Green roofs have been gaining in popularity, especially in urban markets. These outdoor spaces have become a desirable building amenity in crowded cities because they provide visual and physical spaces that can be utilized by tenants. The added amenity aids in the market value of properties, that helps justify the sometimes costly expense.
The recent popularity of green roofs is also attributed to the widely-reported and well-documented environmental benefits provided by the sustainable solution. Green roofs contribute to sustainable building certifications such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).
Benefits of green roofs include managing and mitigating storm water run-off, reducing heat island effect, extending roof membrane life, reducing heating and cooling needs, creating the potential for urban agriculture, and providing wildlife habitat. The popularity of green roofs has resulted in architects, owners, and contractors developing more sustainable buildings and has also reduced material, installation, and maintenance costs.
As an industry leader, Copley Wolff Design Group has designed green roofs for corporate headquarters, higher education facilities, medical office buildings, and high-rise apartments.
At The Clarendon, a residential tower located in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston, Copley Wolff Design Group designed four semi-intensive green roofs that provide areas used for both public and private amenity space. In addition to offering owners an urban oasis, these green spaces also help the building reach its environmental goals by helping it achieve LEED Silver Certification. Green roofs for commercial buildings not only provide environmental benefits, but they also enhance the visual appearance and provide outdoor space for the tenants of the building.
The green roof at 75 State Street includes a variety of seating areas and open areas for small events or team meetings. The seventh floor deck contains numerous plants that create pops of color throughout the spring, summer, and early fall seasons for occupants to enjoy during the work day.
At the North Shore Community College in Danvers, the firm’s design of the green roof for the new Net Zero Energy Student Services Building provides a number of environmental benefits while also serving as an educational tool that students can utilize, learn, and calculate “green” metrics.
Currently, Copley Wolff Design Group is planning and designing green roofs and roof decks for the following Boston mixed-use developments: 101 Seaport Square and The Watermark in the Seaport District; 22 Water Street in Cambridge; 345 Harrison Street, Northampton Square, and Ink Block in the South End; and 131 Beverly Street and One Canal Street in the Bulfinch Triangle. These projects are helping to change the landscape of Boston by providing environmental benefits to the buildings while also creating appealing urban green spaces for everyone to enjoy.
Michael D’Angelo, LEED AP is a landscape architect at Copley Wolff Design Group, Landscape Architects & Planners