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The Largest Green Roof Being Created on Barclays Center

05/19/2015

Barclays Center is a multi-purpose indoor arena located in Brooklyn. In addition to being home to the New York Islanders and the Brooklyn Nets, the Center hosts conventions, concerts, and an array of sporting events. Now, Barclays will be known for something new, a green roof consisting of hundreds of thousands of plants.

Plants are currently being moved to the rooftop of Barclays Center and once finished, this will be the largest green roof ever placed on a US sporting arena. In all, there will be three full acres of sedum, which is a beautiful flowering plant. The green rooftop was developed by Forest City Ratner Cos to help reduce noise coming from various events but to also improve aesthetics for people who live in nearby apartment buildings.

Changing the New York Scenery

According to Chris Sharples, a partner with SHoP, the architectural firm responsible for designing the $1 billion Barclays Center, the plan was to come up with a system that will flourish and thrive. While most people in Brooklyn love having the Center in their backyard, Barclays was cited in 2013 for a noise violation. At that time, it became clear that a solution for reducing the noise, especially for nearby neighbors, was vital.

In a partnership with China-based Greenland Holding Group Co., Forest City Ratner is also planning to develop 6,400 apartments spread out over 15 towers in the Pacific Park area, which was part of the original Barclays project. As stated by NetsDaily, for people living in one of the three towers surrounding the Center, a green roof will not only soften noise but also enhance the view.

The green roof project will cover 135,000 square feet. During certain times of the year, the entire rooftop will bloom with gorgeous red, yellow, and pink flowers. However, with roughly 50 percent of the plants being evergreens, the roof of Barclays will still have warm hues of brown and red even in the wintertime.

As stated by Jared Markham with the environmental engineering firm Weston Solutions, Inc., the variety of green and brown tone plants were carefully chosen so there will be ever-changing colors and textures. This environmentally friendly green roof will boast soils that are shallow and lightweight, while the plants are low maintenance and drought resistant.

Growing Popularity

Although green rooftops became popular in Europe starting in the 1970s it was not until the 1990s they started being implemented in the United States. One of the first projects was a green roof on the City Hall in Chicago.

The popularity of green roofs grew to the point that by 2006, more than one million square foot of green roofing existed in North America. Growth rate since that time has continued between 10 and 25 percent, even during the economic crisis.

In the original master plan for the Barclays Center, a green roof was included along with a running track but once the recession hit, plans were downsized. Now with a more stable economy, the initial plans are coming to fruition.

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