green roofs

San Fran to require green roofs on new builds

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

San Francisco is now the first city in the U.S. to require green roofs and/or solar panels on new construction projects.

Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation on September 6, which was unanimously approved by the San Francisco Planning Commission, that builds on their existing solar roof mandate.

“Rooftops are one of the last untapped environmental resources in our growing city, and we need to be strategic about how we activate these spaces,” said Wiener.

Owners and developers now have the option to build 30 per cent of roof space as green roofs, or a combination of green roofs and solar panels. This law builds on legislation requiring 15 per cent of roof space to be set aside for solar panels adopted earlier in 2016, and allows owners and developers to implement two square feet of green roofs instead of one square foot of solar panels.

“This legislation arrives as a direct result of the international green roof conference, Cities Alive, which San Francisco co-hosted in the fall of 2013 and the concurrent SPUR-issued policy recommendations in Greener and Better Roofs: A Roadmap for San Francisco,” noted Jeff Joslin, deputy director of the San Francisco Planning Department.

CitiesAlive is a Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) event. Since San Francisco hosted the 2013 conference, the City’s Planning Department, Office of the Environment, and the Public Utilities Commission have worked to leverage the conference and develop this innovative policy.

“It’s been a pleasure working with the city officials, SPUR and other stakeholders to contribute to developing this legislation which recognizes the important contribution green roofs can make to building owners and communities,” said Steven W. Peck, founder and president of GRHC. “Over the last three years, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities has actively facilitated the development of this legislation with CitiesAlive, technical policy support, as well as providing Green Roof Professional (GRP) training in the marketplace.”

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