Sonoma’s First Green Roof

living roofCalifornia is full of cities known for taking part in innovation and advocating for environmental improvement. Many of the cities in California have become examples for green living and are working towards a more environmentally friendly future. Sonoma is one such city, which now has its first “living roof”, or green roof, system.

Residential Living

A local Sonoma resident, Jim Callahan, is known around town for his bronze sculpting. He even owns a local art center at 148 E. Napa St. The art center is located inside a near 100-year-old building, which is home to many of Callahan’s sculptures and other local art pieces. In efforts to make local history, Callahan decided to install a new roof; and one that would the first of its kind in Sonoma.

After a long three years of planning and nine months of construction, the La Haye Art Center is populated by native plants, grasses and flowers. The living roof was designed by Callahan to feature drought tolerant plants. “We also wanted continuously flowering plants, so there is something in bloom throughout the year,” said Callahan.

Both local residents and Callahan are pleased with the completed green roof project. Callahan says, “We’re in a very urban setting here in downtown Sonoma, but from up on the roof you tend to see more as you look around—the treetops and the hills, rather than the sides of buildings,” he said. “For us it’s a living roof, but also a living room. It’s space to be lived in.”


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