New York City Schools Show Interest In Green Roofs

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Posted: Wednesday, December 15, 2010 12:24 pm | Updated: 1:26 pm, Mon May 12, 2014.

One of the building entities in New York City that has been very receptive to installing green roofs has been schools, according to Stuart Gaffin, a research scientist for Columbia University in New York City.

Gaffin has analyzed green roof systems in New York City. The green roof research program at Columbia University has been partially funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"Schools have had a great interest in having green roofs become outdoor laboratories in the urban jungle. This is the one and only opportunity to bring green space into the building environment. It becomes an area where we can set up a laboratory and collect data on the environment and the building," Gaffin said.

Gaffin recently completed a project with Regis High School in New York City. The Regis High School green roof was installed in the summer of 2010. Another green roof is on Ethical Culture Fieldston School in the Bronx. The Ethical Culture Fieldston School green roof was installed in 2007, when the school was built. Both roofs have 4-inch deep mediums.

Gaffin said that as far as a standard green roof goes, there are no disadvantages. "Right now, they cost a little more, but the costs are coming down. I've come to believe that a green roof may be the last roof you'll need to put on your building. I see no reason why they should break down," Gaffin said.

Gaffin explained that structural support is not an issue. "There probably is a thin enough system for just about any roof. If your roof is very lightweight, then you are going to be restricted to the simplest, lightest system. There are green roof systems on the market that are very lightweight and we've been putting them on some Columbia University roofs," Gaffin said.

Find more information and photos of the green roof at Ethical Culture Fieldston School at this link.


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