Green Roof

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:


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.


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%). –

  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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Denver Green Roof Mandate Will Go to Voters

Source: Michael Konopasek at Fox31 Denver

Denver Green Roof Mandate Will Go to Voters

In November, Denver will vote on whether or not new large buildings (25,000 sq ft or larger) should be required to install rooftop gardens, solar panels, or both. The purpose: to combat what is known as the “urban heat island” effect — when metro areas are significantly warmer than surrounding areas because of human activities. Our thoughts? Sounds like a great deal but the end users have to be willing to pick up the tab unless there is an incentive package. This will be another layer of expense for new housing when Denver is already in need of more affordable options.

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