A story of revitalization and the potential for great new things in the Philadelphia Navy Yard

In the South Philadelphia area of Philadelphia, PA there is a new and exciting development occurring in the Navy Ship Yard. The whole area is being revitalized into a new and improved district, with the latest addition known as 2500 League Island Boulevard. According to Gattuso development team, the Philadelphia Navy Yard revitalization is considered to be one of the most successful redevelopments of a prior military base in the United States.

On at least one of these buildings, an expansive 60,000 SF green roof was installed this past October. This green roof installation represents one of the largest installations in Pennsylvania to date. The green roof system selected for the project was the LiveRoof Hybrid Green Roof system, which was grown by Riverbend Nursery.

Aside from Gattuso development, notable players in the project include Sitio Architecture + Urbanism, Pennoni Associates Civil Engineering firm, and Belcher Roofing. It is Belcher’s first LiveRoof installation and their second green roof installation to date. According to Al Martino, superintendent at Belcher Roofing, the installation was, “Smooth and Simple.” The roof was leak tested prior to installation, and the plants were irrigated immediately after placement of the trays.

Sunset over the completed Philadelphia Navy Yard installation.

The history of the re-development

The building itself is currently being advertised to potential buyers as a medical research building. At 130,000 SF, it is nested within a 6.5-acre cluster of other life sciences research buildings. The surrounding area is home to sports arenas, cafes, restaurants, and even an Urban Outfitters clothing store! The hope in designing and building this project is that it will inspire even more revitalization in the area. Drawing in talent and research in the medical sciences field, and capping it all with a LEED silver certification, is sure to send a message of progress for the residents of South Philadelphia.

Installation and unloading of the Hoppits® by Belcher Roofing (October 2022).

Why a green roof?

The building is set out to be a LEED v4 Silver Certified building, with the green roof acting as an integral part of that plan. According to Janice Wong from Gattuso development: “The green roof on the building is part of the site’s stormwater management plan.” Although essential in stormwater management, green roofs provide a multitude of other benefits to a building, including: insulation, sound attenuation, and prolonging roof lifespan. Green roofs can also be used for habitat in an urban setting and contribute to the overall cooling of both the building and the surrounding landscape.

Philadelphia has a number of incentives in place to encourage the implementation of more green roofs, such as tax credits, stormwater fee reductions, and a density bonus for roofs covered with more than 60% green roof (Source: greenroofsphilly.com). In addition, Green City, Clean Waters is a twenty-five year long program to reduce pollution from stormwater using green infrastructure. This past October, the annual Green Roofs for Healthy Cities conference was held in Philadelphia to recognize the achievements in setting the standard for greening cities all over the country.

Installation in progress. Left: Dave Mackenzie, founder, LiveRoof LLC. Right: Al Martino, Roofing Superintendent, Belcher Roofing.

For more information

Additional information about the 2500 League Island project is available Here, Here and Here.

Contacts for more details on leasing:

Completed LiveRoof embedded within the Navy Yard landscape.

About LiveRoof® LLC.

LiveRoof’s licensed grower, Riverbend Nursery, was the grower for this project. LiveRoof, LLC (www.liveroof.com) a West Michigan Company, developed the LiveRoof® Hybrid System: the only green roof solution installed with fully mature plants thriving in a healthy, connected ecosystem from day one of installation. Combining the best elements of proven green roof technologies, LiveRoof maximizes energy savings, environmental benefits and rooftop aesthetics. Plus, LiveRoof’s regional growers in its national network adapt LiveRoof plants for local conditions and customize plant selection for every project. LiveRoof’s natural function and natural beauty offer the highest level of green roof performance at the lowest level of acquisition-installation-maturation-maintenance costs. The proof is in the roof — showcased in LiveRoof projects that stand out as signature elements on commercial, public, university and school buildings all over the US and Canada.

For questions regarding this article, contact Anna Droz (616-842-1392; Anna@liveroof.com).

Click HERE to watch the full Philadelphia Navy Yard green roof installation video!