The roof needed replacement Rochester City School District and staff for the City of Rochester wondered if it would be possible to install a green roof. Stantec, engineering consultants were hired by the City of Rochester to assess the feasibility based on the weight load of the existing roof, drainage, and logistics. They hired the Broccolo team to work on the design with their landscape architect. 

Representatives from all participating associations were brought together to create a vision. Teachers at the Anna Murry-Douglass school that overlooks the library’s roof considered the educational possibilities for students who attend. City representatives wondered if the project could be viewed from the road when cars stopped at the light in front of the school and for parents dropping off students? How could a project like this relate to community organizations such as the Seneca Park Zoo? 

The design process involved getting photos from all angles, through student classroom windows and the street. How much soil and plants will be limited based on the weight when saturated with rain or heavy snow? What can students learn from the design about stormwater, cooling of the building and environmental habit of a hot, dry, windy location that can collect a lot of water in storms? We must select hardy plants such as succulents, like cactus in the desert and prairie plants with flowers and seeds that attract bees, butterflies, and birds.

It was decided that we needed height to rise above the enclosed parapet border of the roof. Broccolo’s designed low hills with molded foam as a base that could hold up to 6” of soil for 12-18” tall prairie plants and taper down to lightweight sections with low growing 2-4” mix of succulents. The flat area would simulate a dry stony river bed that collects rain not absorbed by the plants. Color is important with flowers at different seasons and textures in the winter along with evergreen plants. 

Leaders of the Broccolo team worked on the installation alongside crew members. Everyone was excited to participate, and we are proud to leave a living legacy for all. Butterflies and birds visited us while there. The roof is now part of the Monarch Beltway with Seneca Park Zoo.

Conceptual drawing of hills, plants, and river.

The view after planting in the fall of 2020. The river-bed surrounds the roof vent.

Managers Rodregus Tripp of lawn care, Jessica DeMasio, sales manager and Douglas Thoma, garden center manager.