Real Estate Journal — Mid-Year Review — June 24 - July 14, 2016 — 11C

M id A tlantic

S ustainability

By Steven J. Schleider, Metropolitan Valuation Services Green roofs in the concrete jungle


reen roofs are among the newest sustain- ability assets for com-

useable garden space?); what part of the roof you will green (all the exposures will vary

be used; and what systems will be used for root barrier, drainage and irrigation.

and install the system; and a big budget. Tax abatements and green infrastructure grant programs help make green roofs more feasible. Some prominent buildings in NYC that have installed green roofs include the Empire State Building; Javits Center; Brooklyn Academy of Mu- sic; the Parks Department’s Five Borough Administrative Building on Randalls Island; Zeckendorf Towers on the east side of Union Square; the roof- top farm at the Brooklyn Navy Yard; and the New School’s LEED-Gold student center.

The largest green roof in New York City is in midtown Manhattan atop the U.S. Post- al Service’s Morgan Process- ing and Distribution Center. The funkiest – and award- winning – green roof includes plastic rocks, artificial box- woods, clear crushed glass and recycled rubber mulch. It’s on top of the Museum of Modern Art and, although visible, you can’t get there fromhere as it’s inaccessible. Steven J. Schleider, MAI, MRICS, LEED-APBD + C is president of Metropolitan Valuation Services. n

mercial and residential b u i l d i n g s . And unlike other green assets like energy sav- i n g s s y s - tems, recy- c l i ng and

“For the most part, the city’s roofs are still tar and asphalt. But changing those roofs into environmental sound solutions – and green sanctuaries - is gaining momentum.”

greatly); whether you install an intensive green roof which is thicker, deeper, heavier and supports more plants but re- quires more maintenance; or extensive which is shallower, lighter and more minimal maintenance; what plants will

You’ll need a professional engineer and registered archi- tect to do a structural analysis to determine if your roof can sustain vegetation or needs reinforcement; an architect/ landscape designer and/or green roof specialist to design

Steven Schleider

gray water usage, green roofs are visible, beautiful, useable and valuable to both tenants and building owners alike. In a city that is mostly glass and steel corridors and gray concrete streets, with the ex- ception of parks, from pocket to Central, greenery is at a premium. For the most part, the city’s roofs are still tar and asphalt. But changing those roofs into environmental sound solu- tions – and green sanctuaries - is gaining momentum. It’s a complicated and expensive process that also requires ongoing maintenance, but the benefits are numerous and compelling, not the least of which is turning an ugly, underused part of a building’s real estate into an asset. A quick look at the ben- efits include mitigation of the Urban Heat Island Ef- fect. New York City is a vast summertime heat island with far-reaching negative impact on energy, water and health. Green roofs act as building insulators, reducing energy usage and the extent and cost of air conditioning and heat as well as air pollution and greenhouse gasses. Then there’s storm water management, no small is- sue in New York City. Green roofs help control runoff with vegetation absorbing water that, as runoff, contains a high amount of pollution and contaminants. Green roofs can extend roof life, reduce AC and heat- ing costs, serve as a storm water management tool and fire retardant, reduce noise, contribute to air quality and greatly enhance a property’s marketability by providing viewable or useable garden and recreational space. So why has green roofing been slow to take hold? It’s a costly undertaking with many complexities ranging from a building’s load capacity; usage (will it only be viewed or be

Commercial Real Estate Valuation Market Studies Martin B. Levine, MAI – Chairman Steven J. Schleider , MAI, LEED-AP, BD + C - President

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METROPOLITAN VALUATION SERVICES, INC. 44 East 32 nd Street, New York, New York 10016 Phone (212) 213-8650 • Fax (212) 213-8621 www.MVSappraisal.com

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