What is a Green Roof?

A green roof is a thin layer of vegetation installed on a traditional flat or pitched roof. Although the specifics of green roof design may vary, all green roofs have the same basic components. The layers (from the bottom up) include:  waterproofing layer(s), root barrier (to prevent the plantings’ roots from growing through the roof), water retention/water drainage layer, growing medium, and plants. There are two types of green roofs: intensive and extensive. Intensive green roofs are similar to traditional rooftop gardens and often provide social and recreational uses.  They are capable of supporting varied types of plants, including shrubs and even trees.  They have growing media (light weight soil or artificial soil mix) with depths of 6" and greater. By contrast, extensive green roofs are much shallower. Their growing media are typically less than 6". They are lighter weight systems that provide primarily ecological and economic benefits. The plants that are likely to flourish on extensive green roofs include sedums, succulents, alpine type plants, and some grasses.  Extensive green roofs contain fewer layers than those of intensive roofs and tend to require less maintenance. 

What We Do:

We offer a researched and well thought out combined green roof & solar panel  design that takes advantage of the tax abatements NYC offers its residents. We streamline and manage the entire process, making it easy and simple for you to maximize your benefits.

How We Work:

1. Initial Consultation: We are happy to work with you to figure out your options.

2. Project Management: We will be your eyes and ears, representing you, the

client, from design through completion.

3. Installation: This will be done by an outside contractor (nursery or manufacturer’s installers) under separate contract.

4. Maintenance: We offer follow up visits and maintenance as needed on a project by project basis. This service will be under separate annual contracts.

Benefits of Green Roofs

• Extending the service life of roofs:  Green roofs can double or even triple the usable lifetime of roofs. To quantify this it may extend the life of a roof by twenty to thirty years because these systems prevent many harmful ultra-violet rays from reaching roofing materials.

• They also reduce temperature variations on the roof that can cause thermal expansion and contraction stresses on roof assemblies.

• Reducing sound transmission and reflection:  Green roofs reduce the transmission of noise by 5 to 45 decibels and the reflected sound by up to 30 decibels.

• Conserving energy:  Green roofs reduce the energy required for heating and cooling. Green roofs insulate the upper floors of buildings on which they are planted, while in the summers they cool buildings through shading and their plants’ evapotranspiration.

• Improving water quality:  Green roofs reduce the amount of storm water run-off by fifty to ninety percent and reduce the peak flow rate of run-off.  During a 1" rainfall, 100% water retention is achievable.  Green roofs filter out 95% of the cadmium, copper, and lead and 30% of the nitrogen and phosphorous in storm water. In addition, storm water retention is enhanced by the storm water tanks which store water until it is needed to water the plants.

• Adjacent Solar Arrays: Green roofs cool air around Solar Units, increasing efficiency.

• Creating wildlife habitats:  Green roofs create biodiversity by attracting other types of vegetation, animals and insects including butterflies, bees and birds.

• Mitigating the heat island effect:  Green roofs cool the surrounding air and thereby reduce the temperature of the mass of hot air that hovers over cities during the summer.  For example, on a 90° F day, a conventional black roof’s surface temperature is 150° F, while a green roof’s temperature will vary from 90-95⁰F.

• Removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere:  The plants on a green roof convert atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into organic compounds, mainly sugars, by using energy from sunlight.

• Reducing air pollutants:  Green roofs filter airborne particles including those that cause respiratory diseases. 

• Improving carbon dioxide/oxygen exchange:  Sixteen square feet of vegetation on a green roof produces enough oxygen per year to satisfy the oxygen requirements of one person.

• Improving aesthetics:  Green roofs can add to the beauty of residential and commercial buildings.

• Sequestering carbon: Green roofs take out carbon from the carbon cycle because a square foot of green roof sequesters thirty-four grams of carbon.