Denver Building Owners Could Be Required to Install Green Roofs

by | Oct 16, 2017

Should a positive vote on the green roof ballot occur in Denver next month, owners of new and existing large buildings may be required to install green roofs. A citizen’s initiative has gathered thousands of signatures to put a mandatory requirement for green roofs on large buildings to a vote in Denver by Nov 7, 2017.

The Green Infrastructure Foundation and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities released a study that it said highlights the cumulative costs and benefits of the initiative over a 15-year period. According to the study,  cumulative costs and benefits of the requirement, over a 15-year period, include:


  • 57.5 million square feet of green roofs on new and existing buildings constructed by 2033
  • $1.06 billion in capital investment and $336 million in maintenance costs
  • $445 million in rooftop food production
  • $573 million in savings due to increased membrane durability
  • $171 million in savings due to reduced urban heat island effect (Denver is the 3rd worst city in the US for the urban heat island)
  • $59 million in direct energy savings
  • $37 million in benefits associated with improved productivity and reduced absenteeism
  • $95 million in real estate benefits associated with lower vacancy rates and turnover
  • $38 million in community economic benefits from increased tax revenues associated with employment

By the year 2058, the cumulative benefits of the 57.5 million square feet of green roofs exceed the costs by $1.85 billion, net present value, according to the study.


“Even with the conservative assumptions, we found a strong business case for the ballot initiative which could be truly transformational for the citizens of Denver in terms of jobs and quality of life.” said Steven W. Peck, founder and president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities and a major author of the study.


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