Green roofs can contribute to environmental and livability goals—to mitigate the urban heat island effect, maintain clean air and water, and lower energy costs in buildings—while greening the urban landscape. As this methodology demonstrates, city planners, environmental regulators, and other practitioners can estimate the environmental and public health benefits of green roofs using free, credible, accessible tools. Because of the multiple benefits green roofs provide, they are gaining traction from a diverse set of stakeholders and businesses.
Interested parties nationwide can apply these methods and point to other evidence-based studies to estimate the value of green roofs and other green design practices in their areas. Using this methodology to quantitatively demonstrate the benefits of green roofs provides tangible data to decision-makers who have the power to implement green roofs as a strategy for achieving local environmental and public health goals.
The EPA-published case study, Estimating the Environmental Effects of Green Roofs, demonstrates the environmental and health benefits of green roofs for Kansas City, Missouri. The case study lays out a replicable analytical framework using free quantitative tools created by EPA and others that state and local decision-makers and practitioners can use to assess the multiple benefits of green roofs.
Aside from quantifying the benefits of green roofs, cities are pursuing ways to encourage green roof adoption, including voluntary incentives and regulatory mandates. Many cities have enacted policies that encourage green roof development through rebate programs, tax incentives, or fast-track permitting programs.
23 Cities that have implemented these policies—including Washington, D.C.; Toronto, Ontario; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington; and Chicago, Illinois—also reported the largest square footage of green roof installations in 2016.
Find more information about Green Roofs in the EPA website.
Check out this video of the 909 Walnut Green Roof Project (from our Greenroofs.com Projects Database) in Kansas City, MO by Stott & Associates Architects, Jeffrey L. Bruce & Company, Soprema, Turf & Soil Diagnostics, and many more: