This November, Denver citizens will vote on a ballot measure that will MANDATE all buildings in Denver over 25,000 square feet install a green roof, raising many questions about whether this is a responsible requirement for Denver.

Below you will find some useful information to better inform our neighbors.

Will green roof installations increase my rent?
Yes. Increased costs to building owners will be passed onto tenants. Not only will rents increase with new apartment buildings, but preexisting buildings will also have to pay for these installations, increasing rents across the city.

Are mandated green roofs really a green solution?
No. In Denver, where water is scarce and dramatic swings in climate are the norm, a green roof can cause more problems than it solves.

Will new businesses still want to move to Denver?
New businesses looking at relocating to Denver could potentially take their business elsewhere due to higher costs of rent, which will negatively affect our economy.

What are the implications of installing green roofs on existing buildings?
Engineers and architects agree it is structurally unwise to add additional weight to buildings that were not built to withstand that weight increase.

Can Denver’s buildings support green roofs now?
It is impractical to think that Denver’s buildings are capable of structurally withstanding mandated green roofs.

Can water leakages occur?
Yes. Green roofs are vulnerable to severe weather conditions, especially here in Colorado where we annually have strong winter snowstorms, which can cause rooftops to pool water and create leaks into the structure itself.

How will this affect property taxes?
Since a majority of government buildings will fall under this mandate they will have to raise property taxes, as well as other taxes, to pay for installing a green roof. This will include schools and the Capitol.

Do many other cities mandate green rooftops?
No. This mandated ordinance would make Denver’s policy the most extreme in the country – more than Portland, Austin, San Francisco, or Seattle.

Shouldn’t Denver do something to address the urban heat island effect?
Maybe, but a one-size-fits-all citywide mandate is not the solution. Individual developers and building owners should be able to evaluate what works best for their building.