July, 2013 Historic Fort Greene Building to Become Second Largest Green Roof in NYC

Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School will have the second largest Green Roof in Brooklyn by the end of July 2013.  The NYC Department of Environmental Protection selected Bishop Loughlin, located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, as the site for an ambitious green roof project.   The project is funded through the Green Infrastructure Grant Program and 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 NYC Green Infrastructure Plan – launched by Mayor Bloomberg in 2010 to support PlaNYC’s goals for improved waterways.  Other recent grantees include the Bronx Zoo, Pratt Institute, The New School, Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, and the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) headquarters.  The building rooftop is 18,000 square feet and 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 stormwater 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 iconic Catholic school due to the added insulation a green roof provides.  In addition, hundreds of high school students will have a tremendous opportunity to learn from the biodiversity and habitat that will exist shortly after installation.  Loughlin President, Brother Dennis Cronin says that “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.  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, a 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.  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 stormwater and wastewater 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 NYC waterways.

The Green Roof at Bishop Loughlin

In July, 2013, Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School is proud to showcase one of the largest Green Roofs in all of Brooklyn.  Green roofs are becoming more popular for a number of important reasons and we have listed several below.  The school is located in an area where the city sewer system struggles to function during heavy rain events.  It is estimated that the new green roof will keep more than 5,000 gallons of rain fall from area sewers during an average storm providing important relief to the system.

The Loughlin Green Roof:

  • provides a cool insulating layer and shields the roof from the sun’s harsh rays
  • reduces storm water run-off and filters water
  • reduces our energy bills saving us potentially tens of thousands of dollars each year
  • reduces our air conditioning needs in the summer
  • reduces our heating costs in the winter
  • provides bird, butterfly and bee habitat
  • improves the environment in our Fort Greene/Clinton Hill neighborhoods by
    • helping to cool the area
    • absorbing carbon dioxide
    • producing oxygen

Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School is located in the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene section of Brooklyn.  Loughlin is a co-educational and college preparatory Catholic high.  The school provides a Lasallian education in the tradition of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.