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Visit Prospect Hill Academy. Read the June 23, 2009 First Green Roof in Somerville installed at St. Polycarp Village by Laura Kozel in The Somerville News Blog. For more information about the Saint Polycarp Village project, contact Apex Green Roofs at

Learn about Apex Green Roofs in the Greenroof & Greenwall Directory.

Saint Polycarp Village Apartments is a mixed-use affordable housing complex recently constructed in Somerville, MA. The green roof located on this building is your typical extensive green roof with solar panels and solar thermal surrounding it.

What makes this project unique is that high school students at Prospect Hill Academy and in conjunction with Groundworks Somerville helped design and build the project. Initial presentations at the school gave the students the option to design a green roof without limits. Two weeks later we returned to inform them that the budget had been cut and that they needed to design a system that fit within the new constraints. The final built project roughly mirrors the layout and plant palette that the students came up with. Getting students permission to work on the roof was a logistical challenge, but in the end it was a valuable learning experience for all involved.

The extensive greenroof system has a depth of 4″, established from plugs.

“The first Green Roof in Somerville was installed May 22nd on a brand new building on the site of St. Polycarp Village through a collaboration among the Somerville Community Corporation, Apex Green Roofs and Prospect Hill Academy. The green roof is being used to educate students and community members about environmental issues and solutions and is part of a transformation of a closed Catholic parish into a mixed-use, mixed-income development by the Somerville Community Corporation. This installation also marks the first-time in the Boston area that a Green Roof, photovoltaics and solar/thermal are being used on a mixed-income property.

“The building is expected to achieve a LEED-NC Silver rating, reflecting the aggressive goals of 50% energy savings, 40% water savings, and cooling and filtration of interior air to remove pollutants. Other green features integrated into the complex include a high percentage of recycled materials, high-efficiency elevator, energy recovery from ventilated air and a photovoltaic array to supply the electrical needs of the common area of the building,” (The Somerville News Blog, 2009).


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