Green Roof at Javits Center

I realize it is a bit off-topic from my usual visual merchandising posts, but I had the privilege of attending a press tour of the Green roof of New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center during the NYNOW show and I want to share the unique experience with you. Many of our blog followers attend trade shows in this building, so knowing what goes on downstairs in the complex makes the upstairs even more of a fascinating contrast. I’m glad I took notes and a photographer!Javits Center nynow

Before heading to the roof, Tony Sclafani, senior vice president and chief communications officer told us about how the thousands of the Javits Center’s highly reflective glass panels were replaced with less reflective, pixilated glass panes outfitted with a bird-deterring dot pattern. The new glass helped to improve the building’s overall energy efficiency and has led to a staggering drop in bird strikes, which had been an issue and cause of some poor press coverage in the past. Not only is the Javits Center significantly less of a contributor to bird injuries and deaths, the building is now a bona fide haven for urban wildlife.

Javits green roof nynow

My first impression was how peaceful it is up there. Spanning nearly 7 acres, it is by far the largest green roof in New York City. Seventeen stories above Midtown Manhattan, the soil and plants of the roof absorb water from storms reducing run-off. Heating and cooling costs are down 25 percent.

javits center nynow green roof

The brown box is a kestrel box, installed to create a safer environment for American kestrels, which have been spotted on the top of the Javits Center. Kestrels are a bird species not usually found on green roofs in New York City. At least eleven species of birds have made the plant-covered roof their home. And bats, too.

javits green roof nynow14 types of sedum, flowering succulents grow in thick mats covering an area roughly equal to the size of five football fields.

javits green roof nynow

The views are spectacular! I suspect the people living in those high rises enjoy the view of the green roof, as well.

javits green roof nynow

More green roof area is planned for the next round of building renovations and will include a public accessible green terrace. So, if you are one of the more than 2 million visitors that attend the hundreds of events at the Javits Center, stay informed of the progress, so that you may have a future experience of the green roof, too!

Thanks to the Javits Center staff and NYNOW Market for this amazing opportunity!

Read more about green roofs at and to see the Javits Center live green roof cam, click here.


7 thoughts on “Green Roof at Javits Center

  1. I came for the display ideas and was surprised and elated by this green roof story. Thanks!!!!! Now back to work on finding xmas deco ideas.

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