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UC Landscape Architect Featured in Book on Green Roof Leaders

UC’s Virginia Russell is one of 50 international green roof leaders featured in the recently published book, “Rise of Living Architecture.”

Date: 1/25/2013
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824
Photos By: Kelly Romoser
In recognition of her leadership in green roof advocacy, research, and education, the University of Cincinnati’s Virginia Russell, associate professor in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP) is one of only 50 global green roof leaders featured in the recently published book, “Rise of Living Architecture.”
UC's Virginia Russell at work, helping to install a green roof at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden.

The international organization Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) published the book to commemorate its 10th anniversary and to celebrate professional designers, entrepreneurs, educators and others who have been fundamental to fueling the explosive growth of green roofs and walls, known as “living architecture,” across North America in the last decade.
Said Russell, “This book is like the Mount Rushmore of the green roof industry, so being included in it along with many of my heroes is quite an honor.”
One of Russell’s most significant contributions to living architecture is her work with leaders in the industry to provide an accreditation program through GRHC for green roof professionals, the first of its kind in this international industry, a program she has chaired since its inception. Since 2009, over 500 people have become Accredited Green Roof Professionals (GRP) in eight countries. Her position in living architecture’s leadership brings a unique qualification to UC’s Urban Landscape series and the Certificate in Green Roofs, the first in the United States, and available through UC's horticulture program.

UC’s installation of green roofs on Zimmer Hall, Procter Hall, and DAAP accelerates its position in sustainable campus arenas and provides students and faculty with an important urban learning environment for stormwater management, ecological restoration, and improving the quality of life. Russell has worked with UC staff, faculty, and students on green roof education and research to benefit the entire region. These efforts include ongoing studies to determine which green roof species survive in this region during the dry, hot summers.
Said Russell, “Perhaps my greatest contribution is that I’ve prepared hundreds of people to be advocates and experts in this important area of sustainable design. I know the industry, having been involved with green roof efforts for over a decade. I know where the needs are, where the opportunities for innovation are, and what we still don’t know in terms of best practices for our region.”