Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Announces 11th Awards of Excellence Winners

October 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm

The 11th Awards of Excellence Winners Announced: Celebrating outstanding green roofs and walls across North America by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC).

“GRHC is very pleased to celebrate this year’s Awards of Excellence winners for their outstanding contributions to the world of living architecture. Everyone involved with these projects should be proud of this recognition, as over 35 of North America’s most innovative new examples of living architecture were submitted, making for very tough competition.” ~ Steven Peck, Executive Director, GRHC


Selected to evoke the theme of CitiesAlive 2013, Securing Urban Resiliency with Living Architecture: Food – Water – Energy,” these are the 2013 AWARDS OF EXCELLENCE WINNERS:

Extensive Institutional Award
Project: Kauffman Performing Arts Center & District Garage, Kansas City, MO
Award Recipient: Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company
The green roof atop one of the most architecturally advanced arts centers in the U.S. beautifully complements the building, and is the largest stormwater detention facility in the State of Missouri.

Small-Scale Residential Award
Project: Skyhigh Residence, Fairfax, CA
Award Recipient: SYMBIOS eco-tecture
Built on a steep hillside that gives the inhabitants gorgeous views of the surrounding wildlands and nearby mountains, the Skyhigh Residence green roof offers a direct connection to the area’s ecosystem.

Exterior Green Wall Award
Project: Sam Cuddeback Assembly Wing, Drew School, San Francisco, CA
Award Recipient: ROMA Design Group
Besides being an extraordinary educational resource for the high school, this living wall brings a vibrant lushness to the public environment of the city.

Interior Green Wall Award
Project: Papadakis Integrated Science Building, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Award Recipient: Diamond Schmitt Architects
This living wall, the largest on a U.S. university campus, invites a more full engagement with the university experience while cleaning the building’s air and reducing energy consumption.

Intensive Residential Award
Project: The Visionaire, New York City, NY
Award Recipient: MKM Landscape Architecture
The roof terrace at The Visionaire maximizes the productive capabilities of this certified LEED Platinum building, combining urban agriculture, stormwater retention, and impressive plant variety.

Intensive Institutional Award
Project: Vancouver Island University, Duncan, BC
Award Recipient: Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture
The green roofs at VIU successfully connect the university to both the ecosystem of the Cowichan Valley and the values and culture of local Cowichan Tribes.

Extensive Commercial/Industrial Award
Project: Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility, Petaluma, CA
Award Recipient: SYMBIOS eco-tecture
Situated along the Petaluma River, this green roof helps the water recycling facility it sits on provide clean water for the community, while also demonstrating the sustainable aspects of building integrated vegetation.

Special Recognition Award
Project: Olive Street Residence, Winchester, MA
Award Recipient: Recover Green Roofs, LLC
Bringing green roofs to a suburban residential location where they frequently are not seen, the judges chose to recognize this project for the example it sets for lower density development across North America.

In addition to these projects being honored, three individuals have also been recognized for their outstanding contributions to the green roof and wall industry:

Research Award
Winner: Dr. Maureen Connelly, British Columbia Institute of Technology

President’s Corporate Award
Winner: Douglas York, Ewing Irrigation Products, Inc.

Civic Award
Winner: Scott Potter, Director, Nashville Metro Water Services

See each one from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities here.  For additional information, please contact Rebecca Black, Director of Business Development, GRHC at: or 416.535.2586.


Make sure to join the celebration to honor the GRHC winners and highlight these outstanding individuals and projects at CitiesAlive at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis on Friday, October 25, 2013 at the Awards of Excellence Luncheon.

Kudos to all!  See you there!

~ Linda V.

The Winner of our 2011 “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest Is…

April 30, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Photo submissions and voting stopped yesterday for‘s second annual “Love the Earth, Plant a Roof!” Earth Day Photo Contest and with a total of 71 votes, the winner is:

Aqua in Chicago, Illinois, USA!

“The Aqua, Chicago, Illinois, USA taken by Tim Barrett, Barrett Company, Millington, NJ” ~ Linda Smith

Well, it’s not the most descriptive entry by a long shot, but it sure makes up for it visually.  Congratulations to Linda Smith from Barrett Company who submitted this lovely project!  One of the tallest buildings in Chicago, the Aqua is a $4 billion development with an 80,000 sf intensive greenroof.  The 82-story mixed-use residential skyscraper is located in the Lakeshore East development in downtown Chicago designed in the Modern architectural style.  The beautiful terrace gardens comes complete with gazebos, pools, hot tubs, a walking/running track and even a fire pit.

Linda will receive a check for $100 and we’ll be highlighting it soon as our GPW, or Greenroof Project of the Week.  I want to get more shots of this stunning recreational greenroof and project info to share with you first.

The Aqua was neck and neck with Cultivated Abundance, another beautiful and sensitive project in New York City, below.  But yesterday, Friday, the voting really got furious and it’s obvious the Aqua fans made the difference into the evening hours.

Cultivated Abundance was submitted by Jennifer Nitzky from Mark K Morrison Landscape Architecture PC and came in second place, receiving a total of 59 votes.  I have to say that Jennifer’s write up is certainly the best – remember I wanted everyone to tell us why they felt their project was worthy of being an example of loving the Earth?  Read her entry below:

“Cultivated Abundance, a 2,000 SF intensive/extensive green roof with commanding views of New York Harbor is located on the penthouse of The Visionaire, a LEED Platinum residential high rise in Battery Park City. This dynamic intensive/extensive green roof in New York City sets a new precedent for cultivated abundance while incorporating such sustainable initiatives as recycling gray water for irrigation and retaining 95% of storm water on site. The vision and collaborative efforts of the landscape architect and client resulted in a residential landscape which celebrates bio-diversity, environmental responsibility and provides an urban farming component worthy of educational dialogue for urbanites looking to produce their own food with over 160 different species of plants. (photo credit: Mark K Morrison, RLA, FASLA, GRP)”

This year, we organized our Photo Contest a bit differently from last and utilized Facebook – each person could vote multiple times for their favorite, but just one time per day.  In 2010 we had a total of 1,500 votes for readers’ favorites, compared to this year’s 212 votes.  This really lowered the overall number of votes per project, but we felt it would provide a fairer approach than simply voting a ton of times a day for your favorite.  In any case, it’s still a popularity contest!

It’s been fun for me to read all 161 of the comments from everyone on Facebook – most are short and sweet, which is a great way to get the point across quickly.  You can still do that, too, if you’re interested, and see who voted for whom by clicking on each photo.

There were a lot of cool projects from which to choose, from small to large, single family residential to huge institutional.  I’d like to include each of these in our Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database so that we can all learn more about them and see more photos, too.  See everyone’s submissions and their total vote counts here.

As Earth Month comes to a close for 2011, I hope we all continue honoring our planet with thoughtful decisions, living roofs and walls, and more forward-thinking sustainable design.

Happy greening!

~ Linda V.