As a New York green roof installer we get asked the same questions by clients considering installing a green roof on their condo building or brownstone. So we decided to answer them here.

1. What does a green roof entail? Pricing? Plant types?

Go here for a great overview of general green roof installation facts, although their pricing is a little out of touch with current NY prices.

2. Do you need a permit to install a green roof in New York?

You don’t need a permit for green roof installations if the depth of the growth medium and containment does not exceed 4 inches in depth. However, it is recommended that you retain the services of an architect or professional engineer to evaluate the particular conditions and capacity of your existing roof.

3. What tax credits are there?

You can receive a one year tax credit of up to $100,000 ($4.50 per sq/ft) for green roof installations that encompass at least 50% of available roof space. This law is effective until March 15, 2013, at which point we hope to reinstate it and make it easier to process (the current law requires a lot of paperwork and is a pain in the butt). To get the rebate you need to file for a permit to the Department of Buildings, which means you need an Engineer or Architect. If the architect and expediting fees exceed the tax credit then it may not be worth applying for the credit. Go here for more info about tax credit.

The Eco Brooklyn Green Show House has a green roof. It is a good example of a brownstone green roof installation.