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 Greenroofs.com, 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.com 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 Brandon@denvergreenroof.org or call (717) 433-3663.

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com 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

Attend the Denver Green Roof Initiative Town Hall & Rally this Saturday & Sunday October 14 & 15!

October 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm

This Weekend: Denver Green Roof Initiative Town Hall on Saturday

I-300 Town Hall on October 14 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Join the Green Roof Initiative for a good old fashioned Town Hall at the Washington Street Community Center, 809 S Washington St, Denver, CO 80209.

Green Roof Expert, Rick Kile, will be giving an hour long presentation followed by a Q and A.

This Weekend: Denver Green Roof Initiative Rally at Skyline Park on Sunday

I-300 Rally on October 15 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

And the Denver Green Roof Initiative is holding a rally for I-300 this Sunday, October 15, 2017 at Skyline Park at 1601 Arapahoe, Denver, CO 80202.

The Denver Green Roof Initiative is a grassroots campaign comprised solely of volunteers who are striving to create a new building code, I-300, requiring large buildings across Denver to dedicate a portion of their roof to solar or vegetation.

They’d appreciate your support for getting the word out to vote YES on the November 7, 2017 ballot in Denver County.

Denver Green Roof Initiative Town Hall Rally October 14 15

If you can’t support them this weekend, you can still donate your time for the cause; email volunteer@denvergreenroof.org.

Denver Green Roof Initiative Town Hall Rally October 14 15

Learn More at Denver Green Roof Initiative.

Questions? Please email Campaign Manager Brandon@denvergreenroof.org or call (717) 433-3663.

Good luck with the Denver Green Roof Initiative and we look forward to your continued success!

By Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com 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 starts on October 16th!

Denver Green Roof Initiative Town Hall Rally October 14 15

Denver Green Roof Initiative I-300 Fundraising Benefit & Town Hall

September 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Denver Green Roof Initiative I-300 Fundraising Benefit Town Hall

Denver Green Roof Initiative

The Denver Green Roof Initiative is a grassroots campaign comprised solely of volunteers who are striving to create a new building code, I-300, requiring large buildings across Denver to dedicate a portion of their roof to solar or vegetation.

As reported here on March 28, for six months now these volunteers have worked tirelessly and were able to gather the number of signatures necessary to be placed on the Denver County, November 7, 2017 ballot.

Kudos to all!

Support the Cause: Triple 10 Challenge

The Denver Green Roof Initiative recently introduced the Triple 10 Challenge:

  • Tell 10 friends about this initiative;
  • Donate 10 hours of your time between now and November 7th;
  • And finally, they are asking for you to donate 10 dollars.

Learn More at Denver Green Roof Initiative

Denver Green Roof Initiative I-300 Fundraising Benefit Town Hall

Certainly, we can all tell 10 colleagues about this super important mission.  And, if you live in the Denver area, it is in your best interest to support this cause and our green infrastructure community!

If possible, please help the Denver Green Roof Initiative with a $10 secure donation to further their cause – which will help promote greenroofs throughout the U.S. as well as North America (Greenroofs.com has).

10 Friends, 10 Hours, 10 dollars.

Denver Ranks 11th Worst in the U.S. for Air Quality & 3rd for Its Urban Heat Island Effect

The tireless Denver Green Roof Initiative Campaign Manager, Brandon Rietheimer, says:

With our federal government no longer paying attention to climate change it is imperative that we take charge at the local level.

Denver is a leader in progressive change. The passing of this measure will show the entire nation the steps that need to be taken now to prevent and reduce the problems of the future. This means clean energy and a cooler city. Join us today in making it a reality and don’t forget to vote Yes on I-300.

According to the Denver Green Roof Initiative, Denver’s own EPA building, which has had a greenroof since 2006, has an average temperature of 80 degrees in the summer compared to the roof across the street, measuring 170 degrees.

Denver Green Roof Initiative I-300 Fundraising Benefit Town Hall

Denver EPA Building greenroof.

How about following the early leader, County of Denver?

Time to Hit the Streets This Saturday & Sunday September 30 & October 1

Do you live in Denver?  Help the Denver Green Roof Initiative spread the word:

We need your help this weekend to begin passing out flyers. For 2 hours, Saturday or Sunday, we will be hitting doors and dropping off flyers to houses throughout your neighborhood! Can you lend us a hand? You won’t have to knock on doors and speak with anyone. Just simply drop off a flyer in a mailbox or at a front door. It’s that easy! ~ Denver Green Roof Initiative

You’ll even get free donuts and coffee for your work!  But if you can’t help this weekend, you can still donate your time.  Email: volunteer@denvergreenroof.org

I-300 Fundraising Benefit on October 7 @ 4:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Denver Green Roof Initiative I-300 Fundraising Benefit Town Hall

Held at the Mercury Café at 2199 California St, Denver, CO 80205, VIP Purchasers will receive an I-300 T-Shirt and are granted special Early Access.

VIP: Doors Open, Silent Auction Begins: 4:30pm
Meet and Greet with Founder of I-300: 5:00-5:45pm
Musical Guest “Random Temple” 5:45-6:45pm
Guest Speaker “Jennifer Bousselot” PhD Green Roof Expert 7:00-7:30pm

General Admission: Doors Open: 7:30pm
Musical Guest “Vibe Street” 7:45 to 9:00pm
Silent Auction Ends 8:30pm

I-300 Town Hall on October 14 @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Join the Green Roof Initiative for a good old fashioned Town Hall at the Washington Street Community Center, 809 S Washington St, Denver, CO 80209.

Green Roof Expert, Rick Kile, will be giving an hour long presentation followed by a Q and A.

Don’t Live in Denver?  Donate on ActBlue

Denver Green Roof Initiative I-300 Fundraising Benefit Town Hall

Questions? Please email Brandon@denvergreenroof.org or call (717) 433-3663.

Good luck with the Denver Green Roof Initiative and we look forward to your continued success!

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

Register now and join us online for our 2017 Virtual Summit through December, 2017.  Submit your Under 10-Minute Video by September 29th ~ Round #2 starts on October 16th!

Denver Green Roof Initiative I-300 Fundraising Benefit Town Hall

Calling for Support of the Denver Green Roof Initiative, by Brandon Rietheimer

March 28, 2017 at 9:00 am

Support Denver Green Roof Initiative Brandon Rietheimer

The Denver Green Roof Initiative is a grassroots campaign attempting to lower Denver’s climate and environmental impact. Within the U.S., Denver currently ranks as eighth highest in ozone and/or particle pollution, third highest in Urban Heat Islands, and has multiple polluted rivers containing unsafe levels of Arsenic, E. Coli, and Selenium. Green roofs would provide a viable solution to these problems that we face.

Support Denver Green Roof Initiative Brandon Rietheimer

Denver Residence on Quivas Street.

Four years ago Denver Mayor Hancock signed an executive order creating the Denver Office of Sustainability. Together, they set forth aggressive goals to combat climate change and to provide sustainable solutions for our ever-growing city. However, not one step has been taken towards meeting those goals and no one has been given the authority to enforce them. This was exposed from the Denver Auditors Office.

Support Denver Green Roof Initiative Brandon Rietheimer

Community College of Denver.

Denver is growing fast and it is important to mitigate our footprint while we grow. The problems that we have as a city are not being addressed by our elected officials. I personally met with City Planning and Development and it became very clear, very quickly that they did not want to incentivize green roofs or implement stronger stormwater management. Currently, stormwater management is not required for buildings under an acre. It is time to make a stand and show the city that we care about the effect our city has on climate. We must make aggressive change now. There is no planet b.

Support Denver Green Roof Initiative Brandon Rietheimer

Denver Botanical Gardens.

The Denver Green Roof Initiative, if passed, will create a new building ordinance requiring all new buildings, building additions, and all roof replacements for buildings over 25,000 sqft to dedicate a portion of their roof to green space or a combination of green roof and solar. This ordinance will affect over 3,000 buildings throughout Denver County and any new construction after January 1, 2018. In order to assure that vegetation will survive this climate, technical standards are included in this ordinance in great detail. These technical standards require thorough planning, installation requirements and maintenance plans. A green roof technical advisory board will also be established to ensure the long term success of this initiative.

We at the Denver Green Roof Initiative are a small group with big ambitions. Close to 10,000 signatures are required, and ten of us are actively involved and have been working tirelessly to get this far, but now we need your help. Pursuant to Denver’s rules for citizen initiated ordinances, we can only collect signatures in person. We had to make petition packets and get them approved by the elections division. There was also a comment and review with the city, and a very specific legal procedure has to be followed for this process. One mistake and an entire packet can be disqualified.

Support Denver Green Roof Initiative Brandon Rietheimer

Denver EPA Building.

We just do not have the people to collect the necessary signatures needed in the allotted time frame; we have 200 days left. We have spoken with multiple companies that do this professionally and we feel that it is imperative to hire one to be successful.

We have chosen to work with the company PCI for signature collection and verification because of their integrity and history. The process isn’t cheap and that’s why we are asking for your help in raising $20,000.

Support Denver Green Roof Initiative Brandon Rietheimer

So please, help us get our initiative on the ballot for November, 2017. We are confident that the voters of Denver will vote “Yes” on this issue. We just have to get it there!

Visit us at www.denvergreenroof.org to learn all about our project, the full proposition text, volunteer and/or donate through a variety of ways, including our GoFundMe campaign.  Please help us make Denver a cleaner, greener, cooler city.

Brandon Rietheimer

Publisher’s Note: Check out the coverage from The Denver Post of March 5, 2017 in Should Denver require rooftop gardens to reduce heat island effect? Voters might decide this year.

Brandon is 30 years old and has been in food service since he was 15 – with no background in green roofs, living architecture, nor politics. He had previously lived in Pennsylvania his whole life until three years ago when he moved to Denver. Brandon cares about the environment and believes in making change at the local level.

Contact Brandon Rietheimer at:

Denver Green Roof Initiative
www.denvergreenroof.org
(717) 433-3663