Back to Home Page
Home   |   Contact Us Ph: 443-345-1578

Green Roof Technology Blog

First American 'Sun-Root' Installation at NYC Parks Dept.

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Wednesday, April 04, 2012

 By Kat Harrold


Photo~ Jorg Breuning

It's official!  The 'Sun-Roots' have landed in America!   The first installation of 'Sun-Roots' took place on the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation at Randall's Island.  The 'Sun-Roots' are part of their on going green roof research program that tests over 25 different green roof systems. 

Check back soon for more information on this revolutionary system pending the installation of it's solar panels!




First American Sun-Root Installation

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Monday, March 12, 2012

 By Kat Harrold


Photo Courtesy of Optigrun

Next week the New York City Parks Department will be adding a landmark addition to their green roof research facility.  The NYC Parks Department oversees the largest know US green roof systems test facility and will be adding the Sun-Root solar living roof to their collection.

Located on Randall's Island, the Parks Department Five Borough Administrative Building houses over 29,000 square feet of test green roofs making the collection the 5th largest green roof in New York City.  The outdoor laboratory features over 25 different systems of various growing media depths.  Weather stations and temperature sensors minor the conditions on the systems and update findings every 15 minutes on their website for public comparison. 

'Sun-Root' FAQ's Answered

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Thursday, February 23, 2012

By Kat Harrold

Photos ~ by Optigrun

Since the release of our Sun Root living roof system we have been receiving a lot of questions about the benefits of this system and what makes it so different from other solar panel or photovoltaic (PV) systems.

To answer these questions we have composed an information packet which shines a light on the most frequently asked questions.  


Some of the topics in this packet include :


The ‘Sun-Root’ Living Roof System—Green Roofs embrace Renewable Solar Energy

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Friday, January 13, 2012

Green Roof Technology today announced the ‘Sun-Root’ solar-living roof system, the first fully integrated, non-penetrative solar and extensive green roof system in North America.  The ‘Sun-Root’ living roof system is the most advanced green roofing technology available on the market.  The ‘Sun-Root’ living roof system was unveiled for the first time in North America on November 30, 2011 at Cities Alive 2011 in Philadelphia, PA.    

Green Roof Technology has been at the forefront of green roof innovations for over three decades and remains the leading authority on green roofs in North America.  With unsurpassed experience, Jörg Breuning, Principal of Green Roof Service LLC, and his dedicated team of green roof experts are proud to once again push the North American industry to new heights.  

“The ‘Sun-Root’ living roof system is a breakthrough in green technology,” said Kat Harrold, Green Roof Technology’s senior green roof designer.  “The combination of solar and green roofing technologies produces a harmonious system that benefits each technology equally.”  

The ‘Sun-Root’ living green roof system optimizes photovoltaic (PV) element energy production by creating a cooler surrounding micro-climate through evaporation and evapotranspiration.  “Heat is the enemy of energy production.” said Jörg Breuning.  “Any time atmospheric temperatures on a roof begin to rise PV elements lose their efficiency and can shut down if temperatures rise too high.  We sought a way to counteract this negative phenomenon by combining solar modules with an extensive green roof.  People have been using green roofs for centuries to keep their roofs cool in the summers and warmer in the winter.  It was a no-brainer combination.”

The ‘Sun-Root’ system officially goes on sale January 13, 2012 and is exclusively sold through Green Roof Technology’s website, or by phone at 443.345.1578.   

A video demonstration of the Sun-Root™ System

Chimes Solar Plan Needs Better Location

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Wednesday, January 11, 2012

By Andrew Cole Yanders

Photo by ~ Jorg Breuning

There is undoubtedly an unpleasant knee-jerk reaction whenever you hear someone criticize a NGO whose sole purpose is to provide humanitarian assistance to people in most need.  We all admire their work and generally feel better about living in a community who supports them and their activities.  So when the The Chimes, a Dixon Hill-located nonprofit, announced at a community association meeting their desire to install an array of ground-mounted solar panels on their property, the opposition to their plan may seem harsh and unwarranted.  The Chimes is an admirable organization whose commitment to cleaner, renewable energy should be above repute.  Every intention in The Chimes’ plan is correct, except for the location of the solar panels.  

Residents were right to question the location of the panels and infer the detrimental effects they would have on the landscape if they were installed.  Installing a ground array of solar panels is completely counter-productive to the intended goal of good stewardship of the neighborhood.  This type of system replaces a functioning ecosystem, which provides the life essential mechanisms of oxygen production, pollutant remediation and stormwater mitigation, with a clear-cut lawn that exacerbates stormwater runoff.  Removing trees and other plants from the area will only intensify the stormwater runoff from the site and overwhelm existing measures to deal with the stormwater problem.  Any storm damaged trees that must be taken down should be immediately replaced.  

If the ground is not a suitable location for the panels then The Chimes should look to the roof tops for a suitable location for their panels.  Most of the homes in Baltimore’s oldest suburban neighborhood are not a suitable location for solar panels, but any buildings in the neighborhood with a flat roof are an ideal location.  Located very nearby on Thornbury Road is such a building.  The building on Thornbury Road is an ideal location to install a solar living roof.  The combination of high-efficiency solar panels with an extensive green roof enables The Chimes to produce clean, renewable energy as well as help alleviate the stormwater runoff problem affecting residents lower down on the hill.

Solar Living Roofs

Green Team at Green Roof Technology, - Thursday, December 15, 2011

By Kat Harrold

Photo courtesy of Optigrun

Roofs offer a variety of uses other than just keeping your house safe and dry.  If your not using your roof for open space or a place to watch fireworks on the 4th of July, one of the best ways to utilize this space is to add a green roof with solar panels.  While the green roof can provide excellent stormwater management, protect your roof, and keep you building cooler in the summer it can also host solar panels.  The cooling benefits that your building and surrounding environment enjoy also prevents the solar panels from overheating, allowing them to run more efficiently during summer's scorching months.

The main concerns about combing the two were damage to the green roof during installation of the solar panels as well as roof penetrations.  Fortunately there is a solution.  Using the latest in solar/green roof technology, this drainage board also acts as a stand for the solar panel.  Instead of punching a hole through your roof to secure the solar panel, it attaches to the drainage board which uses the green roof as ballast to keep it in place during high wind events.  

Similar to the set up of a regular extensive system, you have you protection mat over the waterproofing followed by the drainage board.  The combined drainage board captures water like a regular drainage board and has a gravel strip area underneath the drip area.  A filter fabric covers the top of the drainage board and a capillary mat moves excess water out of the gravel strip reservoir and into the rest of the drainage board where the vegetation can absorb it.

For more details and images on how this set up works visit our solar page.    


Follow Us!

RSSGreen Roof Tech Blog
RSSGreen Roof Plant Blog

Recent Posts



Latest Blog Posts
  1. Mineral Wool in Green Roofs – From Zero to Hero? Green Team at Green Roof Technology, 13-Apr-2019
  2. Sponge City Green Team at Green Roof Technology, 27-Jan-2019
Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Google+   YouTube
Go To Resources Page