Uncertainty around Denver’s Green Roof Requirements, Strictest in Nation

Uncertainty around Denver’s Green Roof Requirements, Strictest in Nation

Source: Jon Murray at The Denver Post

Denver Green Roof Initiative Requirements

The Denver Green Roof Initiative passed on November 7th by 54.3% of voters, and became effective on Jan. 1st. Here’s a breakdown of what this means:

Goal

Reduce Denver’s urban heat island effect from heat radiating issues. This happens when human activity causes urban or metro areas to become significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas.

Requirements

Rooftop gardens on all buildings with at least 25,000 square feet and residential buildings over 4 stories. Depending on building size, 20-60% of available roof space have to have green-roof coverage (industrial buildings only have to have 10%). –

Issues
  1. Cost for developers.
  2. Fees that will be charged for buildings that get variances.
  3. Watering requirements in Denver’s already dry climate.
  4. The major structural alterations that will be required to replace roofs on buildings that weren’t built for green roofs.

* This replacement clause is one of the biggest reasons that this initiative faces so much opposition and it makes Denver’s green-roof initiative the strictest in the nation. Toronto and San Francisco are considered “green-roof pioneers” but they do not require existing buildings to replace their roofs, only new ones.

So what’s next?

The city is implementing the initiative but changes are to be expected. In May, the city will re-evaluate what changes need to be made and as of right now, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment is putting together a task force to review the initiative.

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