Rooftop Landscapes: What to Know Before You Build
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There is nothing quite as breathtaking as the bird’s-eye view of a city from a beautifully-landscaped rooftop. Rooftop landscapes and hardscapes have become mainstays in modern urban design because they offer much-needed, usable outdoor space while mitigating the environmental impacts of development. Plus, rooftop landscapes allow corporate employees, hotel guests, and apartment residents to take a break from the stuffy indoors without technically leaving the building.
The Let It Grow team has designed and built countless rooftop landscapes and hardscapes over the years, and in our experience, they add value to corporate and residential buildings alike. If you’re considering adding or expanding upon a rooftop landscape — whether for environmental improvements or to offer a luxe amenity for residents — choosing the right landscaping firm for the job is paramount to your project’s success.
We recommend taking the following three considerations into account before you partner with a landscaping firm to build your new rooftop oasis.
Look for a landscaping and construction firm
Rooftop landscapes are so beautiful that it’s easy to overlook the extensive construction they require. While a great landscaping firm can surely design a standout rooftop on paper, you want a firm that can also actually build it (like us!).
The reason for this is two-fold: on one hand, you need to be sure that the building plans are architecturally-sound. The last thing you want is to find out half way through the project that your construction team doubts the viability of the design.
On the other hand, a landscaping and construction firm should have experience building many rooftop landscapes from the ground up. This means that based on your building structure and requirements, they should be able to give you a truly accurate cost, timeline, and project plan — essentially eliminating any guesswork, and saving you time and money.
Ask about the process
Investing in a rooftop landscape is not the same as paying a company to mow your lawn. For a project as intricate and artful as a rooftop landscape, you want to work with a company with a clear process and dedicated team. Any landscaping company worth your time will be happy to explain their process and team responsibilities upfront.
Be sure to ask who will be managing your project. It’s crucial that your project manager is an expert in both landscaping and construction — not just management. Additionally, ask what you can expect in terms of communication throughout the project. Responsiveness and close-communication are imperative when handling a project as complex as a rooftop landscape.
Lastly, make sure that your landscape and construction project manager can handle all of the following:
- Conducting and coordinating site assessments
- Advising on management and maintenance considerations
- Preparing and implementing detailed management plans
- Preparing site-specific, management-based solutions to site issues
- Assessing resources and budget planning
Budget for ongoing maintenance
A rooftop landscape requires a high level of maintenance to keep it looking its best all year long. Make no mistake — a gorgeous rooftop is absolutely worth the investment in terms of the value it will bring to your property — however, it’s necessary that you understand the importance of ongoing maintenance upfront.
Depending on the specifics of your rooftop landscape design, you may require different levels of ongoing maintenance. Once your landscape design is complete, be sure to ask your project manager what you should expect in terms of ongoing landscape maintenance — in terms of both services and schedule. Budgeting for maintenance in the planning stage will help your organization make an informed decision on how simple or intricate the rooftop landscape should be.
Here are some common examples of rooftop landscape maintenance services we offer for clients:
- Pre and Post Herbicide Applications
- Pest management
- Integrated Weed Management
- Turf Management (natural and artificial)
- Irrigation start-ups, monitoring, repairs and winterizations
- Seasonal plantings
- Decorative pavement replacements
- Hardwood care
- A quick recap:
A quick recap:
Vibrant rooftop landscapes can increase property values and quality of life significantly. Well-designed rooftops are especially valuable in urban settings because they offer a simultaneously expansive and private experience for overstimulated city-dwellers.
Before you sign on the dotted line with a landscaping firm, make sure that their design and build capabilities, project processes, and maintenance services cover the full spectrum of what’s needed to bring your project to life.
About Let It Grow’s Rooftop Landscape Services
The Let It Grow team has built countless rooftop landscapes and hardscapes, spanning from 50 plus stories in the sky to ground level, incorporating both passive and active programmed areas. We’ve designed and installed everything from rich greenroofs to exquisitely-designed hardscapes.
Our landscape management team services numerous high-profile rooftops throughout the New York Metro area, including the Solar Carve Tower, Solari, The Octagon, Riverbank, 99 Hudson Street, and the Prudential headquarters. If your corporate headquarters, hotel, or apartment building could use a little more green and a lot more fresh air, the Let It Grow team can transform your rooftop into a budding oasis.
Need a brilliant rooftop landscape in the NJ or NYC area? Feel free to contact us today for a free consultation.