Green Roof in Manhattan

We are designing and building a green roof in Manhattan. As one of the few green roof companies in Manhattan it is a very exciting time.

Building a green roof in Manhattan is a totally different feeling than doing a green roof on a Brooklyn brownstone. Putting green roofs on brownstones is great, you feel like you are taking the Brooklyn community to the roof.

When you do a green roof on a large building in Manhattan you feel like you are turning the concrete jungle into a, well, a real jungle. The contrast between the endless concrete and the green vegetation is beautiful. It is such a breath of fresh air.

We hope to do a lot more green roofs in Manhattan because it is such a perfect place. There are millions of empty spaces with nothing on them but dust. You’ve literally go a whole city of space for the green roofs. The island of Manhattan is six square miles and almost all of it is roof, and very expensive roof space at that. 90% of it is not used. Being a green roof installer in NY is like exploring a new frontier where no green roofer has gone before.

And Manhattan is such a fantastical place anyway that covering it’s head with foliage is a perfect addition to it’s eccentricity. It is a jungle in so many ways already, lets add some real jungle to Manhattan.

When installing a green roof on a Manhattan building you literally are creating a new world full of life where previously there was nothing but uninhabited concrete and tar. You would get that feeling when installing a green roof anywhere in the New York area since most buildings in the Try State area have unused roofs, but because of the sheer mass of anti-green that Manhattan buildings emanate, you really get a feeling that you are bringing back paradise when installing a green roof in Manhattan.

The Manhattan building we are installing a green roof on right now is a 10,000 square foot roof that currently is your basic heat pad in the city – hot cooling towers and black scorching tar.

Our installation will cover that with a mix of low laying sedum and more extensive areas with larger plants. The objective is to reduce the cooling loads in the summer and reduce the heating loads in the winter (by applying insulation under the green roof).

They also want to incorporate a green house for growing of vegetables and herbs.

The roof will have an educational element so we will leave one area free of green roof so that students can make and unmake the green roof themselves.

We have just done the engineer inspection and the roof is built like a fortress so that gives us more construction leeway in terms of weight.

Here is an idea of what it looks like.


Computer rendition by Nic Liberis

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

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