Speaker and Presentation Profiles

The following sessions are being held at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Silver Spring on October 29th, 2019. If you are looking for the Grey to Green: Twin Cities speakers and sessions, please click here.


Elizabeth Hart Morris , Director Vegetated Roofing, Henry Co.

Elizabeth Hart Morris, Director Vegetated Roofing, Henry Co.

Session 1 | Ballroom D |10:00 am - 11:00 am

Overcoming local challenges while maintaining consistent success with on-structure vegetation – stormwater mandates, wind uplift, security and other coastal metropolis concerns

The greatest quality of vegetated roofing is also its biggest challenge. It is a living ecosystem capable of countless environmental and social benefits - and yet, that it is a living system means that there are no two exactly alike, and no simple solutions across the board. This is especially true when attempting on-structure vegetation where it is needed most – as an integral part of green infrastructure for sensitive watersheds and coastal zones. Additionally, areas such as Washington DC, New York, and Florida each bring unique challenges and mandates including height restrictions (meaning no protective parapets), strong stormwater mandates, wind uplift approvals, and security protocols that can be exhaustive. But it is in these areas that this most beneficial and remediative of living technologies is especially needed, to protect our critical and sensitive coastal watersheds. Thankfully the green roof industry has advanced far enough, with the continual support of GRHC, to have found ways to use green roofs in these most difficult scenarios, with plants that are thriving and roofing that is leak-free, meeting all the requirements and staying in place during the inevitable hurricane seasons year after year. We will review best practices for success and several case studies.


Elizabeth Hart Morris, Director Vegetated Roofing, Henry Co.
Elizabeth Hart Morris, CDT, GRP, Director of Vegetated Roofing for Henry Co., has managed dozens of sustainable commercial roofing projects and educated thousands of designers and contractors on best practices. Elizabeth is co-founder of the Green Roof info Think-tank, and the GRP Chair on the GRHC Board of Directors.


Session 2 | Room 9232 |10:00 am - 11:00 am

New Orleans Resilient Future - Blue and Green Infrastructure

New Orleans is surrounded by water in every direction and is below sea-level. It receives over 60-inches of rain per year. The City currently provides flood and hurricane protection with levees and floodwalls and employs a series of large pumping stations to remove water from the floodplain as quickly as possible. Over the years and in reaction to flooding events, the system has been improved to include strengthened/ higher levees and increased pump capacity. The City’s pumping facilities are some of the largest in the world but are still overwhelmed by large storm events. Building a resilient system that accounts for climate change, subsidence and sea level rise is a difficult challenge. New Orleans is developing a long-term plan for a sustainable utility that protects its residents from natural disasters. The City developed the Gentilly Resilience District (GRD). The GRD aims to improves quality of life for the residents through innovative water management, recreational, landscaping and complete streets improvements. The GRD also reduces flood risk and slow land subsidence. When implemented together, these approaches are intended to beautify neighborhoods, improve health, raise environmental quality and improve property values. The Blue and Green Corridors Project is a key project of the GRD.


Dan Grandal, Vice President, Stantec
Dan is a Professional Civil Engineer with over 24 years of experience. He is a resident of New Orleans and graduated from Tulane University. He is a PE in Florida and Louisiana, a Certified Floodplain Manager and a LEED Accredited Professional. The focus of his career has been in flood risk reduction and resiliency in geographical areas affected by sea level rise and climate change. His project experience includes large pumping stations, drainage master plans, low impact developments and other innovative storm water projects. He is as a Senior Project Manager for Stantec Consulting Inc. and has recently worked on New Orleans’s Permanent Canal Closure and Pumps (PCCP), Hagan-Lafitte Green Infrastructure and Drainage and Blue Green Corridors.


Session 3 | Room 9231|10:00 am - 11:00 am

Innovative Product Profile

Speakers and session information coming soon…


Session 4 |Room 9230 |10:00 am - 11:00 am

Innovative Product Profile

Attend this session to learn about the newest products and services within the green infrastructure industry.


Coming soon…


Session 5 | Ballroom D |11:00 am - 12:00 pm

DC Water’s Clean Rivers Project for Green Infrastructure

The DC Clean Rivers Project is DC Water’s massive infrastructure program to reduce combined sewer overflows (CSOs) into the District’s waterways. In addition to grey infrastructure (tunnels and near surface structures), the Project includes green infrastructure (GI). With the DC Clean Rivers Project, DC Water will improve local waterways by reducing CSO volume system-wide by 96% in the average year. DC Water recently completed construction of the first GI projects implemented to significantly reduce the level of pollution to the Potomac River and Rock Creek produced by the discharge of CSOs from the combined sewer system during heavy rain events. The projects involve the construction of innovative GI technologies that include bioretention (rain gardens) in planter strips and curb extensions and permeable pavement on streets and alleys. DC Water also implemented an incentive program, focusing on residential downspout disconnections and rain barrel installation, for private property. In addition to implementing GI, DC Water partnered with the Water Environment Federation to develop the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program, a program to promote local, green jobs for workers who install, inspect, and maintain the GI facilities. The session will discuss the projects, lessons learned, and evaluation for future projects.


Amanda Zander, Public Outreach Coordinator Delon Hampton and Associates: Ms. Zander is the Public Outreach Coordinator for D.C. Water’s Clean Rivers Project. She developed and manages DC Water’s downspout disconnection program, Drain the Rain.

Seth Charde, Green Infrastructure Manager, DC Water: Mr. Charde is the Green Infrastructure Manager for D.C. Water’s Clean Rivers Project. He served as the DC Water program manager for the design and construction of DC Water’s first green infrastructure projects.

Eric Lienhard, Project Engineer, Hazen and Sawyer: Mr. Lienhard is the Lead Engineer for DC Water's Green Infrastructure Potomac River Project A. He is involved in the design and construction management of the project.

Seth Brown , Founding Principal, Storm and Stream Solutions, LLC

Seth Brown, Founding Principal, Storm and Stream Solutions, LLC

Session 6 | Room 9232|11:00 am - 12:00 pm

To Green or Not to Green: Socio-Economic Patterns of Green Infrastructure Adoption Simulated by Agent-Based Modeling

Pressures to drive implementation of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) on private properties is a significant factor in this overall need for investment. This requires the use of incentives to motivate private property owners to consider adopting GSI. The use of incentives demands an understanding of topics such as how parcel owners gain information on incentives programs, value GSI, and make decisions on adopting innovative technologies, such as GSI. This study presents a methodology for a generalized approach to simulate GSI adoption across a large urban area referred to as the Green Infrastructure Social-Spatial-Adoption (G-SSA) model. The G-SSA methodology incorporates decision-making dynamics, social and spatial influencing algorithms, economic and financial considerations, and diffusion of innovation considerations. Model sensitivity analysis highlights the significance of social and spatial model elements to overall GSI adoption rates and pattern.


Seth Brown, Founding Principal, Storm and Stream Solutions, LLC: Seth Brown is the Principal and Founder of Storm and Stream Solutions, LLC, is a Senior Advisor to the Water Environment Federation, and currently leads the National Municipal Stormwater Alliance. Seth has a PhD in civil engineering and is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Maryland.

Kristen Haaf , Director of Urban Planning, Roots First Design

Kristen Haaf, Director of Urban Planning, Roots First Design

Kathryn Ancaya , Director of Design, Roots First Design

Kathryn Ancaya, Director of Design, Roots First Design

Session 7 | Room 9231 |11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Repair Ecology : A critical response to climate change and the disconnect between people and nature

Because the challenges of our world are so daunting, new ideas and technologies are often prioritized as the only way forward as we move into a future impacted by global environmental change. However, these challenges will not be met by new ideas and innovation along. Fixing or repairing our existing environment is essential. An ecologically resilient future requires looking inward to what we have already created/wreaked and how can fix it. The opportunities, termed here as Repair Ecologies, are ubiquitous and range in scale from a street corner to a regional rail corridor. Repair Ecologies represent a collection of tactics characterized by being relatively low-tech and low cost, as well as quicker and easier to build. Despite their relative ease of installation, Repair Ecologies require expertise to implement effectively and they can be quite impactful, particularly when installed collectively as a network. And crucially, as we repair the landscape we can also repair the connection between people and nature. This presentation will explore the idea of Repair Ecologies through several case studies in North Carolina. Example projects will specifically address urban biodiversity, stormwater management, urban heat island effect, localized air quality, and human/nature connections.


Kristen Haaf, Director of Urban Planning, Roots First Design: Kristen is an environmental designer and Director of Urban Planning at Roots First Design. With training in landscape architecture, urban planning, and environmental science and policy, Kristen brings an interdisciplinary approach to the studio’s work.

Kathryn Ancaya, Director of Design, Roots First Design: Kate is a landscape architect and Director of Design at Roots First Design. Kate’s approach is nested closely with her belief that ecologically responsive and restorative design have a positive incremental impact on social and environmental health.

Rohan Lilauwala.png

Session 8 | Room 9230 |11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Panel: Policies and Strategies for Financing Green Infrastructure

Panelists coming soon…

Andrea Melynchenco , Account Manager, Green Industry, CoolPlanet

Andrea Melynchenco, Account Manager, Green Industry, CoolPlanet

Session 9 |Ballroom D|1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Biochar in Stormwater Management - Sustainability and Survivability

Cool Terra Organic is a biochar-based soil amendment that is ideally suited for use in vegetative stormwater management systems. This session will explore the history of biochar and discuss current day applications, including urban agriculture, bioswales, green roofs, and street tree plantings. Learn about the ways that biochar works to improve soils by attracting and providing habitat for beneficial fungi and bacteria and delaying nutrient leaching for improved soil fertility. Biochar can help sustain plant life during periods of drought stress while still improving infiltration rates of soils and media during heavy rain events. Because Cool Terra can sequester heavy metals and PAHs, it has been specified for use in both municipal and industrial street-side plantings. Cool Terra is a clean biochar and is organically certified, carbon negative, and long-lasting. Current research and past studies will be detailed, with discussion around future projects.


Andrea Melynchenco, Account Manager, Green Industry, CoolPlanet: Andrea Melnychenko is a Plant Biologist working in horticulture for the last 18 years. While studying for her Master’s degree at Portland State University, she researched integrated green roof systems and plant-atmosphere interactions. At Cool Planet, Andrea's work focuses on exploring innovative applications for biochar in Green Industry markets.

Victoria Ludwig , Manager - Heat Island Program head shot coming soon.

Victoria Ludwig, Manager - Heat Island Program head shot coming soon.

Session 10 | Room 9232 |1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

The bountiful benefits of heat island mitigation: from energy to equity

Heat island mitigation brings a proverbial cornucopia of benefits. Well established benefits include energy savings, increased air and water quality, better stormwater management, and improved human health. The U.S. EPA Heat Island Reduction Program has new resources to explore several of these benefits. Attend this session to learn about: (1) a new analysis demonstrating the energy, air quality, and health benefits of green roofs, and (2) the connection between heat islands and vulnerable populations, and how several communities are developing equitable solutions in their heat island mitigation efforts. EPA’s Heat Island Reduction Program works with local officials, community groups, universities, and other stakeholders to identify opportunities to implement heat island mitigation policies and projects that create comfortable and sustainable communities. The program offers several technical and outreach materials, including regular webcasts, a newsletter, a website (www.epa.gov/heat-islands), and a comprehensive guide entitled Reducing Urban Heat Islands: Compendium of Strategies.


Victoria Ludwig, Manager - Heat Island Program, US EPA: Victoria Ludwig is the national program manager of U.S. EPA’s Heat Island Reduction Program and also supports the agency’s State and Local Energy and Environment Program. In these capacities she provides technical and outreach support to local governments and other stakeholders on mitigating heat islands and implementing local climate solutions.

Donna Evans, Program Manager , Montgomery County Department for Environmental Protection head shot coming soon.

Donna Evans, Program Manager, Montgomery County Department for Environmental Protection head shot coming soon.

Session 11 | Room 9231 |1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Bioretention Planting Plans for Low Maintenance and Increasing Public Acceptance

Bioretention Planting Plan specifications should not have a “one size fits all” approach Planting plan strategies that reduce maintenance costs include: • Adequate plant spacing, appropriate container size, high-quality plant grade for quick plant coverage • A ground cover layer • The right plant species/cultivar for the size of the garden-not one size fits all • Being aware of the site conditions concerning deer pressure and salt/ sediment load • A better balance of trees, shrubs, grasses, perennials and a ground cover in larger bios. When these are planted with mostly herbaceous plants it is very expensive to maintain. Aesthetics needs change depending on setting. Residential Green Streets should meet the aesthetic needs of the community. Large bio-retention in public spaces will have a different aesthetic than narrow street scape “planters” for instance. To meet these different aesthetic needs one must also understand plant growth habits and attributes. Understanding of how these plants grow over time and meet 4 seasons of interest, mixing textures, colors, bloom times, winter appeal, mature height all matter in plant selection as well as sun/shade, moist/dry soil conditions and who is doing and paying for the maintenance. The current design approached in place for bioretention planting plans does not take into consideration most of the above and the negative impact on maintenance costs.


Donna Evans, Program Manager, Montgomery County Department for Environmental Protection: I have a degree in Horticulture from the University of Maryland (1982) and have worked in the Nursery/Landscape Design/Build industry for 40 years. LEED Green Associate and Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP 1 & 2 certification). I manage the maintenance of bioretention facilities on Government owned property and in the ROW

Richard Hayden , Garden Roof Department Manager, American Hydrotech

Richard Hayden, Garden Roof Department Manager, American Hydrotech

Session 12 | Room 9230 |1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Into the Deep End: Garden Roofs and Blue Roofs for Stormwater Management

With vast amounts of paved and built-out conditions, dense urban areas generate enormous amounts of stormwater with no place to go other than into a pipe. As climate and weather patterns shift, the rooftop has become an increasingly valuable resource and location for the deployment of enhanced BMPs - best management practices - designed to capture rainwater first before it enters the stormwater management systems. Garden Roofs are well known for their ability to provide retention capabilities on the building roof plane. With a wide variety of configurations, they act as sponges on the roof, soaking up the rainfall and holding it in the growing media while evaporation and transpiration by plant materials reduce the water volume. Blue Roofs are the newest tool in the stormwater engineer’s toolbox. By utilizing a void space underneath pedestal-set pavers or a Garden Roof, blue roofs can be designed to handle the entire detention volume requirement for the project in a thin layer of free water not bound up in growing media. Together, properly designed Garden Roofs and Blue Roofs can address this ever-changing stormwater issue by adding another layer of resiliency to a region’s existing stormwater management infrastructure.


Richard Hayden, Garden Roof Department Manager, American Hydrotech: Landscape architect with nearly 40 years of design experience with last 8 years at American Hydrotech. Responsible for developing new Garden Roof and Blue Roof assemblies.

Kevin Brady , Senior Evaluation Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

Kevin Brady, Senior Evaluation Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

Wende David , Senior Conservation Manager, National Recreation and Park Association head shot coming soon.

Wende David, Senior Conservation Manager, National Recreation and Park Association head shot coming soon.

Session 13 |Ballroom D |2:05 pm - 2:25 pm

An online tool for measuring green infrastructure benefits in local parks

Green Roofs can reduce urban heat island effect and reduce stormwater runoff during extreme precipitation events. In a 2C climate change scenario, increasingly likely by 2050, these are mission critical benefits for a city. In this presentation, we quantify the cost and benefits for a variety of cities, technologies, and stakeholders. Specifically, we evaluate the potential for green roofs to reduce cooling electricity consumption for urban buildings, as well as reducing the need to build peaker power plants for utilities serving these cities. In addition, we evaluate the potential for green roofs to reduce stormwater runoff by combining precipitation models for specific cities in 2030 and 2050 scenarios. Further we estimate the flooding risk reduction impact, resulting from the reduced runoff for three specific cities. Further we evaluate the cost and benefits for a variety of stakeholders including building owners, city governments, power and water utilities. Specific economic analyses includes capex, return on investment and payback period.


Kevin Brady, Senior Evaluation Manager, National Recreation and Park Association:

Wende David, Senior Conservation Manager, National Recreation and Park Association:

Maxim Nasab , Bridge Architect, Apexx Architecture LLC

Maxim Nasab, Bridge Architect, Apexx Architecture LLC

Session 14 | Room 9232 |2:05 pm - 2:25 pm

Bridges and Biophilia

Our infrastructure is an essential part of our society. It has allowed us to grow exponentially in the most positive ways over the last century. Unfortunately, with the creation of roads and bridges came the demise of green space and natural landscapes, trees needed to be cut to allow our bridges to cross, fields needed to be paved over in order for our roads to stitch our communities together. Efficient paths and low budgets allowed these progressive stitches to take over our landscapes. Today, our heightened awareness and need to be surrounded by nature has awaked our desire to improve our infrastructure. More and more parks are popping up and buildings are beginning to be covered in greenery, but what of our actual infrastructure, especially our bridges? Bridges have the unique opportunity to blend both natural and man-made in a purposeful and beautiful duet, they have the ability to dedicate green space in our cities and allow for our communities to return to the natural environment without hindering our need for growth or innovation. Bridges can provide and integrate biophilic design to help our communities and cities thrive for the next generations.


Maxim Nasab, Bridge Architect, Apexx Architecture LLC: Founder and Principal Architect, Maxim D. Nasab, AIA, NCARB, is an award winning and widely-published architect originally from Montréal, Canada. Maxim specializes in infrastructure architecture, including bridges and recreational piers all over the world. He is also a professor at the Florida State University.

Stuart Echols , Associate Professor, Penn State University

Stuart Echols, Associate Professor, Penn State University

Session 15 | Room 9231 |2:05 pm - 2:25 pm

Using Flow-Splitters to Improve Green Infrastructure Design

Using flow-splitter truly not a new idea, but the proper use is so lacking that most systems fail to actually capture, hold and treat nonpoint source pollution as intended. Although many manuals and regulations suggest the use of flow-splitters, most built systems have no flow-splitters. As a result, pollutants that enter green infrastructure facilities are often discharged downstream. Proper flow-splitter design can easily correct this problem, however, many designers do not know how to design flow-splitters into their green infrastructure facilities. This study presents and analyses a collection of innovative case studies with the intent of challenging contemporary design norms and hopefully different alter at least one important aspect of green infrastructure design. This study looks at design goals and strategies including volume capture, filtration type, construction cost, maintenance issues and retrofit opportunities. This presentation will reveal some common design flaws, ways to improve these designs and some examples that function exceptionally well.


Stuart Echols, Associate Professor, Penn State University:

Coming soon…

Coming soon…

Session 16 | Room 9230 |2:05 pm - 2:25 pm

Deeproot Presentation

Session information coming soon.


Coming Soon…

Yvonne Battista , Associate Professor, DTAH

Yvonne Battista, Associate Professor, DTAH

Session 17 | Ballroom D | 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Double Duty: Stormwater Management in an Urban Public Park

Edgeley Pond + Park is currently a forgotten stormwater (SWM) pond in the City of Vaughan that supports an urbanized Black Creek, over 54 ha of urban SWM and 767 ha of upstream drainage. It also protects adjacent development which will enable over 5,000 new residents while providing a signature amenity park with space to play, learn, relax, and explore. Led by landscape architects DTAH, the multi-disciplinary design team of civil engineers, geomorphologists, ecologists, and public facilitators took the client, stakeholders and public on a journey of design evolution that addresses a variety of park programmes and balances budgets, phasing, rigid engineering and ecological approvals. The proposed design strives to resolve stormwater quality, quantity, and control while celebrating Black Creek by returning it to a more natural existence in the park. Over the last 100 years, downtown Hamilton Ontario has grown around the 71-acre Gage Park. Challenged with aging infrastructure, repeated surcharging and property damage, the City of Hamilton implemented an innovative solution to bring urban stormwater from adjacent streets into the park. DTAH worked with civil engineers to create a planted bioswale that followed the original 1920’s vision for the park, but with a sustainable and modern twist.

Yvonne Battista, Associate Professor, DTAH: Yvonne Battista is an Associate at DTAH where she has spent 16 of her 19-year career designing, managing and implementing landscape projects with a focus on stormwater management, urban streetscapes, and parks. Yvonne prioritizes the seamless integration of pedestrian environments within complex urban conditions with a focus on environmental stewardship and quality design solutions.

Anthony Mayer , CEO, Hanging Gardens, LLC

Anthony Mayer, CEO, Hanging Gardens, LLC

Session 18 | Room 9232 | 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

Blue, Green and Smart: New Land Use Patterns Drive Modern Stormwater Technologies

In the 1990s, urban planning and real estate professionals began to witness the advent of increased densities, mixed-use development and a renaissance in urban centers. Compact, walkable and diverse land uses were becoming favored, and this approach was a marked change from the low-density development that had characterized land use over the previous decades. Higher-built densities provide new ways to think about managing stormwater. More buildings and the resultant increase in impervious surfaces, catalyzed solutions utilizing smart stormwater management systems. Furthermore, as a result of regulatory changes, cities now require property developers to manage a significant percentage of stormwater on site. Unlike suburban or rural regions where land is cheap, urban areas generally can’t depend on constructed ponds to do that. Additionally, the cost of land in densely populated areas means developers must build the most efficient stormwater management systems possible. Downtown land values can be 4 to 30 times higher per acre in comparison to land 10 miles from a city center. In major urban areas, land costs can be exorbitant. Green infrastructure integrated with smart stormwater systems can help protect developers’ ROI by maximizing the building’s footprint in proportion to the size of the parcel of land.


Anthony Mayer, CEO, Hanging Gardens, LLC: Anthony Mayer is the CEO of Hanging Gardens, LLC; a firm specializing in urban stormwater management solutions. Anthony is a LEED AP, and GRP with 18+ years in the Green Infrastructure Industry. Anthony’s goal is to provide objective information that results in successful green roofing & stormwater mitigation/recycling projects.


Ignacio Espoz,  CEO, Latin Green

Ignacio Espoz, CEO, Latin Green

Session 19a | Room 9231 | 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

An in depth case study on the cork-screw green roof/wall construction installed by Sempergreen at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Designed by Steven Hall Architects, this three dimensional green roof/wall is a technical masterpiece.


Oscar Warmerdam, President, Sempergreen: Bio coming soon.

Session 19b | Room 9231 | 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Green advertising on roads and cities, a sustainable way for our planet

In 2011, we created the first green self-sustainable advertising on the highway in a region of Chile. The green sign covered by plants and grasses, became an icon, since it is recognized by all the people who pass through the place. The design consists of a green wall where the advertising message goes, this includes an automated irrigation system, an atmospheric water system, a led lighting system, all powered by solar panels. At its base and underground is a pond of water that is fed by rainwater, also by the system of atmospheric water and irrigation wastewater. With the success of the green sign, today there are dozens of green signs in the area and this means that the municipality has enacted a new law that says that advertising must contain 80% vegetation. This green sign has changed the way of advertising, contemplating sustainability and ecology, which has meant that other municipalities and regions of the country are considering a regulation so that advertising, necessarily contains a green surface.


Ignacio Espoz, CEO, Latin Green: Commercial engineer, inventor of patents, former director of WGIN, world pioneer in green infrastructure in green walls, international lecturer in America, Europe and Asia, presentation of master classes in Chile, Argentina, Peru, China and Korea, development of dozens of projects

Shane Pliska , President, Planterra

Shane Pliska, President, Planterra

Session 20a | Room 9230 | 2:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Plant Choices for Mid-Atlantic Green Roof

This talk will provide plant options for the Mid Atlantic region. In order to layer more ecosystem services on green roofs the plant choices must expand correspondingly. The audience will be provided with not only plants but strategies for employing them on roofs in the area.


Ed Snodgrass, President, Emery Knoll Farms: Bio coming soon.

Session 20b | Room 9230 | 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Lighting for plants integrated into architecture for human wellness

Biophilia has more designers integrating live plants into architecture. One of the biggest challenges sustaining greenery inside buildings and enclosures is light. I offer a detailed presentation on the glazing, artificial light sources and lighting needs for plants commonly uses in design. A plant is like the canary for the modern workplace. If there is enough light to support plant life, there is enough light to support a healthy and productive environment for people, too. A full white paper on the subject can be found at: https://planterra.com/PlanterraLightingGuide


Shane Pliska, President, Planterra: Shane Pliska is the president of Planterra Corporation, a provider of interior landscaping services to corporate and institutional buildings. He is also the founder of the Planterra Conservatory a botanical garden and event venue in West Bloomfield, Michigan.

Session 21 | Ballroom D | 3:35 pm - 4:05 pm

Flood Control Benefits of Small GI Systems

Incorporating green infrastructure (GI) into dense urban neighborhoods can be a challenge. Small GI systems placed along public rights of way, known as green streets, are often the preferred and only option. Charles River Watershed Association (CRWA) worked with the City of Cambridge Department of Public Works to develop green street designs for three dense residential streets. CRWA and Stantec then modeled the impact of both pollutant removal and flood control from scaling up green street designs across the city. The team looked at three green street scenarios transitioning 10%, 20% and 50% of the City's residential streets to green streets. This talk will present the modeled pollutant removal benefits and the stormwater control benefits under larger, future condition, rainfall event scenarios.


Julie Wood, Deputy Director, Charles River Watershed Association: Julie Dyer Wood is the Deputy Director at Charles River Watershed Association. Ms. Wood has been with CRWA since 2007 where in prior roles she has staffed their Blue Cities Stormwater Management program and led their Field Science Program. Ms. Wood has degrees in math and environmental science.

Thomas Cancienne , Senior Principal, Stantec

Thomas Cancienne, Senior Principal, Stantec

Session 22 | Room 9232 | 3:35 pm - 4:05 pm

Crowdsourcing Data is a Win-Win for Community Engagement and Building a Better Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Project in New Orleans, LA

Located at the confluence of the Mississippi River with the Gulf of Mexico, and just south of Lake Pontchartrain, New Orleans is surrounded by water in every direction. Moreover, a substantial portion of the City is situated below sea level, creating a “bowl-shaped” topography that is susceptible to flooding. The City currently provides flood and hurricane protection with levees and floodwalls and employs a series of large pumping stations to remove water from the floodplain as quickly as possible during wet weather events. Building a resilient system that addresses physical vulnerabilities such as climate change, subsidence, sea level rise, heat island effects and social vulnerabilities such as poverty and income inequality is a difficult challenge that requires innovative solutions. Real-Time community-generated data is being used to gain quantitative and qualitative information such as heat island effects, rainfall and flooding data to ground truth and complement our big data models. This combination of big data and community knowledge is helping inform the planning and design of where creative placemaking needs intersect with green infrastructure needs. The St. Bernard Neighborhood Stormwater Resilience project aims to provide an example to communities aspiring to become more resilient and sustainable.


Thomas Cancienne, Senior Principal, Stantec: Tom is native to New Orleans and his love of Louisiana’s cultural heritage and outdoors has led him to his passion for improving critical infrastructure and saving natural ecosystems. He has over 20 years of experience planning and designing ecosystem restoration and green infrastructure projects to improve community resilience.


Session 23 | Room 9231 | 3:35 pm - 4:05 pm

Is it time to re-visit the Organics Debate?

The question of organics in green roof media and what quantity or quality of organics should be considered has been a subject of debate in the industry. Some are proponents of greater levels of organics and some believe the question has been settled on the side of mineral dominated growth media. Some point to the lightweight, moisture capturing attributes while others point to the negative effects of loss of mass and intrusion of fine particulate matter. Many assumptions are made as to what constitutes performance and what practices produce it. The desire to make use of renewable resources in North America is strong and therefore the use of mined resources has come under scrutiny. With the rising costs of mined and manufactured lightweight aggregates, are mineral dominated media the only future we can look forward to? Can recycled organics play a role in the green roof industry and if so, what are best practices? This presentation will look at the experience of one of North America’s pioneers of high organic media in green roofs. It will look at the research surrounding green roof media and how it relates to its’ selection. It will reflect on lessons learned, failures and successes and provide guidance on selection of organic source material to avoid pitfalls. It will also take note of the performance benefits achievable through the use of recycled organics, from stormwater to cooling effects. It will cover the physical, biological and chemical processes inherent in different organics and how they relate to plant communities beyond sedum succulents.


Rick Buist, Program Director, Tremco: Rick Buist is president of Bioroof Systems Inc., a horticulturist, green roof product innovator and practitioner of green roof design and installations for the past 20 years. Located in Burlington, Canada, his company has had the privilege of providing green roof systems on some of the largest projects in Canada, such as the Canadian War Museum, the Canadian museum for Human Rights, the Toronto Transit Commission’s Ashbridges Bay Maintenance Facility and is currently providing one of the largest modular green roofs in North America on the Toronto Transit Commission’s 4 acre McNicol Bus Garage. He has lived through the creation of the Toronto Greenroof By-Law and experienced its’ effect on the green roof market. He has co-created patented modular systems that are currently thriving on roofs throughout the USA and Canada and even some overseas. For the past 6 years, his company has been the exclusive provider of the Vegetated Roof Program for Tremco Inc..

Rohan Lilauwala.png

Session 24 | Room 9230 | 3:35 pm - 4:05 pm

Living Architecture Performance Tool - Green Infrastructure Performance

Session information coming soon…


Rohan Lilauwala, Program Manager, Green Infrastructure Foundation: Bio coming soon.