EXPLORE GREEN ROOFS IN NYC
As of 2016, there were 60 acres of green roofs in New York City. Green roofs are found on residential, commercial, city, state, and institutional buildings, including universities and major facilities. While this may sound like a lot, green roofs account for less than a tenth of a percent of the city’s roughly 1 million rooftops, which is about 40,000 acres of underutilized space.
Jacob K. Javits Center
The seven-acre sedum green roof is the largest green roof in NYC. It absorbs up to seven million gallons of stormwater run-off annually and has reduced the facility's annual energy consumption by 26 percent. Used by 29 bird and five bat species and home to thousands of honeybees, the green roof has become a sanctuary for wildlife on Manhattan’s West Side. View the Javits Center Sustainability Report.
A 135,000-square-foot sedum green roof on top of the Barclays Center, a sports and event venue, helps absorb sounds and lower high energy costs while providing environmental benefits such as stormwater retention in a dense Brooklyn neighborhood.
In 2017 Brooklyn Grange designed and installed two small amenity green roofs on the Rockaway Castle wellness center in Queens, NY. The roofs incorporated a mix of lawn and native grasses, as well as reclaimed cedar pavers.
TATA INNOVATION CENTER
Built in 2017, this state-of-the-art rooftop in the Cornell Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island includes a 2,000 sf mixed perennial meadow green roof, several large planter boxes planted with native perennials, as well as hundreds of linear feet of native grasses that span the perimeter of the building’s roof edge.
This lush residential rooftop amenity space is made up of custom cedar wood planter boxes and a robust array of perennial flowers and shrubs, designed, installed, and maintained by Brooklyn Grange.
Installed in 2017, this sweeping 4,000 sf extensive green roof is comprised of mixed sedum plantings as well as mixed perennial flowers.
Kingsland Wildflowers has a wildflower meadow and sedum green roof on several levels, creating a green oasis in an industrial area along Newtown Creek in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Since the first section was installed in 2016, it has become a crucial component of the community’s overall environmental restoration efforts and a vibrant community and educational space.
Vice Media NY Headquarters
The VICE headquarters has a 20,000-square-foot semi-intensive green roof that combines vegetable gardens, a wildflower meadow, and social space for its staff. The company’s food-centric channel, Munchies, experiments with recipes using ingredients harvested from the garden.
The Staten Island Living Roof
Located on top of the St. George Ferry Terminal, the Living Roof is 7,000 square feet used for producing edibles that are distributed to nonprofits that work with homeless shelters. The green roof also acts as a classroom for students, who help plant, cultivate and harvest produce.
US Postal Service, Morgan Processing & Distribution Center
One of New York City's largest green roofs can be found at the USPS Morgan Processing and Distribution Center in Manhattan. Initially constructed to reduce energy costs, the native vegetation used on the green roof creates a diverse ecosystem and a social space for staff.
Brooklyn Navy Yard
The rooftop farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is a commercial urban farming business, manages the rooftop farm, which yields about 35,000 pounds of fresh produce annually. The farm also provides co-benefits to the Navy Yard, formerly the largest shipbuilding facility in the U.S. and now home to a diverse array of businesses.
The New School
The University Center at The New School was constructed in 2014 and includes a sedum rooftop bordering the sixth-floor balcony. The green roof contributes to the building’s Gold LEED certification. It mitigates stormwater and reduces energy costs while providing teaching opportunities for classes such as Green Roof Ecology.
The Green Roof Environmental Literacy Laboratory, the largest NYC public school green roof, sits atop of the New York City public elementary school PS41. This green roof, completed in 2012, provides students with hands-on opportunities to learn about ecology, urban farming techniques, chemistry, and biology.
Five Borough Administration Building
The green roof on the Five Borough Administrative Building for the NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation, on Randall’s Island, acts as a research and education laboratory for testing new green roof systems and partnering with universities to collect and analyze data on green roof environmental benefits.
The Rockefeller Center Roof Gardens
The Rockefeller Center Roof Gardens are considered the first modern green roofs in the United States. These dramatic gardens are aesthetically pleasing and consist of four large green roofs each spanning 12,000 square feet.
New York University
NYU's Center for Spiritual Life building includes a 3,700 square foot green roof that hosts a variety of native New York plant species. A second neighboring green roof is at NYU's Law School. NYU has also incorporated green roof design in course offerings and curriculum.
CITY LIGHTS RESIDENTIAL TERRACE
This 16,000sf green roof amenity space serves a residential building with over 500 tenants. The green roof meadow is composed of a mix of flowering and herbaceous native plants that beautify the space while also serving as an ecological support system for local and migratory insects and birds.
Sands st. green roof
Built by Brooklyn Grange in 2019, this 11,000sf extensive green roof in Brooklyn features a diverse sedum plant mix.
COOK FOX TERRACES
In 2016, Brooklyn Grange was contracted by the Architecture firm, Cook Fox, to remove their green roof from their old offices in lower Manhattan, and re-assemble it (better) at their new location on the Upper West Side. The green roof terrace amenity space is a stunning mix of sedum green roofs, flowering perennials, and native shrubs. You can learn more about the project and the move on the Cook Fox Website.
DUMBO ROOFTOP GARDEN
Brooklyn Grange’s Garden Maintenance Team manages the rooftop garden spaces for the penthouses and shared amenities at this premier residential tower in DUMBO, Brooklyn.
FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Brooklyn Grange designed and built this experimental “Dye Garden” on a roof terrace space at FIT, in collaboration with a group of textiles and sustainability students. The green roofs total about 500sf in area, and are cultivated each year by students who use the plants to make their own natural dyes.
CORPORATE COMMONS 3
Completed in 2021, this exquisite office building in Staten Island offers sweeping views of Manhattan and the Fresh Kills Park, as well as the largest green roof on the island. Brooklyn Grange designed, built, and maintains the 30,000 sf green roof farm, which serves as an amenity for building tenants, as well as a vegetable supplier for the restaurant on the ground floor.
Rosemary's Restaurant rooftop farm
Rosemary's Restaurant is a 1,000 sf green roof vegetable garden that was built in 2012 and supplies fresh vegetables and herbs to Rosemary’s West Village, the Italian-inspired restaurant downstairs.
long island private green roof
This private residential garden is a green roof set atop a newly constructed garage and features a mix of vegetable and perennial plantings. The second-story installation helps the owners to protect their flowery green space and vegetable garden from deer and other pests.
Green Roof Tours
Register for tours on the Javits K. Javits Convention Center- tours are free, but spots are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Kingsland Wildflowers at Broadway Stages hosts school group visits and a variety of events open to the public during the growing season.
Brooklyn Grange’s Long Island City rooftop farm has seasonal tours and hosts events and workshops that cater to New Yorkers interested in sustainability, connection with nature, and local farming.
Green Roof Survey
Are we missing a green roof? Please contribute to the Green Roof Researchers Alliance (GRRA) database to help understand and promote the state of green roofs in NYC. Your contributions can impact research, policy, financing, design, and education!