Green roofs are offering a broad range of advantages in comparison to a roof covering, for example, made of slate or clay. A greater benefit to biodiversity, a contribution to the reduction of a number of polluting air particles, a greater thermal performance and roof insulation, or the important role in reducing urban temperatures are just a few examples.
The San Francisco Planning Department seems to be aware of the advantages of green roofs. Scott Wiener, city supervisor since 2010, introduced a legislation on 6 September 2016. It builds on the solar roof ordinance which has been approved earlier this year and requires green roofs and/or solar panels on new construction projects. Exactly seven days later, the San Francisco Planning Commission approved the Wiener’s offer. “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.
According to this new legislation, owners and developers can choose to build 30% of roof space as green roofs, or a combination of green roofs and 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.” said Jeff Joslin, Deputy Director of the San Francisco Planning Department. The former legislation required 15% roof space to be set aside for solar panels.
“On behalf of all GRHC members and association partners, congratulations to the City of San Francisco and those who contributed to this policy,” said Jeffrey L. Bruce, board member of the American Society of Irrigation Consultants and Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC). “We look forward to watching San Francisco become a greener, healthier, and more resilient city.”
“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,” he added. “CitiesAlive will be held in Washington, DC this November 1-4, 2016, and Green Roof Professional training is currently scheduled for November 17 to 19, 2016 in San Francisco.”