May 13, 2015

Washington, D.C., Tops List of Most Green Roofs Installed in 2014

Toronto ranked second among North American cities

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Washington D.C.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), the green roof and wall industry association, announced Washington, D.C. as the No. 1 region for green roof installations according to its 2014 Annual Green Roof Industry Survey.

“I’m proud that the District of Columbia has once again been named the national leader in the installation of green roofs,” said Tommy Wells, director of the District Department of the Environment. “The district is recognized as one of the most sustainable cities in the world, and with the recent adoption of rigorous storm water regulations and other progressive environmental policies, our nation’s capital shows no sign of relinquishing its berth. Our business and development community continues to play an integral role in reducing the District’s carbon footprint, and I look forward to the continued collaboration with stakeholders and friendly competition with other cities and regions of the country.”

The Washington, D.C. metropolitan region saw the installation of 1,207,114.56 sq ft of green roofs in 2014. Washington has adopted public policies and programs that support green roof investment, including rebated of $7 to $15 per sq ft per green roof installed and credits that reduce storm water fees.

For the first time ever, Toronto has ranked second amongst North American cities, with 775,216 sq ft of green roofs installed. The Toronto Green Roof bylaw of 2009 requiring green roofs on most new buildings has resulted in the permitting of more than 2 million sq ft of green roofs. Public investment in green roofs yields multiple public cost saving benefits.

“It comes as no surprise that the top performing regions are those that invest directly and indirectly in green roof infrastructure projects to create green space, mitigate storm-water run-off, improve air quality and moderate the urban heat island effect.” said GRHC founder and president Steven W. Peck, GRP, honorary ASLA.

In the survey, GRHC also observed a 12% reduction in growth rate for green roofs in 2014. This is largely due to the end of federal stimulus funding, and limitations in data collection.