Installing a green roof on your home or business is not a matter that can typically be resolved by consulting the Yellow Pages. Companies that specialize in this subject are few and far between, but if you live in the metro Boston area, you are in luck: Recover Green Roofs can make your dream roof design a reality.
Owners Mark Winterer and Brendan Shea operate a one-stop green architecture shop that designs, builds, and maintains green roofs, living walls, and other forms of bio-architecture. So far they’ve constructed 25 living rooftop environments, which range from passive roof gardens that are simply for looking at to full-scale rooftop farms.
Rooftop farms have become a specialty for the company. The new Whole Foods Market in Lynnfield, Massachusetts contracted with Recover to build a 17,000 square foot farm on the roof which is now open. The produce will be sold with a hyper-local label in the store below, a plan that Whole Foods is also carrying out at its store in Gowanus, New York.
Sometimes the call for a rooftop farm comes not from a building owner, but from an urban farmer. Such was the case when the owners of Higher Ground Farm called Recover to help them with their dream of farming Boston rooftops. Last year work began on what will be Boston’s largest rooftop farm on top of the Boston Design Center in the Seaport District. The plans are for 55,000 square feet of growing space once completed, making it the second largest rooftop farm in the country after the Brooklyn Grange in New York City.
Green roofs are a fun idea and nicer to look at than asphalt shingles, and they play a big role in making cities more environmentally friendly. They can reduce energy demand for summertime cooling by up to 75 percent and have been shown to absorb 75 percent of the water that falls on them in rainstorms, helping to keep urban creeks in better working order. Plus, if you were a migrating bird, wouldn’t you rather land on a cool, green roof garden for a rest rather than a piping hot black roof?