A Green Roof Grows in Brooklyn

A Green Roof Grows in Brooklyn

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Brooklyn got its newest green roof when Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School unveiled its new addition in a community ceremony on June 10.

Two years ago, green roof architects Eric and Andrew Dalski, founders of Highview Creations, proposed the idea of installing a sustainable roof garden on top of the school. The project was financed through a quarter-million dollar grant from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, at no cost to the school, and once completed at the end of July, the school will boast the second-largest green roof in the borough.

“It happened by nature of an extended family connection,” said school president Brother Dennis Cronin. The Dalskis’ father is an alumnus of Bishop Loughlin’s class of 1961. The brothers, who have installed green roofs throughout the city, had the idea of installing a green roof at the school after their father attended a high school reunion.

The city decided to award the grant to our project because the school is located in a low-lying sewage area, where severe rainfalls can cause flooding. The new green roof is designed to save about 5,000 gallons of water – and any accompanying pollutants – from entering the sewer system during heavy rain.

Before the project began, city engineers assessed the 18,000 square foot school roof, and determined that it could bear up 60 pounds of additional weight per square foot. The roof garden, which is planted with succulents that can sustain extreme temperatures and exposed conditions, may also save the school heating and cooling costs for its 75-year-old building.

School administrators are also excited about using the roof’s succulent garden as a laboratory for environmental science classes, as well as the possibility of using a section for an herb garden.

“We want kids to realize that there’s an industry around that and that it’s healthy for the community,” Brother Cronin said.