Bike to Work Challenge 2015

As we start the month of October, so ends another Bike Commute Challenge. We’ve had great ridership this year! The 10 participants logged a total of 1,185 miles, with Senior Landscape Architect, Dave Walters logging 306 of those miles all on his own! GreenWorks is very active in community events that promote and enrich our local Portland culture and the Bicycle Transportation Association’s annual Bike Commute Challenge is one of our favorites. As early leaders working with the BTA, GreenWorks actively promotes bike ridership. In 2000, GreenWorks won first place in the first annual BTA Bike Commute Challenge, and we have won four additional first place awards since then. Here’s to another great year!


City Park Display at the 2015 International Trails Symposium

Through its sponsorship of the 2015 International Trails Symposium, Greenworks PC created a ‘City Park’ exhibit. The display allows visitors to experience a variety of material and plant types, while transitioning from a 'Natural' to an 'Urban' setting. We would like to thank our partners, Mutual Materials and Sustainable Northwest Wood, for not only supplying us with materials, but for also pitching in some sweat in creating the exhibit. The International Trail Symposium is currently taking place at the Oregon Convention Center through Wednesday, May 20th. Stop by and check it out!

You can also join our very own Gill Williams for a tour of the 4T Trail on Tuesday from 1 pm - 5 pm. Registration information can be found here.

Design and construction by GreenWorks, PC with help from Mutual Materials (pavers), Sustainable Northwest Wood (logs and wood materials), and Cedar Landscaped with Chehalem Mountain Nurseries (plants and trees).

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GreenWorks Co-Founder Appointed Portland Parks Bureau Director

Congratulations to Mike Abbaté for his appointment as the new Director of Portland Parks! After a national search to replace Park’s Director Zari Santner, Commissioner Nick Fish selected Abbaté, calling him “’innovative’ and an able manager whose work examining the parks' assets will be a big plus when the bureau goes out for a parks bond.

Mike Abbaté co-founded GreenWorks in 1997. Abbaté brought to the firm great expertise in interpretive, outdoor recreation and ecotourism facilities. He was instrumental in expanding the firm’s services in planning and design for interpretive facilities; urban park design; and planning and design for regional, state and national parks. Prior to GreenWorks, Mike worked for the U.S. Forest Service and in the private sector for many years. Abbaté left GreenWorks in 2007 to become the Planning Director for the City of Gresham.

For more information on Mike’s new appointment visit:

Students Gain Invaluable Professional Insight

GreenWorks hosted two energetic student groups last week, giving them a sneak peek into the profession. Claire Maulhardt, landscape designer, is involved with two students groups that encourage the relationship between students and the Landscape Architecture profession; ACE Mentoring program for high school students (Architecture, Construction Management and Engineering) and ASLA Oregon Student Liaison.

Claire’s enthusiasm for teaching leads to her involvement in the (ACE) Mentoring program designed for high school students interested in pursuing Architecture, Construction Management and Engineering. On January 25th, GreenWorks hosted one of the biweekly meetings exposing students to a range of projects in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design. The students learned about site analysis and site planning  related to drawings for a waterfront café they are designing over the next few months. Crowded around the site plan on the wall, students threw out suggestions for site placement of their café  and discussed the opportunities and constraints as they took turns drawing. At the end of the two-hour session, the students came to an agreement on their building location. To create the most ideal waterfront “atmosphere,” the student team placed their café cantilevered over the river. In the coming weeks, structural engineering mentors will walk them through the exciting challenges that this decision imposes on the process of design and construction.


Claire Maulhardt is also involved with ASLA Oregon as a Student Liaison on the Executive Committee. This role helps facilitates the relationship between the Student ASLA chapter and ASLA Oregon. On January 28th, GreenWorks hosted five college students from the University of Oregon as part of the Eighteenth Annual Shadow Mentor Day, an event organized by the University of Oregon’s Professional Outreach and Development Services (PODS), the Department of Landscape Architecture, Student ASLA and ASLA Oregon. The students spent the day with GreenWorks staffers learning about the day-to-day of being a landscape architect. GreenWorks staff and the students toured a few recent projects, one of which was 1st and Main, a new roof terrace garden closed to the general public. The students learned about the range of green roof types and had ample opportunity to ask LOTS of questions about Landscape Design.



UO Design Camp Wraps Up Week 1 with a Focus on Landscape Architecture

Week One wrapped up with more design foundations and a focus on the field of Landscape Architecture. Claire and the other instructors lead campers on a walking tour of Portland. Along the way, the students were divided into teams and tasked with creating performance installations at different sites based on water-themed words such as meander, rush, and babble. Check out the UO Design Camp blog for more details about the day’s events.

Trends in the Landscape Industry

GreenWorks' Principal Mike Faha recently hosted an Education Session at the 2009 Oregon Landscape Expo, discussing Trends in the Landscape Industry.

"The session will identify future trends in the landscape industry with the current focus on sustainability and the means of implementation for construction and maintenance projects.  What new projects can be expected in the future will also be discussed."
To see Mike Faha's full powerpoint presentation, click the link below:

Green Trends

Regenerative Design in Urban Land


The August 2009 issue of Urban Land (the publication of the Urban Land Institute - ULI) featured an article on 'Regenerative Design' authored by GreenWorks Senior Associate Jason King, along with Ankrom Moisan Principal Scott Thayer.  The article discussed our transition from sustainability to regeneration of communities, and included projects such as Independence Station, Tanner Springs Park, and the Headwaters at Tryon Creek.


Images copyright (ULI) - Click here to read the entire issue online (and jump to pg. 48 for the specific article).

Cool Roofs

A reprint of a recent editorial in The Oregonian, from Sunday, August 16, 2009

The coolest roofs in the world

by The Oregonian Editorial Board, Sunday August 16, 2009, 10:32 AM


Jason King, a landscape architect who designed the green space on the fifth floor of the Multnomah Building, says most folks don't even know the green roof exists.

"Portland helped pioneer a growing movement in green roofs, but the city must look to Chicago, Toronto and Tokyo for more inspiration

Portland's history with green roofs traces back to a rainy day in 1996 when Tom Liptan stood in his driveway, soaking wet, watching to see whether if his new garage roof, a combination of soil and plants, would hold water.

It did.

Thirteen years later, Portland boasts 165 green roofs, and counting. And Liptan, a landscape architect for the city's Bureau of Environmental Services, has become a nationally known expert in vegetative roofs. And every year, scores of Portland homeowners and builders now seek grants from the city to develop more green roofs.

Green roofs have become a nice little environmental success story in Portland. But they are emerging as much more in places such as Chicago, Toronto and Tokyo that have taken green roofs to a whole new scale. In Tokyo, for example, atop the towering high rises in the Mori Building complex you can find rice paddies, vegetables and trees amid a stunning rooftop garden. In Chicago, a strong push by city officials and private contractors have led to more than 600 green roofs covering more than 3 million square feet.

These roofs are cool, in every sense of the word. Tokyo, Chicago and others are emphasizing green roofs as a way to cool the "heat islands" created by the concrete, asphalt and metal of modern cities. The Mori Building complex, for example, has helped cut temperatures by several degrees in Tokyo's Roppongi Hills district.

Liptan and others pioneered green roofs in Portland as stormwater collectors, designed to catch and hold heavy rains and reduce pressure on the city's often overwhelmed combined sewer system. But during the recent string of days in the high 90s and 100s, for example, the thick, naturally insulating roofs did double duty, keeping buildings cool.

"Green roof" is a catch-all term. It covers "eco-roofs," which are thin layers of soil and simple vegetation, such as grasses, and "garden roofs," which are more elaborate and intensive green roofs. Portland now has about 9.5 acres of ecoroofs, and about 11.5 acres of garden roofs. The city has set an ambitious goal of more than doubling the acreage of green roofs by 2013.

It's an ambitious but realistic goal, even for a city that has no plans to emulate Toronto, Tokyo and others that require some green roofs in large new urban developments. Portland uses a range in incentives, from grants to expanded development rights, to coax more builders into incorporating green roofs.

That's getting easier and more feasible all the time. There's a fledging green roof industry in Portland and the Northwest that is developing best practices and new materials, and identifying plants able to best withstand the heat and wind of the roof environment. It's also helping dispel some of the myths and misconceptions, such as the worry that green roofs are especially vulnerable to leaks. In fact, well built green roofs have an anticipated life span of 40 years -- twice that of many conventional roofs.

When you spend time on some of the world's most impressive green roofs, as one of our Editorial Board members writers did during a recent trip to Tokyo, you see the tremendous potential of green roofs, not just to cool heat islands, but to create far more usable, beautiful space in a city. In one Tokyo neighborhood a high-rise was covered with a "kitchen garden," covered with olive trees and grapevines. In another, the "Vertical Garden City" of Roppongi, a rice paddy and vegetable garden stood more than 130 feet above a development that lined with thousands of cherry trees.

That's a long way from Tom Liptan's humble goal of capturing stormwater runoff on his garage roof. But smart, creative people in Portland are doing great things with their roofs, too, such as growing heirloom tomatoes and vegetables.

Yet there's still an enormous opportunity with green roofs in Portland. Yes, doubling the total area of green roofs here to 40-plus acres by 2013 is an ambitious goal. But next time you fly into Portland International Airport, or look down from a Portland high rise, look down at all the roofs. There are 12,500 acres of conventional roofs in Portland. This city has only begun to go green."

King Appointed to USGBC Group

(via the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce) posted Friday, August 7, 2009 USGBC_logo

Senior associate Jason A. King of GreenWorks PC has been appointed by the U.S. Green Building Council to serve on the Sustainable Sites Technical Advisory Group (SS TAG). The group provides technical advice in regard to products, tools and services related to sustainable sites within the LEED rating system.

King will advise on credit interpretation requests and credit ruling appeals, as well as monitor consistency in the methods of assessment and standards across the LEED product range as it relates to credits for sustainable sites. He was selected from a pool of 124 applicants for eight open TAG positions. King is experienced in green roof design, storm water design, habitat restoration, reduction of the urban heat island effect, and other sustainable design strategies.

Also, read this interview with Jason King about the appointment, recently featured on World Landscape Architect by Damian Holmes.

Landscape Architecture Rising

One of the projects included SWA Group and their work on Houston’s buffalo bayou transformation which turned a derelict channel into urban paradise

A great article 'Landscape Architecture Rising', appeared in the July issue of Engineering News-Record offered some great press about the relevance and growth of the profession of landscape architecture. Something all of us at GreenWorks can agree with.

"Need to stop flooding or reduce stormwater runoff and sewer overflows? Looking to ease demand on treatment plants and avoid the cost of expansion? Seeking cleaner air or water? Interested in recharging an aquifer, rebuilding a shoreline or remediating a brownfield? Trying to stem highway pollution? Need to rebalance a watershed or ecosystem? If so, a landscape architect may be in your future. The design professional—until recently derided as little more than a glorified gardener—is on a campaign to reclaim a seat at the environmental cleanup table. Some are even bent on sitting at the head, leading the engineers."
Read more and see more images from the article here.