Green roofs help create healthier cities

Treehugger reports that in May of this year, Copenhagen made green roofs mandatory on all new buildings with roof slopes of less than 30 degrees. This initiative is part of the city’s plan to become totally carbon neutral by 2025. The new law reflects a growing trend around the world to create green roofs in urban areas. For example, green roofs are already required in the city of Toronto, and their use continues to grow in the US. Chicago has more green roof coverage than any other city, followed by New York, Washington, D.C. and then Vancouver, according to Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a Toronto-based group that advocates for the industry and tracks its growth.

Green roofs provide numerous benefits for buildings and their surroundings. They help to:

  • absorb rainfall, reducing stress on storm water systems.
  • remove pollutants from storm water
  • reduce urban temperatures.
  • protect roofs from UV rays and temperature fluctuations
  • extend life of roof by up to 200%
  • lower heating and cooling costs
  • extend life of HVAC systems
  • provide sound proofing
  • improve air quality
  • Madonna Gauding

    There is a green roof on the Washington University Campus on the South 40:

    “An environmentally friendly “green roof” — containing grass, native plants and approximately 110,000 pounds of soil — opened last week at the South 40 House on the university’s Danforth Campus. The roof shelters a loading dock, kitchen and other areas of the South 40 House’s southern lower level.

    The 10,150-square-foot green roof connects seamlessly with the lawn to the east near Liggett and Koenig students residences, creating a large grassy area that also features paths and benches.”

  • Rothkid

    Are there any green roofs in the St. Louis area? Is there any movement in that direction?

  • I know that there are a few green roofs in St. Louis, but right now I think it's considered more of a novelty than a necessity.