Is Your Building Ripe for a Green Roof?

Co-op and condo boards need to do the math before taking the plunge.

Co-op and condo boards in New York City are always on the lookout for amenities that boost the value – and livability – of their buildings. In the bargain, many are looking to make their buildings more eco-friendly and economical. For these reasons, green roofs are catching on. But do the benefits merit the cost? And what are the drawbacks?

"If you're adding green features, you're looking at staying in the long term, because that's where you get the savings," Anna Karp, a cofounder of Bolster, an online home-improvement service, tells Brick Underground. "A lot of the benefits you're looking at are environmental, some of which are not quantifiable."

Costs, however, are quantifiable, and it’s best to understand them before you take the plunge. "It's better to know everything that's included, from the engineer, the architect, the costs of plants, labor, materials, insurance, and so on and so forth," says Karp. "You really need to know all these variables and numbers before you even start so you're not in a sticker shock situation."

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