Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Visitor Center Green Roof
Studio Sustena as Roofmeadow
9,600 square feet
The garden in the sky on the Visitor Center at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is home to a green roof comprised of perennials, grasses, and bulbs. The Visitor Center and the green roof are part of the Campaign for the Next Century initiative intended to renew the hundred-year-old garden. The roof garden is visible from many points within the botanic garden. Not only a visitor center — the building will be available for private events including weddings and parties. The biodiverse roofscape is comprised of over 10,000 plants and is expected to attract birds and pollinators.
Weiss/Manfredi designed the building which serves as a gateway to the botanic garden. Because of the roof’s pitch, the green roof is a prominent visual element of the architecture. The green roof works to lighten the environmental footprint of the structure and to strengthen the connection between the building and the landscape. HM White Site Architects, the landscape architect for BBG, incorporated the green roof into their site-wide stormwater management strategy which includes rain gardens and woodland bio infiltration basins. All the site features perform aesthetic and ecological functions and, yearly, will keep thousands of gallons of stormwater on site and out of the over-taxed New York City sewer system. Stormwater that stays on site is a resource which will sustain plant life and help to limit the need for irrigation.
We designed the profile and the slope stabilization system for the Visitor Center green roof. The slope of the gable roof varies and includes a peak in the center giving the roof the appearance of an upside-down ship. Slope stabilization is needed over roughly half of the roof area, including any area with a slope greater than 9°. Stabilization of the media is achieved by using banana cleats secured to a geo grid net. The Certified media was provided by SkyGarden. Studio Sustena and Sika Sarnafil (the waterproofing provider), are warranting the assembly for a period of 20 years. As a condition of the warranty New York Green Roofs is maintaining the roofscape in compliance with the Studio Sustena Maintenance Manual.