Underhill is a sustainable green-roof home in Rockaway, New Jersey.  Engineered to support deep soil on its roof (up to 12"), it has been planted with small trees, shrubs, and other vegetation native to its woodland site.  Underhill is uniquely suited to its location, adjacent to the Wildcat Ridge Wildlife Management Area and open space protected under the Rockaway Township Open Space Master Plan. 

Underhill's kitchen level. Subfloor installed May 2016.

Underhill's kitchen level. Subfloor installed May 2016.

Phase 1 of the project brought Underhill past the halfway point in its construction.  It included:

  • Design, revisions, and building permit
  • Tree clearing
  • Excavation (including rock splitting)
  • Temporary electric
  • Installation of main drain
  • Footings and most below-grade walls
  • Partial waterproofing, insulation, and backfill
  • Bedroom floor joists
  • Most above-grade walls
  • Living room roof (structural only)
  • Main roof beams

Phase 1 concluded with the ceremonial installation of the namestone "Underhill" over the front door:

Phase 2 is partially complete. It includes

  • completion of structural walls (95% done)
  • completion of structural roof (70% done)
  • waterproofing & insulation (90% done)
  • doors & windows (70% done)
  • backfill (85% done)
  • installation of vegetation on roof (60% done)
  • well & septic (0% done)

Phase 2 requires and additional $40,000.   Here's the challenge:  because Underhill's design is pioneering, lenders can't find "comparables" on which to base a valuation, and so it hasn't been possible to secure traditional financing for the project.  An effort from many sectors of the community has been, and will be, the way to make this innovative green design a reality: corporate sponsors, local businesses, individual donors, neighbors, and friends.

How does Underhill benefit the community?  Visit our "Why a Green Roof?" page.

Ways You Can Help

Become a sponsor.  Join great companies like Marvin Windows and Lubrizol.  Contact Jim Reilly at BuildUnderhill@gmail.com.

If you have building materials to donate, contact us at  BuildUnderhill@gmail.com.

Let others know about the campaign.

By joining the project, you become part of a bigger picture.  You're not only building a home that conserves energy, minimizes stormwater runoff, reduces the urban heat island effect, and maximizes habitat for plants & animals.  You're also making it a little easier for the next green builder.  Because next time, a local bank can say, "Yes, we know this type of architecture.  There's a house like that nearby - yes, we'll finance your green-roof home."