Olive Street


Special Recognition

Project: 36 Olive Street, Winchester, MA, 1,300 square foot green roof
Award Winner: Recover Green Roofs, LLC (Design, Build, Maintain)
Drainage System: Conservation Technology
Waterproofing Membrane: Carlisle SynTec

“36 Olive Street was a fun soup-to-nuts project. We gutted the interior walls, vaulted the ceilings, added the necessary reinforcements, ripped off the old shingled roof, and installed a fully adhered TPO membrane. Conservation Technology was instrumental in helping us design a simple and effective anti-slip system, and we planted hearty Canadian sedum mats from Sedum Masters. Thanks to an incredible crew we finished the project in under 3 weeks.”

– Mark Winterer, GRP, Director of Operations

A New Solution for the Suburban Home

A new homeowner of a small ranch house in Winchester, MA faced a common dilemma: they had to replace the existing roofdeck, in this case because of cracking caused by a heavy snow load. While many suburban homeowners would have taken the opportunity to replace the existing roof with another conventional roof, this one took the opportunity to gut the house, vault the ceiling, and reinforce the roof in order to support an extensive green roof. The new roof deck was built and waterproofed with a fully adhered Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) membrane.

The homeowner took these steps for a variety of reasons. Living next to a commuter rail line, the client wanted a green roof for soundproofing—the green roof lowers the sound from the rail by 25 decibels. As well, the green roof lowers summer temperatures by 5 to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the moisture level in the system.

The 4 inches deep growing media of expanded shale, sand and compost supports sedum mats on a 4:12 slope. The plants were selected for their ability to survive without irrigation, though supplemental irrigation is used during periods of drought. A maintenance visit is made by Recover Green Roofs in the spring and fall, where weeding and organic fertilization is undertaken.


The green roof stands out in its suburban neighbourhood. The plants are visible to all neighbors and change colors with the season, and onlookers slow down when driving to look at the green roof. The green roof has had a domino effect in the neighborhood, which is experiencing a rise in new renovations, house painting and landscaping. This project is receiving a Special Recognition award from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities for being an outstanding example of how North America’s suburbs can be reshaped with green infrastructure given vision and leadership.

Green Infrastructure Design Charrette

About Green Roofs

by Steven Peck
GRHC founder/president

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