N.J. luxury development gets 22K-square-foot green roof

A view from above the development, as the green roof is installed. (Courtesy of Amber Ponce)
A view from above the development, as the green roof is installed. (Courtesy of Amber Ponce)

WEEHAWKEN — Several roofs in the Waterfront Re-Development District in Weehawken are covered in plants, and one more was just added to the list.

The installation of 21,600 square feet of the hardy sedum plant, which grows in rocky, sunny places, started this week on the roof of an upcoming 103-unit luxury development at 1200 Avenue at Port Imperial in Weehawken.

Tim Symanski, the project’s landscape architect, said Weehawken requires “a 50-percent green roof” on all developments in the waterfront redevelopment area.

“It’s a fantastic element to have with this redevelopment area, green roofs,” he said, pointing out the Manhattan skyline rooftop views. “We are seeing cities across the country doing it as well. Chicago, Philadelphia, those are two major players in the green roof movement.”

A clerk for Weehawken said there was no ordinance requiring the green roofs, but the requirement could be in the developer’s agreement.

For cities like Weehawken — which has a combined sewer/storm water system — green roofs reduce storm water runoff that could otherwise overwhelm the sewage system, according to Paul Cook, who manages sales for Creek Hill Nursery, which provided the plants.

“(Green roofs are) becoming more and more common especially in the Weehawken area where the storm water runoff is a serious issue,” said Cook. “If you’ve got a lot of greenery and flowers, it tends to be very calming. You’re looking at the scenery of Manhattan. By making that a usable space, it becomes very appealing.”

“If I’m talking to the designers in Weehawken, they’re saying that they need to do a green roof,” added Cook. As an added benefit, he said, green roofs are waterproofed, and are more protected from the sun and elements than unplanted roofs.

Cook’s company has worked on “at least a couple dozen” roofs in N.J.


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