Installations of green roofs and walls grew 18.5 percent last year, and the city that contributed most to that growth was Washington D.C.
“The 18.5 percent increase in green roofs installed in 2015 is in sharp contrast to the previous year’s 12 percent shortfall, adding market growth to the 2013 total, the last year the industry saw positive growth,” said Steven Peck, founder and president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC). “We estimate that these installations will help retain 76.3 million gallons of stormwater.”
According to the 2015 Annual Green Roof Industry Survey, 1,595,957 square feet of green roofs were installed last year in the nation’s capital. GRHC acknowledges that the strong rate of growth was probably fueled by rebates of $7-$15 per square foot of green roof installed and credits that reduced stormwater fees.
“Green roofs are a key strategy for mitigating the heat island effect in our city and for effective stormwater management,” said Tommy Wells, Director of the District of Columbia’s Department Department of Energy and Environment. “They also play an important role in achieving our Sustainable DC goal of reducing carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2032.”
Toronto ranked second among North American cities with 594,710 square feet of green roofs installed last year. A city bylaw passed in 2009 requires green roofs on most new buildings in Toronto. Since it passed, the city has added 2.6 million square feet of green roofs.
Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia were the others in the top five metro areas with the most square feet of green roofs.
“I’m proud the D.C. area has, for the fifth time, been named a national leader in green roof installation and we will continue to lead in this area for years to come,” Wells said.
GRHC will play host Nov. 1-4 to CitiesAlive: 14th Annual Green Roof and Wall Conference in Washington D.C.