Denver, the third city in the United States to suffer the most from the heat island effect and eleventh in terms of the worst air quality, is on the way to fixing it. To accomplish this, a new building code will require buildings over 25,000 square feet (2,322 square meters) to reserve space for solar installations or rooftop gardens.
“ANDIt’s a battle won against the climate, but the war doesn’t end there “, Celebrated by the Denver Green Roof Initiative, a group that has promoted the citizens’ initiative that will allow this city in the state of Colorado to join those who have already activated measures like these. These include San Francisco, Paris, Copenhagen, New York, London or, among the latter, South Miami, which became the first city in Florida to require signs in new homes, thanks to the push of a 16 year old student.
A bigger impact than this latest example will have the new building regulations in Denver which experts say go even further than in other cities. This is due to the fact This regulation is expected to affect not only new construction, but also existing buildings.. Although some exceptions are made, these constructions will also have to equip their roofs with panels or gardens when the old roof wears out and needs to be renovated. For their part, new buildings will have to reserve between 20 and 60% of their roof for this type of installation, although their surface will depend on the size of each building.
“Emergency exits or fire systems are designed to ensure our safety. It is exactly the same with rooftop gardens or solar systems, which will ensure the safety of our city and our planet ”, defends the group promoting this measure, the Initiative 300. Even if this regulation will reduce the energy consumption of buildings, in addition to helping the outdoor environment to stay cooler Rainwater being easier to manage, the measure was strongly opposed.
The costs of these rooftop installations, which increase by $ 15 per square meter compared to a conventional roof, have raised suspicion about the initiative. However, the Denver Green Roof Initiative assures that investment in panels or gardens picks up in 6.2 years thanks to the reduction in energy consumption in buildings and the greater resistance of these roofs, which last between two and three times longer than a traditional roof. In addition, a green roof can reduce the heat generated on the roof by 70% to 90% in summer, and by 10% to 30% in winter.
“The citizens of Denver have a healthier, more sustainable future”, the promoters of the new regulations ensure that, they stress, “It provides a solution to many of the problems that we face today and that we will face in the future.” because of climate change.