top of page
  • Writer's pictureElite Roofing

Exploring Green Roofs: Turning Your Home Into A Sustainable Oasis in Jersey City, NJ

In recent years, the concept of green roofs has gained significant attention as a sustainable solution for urban environments. These living rooftops not only beautify the concrete jungle but also provide a host of environmental benefits. In this blog post, we will delve into the concept of green roofs and explore the specific requirements for implementing one in the vibrant city of Jersey City, NJ.

A Green Roof in Jersey City, NJ

What is a Green Roof?

A green roof, also known as a living roof or vegetated roof, is a roofing system that incorporates vegetation, soil, and drainage layers on top of a conventional roof. It transforms an otherwise underutilized space into a flourishing ecosystem, often featuring a variety of plants, trees, and even small gardens.

Benefits of Green Roofs:

  1. Stormwater Management: Green roofs absorb rainwater, reducing the burden on stormwater systems and minimizing the risk of flooding.

  2. Improved Air Quality: Plants on green roofs capture and filter pollutants, leading to cleaner air in urban areas.

  3. Energy Efficiency: The vegetation layer insulates the building, reducing the need for excessive heating and cooling, thus lowering energy consumption and costs.

  4. Urban Heat Island Mitigation: Green roofs help combat the urban heat island effect by absorbing solar radiation and releasing it slowly, thereby reducing ambient temperatures.

  5. Biodiversity Enhancement: Green roofs provide a habitat for birds, insects, and other wildlife, promoting urban biodiversity.

Requirements for a Green Roof in Jersey City, NJ:

To implement a green roof in Jersey City, several factors must be considered. The key requirements include:

1. Structural Considerations:

-It is crucial to assess the structural integrity of the building to determine if it can support the additional weight of a green roof.

- Consultation with a structural engineer is recommended to ensure the roof can withstand the load and any associated maintenance.

2. Building Permits and Codes:

- Obtain the necessary building permits and comply with the local building codes and regulations in Jersey City, NJ.

- Check with the local municipal authority or building department for specific guidelines regarding green roof installations.

3. Waterproofing and Drainage:

- Ensure proper waterproofing and drainage systems to prevent water leakage and damage to the building's structure.

- Consult with a professional roofing contractor experienced in green roof installations to ensure effective waterproofing.

4. Maintenance and Irrigation:

- Establish a regular maintenance plan to ensure the longevity and health of a green roof.

- Implement an irrigation system to provide adequate water to the plants, particularly during dry periods.

5. Plant Selection:

- Choose plant species that are well-suited to the local climate, Jersey City’s hardiness zone, and the specific environmental conditions of the rooftop.

- Considered drought-tolerant plants that require minimal maintenance and can thrive in the rooftop environment.

Plant Options for a Thriving Ecosystem

When it comes to creating a vibrant and sustainable green roof in Jersey City, NJ, selecting the right plants is essential. The plant choices not only contribute to the aesthetic appeal but also determine the success and functionality of the rooftop ecosystem. Read on to explore the various plant options that thrive in the local climate, ensuring a flourishing green roof in the heart of Jersey City.

1. Sedums:

Sedums are a popular choice for green roofs due to their adaptability and low-maintenance nature. These succulent plants come in a variety of colors, including green, red, and yellow. Sedums are known for their ability to withstand drought conditions and thrive in shallow soil depths, making them ideal for the limited growing media typically found on green roofs.

A bush of Sedums

2. Native Grasses:

Incorporating native grasses into your green roof design not only adds visual interest but also supports local biodiversity. Species such as Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) are well-suited to Jersey City’s climate and provide a naturalistic look to the rooftop landscape. Native grasses are generally drought-tolerant and require minimal maintenance.

Native Grass that can be on a Green Roof

3. Wildflowers:

Including a variety of wildflowers on your green roof can create an enchanting and colorful display while attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Consider incorporating species like Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), or New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angilae). These native wildflowers can thrive in the local climate and provide essential food and habitat for pollinators.

wildflowers that can be planted on a Green Roof

4. Herbaceous Perennials:

Adding herbaceous perennials to your green roof can provide seasonal interest and texture. Plants like Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.), Coreopsis (Coreopsis spp.), and Salvia (Salvia spp.) are excellent choices. These perennials return year after year, requiring minimal maintenance and offering a variety of colors and heights to create a visually appealing rooftop garden.

Herbaceous Perennials that can be planted on a Green Roof

5. Ornamental Grasses:

Ornamental grasses are known for their graceful movement, architectural structure, and ability to withstand harsh conditions. Jersey City green roofs can benefit from incorporating species such as Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora), Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinesis), or Switchgradd (Panicum virgatum). These grasses add texture, height, and year-round interest to the rooftop landscape.

ornamental grasses that can be planted on a Green Roof

6. Dwarf Shrubs and Small Trees:

If the structural integrity and weight-bearing capacity of your green roof allow, consider incorporating dwarf shrubs or small trees. These additions can provide vertical interest and shade, enhancing the rooftop environment. Examples of suitable choices include Dwarf Alberta Spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’) Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum), or Blue Star Juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’).

dwarf shrubs and small trees that can be planted on a Green Roof

What If I Have a Roof Deck?

It is important to note that in Jersey City, NJ, it is a requirement by the city to make your roof a green roof if you are looking to install a roof deck to your roof that covers more than 30% of your roof's surface.

a green roof

Green roofs offer an innovative and sustainable approach to urban development, transforming rooftops into vibrant ecosystems with multiple environmental benefits. In Jersey City, NJ, implementing a green roof requires careful consideration of structural integrity, permits, waterproofing, plant selection, and ongoing maintenance. By embracing green roofs, Jersey City can enhance its sustainability efforts, mitigate urban heat, improve stormwater management, and contribute to the overall well-being of its residents and the environment.

If you’re interested in installing your very own green roof in Jersey City, NJ, or any of the surrounding areas of Hudson County, be sure to contact us here at Elite Roofing! We have over 30 years of experience and have worked on many roofs that have incorporated green roofs. In addition, not only are we fully licensed and insured, but we are reputable as we have over 250+ 5-Star Google reviews, a plethora of monthly updated portfolios reflecting our work, a page with our team and their photos, written reviews & video testimonials from real clients, and an endless list of roofing and exterior services offered! Contact Elite Roofing today for a FREE estimate by calling our office at (201)436-1011, email us at, or fill out our contact form by visiting today!

40 views2 comments


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Sep 01, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Imagine roof top garden? Tomatoes galore!


Aug 18, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I never knew that Green Roofs were a thing!

bottom of page