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Cities Alive - Philadelphia 2011

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, December 12, 2011

By Kat Harrold

 

Photo ~ Kat Harrold

Last week the North American Green Roofs for Healthy Cities conference was held in the rapidly becoming emerald city of Philadelphia.  The conference was a very rich event in terms of contacts and the latest and greatest in developments in the green roof and green wall industry.

This year brought some new technology with us to show off one of the best solutions for combining solar and green roofs.  The black plastic component resembling as shark fin that took center stage at our booth is one of the latest developments in drainage boards world wide.  The drainage board feature a built stand for the solar panel allowing the weight of the green roof to ballast the solar panel stand.  By utilizing this set up one can take advantage of the stormwater benefits of the green roof as well as the energy producing benefits of the solar panel.  The other added benefit of this set up is that the green roof keeps the solar panel cooler preventing it from over heating and allowing it to produce energy more efficiently during the cooler months.  This new development was very popular this year and we look forward to the promotion of solar green roofs in the future.

Aside from the trade show there were also very high quality networking events and informative lectures taught by some of the industries finest.  One of my personal favorites was a lecture about green roof mapping in Germany by Professor Manfred Kohler.  By using ideas from this lecture, if we could map and stay current with green roofs being built in North America we could better monitor the health and performance of these roofs to truly document and take advantage of their stormwater benefits.  This could also be very useful in trying to create green ways for migratory birds.

Over all it was a wonderful conference and the solar drainage board made it back safely despite the wind's best efforts!

Can't wait to see everyone at the 10th Cities Alive conference in Chicago!

 

 

 

NY Green Infrastructure Symposium

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Tuesday, November 22, 2011

By Kat Harrold GRP

 

Last Thursday the Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University and the State University of New York College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry hosted the 2011 Central New York Green Infrastructure Symposium.  The best and the brightest professionals, researchers, and government officials poured into the symposium to share ideas and learn about green infrastructure applications and regional workforce development.

Joining the discussion was our fearless leader Jorg Breuning.  As a guest lecturer Jorg presented a wealth of knowledge covering common mistakes to avoid with green roof design, construction and maintenance.  He also busted a few myths about green roofs as well.  A download of this presentation can be found on our Resources page under Modern Green Roof Technology.

Over all it was a very informative and productive symposium.  It was also a real treat being able to see old friend Charlie Miller who gave a wonderful opening keynote presentation.

ASLA National Convention - San Diego 2011

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Saturday, November 05, 2011

By Kat Harrold GRP

 

Photo By Kat Harrold GRP

Sunny skies and cool autumn temperatures set the stage for Green Roof Technology's first exhibition at the  American Society for Landscape Architects national conference.  For a conference covering everything from urban planning to garden design, San Diego was setting a shining example and keeping it classy as always.  Will Ferrell's character Ron Burgundy would have been proud. 

Tours, seminars, and awards ceremonies took center stage this year covering everything from floating islands to ecoroofs.  Next to the Expo hall, the keynote address took place.  With the end of the closing statement the Beach Boys’ “Lets Go Surfing” resonated through the hall and a tidal wave of landscape architects flooded the Expo hall.  While many visitors were from California, professionals from all over the country, and in some cases the world, were present.  This was a great trade show for Green Roof Technology as we were eagerly received as a guiding mentor for green roof design and green roof implementation.

Curious professionals weren’t the only one’s visiting our booth.  Day one of the expo fell on Halloween.  Trick or treaters, most of which were teeter toddlers or stroller bound, roamed the expo hall in search of delectable treats.  The added sugar rush also helped maintain high spirits for the adults as they trick or treated for business cards and brochures.

Over all the trade show was a great success.  Even though the attendance in the hall was a little lower than expected, the contacts were high quality for Green Roof Technology.  Discussions and concerns about the industry were very thought provoking.  With concerns everywhere about mitigating heat island effect and stormwater management, the future of green roofs looks very bright indeed.

Green Build 2011

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, October 10, 2011

 

Last week in Toronto Canada thousands of green minded people from all over North America gathered to discuss the latest in green innovations.  While classes and seminars took place, the trade show exhibit halls buzzed with energy.

As one might guess, there were green building vendors of every service and material imaginable.  A very exciting development this year was the amount of green roof oriented vendors.  Over a dozen vendors selling green roof products were present.  

For us, the trade show was a tremendous success with lots of great contacts established as well as an award for our booth! In addition to the typical displays of some key projects we have done, we also had a display showing the difference between storm water quality in a neighborhood with traditional roofs and ground surfaces versus one which utilizes green roofs, rain gardens and porous surfaces. 

We would like to thank all the wonderful people who stopped by our booth and the USGBC for organizing this event.  It would have been a very long and boring trip without you.  We hope you had a great time at Green Build and look forward to seeing you again in the near future!   

 

Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2011

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Tuesday, September 27, 2011

By Kat Harrold GRP

Photo courtesy of greenroofs.com

Today was a long but exciting day in the green world.  At 7 am (est) the world of greenroofs and green walls just got a little greener as leaders in the eco minded community gathered together for a summit that no one had to drive to. Linda Velazquez started off the summit with a lovely introduction and welcomed key note speaker Charlie Miller of Roofsmeadow.

Charlies' opening broadcast was very informative perspective on the evolution of green roofs in the US and how there have been some misconceptions about the feasibility of these living structures.  One very interesting and key thing to remember from his talk was that while there may be a certain level of guilt about our built environment and the nature that it has displaced you simply can't "bring back" the landscape that originally occupied the city.  The geographic location may be the same as it once was but the micro-climate of a city roof on a windy street is drastically different from that of a deciduous forest floor.

Other presentations that followed were a very inspiring and entertaining discussion panel with Christine Thuring, Nathalie Baumann, Gary Grant, and Dusty Gedge.  Very excited to see so much research done on the older roofs and the long term ecological benefits and community's one can encourage.

Ralph Valazquez from Tremco gave a great presentation on corporate social responsibility.  I find that there are times where it seem that businesses and corporations have more power to change the quality of life in an area than the government.  Kudos to you Ralph for leading such a community and socially responsible organization and for encouraging others to do the same.

Chris Walk gave a refreshingly honest and informative presentation on Ranking Energy Benefits by Mission, Climate and Construction.  Through careful analysis of elements effecting a building's energy usage Chris examined several different types of buildings in various climates and how green roofs effected their energy usage.  In short far as the question "How much energy can I save with a green roof?" is concerned it's all relative.  In general green roofs can save energy for a building but that amount depends greatly on the construction of the building and location.

Nigel Dunnet gave a stunning presentation on options for designing ecologically diverse green roofs with a large visual impact.  Many times while the function of a green roof may be successful often it is visual boring or sterile.  Nigel also provided many wonderful approaches for maximizing seasonal and visual interest while still providing a richly diverse environment and functioning green roof.

The last presentation of the day was done by the Portland Ecoroof Program.  For anyone looking to start a green movement in their area this is a wonderful presentation for inspiration.  This presentation explored the history of green roofs in Portland and how the Portland Ecoroof Program grew from one green roof on a garage to over 30 acres of green roofs across the city.

Very nice presentations and much needed topics for the industry.  Tomorrow is sure to be equally as exciting!  I can't wait to see what green wall artist Patric Blanc has in store!









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