NewYork-Presbyterian Queens installed a modular green roof at the hospital's main campus in Flushing, N.Y. The project's goal is to decrease the amount of stormwater and sewer overflow into adjacent waterways. Half of the green roof was planted in the fall of 2012 and is now blooming, see photos below. Additional plantings will take place this spring. When complete, the green roof will cover one-half acre of roof space.
The project is part of a New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) grant entitled "Flushing and Gowanus Green Infrastructure Grant Initiative." The grant program was created to encourage the large scale development of green infrastructure projects that will reduce stormwater runoff during wet weather. Stormwater runoff can carry sediment, trash, fertilizers, solvents, and automobile fluids from paved surfaces into the local waterways. The negative impacts of these elements entering our waterways are well documented. Additionally, in New York City the sewer system and the stormwater system are combined. During heavy storms, this system often reaches capacity and a mixture of stormwater and wastewater is discharged into local waterways.
Manhattan College was the grant recipient and they championed the project. Scott Lowe, Ph.D., P.E., associate professor in Manhattan College’s school of engineering and lead investigator for the project, is partnering with HDR Engineering, an architectural, engineering and consulting firm, to design and install 20,000 square feet of modular green roof. Manhattan College engineering students will be involved at every stage of the project. Students gather and analyze data over a four-year period to determine how much water is being captured.
The DEP grant awards were provided to projects most likely to succeed and be replicated on a large scale. The DEP targeted projects in areas adjacent to Flushing Bay and the Gowanus Canal as these waterways suffer from very poor water quality and are regions with combined sewer and stormwater systems. Green roofs use vegetation and soils to absorb and evaporate water. These types of projects are a key component of PlaNYC's sustainability effort because they also shade and cool the city, improve air quality, and increase property values. According to the DEP, "these characteristics, the minimal energy and manpower required for operation, and the relatively quick installation mean that green infrastructure can be cost-effective and provide immediate benefits".
NYP Queens is a participating healthcare partner in the PlaNYC program, and has already achieved significant results in reducing its carbon footprint. The new green roof is another key step in greening NYP Queens and furthering our sustainability initiatives.
Click on the following links to read articles and web postings related to our green roof project.