Get Your 2014 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ – 12 Month Wall Calendar Now!

December 2, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Yes, it’s that time of year when the air is turning crisp in the Northern Hemisphere (warm in the Southern) and we start to hear the jingling of bells and the smell of fresh Christmas trees – plus planning for the New Year. And, of course, we start thinking of affordable gifts for our family and friends…

2014Calendar-cover

What better way to share your token of appreciation and passion of living roofs and walls than with Greenroofs.com‘s new 2014 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar?  At only $9.95 each, it’s very affordable – with discounts for orders over 10, too.  Plus we’ll include free shipping within the contiguous U.S. and Canada (please call for international rates).

And to make gift-giving even easier, we’ll send them directly to your people in your name!

The cover sports the gorgeous California Academy of Sciences, The Osher Living Roof – thanks to Tom Fox of the SWA Group for permission to use his beautiful photo!

In addition to tons of greenroof and wall happenings listed from around the world from Upcoming Events, your 2014 Calendar highlights these spectacular projects from across the globe from The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database:

2014Calendar-January

January features the GOLISANO INSTITUTE for SUSTAINABILITY in Rochester, NY. 

2014Calendar-February

February features the NASHVILLE MUSIC CITY CENTER in Nashville, TN.

2014Calendar-March

March features the HANOVER® ARCHITECTURAL PRODUCTS in Hanover, PA. 

2014Calendar-April

April features the WILLIAMS ENGINEERING Building in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 

2014Calendar-May

May features the 1133 AVENUE of the AMERICAS Building in New York, NY. 

2014Calendar-June

June features the DAVID L. LAWRENCE CONVENTION CENTER in Pittsburgh, PA.

2014Calendar-July

July features the MORZINE AQUATICS CENTER in Morzine, France.

2014Calendar-August

August features the GRAND RAPIDS DOWNTOWN MARKET in Grand Rapids, MI.

2014Calendar-September

September features the VANDUSEN BOTANICAL GARDEN VISITOR CENTRE in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

2014Calendar-October

October features the THE REPUBLIK BUILDING in Durham, NC.

2014Calendar-November

November features the CASA FELIZ STUDIOS in San Jose, CA.

2014Calendar-December

December features the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND in Washington, D.C.

2014Calendar-QRcodeLearn more about each profile by simply scanning the QR Code with your smartphone or tablet built-in camera.  If you don’t want to scan, you can still get more information about each project the old fashioned way – by entering the Project ID number located under each photo in The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

See our November 26, 2013 Press Release “Our new 2014 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ – 12 Month Wall Calendar is available for purchase!” and visit the Calendar page on Greenroofs.com to order yours today.

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Special thanks go to our 2014 Calendar Sponsors:
Barrett Company, Bioroof, Carlisle, Green Living Technologies International (GLTi),
Green Roof Blocks, LiveRoof, rooflite, Roofmeadow, Tremco, Vegetal iD,
Xero Flor America and ZinCo USA!

Happy gift-giving (and receiving),

~ Linda V.

 

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: December 16, 2011

December 29, 2011 at 12:46 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 December 16th  and 9th, 2011 from our daughter,  Anjuli – click on the photo below to see the video, or here.  Enjoy!

– Hello, I’m Anjuli Velazquez and welcome to This Week in Review for December 16th  and 9th, 2011 on  GreenroofsTV.

–  Projects of the Week

–   Our project of the week is the Orchard Central Mall Greenwalls built in 2009 in Singapore. Orchard Central Mall is Singapore’s tallest and first vertical pure-retail mall, and has a 160m façade featuring a faceted membrane which functions as a massive media wall, adding visual vibrancy to Orchard Road. The rooftop gardens offer a great spot for dining alfresco, sipping coffee, or enjoying afternoon tea, and feature three large living walls, a balcony rail on the 11th floor, and two lower green walls on the 12th floor roof terrace.

Orchard Central Mall is a winner of the Singapore Institute of Architects and National Parks Board Skyrise Greenery Awards in 2009. The award aims to promote skyrise greenery in Singapore and to recognize the greening efforts in high rise developments by owners/developers, architects, landscape architects/designers, and landscape contract managers. VersiCell sub-soil drainage modules were used in the landscaped areas and planter boxes to facilitate efficient drainage of water and the Elmich Green Wall systems were installed on the 11th and 12th floors of the mall.

–  Our project of the week for last week was  The Ramona Apartments, in Portland, OR.   The Ramona Apartments is a new mixed-use, midrise apartment building consisting of six stories of wood-framed construction over a concrete podium. In addition to the ecoroof, the building’s courtyard contains permeable surfaces, plants, gravel and sand that are designed to filter and retain stormwater. Together with the roof, these elements treat one hundred percent of the property’s stormwater. Additional benefits of the ecoroof are the mitigation of the urban heat island effect and providing an environment for native habitat.

–  To learn more about the Orchard Central Mall Greenwalls, click on our project of the week photo on our  homepage and for The Ramona Apartments, type in Project ID #1384 in the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

What’s New“

–  Our  2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ 12 Month Wall Calendar is now available for purchase! The Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ series combines two of our most popular destinations on Greenroofs.com: The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database and Upcoming Events. It’s a great way to highlight fabulous projects and our website Sponsors, our highest level of advertising. Kudos to all the sustainable designers out there as well as the companies and organizations who back us up with ecologically friendly products and services. You can get the perfect holiday gift for your family, friends, staff and clients for only $12.95 which includes shipping within the U.S, and Canada, or a special discount for orders of 10 or more!

–  Every week we’ll be uploading a video from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 to our greenroofsTV page and YouTube channel. Last week we featured our Opening Keynote Address by Charlie Miller, P.E. of Roofmeadow: “A New Place.” And this week we’re highlighting the “2011 Top 10 Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design“ by Linda Velazquez and  Haven Kiers, so be sure to check them out and stay tuned for more!

Advertiser Press Releases:

–   New Green Building Product Announcement: Introducing LiveRoof ® Maxx: the Eight-Inch Deep module for the LiveRoof ® Hybrid Green Roof System.

–  Welcome to our new Greenroof Directory advertiser H. Keith Wagner Partnership out of Burlington VT!

Industry News Update

–   The City Planning Commission unveiled a proposal this week to amend New York City’s zoning code to make it easier for buildings to incorporate environmentally friendly additions such as solar panels, wind turbines and wall insulation. The package of rule changes, dubbed Zone Green, would permit solar panels, greenroofs, storm water detention systems, skylights and other green features on buildings, despite height restrictions, and would allow owners to install wind turbines up to 55 feet above rooftops on waterfront buildings and buildings taller than 100 feet.

–    Joblinks Update

Columbia-Green is looking for a Sales Manager based in the Midwest or East Coast, USA.

The Horticultural Society of New York (The Hort) is seeking a Greenroof Research Intern in New York, NY.

–   Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts:  “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 2: The Hot Top 10 List by Linda Velazquez and Haven Kiers,” “Order Your 2012 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar Now!,” “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 1: Charlie Miller,” and  “See all the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Videos on greenroofs.tv!“

– “Upcoming Events“

–   The Water-Harvesting Certification Training program in Phoenix takes place from February 24th to March 4th, 2012 and applications are due December 30th, 2011.

– “In the News“

–   Matt Hickman of Mother Nature Network blogs about “Evergreen homes: Green Roof House.” In his monthly series of spotlighting green residential building projects from his home state of Washington, Hickman talks about the Green Roof House and says, “When building up to accommodate a growing family, the owners of the Green Roof House not only added a second floor to their Seattle bungalow but neighbor-pleasing elements like a green roof and living wall.”

This House was showcased as part of the 2011 Seattle Green Home Tour and includes numerous green amenities like a solar PV system, a living wall, a rainwater catchment system and a greenroof. Working with a growing family who could only build up and not out, the design-build firm Batt + Lear, went up to the roof to see exactly how a 2nd story would impact the neighbors’ view. Not wanting to make any additional living space unfortunate for the neighbors or clash with the existing architecture, they decided to build the 2nd floor addition on the front half of the home and install the beautiful greenroof on the back half. Now when the neighbors look out their windows, instead of black asphalt to look at, they’ll have a lush colorful landscape.

–   Robin L. Eschler of WomensRadio.com, talks about “Green Roofs and a 300 Year Old Business: An interview with Ed Snodgrass.” Traditional farming, raising corn, cattle, llamas, Christmas trees and now greenroof plants, Emory Knoll Farms has been around for over 300 years. Ed Snodgrass, current Emory Knolls Farm co-owner, international horticulturalist, author and avid conservationist, and contributing editor here at Greenroofs.com, is carrying on the success of the six-generations-family-owned business in northern Maryland.

Today the majority of Emory Knolls Farm is supporting indigenous trees, native meadow plants, native fauna and over ninety species of birds and the nursery is the only one in North America that is dedicated just to greenroof plants. Emory Knoll Farms is currently involved in over 800 projects and has incorporated as a B-Corporation, or Benefit Corporation, and actively uses the principles of the Natural Step process, a set of four principles developed in Sweden for sustainable manufacturing. You can learn more about Ed and Emory Knoll Farms at GreenRoofPlants.com.

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 green wall 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 December 16th  and 9th, 2011 on GreenroofsTV.  I’m Anjuli Velazquez and I’ll see you in a couple weeks with our This Year in Review!

– Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Greenroofs.com!

*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.

The 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar is Here!

November 20, 2010 at 7:11 pm

The Greenroofs.com 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar is ready for sale!   Download our Press Release here.

As you know if you’ve been following us for a while (this is our 4th year of printing), the Greenroofs & Walls of the World 2011 Calendar™ combines two of our most popular destinations on Greenroofs.com: The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database and Upcoming Events.   It’s a great way to  showcase fabulous projects and our website Sponsors, our highest level of advertising.

Newly redesigned by Caroline Menetre, 2011 has a sleeker look ~ her years in graphic design have helped us  present a more streamlined calendar that is still bursting with colorful glossy photos of awesome projects plus all the international green events you could ever plan on attending in one year.

Also new for 2011 is the inclusion of greenwalls ~ the newest architectural darling in the living architecture world.   And as always, our Calendar is eco-friendly, printed on 50% recycled paper with 25% post consumer waste using soy inks.

Building types are represented  with projects from single and multi-family residences and the corporate world to an airport cargo facility,  botanical garden, hospital, community college, municipal,  federal research library, and even an elevated green street!

Check out  the projects highlighted for 2011:

 

Pricing: Only $12.95 which includes free shipping within the contiguous United States and Canada – and we have discounts for orders of 11 calendars and above.   Remember that shipping rates will vary with international destinations.   Visit our Calendar page for all the specifics and ordering information here.


If you’re attending the the 8th  Annual Green Roof and Green Wall Conference – CitiesAlive! in Vancouver, B.C. on November 30 – December 3, 2010, the first 50 visitors to stop by the Greenroofs.com booth (#416) will receive a free Calendar, so make sure to stop by early!   When we’re out we’ll be offering  them for sale at a  special Conference rate of only $10 – first come, first served.   Afterwards, of course, the Calendar will be available for purchase and shipping at any time.

Special thanks go to our participating Sponsors in the 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar:   Barrett Company, Express Blower, Green Living Technologies,  Green Roof Blocks, GreenGrid, LiveRoof, Roofscapes, Saul Nurseries, Tremco, Xero Flor America, and ZinCo-USA.

 


 

And thanks to all of the rest of Greenroofs.com’s Sponsors who weren’t featured this year, but whose support makes our website possible (along with all of you who are listed in The Greenroof Directory):

American Hydrotech, Conservation Technology,
and International Leak Detection

The 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Calendar will make a perfect holiday gift for you, your staff,  and your green architecture like-minded friends and family, so order now in time for all the upcoming  holidays and the  new year.

Enjoy and happy greening!

~ Linda V.

 

2009 Top 10 List of Milestones and Accomplishments

January 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm
Sunbeams at sunset from Webshots

As we continue to ring in 2010 we hope you enjoyed warm holidays with family and friends and celebrated the New Year with renewed hope for the future.   Can you believe we’ve entered a new decade?   Shall we call it 2K10, Twenty Ten, or just good old fashioned 2,010?   In any case, we’re finally out of the 0’s, now we’re into the 10’s.

Our world economy has been through a lot in the past few years, yet with a promising light hovering just over the horizon.   Although development overall has declined, there is continued desire for green buildings from both the public and private sector, and in general our greenroof & greenwall industry has weathered quite nicely.   Many of  us are  taking time to reflect on this passage of time and make New Year’s resolutions (another topic altogether!), and I was thinking of how far  we  have come since the German experience entered our architectural radar and into our collective consciousness in the 1990’s.   Literally thousands of vegetated roofs and walls have been constructed since then in  every continent except for Antarctica, with ever growing support from forward thinking  multidisciplinary professionals: designers, government officials, organizations, companies, universities, students and other  advocates looking to make Earth a little more sustainable.

Sadly, one of those special,  innovative people passed away last November 27,  the indomitable architect Malcolm Wells.   Regarded as “the father of modern earth-sheltered architecture,” he was a staunch advocate  of living architecture, known for his way ahead-of-the-times underground earth designs with living roofs  starting in  the 1960’s, see just one example below.   He leaves a legacy of what he referred to as gentle architecture,  design that would, in his own words, “leave the land no worse than you found it.”

 

Malcom Well's design for an eco-gas station, from MalcomWells.com.

The visionary Malcolm Wells' design for an eco-gas station, from MalcolmWells.com.

 

Many inspirational people and organizations have contributed to our current market,  and I want to highlight just a few success stories from the past year, personal and global.   So in my review, here are my favorite 2009  Top 10 Milestones and Accomplishments for both Greenroofs.com as a company and our international community as a whole:

10)   In 2009 Greenroofs.com celebrated 10 years of being in business!   We’ve seen a lot of progress and change for the good here as well as across the greenroof world.   The fledgling Greenroofs.com – “exploring the ecology of organic greenroof architecture” started out as 60+ pages in 1999 as the result of an independent research study I did at the University of Georgia.

What Greenroofs.com looked like in 1999.

By 2003 we changed our format and grew  into Greenroofs.com – “the international greenroof industry’s resource and online information portal,” and contained 600+ pages  at the end of  2009 (not counting the hundreds of  .php pages from The Greenroof Directory or The Greenroof Projects Database).   At present, each month Greenroofs.com receives more than 160,000 unique visits and about 400,000 page views, and we’ve also expanded our presence in social marketing, too, so now you can stay connected with us on: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, eNewsletter (our monthly eNewsletter consists of 10,000 opt-in subscribers) & YouTube, as well as our Blog.

Greenroofs.com in 2010!

9)   The  proliferation of living architecture is greatly  spreading and permeating into the areas of  design, policy, research  and  education through numerous world  conferences, congresses, expos, trainings, tours, and other events.   For example, the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) – formerly the World Green Roof Infrastructure Network (WGRIN) –  held its first CitiesAlive! World Green Roof Congress in Toronto, Canada,  with the second scheduled for Mexico City this October, 2010.   The International Green Roof Association (IGRA) hosted the 2nd International Green Roof Congress 2009 in Nürtingen, Germany and  the 3rd annual  Green Roofs Australia Conference 2009 was held at the University of Melbourne.   Longevity was evident  with  the 7th National FBB Green Roof Conference in Ditzingen, Germany  and the 7th annual Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards, and Trade Show in Atlanta, Georgia.   By the way, look for the 8th annual GRHC conference to  occur in Vancouver, B.C.  on November 30 – December 2, 2010, rebranded as  “Cities Alive.”   Look for many new 2010 events throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Germany, China, Singapore, India and more under Upcoming Events, where you can also access  Past Events.

8)   For the third year, we published our 2010 Greenroofs of the World™ Calendar.   I’ve already blogged about it, and we’re very proud of our first hard product.   And we thank our Sponsors for their support: American Hydrotech, Barrett Company, Conservation Technology, Express Blower, GREEN ROOF BLOCKS,  GreenGrid,  International Leak Detection (ILD), LiveRoof, Roofscapes, Inc., Saul Nurseries, Tremco, Xero Flor America,  and ZinCo USA.   You can find the Calendar on Amazon.com, but it’s a better deal if you order from us!

The 2010 Greenroofs of the World Front Cover

7) Green walls are firmly  becoming entrenched in sustainable design, evidenced by  high media attention, as much for their green properties as for their edible  gardening possibilities. We’ve had tons of news articles posted in NewsLinks, our huge database of global articles,  concerning living walls and green façades!   In fact,  they  were listed as #31 in TIME’s 50 Best Inventions of 2009 and  Triple Pundit recently proposed:  “Gardens Grow Up: Are Vertical Landscapes the New Green Roofs?”  – both featuring  the works of  Patrick Blanc.   In our business  you’d have to be living under a rock not to know who the renowned French botanist is; his often fantastical “murs végétalisés” designs stretch the limits of horticulture and design.   Since 1994, he has created over 140 public vertical gardens as well as many private installations,  including his most famous, the  Quai Branly Museum in Paris,  shown below.   Read more about green walls from Treehugger, Daily Telegraph, Daily Commercial News, The New York Times, Times Online and CNN.com, just to name a few.

Quai Branly Museum photo by Jean-Claude Lafarge on www.jeanclaudelafarge.fr

Quai Branly Museum photo courtesy and by Jean-Claude Lafarge on http://www.jeanclaudelafarge.fr/paris.html.

In 2009  Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the North American professional association, established greenwall research projects at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and the University of Maryland, and GRHC has included an award  category for Green Wall Excellence in Design for a couple of years now.   In 2008 Greenroofs.com added our 8th Contributing Editor, George Irwin –  aptly titled The Green Wall Editor  – to cover this growing vertical gardening field, and new for 2010 we have altered the title of our Greenroof Projects Database to reflect the inclusion of these:   The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database.

6) Investing in green building and infrastructure makes good economic sense by integrating green building policies into wider economic development goals, and creates a new job market. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) has prompted a gigantic increase in federal green spending, providing new money to all levels of government, aimed at stimulating the economy, promoting job growth, and lowering energy costs, providing an unprecedented opportunity for advancing green building and sustainability efforts in the U.S.    And last December, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) reported at least 138 U.S. cities with populations over 50,000 people have green building programs in place (compared to only 92 in 2007).   Referring to the economic recession, the AIA said “The downturn has had a devastating effect on construction generally, but sustainable building design continues to maintain and improve its market share.”   Read their 2009 in depth study “Green Building Policy in a Changing Economic Environment” to learn more.

 

AIA 2009 Study of Green Building Programs by Cities

American Institute of Architects 2009 Study of Green Building Programs by Cities

 

U.S. economic stimulus efforts  encompass green energy and construction, including greenroofs along with other forms of green building, and  just one such example of Recovery Act funds benefit Washington D.C., where the Washington Business Journal says “Nearly $4 million would go toward building more than 100,000 sf of green roofs on city buildings, including libraries, firehouses and a demonstration project atop the parking garage deck at University of the District of Columbia.   The stimulus funds would also expand the city’s green roof rebate program to allow residents and small businesses to afford another 20,000 sf of private green roof space.”

And importantly, many green building programs are also creating “green collar” jobs.   In late 2009, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Booz Allen Hamilton conducted a study and stated “Green building will support 7.9 million U.S. jobs and pump $554 billion into the American economy – including $396 billion in wages – over the next four years (2009-2013).    The study also determined that green construction spending currently supports more than 2 million American jobs and generates more than $100 billion in gross domestic product and wages…The full report can be downloaded at www.usgbc.org/greeneconomy, where one can also find other research, resources, tools and information about green building and its role in the economic recoveries of professionals, businesses and the nation.”   According to an analysis by American Rivers and the Alliance for Water Efficiency, the Natural Resources Defense Council reports that a $10 billion nationwide initiative to install greenroofs alone would result in almost 200,000 jobs – the Senate is expected to consider its own version of the bill in early 2010.

DC Greenworks' efforts at the Reeves Center

SSBx with Green the Ghetto participants

Some U.S. leaders offering hope and opportunity by creating greenroof/greenwall-specific green collar jobs through training include Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) and their various programs,  i.e., “Green the Ghetto”  and “Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training (BEST)”;  D.C. Greenworks; Chicagoland Green Collar Jobs Initiative, and the  Urban Farming Food Chain.

5) Green Roofs for Healthy Cities launched the Green Roof Professional (GRP) accreditation   for North America.   The GRP is a measure of knowledge of established best practices and although a voluntary program, with the designation professionals can distinguish themselves in the marketplace.   This association milestone was at least four years in the making!   Currently with  more than 250  GRP’s in 2009,  GRHC  hopes to add more professionals in 2010.   Check their website for future  testing dates, and  consider attending one of their Green Roof Boot Camps to refresh and get you ready.   See my interview with Jeff Bruce, president of Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company, Chair of GRHC  and the GRHC Training and Accreditation Committee, which developed the Green Roof Professional program, to learn why the organization felt this accreditation was needed, how it evolved, and where it’s heading.   For more info on the GRP, see “A Video Introduction to the GRP Program” from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

4) Within the U.S. industry, major contributions were made in the area to develop best practice  wind and fire standards for greenroof design.   Since 2007, leaders from various organizations have been working hard on prescriptive standards, and  in 2009 standards were inserted into the International Building Code from members of  GRHC and Single Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI).   Read “Green Roof Wind & Fire Design Guidelines: After Three Years, Half the Battle is Won,” written by one of our Contributing Editors, Kelly Luckett, The Green Roof Guy, to learn about this winding road’s development of RP-14 and VF-1.    And stay tuned for updates with  his column  here on Greenroofs.com.

 

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) Wind Tunnel Testing in June, 2009.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUe) Wind Tunnel Testing in June, 2009.

 

3)  The global Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database surpassed the 1,000 mark in December!   So where are all these greenroofs and greenwalls anyway?   Let’s continue to work together to grow, update, and share valuable case studies for our communal benefit, for free.   Even in today’s openly transparent society (think Google Earth), some people worry about confidentiality issues, and we only post information that is submitted to us by owners/project principals or that which is openly available through  various media channels, and we always list owners as “private” when requested.   The Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database is now searchable by  24 fields, including specifically for green walls.   After our Home Page, the Projects Database is the next visited page on Greenroofs.com – make sure your projects and valuable  experiences are included here.

2)    My  albeitly biased personal favorite, Greenroofs.com inaugurated our first  episode of the Sky Gardens ~ Greenroofs of the World WebTV series.   Premiering  at Boston GreenFest in September, our new venture followed  on the GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube, and next on our own greenroofs.tv, where you can now see it in its entirety at just under 37 minutes.   By the way, you can also view our video offshoot,  “Greenroofs 101 from Greenroofs.com” (4:50) in Greenroofs 101 or directly below, which is a great way to  introduce the concept to newcomers.   Coming soon is episode 2, highlighting the gorgeous Cook+Fox Architects corporate offices in Manhattan, NY.   Our third episode is in the works, and more are being scheduled, so stay tuned!

1) 2009 saw some serious support for greenroofs, championed by professional organizations and governmental bodies alike. Global industry support has grown over the years, and many advocates continue to actively promote them worldwide.  For example, the City of Chicago, certainly the U.S. leader in greenroofs, now has over 7 million square feet of vegetated roofs completed or under development.   New support in 2009 includes:

North America:   In addition to offering eco-incentives for greenroofs,  currently Toronto has the most progressive policy in North America – last May  Toronto became the first city  here to adopt a bylaw to require and govern the construction of greenroofs.   The new bylaw will be required on all new development above 2,000 m ² (about 21,530 sf) of gross floor area and have a graduated coverage requirement ranging from 20-60%.   Working with a program budget  of $800,000/year, owners of industrial and commercial buildings can apply for grants worth up to $100,000 (Canadian) to build a greenroof.    Mayor David Miller predicts the rules and incentives will create 50 to 60 green-roofed buildings per year, in addition to their current 135 vegetated roofs.   Green Roofs for Healthy Cities supported the by-law against pressure from developers opposed to the policy.    See more details under Industry Support and at the City of Toronto website.

Toronto City Hall

Here in the U.S., in late 2009  ASLA, the American Society of Landscape Architects, worked with Congress to include the Green Act into the House-passed climate change legislation.   The Act would require the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to employ greenroofs, tree canopy coverage, and other site planning techniques to help reduce heating and cooling costs in certain HUD facilities.   Still pending before the Senate Finance Committee,  last January Senator Maria Cantwell (WA) introduced the Clean Energy Stimulus and Investment Assurance Act of 2009 (S.320), legislation geared toward creating high-wage green-collar jobs and revitalizing the economy through clean energy investments.   ASLA worked with Senator Cantwell’s office to ensure that a section of the bill was dedicated to green roof tax incentives, and  GRHC  provided technical support.   Under section 506 of the bill, residential and commercial property owners will receive a 30% tax credit for qualified greenroof expenditures.

As you may recall, Congress enacted Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) to require federal agencies to reduce stormwater runoff from federal development projects to protect water resources and in October of 2009, President Obama signed Executive Order 13514 on “Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance” calling upon all federal agencies to lead by example and address a wide range of environmental issues, including stormwater runoff.   Federal agencies can comply with Section 438 by using a variety of green infrastructure / low impact development techniques including living roofs.   Prepared by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in coordination with other federal agencies, the “Technical Guidance on Implementing the Stormwater Runoff Requirements for Federal Projects under Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act” PDF is highly detailed and  instructive.

State and municipal  governments also provided policy support:   Former  Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine signed three bills promoting incentives in 2009: HB 1975 and SB 1058 authorize localities to grant regulatory flexibility and incentives to promote the construction of vegetative roofs on private homes and businesses.  The incentives or regulatory flexibility could include a reduction in permit fees, a streamlined process for the approval of building permits, or a reduction in any gross receipts tax on greenroof contractors as defined by the local ordinance.   The third bill, HB 1828, allows water authorities to offer rate incentives for vegetative roof construction, based on the percentage of stormwater runoff reduction.   In late fall, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA), Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati (MSDGC), and the Office of Environmental Quality created a Green Roof Loan Program utilizing money from the Water Pollution Control Loan Fund.   OEPA has made $5,000,000 available for linked deposit, below market rate loans to install green vegetative roofs within the service area of MSDGC on residential, commercial and/or industrial buildings.

Built Ecoroofs in Portland as of 12-09

Already a city offering several greenroof incentives, in October Portland‘s city commission approved a Climate Action Plan which calls for a 40% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and an 80% reduction by 2050.   According to the Portland Business Journal, “The Plan calls for the city and county to take 93 actions over the next three years.  City bureaus must immediately begin implementing 15 of the new climate-related initiatives, such as establishing a tax credit for businesses that install ecoroofs and solar panels together.”   And last month, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District invited governments, organizations, school districts, and businesses within the 28 communities it serves to participate in their 2010 Regional Green Roof Initiative Program.   Among other prerequisites, proposed projects must minimize impervious roof area and maximize the reduction in the rate and/or volume of stormwater runoff.

The World:   Singapore is targeting 50 hectares of skyrise greenery by 2030 and its Urban Redevelopment Authority launched  the LUSH Programme (Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High-Rises) in April of 2009.   Offering financial and planning incentives to developers to provide greenery at the upper levels of high rise buildings, their goal is to make 80% of all buildings in  Singapore green by 2030. Quezon City, Phillipines has a new law requiring private and government-owned buildings to green part of their rooftops.    New commercial/residential buildings, under the Green Roof Ordinance (Ordinance 1940) signed into law by Mayor Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr. last September, should  allocate at least 30% of their roof area for plants and trees.   In Australia, the Queensland Government signed a “Memorandum Of Understanding” with the Singapore National Parks Board late last year to trial vertical gardens and greenroofs in various cities in an effort to benefit from Singapore’s experience with skyrise greenery.

A splendid Sky Terrace at the One George Street building in downtown Singapore; source: The Star.com

Dubai Municipality launched a greenroof initiative in line with a Dubai law on green building specifications.    The Municipality’s strategic goal is to raise per capita green area to 23.4 square meters by the end of 2011,  with the green building project coming under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, United Arab Emirate Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.   A public awareness  campaign  for greenroofs was announced  last month, committed to the “development of laws and regulations to keep pace with international standards in the field of sustainable development by planting green roofs and facades in the Emirate of Dubai.”   Traveling display models and educational publications will circulate residential neighborhoods and shopping centers and markets for a 12-month period.   Read more on the Dubai Municipality Portal.   One spectacular greening project currently on the boards in Dubai is the self-sustained system “Food City” below, designed by Green Concepts Landscape Architects (GCLA):

Dubai Food City; photo source: Inhabitat

The proposed Dubai Food City, conceptualized by landscape architecture firm GCLA.

 Well, those are my thoughts on the  important  highlights of 2009, and while on the topic  of Top 10 lists, Haven Kiers – our Design Editor – and I are compiling our 4th annual Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof Designs for 2010, and we welcome your input with  ideas and project example submissions, as usual!   Send comments to Linda@greenroofs.com or DesignEditor@greenroofs.com.

So here we are at the start of a whole new year – we hope you’re excited and optimistic about it, just as we are!     Whatever 2009 offered you, we hope you embraced new friends and opportunities and experienced great personal and professional growth, and we thank you for your readership.   What’s in store for our new decade?   We’ll see, but as the green building industry continues with positive signs of sustained growth, let’s also continue to collaborate and create a more sustainable world with eco-architecture embracing greenroofs and greenwalls as part of the overall green living architecture strategy.

“I woke up one day to the fact that the earth’s surface was made for living plants, not industrial plants.”   ~ Malcolm Wells

Here’s a gentle toast  to continued  health, love,  and  prosperity  for you, your families, and all of our  greenroof associates in 2010!

Happy Greening ~ Linda V.