Best Spot for a Morning Cup of Coffee or Mojito (Reader Submitted)

“Dear PoP,

In addition to proving DC residents green collar job training, DC Greenworks also designs and installs residential and commercial green roofs in the area. I’m including a few pictures of the beautiful mixed use green roof DC Greenworks installed this June on my garage off Sherman Ave. in Columbia Heights.

The 600 square foot installation features a flagstone seating area (perfect for coffee and mojitos), 300 square feet of perennial beds, an herb garden, extensive sedum ground cover, and a LOT of happy wildlife. This once unused and ugly garage roof is now actively employed as our back yard, while at the same time reducing run off by nearly 400 gallons in a typical 1″ rain storm. An attractive incentive through the DDOE’s RiverSmart Rooftops program really helped get this project off the ground.

I couldn’t have asked for better expertise and assistance from DC Greenworks and I will be out tonight supporting them at this benefit. Any PoP’er that dreams of more green space should look into a green roof!”

14 Comment

  • That’s awesome! I wish I had a roof on which to build this… My upstairs neighbor probably wouldn’t allow me to plant sedum in their living room.

  • Who built your garage? Or was it already there and was touched up with some cement parging?

    • The garage was there and already touched up when we bought the house in early 2009. It just needed a new roof, and we wanted a backyard, so we killed two birds with one stone with this project.

  • Wow! Great use of the garage roof. And really great advertising for the company. Nice work!

  • This is just too cool

  • Excellent job!! If I had the money I would do the same thing. Looks great!

  • Did you have to reinforce your garage roof? Roof’s are built usually to withstand a live load to include snowfall with a factor of safety built in but it seems you would have consumed all the snow capacity and extra factor of safety will all that soil/gravel, flagstones, plantings and awning. Did supporting the roof even come into play?

    • Good question – yes we did have to reinforce the roof rafters. We used an excellent structural engineer who was recommended by DC Greenworks, and they did all of the calculations and recommended the reinforcement solution. The reinforcement was pretty simple – just sistering 10″x2″‘s to the existing rafters to support the additional weight of the green roof. Since the underside of the roof was already exposed, it was a relatively simple process – the total cost was around $1000, including about $300 worth of lumber.

    • Yeah, green roofs are a good idea, but this isn’t something people can just decide to do “willy nilly”.

      I’ve looked into a bit and a “light” green roof includes 3-4 inches of soil/gravel which comes in at at saturated weight of ~25-30 psf. This is approximately equivalent to having 18-22 inches of snow on your roof year round.

      Add in all the extra stuff you have up there, planters, awnings, benches and flagstones and lets say that brings us up another pound per square foot.

      Lets just call it an even 30 psf. While we rarely get enough snow to be problematic, I think without additional reinforcement, your roof would be in serious danger if we were to ever get the kind of snow we got last winter.

      • Yes, you should definitely consult with a structural engineer before attempting to install a green roof, a step that any green roof installer will make sure you take. Your calculation is about right – our structural engineer assumed 35 psf additional weight from the green roof, and the reinforcement he prescribed was sufficient to provide that.

  • That’s a fabulous use of space – sitting area, herb plantings, oh I could go on and on!! Well done.

  • What a beautiful space. I’d love to have my morning coffee or evening cocktail on this roof. I’ve looked into the Riversmart program– for greenroofs they subsidize a fraction of the total cost. I’m guessing a project of this nature is $15k or higher? It’s well worth the cost, but may be out of reach for many homeowners.

  • I think I just found our new landscaping contractor.

  • Gorgeous! How much did the green roof installation cost?

Comments are closed.