Sky View Parc, Flushing Queens | Occupying a prime Downtown Flushing location, the 448-unit Sky View Parc is among New York’s largest mixed-use developments and boasts the city’s second largest green roof storm water sponge. Sounds impressive right? And it is… but what exactly is a storm water sponge? It functions much like it’s named, by retaining and repurposing rain water, diverting it from the overtaxed sewer system to prevent flooding.

Dick Bernauer of Sempergreen USA describes green roofs as a building system that “…utilizes vegetation as a tool to protect the soil and resist runoff. Purple-Roof successfully retains the most water and minimizes and/or eliminates fine particles and fertilizer runoff, making it the smartest green roof of North America.”

In addition to the storm water prevention, the giant extensive green roof provides benefits to the surrounding community, including lower temperatures, cleaner air, noise reduction, and increased property values. It is the most visible exterior feature of the new luxury development and symbolic of the improvements to the neighborhood.

For this project Blondie’s partnered up with Landscape Architect James P. Gilday. The architects delivered a smart and spectacular design featuring amazing views of Manhattan, a health club and spa, outdoor sports and a 55,000 sq. ft. sedum green roof. The outcome exceeds expectations. The green roof, sprawling across multiple levels “…uses light and shadow effects coupled with vegetation and turf areas to create visual and spatial interest from all levels of the rooftop.” Combined with the ground level park and other green amenities it creates a cascading effect, a waterfall of vibrant green.

In accordance to biophiliac design, which addresses our innate need to connect with nature, just viewing the expansive green roof from one of Sky View’s overlooking 1,200 apartment units can be of great value. Dr. Judith Heerwagen, a researcher on design, productivity and well-being also states: “We know from the growing body of literature that contact with nature is beneficial to people, even when the contact is second hand through window views. The results of this research suggest what is seen out the window is important, as well as what comes in e.g., daylight, fresh air, nature sounds and a sense of relatedness to the outdoors”.

The green roof benefits the residents and the environment at large. Ian Dana, Operations VP at Blondie’s Treehouse notes: “Large, high profile projects like Sky View Parc have a big impact on awareness, making the green roof a household name. There will be a New York City in the not-too-distant future blanketed with green roofs from Far Rockaway to the northern-most reaches of the Bronx, delivering real, quantifiable improvements to local waterways, a greater diversity of plants, birds and insects, and newly created habitats for pollinators like honey bees and butterflies. Green roofs are not a trend, they are here to stay.”