How to green-ify your New York City condo or co-op rooftop

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June 27, 2023
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How to green-ify your New York City condo or co-op rooftop

What does an island surrounded by rivers and a harbor do with excess run-off water from storms and heavy rainfall? A question New York City’s been grappling with for a while. And the answer up until very recently hasn’t been good. More times than not, this rainwater overwhelms our city’s subway, drainage, and sewage systems. 

Commercial spaces have been jumping on one fad, in particular, to help solve this problem - green roofs. And for good reason. Green roofs have the incredible superpower of absorbing up to 70% of rainwater that would otherwise drain away - and wreak havoc on our many city systems! (Remember the crazy street and subway flooding from last year's hurricanes?) And with Local Law 92 and 94 (part of the larger Climate Mobilization Act), now residential buildings - including condos and co-ops - are incentivized to join the initiative.

The benefits of green roofs

Green roofs have a slew of benefits for both the planet and better building life. 

  1. Stormwater management: Well-curated green roofs can absorb and retain rainwater, reducing runoff that leads to serious system failures, flooding, and water pollution. 
  2. Improved air quality: Saving our planet and our lungs requires better air quality, free of pollutants and particulate matter. Green roofs help absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and filter out bad pollutants from the air.
  3. Urban heat island mitigation: The high concentration of concrete and asphalt in New York City creates what’s known as urban heat island effect. Vegetation on rooftops can effectively cool the city and reduce its overall temperature.
  4. Enhanced biodiversity: Green roofs are a safe haven for birds, insects, and other wildlife, supporting balance for our local ecosystem. They offer important refuge and food sources for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, and contribute to the preservation of native species. 
  5. Reduced energy consumption: Cut down on heating and cooling usage (go green, save green!). Green roofs can do it all - they reduce heat absorption in the summer while retaining heat in the winter.
  6. Noise reduction: With all the hustle and bustle, New York City can get pretty loud. Green roofs are great sound insulators, reducing traffic, construction, and other noises for a more peaceful and comfortable building life.
  7. Extended roof lifespan: Green roofs are a great roof protector from harsh weather conditions, UV radiation, and temperature fluctuations. This means your roof will stay healthier longer, reducing the need for costly repairs and more waste.
  8. Aesthetics and well-being: On top of all that, they look great! Relax, play, and socialize all day every day in the green outdoors, without leaving your building. 

How to green-ify your condo or co-op rooftop 

Greenifying your building’s roof is one of the best ways to contribute to environmental sustainability, improve energy efficiency, and create stunning urban green space. 

  1. Get up to speed on Local Laws 92 and 94: Do you what percentage of your rooftop needs to be a sustainable roofing zone? What kind of plants are best for a green roof? What kind of expert you should talk to learn more? The answers to these questions and more can be found in our comprehensive guide on the Climate Mobilization Act
  2. Green and solar roof systems: Per Local Laws 92 and 94, look into combining green roofing with solar panels. Solar panels will enhance your building’s energy efficiency while the green roof will absorb heat, purify the air, increase property value, and offer you and your neighbors an exclusive outdoor amenity to enjoy.
  3. Container gardening: Escape to a beautiful rooftop oasis filled with containers and raised beds filled with herbs, vegetables, flowers, and even small trees.
  4. Vertical gardening: Tight on roof space? You can still enjoy the green by opting for vertical gardening. Install trellises, hanging planters, and modular planting systems to grow vines, climbing plants, and other greenery.
  5. Bee-friendly plants: Investing in flowers and plants that attract bees and other pollinators is one of the best ways to both support local biodiversity and contribute to the overall health of the ecosystem. Better yet, directly support the bee population by installing a beehive on your roof. Talk about fresh honey.
  6. Maintenance and irrigation: Regularly maintain your new rooftop garden by pruning, weeding, and monitoring plant health. By installing an efficient irrigation system, such as drip irrigation, you can help minimize water waste while ensuring your plants stay hydrated, happy, and healthy. 
  7. Rainwater harvesting: Make your green roof one step closer to autonomous by adding a rainwater harvesting system to irrigate your garden, and save water! 

Final thoughts

Green roofs aren't just an aesthetic upgrade; they're an investment in sustainability, cost-efficiency, and enhanced building longevity. Thinking of embracing this eco-friendly approach but don't know where to start? Or perhaps you're curious about promoting overall building health? Look no further; Daisy is revolutionizing modern property management by prioritizing the integration of green building measures. We handle every detail from top to bottom, from rooftop to basement - leading buildings toward greener, more efficient futures.

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