International Green Roof Congress 2015

The 4rd International Green Roof Congress will take place in Istanbul, Turkey. The event will be organized by the International Green Roof Association (IGRA) from 20 – 21 April 2015 at the Raffles Hotel, Zorlu Center.

Accelerating international interest and investment into ecological design is the current reality, either in the forms of environmental planning, urban storm water management or living architecture. The incorporation of green roofs and facades of fantastic scale and biodiversity is quickly gaining a forefront position in global architectural concerns, and a great many professional disciplines will find their fields affected by this change. Whether specializing in planning and design, architecture, landscape architecture, urban ecology or environmental science, informing oneself and keeping an edge on the most up-to-date research and techniques is critical for success. The 2015 International Green Roof Conference in Istanbul is an international summit of experts and leaders in this exciting new realm; a unique opportunity for exchange and discussion of the most current achievements in this field.

Noted experts include Dr. Ken Yeang (T.R. Hamzah & Yeang Sdn. Bhd), Prof. Herbert Dreiseitl, Jaron Lubin (Safdie Architects), Laura Gatti (Laura Gatti Studios) and Roland Appl (IGRA).

A pair of workshops will take place on the second day of the Congress. These simultaneous workshops each address an important aspect of Green Roofing. One is practice-oriented, where focus will be laid on the installation and maintenance of Green Roofs. The other is more conceptual, addressing the current state of scientific research and policy formation in the field of Green Roofing. A diverse panel will be present to describe and discuss these two facets of the industry.

The 4th International Green Roof Congress will host important players involved in the promotion of Green Roofs worldwide, through exceptional works of architectural achievement.

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Retractable Motor Driven Sun Sails by SunSquare

For over twenty years the Austrian company SunSquare Kautzky has been creating shades for buildings and green spaces. One of their favorite challenges is the shading of complex glass structures. SunSquare works together with architects from an early stage on to find special solutions for integrating shading constructions into the structures of buildings.

The “Schauhaus” of the botanic garden in Grüningen, Switzerland, in 2012 was one of their most noteworthy projects. The IdA-Architects Stephan Buehrer and Martina Wuest supplemented the surrounding trees with a supporting structure of trunks and treetops made of steel, based on the Voronoi principle. The reduced shading system covers the tilted roof planes with a barely visible membrane and can be retracted when not needed.

Other interesting projects by Sun Square are presented in their corporate video.

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From Grey to Green: Europe’s largest Sky Garden opens to the Public

An exciting project is developing in Berlin right now. In the middle of the densely populated German capital a group of volunteers are building Europe’s largest community roof garden on a parking deck. The 12.000 m² surface has not been used since 2003. 22 meters above ground level vegetables, fruits and herbs will be growing in the near future on euro pallets, in carton boxes and in rice bags.

Everybody can join in; there will be community beddings which can be cared for by groups of people and other lots which can be rent. The main idea behind the Himmelsbeet (Sky garden), as it is called, is that people are being brought together through working with natural resources and that city dwellers learn how to  produce own food from regional grounds. Schools and kindergardens can go there to teach the children about planting and growing, there will be workshops about gardening and even a café on the rooftop. The demand is high for such a project, there are already waiting lists for the beddings.

The project is depending on donations, the organization is non-profit based and needs support. The company Neudorff is donating soil and other materials.

The roof garden will be open for the public in May and the initiators are more than excited about. this europewide unprecedented gardening project ; if it were successful it could be a great example for other cities worldwide. 

Further Information:  Himmelsbeet / Neudorff

International Green Roof Congress 2013

The 3rd International Green Roof Congress will take place in Hamburg, Germany. The event will be organized by the International Green Roof Association (IGRA) from 13 – 15 May 2013 at the Empire Riverside Hotel.

The port metropolis Hamburg already is part of the Premier League of German Green Roof Communities since the 80s. New challenges to be faced in the contexts of climate protection and urban living quality, put Green Roofs back on the agenda. Visitors can expect a high-class congress programme with lectures, workshops and excursions, including the International Garden Show and the International Building Exhibition – Building the City Anew (IBA), both taking place this year in Hamburg.

The list of speakers includes sustainability experts from different disciplines like Kai-Uwe Bergmann (BIG), Prof. Herbert Dreiseitl (Atelier Dreiseitl), Wong Mun Summ (WOHA), Peter Busby (Perkins + Will), Prof. Dr. Manfred Köhler (University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg), Martin Haas (STUDIO 2050), Roland Appl (International Green Roof Association) and Ilya Mochalov (International Federation of Landscape Architects).

The multidisciplinary platform for Green Roof applications in the field of architecture, landscape architecture, urban waterscapes and urban planning is under the patronage of the German Federal Minister of Transport (BMVBS), Building and Urban Affairs.

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Vegetables on roof gardens

The number of densely populated urban centres is still increasing; today more than half of the world’s population is living in cities. According to the Federal Ministry for Building and Regional Planning and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, in Germany 50 percent of these areas for human settlement and infrastructure are already sealed. In order to compensation the sealing of urban surfaces green roofs are more than a good idea. More and more green roofs in urban regions are used to grow vegetables, fruit and herbs with a wide range of advantages in environmental, economic and social terms.

Roofs are a extreme location. Growing vegetables on roof tops successfully is not easy and relevant parameters have to be taken into consideration. ZinCo developed a long term reliable system called “Urban Rooftop Farming”. The drainage element Floradrain® FD 40 is the heart of the system. With a layer of 20 cm of ZinCo system substrate, this system is suitable for growing many different kinds of vegetables and fruit for example lettuce, onions, herbs, courgettes, aubergines, pumpkins, cabbages, melons and strawberries. A somewhat deeper substrate layer (28 to 40 cm) is required for tomatoes, French beans, raspberries, blackberries, currants etc.. The level of irrigation and fertilisation required is depending on the vegetables to be grown and to local climate conditions.

Urban farming basically differentiates between private and commercial use of the vegetable garden. The latter is carried out on rooftops either open air or under glass. Large cities in the U.S. and Central America are forcing urban farming. In Brooklyn, lettuce is grown on an area of 1,500 m². Commercial projects have already been realized in Los Angeles, Dubai and Shanghai. The example of a large supermarket chain is pointing in the same direction: in 2012, production is starting up in rooftop glasshouses in three different locations in the U.S. where fruit, vegetables and lettuce will be supplied directly from the roof to the point of sale. In Germany private roof gardens supply their families with fresh vegetables and herbs. Private roof gardens in Karlsruhe and Wendlingen (see photos) show that urban farming can be very successful even with limited space. Larger plots are explored on the roof of the Technoseum in Mannheim. This rooftop allotment, about 600 m² in size, is part of a permanent exhibition showing visitors how people lived and fed themselves in former times.

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