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Green Roof?
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Has anyone had a green roof installed in Jersey City? I am looking for a recommendation for a roofer to install a green roof (aka a live roof).

Posted on: 2010/3/2 16:01
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Re: Green Roof?
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Green roofs are not "lawns" on top of a roof. A properly designed and installed green roof needs much less maintenance than a front lawn.

In addition to the the energy savings, environmental benefits, etc... places like JC with flooding problems from stormwater runoff should be especially interested in greening as many roofs as possible to reduce the amount of water that the sewer system has to handle during heavy rainfall.

"Greater impervious surface coverage (15 to 20% of the total land in a watershed) has been linked to dramatic changes in shape of streams, water quality, water temperature, and the health of the insects, amphibians and fish that live in these streams. Green roofs can help ease this problem because they absorb and recycle rainwater. The soil layer and plants soak up water that would otherwise immediately run off into storm sewer. On average, 75% of water is retained on an extensive green roof, stored in plants and the soil layer. Only about 25% of water becomes runoff, but this occurs several hours after the peak flow. When the green roof reaches full saturation, excess water slowly percolates through the vegetation layer to a drainage outlet. "

full article:
http://www.edcmag.com/CDA/Archives/d5 ... 0VgnVCM100000f932a8c0____

A green roof combined with a grey water system, even a simple one for watering plants and doing other things around the yard would keep a good amount of stormwater runoff out of the sewers.

One greenroof in JC will not make a huge difference but if a good number of homes in JC had greenroofs combined with grey water systems it would have significant impact.

They are expensive but hoping the cost will come down a bit as they become more mainstream.

Posted on: 2008/8/29 13:52
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Re: Green Roof?
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all those benefits are understood and makes sense in a large building with professional maintanence. But doing so on top of your house and try to maintain it just doesnt make much practical sense....

Posted on: 2008/8/29 3:42
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Actually, one of the best things you can do is 'green' a roof.

It is one of the best insulators out there, cutting down on heat lose in the winter and decreasing solar absorption during the summer. All of which saves fuel.

It also helps with rain runoff, which happens to be one of the biggest coastal polluters.

If you want, then add a solar energy system on the roof.

Posted on: 2008/8/29 2:31
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I think it's a stupid idea for non-commercial buildings, considering the upkeep and all the problems of trying to maintaining a lawn on top of a roof.

Why not just install solar panels instead, as something practical and actually helps the environment.

Posted on: 2008/8/28 19:35
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Posted on: 2008/8/28 3:53
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Re: Green Roofs
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i'm not sure of any jersey city special permitting regulations, however, i can tell you that there is no incentive in place in NJ right now.
NY just passed an incentive today, though:
http://www.ewire.com/display.cfm/Wire_ID/4844
...maybe NJ won't be too far behind.

...and yes, there are many things you'll need to be aware of, first being the weight load your roof can support (a decent bare minimum green roof would be 15lbs/sqft).

anyway, there's lots of info online, and several companies in the area that design and install green roofs (i work for one myself), but first you'll need to consult with a structural engineer to see if it's even an option.

Posted on: 2008/6/26 21:19
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Make sure your roofs can support the additional weight of the soil, plants and water and don't leak.

Posted on: 2008/6/26 21:04
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You will almost certainly need to give the city money before you can do anything.

Posted on: 2008/6/26 18:57
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Green Roofs
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Hi. I just bought a building in JC with 3 flat roofs. I am considering putting "green" roofs on them to absorb rainwater and thus reducing the amount that ends up in my backyard and basement. Because it goes on top on the existing roof, I don't think I need a permit. Am I correct? Also, are there any tax benefits? Any advice and suggestions about "green" roofs would be appreciated. Thanks.

Posted on: 2008/6/26 18:00
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There is a woman in Jersey City that specializes in green roof design. She lives here, but her office is in Manhattan -

www.mingodesign.com

Posted on: 2007/9/25 13:48
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I used to sublet in this building in the West Village... this roof was amazing..

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/20/gar ... 0roof.html?pagewanted=all

it also mentions an organization that (I guess) has some info on green roofs...

earthpledge.org

Posted on: 2007/9/25 13:14
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Re: Green Roof?
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I would assume he means five millimeters. Roughly 25 mm = 1" so 5 millimeters is a little less than a quarter inch thick. Pretty hefty stuff.

Posted on: 2007/9/25 13:05
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Quote:
The layers consist of a five-millimeter polyethylene membrane that keeps roots from penetrating the roof.



That's pretty thick stuff, it won't roll!
Do you mean .5 or .05 millimeters, or more likely, 5 MILS which is .005 inches (I think)?

Posted on: 2007/9/25 12:45
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I think it all depends on what you plant. Many of the green roofs that I have read about incorporate mostly sedums. Particularly because they are drought tolerant, but also because they are low lying, so I would imagine this is not so much an issue. Quote:

Althea wrote:
I've always found this concept fascinating. However, someone pointed out to me that in a storm with heavy winds, what happens? Does your neighbors roof then become a green roof and yours bare? Does this pose a danger in heavy winds?

Posted on: 2007/9/24 16:23
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I've always found this concept fascinating. However, someone pointed out to me that in a storm with heavy winds, what happens? Does your neighbors roof then become a green roof and yours bare? Does this pose a danger in heavy winds?

Posted on: 2007/9/24 1:47
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The roof you are talking about is on the corner of Morgan and Warren.There are plans for that roof if your interested, i know the company that built it.Thing is still in Excelent Shape.

Posted on: 2007/9/24 0:18
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More info, if anyone is still interested. (I'd love to see this trend takeoff.)

Goats on a Hot Green Roof

Resized Image

Posted on: 2007/9/23 13:32
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if you can't get this nyt article, here's some points from it:
sedums grow here in about seven inches of a lightweight soil medium ? 83 percent expanded shale, 17 percent compost ? that does not strain the weight-bearing capacity of the roof.
.., he hired a structural engineer who calculated how much weight the roof could support. The answer was 35 pounds per square foot, dry weight, or 60 pounds per square foot, if saturated with rain. ..That calculation limited Mr. Puchkoff?s green roof to no more than eight inches of soil.
He sealed the roof with a combination of polyethylene and woven polyester from the Andek Corporation, whose products he had used over the years to seal custom-built bathtubs. (Cost: $1,500, including labor.)
Then he was ready to install the four-layered system he chose from American Hydrotech
The layers consist of a five-millimeter polyethylene membrane that keeps roots from penetrating the roof; then a spongy moisture retention layer, which absorbs any water that overflows the next layer of ?Floradrains,? from a German company named ZinCo. These are cup-like plastic units that look like upside-down egg cartons; when laid together, they hold water that seeps down through the layer of soil, which is laid over a filter that prevents sifting and clogging of the drains.
The multilayered system establishes not only a reservoir of water for plants, but also a backup supply, held by the moisture retention sponge, which evaporates slowly, in dry times, to moisten plant roots.
At the final stage, drip tubes are laid down on top of the soil filter, before the soil medium is spread. These drip lines, plus some early top-watering, supplied water to the young plants ? which arrived as plugs with three-inch roots, and were planted eight inches apart ? until they were well-established. (The Hydrotech system cost $3,800, plus $800 labor.)
The arrival of 2,400 pounds of soil ($2,000), from Laurel Valley Soils, a company based in Avondale, Pa., was a family event. River Valley Organics, a company in Wrightsville, Pa., arrived with a truck and blew the soil mix up a five-inch tube snaked up the side of the building ($4,000 for the entire job)

Posted on: 2006/8/24 13:34
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Reviving an old topic, the September issue of Domino Magazine (the home design spin-off of Lucky magazine) had a page about Green Roofs.

They also have some info on their website. (I think it's actually more info than was in the magazine.)

http://www.dominomag.com/knowhow/gardening/060811knga_greenroofs

Posted on: 2006/8/23 1:08
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They are very popular in Chicago

Posted on: 2006/4/29 0:17
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Hey, I 'd love for Jersey City to be the "practice sprout" for New Jersey ...., I wonder if there is anyone around here who has one.

Posted on: 2006/4/28 19:27
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From CNN.COM. Here is an excerpt:

Green roofs, first championed in Germany, have grown in popularity around the world, and experts predict more growth as the practice sprouts as far away as China. In North America, green roof space grew 70 percent last year.

"What you're going to see is a meteoric rise in this industry because it takes serious issues like storm water and offers multiple solutions," said Steven Peck, president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a non-profit industry association.

The article is located here.

Posted on: 2006/4/28 17:51
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Thanks for the info tennis204. I like the idea of using the tiles to create a turf that you can actually walk on. We plan on installing a spiral staircase inside the garage and a small green house that sits atop the roof. My husband works in an industry where he can have one fabricated, so all we have to worry about is installation of a staircase, which is something we've done before. If we weren't able to do the work, I think the whole ordeal might be cost prohibitive. We still have to do some beam calculations to make certain that the roof can take the load. If all goes well, we'd like to start sometime this summer. We will definately post pics if it actually comes to fruition...

Posted on: 2006/4/10 3:18
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Worm:
That sounds great, I hope you get to green your roof. I too have thought about it for my 4 story brick row home but decided not to, for now. Access to the roof was my issue. I would need new stairs with door leading to the roof, which means getting an Architect and getting all of the approvals and then finally construction prior to starting the green roof. My current roof access is ladder leading to the original(c. 1850) skylight.

For your stand alone garage, how do you plan to access your roof?

Here are some interesting sites and articles to consider.

Green Roofs Meet Environmental Objectives

http://www.edcmag.com/CDA/Articles/Co ... 0VgnVCM100000f932a8c0____

Within this article they talk about, Green Roof Modules

w/ excerpts, as follows:

According to Linda Velazquez of ?greenroofs.com,? an independent consultant, the modules add different alternatives and advantages than the traditional layered system, which includes: a roof membrane; a couple of layers of matting that allow water to flow through and maintain air flow; then a drainage medium (gravel or filter fabric or soil).

With modules from GreenTech, Velazquez says: the green roof is removable and the modules replaceable, which may be very helpful if the roof develops a leak; they are made of high-density poly-ethylene (HDPE), and reinforced for excellent structural strength; GreenTech?s modules are 81⁄2 inches deep and can be crowned with soil up to 3 feet deep, allowing a wide variety of plant material to be used, including turf, trees and shrubs; different trays can be planted for different needs (for instance, plants like specific types of soils ? more or less alkaline or acidic ? giving the designer more latitude in plant selection and creativity); and condominiums and apartment buildings can use them for community gardening ? everyone having their own raised bed. Plus, they are easy to convey up to a building?s rooftop and install. They can either be delivered empty and filled once on the rooftop, or delivered, via crane, fully planted.

?One reason I love the GreenTech module so much,? says Pearce, ?is that it gives us the ability to turn a rooftop into a playground and create depth up there and still be able to move it if you have to.?



And it continues w/:

Indeed, Chicago?s Sadhu Johnston pointed to studies performed in 2003 at the Chicago Center for Green Technology by MWH Americas Inc. Not only was stormwater runoff greatly reduced by green roofs, but also the study showed that, during the warmest part of the day, green roofs were 19 to 31 percent cooler than conventional roofs; and during the coolest part of the day, green roofs were 14 to 19 percent warmer than conventional.



Heller says maximum weight on a New York City roof is 50 pounds per square foot. GreenTech?s modular system weighs 28 to 35 pounds per square foot when saturated. Before a green roof can be installed on an existing roof, both the condition of the existing roof membrane and the structural capacity of the roof need to be evaluated. Installing a layered system on a 1,000-square-foot brownstone takes two days to install, compared to one day for GreenTech modules, he says.



And Do check out www.greenroofs.com in which I found this link:
http://www.professionalroofing.net/article.aspx?A_ID=834#787

"So You Want to Roof Green"

One last thing, would you really want something that you would have to mow? When I was thinking about it I wanted plantings which are easy to maintain. Having mowed alot as a child, I didn't want to mow anymore. Not to mention, my neighbors or someone walking by below in front of my house would most likely not appreciate some blades of grasse falling from the sky. Hmmmm! Anyway, if you do get your green roof I want an aerial photo posted on this website.

Posted on: 2006/4/9 21:46
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I think it'd also be pretty cool to throw down a few handfulls of wildflower type seeds and see what happens.

Posted on: 2006/4/9 18:05
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I was also worried about what would happen over time. There are several sites which claim that as long as you protect your roof, this type of roof actually can increase the life span of the existing roof material, because there should be no water damage if done right and there are no UV rays coming in contact with the roofing material. The only concern you would want to look into, is making sure that your roof can handle the added load of a snowfall. They also claim that because rain water takes time for it to pass through plant matter, it cuts down dramatically on flooding storm drains and contaminants entering rivers.
As far as mowing, many green roofs use sedum as the primary green material, and that's something you don't have to worry about. Grass would need mowing, but as GrovePath had mentioned, it's pretty easy to attack it with a weed wacker. I am looking into if it is possible to walk on , because I'm not sure that sedums can handle a lot of foot traffic, and I am not sure how much more soil you might need for a roof to have grass growing on it. As far as usefulness, if you can't walk on it, at least you know are contributing to improving the air quality rather than degrading it, (I swear I'm not some crunchy granola type) and if you are able to look at it from another part of your house, than it's at least a little nicer to look at than asphalt.

Posted on: 2006/4/9 3:35
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You could use a plug in AC mower or if it is a smaller roofer -- like my roof deck you could use just a weed wacker -- I've done that on small - tiny lawns -- just have to keep it level and at one height.

Posted on: 2006/4/9 2:18
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This sounds really cool and the pic of the roof in Vienna looks great but I have a dumb question: How do you mow it or do you just let it grow wild???

I think it'd be great on the tops of the buildings but I can't see doing it if you can't use it as a lawn...maybe I've just got limited vision

Posted on: 2006/4/9 1:45
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The picture is from Vienna -- there is a lot on the web about green roofs.

http://www.greenbuildingsbc.com/new_b ... .0_general_resources.html

I have a lower roof deck on my house that this could really work on. I am a bit afraid of the long term drainage issues especially with the Winter freeze but I really like it!

Posted on: 2006/4/8 22:56
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