Years In The Making, The Barclays Center’s Green Roof Finally Sprouts

Photo credit: Barclays Center
Photo credit: Barclays Center

The Barclays Center is hopping on Brooklyn’s green roof trend: years in the works, a carpet of flowers, grass, and plants is finally beginning to sprout from the roof of the dirt-colored arena. According to the designers, SHoP Architects, the three-acre green roof will be the largest to be built on a sports center when it’s completed by the end of September.

The project’s partners, Barclays developer Forest City Ratner and Greenland USA, claim the new green roof will improve the center’s environmental footprint. But it will also serve to protect the ears and eyes of the center’s prospective Atlantic Yards neighbors, raising the surrounding real estate’s market value. In addition to beautifying the looming arena, making verdant views for nearby high-rise residents, it will act as a noise sponge for loud basketball games and concerts. Noise complaints have been pouring in since the arena opened in 2012 as a new home to the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. (One noise violation, during a Swedish House Mafia electronic show last year, cost the center $3,200 in fines.) Made up of 35,000 trays of sedum and weather-resistant grasses–which don’t require watering unless there’s a bad drought–it will also soak up some 2 million gallons of stormwater, preventing it from flooding streets and waterways.

Financial troubles made architects cut plans for a green roof from original designs of the $1 billion sports center, but now, the revival of these plans offers real estate developers a potential financial gain. Developers haven’t revealed how much the project will cost.

Barclays’ neighbors will be disappointed to learn the roof garden won’t be accessible to the public–it’s supposedly too dangerous, given its steep curves and angles. But the greenery might appreciate being protected from drunken sports fans.


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