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July 1, 2008

Congresswoman Velázquez Announces Federal Resources to Benefit Red Hook Green Roof Design Initiative

NEW YORK, NY – Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) today announced support from the U.S. Department of Energy for the implementation of a green roof initiative in Brooklyn.  The Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC) will use the resources to create a 12,500 sq. ft. garden atop a Red Hook factory.  This effort will demonstrate that green roof design has cost-effective, environmental benefits and should be implemented in future projects. 

“The benefits are clear: lower energy prices, cleaner rivers and a more eco-friendly city. I’m proud to be part of this energy-efficient project in our city,” Congresswoman Velázquez said. Green roofs can lead the way in helping New York City businesses and residents deal with the rising cost of heating and cooling their buildings.  They also present new opportunities for green space in dense urban areas.”

The Linda Tool & Die Corporation building in Red Hook will serve as the pilot effort in the Southwest Brooklyn IDC’s “Green Roof Project.”  It will demonstrate the use of green roof design as a viable strategy for increasing energy efficiency and reducing heat reflections that contribute to the greenhouse effect.  By absorbing rainfall, a green roof can also reduce storm runoff by retaining up to 75% of rain water. In New York City, where combined sewer overflows (CSOs) cause pollution in the Harbor Estuary, green roofs offer considerable environmental potential. 

“SBIDC is proud to have spearheaded this initiative and we are hopeful that it will affect policy by showing the true benefits, both economic and environmental, of green roofs. We thank Congresswoman Velázquez and her dedicated staff for their vision and dedication to this project,” said Josh Keller, Executive Director, Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation. 

The Southwest Brooklyn IDC has partnered with local contractors and scientists to complete the project, including Michael Johannes of Nations Roof; Stuart R. Gaffin, Ph.D., of Columbia University’s Center for Climate Systems Research; Paul Mankiewicz of the Gaia Institute; and Cortney Worrall of the Coastal Marine Resource Center.  Since 1978, SBIDC has provided businesses in Sunset Park, Red Hook and Gowanus with the resources they need to overcome day-to-day challenges, including human resource assistance and programs to help balance the rising costs of energy.