The green roof system was installed by Xero Flor America and consists of lightweight pre-vegetated mats which were rolled and joined together to create a green carpet effect. The mats use succulents, ferns and other greens that can be maintained in New York’s climate.
The two largest green roof areas are on the 21st floor, and feature outdoor furniture in a patio-inspired space and are open to office occupants. The smaller roof sections are on the 25th and 30th floor.
Clayton Rugh, General Manager of Zero Flor America said “the green roofs decrease stormwater run-off and improve water quality in New York’s waterways, moderate the urban heat island effect, filter dust and other air pollutants, and store carbon dioxide and other forms of carbon to reduce greenhouse gases.”
The installation of the green roofs on the Empire State Building is part of a larger initiative that includes a $550 million capital improvement project to restore and retrofit the iconic skyscraper. After the upgrade, the building will save $4.4 million a year which will result in a 38% reduction in total energy use.
In addition to reducing energy requirements, the green roof will also reduce noise pollution and will offer food production possibilities. New rooftop garden patios with breathtaking views have also been installed, providing additional benefit to occupants.
Tom Durels, executive vice president of Malkin Holdings, L.L.C., which supervises the Empire State Building said, “With its comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit program, the Empire State Building has attracted new tenants who derive direct economic benefits from our energy efficiency program and who recognise the value of healthy workplace environments for attracting and retaining talented employees.”
Adding green roofs to the New York icon sends out a green message that will hopefully inspire other buildings to follow suit.