Five Green Roof Questions With Twixwood’s Mike Edelbach

GG: Can you tell us about the Eco-Roofs modular system you designed and why you were interested in green roofs in the first place?

ME: We’re a larger groundcover nursery. Starting probably 10 years ago many of our different customers started asking for plugs to put up green roofs for the built-in-place systems. We started there and over the years some of our customers kept telling us we needed to do something with a tray system. There were just a few people out there doing these tray systems and they were selling them for an incredible amount of money. They were just plugs of sedums put in a tray and thrown onto a rooftop. The majority either died or had to be replanted multiple times.

Eco-Roofs formed as a company in 2008. We started doing research on trays and how to do this back in about 2006. We tried some different designs. We worked with different manufacturers on coming up with a tray that would do what we hoped it would do. We were looking at it more from a nursery perspective than a roofing perspective, with the goal being the plants needed to look good the day they went on the roof. No one should spend the money they’re spending on a green roof and have to wait two, three or four years to see green.

GG: Does Eco-Roofs get involved in individual projects beyond the production and delivery of its system?

ME: Eco-Roofs does go out and sell but we do not directly install. We don’t want to get into competition with our customers. There are some companies out there who sell and do the installations. We do not. We get the product to the job site and they take over. We will have a person on hand to work with them, help out with any situations and verify everything is ready to go on the roof.

Many of these guys come to us and say we want something better. They say, “We know you can grow a heck of a groundcover, so why don’t you do this with these rooftop trays?” If anything, we kick ourselves because we didn’t jump into it faster. We were spending a couple years trying to determine whether it’s a fad to stay or whether it was going to go away.

GG: Do you see interest in green roofs going away?

ME: I don’t see it going away at all. Last year, we probably did fewer quotes than the year before but I would say at the end of the day we probably installed just as much as the year prior. Things are more last minute now. Everybody is quoting and re-quoting looking for the best dollar.

GG: How competitive is the green roof industry now?

ME: It’s very competitive. It became competitive very quickly. Four or five years ago, these things were selling for $18 to $20 a square foot. Our pricing, depending on the volume we buy, is $8.40 to $11.50 a square foot depending on how large or complicated it is. That’s obviously a long way from $18 to $20.

We have to make sure we could produce these economically before we committed. We were pretty sure the prices were going to fall pretty quickly. I think the volume will go up if the prices continue to come down. It’s very expensive to put up a green roof.

GG: Besides more affordable pricing, what else needs to happen to increase the number of green roof opportunities for growers?

ME: Right now when you look at a tray system, it’s primarily sedums in those trays. That’s great in areas where they’re putting green roofs up solely for the benefits of a green roof. You’re controlling the amount of water that’s running off; you’re helping to cool off the building. But nobody’s seeing it. Sedum’s the perfect fit there.

We’ve done some on condominiums where the upper floor can walk out onto the roof and walk into a park-like setting. Sedums are cool and they’re cooler than a black roof, but perennials would add something to it. To do that, you really need to be in 6 inches of soil or deeper. There are certainly systems out there that have that.

Leave a Reply

More From Varieties...
Dr Allan Armitage

June 25, 2016

Three Types Of Plant Consumers To Watch

There are three emerging groups of plant consumers that you should be targeting for plant sales in the future, according to Allan Armitage.

Read More
FleuroStar Award Ceremony

June 20, 2016

Begonia Hybrid ‘Miss Malibu’ Takes Home FleuroStar Award

The award from Fleuroselect was announced at the Green Inspiration Event in Amsterdam.

Read More
Caryopteris 'Beyond Midnight Bluebeard'

June 20, 2016

Keep The Sales Coming With 16 New Blooming Varieties For Fall

Plants that put on a show from first frost long into fall and offer the color options consumers want for their gardens go a long way toward extending sales further into the season and can help maintain your sales momentum going strong. Check out these 16 new blooming varieties, both traditional favorites and new alternatives, for your fall crop selection.

Read More
Latest Stories
Dr Allan Armitage

June 25, 2016

Three Types Of Plant Consumers To Watch

There are three emerging groups of plant consumers that you should be targeting for plant sales in the future, according to Allan Armitage.

Read More
FleuroStar Award Ceremony

June 20, 2016

Begonia Hybrid ‘Miss Malibu’ Takes Home FleuroStar Awar…

The award from Fleuroselect was announced at the Green Inspiration Event in Amsterdam.

Read More
Caryopteris 'Beyond Midnight Bluebeard'

June 20, 2016

Keep The Sales Coming With 16 New Blooming Varieties Fo…

Plants that put on a show from first frost long into fall and offer the color options consumers want for their gardens go a long way toward extending sales further into the season and can help maintain your sales momentum going strong. Check out these 16 new blooming varieties, both traditional favorites and new alternatives, for your fall crop selection.

Read More
'Osaka' Flowering Cabbage (Sakata Ornamentals)

June 18, 2016

Mark Your Calendar For Sakata Seed Trials In August

Sakata has set two dates for its California-based trials: Aug. 15-17 in Salinas, and Aug. 17-19 in Woodland.

Read More
Tomato Congress Logo

June 15, 2016

International Tomato Congress In Mexico Will Focus On G…

The event, which takes place in San Luis Potosi from July 20-22, will feature discussions on production strategies, cost management in protected structures, and optimizing your greenhouse environment.

Read More
Nir Nursery Wax Flower Pot Plant

June 14, 2016

Danziger Reaches Deal To Distribute Nir Nursery Varieti…

With the agreement, Danziger becomes the exclusive distributor of Nir’s product line, which includes cut flowers, foliage, pot, and garden plants.

Read More

June 14, 2016

Dümmen Orange Expands Its Succulent Offerings Through N…

According to Dümmen Operations Director Kate Santos, succulents are an attractive growth category because of their ease of use, shelf life in stores, drought tolerance, and versatility in application.

Read More
'Osaka' Flowering Cabbage (Sakata Ornamentals)

June 14, 2016

New Cool Season, Vegetable, And Foliage Crops For Fall …

Whether you’re providing pansies and violas to the garden center for fall color or decorative edibles to grace patio containers, consider these 16 varieties for fall crop sales, newly introduced for 2016 and hitting retail in 2017.

Read More
Calibrachoa Chameleon Sunshine Berry (Westflowers) - Feature

June 9, 2016

Fall Crop Alternatives That Can Increase Your Sales

There’s a lot of competition for grabbing your share of fall mum sales. Give your program a boost with new varieties that complement traditional fall crops.

Read More

June 7, 2016

It’s Time To Rethink The Value And Timing Of Cali…

Fourteen years ago, Greenhouse Grower saw an opportunity to bring next-day coverage of California Pack Trials (now California Spring Trials or CAST) to your inbox. The objective was to be your eyes and ears on location, to report the debut of the newest varieties and marketing programs, and report major breeder announcements, especially for those not attending. We continued to develop new story-telling tools with video capabilities, slideshows, and more. And once social media took hold, everyone attending CAST became reporters of their favorite varieties and displays at trials. So we’re left with the question — how should we continue to evolve our coverage, to bring the most value for you? It’s easy to fall into a certain pattern, to stick with what works — or seems to work. And just because you’re working really hard at something that you’ve had success with in the past, it doesn’t mean it’s […]

Read More
Carex 'Eversheen' (Hoffman Nursery)

June 7, 2016

Hoffman Nursery Has A New 30-Year Anniversary Look!

The new redesign of the Hoffman Nursery website packs in more content than ever with updated resources and 30 years of experience growing grasses.

Read More
GG June Cover image

June 6, 2016

The State Of Plant Breeding In 2016

Breeding companies look to strengthen their competitive advantage, easing the way for growers to procure new plant varieties and for consumers to grow with confidence.

Read More
Petunia Queen of Hearts

June 1, 2016

Danziger Introducing New Petunia Amore Series, And More…

Danziger “Dan” Flower Farm is planning to introduce 60 new varieties from its 2016-17 collection at the annual event, including petunias, bidens, and calibrachoa.

Read More
Nathan Lamkey Chuck Pavlich Allan Armitage talk about muckgenia

May 31, 2016

Allan Armitage: Three Trends (Good And Bad) That Caught…

We need to put the same energies we invest into California Spring Trials to get plants into consumers’ hands and encourage young people in the industry to attend.

Read More
National Garden Bureau California Vegetable Summer Trials

May 26, 2016

California Summer Vegetable Trials In August Will Cover…

The National Garden Bureau is once again organizing summer vegetables trials this August in California, giving attendees the opportunity to visit with several breeding companies.

Read More
Eason 2017 Perennials Guide

May 25, 2016

Eason Horticultural Resources Releases New Perennials G…

The two guides are available in digital and print versions and offer information from several breeders.

Read More
Echinacea ‘Butterfly Rainbow Marcella’

May 25, 2016

15 New Perennials For Bees, Butterflies, And Other Poll…

These 15 new perennials, available for retail in 2016 and 2017, will produce colorful flowers and foliage year after year, providing habitat and food for bees, butterflies, birds, moths, and other pollinators.

Read More
P.Allen Smith Cut Flowers

May 25, 2016

Sakata Seed America And P. Allen Smith Extend Partnersh…

Sakata is taking its partnership with plantsman P. Allen Smith a step further to create the P. Allen Smith Home Grown Cut Flowers Collection, a selection of premium cut flower seed hand-picked by Smith and bred exclusively by Sakata.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]