Brooklyn’s Windsor Terrace Library gets a living roof

The roof was funded through a process that allows local residents to decide how City capital dollars are spent in their neighborhoods.

September 12, 2017 |
The green roof at the Windsor Terrace Library

Courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library

The Windsor Terrace Library, located in Brooklyn, N.Y., has taken 7,000 sf of previously unused space on its roof and turned it into a green, living roof. The new green roof brings additional habitat space for animals and also provides energy efficiency, improved air quality, and stormwater management.

The new roof reduces runoff retention by as much as 50%, which limits the amount of rainwater released during storms and lowers the combined sewer overflow. The soil and plant layers act as insulation and increase the energy efficiency for the library while also removing carbon dioxide from the air and reducing the urban heat island effect.

Shrubs, perennial groundcovers, and ornamental grasses were planted on the roof, including sedum, witch hazel, butterfly weed, and Carolina rose. The green roof was proposed by local residents and selected for $250,000 in funding through the participatory budget process in the 39th Council District. This process allows New Yorkers to decide how City capital dollars are spent in their neighborhoods.

The New York City Department of Design and Construction installed the roof.

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