Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code!

November 9, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

Green Roof Ordinance I-300 Passes from Denver Voters by 52%

After a hard fought battle from both sides, the votes were in late last night: Denver voters approved the I-300 Green Roof Code on Tuesday, November 7.  The initiative passed by about 52.5 to 47.5% of the vote, in spite of the fact that the opposition outspent supporters by a margin of 12 to 1.

Starting January 1, 2018, buildings in Denver larger than 25,000 square feet will be required to green a portion of their roofs either with vegetation or solar.

Battle of the Advertising Budgets

Huge financial support was garnered from the opponents of the measure, who spent an estimated $250,000.  In particular, Denver commercial real estate developers, some businesses, and the opposition campaign “Citizens for a Responsible Denver” were the leading challengers to the proposed mandate.

Contrast that amount to the meager $10,000 collected by the Denver Green Roof Initiative over the past months!  Grassroots leader and Denver Green Roof Initiative Campaign Manager Brandon Reitheimer says most of the money was spent on social media advertising.

And in particular, Brandon emphasized the importance of volunteer canvasing across the city, from homes to Democratic house district meetings to neighborhood association meetings.

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

Denver Botanical Gardens.

Citizen-led Initiative with a Great Reach

The Denver victory is great for all of us in the living architecture field, but especially for the citizens of Denver.  And, hopefully it’s a sign that future municipalities also will provide leadership on sustainability.

The citizen-led initiative had much support from locals and within the greater greenroof community.  Many of us donated money, time, and marketing to the cause, including, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), and others within the U.S. greenroof industry.

Favorable Cost-Benefit Study from Green Roofs for Healthy Cities & Green Infrastructure Foundation

In mid-October, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities prepared a detailed cost-benefit analysis of the economic impact relating to the proposed I-300 Ordinance, entitled Making Informed Decisions: A Green Roof Cost and Benefit Study for Denver.”

GRHC found that widespread greenroof installation would result in 57.5 million square feet of living roofs, and generate $1.85 billion in savings by 2058 and approximately 25,000 job-years in employment over a 15 year period.

“The study doesn’t quantify many important green roof benefits or the solar component in the proposed law. We used conservative data on costs and benefits from Denver which suffers from terrible urban heat island impacts, combined with studies from other jurisdictions that have implemented mandatory green roof requirements,” ~ Andy Creath, Green Infrastructure Foundation board member and president, Green Roofs of Colorado in the 10.13.17 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities & Green Infrastructure Foundation Media Release

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock Weighs In

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

Denver EPA Greenroof.

Mayor Hancock was against the measure, saying it went “too far,” in Denverite but added that the city would implement the will of the people.

“We are concerned that it may mean more initial costs. Once the people have spoken, that’s our job. There may need to be some tweaks, based on legal challenges. Though we were not going to line up and support the initiative, our values align.” ~ Denver is one of the first U.S. cities to require green roofs – so what happens now?

What Does Happen Now?

Regarding the passage of this Initiative, two important items remain:

1. I-300 will be reviewed by a Technical Committee which can put alterations to a vote by the Denver City Council;

2. And in six months, the Denver City Council would have the option of repealing or making changes to the ordinance with a two-thirds majority.

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

Denver Residence on Quivas Street.

Is Denver Ready?

At present, the mayor and city council members are researching all of the possible opportunities and challenges that might be inherent in implementing the initiative. And Andrea Burns with Denver Community Planning and Development says the new ordinance will take a lot of effort, but that they will make it work for the people of Denver.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities says it will continue to work with local groups, the Technical Committee, and the Denver City Council to strengthen and support the initiative and grow the area greenroof market.

Leila Tolderlund, LEED AP, GRP, an assistant professor in the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning – and one of our Speakers at the Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2017 – provided commentary to Denverite:

“We’re ready,” Tolderlund said of the landscape architects of Denver. Bring it on.” ~ Denver is one of the first U.S. cities to require green roofs – so what happens now?

Kudos to All

Congratulations to the tireless and persistent volunteers at Denver Green Roof Initiative, in particular Brandon Reitheimer, for their incredible work on passing the first fully citizen-led ballot initiative of this kind in Denver!

Additional work needs to be accomplished to keep Initiative 300 on track for next January 1, and you can count on us for continued media support.

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

Community College of Denver.

For additional information, contact Brandon Reitheimer at or call (717) 433-3663.

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Host

Register now and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit through December, 2017.  Round #2 started on October 16th!

Denver Voters Pass I-300 Green Roof Building Code

CounterpointeSRE PACE Program Announces Innovative Financing for Greenroofs

August 24, 2017 at 5:15 pm

PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) Financing for Greenroofs

CounterpointeSRE Program Announces Innovative PACE Financing Greenroofs

If you are lucky to be located in a U.S. state covered by PACE financing, you may be eligible for financing 100% of the costs to fund permanent green energy-saving, water-saving and seismic strengthening improvements – now including greenroofs!

Last week, Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate, a leader in commercial real estate PACE financing, announced the launch of new financing program for the installation, service, and maintenance of greenroofs nationwide.

This innovative new financing program will help property owners comply with San Francisco’s new Living Roof Ordinance for one, and is backed by property-tax assessments funding – known as Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing – through which the local county or municipality offers a voluntary tax assessment increase in exchange for the funding costs.

“The financing provided by Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate provides financing for 100% of the costs of green roof installation. Through the CounterpointeSRE’s PACE program, the assessment that funds the improvements is repaid with long term, fixed rates through an additional line item on the property tax statement. This will allow hotels, offices, hospitals and other commercial properties to finance green roofs while preserving capital and potentially qualifying for off balance sheet treatment. Assessments are tied to the property, so they may be passed through to tenants, are non-recourse to owners and are transferrable upon sale of the property.

A highlighted feature of the new program is 100% financing that includes all related soft costs such as design, engineering, egress installation, and prepaid service or maintenance contracts for the green roof.” ~  Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate

CounterpointeSRE Green Roof Program

CounterpointeSRE Program Announces Innovative PACE Financing Greenroofs

Download the CounterpointeSRE Green Roof Program PDF to read more about it and how you and your property may qualify.

“CounterpointeSRE is pleased to work in conjunction with city planners to helps reduce heat island effects, manage stormwater, and increase open space in commercial spaces.

Through this program, property owners can increase ROI, property aesthetics and property value while making our cities more environmentally friendly.” ~ Eric Alini, managing partner at Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate

Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate (CounterpointeSRE) is a leading PACE provider, financing commercial real estate clean energy and resiliency improvements nationwide from $100,000 to $50,000,000.

Sounds like an amazing opportunity to fund commercial greenroofs and we need to look more into it!  For more information, please visit CounterpointeSRE.

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit Host

Watch the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 Video: “Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge

July 14, 2016 at 1:00 am

The combination of greenroofs and solar – or “biosolar” – technologies is an exciting, intelligent, and beautifully pragmatic way to enhance green infrastructure, so don’t miss watching “Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design above or on our VS2015 Virtual Summit 2015 playlist on our GreenroofsTV channel on YouTube.

It’s been a year since we concluded our third Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit, and as promised, we are now releasing the 23 videos from our 30+ international speakers to the general public.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Biosolar Roofs Nathalie Baumann Dusty Gedge

Dusty Gedge and Nathalie Baumann are two of the hardest working/researching living roof proponents on the planet, and have been promoting the industry tirelessly for about 20 years or so!  We’ve had the pleasure of their company numerous times and have seen many projects in Basel and London with them both.  Dusty provided an awesome Closing Keynote Address for our 2013 Virtual Summit, see his Reflections of a Green Roof Campaigner video.  And both biodiversity champions participated in our inaugural Virtual Summit 2011; watch the Panel Session “Biodiversity and Greenroofs” with Christine Thuring as Moderator along with Gary Grant, Dusty Gedge, and Nathalie Baumann.  Dusty has also written numerous articles here on, and always has something to say!

In their Virtual Summit 2015 video they talk about the Biosolar Roof Project, a Leonardo Transfer of Innovation project that spearheaded a series of pilot training projects in partner countries.  The project aims to link the SMART CITES agenda with the Green infrastructure and Ecosystem Services approach to cities.  Filmed in the UK and Switzerland in April, 2015 with both colleagues, their video presentation celebrates the work of an EU funded project called Up on the Roof.

You will see how the biosolar roof agenda weaves architects, ecologists, and engineers together and how we can successfully combine and link the production of renewable energy (high tech) and the delivery of biodiversity with greenroofs (low tech).

Nathalie Baumann

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Biosolar Roofs Nathalie Baumann Dusty Gedge

Basel, Switzerland. Nathalie Baumann, MSc, (BioGeograph/Social Anthropologist) is a Research Associate at Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Life Sciences and Facility Management in Wädenswil. She is a research fellow / research associate with her research field in urban greening and urban ecology; Nathalie is a member of research groups on urban ecology, institute environment, and natural resources.

She accomplished her Master’s of Sciences degree at the University of Basel, Switzerland. Afterwards she worked on different projects of NGO’s like WWF Switzerland in the context of River Ecology, Biodiversity Assessment, Urban Ecology and Ecology of ground nesting birds.

She has become a leader with the EU and is creating a greater European cooperation within the green roof research world. A member of the collective UG LAB, Nathalie shares her deep knowledge skillfully by teaching many courses, lecturing internationally, on going research projects and video conferencing.

Dusty Gedge

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Biosolar Roofs Nathalie Baumann Dusty Gedge

London, UK. Dusty Gedge is a green roof campaigner and designer, who has actively promoted green roofs in the UK since 1997. He has designed a number of seminal roofs and helped develop the London Green Roof Policy. He is also the current President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations (EFB), and sits on the EU’s working group for the green Infrastructure and ecosystem services policy. His work in Europe over the last few years working on a Pan-European green roof course and he is currently advising on a project on green roofs, pollinators and solar power – Biosolar Roofs.

Dusty is co-author of Small Green Roofs: Low-Tech Options for Greener Living, 2011 and DIY Guide to Green & Living Roofs, among other publications. In 2004 Dusty co-founded, a non-profit organisation established to promote, advise upon and seek research into green roofs and similar structures within the context of urban and rural regeneration. With John Little he has written a small-scale green roof guide to help individuals, buildings and landscape contractors to construct small wildlife friendly green roofs. He is also a designer of green roofs and other green infrastructure through his consultancy. Dusty is also a regular speaker at conferences through UK, Europe and the world.

As a birdwatcher first and foremost he has always had a vision that good green infrastructure and green roofs should deliver for biodiversity as well other headline issues connected with cities and climate change adaptation.

Dusty also joined his colleague John Little also from the UK to talk about “Small Scale Green Roofs” which will be released at a later date.

Read about “Biosolar Roofs” by Nathalie Baumann and Dusty Gedge video’s 5 Key Learning Objectives which I identified for participants of the Virtual Summit 2015.

Virtual Summit 2015 Video Biosolar Roofs Nathalie Baumann Dusty Gedge

We welcome your input and suggestions to make our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2017 more accessible, interactive, and a just better all around global social media experience!

~ Happy watching,

Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP Publisher

~ Also enjoy these released videos available now from our Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 ~ Connecting the Planet with Living Architecture: People, Projects & Design:

“Versatile Living Walls & Roofs: International Applications for Agriculture, Energy Conservation, Pollution Attenuation, and Aesthetics” by Dr. Bob Cameron.

“Greening Rooftops in Alberta: People, Place + Projects” by Kerry Ross.

“Stewardship of Rooftop Ecosystems” by Michael Furbish, Brad Garner, and Dr. Whitney Griffin.

“The Development of Revolutionary Large Scale Vegetated Infrastructure Projects in Latin America and the Foundation of a New Industry” by Pablo Atuesta.

“Two Extremes in Waterwise Design from Denver, Colorado and Athens, Greece” by Andrew Clements and Karla Dakin.

“From Passive House to the Cold North—How Vegetative Envelope Components Impact Buildings Panel Session with Dr. Bob Cameron, Dr. Allen Lee, Dr. Karen Liu, and Chris Wark.”

A Higher Purpose – Benefits to Human Health and Education through Green Roofing by Elizabeth Hart.

“A Green Building Should Look Green, Which Means Hairy! Dr. Ken Yeang Keynote Interview by Linda Velazquez.”

The 2014 Top 10 List of Hot Trends in Greenroof & Greenwall Design + a Look into 2015″ by Linda Velazquez and Haven Kiers.’s VS2015 Opening Address from Linda Velazquez.”


The Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015 Speakers.

Invitation to the Greenroofs & Walls of the World Virtual Summit 2015.

VIRTUAL SUMMIT 2015 teaser from Groncol.

Small Scale Green Roofs at the Virtual Summit by Dusty Gedge and John Little.

Enter Your Project in the World-Class Competition: THE-NEXT-GREEN Awards!

June 23, 2016 at 7:00 am

2016 World Green Infrastructure Congress The Next Green Awards

Now is the time to enter your green infrastructure projects in THE-NEXT-GREEN Awards, presented by the Colombian Network of Green Infrastructure RECIVE (Red Colombiana de Infraestructura Vegetada) alongside the World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN).

This year’s World Green Infrastructure Congress (WGIC) will be held in beautiful Bogotá, Colombia on October 19-21, 2016.  Organized by RECIVE, WGIN, and partner universities, THE-NEXT-GREEN Awards is open to institutions, designers, researchers, and students!

“The World Green Infrastructure Congress is a world-class event that every year attracts experts from 25 countries to discuss the latest advances on urban Green Infrastructure. This year, Bogota has the privilege of hosting the event on the 19th, 20th and 21st of October, after previous years events held in Japan, Australia, France, China and Mexico.

The World Green Infrastructure Network (WGIN) appointed the capital of Colombia for its leadership in the development of the building greening industry over the last 8 years in which more than 300.000 m2 of concrete surfaces were turned into living landscapes.” ~ WGIC2016

Aramis and I have had the wonderful opportunity to attend several of these World Green Infrastructure Congresses, including in Sydney (2014); Nantes (2013); and Mexico City (2010) – as well as the 2012 Hangzhou China World Green Roof Conference held by WGIN member the International Rooftop Landscaping Association (IRLA).

And, we are very pleased to do so again this October in Bogotá, where’ll I’ll be presenting and also have the privilege of being one of the jurors for the THE-NEXT-GREEN Awards.

What is it?

Most importantly, THE-NEXT-GREEN Awards is a world-class competition that selects and promotes the best projects of Green Infrastructure that interface nature and man-made environment at any scale from micro to macro:  objects, products, furniture, buildings, parks, master plans, green belts, bioswales, man-made wetlands, etc.  Application to THE-NEXT-GREEN awards 2016 is now open to all countries.

THE-NEXT-GREEN Awards Competition Tracks:

Environment: Projects built in the last 3 years. Track open to professionals and institutions.
Community: Projects built in the last 3 years. Track open to professionals and institutions.
Design: Concept designs or full designs proposed in the last 3 years. Track open to students, professionals or institutions.
Research and Innovation: Research Projects completed in the last 3 years. Track open to students, professionals or institutions.

Each track has two categories:

Global: Projects and authors from all countries except Latin American. Submission information must be in English.
Latin America: Projects and authors from Latin America. Submission information may be in English or Spanish.

All proposals submitted by students will be evaluated separately from the applications submitted by professionals and institutions.

2016 World Green Infrastructure Congress The Next Green Awards

Important Dates:

Submissions Deadline: August 19, 2016 (World Humanitarian Day)
Announcement of Winners: September 22 (World Car Free Day)
Awards Ceremony: October 20, World Green Infrastructure Congress 2016, Bogotá, Colombia.

If you have a great project located anywhere in the world that fits the requirements of these categories, we strongly encourage you to participate in THE-NEXT-GREEN Awards.

Most of all, make sure to visit the website to familiarize yourself with the Congress, the Awards process, and most importantly, the wonderful, exciting, and increasingly green city of Bogotá and country of Colombia!

2016 World Green Infrastructure Congress The Next Green Awards

In addition, we’ll be sharing much more information about the World Green Infrastructure Congress 2016 soon but for now, if you have any questions, visit the organizers at: or contact:

~ Saludos y buena suerte!

Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEEP AP, GRP Publisher