoof, LLC.

And, Terry McGlade, environmental business development representative at Flynn Canada Ltd, the company that installed and project managed the overall green roof contract for Toronto City  Hall says:

“Toronto is the first North American city to require new developments to include green roofs. Greenbuild will offer an educational session devoted to the development, implementation, results, and future of Toronto’s pioneering initiative. The guided tour of the City Hall green roof is sure to be a highlight of this off-site session.”

Friday, October 7: HD13 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities – Greenroof and Wall Tour

“The green roofs and walls on this tour provide excellent examples of integrated design that improve the quality of life for inhabitants of the building and for the surrounding community. One of the more important features of a green roof or wall is its ability to enhance other sustainable features. From providing food and biodiversity in an urban setting, to enhancing a building’s air quality and improving on-site sustainable energy production, green roofs and walls provide dynamic and aesthetically pleasing components to green buildings. These projects are all uniquely Canadian through their location (both interior and exterior) and a hardy plant selection, as well as their functions and required maintenance through the various seasons of Toronto.” ~ Greenbuild

Visit the Greenbuild website to learn more.

Happy Greening!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011: See More of Our Awesome Speakers!

September 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 is less than two weeks away!

Last week I told you about our seven fantastic panel sessions who you’ll be watching followed by a live Question and Answer session, including:  “Biodiversity and Green Roofs,” Greenroofs & Walls for Educational & Social Equity in the Bronx,” “The Portland Ecoroof Program: A Cross-section of the Green Roof Movement in Portland, Oregon,” “Vertical Agriculture: A Global Movement Starts Locally, from Walls & Roofs to Table,” “Wind. Water. Heat. Grow. Greenroofs.,” “Greenroofs: Wind & Fire,” and “Green Roofs Without the Hype.”

In addition to our four awesome Keynote Speakers whom we’ve already profiled –  Andrew Grant,  Charlie Miller,  Ed Snodgrass and  Ralph Velasquez – and other luminaries previously highlighted, here are more brilliant speakers you will enjoy hearing:

Roland Appl, Germany:  The Technical Director of ZinCo and President of the International Green Roof Association (IGRA) will present “Combining Green Roofs with Photovoltaics.”


Jörg Breuning, USA and Germany:  The principal of Green Roof Technology (Previously Green Roof Service) and co-founder of Green Roof Safari will present “Green Roof Technology Sails Around the World.”


Ignacio Espoz, Chile:  The founder of LatinGreen, Director of the World Green Roof infrastructure Network (WGIN), and Director of the Chilean Association of Green Infrastructure will present “Green Infrastructure in Chile and Innovative Living Walls for Environmental Restoration in Mining of the Atacama Desert.”

Tanya Müller Garcia, Mexico:  The founder of AMENA – Asociación Mexicana para la Naturación de Azoteas – (National Mexican Greenroof Association), Vice-President of WGIN, and Director of Urban Reforestation and Bikeways for the City of Mexico will present “Development of Greenroofs and Walls in Mexico and Latin America.”

Richard Hayden,  RLA, ASLA, CLARB,  USA:  The landscape architect and Garden Roof Department Manager at American Hydrotech, Inc. will present “Sloped and Complex Green Roofs.”


Haven Kiers, LEED AP, GRP, USA:  The founding partner of GreenSwell Design and Planning, trainer with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, and contributing editor on will co-present the “2011 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design” with Linda Velazquez.

Terry McGlade, Canada:  The horticulturalist, landscape designer, and  founder and President of Gardens in the Sky will present “Constructing Gardens in the Sky.”


Chris Wark,  MSME, LEED AP,  USA:    The engineer, Senior Energy Analyst for Viridian Energy & Environmental, and contributing editor on  will present “E = MC2 of Green Roofs: Ranking Energy Benefits by Mission, Climate and Construction.”

Imagine a world of green:
What are we doing to create organic architecture?

Next week I’ll highlight the rest of our stellar cast of greenroof and greenwall professionals and enthusiasts!

See the GGW Virtual Summit  Speakers page and  Agenda to learn all about each presenter and their presentations or the panel sessions.

You’ve got to admit that you can’t beat the super low registration fee of $99 for September 27 and 28 plus the 30 days archived on demand through October 28 to hear from all of these excellent speakers…

… but we want everyone to qualify for the even lower  Associate Rate of only  $49 (just type in the name of the non-profit/organization/constituency that you belong when prompted)  or the Students/Faculty/Government Professionals Rate of only  $25 (state the school/university or government).

And, you’ll be  automatically  entered for the chance at winning our second Apple iPad2 drawing, announced on September 30, 2011.

Pre-register or learn more by visiting:

We hope you join us for this very interactive virtual experience – think film festival meets 2-day  webinar  and online expo extravaganza!

Brought to you by, we’d like to thank to our Virtual Summit Sponsors  TREMCO (Rare Earth) and  American Hydrotech (Emerald) and our Exhibitors, Associates, and Media Partners – make sure to visit them at the  Expo Pavilions.

See you  online  on September 27 & 28, 2011!

~ Linda V.

Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof Opens!

June 30, 2010 at 3:33 pm

The City of Toronto has many great greening initiatives going for it, including their groundbreaking Green Roof Bylaw put into effect in May of 2009.  In fact, they were one of the first municipalities in North America – if not the first – to install a test/research greenroof in 2000:  The Toronto City Hall Green Roof Demonstration Project.

Now obsolete/defunct, we’ve kept the original profile up in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database for research and archive purposes (but it’s not included in the total project or sf/m2 numbers).

Why is it obsolete?  In 2009 the City of Toronto started the much larger Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof, which encompasses the public square surrounding Toronto City Hall.  Completed in late May, the grand opening of the brand new 36,500 sf Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof was held on May 29 and May 30, 2010 to coincide with Doors Open Toronto 2010, the yearly architectural open house of interesting and important buildings across the city.

Kees Govers of LiveRoof Ontario Inc. supplied the modular LiveRoof system, and shares some photos of the opening day celebration of the Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof “in all its glory” from May 29:

Kees says that Greenroof Designer/Contractor Terry McGlade of Flynn Canada Ltd, Gardens in the Sky, considers this the best greenroof his company has ever installed!

“I must say that this project is by far the most outstanding that our company has done to date- both from a beauty perspective and an end use.  And because we were the general contractor and the green roof installer we were able to have input on the quality of workmanship.” ~ Terry McGlade

From all accounts, similar sentiments were felt from the David Miller, Mayor of Toronto, Joe Pantalone, the Deputy Mayor, and their staff.  Green Roofs for Healthy Cities‘ Steven Peck was also on hand, seen below left with Kees in the middle and Terry McGlade, right:

“This project was more than 12 years in the making.  It’s not everyday a city gets a new park in the downtown.” ~ Steven Peck

According to the City of Toronto tally, 22,000 people visited the Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof during Doors Open Toronto this year. Aramis and I saw it under construction from our hotel room in late October of last year, when we attended the CitiesAlive! World Green Roof Congress, photo left from my blog post.

Read the in-depth coverage in the Daily Commercial News’ “Building Toronto city hall green roof posed host of challenges” by Saul Chernos of June 25, 2010; Globe and Mail’s “An oasis at the top of City Hall” by Lisa Rochon of May 31, 2010, and see more photos and learn more about this lovely municipal living roofspace in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database here.

Patrick Biller, Green Roof Maintenance & Installation with Flynn Canada, Gardens in the Sky, sent us the following two recent photos of the Nathan Phillips Square Podium Green Roof (when he was working on the project):

If you have any updated info and/or photos, please send them!

Happy Greening,

~ Linda V.