image via Plant Fantasies
Green roofs keep buildings cool, reduce heat island effect and provide habitat for insects and birds; they are wonderful whether or not people can see them. But they also are great amenities for people in the buildings. Older, lower buildings are well suited for them, if their structure can be beefed up to support them.
A neat one just opened at 250 Hudson Street in New York that is accessible by the tenants of the building. While green roofs aren't cheap, the developer thinks it's worth the cost.
In a press release, the developer claims it is good thing, if costly at about three million bucks for the roof and the reinforcing to hold up 90,000 pounds of soil.
"The green roof is a magnificent amenity for 250 Hudson Street," says Jonathan D. Resnick, president of Jack Resnick & Sons Inc. "Our tenants are enjoying the beautiful roof garden, and benefit from its sustainable qualities.
The designer and landscape contractor, Teresa Carleo, is more to the point:
"The green roof is a major drawing card for 250 Hudson Street while, at the same time, it helps the urban environment," says Carleo.
In the New York Times, Architect Bruce Fowle explains.
"Older loft buildings are more adaptable, because they have large footprints."
He notes that it is difficult to put green roofs on most office buildings, as they are tall, skinny and their roofs are full of mechanical equipment.
The developer thinks the roof will be a big draw for tenants; this has proven to be the case in other green roofs added to old buildings that TreeHugger has covered.
In Toronto, developer Margie Zeidler put green roofs on two of her buildings; not as big or expensive as 250 Hudson, but a valuable amenity that the tenants love. More at Margie Zeidler: Building Green Incubators.