Vote for Chris Wark’s P-Pods and Ponix in the “American Made Contest” from Martha Stewart

August 26, 2013 at 9:30 pm

By now, I hope you have read about Chris and Wendy Wark’s new venture, P-Pods by Ponix and have had a chance to support them on Kickstarter.  They only have 10 days left, so please learn more on their Kickstarter page.

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And now, they have entered Ponix into the American Made Contest from Martha Stewart, which says “Help Us Choose This Year’s Best Makers.”

“Explore our nominees in craft, design, food, garden, style and technology. Vote now.” ~ 

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Of course, Ponix is entered in the Garden category!

Here’s how it works:

Click here to bring you to the Ponix page on the American Made website.

You must REGISTER before you can vote (they do not make this clear):
1. Click on Register in the upper right hand corner
2. Enter your email address and password
3. (If you do not want emails from Martha Stewart, un-click the box with the check mark)
4. You will receive an email confirming your registration
5. Click on the link in the email and it will return you to the Ponix page
6. You can Vote up to 6 times per day for Ponix (within 24 hours)!!! – Please do!
7. Click on the links to post on Facebook and Twitter
8. Bookmark the page
9. Return every day until September 13th and repeat step #6

If Ponix wins, Chris will be featured on Martha Stewart’s radio program and Ponix will be featured on the American Made website.

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Grand Prize Voting runs from September 17-23. If Ponix wins, the prize is $10,000 and two days of events in October that will help to promote the P-Pods.

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Go, P-Pods!

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs & Walls of the Worldâ„¢ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 15: E = MC2 of Green Roofs: Ranking Energy Benefits by Mission, Climate and Construction

March 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

Today we have the pleasure to air Christopher Wark’s video presentation “E = MC2 of Green Roofs: Ranking Energy Benefits by Mission, Climate and Construction” from our inaugural 2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the Worldâ„¢ Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

Chris has been an editorial contributor to Greenroofs.com as The Energy Editor since 2010.  In April 2011 he completed his seven-part series entitled “Cooler Than Cool Roofs: How Heat Doesn’t Move Through a Green Roof.”  He and his wife, Wendy, have been great friends of ours since we met them in 2003 in Chicago, at the first Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards & Trade Show.  Here they are on the Highline when we visited in New York City back in May, 2010:

Christopher Wark has 23 years of multidisciplinary engineering experience providing mechanical, analytical, and electronics support and services to manufacturers, universities and national labs.  For the past 10 years, he has focused his efforts on the development and promotion of technical solutions in architecture and construction.  Chris is currently an Associate with WSP Flack + Kurtz, managing their building analysis group.

Before joining WSP Flack + Kurtz, Chris was a Senior Energy Analyst for Viridian Energy & Environmental. Previous to that, he provided energy analysis and LEED consulting services for several companies, including subsidiaries of the Integral Group, and served as Technical Sales Manager for Mentor Graphics Mechanical Analysis Division (formerly Flomerics Inc.), offering energy and air flow analysis solutions for architectural engineers.

In 2002, Chris established SHADE Consulting/Green Roof Innovations with his wife Wendy.  With SHADE/GRI, Chris developed and marketed several innovative modular eco-roof systems, a roof system heat transfer and cost computer program, and conducted green roof system heat transfer analyses for 5 major cities and organizations.  In 2010, he developed a modular planting system in partnership with Guiyang Chuangjia High-Tech Accelerator Co. LTD in Guiyang, China.

Chris has also been involved in other thermodynamic related work, including advanced engine research and fuel cell system development at Caterpillar Inc. and laser development at Lawrence Livermore National Lab and 2 private research laser development companies.  He has presented at numerous conferences, has several articles published on a wide variety of engineering topics, and has had the privilege of working directly with several universities, including Stanford’s Center for Integrated Facility Engineering (CIFE) program.  Chris holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering (with a minor in Materials Science) from Washington State University.  His graduate work focused on thermodynamics, fluid dynamics and combustion.

In Chris’ video he discusses how the amount of energy savings from a green roof is determined by a combination of its mission:  How the building spaces are used; climate:  Where in the world, where in the neighborhood; and construction:  Building size, shape, and internal design.  Best and worst candidates are examined.  During the Virtual Summit, Chris’ video presentation was followed by a live 15-Minute Live Q & A; 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 this year’s Virtual Summit!

Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “E = MC2 of Green Roofs: Ranking Energy Benefits by Mission, Climate and Construction” 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 Retzlaff, David Aponte, Kevin 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 me 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 Liptan, Matt Burlin, Amy Chomowicz, Casey 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 Rivera, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Robert Bieder, Jon Beuttler, Jess Dannhauser, Javier 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).

Check back next week on GreenroofsTV for our 16th installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the Worldâ„¢ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.

The Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm Project

May 25, 2010 at 2:53 pm

What an awesome concept the Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm project is!  I first heard about this late last year but then about a week ago colleagues Bill Foley and Wendy Wark alerted me again, and so now I finally took action this afternoon by donating $50 to the cause.  Not a lot of money, but enough to show Greenroofs.com‘s support for an extremely worthwhile undertaking.

As we all know in this green industry of ours, underutilized rooftop space is one of the greatest real estate potentials for greenroof implementation.  In this age of trying to come together as a community, organic farming, and healthy food plus security issues, what better way to help mitigate the developmental woes of a building’s footprint that planting crops at rooftop level?  And (hopefully) make a profit?

That’s exactly what Brooklyn Grange is doing for their own community – they’re in the process of starting a rooftop farm with a team of five partners and a whole bunch of friends, and the organizer, Ben Flanner says it’s ”A big project that requires a lot of hard work to say the least, and one that sets an example for using under-utilized rooftop space across this dense city to do something productive.  There are many benefits to the city and community from such an operation.”  Most certainly, and we can all help by donating even just $1 – by this Friday, May 28, 2010 – but $10 gets a bee named after you!  Actually, for all donations of $10 or more, they will list you as a donor on their website and name one of their honeybees after you.

They’ve setup a campaign on an interesting new website called kickstarter, which is designed to help raise funds for enterprising people to start new projects – such as this one.  Kickstarter has a unique platform where you set your goal at the onset of the campaign, and then you need to hit that goal from online pledges to receive funding, otherwise all of your pledges are simply returned to the pledgers.  People can click on your project and pledge any amount during the course of the campaign.

So what is the project really all about?  Their page on kickstarter says:

“Brooklyn Grange will be a 1 acre rooftop farm situated in New York City. Such a commercially-viable rooftop farm has yet to be realized in this country. We will use simple greenroof infrastructure to install over 1 million pounds of soil on the roof of an industrial building on which we will grow vegetables nine months of the year. Being in the country’s largest city, the farm will create a new system of providing local communities with access to fresh, seasonal produce. We plan to expand quickly in the first few years, covering multiple acres of New York City’s unused rooftops with vegetables. The business has many environmental and community benefits, and allows our city dwelling customers to know their farmer, learn where their food comes from, and become involved.”

Ironically, as it turns out, Brooklyn Grange’s first project isn’t in Brooklyn but on a 40,000 square foot, 6-story industrial rooftop in Queens!  And the group is very happy to have the good fortune of this company’s backing, too, and they’ll be selling their produce in both boroughs as well, including tomatoes, eggplants, chilies and various leafy greens.  The farm will be run by Ben Flanner, who started and ran a proof of concept rooftop farm in the summer of 2009.  The beyond-organic produce will be sold directly to the community at an onsite stand, affording shoppers a direct relationship with the farm and farmers.  Additional produce will be sold to a small group of market-driven local restaurants.  He explains the business philosophy:

“We are a for-profit business. We believe in adding fiscal sustainability to the sustainability rubric so that urban rooftop farms can expand across the city, the Northeast and even the world! Any profits we make will go towards paying our farmer a living wage and whatever remains will be reinvested in the business so we can keep growing.” ~ Ben Flanner

In what stage is the project now?  In a newsletter today, May 25, 2010, Ben shares that “At this moment, we’ve installed about two-thirds of the rooftop soil, and we have about 110 sacks (~300,000 lbs) to lift yet with the crane, continuing tomorrow morning early.”

Brooklyn Grange needed to hit their goal of $20,000 by Friday, May 28, to get some important funds for the farm through kickstarter, and I’m pleased to report they have!  As of right now, supporters and fans have pledged $20,740.50, but please consider contributing more to their entreprenuerial greening efforts.  To pledge now, visit here, and they’d love it if you would also help spread the word!  Read “High Above Queens, the Dirt Is Deep, and Good” by Diane Cardwell in the New York Times of May 13, 2010, see their profile on kickstarter, and the video below.

For more info, visit Brooklyn Grange’s own website or contact Ben at: ben.flanner@gmail.com or 608.215.0218.

Happy veggie rooftop greening! ~ Linda V.