New York Green Roof Contractor

I love the abundance of energy emerging for green roofs in Brooklyn and New York. Installing a green roof in Brooklyn is the smartest think I can think of. When I go on a Brooklyn rooftop and see all the plane flat roofs I see a possible forest of verdant green and fauna.

I see a cool rooftop landscape where the city heat has been reduced noticeably.

Green roofs in Brooklyn make so much sense that I’d say it is one of the top things in greening a brownstone. The good news is that there are some great Brooklyn and NY green roof companies available. We all share the passion for green and so the companies share an idealism that often is lacking in business.

Eco Brooklyn is a green roof installer so you might wonder why I’m raving about other New York green roof companies. The truth is that we need to work together. There are too many roofs for just one company to bring the New York green roof industry to critical mass.

Critical mass is when it is adopted by the main stream and no just intelligent early adopters. Critical mass is when you see a noticeable change in city air quality, temperature and wildlife liveliness. Critical mass is also when installing green roofs really takes off as a business.

So I am happy to be part of the New York green roof installers. We can all help in this very wonderful and important job of putting green roofs on as many NY rooftops!

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

12 comments to “New York Green Roof Contractor”

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  1. Inger Staggs Yancey - October 20, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Heather, it all depends on how slanted your roof is. There are great tools for applying green roof materials to sloped roofs: things like slings and nets and geo-grids. And depending on the orientation of your roof and the surrounding shade generating elements like tall trees and tall buildings, it may also be possible to do solar electricity, rather than hot water. You need someone to take a look at your roof to assess it’s unique characteristics, in order to decide what your options are.

    Caution: Don’t confuse the benefits of white roofs with green roofs. Green roofs provide many, many benefits to the building owner, the building itself, as well as to the environment that white roofs do not. And the benefits of white roofs don’t last very long. As the roof collects dirt, it’s ability to reflect solar radiation deteriorates rapidly.

  2. Heather Y - October 20, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks to all who wrote in about this three way pull between price, quality, and critical mass.

    We bought a house in August, and we will have to redo the roof in the next five years. I am right now praying we can get at least one more year’s worth out of the house so we can save up our money for a roof re -do, including attic insulation and at some point passive solar for hot water heating.

    Our roof is slanted, and from what I am reading here and elsewhere, I think it will not be very possible to put a green roof up there, unless the design somehow can USE the slant to channel whatever water the plants do not capture OFF the roof and into a rain barrel or other plants or somewhere AWAY from the house.

    Is that even possible? Please pretend that cost is no problem and just have some fun with theory and tell me, is it is just MY crazy idea?

    Back in the real world, I am interested in a white roof and green walls – vining plants planted along the edge of the driveway and the front porch, trained to go up the roof, to provide shade and to reduce storm water….or should the vines be planted on the ground?

    (who will now go back to lurking on this thread)

  3. Gennaro Brooks-Church - April 16, 2009 at 6:59 am

    The classic argument often thrown around in green building is price vs. quality. But I don’t see them as mutually exclusive. You can have lower price AND quality. It just means building smarter. People aren’t going to get richer so I think their buying potential is pretty constant. Their priorities will shift and that will allow for more spending on green but it won’t tip the scale drastically. I’d say the largest impediment to green is the price. In Brooklyn we’ve got thousands of empty roofs just perfect from a green roof. So we either have to lower green building prices or not hit the mainstream. It is that simple for me. AND we need to keep quality higher.

  4. Jorg Breuning - April 16, 2009 at 6:18 am

    It might not be the best goal getting prices down regardless any other considerations. As I mentioned earlier the quality of any installations on roofs is another big issue in this country.
    Putting up a planter, tray or box with Sedums is a good start but not necessarily a reasonable quality since many things depend on perfect details and may require custom solutions with standardized components.

  5. Gennaro Brooks-Church - April 16, 2009 at 5:57 am

    So James how much can you do a green roof for here in NY? I love the price of $ 0,90 – $ 2,50 per sqft but can we even come close?

  6. Gennaro Brooks-Church - April 16, 2009 at 5:53 am

    I just met with a roofing materials supplier and they are charging $25 JUST for the sedum trays. I agree that the whole green roof price and cache needs to come down. It needs to move away from an upscale niche market to a common sense affordable one. Which is basically where all of green building in Brooklyn needs to go. We’ve got this great housing stock just waiting for affordable gray water, green roof, solar installations.

  7. Jorg Breuning - April 16, 2009 at 3:40 am

    I found some updates of the web page. If you like you can also copy some information from our page – but let me know. However I hope you asked the others before you did that. Usually I recommend our clients who want to go into the green roof business doing things in their own words. This is much more attractive for potential clients because it is a personal note. Too much information at the beginning confuses. Regarding the costs: A green roof installation in Germany cost about $ 0,90 – $ 2,50 per sqft which includes everything – including a much higher quality – a quality I hardly found in the US since 1999 as I started with projects here.
    The price needs to go down if people are seriously want green roofs as a tool to improve environmental issues or cities want to safe tax payer’s money. Don’t abuse green roofs for potential savings in heating or cooling – insulate the building right from the beginning.

  8. James Friedman - April 15, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Thank you
    Yes we do great work, but it’s a very difficult time and competing with the low ballers out there. They work for a days pay. Thats okay they won’t be in business for very long and give us a great deal of repair work to do if you know what I mean.

  9. Gennaro Brooks-Church - April 5, 2009 at 6:27 pm

    Jorg, I checked out your site and it looks like you also do good work.

  10. Jorg Breuning - April 5, 2009 at 8:48 am

    Hi James,
    If you are seriously interested in the green roof business you will find many reliable installers for NY. I know at least 5 high profile installers with great references.
    The web is also a great place for some research.

  11. Jorg Breuning - April 5, 2009 at 8:39 am

    There are people out there with black thumbs and with green thumbs. Somebody with a green thumb might have some horticulture knowledge and somebody with a black thumb might have some roofing knowledge however it isn’t a guarantee that your waterproofing is working as it is supposed or whether your green roof does its job. Is it just to make big bucks?
    Time to get the domain


  12. James Friedman - April 4, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    Thank You so much Gennaro Brooks-Church. If only all the other contractors would have the same attitude this would be a great industry.

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