Green Roofs: How to Start One

a desert grows in brooklyn by vfraiche

TheGardenLady received this question from Peggy.

I am doing a story on rooftop gardens in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, sort of a how-to piece.  Would you be able to assist me with information on how to start one/if there are licenses to apply for/if Brooklyn rooftop gardens are different from others in the city?

Green roofs are the way of the future. They are being created around the world. Wikipedia speaks of the various types of roof gardens with photos of these gardens around the world.

A Green Roof and Solar Panels in Brooklyn by Kieran K. Meadows

There are many rooftop gardens in New York and Brooklyn that I have read about in newspaper articles.  See here and here.   Even Zabars in Manhattan raises salad on their rooftops – in greenhouses. You should contact these gardens with your questions, especially the educational director of the New York Botanical Gardens.

I do not have any knowledge about the laws for installing the rooftop gardens in Brooklyn nor what licenses are needed. I think one should have an engineer involved. I would check with the Chamber of Commerce or a local roofing company to ask about licensing requirements.  See here.

By going online to various Agricultural Schools in this country you can find excellent information on how to build a greenroof. Rutgers has good information on green roofs.

Swarthmore College was one of the first rooftop garden that I had seen. I believe that they used Furbish Company to install their roofs.  The Furbish Company seems to be a leader in roof gardens on the east cost. I attended a lecture they had given and was impressed with their knowledge. Contact both of these places.

Another good source to go to is a website called greenroofs.  On this site American Hydrotech is offering a free waterproofing and roofing handbook that you might be eligible to get. And they have an excellent database of green roof projects.  See here.

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