project leader
Susan H
131 Avenue of the Americas
Manhattan (SOHO)
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the project

1. Our Green Roof design collects 100% of storm water – through vegetative layer absorption and a collection pond that will be used for irrigation and experimentation.
2. A green roof is a great insulator, so reduces our building’s carbon footprint for heating and cooling.
3. We restore natural habitat lost when the city was built. We envision the roof as a matrix ecology that promotes biodiversity and diverse learning spaces and experiences. This matrix creates a patchwork of different environments that address a full range of possible growing conditions, plant species differentiation, and animal biodiversity.

The NYC iSchool was the first school opened under the NYC Department of Education’s 21st Century Schools Initiative. A main tenet of that initiative is that students learn best when solving real world problems.  Our green roof plan began more than four years ago in the first Design a Green Roof Module.  More than 350 iSchool students have participated in the so far. Our 1905 school was built as an elementary school for immigrant children. They couldn’t afford to build a playground on the street level, and it was too dark there with buildings all around. They built a rooftop playground so city kids could experience sun and clean air during the school day. We want to bring that idea into the 21st century by allowing city kids to experience life on the farm. Fresh air and fresh food

the steps

The Dream Green Portal - wall and stairway mural will be the challenge project for next school year’s Advanced Art class. With an urban professional mural artist as advisor and inspirer, our art teacher and her class will design and paint a series of murals at the stairway entrance doors and up the stairway leading to the green roof we are planning.  It will unveiled  to the school community and supporters before the end of the school year.

why we're doing it

There are three major environmental problems addressed by the green roof plan: 1. Because New York City has a combined wastewater system, the storm water running off impervious surfaces (like roofs) causes combined sewage overflows that pollute New York City waters 2. The largest producer of greenhouse gases in New York is burning fuel for heating and cooling of buildings. 3. When cities are built natural habitat is lost.

In addition, young people growing up in the city are cut-off from experiencing the natural world.  Our school is in a dense built up section of Manhattan. Our students almost all live in small apartments with no experience or opportunity to garden at all, let alone to grow food. Food comes from the supermarket.


$2,500     NY Center For Architecture Foundation’s “Learning By Design” 12 week Muralist Residency.

$   800     mural supplies – wooden and transparent mounting materials, paints and brushes.


SUBTOTAL = $3,300
ioby Platform Fee  $35
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $99




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