In June, Untapped Cities Insiders were treated to a free tour behind the scenes atop the Javits K. Center‘s 6.75 acre green roof – the 2nd largest in the United States – with an additional access inside the building’s underbelly to the command center, the building control center and more. Last year, 2.5 million people are estimated to have visited the Javits Center, with most getting to know the space through the large conventions hosted there, like Comic-Con, the New York International Car Show and the Fancy Food Show. However, the efficacy of the Javits Center’s operation and its commitment to sustainability and modernization is what sets the convention center apart, and keeps things running smoothly.

We’ll be hosting another free tour of the Javits Center again in September, sign up to be an Untapped Cities Insider to join in! Read on to discover some of the fun secrets you’ll learn on this behind the senes tour.

1. The Javits Center Has the 2nd Largest Green Roof in the United States

The Javits Center Green Roof covers 6.75 acres and is the second largest of its kind in the United States. It was built as part of a five-year renovation that was completed in 2014. The roof is comprised of eleven different species of sedum, a type of plant that absorbs a lot of water, and has become a thriving habitat for wildlife

Since 2014, 26 bird species have been identified on the roof along with five bat species, including an eastern red bat that was just found in June. This year, the green roof was also host to an owl as well as a rare bird called Chuck Will’s Widow, a species that actually eats bats. On our visit, we leanred that there were 96 seagull nests that the staff had counted and many baby birds were exploring the roof with their parents. The birds use the roof for nesting, foraging, as a stop for migration.  There are also may species of arthropods (bugs), along with hundreds of thousands of bees (which we will talk about later).