Flower to the People

Best Green Roof Designer, January 2006

After a summer of sizzling heat and searing energy bills, it might be time to install a green roof atop your house. One of the hottest trends in “green building” design and long popular in Europe, a green roof is a living membrane of plants—complete with a waterproofing and drainage system—that forms a buffer between a man-made structure and the baking sun. While it can cost a kitty—$10 to $24 per square foot—the long-term benefits include lower energy costs, reduced storm-water runoff, and even increased roof longevity. To make the roof beautiful as well, ring up Flower to the People, a landscaping firm run by Pamela Berstler and Alex Stevens. They install everything from inches-thick succulent carpets to small trees, patios, and lightweight, poured-in-place rubber paths.