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First American 'Sun-Root' Installation at NYC Parks Dept.

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Wednesday, April 04, 2012

 By Kat Harrold

 

Photo~ Jorg Breuning

It's official!  The 'Sun-Roots' have landed in America!   The first installation of 'Sun-Roots' took place on the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation at Randall's Island.  The 'Sun-Roots' are part of their on going green roof research program that tests over 25 different green roof systems. 

Check back soon for more information on this revolutionary system pending the installation of it's solar panels!

 

 

 

Tellus 360 Reflects on Green Roof's First Year Anniversary

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, March 26, 2012

By Joe Devoy ~Tellus 360

 

Photos by Tellus 360

 

A year has passed since the Tellus 360’s green roof was installed and we caught up with Tellus 360’s owner, Joe Devoy.  We asked Joe to write a few words reflecting on his new urban oasis.

“One day we were standing on our big flat roof, the sun shining down, the wind gently blowing, having a chat.  We were looking at the Marriott and Convention Center being built next door.  Coming up to the roof had become a kind of ritual, a pleasant place to relax and reflect.

When we were on the roof we were still part of the city, but it was a different part of the city. Captured all around us were the sounds of city but we were still removed somehow.  After a few of these trips the decision was made; a green roof must be built on our roof.  We all needed a therapeutic place where city and nature could meet, where the sounds of life relax not excite.

As we talked to Fritz Schroeder of LIVE Green Lancaster and met Jörg and Kat from Green Roof Technology, our vision of a community oasis developed in our mind.  “A better way to live and a better life for our building.”  Our vision for our building has always been for it to be alive, that it could breathe with the city.  We want it to expand and contract, to participate in our life and to help us be better in the way we live.

Our new green roof has achieved that and the life it has brought to our building and our community has been equally amazing.  Now I return each morning for my daily ritual.  The smell of earth and the sounds of a city alive surround me as I enjoy my breakfast from the local farmers market.  I love to hear the city breathe, I love to hear our building breathe.”

 

First American Sun-Root Installation

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, March 12, 2012

 By Kat Harrold

 

Photo Courtesy of Optigrun

Next week the New York City Parks Department will be adding a landmark addition to their green roof research facility.  The NYC Parks Department oversees the largest know US green roof systems test facility and will be adding the Sun-Root solar living roof to their collection.

Located on Randall's Island, the Parks Department Five Borough Administrative Building houses over 29,000 square feet of test green roofs making the collection the 5th largest green roof in New York City.  The outdoor laboratory features over 25 different systems of various growing media depths.  Weather stations and temperature sensors minor the conditions on the systems and update findings every 15 minutes on their website for public comparison. 

Royal Caribbean Lawn Club

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Tuesday, March 06, 2012

By Kat Harrold

 

Photos By Jorg Breuning

The Royal Caribbean Cruise line Lawn Club exemplifies the very finest in green roof design and engineering, providing the exquisite presentation and luxury Royal Caribbean guests have come to expect.  The apply named Lawn Club is featured on cruise liners Solstice, Eclipse, Equinox, and Silhouette.  In addition to lawn games such as bocce, golf, and croquet, some of lawn clubs also features a hot glass show, cook to order grill, and lounge.


Normally, a lawn of this caliber requires a soil depth of at least a foot.  Due to weight restrictions, a modified green roof system with subsurface irrigation was engineered to provide a light weight solution with a 5 inch profile.  A surface irrigation system with hand watering is also employed to flush excess salts from the lawn.  All run off from the system is collected and treated on the ship.    

A specially selected grass mix allows the lawn to remain lush and green despite stress from salt, changes in latitude, and foot traffic.  A team of highly experienced golf course specialists are on staff to ensure 24 hour monitoring and the health of the lawn.   

The Lawn Club has been such a huge success Royal Caribbean will be adding yet another Lawn Club to their latest ship scheduled for completion at the end of 2012.














Akron University Green Roof

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Friday, February 17, 2012

By Andrew Yanders

 

Rendering by ~ Kat Harrold

Green Roof Technology is pleased to announce its newest partnership with Irie Kynyk Goss Architects.  IKG Architects, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, is a well-respected architectural and engineering service firm that specializes in the design and construction of environmentally conscious facilities.  Green Roof Technology and IKG Architects will collaborate to design Akron University’s first green roof.  Green Roof Technology has a proud history of working with leading educational institutions to establish their first green roofs, see Swarthmore & Carnegie Mellon.  The green roof on the Sydney L. Olson Research Center will be an 18,000 sf. extensive system planted with a diverse variety of sedums and hardy flowers and herbs.  The Olson Research Center green roof will be the first monolithic, or wall-to-wall, green roof on a university building in Ohio.  

The Podium Roof Garden at Toronto City Hall Case Study

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Friday, February 10, 2012

By Jorg Breuning 

Photo - By Jorg Breuning

In an earlier posting we highlighted the Podium Roof Garden and how it has fallen victim to a psychology of unobtainable and opportunistic design expectations and the consequences have been expensive.  After a deeper analysis of the project we have compiled a case study covering this highly visible example of a green roof designed and constructed in a mistaken fashion. The aim of any green roof, or any other kind of BMP, is to create a sustainable, low-maintenance environment in the most cost-effective way possible.

Two key factors led to the writing of this study: an independent inspection of the site on November 2011 and the subsequent investigation into the project, which was highlighted by the discovery of the exceptionally high cost per square foot).  In this case study Green Roof Technology (GRT) will report that the landscape architect’s design for the green roof led to higher installation costs and higher future maintenance costs, which were not included in the total cost of the green roof.  By not employing the most economical approach to green roof design and construction, the City of Toronto missed an opportunity to either reduce costs by more than 50% or install another green roof of similar type and even greater area.

Toronto must remain a progressive city, rewarding its citizens with a safe, healthy, and beautiful place to live. The green roof program is an essential aspect of Toronto’s long-term goals. What is required of the city, and of any other city in North America, is to establish a clear consumer-oriented guideline for the best-practice in green roof construction. An industry wide effort must be made to reduce the market price of designing and installing green roofs. The result will benefit the multitude over the few in the decades to come.

Click here for the full version of this case study.


IDS 2012 - Interior Design Show in Toronto Goes Green

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, January 30, 2012

By Kat Harrold

Photo by ~ Jorg Breuning

Four days and nights Canada's elite designers graced the halls of the Toronto Convention Center for the 2012 Interior Design Show.  Exhibitions of conceptual and ground breaking designs in interior design and industrial design challenged the we live and create the space around us.  While going green has come into vogue in the design world, none showcased this concept better than Green Roof Technology.  

In collaboration with Jill Greaves Design, Green Roof Technology created a seamless transition from the comforts of the interior space to the interactive green space of the urban balcony.  The green roof balcony featured a lush sedum carpet of blues and greens accenting the simple yet elegant lounge and table by Avenue Road.  The design is a perfect marriage of form and function creating a place of beauty for relaxation with the environmental benefits of a green roof. 

 

 

IDS12: Toronto Interior Design Show 2012

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, January 02, 2012
By Andrew Cole Yanders


Photo Courtesy of www.interiordesignshow.com

The party begins on January 26.   Toronto’s largest contemporary design fair kicks off with a party Thursday night with local DJ Karim Rashid spinning tracks.  The 4 day event will showcase the best and brightest from Canada’s flourishing design scene.  In addition, leading designers from all corners of the world will be exhibiting their newest creations.  Green Roof Technology has the special privilege of collaborating with Jill Greaves Design to create a stunning rendition on ‘How do you live’?  The exhibit will focus on the style of urban living.  Where green is the new black, green roof technologies will be taking center stage as the latest in eco-chic. 

Upcoming Case Study Announcement: The Podium Roof Garden at Toronto City Hall

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Wednesday, December 14, 2011

By Andrew Cole Yanders

 

Photo by Jorg Breuning

The focus of this academic exercise will identify a few of the leading psychological tendencies that drive up the costs of green roof installations.  In a previous article we highlighted an impractical design that led to a “snowballing effect” of errors and costly mistakes.  During the course of a green roof design and green roof specifications, decisions are constantly made that affect the final installation cost as well as future maintenance expenses.  In any green roof design, it should be the goal to keep project costs for installation and green roof maintenance as low as possible without sacrificing the function.  Experience, practical designing and resourceful engineering can make a dramatic impact on reducing the average market cost of installing a green roof.

Instant green with pre-vegetated mats or tray systems are always much more expensive than built-in-place. Instant green requires much more maintenance to adapt the plants to the location or keep them in perfect conditions.

The City Hall in Toronto has already begun to loose the originally designed pattern of the tray system in the first year.  The main cause for this is due of the lack of experience in maintaining this system. Judging by the transformation that has already taken place, the green roof will convert to a meadow style green roof in the next two years even when maintenance efforts are drastically increased.

A monolithic or built-in-place, seamless semi-intensive / extensive green roof on the City Hall of Toronto could have been installed for approximately half of the costs of the current modular system and would have had the same visual aspect today but with much less maintenance, no irrigation and less fertilizer.

A fraction of the cost (approximately $1,000,000.00), more water retention and no irrigation needed an in-place system would be much more environmentally friendly.  A monolithic or built-in-place system would be a highly efficient extensive, semi-intensive green roof according modern green roof technology.   

Saving taxpayers money for the installation and the savings for required maintenance over the next decades should be the priority of responsible and experienced designers and planners.  With the saved money – just from the installation - the city could have installed another 40,000 ft² green roof and which could have retained additional 614,295 gal of rain water per year that doesn’t need to be processed expensively in a treatment plant.

As soon as the Case Study is complete it will announced on our blog and available for download on our Resources page.

Click here for an emailed copy the case study upon it's release 

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.
        

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