Green Roofs- An Opportunity for Condominiums

Written By Tim Beattie, P.Eng.

Condominiums built in a conventional manner are becoming less attractive in this era of increasing green technology. Modern cities are heating up, effectively stewing in their own haze, with smog associated comfort and health problems. Research has shown that traditional, stagnant building rooftops are seriously contributing to this “urban heat island” effect, which can effectively be countered by increasing green roof areas within cities.

Rooftops are, at present, tremendously underutilized components of our buildings and urban landscape. Green rooftop gardens provide condominium with many benefits by improving quality of life and building prestige and, yes, reducing operating costs.

Heating and cooling energy requirements, as well as greenhouse gas emissions, are reduced through shading and natural vegetation “breathing.” Benefits include longer lasting roofing systems, additional recreational green space, reduced storm water management problems, increasingly higher building appreciation, and lower building heating and cooling costs.

On May 26, 2009, Toronto City Council adopted a new Green Roof Bylaw which will apply to all new building permit applications made after January 31, 2010. This Bylaw will apply to new residential, commercial and institutional buildings, and will be expanded to industrial buildings on January 31, 2011. The Bylaw requires…

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