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 is a freelance writer, illustrator and book designer living in St. Louis. MO. She is the author of 10 books on a variety of "mind, body, spirit" topics.