Archive for the ‘green roof’ Category

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Rob Tilson of Tilson Group

As part of World Landscape Architecture Month, we were so happy to sit down with Rob Tilson, President of Tilson Group in the greater Washington DC area. Rob is one of the original green roof specialists in DC, and his company is a full service landscape firm that provides both residential and green roof services. In addition to having a landscape architecture background and running a landscape contracting firm, Rob is also a fellow with the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA). Impressive, isn’t it?

We spent some time chatting with Rob about landscape architecture and green roofs recently, and he had some really interesting things to say! With his background in both landscape architecture and contracting, Rob is uniquely suited to provide some perspective on both the design and installation of landscape architecture projects.

One of the things we talked about is trends in landscape architecture. It’s really important to know where the industry is and where it’s going as we all plan for the future. One big trend is sustainability as people embrace building and design techniques to ensure a healthy, functioning environment. In fact, Rob mentioned that the ASLA headquarters in Washington, DC has a green roof. And when the professional organization for landscape architects has a green roof on its building, you can see just how committed the industry is to sustainability and embracing new technology for environmental benefits.

Another important trend, according to Rob, is “creating outdoor environments and spaces to live, work and play in.” In Washington DC in particular, Rob discussed the fact that every new building now has to have a green roof. This is a great opportunity for Rob and his business as well as landscape architects in general – “outdoor living spaces on rooftops are popular, including grills, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, intensive plantings with trees and traditional extensive green roofs.” Even renovated buildings now have to have a certain percentage of their roof be green. And as Rob points out, “green roofs are good for the environment with savings on heating and cooling costs of 30-35%.”

rooflite semi-intensiveBut it’s more than just environmental benefits. “Green roofs really enhance the urban quality of life,” Rob said. As more people are living in urban areas, developers and architects are recognizing this and making a commitment to creating outdoor spaces with green roofs to provide that better quality of life.

So how does growth media fit into the green roof trend? Rob has experience using different growth media products, but “we prefer the rooflite product,” he said, which he calls “the Cadillac of soils.” We are flattered! He mentioned a recent project where the landscape architect was concerned that they were planting in the dead of summer with 100-degree weather and how that would affect the survival of the plants. Guess what? They used rooflite, and as Rob assured the landscape architect, “the root mix of plants will love it and thrive.” And they did! On a recent visit to the project site, Rob said that the trees and plantings were looking great and filling out. We love to hear that!

So how can Rob help you with your green roof project? Well, he and his company have an impressive range of experience. “We’ve been installing green roofs since 2009, and we’ve installed 750,000 square feet of green roofs,” said Rob. Tilson Group has handled some amazing green roof projects, including the US Coast Guard headquarters, the City Center DC project, Park Van Ness – a new condominium complex in DC, and a retrofit green roof on the International Monetary Fund building.

Green Roof

In addition to green roofs, Tilson Group also designs and builds residential gardens and components. One really noteworthy residential project they worked on was the South Korean ambassador’s garden, which was designed by the landscape architecture firm Lee & Associates, with a manmade stream bed, waterfall, and custom-built Korean tea house.

Thank you, Rob, for taking some time to talk with us! Interested in hearing more about Rob’s services at Tilson Group? You can find them at and reach them at or (703) 242–6077.

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rooflite serves an industry that is at the forefront of making the Earth a more sustainable and beautiful place. We love what we do, but we also love the Earth and are gratified that our green roof media contributes to a healthier home for all of us.


So how do green roofs help the Earth? Well, there are so many benefits, from social and economic to quality of life, that it’s hard to know where to start, but here are some of the big environmental benefits:

  • Improves stormwater management, which is especially important in cities
  • Reduces the urban heat island effect
  • Reduces the amount of impervious surface in urban areas
  • Improves air quality & biodiversity

At rooflite, we are so happy to say that our green roof media products have been used on more than 11 million square feet of roofs across the U.S. In practical terms, this means that our green roof projects helped make a big difference to the environment already with:

  • A water retention capacity of more than 14 million gallons
  • Vegetation on more than 11 million square feet of impervious surface

Wow! As we look toward the future of our growing green roof industry and business, we can’t wait to see these numbers get bigger and bigger. The Earth and all of us on it will be happier because of it.

And remember, every day can be Earth Day if we all do our part in our daily lives to reduce our footprint and embrace environmentally-friendly lifestyle choices – let’s do this together!

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Philadelphia’s first elevated park, Cira Green on top of Cira Centre South in University City, is now open! The 1.25 acre park, which sits 95 feet above street level, overlooks Center City, University City and the Schuylkill River, and has a unique water storage system beneath the pavers on the roof, which can route storm water to the green roof areas. It’s sure to be a popular and dynamic green space in the city!

We are thrilled to have a part in creating this exciting urban space in Philadelphia. Cira Green consists of different green roof areas, including large lawn areas and planters with trees and colorful perennials – our rooflite® growing media, engineered specifically for the different types of green roofs included in this project, was used to build this unique urban park.

Because of the location of this project, logistics were a particular challenge. We had to solve a number of issues in order to deliver our media to the project:

  • Requirement of 2000 cubic yards of green roof media
  • No staging area to store the material near the construction site
  • Delivery had to occur on a road underneath the construction project with limited space
  • Because of those space limitations, media delivery had to be just in time for installation
  • Delivery had to happen in January in cold temperatures with a blower truck installation

So how did we get over these logistical challenges? As a start, we changed the type of truck we delivered our material in to accommodate the space limitations, and we developed a schedule to deliver the media right when it was needed instead of ahead of time, which is our normal process.

The larger issue was the January timeframe for delivery. Because of cold temperatures and the moisture contained within green roof media, winter can be a tricky time to install media. Fortunately, we are set up with the infrastructure to provide media at any time of the year, even if in cold weather. Our local blender has four acres of concrete, dry storage buildings where dry material can be stockpiled. This means that we can provide our green roof media, capable of being blown onto a rooftop, even in the coldest of months, for projects like CIRA Green.

It’s gratifying to see our hard work pay off with the opening of Cira Green. And you know what? The weather in Philadelphia is so mild this December that it’s a perfect time to check out this exciting new green spot in Philadelphia!

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With over 8,500,000 square feet of coverage in 10 years, the rooflite experience covers about every type of engineered soil project. Large projects or small, we have compiled a comprehensive project list for download; East to West, North to South.

As experts in green roofs, our in-depth soil knowledge and project management skills have been proven through projects covering a wide breadth of unique conditions and challenges. This involvement gives us the unique ability to lend a support system to our customers across a broad scope of realized experience. Contact us today for more information on how we can help in your next green roof project!

2014 rooflite project list

2014 rooflite project list

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rooftop farming

Rooflite – New Product Release – rooflite® intensive ag

rooflite has added another product to the growing portfolio of rooflite® certified green roof media in the Pacific Northwest.

LONGVIEW, WA – April 1, 2014 – As the trend towards urban agriculture has emerged over the last several years; the need for an optimized soil media for rooftop farming becomes a critical component for these systems. With the release of rooflite intensive ag in the Pacific Northwest, this need has been filled.

With over three years of in-depth laboratory and field research, in addition to input from various rooftop farming pioneers such as Ben Flanner of the Brooklyn Grange Farms, the rooflite technical team has developed a product which complies with all the technical requirements of green roof media while at the same time taking into consideration the unique demands and requirements of farming.

“As an industry leader in the green roof media field, our goal has and will continue to be the development of products which meet or exceed the demands and expectations of our clients,” stated Joe DiNorscia, rooflite’s president.

Manufactured through our regional blending facility, Swanson Bark and Wood Products, rooflite intensive ag contains a perfect balance of micro and macro nutrients, as well as the critical water-holding capacities that are a necessity for the production of fresh and healthy fruits, vegetables and herbs in an urban setting.

Representatives from rooflite and Swanson Bark and Wood Products will be exhibiting at the 2014 WA ASLA and WRPA Joint Conference on April 10th and 11th in Seattle’s Magnusson Park. Visit booth #104 for more information on this exciting new product.

For more information on rooflite intensive ag or other rooflite products, please visit or email

About rooflite

rooflite®certified green roof media products are installed in millions of square feet of thriving green roofs across the North America every year. With its strategically located blending facilities, nearly all of your green roof projects can be serviced with LEED qualifying credits.

About Swanson Bark and Wood Products

Swanson Bark and Wood Products is a leader in the wood recycling industry. They have been in business since 1928 and have established a reputation built on quality, reliability and creativity.They manufacture a wide variety of products from recycled wood that are sold bulk or bagged through wholesale and retail distribution channels.

They are an active member of the Mulch & Soil Council. The Mulch & Soil Council (MSC) is the national non-profit trade association for all producers of horticultural mulches, consumer potting soils and commercial growing media.

Grow On Us™

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Just a few short weeks to the Vernal Equinox – and spring will be here!  February is coming to a close, and even Punxsatawny Phil agrees it will be an early spring.  We’ve got a lot of exciting green roof projects on deck for this spring, and eagerly anticipate gearing up for a busy season.

But before we move on, lets look back at a few press highlights from over the winter:

Music City Center Green Roof - rooflite

Music City Center Green Roof – rooflite

The cover story in the January issue of Roofing Contractor magazine features the amazing Nashville Music City Center. Article features some of the design challenges of the roofing system, without diving too deep into the vegetated assembly details. Nice press!

Another Nashville Star Is Born

One of the most innovative — and largest — sustainable roofing projects currently under construction is the Music City Center, a massive, 1.2 million-square-foot conference and convention center taking shape in the heart of…


Caurtel de Ballaja Green Roof - rooflite

Caurtel de Ballaja Green Roof – rooflite profiles the stunning Cuartel de Ballajá green roof retrofit as their “Project of the Week” for the 4th week in January 2013. With projects from California to Connecticut and Seattle to San Juan; its clear that rooflite is North America’s leading green roof growth media!

Project of the Week: Cuartel de Ballajá (Ballajá Infantry Barracks)

El Cuartel de Ballaja (The Ballaja Infantry Barracks Building) was constructed by the Spanish army between 1854 and 1864. The structure is one of the most impressive constructed by Spain in the New World and it stands as the last example of monumental military architecture by the Spanish Monarchy in the Americas.


Texas A&M - Southwestern Green Roof Research

Texas A&M – Southwestern Green Roof Research

We supply award winning projects, as well as supporting academic research throughout the country. Check out this piece about the great work from Dr. Dvorak and his team at Texas A&M’s Langford Architecture Center.

Rooftop recharge

Students increasingly hear more and more about “going green” and research endeavors to make humans more environmentally friendly. Texas A&M is an incubator for one such research endeavor that involves what are known as “green roofs”…


We can’t wait to embark upon another season working with amazing clients and continuing to reach new heights.  The success of any green roof starts with rooflite.  If your green roof project is ready to Grow On Us – than contact us today.

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rooflite is a proud member of the US Green Building Council (USGBC) and is always excited to exhibit at Greenbuild.  Are you a part of the green building industry?  Will you be attending the USGBC’s Greenbuild International Expo 2012 in San Francisco, California?

We look forward to connecting – rooflite will be exhibiting in the Moscone Center, North Hall.  Stop by BOOTH 3240N for all of your green roof answers.  Or stop by to discuss current and future projects during Happy Hour in the Hall – Wednesday 11/14 from 4:30 to 7:00PM

Connect with rooflite at Greenbuild 2012 - Booth 3240N

Let talk Green roofs! Connect with rooflite at Greenbuild 2012 – Booth 3240N

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