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Portland Adopts a Green Roof Requirement in the Central City 2035 Plan

on June 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm under , ,

Downtown City of Portland OR. Photo:

Portland Central City 2035 Plan

Green roof advocates everywhere are celebrating the recently adopted Portland Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035 Plan), which includes a mandate for vegetated roofing.  The Ecoroof Requirement, as it is called, goes into effect starting July 2018 and includes buildings in the Central City over net 20,000 square feet, with rooftop parking exempt.

Portland is changing the Nature of its rooftops!

The green roof must cover 100% of the roof (that includes appropriate vegetated free zones), with up to 40% exemptions for rooftop mechanical equipment.

“The CC2035 Plan establishes a new generation of goals and tools to ensure the city center becomes an even more thriving economic, cultural, educational and recreational hub for the region over the next 20+ years.” ~ The City of Portland Oregon, Planning and Sustainability

The success of this landmark mandate is due to a united effort between local nonprofits, community members, and our elected officials.  The Green Roof info Think-tank (GRiT) has been supporting the City of Portland with green roof studies, symposia and stakeholder testimony throughout the years leading to the development of the requirement.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities,, the Audubon Society, Portland State University, and various local stakeholders have also had a significant impact on the awareness and research of green roofing in Portland and beyond.

Previous Portland Ecoroof Incentive

Portland Central City 2035 Plan

The new Ecoroof Requirement within the Portland Central City 2035 Plan revisits the previous successful Portland Ecoroof Incentive:

“From 2008 to 2012, Environmental Services offered property owners and developers an ecoroof construction incentive of $5 per square foot. Ecoroof costs vary according to project size, design and complexity. Environmental Services granted almost $2 million in incentives that helped fund over 130 projects that created more than 8 acres of ecoroofs that manage an average of 4.4 million gallons of stormwater annually.” ~ The City of Portland, Oregon, Environmental Services

Stewardship for the environment and human health does not get bestowed upon us from the top-down.  For a new paradigm to take root, communities must unite toward a goal, and then stick together throughout all of the challenges and objections that arise.  It is our own responsibility to keep our municipal, state, and national leaders on track and informed to protect our resources and enhance our livelihoods.

Portland has spoken, adding our voice to the swelling tidal wave of cities incorporating green roofs into their long-term plans for urban resiliency.

~ Elizabeth Hart Morris, CDT, GRP, President, GRiT Board of Directors



Portland Central City 2035 Plan

On June 20, 2018 GRiT held a big tour of the Multnomah County Building (Amy Joslin Memorial Eco Roof at the Multnomah Building) last week to celebrate the new Ecoroof Requirement.


GRiT is the Green Roof Info Think-tank

Portland Central City 2035 Plan

The Green Roof info Think-tank (GRiT) is a network of businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers and community members joining together to grow the knowledge and use of green roofs in the Pacific NW. GRiT is a registered 501c-3 non-profit organization. We host monthly meetings, seasonal tours, lectures, community outreach efforts, and semi-annual green roof symposia, among many other fun events.

GRiT was established in 2009 by volunteers looking for ways to advance the green roof industry in Portland, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.  Over the following years, GRiT served as a forum for sharing research, building relationships, and promoting the green roof industry.



Elizabeth Hart Morris

Portland Central City 2035 Plan

Elizabeth Hart Morris, CDT, GRP is the President of Green Up LLC, a woman-owned roof consulting firm based in Portland, Oregon. She is also co-founder of MycoCycle which focuses on advancing roof recycling technologies. For more than 10 years Elizabeth has been changing the “nature” of commercial roofing through green roof project management, roof recycling, advocacy and nonprofit work.

Elizabeth is also the President of the Green Roof info Think-tank (GRiT), a non-profit organization dedicated to growing the knowledge and use of green roofs in the Pacific Northwest, and she serves as the Green Roof Professional (GRP) Education Chair on the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Board of Directors.

Contact Elizabeth at:



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