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A Green Roof Grows in Brooklyn

Contributed by Jane Winkel

The 9,600 sf “garden in the sky” on the Visitor Center at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is home to a green roof comprised of perennials, grasses and bulbs. The Visitor Center and the green roof are part of the Campaign for the Next Century initiative intended to renew the hundred year old garden. The roof garden is visible from many points within the garden. Not only a visitor center, the building will be available for private events including weddings and parties. The biodivesre green roof is comprised of over 10,000 plants and is expected to attract birds and pollinators.

Roofmeadow designed the profile and the slope stabilization system for the Visitor Center green roof. The slope of the gable roof varies and includes a peak in the center giving the roof the appearance of an upside down ship. Slope stabilization is needed over roughly half of the roof area, including any area with a slope greater than 9°. Stabilization of the media is achieved through the use of “banana cleats” secured to a geo grid net.

Slope stabilization acheived with Roofmeadow Certified Materials

Weiss/Manfredi designed the building which serves as a gateway to the botanic garden. Because of the roof’s pitch, the green roof is a prominent visual element of the architecture. The green roof works to lighten the environmental footprint of the structure and to strengthen the connection between the building and the landscape.

Photo courtesy of Aaron Booher / HM White Site Architects

HM White Site Architects, the landscape architect for BBG, incorporated the green roof into their site-wide stormwater management strategy which includes rain gardens and woodland bio infiltration basins. All of the site features perform aesthetic and ecological functions and, yearly, will keep thousands of gallons of stormwater on site and out of the over-taxed New York City sewer system. Stormwater that stays on site is a resource which will sustain plant life and help to limit the need for irrigation.

The green roof nine months after installation

Remember the fall snow storm? New York Green Roofs does! The Roofmeadow Network Contractor installed the roof garden in the fall of 2011 and watched their tender newly planted roof endure the storm. Watch this charming time lapse video of the green roof construction for a view into the experience of planting a roof and a reminder of the late October blanket.

Roofmeadow Certified media was provided by SkyGarden. Roofmeadow and Sika Sarnafil (the waterproofing provider), are warranting the assembly for a period of 20 years. As a condition of the warranty New York Green Roofs is maintaining the roofscape in compliance with the Roofmeadow Maintenance Manual.

Coming soon…A spotlight on what we have learned through the Roofmeadow Maintenance Program. Stay tuned!

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