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Greenwich Village School Green Roof

The first of its kind in New York City, the green roof at PS41 in Greenwich Village provides an outdoor observational and immersive classroom for students while improving the school building’s thermal performance. Named the Greenroof Environmental Literacy Laboratory (GELL), the space has emerged as a prototype for raising public school students’ awareness of urban sustainability issues, environmental stewardship, and farm-to-table agriculture.

The eastern portion of the roof was designed as a fenced-in observational learning space with walkways and gathering areas; solar panels and a weather station are incorporated into the layout. The western portion is reserved for wildlife, providing habitats for birds, bats, butterflies, and other insects. As a scenic vista, PS41’s green roof will enhance the surrounding neighborhood by adding 15,000 square feet of flora to a section of New York that suffers a dearth of greenery. Environmental benefits include improved air quality and a reduction in carbon footprint, heat island effect, and sewage-storm water runoff.


  • 2014 Ebie AwardsWinner for "Verdant Brainiac"