Largest Green Roof in NYC shares impressive and practical benefits since 2014 installation

The Javits Center in NYC added a green roof (6 city block footprint) in 2014. Since the installation, they are now able to tell the world about the practical benefits they have gained as a result of it's vegetated roof system. Watch NPR's 'Why Cities Need More Green Roofs' to learn more!

• Creating a habitat for 300,000 bees and 25 species of bird

• Reducing the rooftop temperature by 6 degrees Fahrenheit

• Retained 7 million gallons of stormwater runoff

• Reduced their energy consumption by 26%

• An overall savings of $3 million dollars from 2014 to 2016

Vegetated Roof Maintenance: A little goes a long way. Don't 'forget' about your green roof.

Maintenance on a green roof varies depending on each project's specific variables such as sun and wind exposure, seasonal rainfall, type of vegetation, soil depth and more. You can design a system that is low maintenance but do not make the mistake of thinking that a vegetated roof is 'no maintenance'. Certainly intensive systems (deeper soil and wider variety of plant species) undoubtedly need seasonal maintenance. Apex Green Roofs includes 1-2 years of seasonal maintenance visits as part of the install quote to ensure that vegetation thrives during the establishment period. Occasionally facility managers decide to pass on continued maintenance services in subsequent growing seasons because the vegetated roof looks great. Clients who drop maintenance always come back to us within a year or two asking for us to fix up the green roof because it no longer looks good. What happens is the initial cost of maintenance care shoots up for that first season due to increased time and materials needed to remove invasive species and nurse back healthy growth.


Here is a great article about a 13,000 sf green roof installed in 2011 at the Burlington International Airport that gives a very accurate overview of the general challenge green roof advocates, growers and installers experience in trying to convince green roof owners not to skip seasonal maintenance care. It doesn't have to be a lot. A little goes a long way.


How a unique niche business bloomed on rooftops.

Apex Green Roofs founder and owner Charles Sinkler has more than 20 years experience in design/build landscapes with a specific focus on low maintenance, non water dependent landscapes. In 2003 he began building vegetated roofs. Now with 14 years experience building varied vegetated roof assemblies - he's a leading expert in the design and construction of vegetated or green roof systems.

How did he get into the business? In his own words: "My father worked in the waste water treatment industry from whom I learned an appreciation of some of the problems and solutions in dealing with storm water management. Inspired by Germany's implementation of green roof applications as a storm water management strategy, combined with my extensive experience in low maintenance or non-water dependent landscaping construction, it was a natural progression for me to bring these skills and knowledge to roof tops."

San Francisco will become the first U.S. city to require 15-30% of roof space be covered with vegetation and/or solar panels

Vegetated or green roof systems are relatively new to the US - experiencing incredible growth in the past 10 years. Installation of vegetation on roof surfaces was primarily a German civil engineering practice implemented in the 70s to advance environmental sustainability.

Information within the US on green roofs 20 years ago could only be found in German. Today over 75 institutions from NASA to Penn State currently conduct research about green roofs. Legislation has passed on both federal and local levels (learn more from Plant Connection Inc about US legislation). In January of 2017 San Francisco will be the first US city to require the implementation of vegetated roof systems and/or solar panels. 

Learn more about how "Green Roofs Take Root Around the World" by Jackie Snow for



Office Roof Decks installed by Apex Green Roofs help recharge Boston employees

Boston roof gardens are growing in popularity for several reasons. Not only do they provide outdoor sanctuary for office bees (improving worker productivity), they also help reduce stormwater runoff that overwhelms city sewers, harbors and rivers. Vegetated roofing systems also help filter rainfall and reduce pollutants in the stormwater runoff; they help reduce air and noise pollution; and help reduce utility bills by keeping buildings cooler by deflecting heat from summer sun. 

Read more about office roof desks installed by Apex Green Roofs Read at 101 Seaport Boulevard and 75 State Street in Boston Magazine.

Take a look at the "country meadow" green roof installed by Apex Green Roofs

Apex Green Roof's Inc. designed and installed the "Greenest Roof" at Harvard Business School's Batten Hall, awarded certified LEED Gold in 2011. Apex Green Roofs Inc. installed the 4th green roof for HBS in 2014 and is the only intensive green roof at HBS. The other HBS green roofs installed by Apex Green Roofs Inc are located on Tata Hall, McArthur hall and Shad Hall.

Read more about how the HBS Operations team has been tranforming campus buildings as part of Harvard's commitment to sustainability and combating climate change.

Installing Green Roofs Saves DC Residents Money

Significantly reduced utility bills and rebates of $10 to $15 per square foot help lessen green roof installation costs for home owners in the Washington DC area. Read more about how green roofs are a coveted feature for home buyers in the Nation's capitol. 

UMASS Green Building Expert wins generous award to develop an analysis tool to better guide sustainable development.

UMASS Green Building Expert wins generous award to develop an analysis tool to better guide sustainable development. 

Simi Hoque calls the new approach Integrated Urban Metabolism Analytical Tool (IUMAT) with the purpose of preventing unintended consequences from implementing sustainable methods based on anecdotal evidence without considering the unique environmental conditions relevant to each project. Hoque notes, as an example, "the neighboring town built a green roof and it was a great success for storm water management, so let's build more green roofs in our town. But that city and this one may not be the same at all."

Simi Hoque teaches UMASS courses in environmental control systems and sustainable design principles and conducts research in building energy modeling and optimization. Learn more.


Can a vegetated roof system withstand violent wind storms? Yes. Here's the proof.

Green or vegetated roofing systems are gaining popularity in North America as a viable solution for a healthier built environment by reducing storm water runoff (which overwhelms and pollutes municipal waterways and systems), reduces air pollution, creates usable space on rooftops, creates urban wildlife habitats, increases green space which helps reduce urban heat island effect, helps reduce a building's heating and cooling costs and significantly increases the lifespan of the roof membrane. 

As vegetated roofing systems and installations become more familiar within the commercial and residential construction industry - questions naturally arise about how this new type of rooftop landscape will be effected by inclement weather bringing high winds. Helping in the area of research and testing Xeroflor's lightweight green roof system has proven itself under vigorous wind uplift pressure and flow conditions. Read more about how this green roof system withstood winds tested at 106 mph and a wind pressure of 200 psf.

More Wind Uplift Information:
Green Roof Durability: Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

High Speed Wind Uplift Research on Green Roof Assemblies

Are you a homeowner interested in knowing more about vegetated or green roofs?

Architect Mariana Pickering discusses 6 busted green roof myths:
Myth No. 1: Green roofs are a new and experimental part of the green trend.
Myth No. 2: A green roof is only for a green building.
Myth No. 3: Green roofs may look nice, but they can cause structural problems and leakage.
Myth No. 4: Green roofs are difficult and costly to irrigate.
Myth No. 5: You can just put some dirt on your roof to make your own green roof.
Myth No. 6: A green roof is just too expensive and complicated.

Read full article.

Get the $$ on how green roofs impact cost savings with this Green Roof Energy Calculator

Green roofs can reduce your heating and cooling energy costs up to 50% or more. The best energy savings tend to occur on the largest buildings, but even small residential buildings will see some energy savings. Check out this Green Roof Energy Calculator developed by Portland State UniversityUniversity of TorontoGreen Roofs for Healthy Cities and funded by US Green Building Council 

Which Plants can survive on top of a roof?

Richard Hawke provides a brief summary of his research on the success of green roof vegetation atop the Chicago Botanical Garden. Read more on how his research exceeded his expectations revealing an extensive list of the best plants for green roofs.