6sqft Interview: Amy Norquist Explains Green Roofing Strategy from NYC to LA

amy-nroquist-greensulateGreensulate CEO and green roof guru Amy Norquist took some time to sit down for a 6sqft interview to discuss the technical benefits of green roofing. In the interview, Amy makes clear that green roofs aren’t simply a green blanket for urban spaces, though the aesthetic vitality certainly has its own benefits for employee productivity and resident happiness. “Green roof systems,” Amy explains, “are made up of layers designed to mimic the many vast benefits of nature while providing additional benefits to buildings’ envelopes.” While the exact composition of these layers may differ based on the goals of the client, “Each green roof,” Amy goes on, “is full of possibilities.”

In one particular highlight of the interview, Amy explains the differences in green roofing strategies in various cities. While New York and San Francisco get heavy rain and need green roofs that can control runoff, the significant hydration shortage in Los Angeles requires water-saving strategies.

For more on these and other insights from Amy, check out the full interview here: http://www.6sqft.com/interview-amy-norquist-of-greensulate-talks-green-roofs-and-sustainable-design/

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Amy Norquist to Attend CitiesAlive Conference Next Week

Next week our CEO Amy Norquist is heading to Nashville for the 12th CitiesAlive Green Roof and Wall Conference to discuss the complex relationship between water and energy with industry professionals from across the nation. In panels, tours, and training sessions, conference attendees will weigh the merits of various goals and strategies of green roofing. Ultimately, the conference will engender new solutions to a water crisis that grips the nation and the world.

The highlight of conference activities will be the Net Zero Water Boot Camp training course. Over two days, water management experts will engage attendees in an examination of green roof “Net Zero Water” best practices in water harvesting and storage, water reuse, water quality and treatment, and high efficiency water delivery.  Greensulate expects to take this knowledge to the roofs in Los Angeles, where water is in short supply, but where green roofs can mitigate climate change, urban heat island effect, and air/water pollution.

You can read more about CitiesAlive here, and be sure to keep an eye out for Amy’s reports from the conference next week.

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New Issue of Living Architecture Monitor Available Online Now

We’re excited to see that this quarter’s issue of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ Living Architecture Magazine has been released and is posted online. This edition is themed the ‘Community Health Issue’. It touches on green healthcare infrastructure, California’s new green code, and features feedback from some regional green roofers about the effect of Hurricane Sandy on previously installed green roofs and walls. As always, great work from GRHC. It can be read here.

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“We’ve got way too much concrete here”

Here is a link to an article about the state of green roofs (and green infrastructure in general) in Northern New Jersey. Greensulate is slated to install a handful of new green roofs and walls in Northern Jersery in the next few months, which is very exciting. It’s a relief to learn that a group of progressive, state-government employees in New Jersey are pushing for policy that will encourage and ensure the presence of green infrastructure in the coming years.

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Amy Norquist Quoted in Wall Street Journal Article Today

Our CEO and visionary, Amy Norquist, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal today. The piece highlights initiatives by the Durst Organization to incorporate closed loop compost systems in it’s Manhattan high-rise buildings. As usual, Amy lists the many values of green roofs, and narrows it down to an often over-looked byproduct of green spaces, namely increased worker productivity. One other noteworthy mention in the piece is the NYC DOB’s current green roof tax abatement strategy and the DEP’s ongoing green roof funding. Check it out!

 

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Greensulate installs Jakob system at NYC’s LREI High School

To ring in 2013, the Greensulate crew installed a steel-rope trellis system in the courtyard at the Little Red School House Elizabeth Irwin High School, in lower Manhattan. We are proud of our team’s hard work and quite pleased with how beautiful the completed project looks. It is yet another example of the quality craftsmanship from the folks over at Jakob, with whom we are always thrilled to work.

In the spring, these ropes will be the support system for what will eventually be a healthy, living vine wall. Please stay posted this year as we’ll be posting pictures as the vegetation climbs!

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The Greensulate crew sponsored and attended a dinner held by the New Jersey chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council on Tuesday night. Greensulate’s long time friend and colleague Dr. Stuart Gaffin (pictured) spoke at the event to a captivated crowd of thirty or forty local members of the council.

In his speech, Dr. Gaffin presented new data and touched on many of the fundamental concepts and benefits of green infrastructure. With a sharp focus on greenroofs, he spoke eloquently of reduced heat island effect, storm-water management, improved air quality and revitalized eco-systems. He mentioned the value of working with high school students to accrue climate data on rooftop labs; Greensulate is proud to have been instrumental in the development and construction of the St. Regis High School of Manhattan’s rooftop lab, where Stuart maintains a slew of equipment. It is also interesting to note that Dr. Gaffin highlighted the cost benefit of using ecological solutions to our current urban ecological crisis, as opposed to those of the costly hard-engineered variety. Much of Dr. Gaffin’s speech was very familiar to us Greensulaters. Scientists of his ilk have provided us with much of the data that we use to present our mission to the building owners of NYC and beyond. Keep up the good work!

It was truly a great night of meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends. A big thanks to the north branch of the NJ USGBC for having us, and of course to Stuart for the informative speech and for suggesting us for the sponsorship. We hope to see and hear from all of you very soon. Happy holidays!

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Greensulate Sponsors USGBC Dinner, Tomorrow Night

The US Green Building Council’s North Branch is holding a networking event tomorrow night at 6pm in West Orange, NJ. The event, sponsored by Greensulate, will feature a presentation by Columbia University’s Dr. Stuart Gaffin. Professor Gaffin (with whom Greensulate has worked closely) will be presenting his own data as well as some of NASA’s Green Roof Research. As always, his presence promises to be enlightening. In addition, our CEO and visionary Amy Norquist will be in attendance. Please stop by and introduce yourself!

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Walla Walla Hospital Green Roof

In Walla Walla, Washington, the Providence St. Mary Medical Center is currently installing a Green Roof, the first of its kind for the ‘town so nice they named it twice’. In addition to the commonly noted benefits of reducing storm water overflow and conserving energy, the decision to install the garden was informed by studies that link patient health and recovery time to having a pleasing view. We can certainly attest to Green Roofs providing a pleasing view! Check out the article and video here.

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FoodDay 2012 and Rooftop Farms

Yesterday, the Mott Haven Academy Charter School in the Bronx revealed a new rooftop vegetable garden. The unveiling was held in conjunction with the commencement of FoodDay 2012, a national celebration of healthy, affordable and sustainable food, which entails more than 4,000 national events. The rooftop garden and educational space perfectly illustrate a solution to the concerns that the FoodDay campaign aims to bring attention to.

We at Greensulate are proud to have been closely involved with the design, construction and general spread of rooftop farming in the urban setting. If you visit our projects pages you can view photos from the Regis High School on East 84th St, which has a beautiful herb garden as well as an outdoor educational space, in addition to honey bee nests and solar panels. This past summer we also installed a vegetable garden on the roof at the Bowery Mission, which is pictured above. Here’s to continued urban food production on rooftop gardens!

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