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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 24 2012: It seems like this could be a very promising idea for future developments. If each case is looked at as an individual and the plans were drawn up specifically for the development, the outcome would be great. Not only would heating and cooling costs be reduced but green roofs would also allow for less heat to be reflected off of rooftops, which happens far too much right now. If green roof development was put into place it would be very important to customize each plan for the locality. If the plants are not chosen correctly, the green roof could be costing more than it is worth.
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      May 24 2012: I agree with you. The upfront cost is kind of a problem for businesses that are starting up and trying to make a profit, but for large corporations there is no reason why they should not have a green rooftop. It would be a great way to encourage people to 'go green', and would provide benefits for people working in the building too, especially if the garden grew food greenery.

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