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College of Architecture and Planning University of Colorado Denver

College of Architecture & Planning


College of Architecture and Planning

Leila Tolderlund

SENIOR Instructor and Research Associate


Tolderlund photoContact Information

Phone: 303.901.9993 or 303.315.1000

Office Location: CU Denver Building 512
Office hours: By appointment 



Landscape Architecture  

Degrees Held  

  • Master of Landscape Architecture, University of Colorado Denver (2003)
  • BEng (equivalent), University of Copenhagen, Denmark   



LEED, NC 2.0 accreditation, 2003 

GRP (Accredited Green Roof Professional)​  


Professional Activities

Leila Tolderlund was born in Denmark on the island of Fyn. She moved to Colorado in 1994 and received her Master of Landscape Architecture in 2003. She became LEED-accredited in 2004 and is actively bridging knowledge and experience acquired while growing up in Denmark with implementation of sustainable design strategies in the U.S. -- sustainability without borders.  

She has practiced landscape architecture professionally since 2003 and been a faculty member in the Landscape Architecture Department at the College of Architecture and Planning since 2004. Her teaching and professional career is focused on promoting sustainable design strategies with a specific interest in urban sustainability and green roof research and implementation. 


She is the Project Manager and Senior Instructor for the design and implementation of the University of Colorado Denver Green Roof Project and IRIS (Infrastructure and Research for Integrated Systems) which promotes intensive and extensive green roof and green wall testing, student and faculty research, and a public experimental research garden. UC Denver’s green roof research project started in 2006 and the IRIS initiative started in 2010. Both projects aim to educate and create awareness about green roofs and vertical garden plots. Students have designed and will implement living systems on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th floor at our building located on 1250 14th Street in downtown Denver. These projects will add to a growing body of professional literature and knowledge.  Overall aim is to explore how vegetation ratios in our cities effect and help generate sustainable urban living.  




Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, 2003-present
ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects), 2001-present
CCASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects), 2001-present
USGBC (United States Green Building Council), 2003-present
UCGBC (local chapter), 2003-present



Tolderlund, L. Frederiksen E., Frederiksen, B., Jørsboe, F., and Alectia. ‘Green Roofs Analyses for Stormwater Management, Urban Heat Island and Energy Efficiency for City of Frederiksberg’ (‘Grønne tage og taghaver kombineret med klimatilpasning i form af LAR og energibesparende tiltag Analyse’. Fall 2013. (Analysis available at go to: ‘Læs analysen her’). 
nd, L., Viitanen, W. Flynt, A. Living Folds.
lund, L., Brunnette, J., .Aldena, C. Illusive Skin.
lund, L. and Rocamore, J.. Digestive Skin.
World Green Infrastructure Conference, Nantes, France. Fall 2013. (Published Conference Abstract) 
lund, L., Flinch, H. and Xiaojiao, G. Space as Sponge. World Green Roof Congress, Green Infrastructure Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark. Fall 2012. (Published Conference Abstract) 
lund, L., Pisa, H. and Bosco, C. Green Roofs in the Semi-Arid and Arid West. American Public Works Reporter Magazine. September  2011. (  
lund, L. Advanced Maintenance for Green Roofs (training manual for GRP exam). Collaboration with Green Roofs for Healthy Cities/Committee member. April 2011. ( 
lund, L. Design Guidelines and Maintenance Manual for Green Roofs in the Semi-Arid and Arid West.
·         This is an important publication because the information is based in large measure on green roof success in some of the most challenging climate conditions.
·         It contains some break-through information about green roofs impact on Urban Heat Island Effect and Stormwater Management in this region.
·         Relevant to Low Impact Development (LID) and Green Building and LEED, especially sustainable sites and livability of urban communities.
·          Created as a consulting service for Environmental Protecting Agency (US Miljøministerium) and in collaboration with City and County of Denver, Urban Drainage and Flood Control District, Colorado State University, Denver Botanic Gardens + select panel of professionals. November 2010. (
erlund, L. Scandinavian Design/Danish Feast. Colorado Homes and Lifestyle Magazine. November/December 2000.
st Haus Fate 2013 National Conference  Savannah, Georgia. “Earthworks: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow” – historic and contemporary earth works. Apr 2013. 
Denver Art Museum Denver, Colorado “TURF TALK - 51st Untitled”. Apr 2013. 
American Indian Council of Architects and Engineers, Denver, Colorado. “Innovative Green Infrastructures”.  Mar 2013.  
IOWA State University, Ames, Iowa. “Innovative Green Infrastructures”. Mar 2013. 
American Public Work Association - International Public Works Congress and Exposition, Denver, Colorado “Green Roofs in the Semi-Arid and Arid West”. Sep 2011.  
Grow West Annual Green Roof Symposium, Denver, Colorado. “Understanding opportunities and constraints for green roofs in the arid West - June 2012. “Green Roofs in the Arid West - June 2011. “Green Roof in the Semi-Arid West - June 2009.
Denver Botanic Gardens. Denver, Colorado - May 2010. 
“Green roofs in semi-arid and arid climates” and tour visiting green roofs in Lower Downtown Denver and Denver metro area for the Denver Metro Mayors Caucus”
ProGreen. Denver, Colorado. “Living Walls and Green Facades – opportunities and constraints” – February 2011
“Green Roof in the Arid West” Feb 2010. Urban Drainage and Flood Control District Headquarters. Denver, Colorado - May 2010.
Green roof tour in Denver Metro Mayors and City of Denver Officials.  
University of Colorado Boulder. Boulder, Colorado - Fall 2009. “Sustainable Strategies for Holistic Planning – LID Green roofs design and implementation” 
University of Colorado Boulder. Boulder, Colorado - Spring 2009. “Green roofs, vertical gardens, and other living systems” 
Colorado State University. Fort Collins, Colorado - Spring 2008. “Green roofs, vertical gardens and other living systems - design and implementation - water conservation strategies” 
Design Workshop, Inc. Denver, Colorado – 2006 + 2007. “LEED – Preparation for the LEED Accreditation Exam” 
ASLA, American Society of Landscape Architects. Fort Lauderdale, Florida – Fall 2004. “Young Professionals Panel” - National selection of 7 young professionals. 
University of Colorado Denver Green Roof Research Project. Senior Instructor + Research Associate for educational and independent studies for conceptual design, design development, construction documentation, website design and grant writing/funding. (2009 - present)
Infrastructure and  Research for Integrated Systems (IRIS). Senior Instructor + Research Associate. Forming and guiding a trans-disciplinary partnership between University of Colorado Denver’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, College of Architecture and Planning, Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) and Urban Drainage and Flood Control District (UDFCD).  
North Class Room Green Roof Research Project at UCD. Senior Instructor  and Research Associate for PAR collaborative classes and professional interaction to envision and fund green roof project. (2011 - present). 
Carlsberg Properties, Copenhagen, Denmark: Re-defining Green Building with Integrated Living Systems– March 2012. 
CELA (Council for Educators in Landscape Architecture), University of Illinois.
“Using Green Roofs in the Semi-Arid West to Balance Organic and In-Organic Matter in Urban Environments” - March 2012             
DIS (Danish Institute for Study Abroad), Copenhagen, Denmark: Using Living Systems to Create Urban Sustainability – June 2012. 
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, Chicago, Illinois:
Design Guidelines and Maintenance Manual for Green Roofs in the Semi-Arid West – October 2012  

Awards, Grants and Recognitions

EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD. University of Colorado Denver. 2010 
FACULTY DEVELOPMENT AWARD.  University of Colorado Denver. 2008
AIA (American Institute for Architecture) AIA Fisher’s traveling scholarship – documentation of EXIT, Novisad, Serbia 2006 
ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architecture) Design and Planning National Student/Faculty Award 2005 
ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architecture) Honor Award 2003 
UCD Department of Architecture & Planning award of academic achievement 2001-3 
Hideo Sasaki’s National Award of Merit
Americorps National Award of Merit 2002 
BHA Design Inc – Outstanding Graduate Landscape Architecture Student 2002 
Denver Parade of Homes “Best home of the year”–team 2002 

Recent Courses Taught 

  • LA Design Studio I
  • Site Planning
  • Advanced Vertical Landscape Architecture Studio
  • Sustainable Sites + Integrated Systems
  • International Practicum - Denmark, Copenhagen
  • Green Roofs, Vertical Gardens and Other Living Systems
  • Design Inspiration​ 
LA 5500                                    Landscape Architecture Studio I - first core studio
·         Landscape as Medium; dwells in the middle, the space between theory and practice, drawing and ground, form and performance, artifact and effect.
·         Objectives include gaining an understanding of 1.What is landscape? 2. What is landscape architecture and what could it be? And 3.What is the relevance of landscape architecture in our current cultural situation? 
LA/ARCH/URP 6632                  Integrated Cross-Disciplinary Site Planning
·         Introduction to site planning and urban design ethics, including a basic understanding of site [i.e. place] and the intricacies of form, function, features, networks, structures and systems.
·         A holistic understanding of site [i.e. place] is used to execute site analysis, site selection, tease out building and urban design programs, manipulate grade, drainage and road alignment, and arrive at final site concept proposals. 
LA 6700/6701/6607                    Advanced Vertical Landscape Architecture Studios (5+7/6+8) 
Advanced vertical studio samples:         
·         Living Systems City-Nature. Investigating relationships between city and ground/nature/landscape using biomass (green roofs, vertical gardens and other living systems) to propose green infrastructure design for an urban infill development in the inner city of Copenhagen, Denmark. Potentials for a new ‘urban wild’ was explored; a new hybrid nature as partner, neighbor and provider - human beings considered as resource. Studio abstract accepted at the 2012 World Green Infrastructure Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark.
·         Green Building - Living Skin; Using digital fabrication investigations of the synthesis between landscape and architecture to help facilitate a deeper understanding of the role living systems play in maximizing the quality of life in urban areas. Studio abstract accepted at the 2013 World Green Infrastructure Congress in Nantes, France.  
URBN 6612                   International Urban Design Studio - Copenhagen Denmark     
·         International studio planned for this summer in one of the most progressive parts of the world + a laboratory of visionary urbanism with sustainable approaches and innovations as diverse as creating integrated bicycle networks, the introduction of high quality public space, pedestrian connectivity, design innovations in architecture and landscape, and industrial re-developments. 
·         Strategies and evidence for integration of green infrastructure and renewable energy into the urban fabric informs the underlying philosophical framework for this international urban design studio.   
LA                                Design Inspiration
·         Techniques and methods for inspiration, editing and refining design ideas.
·         Creating new and innovative ideas is an essential skill. The ability and efficiency of getting inspired is a skill you can acquire by consciously practicing techniques and tools to give you new perspectives and help you leap onto different idea planes. 
LA                                Sustainable Sites + Integrated Systems
·         Integration of renewable technologies and living systems for architecture situated in sustainable sites.
·         Rating systems such as: LID (Low Impact Development), Green Building, SITES (new rating system for landscapes), and LEED (Leadership for Energy and Environmental Design) are used to facilitate cross-disciplinary discussions to define, evaluate, and place buildings.  
LA                                International Practicum - Copenhagen Denmark
·         Structured as a hybrid mix of a design studio and a study abroad in collaboration with Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) and developer and owner Carlsberg Properties, Copenhagen, Denmark. Students selected for this International study/working internship, worked with local professionals in Urban Planning, Landscape Architecture and Architecture in Copenhagen. 
LA/ARCH/URP 6712                  Green Roofs, Vertical Gardens and Other Living Systems Seminar
·         Gives students a technical understanding of layers, components, benefits, cost and maintenance of green roof and living wall components. Through a design proposal, this class furthermore envisions how these living systems can be incorporated into urban settings.   
LA/ARCH/URP 6686                  Green Roofs - Advanced Design, Implementation and Maintenance
·         Advances the knowledge and ideas put forth in the basic course mentioned above. This seminar typically uses a PAR participatory Action Research project (collaboration with developer, building owner, city, etc) to arrive at a real design proposal.  
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