We Mourn the Loss of Two Greats in Our Industry: Xianmin Wang and Dr. Mark Simmons

September 17, 2015 at 5:35 pm

We are very sad to announce the recent passing of two wonderful gentlemen within our greenroof and greenwall industry:


Professor Xianmin Wang of the International Rooftop Landscaping Association in Beijing, China (left) and Dr. Mark Simmons of the Austin Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Texas (right).

Both men died at the end of August, and our hearts go out to their respective families and colleagues across the globe!

We have been compiling comments and some photos from associatess and will post individual In Memoriam reflections for each starting tomorrow.

If you have anything to share with our community, please send to me at: linda@greenroofs.com.

Thank you,

~ Linda V.

Greenroofs.com Updates & Happy Holidays!

December 27, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Hello readers and fellow colleagues,

I hope you have all been enjoying your holidays with family and friends with an eye towards the New Year – especially  after our collective escape from the dire but thankfully misled (or misinterpreted) Mayan  predictions on the winter solstice of 12.21.12!

Kidding aside, we here at Greenroofs.com  have simply been swamped since late summer with various milestones including our trips to Chicago followed immediately by 2 weeks in China, not to mention orchestrating our 2nd annual  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013.

And, by the way, I couldn’t make it to The International Green Conference in Bangalore, India last month – a recent bout with upper respiratory problems were aggravated with all the traveling and I developed ear issues and was told not to fly for a few months.  I was extremely upset but everyone told me that the Conference was wonderful.

And so I’ve been very behind in my various blog posts ~ so one of my New Year’s  resolutions  is to catch up here at Sky Gardens with the following blog posts:

– On a personal note, most of you who have been following us for years know that I have been an international flight attendant with Delta Air Lines for a long time (hey, I didn’t want to give up my “day” job until I knew this greenroof gig would work out!)…well, as of  September  1, I  officially  retired after 33 years of loving (almost) every bit of it!  I had the  privilege  of working with the best people ever – the end of an era…

– The 10th Annual CitiesAlive Green Roof & Wall Conference in Chicago – what a great town!  For now I will say it was great, one of the very best get-togethers we as an industry have enjoyed so far.  If you  have  photos to share, please send them to linda@greenroofs.com – there was a lot I missed and then Aramis and I had to leave Saturday morning following the conference since we left for Shanghai the next day and we missed out on all the tours (I also took a class on Wednesday, so I couldn’t go then, either).

– The World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) World Green Roof Congress in Hangzhou, China which was simply awesome!  The resort was beautiful and the organization was amazing as there were at least 1,400 – 1,500 attendees – the largest crowd I’ve ever presented to before (I presented Haven Kiers’ and my “2012 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design“).

We had a day of touring  followed  by 2 days of the  wonderful  speakers, excellent food and hospitality, ending with another day of touring.  Each  evening  there was a celebratory feast – Professor Xianmin Wang and his awesome International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA) team of William Wei, Lisa and many others are to be highly commended.  We then followed this  sumptuous  experience with an additiional 8 or 9 more days of once in a  lifetime  touring around  China!

– All about our  Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2013  on February 12 through March 13, 2013 –  it’s going to be very different from last year. First of all, this time we’ve  partnered  with the  World Green Infrastructure Network  and we’re thrilled to have them on board to provide an ever greater world stage.

You’ll enjoy  a full 30 days of scheduled and on demand video Keynotes, panel sessions, individual and combo presentations with a lot more interactive fun with scheduled live Q & A chat  sessions  with  speakers and other greenroof & greenwall enthusiasts from around the globe, plus visiting the  Sponsor Spaces and Social Media Areas.  Here are our 5 distinguished Keynotes:

New this year is the Prize Center where you’ll accumulate points for cool prizes; the Joblinks Lounge where you can post jobs wanted and view job openings; and the Inspiration Nook where you can post under 3-minute videos about your research idea, project, or poster boards (no commercial ventures!) and participate in scheduled chat discussions which will be included on the Agenda.

In order to feature our Sponsors and exhibitors, we will also offer 4 dedicated days – one per week – to our Expo Trade Show, each anchored by a Keynote Presentation and a Panel Discussion from leading authorities.  By the way, we’d like to thank Tremco for once again committing their greenroof industry leadership through our highest level of  Sponsorship  – the Rare Earth Sponsor!

Other Greenroofs.com News:

– Starting in the New Year, our “This Week in Review” news roundup video, hosted by our daughter Anjuli Velazquez, will come back as “This Month in Review.”

– We’re currently  scheduling our “Greenroof or Greenwall Project of the Week” series – if you’d like to see your project highlighted, first of all we need to have a profile for it in the Greenroof & Greenwall Projects Database!  (We are still backlogged with entries but hope to be up to date within a month).

We only spotlight profiles that have 10 or 11 photos and lots of descriptive content.  People ask us if they have to be listed in the Greenroof Directory to be selected, and the answer is no – although we do highlight our advertisers about 4:1 as compared to non-advertisers for their loyalty.

Advertising with Us  is extremely affordable, and we certainly appreciate the support!  Plus there’s no better place in our industry to have your company listed than with us, the #1 website in the world for greenroofs.

– And ordering our  2013 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Wall Calendar is still an inexpensive (only $9.95 including shipping & handling within the U.S.and Canada) and perfect last minute gift to ring in the New Year.

That’s it for now – we’d like to wish you and yours Seasons Greetings & a Happy New Year 2013!

~ Linda V. & all of us here at Greenroofs.com

Greenroofs.com’s “This Week in Review” on GreenroofsTV: May 4, 2012

May 6, 2012 at 10:37 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 May 4, 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 May 4, 2012 on GreenroofsTV.

Project of the Week

-Our project of the week is the Fichtebunker built in 2009, in Berlin-Kreuzberg, Germany.  This 56 meter in diameter, nineteenth-century gasometer was made into an air-raid shelter in World War II and was then used as a shelter for the homeless refugees.  In 2006, the State of Berlin’s Real Property Fund sold the building to developers and two-story luxury condos were planned on top along with townhomes and a five-story apartment building on the land around the building.  Beginning in October 2007, 13 pie shaped family residences were built with curved walls and private gardens offering beautiful views over the city

The individual apartments are accessible through a landscaped community courtyard with a fountain, bamboo troughs, and an extensive greenroof.  Each house has its own roof garden with a size of 70 to 100 square meters.  The ZinCo System build-up “Heather with Lavender,” with the Floradrain ® FD 40 drainage element as a base, provides a permanently functioning lawn with planting areas and hard surfaces.  Also, the roof of the new flats received an extensive greenroof as well as the underground parking and the roof of the new building with 12 apartments next door.

-To learn more about the Fichtebunker,  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 the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 21: “Green Roof Technology Sails Around the World,” by Jörg Breuning.

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

–  Guest Feature Article

And read our latest guest feature article, “You’re Invited to Hangzhou, China for the 2012 World Green Roof Congress,” by Xianmin Wang, Secretary-general of the 2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Conference.

The Greenroofs.com eNewsletter

-If you haven’t checked it out already, our April 2012 eNewsletter is now available!  So get caught up with everything that happened here at Greenroofs.com last month.  Sign up on the Homepage.

Advertiser Press Releases:

–  Alumasc Chosen for Kidbrooke Regeneration.

Eco-Roofs Helps Butler University Students Complete First Campus Green Roof Installation Atop Pharmacy College Building.

Tremco Headquarters Renovation Receives Ohio Chemistry Technology Council Award.


–  Xero Flor America Green Roofs is currently hiring 3 Sales Professionals in regional US markets.

-Sika Sarnafil USA is looking for an Inside Sales Representative in Canton, Massachusetts.

Industry News

–  Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) is pleased to announce the results of its 2012 Annual Industry Survey of Corporate Members.  President of GRHC and GRP, Steven Peck said, “The green roof industry grew by 115% over the course of 2011, up significantly from 28.5% growth in 2010.  This great news comes on the eve of the launch of: 10th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference.”

-Speaking of CitiesAlive 2012, this year it will be held once again in Chicago, the site of their first Green Roof and Wall Conference.  Hurry to register for the Early Bird Discount rate by May 15! Visit http://citiesalive.org/ for more info.

–  Sky Gardens Blog

– Over at Sky Gardens, check out Linda’s latest posts: “Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 21: Green Roof Technology Sails Around the World,” and “Greenroofs.com’s “˜This Week in Review’ on GreenroofsTV: April 27, 2012.”

– “Upcoming Events“

-May 9th-10th: is the Greenbuild EXPO Sustainable Refurbishment & Building Event, in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (@GreenbuildExpo #greenbuildexpo)

-May 9th-11th: is Greenbuilding – International Exhibition & Conference on Energy Efficiency & Sustainable Architecture, in Verona, Italy.  (@GreenbuildingIT)

-And May 9th-12th: is The New World – The 20th Congress for the New Urbanism, in West Palm Beach, Florida.

– “In the News“

-Wayne Roberts of NOW Magazine, talks about “Hitting the green roof.”  He says a “crucial vote will decide if the city is serious about its greenroof policy.”  Toronto’s Green Roof Bylaw was passed in 2009, and requires green roofs on new commercial, institutional and residential developments with a minimum gross floor area of 2,000 square meters.  The issue is whether schools can be exempted from this bylaw.

The city’s chief planner recommended that the Planning and Growth Management Committee exempt public and Catholic school boards from the bylaw, saying that painting them white would reduce the heat stored on roofs and that those schools could store rainwater and offer green space on other parts of their property.  Another member of the Planning Committee opposed the school board’s attempt to sidestep their eco responsibility saying, “We expect them to be built smarter than before, and they  shouldn’t  get a pass on this.”  The city will save money in the long term, since greenroofs manage stormwater, reduce roof maintenance, lower energy bills, and help the environment among other benefits.  Schools also have the added advantage of turning their greenroofs into outdoor classrooms and teaching future generations about green infrastructure and how it enhances our lives.

-Mireya Navarro of the New York Times Blog has a “Q&A: [about] Greening the City’s Zoning Rules.”  She says, “Changes in New York City’s zoning code are expected to encourage the installation of rooftop gardens.”  This week the New York City Council unanimously approved a package of zoning changes that make it easier for property owners to undertake energy efficiency upgrades and even produce their own solar and wind power; and developers will also have more freedom to incorporate green elements into their building designs.  She asks questions like how many owners of the city’s million or so existing buildings are willing to foot the upfront costs to save energy in the longer term?  And how will things change for architects and developers once the zoning rules are relaxed?

For answers to these and other questions, she asked Howard Slatkin, director of sustainability for New York’s Department of City Planning, and Paul Freitag, the director of development in New York for the Jonathan Rose Companies.  Mr. Slatkin said they worked closely with architects, engineers, developers and other experts to identify the zoning obstacles to building or retrofitting green buildings.  Mr. Freitag says that one green element that seems to be growing in popularity is the use of greenroofs.  People in the industry are recognizing the many benefits of green roofs, like improved insulation, reduction of the heat island effect, stormwater management and food production; not to mention that green roofs are basically gardens with fantastic views.  You can go to the full article to read of all their answers to the New York Times’ questions.

– 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 May 4, 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™ Virtual Summit 2011 Episode 20: The Current Situation and Future of Green Roofs in China

April 25, 2012 at 9:28 am

Today we have the pleasure to air  Xianmin Wang’s video presentation “The Current Situation and Future of Green Roofs in China” from our inaugural  2011 Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit on greenroofs.tv and our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

The esteemed Wang Xianmin is the  Vice Chairman of the  International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA) and a board member of the  World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN).  Aramis and I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Wang and his friendly delegation of Chinese associates including  William Wei, Secretary-general of IRLA (whom we saw in Philadelphia last December for the 9th annual CitiesAlive Conference), at the  International Skyrise Greenery Conference in tropical  Singapore in November where  Professor Wang was also a presenter.  I have to say how wonderful it was meeting them all!

Speaking of WGIN, this year’s  World Green Infrastructure Network‘s  World Green Roof Congress will be held in beautiful Hangzhou, China from October 22 to October 26th, 2012.  Aramis and I are going – I’ll be a speaker here – and we are really looking forward to this monumental trip, as we’ve never been to China!

Look for  Professor Wang’s  Guest Feature Article “You’re Invited to Hangzhou, China for the 2012 World Green Roof Congress” coming up tomorrow.  Learn more about the WGIN 2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Conference here.

There is so much green development in China involving greenroofs and walls that for 2011, Haven Kiers and I chose to highlight their greening efforts in our Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design in the #2 spot – The Chinese Connection: Rise of the Green Giant (see our 2011 Top 10 video  here).

Wang Xianmin is Deputy Chief of the Vertical Greening Academic Group of China Green Building Council; Vice Chairman of the International Rooftop Landscaping Association; Secretary-general of the 2012 Hangzhou ChinaӢWorld Green Roof Conference; Founder and former Secretary-general of the Beijing Rooftop Greening Association; former Secretary-general of the Great Wall Green Engineering Organizing Committee and Former Deputy Dean of the Asia-Pacific Education Centre of Peking University.

He graduated from Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics.  Xianmin Wang is the author of China 2010 Shanghai World Expo venue three-dimensional Green, 2011 and Roof Garden, 2007.

Wang Xianmin’s  presentation is very unique and informative as it is professionally filmed in Chinese with English subtitles.  He gives the participant an overview on  China, and says, “Nowadays, China concerns itself more and more about how to make a better life and how to resolve modern city diseases such as environmental pollution, heat island effects, and increased energy consumption.

“Therefore, it began to adopt various skills of vertical planting such as the green roof, living wall, and indoor greening to build an environment encouraging energy savings and low carbon features.  Recently, the construction of green roofs in China has stepped into the lane of fast development with Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Chengdu taking the leading roles.”

Enjoy!  Visit greenroofs.tv to see “The Current Situation and Future of Green Roofs in China” 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:

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 21st installment from the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011!

~ Linda V.