On October 29, 2018, the City of Denver approved the Green Buildings Ordinance; it took affect November 2, 2018. The new ordinance is modeled after a Toronto law and is one of the first of its kind for US cities.

Denver now requires new roofs and roof replacement to comply with certain green building requirements. These requirements apply to both new construction and re-roofs of existing buildings that are 25,000 square feet or larger. The ordinance outlines options to comply with this new ordinance and provides a table for the percentage of roof that must be green; it is based on the total square footage of the building.

The new ordinance requires an application to be approved and a permit issued in order to ensure that the roofing project complies. The ordinance establishes mandatory provisions for the standards that must be met in order to qualify as a green roof. These standards include a root replant system, drainage system, filtering layer, growing medium and plants, and shall be installed on a waterproof membrane. The applicant must further calculate green roof loads, slope stability, parapet height, wind uplift, fire safety, occupancy and safety, waterproofing, drainage, water retention, vegetation performance, plant selection, irrigation and maintenance plan.

The ordinance does have some exclusions, including residential structures greater than 25,000 square feet that are not taller than three stories.

One important aspect of this ordinance is the insurance concerns to existing structures that will require this new type of roof as well as new structures built in compliance with this ordinance. For example, the cost to install a green roof in compliance with this newly passed ordinance will undoubtedly increase the cost to repair the roof following a property damage claim. It will be important for building owners to be proactive and seek to add coverages to their insurance policy in an effort to offset this cost in the event the building is damaged by a storm. Moreover, for newly constructed properties, it will be important for building owners to ensure that their policy of insurance provides specific coverage for the unique nature of a green roof in the event that it is damaged by things like a storm or fire.

For more information on this ordinance and how it affects your property, call us today at 1-952-388-0289.