Now in NYC: Alive Structures Offering New Green Roof Tours for Wildflower Week

May 3, 2009

Inhabitat shares a great set of stories on Alive Structures: a Brooklyn based green roofing collective. Together, with the most creative native gardeners in the city, Alive Structures will be giving tours of their rooftop gardens at NYC wildflower week. All those in the greater New York area make sure to stop by to explore this exciting dimension of the greening of cities.

City roof gardens create a nice natural habitat for pollinators and migrating species, and additionally “they provide open green spaces for property owners and the public to enjoy.” Green roofs are known to improve air and water quality, lessen storm-water runoff, lower building energy consumption, and reduce urban heat island affect.

Green roofs are constructed as a series of layers including:

  • a waterproof membrane
  • a root barrier
  • drainage mat
  • an erosion control fabric
  • lightweight engineered soil, and vegetation.


Alive Structures works with beautiful and ecologically sensitive plants, designs, and materials. Their Green Roof systems use “thick root barriers, drainage mats made from recycled plastic, and an erosion blanket to insure the protection and functionality of the roof.”

Alive Systems has produced educational gardens as well. Above is an image of Green Roof Vegetable Garden, St. Simon Stock School, The Bronx: Several years ago the Gaia Institute installed an intensive green roof on the Saint Simon Stock School in the South Bronx. Marni Horwitz, founder of Alive Structures, worked for the Gaia Institute from 2006-2008, teaching classes on the school’s green roof and continues to work with the school today to improve and maintain the green roof.”

Their signature product are these Alive Structures Papercrates, which are made from a mix of recycled materials. These unique planters are hand crafted by local artisans in Long Island City, Queens, and each planter is creatively designed using “succulents, saxifrages, and alpine flowers.

Additionally they can create custom interior living walls. These living walls bring in more oxygen and act as air filters. Here is an alive wall created for a tapas restaurant in the city:

Source: Inhabitat

Image Credits: Alive Structures

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