Norwegian Green Roof Log Cabins in the USA

Posted in Biodiversity, green roof profesional, Green Roof Solutions, Green Roof Technology, Green Roofs, Uncategorized on February 11, 2017 by greenroofservice

greenroofexpert1234Around 50 years ago there was trend in the USA of having Norwegian Log Cabins as a second home.

All of these cabins came entirely from Norway and they all had a Green Roof. Most of these cabins with timber from Norway still exist and the owners are very proud of having these solid, cozy and unique structures.

Unfortunately most of Green Roofs have been replaced by metal roofing during the last 20 years.

Nevertheless the simple Green Roof systems (without plastics) lasted at least 3 decades without major maintenance and without any irrigation systems. Even Fire Marshals never had an issue with this unique long lasting roofing solution.
Around 12 years ago I had the honor to meet a building owner, who wanted a Green Roof back and as it was originally designed. The project was near Washington, DC and meanwhile the building was surrounded by 60 feet tall trees and entirely in the shade. The structure was still able to carry around 30psf for the Green Roof.

Finally, with a new roofing and a divided drainage system in a multilayered, seamless Green Roof the owner was satisfied with the result. Look at the picture (from 2015) and tell me what you think.

There is no irrigation system, no single source warranty, very limited use of plastics and very limited maintenance.


An Upstream Battle for Green Roofs?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 5, 2014 by greenroofservice

Every now and then we find studies comparing green roofs verses white roofs. It seems like and up-stream battle for the green roof industry against the big profits that are being made in the roofing industry with reflective water proofing membranes. All manufacturers of roofing material know that a reflective membrane will sell easier and with a higher profit than a traditional black tar roof. It is cheaper in production, and with the right crew, easier to install as well. In addition, because of the environmental benefit (discovered by LEED), the pricing can be more expensive.

Covering this membrane with a green roof should increase the profits – so we think. In reality, it isn’t the case because the lack of horticultural understanding and human’s natural fear of nature make it a high risk factor or even a potential lawsuit. Stockholders and risk managers for large roofing manufacturers offer green amenities (because this is good for their image), but never pressure these offers. Unfortunately, for roofing companies, protecting the revenue and profits is of higher priority over the environment and real sustainable practices.

It is no secret that selected manufactures support Universities in order to preform research on reflective membranes verses green roofs. These manufacturers tell the researchers precisely what to say and do so their reputation thrives. Since research jobs are not plenty full and Universities have the same economic pressure as roofing manufacturers, the results of this research may be questionable.

In a recent selective or reductionist study at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the so-called scientist went a step further. Writing a paper, clearly motivated by manufacturers, they described their data as somewhat sparse – does that mean worthless?

We still try to understand:

“Somewhat” = to a moderate extent or by a moderate amount

“Sparse” = thinly dispersed or scattered

We at Green Roof Service LLC/Green Roof Technology don’t need simplyfied research that says “maybe yes” and “maybe not” in the same sentence without consideration of the entire picture. Many people in the green roof industry don’t have a scientific backing, but it is a great gift that they have common sense and understand that bringing back nature to where it previously resided is way better than covering the earth under a white burial shroud.

The bear in the stream catching the battling salmon can’t extinguish the species – as long as the water is clean. If the water is polluted because of the lack of nature in our built up Cities, there won’t be any salmon left and the bear will shortly become extinct as well. Responsible research and researchers can help keep our waterways and neighborhoods clean.

A Nice Gift for Green Roofers – Un Jardin sur le Toit – First Green Roof Fragrance

Posted in Biodiversity, green roof profesional, Green Roof Solutions, Green Roof Technology, Green Roofs, Rooftop Garden on January 15, 2013 by greenroofservice

Jardin sur le Toit by Hermès features a little slice of nature perched on the rooftop of the building of the house of Hermès in Paris, France. A feast for the sense and the mind. A fragrance of light and delight, crunchy and cheerful.

Green Roof Service LLC present Green Roof Technology and introduces the first Green Roof Fragrance

Green Roofs, Rooftop Gardens, Paris, Hermes

Green Roofs, Rooftop Gardens, Paris, Hermes

Hermes launches the new fourth fragrance from the collection of garden-inspired fragrances Un Jardin, named Un Jardin Sur Le Toit or “A Garden on the Roof” in 2011. Un Jardin Sur Le Toit refers to the especially luxurious garden located on the Hermes’ headquarters building roof. A secret roof garden, hidden in the heart of the city, in Paris.

The garden is full of aromatic herbs, flowers and fruits whose flavors vary as they pass through the metamorphosis induced by the seasons. Its fresh and sweet-smelling atmosphere is captured by apple, pear, rose, green grass, basil, magnolia and compost notes. This fruity, vegetal, floral eau de toilette is appreciated by both women and men.

The composition is designed by Jean-Claude Ellena.

A secret roof garden, hidden in the heart of the city, in Paris.

Green Roofs, Hermes, Rooftop Garden.


Posted in green roof profesional, Green Roofs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 23, 2011 by greenroofservice

Solar panels, also known as PV elements, feel as snug as a bug in the rug on extensive green roofs.

In summer the low growing and diverse blanket of green roof plants are like small air conditioners for the heat sensitive PV elements. At the same time these plants will retain more than 50% of the annual rainfall preventing it from running off into our already stressed sewer systems and waterways.

Compared to gravel roofs, reflective roofs, black tar roofs or metal roofs the cooling effect of modern green roof technology is much more advanced because the water stored in the plant and media system generates efficient cooling simply by evaporation. As a result the PV elements produce more reliable power during high summer temperatures.

Green roofs also reduce air born pollutants and dust drifts found on bare roofs. Less dirt on the photovoltaic panels equals better performance and less maintenance.

Picture: Optigrün AG

Green Roof Technology has developed advanced systems that allow easy and efficient installation of both systems without roof penetration or potential leaks of the roof. Furthermore our design and engineering solutions consider different growing conditions for the plants when combined with solar panels.  By addressing the needs of both solar and plant system in our design we maximum potential for evaporation.

Reduce the environmental foot print of your building and reduce your electric bill at the same time.  Having a combined solar and green roof is the best investment you can make for you and the environment.

Endangered Fern Calls Franklin and Marshall Home

Posted in Uncategorized on August 17, 2011 by greenroofservice

Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster PA already has a reputation for being green as it sports a large collection of green roofs.  During the installation of their latest green roof on Schnader Hall, a “green wall” was discovered.  Clinging to a shaded brick support wall on the roof a collection of tiny ferns were found.  Upon further examination these plants were discovered to be Pellaea glabella, commonly known as smooth Cliffbrake Ferns.

Modern Green Roof Technology

Green Roof Construction

The Smooth Cliffbrake fern is a small evergreen fern with fronds reaching 2 to 8 inches long.  The Smooth Cliffbrake fern is native to the US and parts of Canada.  True to its name, these ferns are commonly found on limestone cliffs and ledges.  A rather rare species, the Smooth Cliffbrake is also considered endangered in Connecticut and Maryland, and is classified as threatened in New York according the USDA.

This just goes to show that sometimes you don’t need a fancy set up to have a green wall.  From a mockery stand point, this “green wall” is maintenance free, requires no fertilizer schedule, or irrigation system, and uses exclusively native plants.  Sometimes mother nature just has the best system.

Find more at


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 13, 2010 by greenroofservice

BALTIMORE, MD. – Tucked into Baltimore’s eastern warehouse district something new is growing. Lead by Green Roof Service and ADI Architecture and Design Inc. the former icehouse of Resource Conservation Technology welcomed one of the regions first Honey Bee oriented green roofs.

Volunteers and honey bee enthusiast poured onto roof to be apart of the new habitat for honey bees. On lookers explored the garden as volunteers eagerly planted in the unique growing media.

“One of the greatest threats to honey bee populations today is the destruction of habitat due to urban sprawl,” says Diane Odell (ADI), bee keeper and the garden’s designer. To help remedy this, the honey bee green roof features 5,500 square feet of honey bee habitat complete with a small hive provided by State Beekeeper Oliver Snyder III.

Below the rooftop activities, Peter Normandt entertained visitors with information on bee keeping as they enjoyed a bountiful array of honey based snacks.

To make the rooftop garden possible, special engineering and the use of modern green roof technology was needed. “The end result is a light weight vegetated structure that slows and contains contaminated storm-water reducing runoff, reduces air-borne pollutants, protects the roof from damaging UV rays, and better insulates the roof reducing heating and cooling,” says Kat Harrold, accredited Green Roof Professional.

Another benefit the green roof structure provides which makes the bee garden possible is a cooler roof environment. “As water travels through the growing media, roots, and exits through the leaves it creates a cooling effect much like when one sweats. On a sunny day this can reduce the air temperature on the roof by about 10 F degrees,” says Jorg Breuning of 30 year green roof designer and owner of Green Roof Service.

The plants that compose the honey bee garden consisted of a wide variety of flowering plants ranging from bulbs to small trees. The specially selected vegetation provides continuous bloom from February till November.

“The installation was a great success,” commented Diane Odell. “I can’t wait for the spring when everything has been established and starts to bloom.”

For more information on green roofs please visit or contact Kat Harrold at (908) 752-2839 and


Green Roof Safari

Posted in Green Roofs, Uncategorized with tags , , on March 25, 2009 by greenroofservice
It is an honour for me to announce:

New strategy for the first European green roof study tours.

postcard01-copy1 September, 2009 

The essential nature of the study tour will remain intact, providing access to countless and diverse projects, meetings with local experts, and extensive information and technology transfer facilitated by knowledgeable, multi-lingual guides.Given the expertise and professional network which define the study tour, group interests can be tailored with flexibility.

An original Stuttgarter, Jörg Breuning worked in the German green roof industry from apprenticeship through independent business for +29 years. He says, “I look forward to sharing the experiences and lessons learned from these projects with participants.”  Since 2003, Breuning has found great success with his U.S.-based Green Roof Service LLC.

Christine Thüring, who is Swiss-Canadian, enjoys combining her organizational efficacy and language skills with her 8 years’ green roof expertise. Deeply impressed by the positive learning impact experienced by participants, Thüring vowed to offer this service in the future. As intended, “Green Roof Safari fosters the spirit for sharing and community.”

Steven Peck, Founder and President of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the North American green roof industry association, comments that “tours are an excellent, perhaps the best, way to network and learn firsthand about green roof designs and programs in other countries.”


Jorg Breuning

Posted in Green Roofs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2009 by greenroofservice

Green Roof Expert with 30 years of experience in working on green roofs.

Jörg Breuning works as one of the two owners of Green Roof Service LLC the first company in the United States specializing in professional green roof services. With his business partner Peter M. Philippi they have over 60 years combined green roof experience which is by far unmatched in the United States.

Jorg designed, specified, installed, supervised and monitored more extensive green roofs installations in Europe/Germany than there are currently in the entire USA (2009).


Jorg’s green roof career started in September 1980. In 1983 he announced one of his most important professional achievements. As one the first people in world he achieved his green roof professional accreditation offered by Optima, Dachbegrünungen the world’s leading supplier and manufacture at this time. Optima Dachbegrünungen developed the world first green roof professional education and accreditation system with tremendous success for an entire industry. Their accredited green roof professional education is now essential part of the 3 year landscaping apprenticeship or so called and dual education system for professional in Germany.

Optima Dachbegrünungen and today Optigrün AG continued to educated professional with the latest developments in modern green roof technology. Jörg was studying the technology and with his National certification and technician degree he was also teaching and presenting important aspects of green roofs. He developed many ideas which helped to progress an entire industry and he was part of leading green roof research (i.e. stormwater retentions simulation systems).


Jorg Breuning consulted the nation’s first green roof research program at Penn State University in State College.

He introduced the German FLL guideline (Green Roof Guideline) to the US and systematically helped to make American’s aware of modern green roof technology since 1989. As an independent green roof consultant he provided key information, site supervision and hands on training for many award winning projects like Chicago City Hall, Chicago, IL, Chicago Green Technology Centre, Chicago, IL, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, IL, Oaklyn Branch Library, Evansville, IN, Heinz 57 Center, Corporate Headquarters, Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Mellon University, MV Celebrity Solstice Cruise Ship.


He teaches and lectures at universities, colleges, municipalities, organizations, associations and architects so to speak at Toronto Botanical Garden, New York botanical Garden, GRHC conferences, Sustainable South Bronx New York, The Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, Westmoreland Conservation District, Roofscapes Inc. conference, FBB Association, Tecta America Company meeting, Royal Caribbean / Celebrity Cruises, Earth Pledge Foundation, Rotary Club Bel Air, A3C Architects, Lancaster County/City and much more.


Jorg’s knowledge is also incorporated in many brochures, company information, text books and reference books such as Green Roof Handbook RCT, Skyland USA LLC, Cetco Garden Roof Assembly, “Green Roof Plants” by Ed Snodgrass, Germany FLL Guideline, FBB Association, selection of papers on “Tree of Knowledge” at Green Roofs for Healthy Cities North America, at ASTM and SPRI standards.


While having a strong focus on modern green roof technology Jorg’s views, knowledge and expertise is also rooted in many other environmental technologies especially when related to live plants and organisms like, Green Walls, Green Rail Road Tracks, nature swimming pools, advanced composting techniques, solar, wind and alternative energy, recycling opportunities and systems. Most of these German and European based techniques, systems and technologies are decades ahead of most American “green” ideas.


Jorg Breuning certainly understands his world leader ship and being the first green roof experts in the United States of America. He is proud to be mentor and supporter for most of the early key players in the American green roof market including the North American Green Roof Association (GRHC).


…experience matters

Jörg Breuning

Jörg Breuning