Boston, MA

Higher Ground Farm, Boston Design Center


Located on Boston Design Center’s roof, Higher Ground Farm is an urban garden offering a variety of local produce to the Seaport District neighborhood. SGH evaluated the existing roof structure to determine its adequacy to support the 14,000 sq ft rooftop farm.

SGH analyzed the existing roof structure and determined the structure could adequately support the proposed garden. As part of our evaluation, we considered the effects of different growing seasons and the impact of seasonal loads, such as snow.


Working closely with our client and the contractor, SGH helped develop a layout and set parameters that they could implement to safely construct and operate their farm. Highlights of our layout design include the following:

  • Locating planting beds to avoid damming or blocking roof drains
  • Establishing a planting arrangement to fit within the capacity of the existing roof
  • Strategically placing planting beds based on their weight to maximize the usable rooftop space

Project Summary



Completion Date
New Construction
Structures | Performance & Code Consulting
Culture & Entertainment
Specialized Capabilities
Risk & Resilience Assessment

Key team members

Greggrey  Cohen
Greggrey Cohen
Structural Repair and Rehabilitation Division Head, Boston
Gustavo Tumialan
Gustavo Tumialan
Associate Principal