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Green Instance Magazine

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, November 21, 2011

By Andrew Cole Yanders


 

 

It’s been another busy week at Green Roof Technology.  Earlier this week a Green Roof Evaluation Case Study was posted for download, highlighting the necessity of a diligent maintenance program and the damage that can occur when one is not administered. 

Today we are excited to announce the upcoming release of the first issue of our quarterly magazine: 

GREEN INSTANCE, The International Review of Living Infrastructure.

The magazine is hitting the press this week and will be delivered to leading architects, urban planners, landscape architects, building owners, general contractors and facility managers around the world.  The limited first printing will also be available at our booth at CitiesALIVE 2011, hosted in historic Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from November 30th to December 2rd

Following CitiesALIVE 2011, we will post GREEN INSTANCE for free download on our website.

If you wish to receive a hard copy of GREEN INSTANCE please email andrew@greenrooftechnology.com.  Availability is limited.    

Green Roof Time at Penn State

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Thursday, November 17, 2011
Green Roof Tech Rookie Recalls His Time at One of the Best Green Roof Research Programs in the US

Photo courtesy of Centre Daily Times

On a sunny but cold Tuesday morning I stepped into the Tyson Building for the first time.  I was returning to Penn State two years after completing my undergraduate degree.  The basement hallway was warm and inviting but in my palms was a cold sweat.  Re-entering the classroom was like walking into a strange country.  I crossed the threshold and took a seat next to the prettiest girl in class; some old habits never go away.  I relaxed into the typically first day pre-class conversation and waited for Professor Berghage to arrive.  A few minutes later in walked a tall, stalky man with a long grey ponytail wearing blue jeans, a vintage LL Bean shirt and of course a toothy smile.  Horticulture 497A: Green Roofs, Rain Gardens and Living Walls consisted of no more than 15 students, most of who were already familiar with Dr. Berghage and were all apt to calling him simply ‘Rob’.  I realized within minutes that this class, this time in space, was a foreign country from all the other class rooms I ever spent time in at Penn State.  Gone were the slightly awkward, poorly dressed but all too clean-cut professors from my days as an economics student. 


Photo Courtesy of Andrew Cole Yanders

After a period of introduction to green roofs the class moved to a nearby classroom in Headhouse l.  Rob continued to discuss the myriad components that go into a modern green roof and passed examples around for all of us to inspect.  This is a trend in Dr. Berghage’s teaching style I came to greatly appreciate, theoretical explanations then immediate tactile experience.  The following week we began discussions on media and our week’s lab time was spent creating and testing media with varying air-space porosities.   The varying medias the class created were then placed into experimental hanging boxes in the greenhouse and covered with sedum album cuttings.

University Park campus is lush with green roofs with more coming with each new building Graham Spanier is incapable of saying no to.  Stepping onto the roof of the Forestry Building, Penn State’s first green roof, was my first experience with a completed green roof.  It was hard to even call it spring yet, but the roof looked wonderful to me, vibrant and full of life.  We toured more roofs throughout the semester and charted installation progress on others.  Special interest was made to watch the the ground level intensive roof being built on top of the new nano-fabrication laboratories in the Millennium Science Building.               

As a class we spent considerable time evaluating the two major green roof systems on the market in the United States today, the modular system and the built-up system.  We constructed two experimental boxes for each system and fill with an FLL approved media.  The boxes were hung and fitted with lysimeters.  Naturally we determined evapotranspiration rates as well as time to peak flow rates at varying degrees of inclination.

Several weeks of the semester were also dedicated to the study of rain gardens.  Anyone who has spent any time at University Park during heavy rain storms knows to wear their wellies.  The Biggler River comes first to mind.  Suffice it to say Penn State has a problem with storm water.  Decreasing amounts of green space coupled with increasing roof areas are compounding the problems on an already over-stressed infrastructure.  The difficult job of trying to alleviate the problem falls on the shoulders of Lawrence Fennessey, Penn State’s Stormwater Systems Engineer.  Dr. Fennessey took the class on an afternoon long tour of the entire campus, which is mind-blowingly huge, pointing out all of the challenges that need to be met and the ingenious solutions that have been implemented.  Porous pavements, curb cuts, infiltration gardens and bioswales are only a few examples of the techniques Dr. Fennessey and the rest of OPP have used.

When I returned to university for the Spring Semester 2011 I wasn’t one hundred percent certain what wanted to study.  I knew I wanted to do something ‘green,’ to study biological systems.  I talked with department heads of both Agricultural Engineering and Molecular Biology expressing my desire to study algae and biofuels.  They set me up with a defined academic path, which I began to pursue, but time, money and ultimately my desire to remain at university became an issue.  With green roofs I found a perfect outlet for all my aspirations.  Today I could not be happier; I am working with biological systems and also fulfilling my artistic passion for landscape design.
        

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!   

 

Harford Glen Recieves Donated Green Roof

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Tuesday, September 20, 2011
By Kat Harrold

 

Photo by ~ Kat Harrold

Despite flooding and hurricane winds Harford Glen Environmental Education Center completed it's demonstration green roof.  The demonstration green roof was donated by Green Roof Service LLC and features a regular black rubberized roof adjacent to an extensive green roof.  Designed at an angle, this green roof is set up to allow for visibility for students of all heights that visit Harford Glen.

Harford Glen is a critical resource in teaching school age children about the environment and the great out-doors.  Amanda Koss, one of the teachers at Harford Glen and lead advocate for this project, was a tremendous help with this project and so excited to finally have a green roof for the school.  This demonstration green roof will be a helpful hands on aid as part of their out-door class room lessons.  From this set up students can learn plant identification, stormwater management, heat island effect, green roof technologies, and ecology.  

The demonstration green roof sits on a "reclaimed wood" platform with an EPDM waterproofing membrane.  A protection fabric covers the green roof portion, followed by a drainage board, filter fabric, and extensive growing media.  The growing media was graciously donated by Skygarden.  Two drains are were also installed, one on the green roof side and one on the regular roof.  

The plants are a mix of sedums and herbaceous plants.  Some of the herbs consist of oregano, thyme, and chives.  A potential tasting addition to a school lunch!  

 

 

Photo by~ Jorg Breuning


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