Vitaroofs stands for Choices in green roof design!

Joy Schmidt has personally participated in the development of some
of the most celebrated projects in North America.


February 29, 2016

Wolfgang Behrens, the father of green roofs, you will be missed.

It is with great regret and deep sadness that I announce the passing of Wolfgang Behrens, father of green roofs. Yesterday, my life-long mentor and very dear friend died in his home, surrounded by his three daughters and aware of their presence.

As much as this is a difficult time for family and friends, I also know it’s important to celebrate a life worth remembering.

The world has lost a pioneer today.

Wolfgang touched people’s hearts. He was a man with a vision and unlimited fondness and curiosity for his life’s work. His vision has inspired the planting of green roods around the world. And through every single one, he continues to live.

I could tell you stories about our time working closely together for so many years, breaking into a new field is not without its moments. Some funny. Some exciting. Some were even terrifying.

But what comes to mind right now, honestly, is my last visit with him in November. It was in some ways reminiscent of the many years we sat in his kitchen together, laughing and planning away, with the lovely fields where he did his experimenting, visible from his picture window.

There was much sadness on that visit as his wife was very ill. But there was also beauty and light. We went for a walk together through his aqua park, a sea of water lilies, Wolfgang’s creation and pride and joy. Mr Behrens especially enjoyed his walks when the lilies were in bloom. Well it was November and they were just starting to go dormant. That was, unfortunately, to be our last walk together. As short as it was, it was a sweet moment that I will always remember.

As I prepare to return to Germany for the funeral, my mind is heavy with the loss of a generous and noteworthy man. Wolfgang Behrens your legacy will live on. But you will be missed.

Kind regards,

Joy Schmidt




Green Roofs Project List


Frank J Horgan Water Treatment Plant, Toronto • World on Yonge, Toronto • FSCC -Forensic Sciences and Coroner’s Complex, Toronto • Blue Nose Academy, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia • Into the Wild, Saint Johns, New Brunswick • Planetarium, Montreal • ED C – Export Development Corporation, Ottawa • Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver • RCMP, Surrey, BC • BTC – Broadway Tech Centre, Vancouver • Waterloo City Hall, Waterloo, ON …


Vitaroofs is founded on creativity and research. It’s our ability to invent solutions to increasingly complex requirements, as they arise, that we’re proud of. We foster new thinking in green roofs, on an ongoing basis, by: Offering accredited courses for architects • Participating in government task forces • Collaborating with research and development departments at St. Mary’s University, UBC-O, SAIT Polytechnic and others.



At Vitaroofs, we’re not trying to sell you a system of green roofs . Instead, we begin with an in-depth consultation, listening very carefully to your vision, and we offer various solutions from there. Whether you have a clear vision of what you want, or you’re contemplating something that’s never been designed before, this approach translates into added value… learn more.