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Kimberly Powell

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If green roofs were mandatory in cities would there be less development and building?

William McDonough knows the benefits that come from designing and implementing green roofs. McDonough has helped design living roofs for big companies such as Nike and Ford Motors. But many companies and homeowners overlook the benefits of green roofs. One benefit of green roofs is that they keep the internal temperature of a building steady throughout the year. The National Research Council of Canada found that having a green roof reduced the daily energy demand for air conditioning in the summer by 75%. Toronto is the first North American city to pass a law mandating green rooftops for all new residential, commercial and industrial developments. Any new construction with floor space of more than 2,000 square meters must devote between 20 and 60 percent of its roof to vegetation. But with green roofs comes an unwanted financial upfront cost. Will developers decide that the benefits outweigh the costs for installing green roofs?

If green roofs were mandatory in cities would there be less development and building?

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    May 22 2012: I agree with Mike that I would be happy if something finally slowed the development and expansion of our cities. I also think this is a very innovative idea and am excited to see similar innovations.

    In looking at this question though, we also need to consider that as Kimberly said, buildings can save 75% of energy used in the summer. If businesses took these savings into account it could result in perhaps more new development, and also changing of existing buildings. It would be nice to see something like this required of existing buildings as well, because we shouldn’t be expanding our populations or cities in the first place, but we should be focusing on changing the way we live now, not just in the future.

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