It's been two months since New York's Sustainable Roof Laws, part of the Climate Mobilization Act, took effect. Now architects and officials must decide: Are green roof systems or solar systems best?
As of Nov. 15, 2019, Local Laws 92 and 94 are in effect to target a vast, often overlooked and underutilized resource in New York: roofs. The laws, known informally as the Sustainable Roof Laws, require most new buildings and buildings undergoing major roof reconstruction to include a sustainable roofing zone on 100% of the available roof space.
The case for green roofs
As the sustainable roof market has grown over the past decade, helped partly by the passage of new roof laws around the world, sustainable roofing systems have become the ideal solutions for eco-minded contractors and architects.
Benefits: Water management, heat reduction, biodiversity and well-being.
The case for solar
Although solar panels do not provide the same lushness to the cityscape that green roofs do, solar roofs have a number of attractive features.
Benefits: Clean energy, construction and finances.
By the way, green roofs do exist on sloped roofs! Check out Richard Hayden’s presentation “Sloped and Complex Green Roofs” in our Virtual Summit 2011.
Benefits beyond sustainability
While both green roofs and solar panels help reduce energy consumption and costs, combining the two systems may be the most cost-effective option. Solar panels work most efficiently when they are at a low temperature, while a green roof (which has a cooler micro climate) can reduce heat.
Don’t miss the our Keynote video “New Green Roof Laws Are a Major Win for NYC’s Environment“ by Rafael Espinal, New York City Council Member for District 37, now playing in Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2019 with Free Registration through January 31, 2020.
Also, don’t miss the our excellent video “Designing the Gowanus Canal Sponge Park“ by Susannah C. Drake, DLANDstudio Architecture and Landscape Architecture, now playing in Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summit 2019.