Green Roofs New York

A green roof acts like a storm window to reduce energy use, insulating the house from summer heat and winter chill, produces more oxygen than a family uses in a year, and both absorbs and reflects noise. It also collects pollution from the air, as well as capturing, filtering, and slowing water runoff—a great benefit for salmon streams and overburdened storm sewers.

Local Companies

Aztlan Lawnscape Inc
845-691-7182
125 Hull Ave
Clintondale, NY
Curt'S Lawn & More
940-230-7541
3029Montclair Place
Denton, NY
Just The Basics Lawn Care, Llp
574-529-0492
706 N Dolan Dr
Syracuse, NY
Lockwood Landscape Designs
518-882-9295
Po Box 306
Galway, NY
Ulster Lawn & Snow
845-430-0983
100 Wall Steet
Kingston, NY
Alternative Landscaping, Inc
(586) 774-7777
24685 Willowby
Eastpointe, NY
Broccolo Tree And Lawn Care
585-424-4476
2059 Brighton-Henrietta Townline Rd.
Rochester, NY
Doodypro
814-883-6453
1013 Green St.
Bellefonte, NY
La Lawn Care
(207) 324-5940
Pb 886
Alfred, NY
The Lawn Cutter Llc
315-703-3800
936 Bellevue Ave.
Syracuse, NY
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Rooftops around the Northwest are sprouting tufts of grass, forming a greenbelt above our heads. Quite recently, it seems as if green roofs have gone from funky and alternative to upscale and mainstream. The Seattle architecture firm Olson Sundberg recently designed a living roof atop the home and garage of a lakeside estate, as part of a complex geothermal climate control system. And the Northwest Eco-Building Guild green roof tour was greeted with great enthusiasm last spring, when participants climbed up to take a look at planted roofs on homes, offices, studios, and even a chicken coop.

‘The Germans are light years ahead of us,” says Patrick Carey, an architect who heads the Guild's Green Roof Project. In German cities such as Stuttgart and Mannheim, commercial buildings are required to have green roofs. The City of Seattle is taking an active role in encouraging public and residential green roofs, and in Portland, Oregon, developers can build taller if they top out with a living roof. Last June, Portland hosted “Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities,” the second annual international green roof conference, which featured 55 speakers from 10 different countries.

Green roofs consist of a layered sandwich of roof deck, waterproof membrane, and soil filter fabric, topped with several inches of lightweight, pumice-rich soil mix. All you see is the top layer of drought-tolerant hardy plants, often enlivened with vegetables, annuals, and perennials. Even after a rainstorm, a fully saturated green roof weighs no more than one made of tile—about 15 pounds per square foot. Surprisingly, the soil need only be three to four inches deep to gain all the ecological benefits, although deeper soil (built up where supports are strongest) allows for a greater variety of plants.

A residential green roof can be built for $8 to $12 per square foot—about the same price as tile or slate, and about twice as much as metal. Green roofs need to be irrigated and weeded regularly for the first year, but when planted with drought-tolerant fescues, mosses, and sedums, they can get by thereafter on rainfall and a twice-yearly weeding. The dirt and plantings provide a cushion, mitigating the extremes of temperature that cause a roof to wear out, and protecting it from sunlight. A living roof often lasts two to three times longer than a standard one.

And there are manifold ecological benefits. A green roof acts like a storm window to reduce energy use, insulating the house from summer heat and winter chill, produces more oxygen than a family uses in a year, and both absorbs and reflects noise. It also collects pollution from the air, as well as capturing, filtering, and slowing water runoff—a great benefit for salmon streams and overburdened storm sewers.

‘This is the greenest thing you can do in building, other than not building at all,” says Carey. He says that the idea of capping homes with alpine meadows “struck my radical core—this is seriously sustainable and a building element that actually gives back to the environment.” 

Read more from Northwest gardeners

From Horticulture Magazine

Regional Articles
- Green Roofs Albany NY
- Green Roofs Amityville NY
- Green Roofs Amsterdam NY
- Green Roofs Arverne NY
- Green Roofs Astoria NY
- Green Roofs Auburn NY
- Green Roofs Babylon NY
- Green Roofs Baldwin NY
- Green Roofs Baldwinsville NY
- Green Roofs Ballston Spa NY
- Green Roofs Bay Shore NY
- Green Roofs Bayside NY
- Green Roofs Beacon NY
- Green Roofs Bellerose NY
- Green Roofs Bellmore NY
- Green Roofs Bethpage NY
- Green Roofs Binghamton NY
- Green Roofs Brentwood NY
- Green Roofs Brewster NY
- Green Roofs Brockport NY
- Green Roofs Bronx NY
- Green Roofs Bronxville NY
- Green Roofs Brooklyn NY
- Green Roofs Buffalo NY
- Green Roofs Cambria Heights NY
- Green Roofs Camillus NY
- Green Roofs Canandaigua NY
- Green Roofs Centereach NY
- Green Roofs Central Islip NY
- Green Roofs Clifton Park NY
- Green Roofs Cohoes NY
- Green Roofs College Point NY
- Green Roofs Commack NY
- Green Roofs Copiague NY
- Green Roofs Coram NY
- Green Roofs Corning NY
- Green Roofs Corona NY
- Green Roofs Cortland NY
- Green Roofs Cortlandt Manor NY
- Green Roofs Deer Park NY
- Green Roofs Delmar NY
- Green Roofs Depew NY
- Green Roofs Dunkirk NY
- Green Roofs East Amherst NY
- Green Roofs East Aurora NY
- Green Roofs East Elmhurst NY
- Green Roofs East Islip NY
- Green Roofs East Meadow NY
- Green Roofs East Northport NY
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- Green Roofs Elmhurst NY
- Green Roofs Elmira NY
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- Green Roofs Endicott NY
- Green Roofs Fairport NY
- Green Roofs Far Rockaway NY
- Green Roofs Farmingdale NY
- Green Roofs Farmingville NY
- Green Roofs Floral Park NY
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- Green Roofs Forest Hills NY
- Green Roofs Franklin Square NY
- Green Roofs Fredonia NY
- Green Roofs Freeport NY
- Green Roofs Fresh Meadows NY
- Green Roofs Fulton NY
- Green Roofs Garden City NY
- Green Roofs Glen Cove NY
- Green Roofs Glen Oaks NY
- Green Roofs Glens Falls NY
- Green Roofs Gloversville NY
- Green Roofs Great Neck NY
- Green Roofs Hamburg NY
- Green Roofs Hauppauge NY
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- Green Roofs Hilton NY
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- Green Roofs Hopewell Junction NY
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- Green Roofs Huntington NY
- Green Roofs Huntington Station NY
- Green Roofs Islip NY
- Green Roofs Ithaca NY
- Green Roofs Jackson Heights NY
- Green Roofs Jamaica NY
- Green Roofs Jamestown NY
- Green Roofs Kew Gardens NY
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- Green Roofs Kingston NY
- Green Roofs Lancaster NY
- Green Roofs Larchmont NY
- Green Roofs Latham NY
- Green Roofs Levittown NY
- Green Roofs Lindenhurst NY
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- Green Roofs Lockport NY
- Green Roofs Long Beach NY
- Green Roofs Long Island City NY
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- Green Roofs Mahopac NY
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- Green Roofs Mastic NY
- Green Roofs Melville NY
- Green Roofs Merrick NY
- Green Roofs Middle Village NY
- Green Roofs Middletown NY
- Green Roofs Mineola NY
- Green Roofs Monroe NY
- Green Roofs Monsey NY
- Green Roofs Mount Kisco NY
- Green Roofs Mount Vernon NY
- Green Roofs Nanuet NY
- Green Roofs New City NY
- Green Roofs New Hartford NY
- Green Roofs New Hyde Park NY
- Green Roofs New Paltz NY
- Green Roofs New Rochelle NY
- Green Roofs New Windsor NY
- Green Roofs New York NY
- Green Roofs Newburgh NY
- Green Roofs Niagara Falls NY
- Green Roofs North Babylon NY
- Green Roofs North Tonawanda NY
- Green Roofs Nyack NY
- Green Roofs Oakland Gardens NY
- Green Roofs Oceanside NY
- Green Roofs Ogdensburg NY
- Green Roofs Olean NY
- Green Roofs Oneonta NY
- Green Roofs Orchard Park NY
- Green Roofs Ossining NY
- Green Roofs Oswego NY
- Green Roofs Ozone Park NY
- Green Roofs Patchogue NY
- Green Roofs Pearl River NY
- Green Roofs Peekskill NY
- Green Roofs Penfield NY
- Green Roofs Pittsford NY
- Green Roofs Plainview NY
- Green Roofs Plattsburgh NY
- Green Roofs Port Chester NY
- Green Roofs Port Jefferson Station NY
- Green Roofs Port Washington NY
- Green Roofs Potsdam NY
- Green Roofs Poughkeepsie NY
- Green Roofs Queens Village NY
- Green Roofs Queensbury NY
- Green Roofs Rego Park NY
- Green Roofs Rensselaer NY
- Green Roofs Richmond Hill NY
- Green Roofs Ridgewood NY
- Green Roofs Riverhead NY
- Green Roofs Rochester NY
- Green Roofs Rockaway Park NY
- Green Roofs Rockville Centre NY
- Green Roofs Rome NY
- Green Roofs Ronkonkoma NY
- Green Roofs Roosevelt NY
- Green Roofs Rosedale NY
- Green Roofs Rye NY
- Green Roofs Saint Albans NY
- Green Roofs Saint James NY
- Green Roofs Saratoga Springs NY
- Green Roofs Saugerties NY
- Green Roofs Sayville NY
- Green Roofs Scarsdale NY
- Green Roofs Schenectady NY
- Green Roofs Selden NY
- Green Roofs Shirley NY
- Green Roofs Smithtown NY
- Green Roofs South Ozone Park NY
- Green Roofs South Richmond Hill NY
- Green Roofs Spencerport NY
- Green Roofs Spring Valley NY
- Green Roofs Springfield Gardens NY
- Green Roofs Staten Island NY
- Green Roofs Stony Brook NY
- Green Roofs Suffern NY
- Green Roofs Sunnyside NY
- Green Roofs Syosset NY
- Green Roofs Syracuse NY
- Green Roofs Tarrytown NY
- Green Roofs Tonawanda NY
- Green Roofs Troy NY
- Green Roofs Uniondale NY
- Green Roofs Utica NY
- Green Roofs Valley Stream NY
- Green Roofs Vestal NY
- Green Roofs Wantagh NY
- Green Roofs Wappingers Falls NY
- Green Roofs Watertown NY
- Green Roofs Watervliet NY
- Green Roofs Webster NY
- Green Roofs West Babylon NY
- Green Roofs West Hempstead NY
- Green Roofs West Islip NY
- Green Roofs Westbury NY
- Green Roofs White Plains NY
- Green Roofs Whitestone NY
- Green Roofs Woodhaven NY
- Green Roofs Woodside NY
- Green Roofs Wyandanch NY
- Green Roofs Yonkers NY
- Green Roofs Yorktown Heights NY
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