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3,500 sq. ft.
Father Nelson A. Belizario,
Archdiocese of New York
26-44 Borough Place
Queens, NY 11377
Most important to Father Nelson A. Belizario was starting a green roof movement in the Bronx for the environmental enhancement green roofs could provide. The high incidence of asthma among students from the neighborhood was compelling enough reason to clean the air. A green roof was thought to be a meaningful contribution towards cleaning the air and constructed as an example, the first of many green roofs in the neighborhood. The additional benefits of storm water retention, providing the students a healthy park-like setting where they could grow fresh vegetables, conduct science experiments and find a place of peace, away from the bustle of the Bronx streets were all bonus features.
The 3,500 square foot Green Roof was installed on April 1, 2005, costing $57.00/square foot, and the installation included a protective fence and metal siding. The garden plantings and the installation of technical and weather monitoring equipment were provided by volunteer workers. A $125,000.00 grant was provided by the Bronx Initiative for Energy and the Environment, BIEE. Besides the significant research information that will be collected by the GAIA Institute for water and stormwater management, the school faculty is developing a curriculum that utilizes the plants and soils, as well as the animal life they attract and support, as a tool for interdisciplinary education. Students will take an ongoing role in planting and harvesting a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as in data collection, data analysis and writing papers on the “green” classroom. The learning possibilities are immeasurable. This roof is also considered as a learning experiment by the Archdiocese of New York and hopefully will provide incentive to “green” other Archdiocese’ within the domain.
The Greenroof-Roofscape® waterproofing assembly, donated by GRHC Corporate Member Barrett Company, consisted of 215 mils thick Barrett Ram Tough 250 rubberized asphalt membrane, polyester reinforcement, SBS protection course, 60psi extruded polystyrene insulation, root barrier, water retention/drainage mat, and filter fabric. The Drainage System consisted of Greenroof-Roofscape® water retention/drainage mat leading to internal roof drains. No irrigation system was installed.The horticultural portion of the assembly includes the GAIA Institute’s engineered growing media, jute fabric, recycled mulch and approximately twenty native species of plants and non-native prairie grass. GAIA, working with Cornell University graduate student Jeanette Compton and other resources, chose twenty native species of plants. Additionally, non-native prairie grasses were planted in an area expected to experience the driest conditions. There are two walkway paths, one of concrete pavers with steel angle curbing and one of recycled PET lattice work, which has plants placed in the interstices of the latticework. A six foot safety fence was installed atop the parapet walls, which will be planted with screening vine plants, chosen by the Bronx Zoological Society to attract humming birds and butterflies. A programmed cycle of care and maintenance will be provided by the Archdiocese and volunteers. The students at the St. Simon Stock elementary school are also participating in the establishment and care of the plants associated with their green roof.