Oct 05, 2016

San Francisco to Be First City to Require Green Roofs

Legislation seeking final approving vote by end of year

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Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) announced that San Francisco will be the first city in the U.S. to require green roofs and/or solar panels on new construction projects. San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced legislation that builds on the city’s existing solar roof mandate, and the San Francisco Planning Commission unanimously approved it.

The new legislation will allow owners and developers the option of building 30% of roof space as green roofs, or a combination of green roofs and solar panels. The proposed ordinance builds on legislation requiring 15% roof space to be set aside for solar panels adopted earlier in 2016 and allows owners and developers to implement 2 sq ft of green roofs instead of 1 sq ft of solar panels.

“This legislation arrives as a direct result of the international green roof conference, CitiesAlive, 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.

San Francisco hosted the 11th Annual CitiesAlive Conference, which highlighted urban resiliency by bringing together members of the green roof and wall industry, including policy makers and stakeholders. Since then, 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. This year, CitiesAlive is in Washington Nov. 1 to 4, 2016, and will recognize the policies that the city has implemented to address storm water in the metro area. 

“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, Chair, GRHC. “We look forward to watching San Francisco become a greener, healthier and more resilient city.”

Steven W. Peck, founder and president of GRHC, added: “Green Roof Professional training is currently scheduled for Nov. 17 to 19, 2016, in San Francisco.”

The proposed legislation is anticipated to seek a final approving vote by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors later this year. If approved, the ordinance will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.