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Plants or solar panels on all new rooftops

LanguedocLiving, Sep 5

France Declares All New Rooftops Must Be Topped With Plants Or Solar Panels

A law in France, passed earlier this year, declares that all new buildings that are built in commercial zones in France must be partially covered in either plants or solar panels.

Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer.

They also retain rainwater, which helps reduce water runoff, and gives birds a place to nest in the urban jungle.

French environmental activists wanted to pass a law that would make the green roofs cover the entire surface of all new roofs. The final agreement was for partially covered roofs, but it’s still a massive step in the right direction.

Green roofs are already very popular in Germany and Australia, as well as Canada’s city of Toronto. In 2009 the city of Toronto declared that green roofs are mandatory on all new industrial and residential buildings.

Zurich, Copenhagen, and Tokyo all have similar bylaws enforcing rooftop vegetation or green roof concepts.

Benefits of Green Roofs

There are so many benefits to green roofs. Here are just a few:

Adding natural beauty and major aesthetic improvement to buildings, which in turn increases the investment opportunity.

Helping contribute to landfill diversion by prolonging the life of waterproofing membranes, using recycled materials, and prolonging the service of heating, ventilation, and HVAC systems through decreased use.

Green roofs assist with storm water management because water is stored by the substrate, then taken up by plants, and thus returned to the atmosphere through transpiration and evaporation. They also retain rainwater and moderate the temperature of the water and act as natural filters for the water that does run off.

They delay the time at which runoff occurs, which results in decreased stress on sewer systems during peak periods.

The plants on green roofs do a great job of capturing airborne pollutants and other atmospheric deposition. They can also filter noxious gasses.

They open up new areas for community gardens, commercial and recreational space in busy cities where this space is generally quite limited.

Thanks to The Guardian and CSGlobe for some of this content.

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