2005-11-09 / Features

Green Roof Is Silvercup Studios’ Latest Production

Silvercup Studios in Long Island City, best known for the production of the television series “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos”, in an effort to aid in the reduction of air pollution and increase energy efficiency, has unveiled a “green roof” of colorful vegetation which is the largest in the city. The 35,000-square-foot roof is intended to return oxygen to the atmosphere by absorbing air pollutants and carbon dioxide. The roof is the first to enable monitoring of scientific data, also providing healthier air and aiding in storm run-off reduction. This helps alleviate a problem of Long Island City’s infrastructure.

Designed by Balmori Associates, a design team based in New York that was also responsible for the green rooftop in Battery Park City, the Silvercup green roof became visible from the elevated train tracks and the upper level of the Queensboro Bridge on September 29. The design is one of many planned for Long Island City over the next 10 years. Balmori Associates collaborated with Silvercup Studios, the Long Island Business Development Corporation, a non-profit organization, and Earth Pledge, another non-profit company dedicated to sustainability. The Queens Clean Air Communities, a program launched in 2003 that funds and encourages energy efficiency, funded the project. It initially was funded with $2 million from the New York Power Authority.

The Silvercup building will be monitored for a year by Earth Pledge, which will analyze the effects and the impact of the green roof on energy consumption and water runoff, along with other environmental aspects. Many argue that funding for research and future green rooftops is vital for the environment and, thus, the future. Researchers speculate that since Long Island City is taking advantage of this early on, not only commercial buildings will feature green rooftops, but so will residential buildings. This will be due to the monitoring and scientific research that will be conducted. Researchers await evidence of benefits from the green roof that may prove savings in energy costs, cleaner air and reduced runoff from storms.--Diana Sanders

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