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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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    Jun 1 2012: I do not think green roofs shouldnbecome mandatory, though I could see it being strongly encouraged such as on top of apartment complexes in large cities where you know at least of the tenants would care for the plants and it would give a common space for neighbors to hang out and enjoy the nature scene together since they would not have a backyard. It would also be beneficial on hospital roofs for patients who cannot leave the premises of the building or for those visiting long hours. A fear I have about making green roofs mandatory is that I know many people would not have the time to care for the plants and it would be an eye sore for neighbors. There are already people who do not care for their lawns, shrubs and trees in their front yard and I would imagine it would cause some complaints in a residential neighborhood.

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