Inside the Denver Green Roof Ordinance

The most common critique of the 2017 Denver Green Roof Ordinance re-write is that the original intent of the ordinance was diluted. Only at face value does it appear so – those of us involved with the re-write process know otherwise. The updated version of the Denver Green Roof Ordinance builds in new options for resiliency; will result in greater overall environmental benefits and more green roofs getting built than before the ordinance. With local green roofs being the backdrop for numerous press events, the design and building community were shown how green roofs can be successful in our climate. Green roofs have become considered a viable option, when prior to the ordinance they were considerably harder to get added to projects.

Details of the ordinance and the various compliance options include:

New Buildings: Cool Roof + 1 of 8 compliance options:

  1. A green roof or green space anywhere on the site.

  2. A financial contribution for off-site green space.

  3. A combination of green space and solar panels.

  4. A combination of green space and energy efficiency measures.

  5. A solar array covering 70 per cent of the roof.

  6. Energy efficiency measures greater than or equal to 12 per cent more efficient than the current energy code.

  7. LEED Gold or equivalent certification.

  8. Enterprise Green Communities Certification.

Existing Buildings: Cool Roof + 1 of 5 compliance options at time of roof replacement:

  1. A small green roof or green space anywhere on the site.

  2. An onsite solar array.

  3. LEED Silver or equivalent certification.

  4. A financial contribution for off-site green space.

  5. Enrollment in a flexible Energy Program to achieve emission reductions.

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