Europe: Denmark, Germany,
North America: U.S.,
Asia: China, Japan,
Possible North American Grants & Funding
|Here is an
opportunity for the U.S. to learn by example. You can see
at least nine extensive greenroofs in this photo of
Stuttgart-Weilimdorf, Germany. Photo Source: ZinCo Int'l.
Green roof ambitions in Copenhagen: It’s now
mandatory in the City of Copenhagen that all new flat roofs at or under a 30 degree-pitch,
both private and public, have to be vegetated. If old roofs have to be
retrofitted, the building owner may be able to receive public financial
support for a greenroof.
"Copenhagen has set itself the ambitious target of becoming the world’s
first carbon neutral capital by 2025. To meet this ambitious goal we need
ambitious measures. Therefore we now have decided to adapt to harsher
weather by making new requirements for getting grass on top of as many
buildings as possible," - Mayor of Technical and Environmental Administration,
Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard.
The City of Copenhagen has set up four requirements for green roofs.
Buildings with green roofs should be able to meet at least two of the
• Absorb 50-80% of the precipitation that
falls on the roof.
• Provide a cooling and insulating effect of the building and reduce
• Help make the city greener, reducing the urban heat island effect. So
counteract increased temperature rise in the cities.
• Contribute to a visual and aesthetic architectural variation that has
a positive effect on quality of life.
• Double the roof life as roofing membrane is protected against UV rays
reactive power buildings have made.
Today about 200,000 m2 of the roofs in
Copenhagen are flat and at least 30 buildings have grass ”on top.” Growth in
new buildings with green roofs is presumably 5,000 m2 per year - but it is
hard to predict a precise number as it depends on the cities' development.
Read the June 11, 2010 "Striving
to be world’s first carbon neutral capital, Copenhagen enacts mandatory
green roof policy" by Andrew Nusca in smartplanet.com.
The greenroof industry is well
established, documented and supported in Germany, representing approximately 7%
of all new roof construction with 140 million sf of greenroofs (Dawson, 2002,
National Geographic News). According to the 2003 report by English Nature:
Green Roofs: brown is the new green - "Green
roofs: their existing status and potential for conserving biodiversity in urban
areas - Report Number 498," 13.5 million square meters of greenroofs
were installed in Germany in 2001.
Part of the isolation problem for the English speaking population has been that until
the early 1990s, little
information had been translated and made available in English.
A growing roof greening industry has been emerging in the United Kingdom
with the promotion of the ecological benefits, and thankfully more technical
data has been available from several sources.
One example of the German groups is the
Deutscher Dachgartner-Verband (German Roof-Gardening Association), which has
been advocating greenroofs since 1984 and provides up-to-date information on new developments in vegetated roof cover
design in Europe to its many members. Link
here to see
which German cities are involved in their coalition, and to learn more about
their research and lobbying efforts in German.
technical support association is the Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsbau
Landschaftsentwicklung e.V. or the FLL (The Landscaping and Landscape Development and
Research Society). Headquartered in
Bonn, Germany, it has established a standardized method for investigating and
determining the root penetration resistance of waterproofing products used
throughout Europe. Click here to link directly to see the recommended guidelines of the highly informative
FLL German site. See the English page
Were it not for specific conditions found
in Germany, the higher costs associated with the initial construction of
greenroofs may have precluded their widespread application (Charlie Miller
publication, 1998). Federal
environmental laws require mitigation or compensation for the destruction of
natural open space caused by development. Because of high urban density to real
estate values, Germany provides indirect and direct subsidies and ordinances for
the installation of greenroofs. In
1996 a survey done by
Zentralverband Gartenbau e.V. (ZVG), the Gardening Central
Association, revealed that approximately 50%, or over 80 cities in Germany offered incentives to
building owners utilizing greenroofs. According to Green Roofs for Healthy
Cities, 80% of the greenroofs are extensive, involving low growing media, plant
diversity and lower costs.
Taxes are collected on anticipated storm
water control or usage fees, and are used to cover constructing, maintaining and
replacing stormwater management facilities. A 100% utility surcharge is levied
against owners of impervious roof covers (Dr. Michael Krebs, 1999), and thirteen
German cities allow a reduction between 50% and 80% of the utility fee for using a greenroof. Over
a 36-year period, the reduction in the usage fee alone can compensate the
building owner for as much as 50% of the additional capital cost (ZVG, 1996).
Another type of indirect subsidy lets
developers use greenroofs as mitigation for the provision of open space.
Depending on the type of proposed plant material, local land development
ordinances allow greenroofs to compensate for lost open space at a ratio of .50
to .70. This creates a very
attractive alternative in areas of high real estate prices.
Alternatives for mitigation include the restoration of existing
impervious surfaces to create open space or improving the biodiversity of
existing open space (Charlie Miller publication, 1998).
Twenty-nine German cities in the ZVG
survey provide a direct monetary subsidy to developers who use greenroofs.
The amount of the subsidy varies widely, ranging between $0.51 to $6.20
per square foot ($5.5 to $67/m²). Most
cities have adopted a financial aid ceiling for individual projects, ranging
from $280 to $11,250 per municipality. The
subsidies are based on estimates of the avoided costs associated with
infrastructure maintenance and replacement.
The subsidy structure provides the greatest incentive to residences and
small building owners (Charlie Miller publication, 1998).
According to Penn State's
Dr. Dave Beattie, by late 2002, 15% of all of Germany's flat roofs are now
greenroofs, with 22% of Stuttgart's roofs being greenroofs, and all new roof
construction will require greenroofs (personal communications, September, 2002).
In 1989, twenty-seven cities had established zoning districts that require
greenroofs to be installed on flat roofs. Such a requirement on flat-roofed
industrial buildings was included in Stuttgart’s 1989 Law of Building Book (The
London Ecology Unit, 1993).
Since 1982, the greenroof industry in
Germany has grown an average of 15-20% ( www.peck.ca).
Since 1984 Munich has included greenroofs
in its building ordinance, and in the subsequent 15 years approximately 4.2 million
square feet of rooftops have been greened.
In 1992 a direct subsidy program was started, providing $3.13 per square
foot ($33.70/m²), paying up to 50% of the capital cost of installing a
greenroof (Charlie Miller publication, 1998). By 1996, over 10 million
square meters of greenroofs were constructed in Germany alone (Green Roofs
For Healthy Cities).
The ZVG has estimated that the lifetime
cost of an extensive greenroof (based on a 36 year service life) in Germany is
15% lower than a comparable bituminous roof with gravel ballast.
This estimate includes savings achieved through the elimination of
stormwater detention basins, and takes into account higher real estate and
construction costs than those present in the U.S. (Charlie Miller publication,
Due to the legislative and
financial support of European state and municipal governments, the greenroof
industry has grown into a vibrant, multi-dollar market in Germany, France,
Austria and Switzerland among others. This public support recognizes the
many tangible and intangible advantages of greenroofs, and we in North America
could certainly benefit from this forward thinking.
Denmark - 2010: Dachy Zielone - The first issue of the free Internet quarterly magazine Dachy Zielone (Green Roofs) devoted to green roof technologies in Poland is available and includes selected English and Russian abstracts. Dachy Zielone is the source of information, news and resources about the green roof planning, execution and upkeep as well as the platform for sharing views and experiences in Poland. The website is also offered in both English and Russian; the project coincides with the establishing of the Polish Green Roof Association (PSDZ).
- 2005: Through 2005,
there were approximately 200 greenroof projects in Switzerland, totally
about 10,000,000 - 15,000,000 m2. The cities of Basel, Zürich, and
Luzern, for example now require that every new flat roof be planted per
building code. Dr. Stephan Brenneisen of the Zurich University of
Applied Sciences says, "We work together with authorities to develop
standards for green roofing according to their planning and construction
laws." As of the end of 2005, approximately 20% of the flat roofs are
green roofs within Basel in the city of Basel in a year there will be around
80. This equals about 80 city projects totaling 480,000 m2, with the
outlying countryside projects also around 80, estimated at 500,000 m2 (Dr.
Stephan Brenneisen, 2005).
- 2010: Green roofs are one way to help mitigate the effects of
climate change arising from the built environment, and are increasingly
being seen as an important part of making cities less damaging. London is
rising to the challenge, not just by hosting the recent World Green Roof
Congress 2010, but also via Mayor Boris Johnson’s draft Climate Change
Adaptation Strategy. This proposes that all major new developments within
London’s Central Activities Zone policy area - comprising the City of
London, most of Westminster and the inner parts of Camden, Islington,
Hackney, Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lambeth and Kensington and Chelsea - are
required to have a green roof (and where not technically feasible, a cool
roof). Boris is currently working with partners to enable the delivery of
100,000m² of new green roofs by 2012.
The London Borough of Camden is playing an important role in attaining this
target – they have their own Biodiversity Action Plan with the objective of
increasing their number of green roofs by 20 by this date. These roofs are
being used to combat climate change by reducing heat loss at roof level,
which in turn will improve residents’ fuel bills. They will also increase
biodiversity and sound insulation.
Other green roofs already in Camden include three installed at Goldsmiths
Place in 2006 and two at the Webheath estate in Hampstead installed in 2009.
Another is currently under construction at Rowley Way NW6 and many others
are in the planning stages. Through its enabling role with local
authorities, the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is fully supportive of
the green roofs agenda. Nick Taylor, HCA London Head of Area, says: “Through
our continued investment in Camden and across the capital, HCA London is
looking to increase the environmental credentials of all schemes. Achieving
this on existing housing stock is a great example of how to address carbon
reduction and benefit existing residents whilst complementing our own high
environmental and design standards”. [10.12.10]
2008: The Mayor of London and Design for London published a
technical report on Living Roofs and Walls, supporting the new London
Plan policy. The report was launched on February 29, 2008 at the
Ecobuild conference by Design for London and Alumasc Exterior Building
Products, sponsors of the research which led to the report. The report
was written by Dusty Gedge, John Newton, Karl Craddick et al.
The London Plan (consolidated with Alterations since 2004) contains
a policy to promote living roofs and walls.
Living roofs and walls - Technical report: supporting London Plan policy
Living roofs and walls - Technical report: supporting London Plan policy
New London Plan includes the following policy statement, click
Policy 4A.11 Living Roofs and Walls
The Mayor will, and boroughs should, expect major developments to
incorporate living roofs and walls where feasible and reflect this
principle in DPD policies. It is expected that this will include roof
and wall planting that delivers as many of these objectives as possible:
• accessible roof space
• adapting to and mitigating climate change
• sustainable urban drainage
• enhancing biodiversity
• improved appearance.
States of America - Organizations
Many people here in North America are
interested in promoting greenroofs as part of a city's infrastructure, so that
their costs may be included in city budgets right from the start, as is the case
in much of Germany and other parts of Europe. At the moment, the cities of
Chicago, Portland OR, Seattle, Toronto, Canada, New York City, Los Angeles,
San Francisco and areas around Washington, D.C.,
are looking into different types of incentive programs, and movements are
underway in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Vancouver, B.C. and many others.
Greenroofs.com - We are
non-membership based, and are the greenroof industry resource portal.
We share information pertaining to all the key players in the greenroof
community, market, and world. Search
The Greenroof Project Database for specific
projects by name, year built, location, greenroof type, application type,
test/research, by keyword(s) and more.
New projects are added and updated all the time!
ASTM - In
October, 2001, the American Society for the Testing of Materials (ASTM)
established a Green Roof Standards Task Group, and their focus is to provide
national standards for greenroof technologies. Members have defined
greenroofs and reviewed the established German documents listed above to provide
guidelines for further U.S. study. This Task Group has been set up under the E06.71 Subcommittee
on Sustainability in Buildings, part of the 1946 ASTM Committee E06 on
Performance of Buildings.
WK575 Practice for Assessment of Green Roofs dated 2.7.03.
For further information, contact Michael F. Gibbons, Head
of the Green Roof Task Group, ASTM, at 972.960.8726 or
Or, send questions and
thoughts to the former Greenroofs.com ASTM Editor and Green Roof
Task Group member, Ralph Velasquez, to:
Ralph inaugurated his column ASTM
Task Force Updates for us in April, 2005, and provided quarterly
meeting happenings - but now he's the
Sustainable Roofing Technologies Editor.
Click on the hyperlinks
below for a Document Summary of each ASTM standard:
E2396-05 Standard Test Method for Saturated Water Permeability of
Granular Drainage Media [Falling-Head Method] for Green Roof Systems
E2397-05 Standard Practice for Determination of Dead Loads and
Live Loads associated with Green Roof Systems
E2398-05 Standard Test Method for Water Capture and Media
Retention of Geocomposite Drain Layers for Green Roof Systems
E2399-05 Standard Test Method for Maximum Media Density for Dead
Load Analysis of Green Roof Systems
E2400-06 Standard Guide for Selection, Installation, and
Maintenance of Plants for Green Roof Systems
Insurance Policies: At
present, only a few major insurance U.S. companies are addressing
Affiliated FM, September, 2008: A member of the FM Global Group,
Affiliated FM specializes in commercial property insurance for business and
industry. Affiliated FM’s Green Coverage Endorsement provides coverage for
those additional costs incurred in rebuilding physically damaged property
associated with being or going “green.” This includes enhanced
property and business interruption coverage to help clients establish and
maintain sustainable, environmentally friendly businesses. These new
coverages and costs are in addition to the broad replacement cost coverage
already provided in the client’s proVision policy.
items, the new coverage also includes additional costs to replace damaged
roofs with green roofing systems, including vegetative roofing systems as
well as costs to hire an accredited green consultant to assist in green
design and reconstruction.
Visit the also read:
Green Coverage Endorsement, PRO GREEN 7316 (7/08)
Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, January 2009: Fireman’s Fund offers
special coverage for green buildings and it achieved LEED Silver
certification for the five floors it occupies at Lincoln Plaza, a 45-story
office tower in Dallas, Texas, owned by the California State Teachers’
Retirement System (CalSTRS).
July and March, 2008: Fireman's Fund Insurance Company is
set to launch the first-ever green insurance for U.S. homeowners this summer
2008. Green roofs are covered by the policy. Read:
Green Insurance for Homeowners Nationwide
Daily Green, by Brian Clark Howard
July 8, 2008
Travelers Insurance: The Commercial Property Division of Travelers, one
of the largest providers of property and casualty insurance products in the
United States, has launched Green Building Coverage Enhancements, covering
the additional cost and restoration time for green building alternatives,
expenses related to green building reengineering and recertification, and
Travelers Expands Property Coverage to Support Green Building
GreenerBuildings, by Staff
March 18, 2008
U.S. "...The company's Commercial Property Division has launched Green Building Coverage Enhancements, covering the additional cost and restoration time for green building alternatives, expenses related to green building reengineering and recertification, and green roofs. The coverage is for mid-sized businesses and allows environmentally preferred building materials to be used after a covered event or loss..."
Global, January, 2007: They help safeguard clients' properties through
cost-effective insurance coverage, risk transfer solutions and loss
prevention research and engineering. FM Global's 2007 Resource Catalog has
educational materials based on their cutting-edge research and engineering.
These products, available in a wide variety of languages and formats, help
to effectively manage property-related hazards, prevent facility damage and
minimize business interruption.
FM Global's Property Loss Prevention Data Sheet 1-35: Green Roof
Systems, updated 1.07. Its 26-pages include Scope, Loss Prevention
Recommendations, and Support for Recommendations. Costs, and order
FM Global insurance clients - US$25.00
Municipal and volunteer firefighters - US$25.00
All others - US$75.00
Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™)
U.S. Green Building Council
February, 2010: The Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building
Council USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our
nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. The USGBC
is a non-profit organization and is the developer and administrator of the LEED™ Green Building Rating System, a leading-edge
system, design guideline and measuring tool for designing, constructing, and certifying the world's greenest
buildings according to a stringent set of standards. The USGBC serves its members and the community through
the development of industry standards, design practices and tools, policy
advocacy, information exchange, and education.
With a community comprising 78 local affiliates, more than 18,000 member
companies and organizations, and more than 140,000 LEED Professional
Credential holders, USGBC is the driving force of an industry that is
projected to contribute $554 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product from
2009-2013. USGBC leads an unlikely diverse constituency of builders and
environmentalists, corporations and nonprofit organizations, elected
officials and concerned citizens, and teachers and students.
Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39% of CO2 emissions, 40%
of energy consumption, 13% water consumption and 15% of GDP per year, making
green building a source of significant economic and environmental
opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85% of future U.S. demand
for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to
generate 2.5 million American jobs.
The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED green building certification system
is the foremost program for the design, construction and operation of green
buildings. The four levels of
certification include LEED™ Certified,
Silver Level, Gold Level and Platinum Level. The U.S. Green Building
Council awards points out of a possible 69: LEED™ certified (at least 26 points
for new construction), silver, gold, or platinum (at least 52 points). For complete information regarding LEED™,
Over 35,000 projects are
currently participating in the LEED system, comprising over 6.9 billion
square feet of construction space in all 50 states and 114 countries.
By using less energy, LEED-certified buildings save money for families,
businesses and taxpayers; reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and contribute to
a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.
For more information, visit
July, 2007: Originally published in the July 2007 issue of
Architectural Record's Sustainable Roofing Strategies Continuing Education of
July 2007 states: "The U.S. Green Building Council’s Green Building Rating
System, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®), is a voluntary
certification program for sustainable buildings. LEED for New Construction and
Major Renovations (LEED-NC) Version 2.2 allows credit for several roofing types
and related strategies.
"Green roofs can contribute up to 14 credits with LEED-NC, Version 2.2. Between
one and two points can be earned in the following categories: Storm Water
Management, Landscape and Exterior Design to Reduce Heat Islands, Recycled
Content, Reduced Site Disturbance, Water Efficient Landscaping, Local/Regional
Materials, and Optimized Energy Performance. Typically, plant choices for green
roofs are native to the area, and the growing media is locally sourced, so that
soil is not shipped far."
Compliance is performance-based, not
prescriptive (Tom Dietsche, LEED™ Program
Associate, April 2002). Greenroofs can contribute to
at least 6 LEED™ points (more are possible) up to a possible 15 or 16 in the
Disturbance, Protect or Restore Open Space;
Landscape Design That Reduces Urban Heat Islands, Roof (SS Credit 7);Energy
Efficiency (EA credit 1);
Stormwater Management (SS credit 6);
Water Efficient Landscaping;
Daylight & Natural Views (EQ credit 8);
Innovative Wastewater Technologies;
Innovation in Design.
As of September, 2007, two U.S. federal agencies, 22 states, and 75
localities from Seattle to Boston have instituted policies to require or
encourage LEED have agreed to follow
According to 2004 USGBC figures, in the United States buildings: account for
36% of total energy use and 65% of electricity consumption; generate 30% of
greenhouse gas emissions; represent 30% of raw materials use; generate 30%
of waste output -- some 136 million tons annually; and consume 12% of
potable water. Learn more about USGBC
here. As of January, 2005, approximately 155 buildings had been LEED™
certified nationwide with another 1,600 awaiting certification.
About 4% of new U.S. commercial buildings are LEED certified, and that is
increasing by 1% each year (Taryn Holowka, communications manager for the
U.S. Green Building Council, 2005).
buildings also have opportunities for national, regional and local utility
rebates, tax credits and subsidies.
Office of the Federal
Environmental Executive writes in its September 2003 Federal Green
agencies require LEED™ Certified as a minimum requirement; others encourage
LEED™ Silver as a goal. Some agencies have stated that at least 20 percent of
all major construction shall be selected as LEED™ pilot projects by fiscal year
2004 (FY 2004), with increasing percentages of projects until FY 2009, when all
construction projects are to be capable of achieving LEED certification.
However, while several Federal agencies are embracing LEED™ as their standard of
performance, neither LEED™ nor any other system has yet been adopted
For example, the Department
of Defense and General Services Administration (GSA) now mandates that all new
government buildings follow green building protocols developed by the U.S. Green
Building Council (Markham and Walles, 2003, Environmental Design +
All new Chicago civic facilities must meet the Silver standard set by LEED.
County's new "Green Building Law" which was passed November 28, 2006 and
will become mandatory by September 1, 2008, will require nonresidential
buildings over 10,000 square feet to achieve a LEED Silver rating (Earth
In June 2005, Portland, OR, - see below - joined Scottsdale, Arizona as the
second city in the U.S. to require LEED Gold certification for City
facilities. Vancouver, BC also requires all of their municipal
facilities to achieve LEED Gold.
11.02.04: San Francisco has announced the adoption of a Green Building
Ordinance, which requires that all new projects, including city-owned
facilities and leaseholds, achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design® (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council
In 2000, the City of
Seattle adopted its Sustainable Building Policy requiring new city buildings
to attain a Silver LEED™certification rating. City departments were instructed to design and
construct both new and renovated City facilities greater than 5,000 square
feet so that they achieve a Silver LEED rating.
United States of
America - Governments
New York City, New
- August, 2009: The New York Buildings Department's Green Roof and
Solar Tax Abatement Program Team have revised the
PC1 form to reflect
new required items - PTA3 and PTA4 Abatement Eligibility Approval - that
must be checked off in order to be considered for a green roof or solar
panel property tax abatement (respectively). The revised PC1 form may be
Plan/ Work & Permits in the Forms section of their website,
For details, visit the New York Buildings >Sustainability>Green Roofs
The New York Buildings Department launched a
new process for Green Roofs and Solar Electric Generating Systems tax
abatements. This process will involve new job filing and abatement
application filing procedures in the New York City boroughs for 2010 thru
2013. Listed below are links that will assist you with this process
and answer many questions you may have:
Tax Abatement Forms
Frequently Asked Questions
NYS Legislation for Green Roof
NYS Legislation for Solar Electric Generating System
Department of Buildings Rule
Department of Buildings Construction Codes.
All inquiries regarding
the application process and requirements should be sent to the Department at
email@example.com. For prompt and current
updates about this, and other department initiatives, please sign up for the
March 10, 2009: Solar and Green Roof Tax Abatements. The
following documents will help you apply for a tax abatement in New York City
for new solar and/or green roof projects:
Solar and Green Roof Tax Abatement Checklist
PTA1: Property Tax Abatement Application and Agreement for the Installation
of a Green Roof
PTA2: Property Tax Abatement Application and Agreement for the Installation
of Solar Panels
Please utilize the Checklist as an outline as to the needs of the Department
Links for the
legislation for NYC green roofs can be found at:
and for Solar Panels:
Also, there's a new New York City rule that
implements Titles 4-B and 4-C of Article 4 of the Real Property Tax Law for
property tax abatements. These
Green Roof and Solar Electric Generating System Tax Abatement Rules
(PDF) were published in “The City Record” on March 12, 2009 which is its
These rules are available for viewing on the
For more info, contact Bonnie Gerard, Strategic Planning & Implementation,
Project Manager NYC 2010 Electrical Code & Special Projects at: 212-442-1239
(t); 212-566-3865 (f);
PlaNYC, December 16, 2008: New York City released its PlaNYC
Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan. The sixth initiative under
PlaNYC's Water Quality goal calls for an Interagency Best Management
Practices (BMP) Task Force to coordinate stormwater planning issues.
They will be releasing their draft rules for our green roof tax abatement in
the near future.
You can download the Plan and appendices
here. Formed in May 2007, the Task Force brings together all
relevant City agencies to analyze ways to incorporate source control
stormwater management techniques, known as BMPs, into the design and
construction of both public and private projects to reduce pollution from
untreated discharges and combined sewer overflows.
The Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan is the culmination of the Task
Force’s efforts. To see the plan, click on the following links:
Download the Final Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan (in PDF).
Appendices to the Final Sustainable Stormwater Management Plan (in PDF).
August 8, 2008: GOVERNOR PATERSON SIGNS LAWS TO HELP SPUR INVESTMENT
IN RENEWABLE ENERGY - The A.11226 Diaz R/S.7553 Lanza bill was signed by New
York State Governor Paterson and deals with the tax abatement for renewable
energy, providing a tax abatement for construction of green roofs in New York City.
Press Release from New York State.
June 24, 2008: Building
owners in New York City who install green rooftops
will now receive a significant tax credit under a
bill (A.11226) sponsored by Assemblyman Ruben Diaz
Jr. that passed the state legislature on June 24,
Under this law, building owners in New York City who
install green roofs on at least 50 percent of
available rooftop space can apply for a one-year
property tax credit of up to $100,000. The credit
would be equal to $4.50 per square-foot of roof area
that is planted with vegetation, or approximately 25
percent of the typical costs associated with the
materials, labor, installation and design of the
green roof. Read the
Press Release from Sustainable South Bronx.
Bronx Borough, New York -
September, 2006: Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., and the Bronx
Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC) have established the Bronx
Initiative for Energy and the Environment (BIEE). This initiative has created
three separate partnership funds: The Bronx Partnership for Electric
Transportation, the Bronx Partnership for Environmental Benefit, and the Bronx
Partnership for Residential and Commercial Energy Efficiency and New Technology.
The goal of the initiative is to demonstrate pathways to a greener Bronx.
The Bronx Environmental Revolving Loan Fund is designed to provide zero interest
loans to Bronx businesses and building owners that implement energy efficient
measures and/or new technology, which improves the air quality of our borough.
For-profit companies, non-profit organizations and housing corporations
operating in the Bronx.
Implementation of energy-efficient measures, including
Electric/alternative fuel machinery and equipment;
New technology to reduce air pollution and/or cause energy savings, e.g.:
Green roofs and other greening measures;
Customized energy surveys
Size of Loan:
Minimum $10,000; Maximum $500,000
Example of how the Environmental Revolving Loan Fund could be used for
subsidizing a greenroof:
Company B needs to replace its roof. A green roof (a roof planted with specific
vegetation) lasts twice as long as a conventional roof, reduces the cost of
cooling the floor underneath it by 40% and reduces noise and air pollution. A
conventional roof costs $8-$10/sq. ft.; a green roof costs $12-$20/sq. ft. The
Environmental Revolving Loan Fund will cover the difference.
Read more at the Bronx
Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC)
City of Annapolis,
Maryland - 2008: The county will offer up to a $10,000 tax credit for
people who try to reduce stormwater pollution on their property, allowing
people to deduct from their property taxes the cost of installing stormwater
reduction technology, including greenroofs. Read:
Stormwater tax credit passes
Annapolis Capital, by Erin Cox
January 14, 2008
Annapolis, MD. "The county will offer up to a $10,000 tax credit for people who try to reduce stormwater pollution on their property...The tax credit allows people to deduct from their property taxes the cost of installing rain gardens, green roofs, pervious pavement and other types of technology that help stormwater seep into the ground instead of rushing down slopes and roads, picking up pollutants and carrying them into the Chesapeake Bay..."
State of Illinois,
Illinois Energy Plan - August 24, 2009. The Illinois Energy Office
administers a portfolio of programs designed to invest in the development of
Illinois’ Green Economy including renewable energy sources, energy
efficiency, green buildings, biofuels, and more.
The additional funding under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
(ARRA) for the State Energy Program will allow DCEO to develop new programs
and expand current programs in order to fund cost-effective energy projects
that create and retain Illinois jobs, reduce energy consumption (and costs),
increase renewable energy capacity, reduce green house gas emissions, and
leverage private funds.
The Illinois Energy Plan is the most comprehensive and innovative program to
date to address the state’s energy needs. This investment is important to
the state’s overall economic recovery and will strengthen Illinois’ position
as a leader in Sustainable, Clean, Renewable, American Energy.
GREEN ROOFS PROGRAM
The development of Green roofs offers strong environmental, ecological, and
economic benefits. This program will facilitate the development of green
roofs in the state of Illinois. Eligible projects include those where a
building roof will be partially or completely covered with vegetation and
soil, or a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. Green
roofs will provide economic development, a carbon capture system and energy
and maintenance cost savings.
Here for the GREEN ROOFS PROGRAM Application.
For complete info, visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic
City of Chicago, Illinois
- 2008: Currently
the city of Chicago, IL is leading the way in the U.S. with aggressive sustainable
design measures which include promoting greenroofs, with over 300 projects
totaling 4 million square feet planned or built (July, 2008).
and Incentives: MISSION STATEMENT. "In general, Chicago promotes green
buildings through awards, grants, design competitions and fairs. For
example, It expedites the building-permit process for approved builders of
green buildings, waives a service fee for developers installing green roofs
and provides a series of guides for homeowners renovating or rehabilitating
their homes. In addition, any public or publicly funded building has to meet
the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver
certification standard, set by the U.S. Green Building Council," (Chicago
Derives Many Benefits from Green Buildings, NewsBlaze, by Andrzej
Zwaniecki May 29, 2008). See the website devoted to
Chicago Green Roofs - Guide for Building Green Roofs in Chicago.
The City of Chicago stimulates demand for green buildings and green
roofs by creating policies and incentives targeted to developers, building
owners and managers, homeowners, insurance providers, and the financial
community. To facilitate adoption of green building practices, they pledge
to educate the larger
community of building professionals and the general public about the benefits of
sustainable building for individuals, neighborhoods, and the city.
September, 2007, 2006, 2005: The Green Roof Grant Program 2006 for
Residential and Small Commercial Buildings: Since 2005, the Green Roof
Grants Program helped realize more than 20 green roof projects throughout
Chicago per year. Building on this success from 2005, the City of Chicago Department of
Environment is giving an increased number of $5000 grants to assist with
residential or small commercial green roof projects. "Small commercial" is a
building with a footprint of less than 10,000 square feet.
Sessions on the Program are held at the Chicago Center for Green Technology,
445 North Sacramento Avenue. Successful projects are announced in December.
Grants will assist in realizing new green roof projects throughout the City.
Projects are selected in a ‘blind’ process and evaluation criteria included
project location, visibility, project type as well as overall environmental
benefit. Read about them here, at the
City of Chicago Department of Environment website.
online or from the Department of Environment, 30 North LaSalle Street,
25th Floor, Chicago, IL. Questions? Call 312.744.7606.
The city began a
pilot program entitled the "GRIF TIF" - Green Roof Improvement Fund Tax
Increment Financing - offering matching funds up to $100,000 to put green
roofs on downtown buildings, drawing $500,000 from the Central Loop Tax
Increment Financing District. "At $10 per square foot, that's enough to
fund five to 10 projects," said Michael Berkshire of the city's Department of
Planning and Development. Read "City
Hall's spreading the green: Will help fund more planted roofs" in the
June 29, 2006 Chicago Sun-Times, by Gary Wisby.
2005: Green Roof Initiative: Over
120 public & private greenroof projects totaling between 1.5 and 2 million
sf were constructed in Chicago, and these numbers exclude
Millennium Park and
Density Bonuses - According
EPA Smart Growth Policy Information, "To create attractive commercial and
business districts, the City of Chicago increases development square footage,
known as floor area premiums, when such developments include public amenities.
Public amenities include plazas, pocket parks, block connections, greenroofs,
transit improvements, and wider sidewalks among others." The Chicago
Department of Zoning states, "A floor area premium shall be granted for a roof
that is covered with plants that reduce the 'urban heat island' effect and
storm-water runoff of buildings in the central business district. To qualify for
a floor area premium, a minimum of 50 % of the roof area at the level of the
green roof or a minimum of 2000 square feet (whichever is greater) shall be
covered by vegetation and shall meet..." certain standards.
City Zoning Ordinance is available online - click Article 8: Business
Districts, Section 8.5: Floor Area Ratio, scroll down. Contact
Information: City of Chicago Planning Department, 121 North LaSalle Street,
#1000 Chicago, IL 60602 Phone: 312.744.9476 Fax: 312.744.2271
Building Green/Green Roof Matrix - Allows “Fast-Tracking” of Permitting
to encourage green building for builders who commit to green standards,
including greenroofs. The City of Chicago's Building
Green/Green Roof policy applies to construction projects that receive public
assistance or are subject to review by the Department of Planning and
Development as a "Planned Development" or a "Lakefront Protection Ordinance
Development." The policy is summarized in the matrix (see above). The matrix
illustrates what projects are subject to the policy and what green
strategies are being promoted through the policy.
June, 2002: The
Chicago Energy Conservation Ordinance went into effect on June 3, 2002 and
includes a chapter from Chicago's Urban Heat Island Reduction Initiative which
states minimum ASTM standards of solar reflectance and emissivity. The
ordinance requires all new and refurbished roofs to install greenroofs or
reflective roofing. The ordinance had originally been set for
implementation for January, 2002, but the City allowed additional time for
public awareness and offered workshops to developers, designers and other
interested parties. The Ordinance is based on requirements from the
International Energy Conservation Code (Green Roof Infrastructure Monitor,
Winter 2002). For additional info, please contact
November, 2001: The City of Chicago produced a 10-page PDF booklet
entitled "Chicago's Green
Rooftops: A Guide to Rooftop Gardening."
greenroof installed on
Chicago City Hall.
City of Los Angeles,
California - 2006: The City of Los Angeles Environmental Affairs
Department (EAD), established in 1990, is the chief advisor to the City on
environmental matters. It proactively brings together people and resources to
educate and develop ways to improve the Los Angeles environment. By restoring
habitats, creating innovative alternatives, assisting businesses and
revitalizing communities, EAD makes LA a better place to live.
Read the 64-page PDF entitled "Green
Roofs - Cooling Los Angeles, A Resource Guide." This resource
guide has been prepared in partial response to Los Angeles City Council motion
CF#04-0074, Incorporate Rooftop Green Spaces as an Energy Efficiency Mechanism.
This motion directed the Environmental Affairs Department (EAD) to lead the
formation of a City task force for the purpose of developing and implementing
“…a process, program, or procedure that will require City facilities to
incorporate rooftop green spaces as an energy efficiency mechanism…” To support
the Green Roof Task Force, the EAD researched green roof options and assembled
information on numerous case studies and guideline development efforts in North
America, Europe, and Japan. EAD subsequently utilized consultant assistance to
expand and summarize the available research, determine its applicability to
potential projects in the Los Angeles area, and incorporate practical and
procedural information from the Task Force members into a plan for the
development of green roofs in the City of Los Angeles. This document is intended
to serve as a reference guide to facilitate green roof development by the City
as well as other public entities and private building owners within Los Angeles.
For more info, please contact: Environmental Affairs Department, City of Los
Angeles, 200 N. Spring Street., Suite 2005, Los Angeles, CA 90012, or visit the
http://www.lacity.org/EAD or E-mail:
City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin - December 16, 2009:
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's 2010 Regional Green Roof
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (DISTRICT) is inviting
units of government, organizations, school districts, and businesses within
its 28-community service area to participate in the 2010 Regional Green Roof
Initiative Program. If a proposed project is accepted in this program,
the PARTNER will be required to enter into either an interagency agreement
or contractual arrangement with the DISTRICT. The agreement will
contain provisions relative to responsibilities as outlined in this Request
for Proposal (RFP). Projects selected for funding must be completed in
2010. Funding is initially designated to pay for retrofitting
buildings with modular green roof technology; however, consideration also
will be given to projects proposing integrated green roofs if the projects
can adhere to the conditions of this RFP.
Interested parties are to print the RFP off the DISTRICT’s Web site. The MMSD’s interest in green
roofs is in capturing rainwater on our region’s rooftops
and keeping it out of our regional sewer system. Doing
so will help reduce polluted stormwater runoff and
combined and separated sewer overflows to Lake Michigan. For more information you can download the press
we energies regarding the Initiative along with
Green Roof Program Notice and
RFP from MMSD (this
RFP is located in the Procurement section of the DISTRICT’s Web site).
All inquiries regarding this RFP should be
directed to: James P. Morgan, Senior Contract Administrator, Milwaukee
Metropolitan Sewerage District, 260 West Seeboth Street, Milwaukee, WI
53204-1446; Telephone: (414) 225-2132; Fax : (414) 271-0829; E-Mail:
Learn more at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's
Proposals were due by
10 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2010.
City of Portland, Oregon -
January, 2010 update: City of Portland to Offer Ecoroof Incentives
The ecoroof grant program is part of the City of Portland's Grey to
Green effort to accelerate increase sustainable stormwater management
practices, control non-native, invasive plants, and protect sensitive
natural areas, over $800,000 will be spent on the incentive in this fiscal
year, and will make funds available over the next three years. The city currently has about nine acres of ecoroofs
scattered among more than 90 buildings. The Grey to Green goal is to add 43
acres of new ecoroofs in five years, starting from 2008.
The incentive grants
will pay up to $5 per square foot for new ecoroof projects.
Installation costs for ecoroofs in Portland can range from $5 to $20 per
square foot. Industrial,
residential, commercial and mixed-use projects are eligible for the
Applications of incentive applications will be available in April 2010 for
the next cycle that begins in the summer of 2010. See the September, 2009 Ecoroof Incentive Program
here, and the grant application packet can be downloaded
here (PDF). Visit the Ecoroof Incentive Program
or call 503.823.7914.
Also visit the
Working Green for Clean Rivers website
Ecoroof Plant Report
The ecoroof plant report presents information about the most sustainable
ecoroof plants in Portland, Oregon and gives guidance on the plant selection
for various ecoroof site conditions. This report presents information from
the 2003 Plant Survival Findings in the Pacific Northwest report and from
recent assessments of 15 ecoroofs and 18 plants in Portland. The report also
describes experiences of local designers and maintenance personnel with
Copies are available online at
2007: See the City of Portland, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
portlandonline.com, and see the
Ecoroofs page. As of mid April 2007 over 130 ecoroofs have been
installed in Portland since 1996.
Portland Policies and
Incentives that Support Ecoroof Installations (Tom Liptan, April, 2007):
1. City Public Works Code 17.38: Stormwater Management 1999;
2. City Zoning Code 33.510 FAR Bonus: Ecoroofs added in spring 2001;
3. City Resolution passed in 2005 requires all city owned buildings to
install Ecoroofs when re-roofing or on new buildings;
4. BES -Watershed Stewardship Grants have funded 8 Ecoroofs;
5. OSD -Green Investment Grant have funded 9 Ecoroofs;
6. BES distributes EPA Grant money for demo projects; $40,000 for ecoroof;
7. BES has contributed $275,000 for ecoroof demo projects 1999-present;
8. Clean River Reward –Ecoroofs potentially qualify for full reward;
9. BES and Office of Sustainable Development provide technical assistance,
Planning Bureau staff also provide some assistance;
10. BES, PSU, Metro and Multnomah Co. are monitoring Ecoroof performance.
June, 2005: On Page 11 of
Portland’s Green Building Policy: A Status Report and Recommendations
PDF see "Ecoroofs: Require design
and construction of all new City-owned facilities to include an ecoroof with at
least 70% coverage AND high reflectance, Energy Star-rated roof material on any
remaining non-ecoroof surface area; OR, Energy Star-rated roof when an
ecoroof/ Energy Star-rated roof is impractical." On Page 12 see "Ecoroofs:
Require all roof replacement projects on City-owned facilities to install an
ecoroof AND high reflectance, Energy Star-rated roof on any remaining
non-ecoroof roof surface area; OR, when an integrated ecoroof/Energy Star-rated
roof is impractical, install an Energy Star-rated roof." Read the entire
PDF of Portland's new recommended LEED Gold program for all new, city-owned
facilities construction projects, increasing LEED certification from “Certified”
2003: The City of
developed a 12-page Questions and Answers brochure on green roofing, which can
be found under How To's.
of Portland Office of Sustainable Development (OSD) introduced "Portland
LEED," the first U.S. Green Building Council approved local supplement to
the USGBC Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. To view the entire City of Portland's 2002 Stormwater
Management Manual click here:
http://www.cleanrivers-pdx.org/tech_resources/2002_swmm.htm. Or click
on the following for Chapter 2 only: "Chapter
2.0 - Simplified Approach to Stormwater Management."
Tom Liptan, ASLA, a
landscape architect and stormwater specialist for the City of Portland OR,
Bureau of Environmental Services, has been the advocate for ecoroofs in Portland.
He may be contacted directly at 503.823.7267 or
for more specifics on what he and his department is planning and have accomplished in
the area of greenroof subsidies.
The City of Portland also
has their greenbuilding website - www.green-rated.org,
to inform people on the various city programs now available to promote
sustainable development, including eco or greenroofs. Ecoroofs are
included under the Technologies area; for further info, please contact: Rob Bennett, City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development G/Rated - Green Building Program 1120 SW 5th Ave, Room 706, Portland, OR 97204;
Phone: 503.823.7082; Fax: 503.823.5370; firstname.lastname@example.org;
City of Seattle,
Washington - 2007: Seattle Mayor Greg Nichols is one of the
greenest mayors in the U.S. and a champion of high performance buildings.
The City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development has an excellent
website devoted to green building and specifically greenroofs
here, including the following topics:
What Is A Green Roof?
Seattle Incentives, Technical Guidelines and Research - of particular
interest, see below.
Green Roof Monitoring and Evaluation
Green Roof Case Studies
Green Roof Design and Research Resources
Seattle Incentives, Technical Guidelines and Research:
Seattle currently has an impervious surface reduction credit that lists
green roofs and roof gardens as acceptable strategies. See Appendix B of the
Flow Control Technical Requirements Manual. Additionally, the LEED green
building certification program offers a point for a green roof. Given the
proven marketing value of LEED certification, this too could be considered
an incentive for green roofs.
Seattle Green Factor
As of January 21, 2007, the new Seattle Green Factor requirements (for 30%
equivalent plant coverage on commercial developments in Neighborhood
Commercial (NC) zones) can be met in part through use of green roofs. Learn
how at the Green Factor design and permitting page.
Technical guidelines for building green roofs in Seattle are currently in
development, and will be posted here when complete. Meanwhile, please find
links to existing resources, design and case study examples below.
Ongoing study and modeling for stormwater code development
Green roofs have the potential to reduce roof runoff and delay peak flows
during storms. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is attempting to quantify the
stormwater benefits, to help us credit green roofs in our city stormwater
SPU is helping to standardize green roof modeling methods through use of the
Western Washington Hydrologic Model (WWHM), commonly used by stormwater
design engineers. The WWHM model has been modified to include a green
roof/eco-roof modeling element, which has been calibrated using monitoring
data from Portland. In a few years this model will be further updated using
local monitoring data. See Eco-roof Stormwater Modeling Memo.
SPU is currently collecting rainfall and runoff flow data on several city
buildings (the Zoomazium, Ballard Branch Library, Ross Park Shelterhouse
starting in fall 2007, and possibly the new Fire Station 10 starting 2008).
SPU is also conducting limited grab-sampling of runoff water quality to see
if new green roofs are likely to add nutrients to stormwater draining to
streams, lakes and Puget Sound.
As a result of stormwater modeling, Seattle currently has a trial Stormwater
Code Exception Policy for the South Lake Union area, that allows green roofs
to partially satisfy stormwater code.
Commercial Incentives and Assistance from the City of Seattle are
offered to LEED projects, tailored to developers who incorporate green
features into new commercial projects.
The Density Bonus Incentive - On April 12, 2006, Mayor Nickels signed
new downtown zoning legislation updating rules for the central office core
and adjoining areas, including Denny Triangle and a portion of Belltown.
Changes in the new regulations were made to provide greater heights and/or
greater floor area for commercial and residential buildings. To gain greater
height or density, projects must achieve a LEED Silver rating or higher, as
well as contribute to affordable housing and other public amenities. The
zoning changes also offer greater transferable development rights for
Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
The Metropolitan Council Environmental Services has issued the "Minnesota Urban
Small Sites BMP Manual," July 2001, and it includes a chapter on
Metropolitan Council is the regional planning agency for the seven county
Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area who also operate the wastewater, transit,
airport and regional parks systems. The BMP manual is intended for the nonpoint
source technical assistance program, and will be used by the 180 or so
communities in the region. The chapter was prepared by Barr Engineering
Company as one of 40 BMPs that the metro area is focusing on (Gary Oberts,
personal communications, May 2001).
City of Salt Lake City, Utah
- 2006: The Salt Lake City Council passed an ordinance requiring
new buildings that use city money to be environmentally friendly. The
ordinance requires city-funded buildings of at least 10,000 square feet to
become certified by the U.S. Green Building Council under its Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design program.
2012: The District Department of the Environment (DDOE) is once again providing rebates, at $5 per square foot, for green roofs to qualified applicants for the third consecutive year. The Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS) is administering the program for
the DDOE on a first-come, first-served
basis for qualified DC buildings of any size. This program is
available for residential, commercial and institutional properties.
You can begin the
application process by visiting www.anacostiaws.org and clicking on Green Roof Rebate Program in the right column. For more
information, or to
register, contact us at 202-557-5814 or 301-699-6204 or email@example.com. You can also read "Greening the District with Green Roofs" by Laura S. Washington, Green Roof Rebate Program Coordinator, Anacostia Watershed Society
of March 16, 2012 in our Sky Gardens Blog.
Greenworks administered DDOE’s green roof subsidy program for roofs
under 4,000 sf. DC Greenworks, a 501 c3 non-profit, is the
national capital region's preeminent greenroof advocate and educator, as
well as a one stop shop for greenroof consultation, design, and
This program is funded
by the Government of the District of Columbia, District Department of the
Environment, Watershed Protection Division. As of 2009, the Green Roof
Subsidy was $5.00 per square foot, up to $20,000.00 per project.
To be eligible for consideration for
participation in the Green Roof Subsidy Demonstration Program a building
must be located in the District of Columbia and meet the following:
Greenroof project up to 4,000 sf (new and retrofit);
Vegetated cover over at least 50% of the available roof space (excluding
skylights and utilities);
Growing medium depth of at least 3 inches.
State - According to
the Green Roof Infrastructure Monitor, "the Pennsylvania Association of
Conservation Districts identified greenroof infrastructure as a stormwater best
management practice in their 'Pennsylvania Handbook of Best Management Practices
for Developing Areas.'"(GRIM Autumn 2000). See Charlie Miller's “Vegetated Roof
Covers: A New Method for Controlling Runoff in Urbanized Areas.” publication
in the "Proceedings of the 1998 Pennsylvania Stormwater Management
Symposium" (October 21-23, 1998): 1-10.
Washington State - 2005: Washington
became the first state in the U.S. to require new prisons, offices, schools,
colleges and other publicly funded buildings to meet a national green
building environmental standard. All publicly funded buildings over
5,000 square feet to achieve a LEED™certification
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Read Seattle leads 'green' wave in building: New state law paves way for environmentally friendly construction, seattlepi.com, by Debera Carlton Harrell
of April 22, 2005.
2000: The City of
Seattle adopted its Sustainable Building Policy requiring new city buildings
to attain a Silver LEED™certification rating. City departments were instructed to design and
construct both new and renovated City facilities greater than 5,000 square
feet so that they achieve a Silver LEED rating.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is launching a new strategy to promote the use of green infrastructure by cities and towns to reduce stormwater runoff that pollutes our nation’s streams, creeks, rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Green infrastructure decreases pollution to local waterways by treating rain where it falls and keeping polluted stormwater from entering sewer systems. In addition to protecting Americans’ health by decreasing water pollution, green infrastructure provides many community benefits including increased economic activity and neighborhood revitalization, job creation, energy savings and increased recreational and green space. Stormwater is one of the most widespread challenges to water quality in the nation. Large volumes of polluted stormwater degrade our nation’s rivers, lakes and aquatic habitats and contribute to downstream flooding. Green infrastructure captures and filters pollutants by passing stormwater through soils and retaining it on site.
Effective green infrastructure tools and techniques include green roofs, permeable materials, alternative designs for streets and buildings, trees, rain gardens and rain harvesting systems. Click here to view the press release for this event. [4.29.11]
January 17, 2008: The U.S. EPA, with state
and national partners, released a comprehensive plan to reduce runoff and
increase environmental and economic benefits for communities on 1.17.08. The
Municipal Handbook is a series of documents to help local officials
implement green infrastructure in their communities. The
strategy will help reduce stormwater runoff and sewer overflows by promoting
“green infrastructure” approaches, such as green roofs, trees and tree
boxes, rain gardens, and porous pavements.
Visit the US EPA National Pollutant Discharge
Elimination System (NPDES) Green Infrastructure Municipal Handbook
page. Specifically in the Managing Wet Weather with Green
Infrastructure Handbook Series:
Funding Options (PDF) September, 2008
Retrofit Policies (PDF) January, 2009
Green Streets (PDF) January, 2009
Rainwater Harvesting Policies (PDF) January, 2009
Managing Wet Weather with Green Infrastructure Action Strategy 2008
(PDF) of 1.17.08.
December, 2007: The EPA released "Reducing
Stormwater Costs through Low Impact Development (LID) Strategies and
Practices" - a report (PDF) providing information to cities, counties,
states, private-sector developers and others on the costs and benefits of
using Low Impact Development (LID) strategies. This report summarizes 17
case studies of developments that include LID practices and concludes that
applying LID techniques can reduce project costs and improve environmental
Readers interested in increasing their knowledge about LID and Green
Infrastructure should visit their following pages:
Green Infrastructure and
U.S. EPA issued a memo to highlight opportunities for EPA Regional
Administrators to increase the development and use of green infrastructure
in water program implementation. The report, "Using Green Infrastructure
to Protect Water Quality in Stormwater, CSO, Non Point Source, and other
Water Programs" recognizes the value of green infrastructure techniques
and encourages their use in reducing water quality problems. Common
green infrastructure approaches include green roofs, trees and tree boxes,
rain gardens, vegetated swales, pocket wetlands, infiltration planters,
vegetated median strips, reforestation, and protection and enhancement of
riparian buffers and floodplains." Read
more, PDF (March, 2007).
2006: Also see:
"Rooftops to Rivers: Green strategies for controlling stormwater and
combined sewer overflows" (NRDC, June 2006, PDF).
Canada - Organizations
Green Roofs for
Healthy Cities - Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) is the North
American professional green roof organization, who in addition to promoting
the industry, produces the annual Greening Rooftops for Sustainable
Communities Conference, Awards, and Trade Show - now rebranded as
CitiesAlive for the 8th Annual Conference - as well as the regional
Symposia, and various green roof and green wall trainings, including the Green Roofs 101, 201,
301, 401 and other courses. GRHC also administers the Green Roof
Professional (GRP) accreditation and conducts a yearly study of corporate
members' completed projects to determine growth.
City of Port Coquitlam,
In 2002, the City of
Port Coquitlam created a strategic plan for the organization to establish
the long-term direction and guide the City in its planning and
decision-making. The first green roof regulation in Canada, a Zoning
bylaw amendment was adopted by Council on December 11, 2006, which requires
greenroofs for all large format buildings over 5,000 m² (53,821 sf).
The primary purpose is to obtain environmental benefits including
intercepting and reducing storm water runoff, improving building thermal
performance and energy consumption, and reducing the urban heat island
effect. Secondary benefits would relate to enhanced views where
dwelling units or offices overlook the roofs and increasing biodiversity.
The estimated higher cost of 10% is normally recovered within the first two
years of building operation and the energy savings and storm- water
reductions continuing for the life of the building. Greenroofs
typically last twice as long as traditional roofs because the temperature is
Port Coquitlam has over 200 acres of land remaining to be developed in its
commercial/industrial park. "As part of the Zoning Bylaw, a variance
may be approved by Council when the business case for a greenroof may not
work for a particular site, such as large, unheated industrial storage.
A "meet or beat" variance to site design, using the benefit criteria listed
above, can be considered by Council. This provides for the
environmental and social benefits while still meeting economic viability.
This 'win-win' variance process allows for sustainable site design, new jobs
and tax revenue for our community," (City of Port Coquitlam).
Read the City of Port
Coquitlam Sustainability Initiatives page with the Green Roof Regulation
City of Toronto, Ontario
May 26, 2009: Toronto City Council Adopts Mandatory Greenroof Requirements.
The City of Toronto became the first City in North America to adopt a new
greenroof by-law on new development with overwhelming support on May 26, 2009.
The bylaw will apply to all new building permit applications made after January
31, 2010 (residential, commercial and institutional) and January 31, 2011 for
all new industrial development.
The greenroof by-law
consists of a greenroof construction standard and a mandatory requirement
for green roofs on all classes of new buildings above 2,000 m² (about 21,530
sf) of Gross Floor Area and have a graduated coverage requirement ranging
from 20-60%. The by-law includes multi-unit residential dwellings over six
stories, schools, non-profit housing, commercial and industrial buildings.
Larger residential projects require greater green roof coverage, ranging
anywhere from 20 to 50 per cent of the roof area.
Working with a program
budget of $800,000/year, owners of industrial and commercial buildings can
apply for incentives worth $50 (Canadian) per square meter up to up to
$100,000 to build a greenroof, on a one-year pilot basis. Toronto Mayor
David Miller predicts the rules and incentives will create 50 to 60
green-roofed buildings per year, in addition to the 135 Toronto already has
(Mayor Miller has chosen not to run again for mayor in 2010).
Applications for the
Eco-Roof Incentive Grants will be accepted twice a year – once in the spring
and once in the fall. The next application session deadline is for Spring,
which opens February 1, 2010 and the Application
Deadline is April 2, 2010. Download an
Eco-Roof Incentive Program Application Form (PDF). For more
information on past award recipients and how to apply for funding, visit
2009: Eco-Roof incentive program: A new Eco-Roof incentive
program was launched at the end of February 2009 on the
website. Toronto’s Eco-Roof Incentive Program is designed to promote
the use of green and cool roofs on Toronto’s commercial, industrial and
institutional buildings, and help Toronto’s business community take action
on climate change.
June 2007: The
City of Toronto released its 58-page PDF entitled
Green "Vegetative" Roof Building Standard for the City of Toronto on
June 20, 2007.
Scope and Objectives of this Study:
The Toronto Green Roof Design Standard is to provide City Staff with the
technical foundation necessary for the development of a Green Roof By-law
consistent with the City of Toronto Act, and to provide certainty and clarity
for the green building industry active in Toronto.
This standard is not intended to be a textbook on the design of green roofs but
provide certainty and clarity for builders, developers, manufacturers and
designers when designing and building green roofs in the City of Toronto.
The scope of the Standard shall provide recommendations for design requirements
of a Toronto green roof building standard and include analysis of how identified
potential green roof standards will support the City’s key policy objectives and
performance criteria. The Standard is to address:
a) New construction and retrofit;
b) Small and large scale residential buildings; and
c) Industrial, commercial and institutional buildings.
October 2006: A new 2-year pilot program
was created to encourage
green roof construction in Toronto. Subsidies of $10 per square meter
and up to a maximum of $20,000 Canadian ($18,000) were available to private property owners for
new and retrofit green roof projects.
March 2006: From the City of Toronto's greenroof website: "City Council
committed to greening of Toronto Roofs - City Council approved a Green Roofs
strategy promoting the use of city rooftops to grow gardens and other
vegetation. The strategy includes a commitment to install green roofs on new and
existing buildings owned by the City whenever practical. Council also endorsed
initiatives to provide financial incentives for the creation of green roofs.
Follow the Green Roof strategy's
progression from consultation to adoption." Read the 42-page PDF "Making
Green Roofs Happen" and the Consolidated Clause in Policy and Finance
Committee Report 1, which was considered by City Council on January 31,
February 1 and 2, 2006."
City of Toronto's
dedicated to promoting green roofs in Toronto. Ryerson University was
selected to research the initial citywide benefits of green roofs, and the results
are documented in the 88-page "Report
on the Environmental Benefits and Costs of Green Roof Technology for the
City of Toronto," (PDF) prepared by Ryerson University. From the City's
website read all about the
study findings of the citywide benefits of green roofs in Toronto for
the following in:
urban heat island effect,
air quality and emissions, and
other city benefits.
February 2006: On February 1 City Council approved a commitment
to install green roofs on new and existing buildings owned by the City,
whenever practical to do so. For example, green roofs are to be considered
for existing municipal buildings when roofs are due to be replaced. For new
City-owned buildings, the Green Roofs strategy sets a target of green roofs
to 75 per cent of a building's footprint. Council also recommended that a
pilot program of financial incentives be initiated this year for the
construction of green roofs - read the City of Toronto Press Release
2001: The City of
Toronto continues to work on their "Wet Weather Flow Management Master Plan,"
which should include greenroof infrastructure as stormwater mitigation. In
May of 2001 members of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities provided a tour of the
Toronto City Hall Green Roof Demonstration Project to participants in the Plan
(GRIM, Spring 2001). For more Plan info, please contact Tracy Ehl, Senior Public
Consultation Coordinator at 416.392.2996; 1.800.465.4056 or at
2002: In December, 2002, the
offices of noted landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander were commissioned
by the Public Works and Government Services
Canada/Travaux publics et Services gouvernement aux Canada to write the "Introductory Manual for Greening Roofs for Public Works and Government Services Canada" (37 page .pdf). Compiled by Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, CM, FCSLA, FASLA,
Elisabeth Whitelaw, CSLA and Eva Matsuzaki, MAIBC, FRAIC, hon FAIA, the manual
is an excellent greenroof resource.
Government of Hong Kong -
Architectural Services Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special
Administrative Region has issued a Study on Green Roof Application in
Hong Kong Final Executive Summary (PDF/750KB, by Urbis Limited). The 12-page
document includes a Green Roofs Overview, Design & Technical Guidelines, and
Recommendations for greenroof directions for Hong Kong and the way forward.
here from their Knowledge Sharing page.
In a concerted effort
to combat the ever rising urban heat island in Tokyo, the new "Tokyo Plan 2000" was implemented on April 1, 2001, requiring new buildings greater than
1,000 square meters (10,000 sf) or over one-quarter acre to green at least 20% of its
useable roof space. The Plan was designed by the municipal government to
provide a set of development guidelines for future administrative and financial
management of the city. Plans are in place also for the city of Kobe, but
not until 2003, and other Japanese cities are considering similar measures
(Yumi Habuka, Personal Communications, May 2002).
Also known as the "Green Tokyo Plan," the
ordinance describes the metro area's present ecological state of Tokyo,
addressing topics such as the natural environment, greenery in Tokyo, urban
greenery and the heat island phenomenon, and global warming. According to
the website listed below, "the plan outlines goals for greening projects and the
direction measures should take during the next 15 years." In the
Green Tokyo Plan (see Page 36), the target for rooftop and other greenery is
1,200 hectares by 2015. Garden roofs are
highly touted as an excellent measure to bring nature back into the city and
ease various ecological problems. Six effects of rooftop greenery are
listed: 1) Mitigating the heat island phenomenon; 2) Serving as a greenery
dam to temporarily store rainwater; 3) Easing air pollution; 4) Preventing
global warming; 5) Softening a barren urban landscape; and 6) Supporting
the existence of various living creatures.
"According to the
ordinance on natural preservation, greening areas must be provided on the
premises and on rooftops when buildings are newly constructed or extended in
an area larger than 1,000 m2 for private facilities and in an area larger
than 250 m2 for public facilities. Plans must be also submitted to
include rooftop greenery for new construction with a total floor area
exceeding 10,000m2 according to the Ordinance on Environmental Preservation.
version)" The entire English version of the
site can be accessed
here, and specifically the "Green Tokyo Plan"
According to an article in the New York
Times, over the past century Tokyo temperatures have increased five times as
fast as global warming. Certainly black rooftops and concrete buildings
bear a large portion of the reason, but reports say the city is greatly lacking in
greenspace. Only 14% of central Tokyo has any planted or green areas,
which is less than New York City or London
(Brooke, New York Times, 2002).
The city of Tokyo would like to green
1,200 hectares of roofs within the next 10 years, and with the additional green
roofspace expects temperatures to
lower by at least one degree Celsius. Currently the plan only applies to
flat roofs with fences, but further investigation into tax and other financial
incentives should encourage more greenroof development. From 2000 to 2001,
over 4 hectares (40,000 square meters) of rooftops were greened (GRIM, Winter,
Please read various articles relating to
the Tokyo Plan 2000 under NEWS LINKS. To read the entire greenroof
regulations and code for the Tokyo Green Building Program from the City of Tokyo
in Japanese, click here:
Singapore - 2010
Green Roof Incentive Scheme:
The government of Singapore says green roofs are not just for new buildings.
Existing buildings can be retrofitted with extensive green roofs to provide
all of the advantages that green roofs offer. Singapore National Parks
(NParks) has introduced the
Green Roof Incentive Scheme to encourage owners of existing buildings to
green their rooftops. Under the scheme, NParks will fund up to 50% of
installation costs of green roofs to boost the level of skyrise greenery and
enhance the city’s image in high activity corridors. The scheme is open to
all existing buildings in Downtown Core, Orchard Road, Rochor, Museum,
Singapore River and Outram planning areas. The scheme will fund the
installation of a continuous surface of plants on a rooftop known as a green
roof. A green roof is lightweight enough to be installed on most existing
roofs without the need for extensive structural retrofitting.
incentives include the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA)
LUSH (Landscaping for Urban Spaces and High Rises) which consists of
four parts – Landscape Replacement Policy for Strategic Areas; Outdoor
Refreshment Area on Landscaped Roof tops; GFA Exemption for Communal Sky
Terraces; and Landscaped Deck. This program was designed to consolidate and
synergize a number of new and existing green initiatives.
BCA Green Mark Certification and Incentive Scheme, launched in January
2005, is an initiative to drive Singapore’s construction industry towards
more environment-friendly buildings. Several points in the scoring system
can be achieved by installing greenroofs and greenwalls.
U.S. and Canadian - Grants & Funding
According to Architectural Record's Deborah Snoonian, P.E., "Buildings
that incorporate green roofing elements may be eligible for grant funding under
EPA's Clean Water Act Section 319,
which addresses nonpoint source pollution to lakes, rivers, and streams. Matching funds from local government agencies may also be available."
You can read her short article in NEWS LINKS.
In case you haven't already done so, also read the online article in
NEWS LINKS by Katrin Scholz-Barth, as it addresses some subsidy
possibilities. She also mentions that funding for green roofs can be obtained
through the EPA grant
program, and in fact, in 2001 Katrin secured a 319 grant for the Montgomery Park
greenroof project in Maryland.
According to the Green Roofs for Healthy
Cities website, in most states greenroofs can be funded as demonstration
projects under Section 319, and can be used to mitigate the impacts of
stormwater and combined sewer overflows in developed areas. Contact your
state's nonpoint source (NPS)
specifics of the EPA grant funding process.
According to Elevated Landscape Technologies
(see below), the EPA may fund projects under these following programs:
- EPA Clean Water Act (Section 319) -
Addresses Nonpoint Source Pollution – Grants from $5,000 to $100,00;
- Drinking Water State Revolving Fund -
Office of Water
Pollution Prevention Grant (PPG); a.k.a. Pollution Prevention Incentives
for States (PPIS);
- Source Reduction Assistance Grants -
Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances;
- Surveys, Studies, Investigations,
Demonstrations, and Special Purpose Grants (66.034) - Office of Air and
- Transportation and Air Quality Grants -
Office of Transportation and Air Quality;
- Healthy Communities Grant Program - EPA
- Continuing Program Grants (Clean Air Act
Section 105) - EPA Region 5;
- Project Grants (Clean Air Act Section
103) - EPA Region 5.
For a complete rundown, read the EPA's 2003
Funding for Source Water Protection Activities
PDF publication noting federal
funding examples for various water protection activities, such as polluted
runoff control, resource protection and restoration, and wastewater as
well as contact information.
City of Chicago, Illinois: See Policies
and Incentives: MISSION STATEMENT.
City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin:
See Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's 2010
Regional Green Roof Initiative Program.
City of Portland, Oregon:
See City of Portland to Offer Ecoroof Incentives.
New York City, New
York: See The New York Buildings Department's Green Roof
and Solar Tax Abatement Program.
Canada - The City of
Toronto: Read about the City of Toronto
Green Roof Pilot Program for subsidy information.
Elevated Landscape Technologies (ELT)
has posted (July, 2005) a very large database of green roof funding for
both the U.S. and Canada on their
website regarding grants, and project and research funding. ELT
has put a lot of effort into this section of their site and will be
constantly adding to it. If you have any questions regarding the
funding itself please forward them to
firstname.lastname@example.org as he is
the resident funding expert.
more information regarding Canadian funding read the following article from NewsLinks:
Green Roofs Qualify for Government of Canada Energy Efficiency Funding
Government of Canada Newsroom (press release)
May 12, 2004
Again, many individuals and cities have asked me for this type of specific
financial aid information, and many of us here in the U.S. and Canada (Toronto in particular)
are further researching this area of extreme importance to forwarding the cause
of the many benefits of greenroofs, especially because incentive programs have
been so successful in Europe. Several U.S. undergraduate and graduate
students are concentrating research efforts in this area, and I hope to share
their information when completed.