Green Roofs – a growing trend in Europe
In Copenhagen (Denmark) green roofs have been mandatory on all new roofs with a pitch under 30 degrees since 2010.
Stroll through the streets of the Danish capital and you’ll find green roofs on all types of building from cycle shelters, schools and parking spaces to huge public buildings such as the National State Archives.
“Due to the growing challenges of cloud bursts and flooding, green roofs are a growing global trend,” says the city’s Chief City Architect Tina Saaby Madsen.
“In Copenhagen the idea is to combine practical use when heavy rain hits, the biodiversity green roofs offer and the possibility of more nature in a big city that is increasing by a thousand new inhabitants every month.”
“Furthermore it has a great effect on cooling buildings and that helps in our goal of becoming the world’s first CO2-neutral capital in 2025.”
Other European cities have their own green roof policies
Munich (Germany) has mandated the inclusion of vegetation on all flat roofs larger than 330 square feet.
Basel (Switzerland) has had similar laws since 2002.
Rotterdam (Netherlands) offers a Green Roofs Programme that includes generous financial incentives and London aims to increase green space — including green roofs — by at least 5% by 2030 and an addition 5% by 2050.
London (UK) Plan Policy states: “If London is to adapt to the extremes of climate change, living roofs are key. They can keep the city cool while at the same time reducing energy use and carbon dioxide emissions and reduce flood risk by absorbing heavy rainfall.”
Green roof laws are gaining momentum backed up by scientific evidence.
In France, proposed legislation introduced in March 2015 was initiated among others also by a study how dust particles in the air have significant impact on a death rates based on respiratory diseases.
New green roof legislation demands that rooftops on new commercial buildings in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels. If approved by the French administrative process it will be the first law of its kind on a national level.