Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2009 - (Page 37)

ON SPEC MOVING ON THE OUTGOING FOUNDING CHAIR OF GRHC’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS REFLECTS ON THE ORGANIZATION’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND ALL THAT HE’S LEARNED By Peter Lowi W hile walking the Trade Show floor at last year’s annual conference in Baltimore, I spoke with a member who asked if I was going to be chair of GRHC’s Board of Directors for life. It has been a great privilege to serve as the founding chair of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities for the past five years – and this question stopped me in my tracks. It was in that moment I realized that if an organization is going to grow and evolve, it needs to change. It was my time to move on from my role and make way for some fresh blood, so to speak. During my tenure as chair, I have attempted to help guide the organization to lay a substantive policy foundation for the green roof and wall industry in North America. We have made considerable progress on that front with the use of density bonuses, fast-track permitting, the inclusion of green roofs as best practices for stormwater management, as well as the introduction of tax credits and pilot programs to support green roofs in cities across North America. More recently, GRHC worked hand-in-hand with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) to introduce legislation sponsored by Senator Cantwell of Washington State to the U.S. Congress for the establishment of a green roof tax credit of 30 percent for qualified green roofs. GRHC has taken an activist role in pushing green roof and wall policies. Unfortunately, not all of our policy workshops and Symposia produce policy changes. Our results have been mixed, varying from providing testimony supporting streamlining the administration of the New York City’s green roof tax credit requirements to make them easier to utilize, to advocating for green roofs to be included in the LEED® for Neighborhood Development credits. I’m proud to report that “Green Infrastructure and Buildings Heat Island Reduction Credit 8 – Option 4” now specifically allows green roofs. Option four for “vegetated roofs” states: “Install a vegetated (‘green’) roof on a minimum of 50 percent of the total project roof area (exclusive of existing buildings). Combinations of SRI compliant and vegetated roof can be used, provided that they collectively cover 75 percent of the total project roof area (exclusive of existing buildings).” Alas, while committed to continuous improvement and evaluation, upon reflection, I feel a shift of emphasis from policy to implementation is both needed and timely and that is why, therefore, I am thrilled Jeffrey Bruce, founder and president of Jeffrey L. Bruce & Co. LLC in North Kansas City, has agreed to become the next chair, leaving behind his vicechair position. Mr. Bruce’s design credentials and long list of award-winning green roof projects speak for itself and his exceptional talents will, no doubt, enable him to continue to do an excellent job for our organization. Distance can often bring perspective. Jumping across the pond to attend the World Green Roof Congress in London, UK opened my eyes to the incredible role Steven Peck, and everyone else on the GRHC team whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with over all these years, has done to develop the green roof industry in North America. GHRC’s comprehensive, multistakeholder approach of including academics, researchers, industry, policymakers and manufacturers in the mix stands in sharp contrast to the efforts of our counterparts around the world. The launch of the Green Roof Professional (GRP) designation at this year’s annual conference in Atlanta is truly an achievement we can all be proud of. In 1979, I graduated college and started an alternative energy magazine, Living Alternatives Magazine, otherwise known as the “LAM.” It somehow seems fitting, therefore, that I am adding my parting perspectives to another LAM that I am particularly proud of and happy to be associated with, the Living Architecture Monitor. With this opportunity as chair, my knowledge and respect for the industry and the professionals who comprise it has grown immensely over the past five years. To all I have learned with and learned from, I thank you: because of you, I move on from my position, far richer than before. Peter Lowitt, AICP, is director of the Devens Enterprise Commission in Devens Massachusetts. After five years, he is stepping down as the chair of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ Board of Directors at the Atlanta Conference this June. He will take on the role of immediate past chair, which will enable him to continue his work on green roof policy. LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR SPRING 37

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2009

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2009
From the Founder
Opportunity Knocks
New Green Roof Incentive for Toronto
The Role of Structural Engineer
On the Roof With...
Roots of Learning
Urban Farming
Pushing the Envelope on Community-Scale Research
Raising a Green Roof for Eco-Literacy
Soft-Benefit Valuation
What's New for Atlanta
GHRC Professional Development Calendar
Accreditation Milestone
Welcome New Corporate Members
Moving On

Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Spring 2009