Archive for the ‘News Link’ Category

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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There is a great post over on the Natural Resources Defense Council’s The Swithboard titled “So, what’s a green roof got to do with it?”  Carol James, a Senior Program Assistant with the NRDC’s Water Program hits the nail on the head with the answer:

NRDC Green Roof / Photo Credit Carol James

“Gazing at its beauty, it is easy to forget one of the roof’s most practical benefits: the prevention of stormwater runoff—an issue about which my colleagues in the Water Program are hard at work spreading the word.  Just the other day, in this crazy hot DC summer we’re having, I watched a deluge during a thunderstorm and clearly saw the roof absorbing much of the water.  I was reminded of the fact that this absorption helps reduce runoff into storm drains, which otherwise would flow untreated into the Potomac River and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay.”

We are also fond of the post because the beautiful green roof described above grows on rooflite.  In August 2011 Gordon Contractors of Capitol Heights, Maryland installed 22 cubic yards of rooflite extensive mc and 13 cubic yards of rooflite intensive to extend the third floor terrace and create the value added space so critical to NRDC core mission.  As Carol described the installation:

“Last fall, dirt was laid down, and bushes and seedlings were planted.  It was hard to imagine at the time that anything would grow amid the surrounding concrete and steel.  Today, though, in the height of summer, the roof is lushly green.”

We never had any doubt that those super sacks of rooflite could transform a little piece of DC structure into an urban oasis.  Installed on 2 million square feet of green roofs every year, rooflite is North America’s number one green roof soil.  Join the NRDC, and grow on us!


The success of any greenroof starts with rooflite soil.  To learn how to add quality, consistency, and experience to your next greenroof project – visit today and Grow On Us™!

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Brooklyn Grange needs your help.  The plea, from the head farmer Ben Flanner:

“Two years ago, I started the Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop farm with a great group.  We intensively grow vegetables on a 1-acre soil-covered rooftop, and sell them to local restaurants and farmer’s markets around New York.  We also have bees, chickens, kids, and we launched an educational non-profit this year.  It’s a busy place.

Recently, the farm was chosen as one of twelve finalists in the BBC World Challenge, a competition that rewards folks who are turning niche sustainability concepts into business models.  It’s an impressive group of 12 finalists who were selected for the challenge, and we are the only rep from the US, so we are very proud to be in the runnings.  After the votes are tallied, the top 3 all receive cash prizes, which would be really helpful as we’re preparing to start a 2nd location next spring.”

Click on THIS LINK to vote!

BBC’s Despcription of the Project:

Sometime in the last decade humanity became a predominantly urban species, with over half the global population living in cities. As cities grow and the climate changes, a new generation of farmers is looking at the potential of built-up areas to supplement the local food supply and create more sustainable communities. Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm is at the forefront of urban agriculture in the United States. Operated by four young entrepreneurs on an acre of rooftop in Queens, New York, the farm grows organic produce that is sold to local restaurants, co-ops and farmers markets across New York City. Business is growing quickly, with a second location opening in the Spring of 2012 and booming demand for rooftop vegetables, herbs and honey. To educate urban dwellers about the food systems upon which they rely, the farm hosts regular educational tours, workshops and field trips for schools and community groups.


To find out more about the lightweight engineered soil used to grow all the goods of the farm, visit

Good luck Ben!

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  Brooklyn Grange Wins 2011 Green Roof Award of Excellence

rooflite® Growing Media Supports Innovator in Rooftop Urban Agriculture

New York City, NY – Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is pleased to announce that Brooklyn Grange is a winner of the 2011 Green Roof and Wall Awards of Excellence.   Jeffrey L. Bruce, Chairman of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, announced the winners in the lead-up to CitiesAlive: 9th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference (November 30 to December 3, 2011) in Philadelphia, PA.

“Since 2003, the Awards of Excellence have defined the leading edge of innovation for living architecture,” said Mr. Bruce. “The class of 2011 demonstrates the universal acceptance of green roofs and walls as an important green infrastructure tool in North America with dozens of multi-faceted, highly visible projects. With an exceptionally competitive program, this year’s winners should be proud of their accomplishments in challenging the boundaries of the industry.”

Project Description: Brooklyn Grange – New York, NY

A Sky-Level Answer to the Issue of Food Security and Education

Brooklyn Grange is a pioneer in rooftop agriculture. The 40,000 square foot commercial farm is located on the rooftop of a six-story building in the dense urban environment of Queens, New York. “This project bursts the limits of established green roofing” says Peter Philippi rooflite’s Technical Director. The project integrates traditional intensive green roof design with organic agriculture and permaculture principles to create a commercially viable urban farm.  In its first abbreviated growing season the farm raised 13,000 lbs of produce, a number that will be topped in 2011. In its second season (year) of full production, the farm is producing dozens of varieties of vegetables and herbs and is selling the output to local restaurants and direct to the public through farmers markets and CSA (community supported agriculture) shares. This local distribution reduces fossil fuel consumption due to transportation.

Sun sets over the farm at the Brooklyn Grange in Queens New York; as the plants grow quietly in rooflite soil.The green roof uses 8 inches of rooflite® intensive growth media and is designed to use minimal resources. The growth media’s excellent water holding capacity allows for less frequent crop irrigation while biodegradables collected from the local community for Brooklyn Grange’s compost program help maintain fertility.

“The farm has entered into uncharted territory in the urban agriculture movement by achieving a scale never before seen in an urban rooftop farm application” says Anastasia Cole-Plakias, Managing Partner & Co-Founder, Brooklyn Grange. This hybrid green roof / farming project has generated global interest and has proven the feasibility of commercial rooftop farming in the urban environment.

 However, it is not only the food production and the size of this green roof that make it extraordinary. The farm also participates in community outreach programs by providing tours and volunteer opportunities to local residents, schools, community groups and other community members who otherwise would not have an opportunity to experience farming. A chicken coop was recently installed and a small flock of Rhode Island Red hens lay eggs and call the roof their home. Four beehives were also added in 2011, and have successfully produced a batch of spring honey. As Brooklyn Grange continues to evolve, it will further cement itself as a successful link between the green roof and urban agriculture communities.


Steven Peck, President and Founder, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities – or 416-971-4494 ex.233.

Peter Philippi, VP/Technical Director of Skyland USA, Creators of rooflite® – pphilippi at

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities is presenting CitiesAlive: 9th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS). This event will feature leading-edge designs, new technical performance research, policy research, professional training and tours from November 30-December 3, 2011. See for agenda details, media passes and registration information.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) is a membership-based industry association developing the green (vegetative) roof and wall industry in North America. GRHC’s mission is to increase the awareness of the economic, social and environmental benefits of green roofs and green walls, and other forms of living architecture through education, advocacy, professional development and celebrations of excellence. Visit for more information.

Project: Brooklyn Grange, Queens, NY, 40,000 square foot green roof

Award Recipient: Brooklyn Grange (Owner and Manager)

Architect: Bromley Caldari

Soil and Media Supplier: Rooflite

CFO: Bushwick Food Cooperative


For more photos of the Brooklyn Grange; please visit the Project Gallery.  Congratulations to Ben Flanner and his team on their industry honor!

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Vegetated Roof, Water Feature, and Solar Panels atop the Caurtel de Ballaja

“El Cuartel de Ballajá 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. Today, the Ballajá Barracks houses several educational and cultural organizations, namely the Museo de Las Américas.

Designed by the Architect Edmundo Colon with the help of GRP David Aponte, the green roof was part of several “green intervention” projects done to the Cuartel de Ballajá, including a 151.2 KW PV system with 720 solar panels. The project was built using a 60 mil PVC waterproofing system (Durolast), a 16 oz. protective mat, 2″ of rooflite drain w/ drain channels, filter fabric, 4″ average of rooflite growing medium and 60,000 plants that vary from plugs to 6″ pots. The green roof also has greenwalls and an artificial wetland to manage higher roof storm water amounts, which is used on a needed basis as the supplemental irrigation system.”

A few additional pictures of this very unique tropical installation can be found in the Project Gallery.  Take note of the striking water feature; not a common ‘green roof’ accent – but with appropriate waterproofing it becomes a very appealing feature.

Congratulations to David Aponte and PRGD for having their successful installation selected as Project of the Week.


For more information on the lightweight engineered soil products used on this project, and to find a manufacturer near you, please visit

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Nice article about the selling power of rental units with a green roof.  All the way from Riverfront Condos in Omaha Nebraska.  They don’t just have the College World Series, they have a couple nice, new green roofs.  These roofs grows on 40 cubic yards of rooflite® extensive mcl.  More information about Columbia Green Technologies modular green roofs at their website, and the full article HERE.

Columbia Green Technologies in Omaha, NE

Columbia Green Technologies in Omaha, NE

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Just a few short days away from another baseball season – a sure sign that Spring has arrived.  In Washington DC, President Obama will throw out the first pitch of the Washington Nationals season as they host the two time defending NL Champs, the Philadelphia Phillies, marking the 100th anniversary of the presidential first pitch.  Pretty sure he threw out the first pitch at the All-Star Game last year, so he’s got some experience throwing off the mound.

When the Washington Nationals opened their new stadium two seasons ago, they had the distinction of becoming the first pro-baseball stadium, and possibly first of any pro sport stadium in the country, to become LEED certified.  Starting with a brownfield and remediating the site, HOK Architects included whole slew of energy efficient features in this design build project.  But my favorite has to be the extra green out past left center.  In front of the left side parking garage, and above Base Line Brews and Hard Times Cafe.  Up above those concession stands, a little out of sight but definitely not out of mind, sit the extra, extra patch of green growing inside this stadium.  Not the sloped ‘turf area’ above the center field wall in the batter’s eye, though McDonnell Landscaping installed that as well.  This little treasure tucked into the stadium has no bearing on games, nor is it the backdrop for batters.  This is a good old fashioned, 6300 square foot extensive green-roof back up behind left center.  Hot dogs, cold beers, baseball and green-roofs; an American tradition, no?

This article has a great summary of the National’s Ballpark green roof project.  It all starts with McDonnell Landscaping Inc., and award winning commercial landscape company with the most impressive resume in the capitol.  McDonnell Landscape‘s award winning resume includes building some of Washington’s most prestigious projects. Since ’83 their portfolio includes: The White House, Jefferson Memorial, DC Nationals Baseball Stadium and The Lincoln Memorial, The National Mall, and more.  If there is a landmark or monument in or around DC, they’re probably the reason it’s got great landscaping.

John Fritz, Executive VP, shared some great photo’s of their unique green roof installation.  McDonnell installed some 75 cubic yards of rooflite extensive mc to complete the project.  rooflite extensive mc loading into wheel barrowsAs if a green roof inside a ballpark wasn’t a unique enough aspect of the project, the metal roof deck the system was being installed on would only support 25 pounds per square foot for the entire system. So in addition to utilizing the best lightweight engineered growth media on the market, the installation required some creative solutions.  As shipped, each super sack of media weighed in at about 2500 pounds each.  Obviously they couldn’t set 46 super sacks on the deck and spread them at their convenience.

rooflite ectensive mc on deck

No, McDonnell could only have a crew of 8 on the roof deck at any given time, and even then they had to be tethered for safety despite being only 1 floor above ‘grade’.  McDonnell utilized a Putzmeister Telebelt to sling the rooflite® and ballast stone some 75 feet from the street to the roof.  Greenroof Plants provided by the experts at Emory Knoll Farm

Now the two time defending NL Champs are no environmental slouches themselves.  Their ballpark has a few more season’s under its belt than DC newest monument, and a few more pennants.  But the Phightin’ Phils have their own reasons to celebrate their green ways.  Red Goes Green is an admirable campaign, and it should not to overshadow another pro sports “green” first.  The Phillies purchased 20 million kilowatt hours of certified Green-e power for Citizen’s Bank Park.  According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the deal represents the largest single purchase of 100 percent renewable energy in professional sports and is equivalent to the planting of 100,000 trees.

So there you have it.  Green roofs – as American as Baseball and Apple Pies.

And about that presidential first pitch…  Do you think Obama will wear his Phils Jersey?

Oh, and that ‘turf” batter’s eye in Washington – the other unique landscape feature in the Nat’s Ballpark – McDonnel installed 5,800 square feet of Mondo Grass.  It’s not actually a grass though, it’s an evergreen sod-forming perennial that grows about eight inches high and never needs mowing. (Although it seems like the groundscrew rolls stripes into it)  John Fritz explained “It’s going to grow into a green carpet so batters will have a good background for seeing pitched balls”  You can get a good look at the mondo grass in this video from last season, courtesy of Jayson Werth.

Spring has sprung, the sedums are flowering.  Go Phils!

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