Pitched Green Roof Alternative

In Brooklyn there aren’t that many pitched roofs. You get a lot of them in certain areas, especially Ditmas Park.

We have a client in that area who approached us to replace their asphalt roof with the same. We are green roofers in Brooklyn so we come up when people do internet searches.

But since we are Brooklyn green roofers, asking us to install tar shingles just aint going to happen.

Bottom line: Asphalt shingles are crap – crap for the environment, crap quality, crap price when you factor in how often they need to be changed.

Don’t ever buy Asphalt Shingles.

The best alternative is a green roof. Once you factor in the benefits it makes a lot more financial sense. And forget about the ecological sense.

Pitched Green Roof. Word on the street is that you are allowed goats in Brooklyn but I don't have official confirmation on that.

Pitched Green Roof. Word on the street is that you are allowed goats in Brooklyn but I don't have official confirmation on that.

After a green roof it is a toss up as to what is good for a pitched roof.

Slate is a great choice. It lasts hundreds of years and it is easy to find salvaged slate. We have some in stock that we used on the Green Show House that sat for a couple hundred years on a house in Massachusetts before we salvaged it. It looks brand new.

Metal is another ok option, with cedar shingles as a possible fourth choice. If you use cedar you want to cover it with Pine Tar. pine tar has been used in Scandinavia for millennium. They have some wood shingle houses that are over 500 years old.

I visited one church in Norway that was completely made of wood and was 1200 years old. It is surrounded year round by harsh northern weather yet it was in great shape. Really amazing.

Norway Stave Church

Norway Stave Church

But my sense it that in Brooklyn metal is a better ecological choice than cedar shingles.

Here is an email conversation I had with a fellow green roofer in Canada:

You have Ideal steel shingles. Their Large shingles, that are fabricated to look like groups of small steel shingles are called Wakefield Bridge Steel shingles.

These have a retail price at a local yard, (Killaloe, ON) of $!72.50 per square.

By compaison, the Vic Elite, standing seal, concealed fasteners, 16″ coverage by any length,

These panels are priced for comparison at $238.00 per Square.
This material is 29 guage.

And to prove that you pay more for more material, the Ideal Roofing version of this standing seam, concealed fasteners, 16″ coverage by any length,

This is 26 guage, quite alot heavier, for $326.00 per square.

Local # 1 cedar shingles come in at $200.00 per square, on a steep pitched roof, and $280.00 per square on a six/twelve (or less,) roof,.

And for comparison, the current door crasher, at the nearest big box store in Pembroke, (Rampart, assphalt shingle) is $75.00 per square.

How many re-roofing, days of labor, dumpster fees for old shingles, would it take to compare with steel roofing? I don’t want to know. I haven’t laid an asphalt roof in a decade. They’ve all been steel or cedar; and this is in an area of constant recession, notoriously low incomes; loggers, tourist operators, subsistence farmers. Of all the people who own their own homes in this county, most are poor enough to value spending their hard earned money on longer lasting roofs.

About the author: Gennaro Brooks-Church

3 comments to “Pitched Green Roof Alternative”

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  1. Gennaro Brooks-Church - March 10, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    From what I know you are not allowed to keep hooved animals in the NYC area. Goats, sheep, cows, pigs etc. There exist horse stables but I suspect they are an exception. Normal homes can’t keep horses from what I know.
    You can have bees, chickens, rabbits and fish. Kids are allowed too. And rats. Rug rats too.

  2. susanna dalton - March 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    This pic is INCREDIBLE! I’m an advocate for green roofs+vertical farms in NYC. I was actually ASKED today by a friend from Tennessee who used to have a goat farm, if goats were allowed on NY rooftops+now I can tell her! I’d also thought about it for cutting the grass,but wondered if it was feasible. Are those full size or dwarf/mini size? Thanks for a fantastic example! tvcoach911

  3. mike pickett - July 12, 2009 at 8:35 am

    i did a job on 14th st. in mann. the custermer was a strange type . he wanted a lawn on his patio and he didnt care what he had to do maintain it. i contactad several of my friends that had landscaping co. they saved me all of thier plant trays 12 x 24 with various size baskets in each. i laid out pt. 2x6s ripped to 1 3/4 and laid out a grid . filled all the baskets with homemade black dirt from vegi garden added seed and laid it all out. about 85% took , so we shifted and made a walkway for easier access, when it came time for “the lawnmower”. every couple of days he would bring in a tray and cut with a pr. of hairdressers scissors.it was like you were sitting in a park. give me a call if anything pops up about the job i applied for thanks again mike pickett 917 442 3104

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