New York

Fifth Street Farm Green Roof

Fifth Street Farm Green Roof
New York, NY

Fifth Street Farm
Citation for Design | AIA New York State

The Fifth Street Farm Project is a 3,000 SF green roof project recently completed atop the Robert Simon School Complex on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. In addition to providing the many benefits that green roofs offer - mitigating heat island effect, reducing storm water run-off and providing areas of refuge to increase natural bio-diversity - the retrofitting is also intended to allow teachers at the school to weave growing and cultivating plants into the curricula of different classes and areas of inquiry, ranging from science to art.

Due to the weight of the soil, Handel Architects’ Partner Michael Arad developed a design that perches a green deck directly onto the columns below the roof, similar to the way most rooftop mechanical equipment is handled.

This required ‘stubbing-up’ a select number of columns from below, as well as designing a pitch pocket waterproofing detail to wrap the base of these short columns, and building a steel framed deck to rest on the columns. The simple and standard deck construction that rests on these columns then serves as a foundation for anything from planters to a greenhouse. The system is such that it can be easily replicated in other buildings where the roof slabs are not designed to carry the weight of a farmable green roof.