Denver to vote on 'green roof' rule for buildings

Denver to vote on 'green roof' rule for buildings

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An initiative that would require many buildings in Denver to feature environment-friendly "green roof" amenities will appear on the city's ballot this November.

The Denver Elections Division has confirmed that backers of the measure submitted enough petition signatures to place it on the Nov. 7 city ballot, reports the Denver Business Journal.

Supporters -- including a group called the Denver Green Roof Initiative -- said it submitted more than 7,000 signatures, of which 4,771 were verified as valid, clearing the 4,726-signature requirement to be added to the ballot.

If passed, a developer of a new building larger than 25,000 square feet would have to install "green roof" features -- rooftop gardens, or a combination of gardens and solar-power panels.

The requirement would vary depending on the size and purpose of the building.

The rule also would apply to existing buildings unless owners were able to show their roofs lack sufficient loading capacity to safely add green-roof features, in which case owners could apply for an exemption or add a smaller installation.

Backers say the initiative's rules would be similar to those already in place in Toronto and San Francisco. Several other cities offer incentives for green roof features.

Advocates of green-roof amenities say they can:

  • Stabilize a building's roof temperature, which could reduce heating and HVAC costs.
  • Reduce the urban “heat island” effect caused by heat radiating off of sun-warmed buildings.
  • Improve — if ever so slightly — air quality downtown as plants generate oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.
  • Reduce stormwater runoff from roofs, thereby protecting the South Platte River and Cherry Creek.
  • Provide a natural habitat for birds and insects.
  • Help developers achieve points toward Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Building Council.
  • Reduce hail damage and help roofs to last longer.

Topics: Architectural Firms, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Engineering Firms, Environmental Firms, Exteriors, Green Roofs / Garden Roofs, Roofing, Sustainable Communities, Urban Planning and Design

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