New York City can be saved by the green roofs
by Luca Zausa, 27 September 2018
Anyone who visited New York City in the summer experienced the heat retained by its vast concrete mass. Manhattan is probably one of the biggest urban heat islands in the world and with the climate change it will only become hotter. While Central Park and urban greens reduce some of the heat, they are surely not enough. There is a growing trend of green roofs as a solution for the reduction of the heat and overall energy savings.
Green roofs are amazing insulators. During the hot weather they reduce the building temperature by absorbing the sunshine, not allowing it to turn into material heat. During the cold weather green roofs contain the heat inside the building. Dr. Stuart Gaffin from The Earth Institute at Columbia University has calculated that green roof can reach 87% reduction in heat gain and 37% reduction in heat loss. Additionally, green roofs absorb up to 70% of the rainwater which otherwise would require management.
There is a potential that New York City green roofs drastically outnumber other green surfaces, including the Central Park, thus changing the local climate and reducing the urban heat island effect. This is why the NYC City Council introduced the Green Roof & Renewable Energy Legislation in July 2018 while some NYC property managers and owners acted on their own. For example, Alan Steel, CEO of Jacob Javits Convention Center, NYC, says that the Javits Center saved 3 MM USD annually because it used 26% less energy thanks to the green roof. HuffPost gives interesting ideas on how to make NYC greener, one of them suggesting green rooftops on almost every Manhattan building.
The most significant benefit of green roofs is that they can be easily installed on current buildings without any building modifications. With minimum installation and management, New York City climate would be controlled, substantial energy saved, and life quality of residents improved.
New York City, being one of the cities with the most dynamic and innovative architectural development, is the perfect example of how an urban city can become more efficient in managing resources and limiting energy losses. If this solution is possible in New York City, it is definitely applicable to evergrowing mega-cities whose high demand for sustainable solutions will only grow.
Our green roof products
Geoplast offers green roofs products such as Drainroof and Completa which are made of recycled plastics and have been proven on large projects regarding installation, design, and long-term management. They are ideal solutions for creating draining green roofs that will absorb most of the rainfalls, and at the same time protect the coverage and isolate the building thermally.
See our Green Solutions and projects.