Fenway’s Garden Roof
In a recent article Fenway Park announced the creation of a new rooftop garden behind gate A in the most historic section of the ball park, named “Fenway Farms”. The 5,000-square-foot roof space will generate an estimated 4,000 pounds of produce annually, and will be used in food sold at the park, including dishes served at the EMC Club, the exclusive restaurant and seating area located behind home plate. Green (vegetated) roofs have been in existence since ancient times. The first known historical references to manmade gardens above grade were the ziggurats (stone pyramidal stepped towers) of ancient Mesopotamia, built from the fourth millennium until around 600 B.C. In France, gardens planted in the 13th Century thrive atop a Benedictine abbey. Norwegians developed sod roofs centuries ago as a means of thermally insulating their buildings. In fact, sod homes are still used as protection against extremely cold winters in Norway and the United States. Five roof gardens were installed atop the seventh floor of the Rockefeller Center in New York City, New York, between 1933 and 1936. And while Fenway Farns itself is getting plenty of press, many people don’t realize the work and planning that goes into creating the roof that can sustain such an agricultural accomplishment. But Chaffee Roofing did. In 2013, Chaffee Roofing replaced and improved the roof behind Gate A, ensuring its completion prior to opening day, in a tight, 3-week timeline. The existing roof was badly damaged from time and the elements, and had to be removed all the way down to the steel decking. Logistics for trash removal on the historic site directly on Yawkey Way also proved challenging. Chaffee Roofing installed a new EPDM membrane and created a structure that exceeded the minimum required by building code, and would be more puncture resistant and durable for this new roof system. And, even though that winter provided significant snow, the roof was completed and improved in time for opening day. In fact, the inspection gave Chaffee Roofing a “Perfect 10 Rating” by Carlisle.