Toronto green roofs second in North America

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Washington, D.C. topped North America in the expansion of green roof installations last year with Toronto coming in second, according to the latest edition of the Green Roof Industry Survey.

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), the green roof and wall industry association, announced the industry grew 18.5 per cent in 2015.

A total of 1,595,957 square feet of green roofs were installed in Washington in 2015, attributed by the GRHC to Washington’s public policies and programs that support stormwater management through green roof investment, including rebates of $7 to $15 per square foot of green roof installed and credits that reduce stormwater fees.

The Toronto metropolitan region ranked second among North American cities for a second year, with 594,710 square feet of green roofs installed. The Green Roof bylaw of 2009, requiring green roofs on most new buildings, has resulted in the permitting of more than 2.6-million square feet of green roofs.

“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 of Energy and Environment, in a GRHC media statement.

“The 18.5 per cent increase in green roofs installed in 2015 is in sharp contrast to the previous year’s 12 per cent shortfall, adding market growth to the 2013 total, the last year the industry saw positive growth. We estimate that these installations will help retain 76.3-million gallons of stormwater,” said Steven Peck, president of the GRHC.