Bishop Loughlin M.H.S., Fort Greene, now has the second largest green roof in Brooklyn as of the end of July. The N.Y.C. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) selected Bishop Loughlin as the site for an ambitious green roof project, funded through the Green Infrastructure Grant Program. The green roof will have a significant impact for both Bishop Loughlin and the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill community.
The Green Infrastructure Grant Program represents a key component of the N.Y.C. Green Infrastructure Plan – launched by Mayor Bloomberg in 2010 to support N.Y.C.’s goals for improved waterways.
The building rooftop is 18,000 square feet, and the school campus is bordered by Vanderbilt, Clermont, Greene and Lafayette Avenues. The school lies in a combined sewer area and, with it’s size, will dramatically decrease the amount of storm water from flowing unobstructed into drains during rainfalls. This will prevent the all too common overflow of the combined sewer system and the polluted waters that frequently enter nearby waterways.
In addition to relieving stress on sewer systems in the area, the project will also lower heating and air-conditioning costs for the school due to the added insulation a green roof provides. Hundreds of high school students will have a tremendous opportunity to learn from the biodiversity and habitat that will exist shortly after installation.
“We are looking for ways to do things differently and better at Bishop Loughlin, and the green roof project is an opportunity to do both,” said Bishop Loughlin president, Brother Dennis Cronin, F.S.C. “We see a great benefit in protecting our beautiful landmark building while also providing our students an opportunity to study the environmental issues confronting our city.”
The school is working in partnership with Highview Creations, a leader in green and blue roof installations throughout the city. Eric Dalski, founder of Highview Creations, is proud to work with Loughlin on this energy-saving initiative.
“It’s wonderful to see a green roof on Bishop Loughlin,” he said. “The school will be coupling the environmental and economic benefits of green roofs, as well as encompassing the educational component. Students will be able to learn about the ecology, plants, natural systems, environmental issues in New York City and Green Infrastructure.”
Green roofs have become more popular in recent years, especially in urban areas like Brooklyn for a variety of important reasons: the environmental benefits, energy savings and the DEP Green Infrastructure grant program. New York City, like other older urban centers, is largely serviced by a combined sewer system carrying storm water and waste water through a single pipe. The grant program was primarily launched as a way to protect the combined sewer system from frequent storm water overflows. The overflows occur during storms with heavy rainfall, which cause the discharge of polluted, nutrient rich water into N.Y.C. waterways.
It is estimated that the new green roof will keep more than 5,000 gallons of rainfall from area sewers during an average storm providing important relief to the system.