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Brightview and Sustainability - Green Roofs, A Key Design Element

Green roof at Brightview Devon, grass like plants on a four story building with a person on the roof.
Brightview Devon

Brightview Senior Living has been designing and installing green roofs on our communities for over a decade now, with the first completed install on a rooftop at Brightview South River in Edgewater, Maryland in 2012. We recognized early on that green roofs presented a great solution to help meet building standards and limit the environmental impact of our developments, especially on surrounding wetlands, streams, and rivers. 

Green roofs, also known as vegetative or living roofs, have become more common in the United States over the past 15 years and have been used on buildings around the world for hundreds of years. Simply put – a green roof consists of a roof structure that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and growing media. The depth of the growing media influences the types of vegetation that can be planted. An extensive green roof is shallower and often covers a larger area, whereas an intensive green roof is deeper and often confined to smaller areas. Brightview has installed both types of green roofs across the communities, depending on the design details and space available.

The plants installed on a roof must be resilient enough to survive the unique and extreme growing conditions of wind, rain, direct sunlight, and heat found on a green roof. Some of the most common plants found on green roofs in our region include varieties of sedum, asters, allium, and native grasses. Our team works closely with our design and construction partners to evaluate all options and select a design that works best for each community.

While each green roof installation will vary by building, design, climate, and region, they all provide a series of benefits. One of the primary advantages lies in stormwater management. By acting as a natural sponge, green roofs significantly reduce the burden on sewer systems and promote a more balanced water cycle. Vegetated roofs also help dissipate heat and cool the surrounding air, leading to more comfortable temperatures and lowered demands on air conditioning. Other benefits of green roofs include enhanced roof aesthetics, increased native habitat and biodiversity, and improved air quality.

At Brightview, we are committed to green-building design, efficient operations, and strategic partnerships that enhance our residents’ well-being and positively impact the planet for future generations. Given the numerous environmental benefits that green roofs provide, these vegetated building systems play an important role in our sustainability effort. We are proud that this design strategy is now part of Brightview’s green-building design standards.


Brightview West End, located in Rockville, Maryland, is a great example that highlights the benefits of integrating green roofs into the design of our senior living communities. This community was designed using low-impact development, including the use of green roofs and bio-retention planters in the courtyard. Fifty percent of the building’s roof area is vegetated, which helps to reduce the heat island effect, and the selection of native and adopted plants in these areas was designed to reduce storm water by 20 percent. In addition to green roofs, Brightview West End was designed with many other sustainability features in mind such as natural daylight in common areas and resident apartments, healthy materials for improved air quality, energy efficient lighting, electric vehicle charging stations, and a community garden. The community received several industry awards including “Best Assisted Living Design” by Senior Housing Newsin 2019. AIA also recognized this community under their Design for Aging Review.


Green roofs can be found atop many other Brightview communities including: Brightview Crofton Riverwalk, Brightview Devon, Brightview Dulles Corner, Brightview Eatontown, Brightview Hunt Valley, Brightview Severna Park, Brightview South River, Brightview Wayne, Brightview Woodburn, and Brightview Woodmont.

Brightview Senior Living builds, owns, and operates award-winning vibrant senior living communities in eight states along the East Coast: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. We offer senior Independent LivingAssisted LivingEnhanced Care, and Wellspring Village, a specialized neighborhood for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Schedule a personal visit to experience our communities firsthand.

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