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New Green Roofs at Brooklyn Navy Yard

Three buildings at the Admiral’s Row complex in the Brooklyn Navy Yard completed the installation of new green roofs. Covering more than 23,000 square feet of previously impermeable rooftop, the green roofs added soil, ornamental grasses, perennial wildflowers, and sedum in order to absorb the nearly 2.5 million gallons of rain that falls on it in a typical year.

The green roof project was made possible by a nearly $700,000 grant from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. Awarded through the City’s Green Infrastructure Grant Program, the money was given to Steiner NYC (owner of Admiral’s Row and other Brooklyn properties such as Steiner Studios) on the basis that the green roof would decrease sewer overflows and flooding throughout northern Brooklyn.

“We built Admirals Row at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, anchored by NYC’s first Wegmans supermarket, with sustainability at the forefront of our design,” explained Doug Steiner, Chairman of Steiner NYC. “The green roofs and extensive landscaping with their native plant palette create a biodiversity that butterflies and birds have already been enjoying. We are glad to be supporting the local ecology while also reducing the heating and cooling demand of the building.”

3 Flushing Avenue, 25 Navy Street, and 399 Sands Street (all of which are part of the Steiner NYC Admiral’s Row complex) were each equipped with ample vegetation to help collect rainfall. The project earned the support of north Brooklyn Councilmember Steve Levin, who believes green roofs can help alleviate the environmental burdens climate change places on the low-lying areas of his district.

“With our two Superfund sites, the 33rd [District] and our surrounding bodies of water are heavily impacted by stormwater drainage,” Levin explained. “These new green roofs will help ease the pressure on our drainage system and combined sewer overflows, and contribute to a healthier East River, New York Harbor, and our marine ecosystem — as well as to the health of all New Yorkers.”

Steiner NYC is one of 33 partners that the New York City Department of Environmental Protection has committed funding to through the Grant Program. In total, DEP has committed over $13 million to its Grant Program partners wh in turn have contributed nearly $7 million in matching funds. Non-profits, private property owners, and businesses are all eligible for funding to retrofit rooftops with green roof technology. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Originally created under the de Blasio administration, the Green Infrastructure Grant Program will continue into next year when a new mayor takes office. Although he has not always billed himself as an environmentalist, Brooklyn Borough President and Democratic nominee for Mayor Eric Adams has recently reaffirmed his commitment to combating climate change in the five boroughs.

In a statement, the Borough President sang the praises of the new Stiner NYC green roof project.

“Green roofs are a critical tool in reducing urban heat island effect, promoting biodiversity, as well as reducing stormwater runoff and flooding,” Adams said. These new installations at the Brooklyn Navy Yard are critically important as we confront the effects of a rapidly changing climate. I look forward to working with DEP to promote this needed infrastructure throughout our borough.”

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