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Design Considerations for

the Implementation of
Green Roofs

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Created for Metro Vancouver by Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Limited

© Copyright 2009 Greater Vancouver Regional District

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DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
APRIL 2009
METRO VANCOUVER

CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................. I

1. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................... 1-1
1.1 BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................................1-1
1.2 SCOPE OF WORK ............................................................................................................................1-1

2. OVERVIEW OF GREEN ROOFS...................................................................... 2-1
2.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................2-1
2.2 HISTORY .........................................................................................................................................2-1
2.3 WHAT IS A GREEN ROOF AND HOW DOES IT FUNCTION? ..................................................................2-2
2.4 GREEN ROOF UPTAKE AND INSTALLATIONS ......................................................................................2-3
BRITISH COLUMBIA ..........................................................................................................................2-3
TORONTO, ONTARIO ........................................................................................................................2-5
PORTLAND, OREGON .......................................................................................................................2-5
OTHER NORTH AMERICAN EXAMPLES...............................................................................................2-6
GERMANY AND CONTINENTAL EUROPE .............................................................................................2-7
2.5 THE BENEFITS OF GREEN ROOFS ....................................................................................................2-7
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT ...........................................................................................................2-8
ENERGY EFFICIENCY .....................................................................................................................2-10
URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECTS .......................................................................................................2-10
ROOF MEMBRANE DURABILITY .......................................................................................................2-11
AIR QUALITY .................................................................................................................................2-12
AESTHETICS AND PROPERTY VALUES .............................................................................................2-13
URBAN AGRICULTURE ....................................................................................................................2-13
BIODIVERSITY AND HABITAT PRESERVATION ...................................................................................2-14
NOISE ATTENUATION .....................................................................................................................2-14
2.6 DEVELOPMENT OF A GREEN ROOF DESIGN RECOMMENDATION .......................................................2-14
2.7 IS A GREEN ROOF APPROPRIATE FOR ANY SITE IN METRO VANCOUVER ..........................................2-15

3. BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS AND TRANSFORMING THE MARKET ........ 3-1
3.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................3-1
3.2 A BAD REPUTATION FROM THE PAST ...............................................................................................3-1
3.3 GREEN ROOF MISPERCEPTION WITH ENVELOPE FAILURES ...............................................................3-2
3.4 REPAIRS .........................................................................................................................................3-3
3.5 MAINTENANCE ................................................................................................................................3-4
3.6 STRUCTURAL ISSUES ......................................................................................................................3-4
3.7 AVAILABILITY OF EXPERTISE ...........................................................................................................3-5
3.8 SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ....................................................................................................................3-5
RESEARCH IN CANADA .....................................................................................................................3-6
RESEARCH IN UNITED STATES .......................................................................................................3-11
3.9 FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN/“FIRST TO MARKET” RISK .......................................................................3-15
3.10 COST ............................................................................................................................................3-15
3.11 LACK OF STANDARDS....................................................................................................................3-16
3.12 INSURANCE COVERAGE .................................................................................................................3-17
3.13 FIRE HAZARD AND UPLIFT .............................................................................................................3-19
3.14 ARCHITECTURAL STYLE ................................................................................................................3-19
3.15 AESTHETICS .................................................................................................................................3-20
3.16 INTERVIEWS WITH DEVELOPERS .....................................................................................................3-21
KEY CONCERNS RAISED IN INFORMAL DISCUSSIONS .......................................................................3-21
HPO GREEN ROOF TASK FORCE REPORT......................................................................................3-22
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
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4. REGULATORY STORMWATER CONTROL CRITERIA .................................. 4-1
4.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................4-1
4.2 THE STORMWATER BENEFIT ............................................................................................................4-1
SALMON HABITAT – CREEK SYSTEMS ...............................................................................................4-1
REDUCTION IN STORMWATER INFRASTRUCTURE ...............................................................................4-2
4.3 OVERVIEW OF 2003/2004 GREEN ROOF MONITORING STUDY ...........................................................4-3
IMPACT OF GREEN ROOFS ON REDUCING EFFECTIVE IMPERVIOUS AREA............................................4-3
4.4 RECEIVING WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS ...................................................................................4-5
CALCULATING A GREEN ROOF WATER QUALITY SAVING ...................................................................4-5
TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION .......................................................................................................4-6
4.5 REDUCTION IN MAJOR STORM FLOWS AND DEVELOPMENT COST CHARGES ......................................4-7
PROPOSED REDUCTION IN DEVELOPMENT COST CHARGES (DCCS) ..................................................4-7
RE-DEVELOPING AREAS ..................................................................................................................4-8
4.6 REDUCTION IN RISKS DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE ..............................................................................4-8
4.7 REDUCING THE STORMWATER IMPACT TO AQUATIC HABITAT ............................................................4-9
ESTABLISHING GREEN ROOF BENEFITS IN DEVELOPING WATERSHEDS ..............................................4-9
ESTABLISHING GREEN ROOF BENEFITS IN RE-DEVELOPING WATERSHEDS .......................................4-10

5. DEVELOPING A BUSINESS CASE FOR GREEN ROOFS ............................. 5-1
5.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................5-1
5.2 COST-BENEFIT RATIOS ...................................................................................................................5-4
5.3 COST OF A CONVENTIONAL ROOF ....................................................................................................5-4
5.4 COST OF A GREEN ROOF .................................................................................................................5-4
BASIC COSTS (EXCLUDING STRUCTURAL COSTS) .............................................................................5-4
STRUCTURAL COSTS .......................................................................................................................5-5
TOTAL COSTS .................................................................................................................................5-6
5.5 SAVINGS FROM A GREEN ROOF .......................................................................................................5-7
5.6 CASE STUDY 1 – “THE SILVA” BUILDING IN NORTH VANCOUVER ......................................................5-9
OVERVIEW OF DEVELOPMENT, CONSTRUCTION AND INSTALLATION ....................................................5-9
TECHNICAL AND DETAILED DESIGN INFORMATION ...........................................................................5-10
OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS .............................................................................5-11
COST OF THE GREEN ROOF (EXCLUDING STRUCTURAL COSTS)........................................................5-11
LESSONS LEARNED .......................................................................................................................5-11
GREEN ROOFS AND MULTI-STOREY TOWERS .................................................................................5-12
5.7 CASE STUDY 2 – THE WHITE ROCK OPERATIONS CENTRE..............................................................5-12
TECHNICAL AND DETAILED DESIGN INFORMATION ...........................................................................5-13
COST OF THE GREEN ROOF ...........................................................................................................5-14
LESSONS LEARNED .......................................................................................................................5-14

6. STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND CONCLUSIONS ......................... 6-1
6.1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................................6-1
6.2 REVIEW OF BUSINESS CASE FOR GREEN ROOFS ..............................................................................6-1
6.3 INCENTIVES .....................................................................................................................................6-2
6.4 EXISTING GREEN BUILDING INCENTIVES ...........................................................................................6-3
6.5 DENSITY BONUS..............................................................................................................................6-3

7. SUMMARY ........................................................................................................ 7-1

8. REFERENCES .................................................................................................. 8-1
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
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METRO VANCOUVER

FIGURES
Figure 4-1: EIA Versus Growing Medium Depth ...................................................................................4-3
Figure 5-1: Eastern Section of the Silva Building Green Roof ..........................................................5-10
Figure 5-2: The Green Roof at the White Rock Operations Centre...................................................5-13

TABLES
Table 3-1: Determination of Potential Green Roof Areas in the City of Vancouver ........................3-19
Table 4-1: Typical Stormwater Criteria1 in Metro Vancouver ..............................................................4-2
Table 4-2: Impact of 150 mm Green Roofs on Major Storm Flows1 ....................................................4-7
Table 4-3: Summary of Estimated Baseline Green Roof Stormwater Savings................................4-11
Table 5-1: Summary of Green Roof Benefits and Benefit Recipients ................................................5-3
Table 5-2: Summary of Basic Green Roof Costs (Metric) ....................................................................5-5
Table 5-3: Summary of Additional Structural Costs.............................................................................5-6
Table 5-4: Total Cost of a Green Roof....................................................................................................5-7
Table 5-5: Details of Green Roof Benefits .............................................................................................5-8
Table 5-6: 150 mm Green Roof Cost-Benefit Analysis Summary .......................................................5-9
Table 5-7: Green Roof Facts for the Silva Building ............................................................................5-10
Table 5-8: Green Roof Construction Costs for the Silva Building ....................................................5-11
Table 5-9: Green Roof Facts for the White Rock Operations Building.............................................5-13

APPENDICES
Appendix A Annotated Bibliography
Appendix B Green Roof Design Considerations
Appendix C Summary of Business Case Research
Appendix D Green Roofs and LEED®
Appendix E Resources
Executive Summary
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
APRIL 2009
METRO VANCOUVER

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

This report has been developed to provide background information and data to assist regional
municipalities and developers in understanding the benefits, issues and costs associated with
green roof installations and to provide guidance on where research and the green roof business
are headed in the near future.

Much of the green roof research, data and technologies to date come from Germany and Europe
where green roofs have been encouraged and tracked for more than 40 years. In recent years a
great deal of information has become available about green roof design and installation for North
America and specifically for the Pacific Northwest climate. Green roof installations in this
region are increasing and so is the research data to help guide design and decision-making for
green roofs for both the public and private sectors.

The most common type of green roof, world-wide, is the extensive green roof, which has the
benefit of being lighter, easier to install and less expensive than the other commonly recognized
type, the intensive green roof. Extensive green roofs also generally cover far more surface area
than the intensive variety. However, in 2002, intensive green roofs outnumbered extensive green
roofs in the Metro Vancouver area.

The possible benefits of green roofs to an urban area are significant and include: stormwater
management, energy savings, urban heat island mitigation, air quality improvement, additional
aesthetic and property value, urban agriculture possibilities, increased biodiversity and habitat
preservation. Of these, the most significant for Metro Vancouver is likely the stormwater
management benefits of green roofs. In this wet climate, stormwater management requirements
have increased and changed substantially over the past ten to fifteen years, particularly in land
area required to manage stormwater runoff and area’s where combined sewer overflows are a
concern. Green roofs also represent a way to mitigate stormwater impacts of development on the
building footprint which is typically the largest portion of impervious area on a developed lot.

Because of the multiple benefits that green roofs provide to the urban environment, it is
reasonable that municipalities provide encouragement for the installation of green roofs in new
development and re-development areas. A number of North American cities have already done
this in various ways, including: reduction in development cost charges (DCCs), direct incentives
(e.g. tax credits) for green roofs, streamlined approvals, density bonuses and permit
requirements. Reduction in DCCs appears to be a simple and easily implemented approach and
is recommended for municipalities that wish to encourage use of green roofs in urban areas.

Research on existing green roof installations and computer modelling of measured green roof
runoff were used to develop a baseline green roof case for the Pacific Northwest climate to
maximize the stormwater benefits. The baseline case of a single layer extensive green roof with
150 mm of growing medium was then used to evaluate the costs of installation, including
structural upgrade, relative to the benefits and the possible offsets of the green roof. The
estimates of cost show that a green roof is currently likely to cost at least 50% more than a
conventional flat roof, even when financial benefits and incentives in the form of reduction in

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DCCs are assumed. But recent reports on costs for installed green roofs in North America (e.g.
Toronto) indicate costs may be starting to come down as a result of increased availability of
green roof design and installation experience. A recent study for the City of Portland attempted
to evaluate private and public benefits of a green roof and found significant net benefit values for
both sectors over the 40-year lifespan of the roof. The Portland study also noted, however, that
at the 5-year point, there was still a net private cost, rather than a benefit. The cost studies in this
report examined only direct costs and directly attributable benefits, but not the value of
intangible benefits or energy savings which vary widely for individual cases.

Green roofs provide a wide range of possible benefits for a dense and growing urban area such as
the Metro Vancouver region. Many municipalities within the region already require stormwater
source controls for new and re-development to mitigate the hydrologic impacts of urbanization.
Green roofs can be a useful source control that does not require dedication of valuable ground
surface area. Savings in energy from green roofs due to reduced heating and cooling needs play
into the goals of energy efficiency and conservation to reduce the need for energy production as
well as reducing climate change impacts by reducing carbon emissions from energy production.
Other urban benefits of green roofs such as air quality improvements, heat island mitigation,
improved aesthetics of the urban landscape, improved property values, increased habitat for birds
and insects and increased bio-diversity, all speak to public values and principles of sustainability
that benefit from the increased use of green roofs in the Metro Vancouver region.

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Section 1

Introduction
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
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METRO VANCOUVER

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND
Although green roofs have been built in Metro Vancouver for more than 35 years they
primarily focused on the aesthetic qualities provided by intensive green roof designs.
Currently, Metro Vancouver has over 600 green roofs, but installation in the area remains
the exception rather than the norm. However, in some countries, such as Germany and
Japan, green roofs have become mainstream. After more than 40 years of increasingly
advanced technical research, regulatory reform and practical experience green roofs are
gaining increased recognition and application in North America. Helping this cause and
led in part by developer-innovators and buoyed by an awakening public and political
consciousness, is a market transformation towards “green”, including green infrastructure
and green building practices.

The monetary values for green roof costs and benefits used in this publication to develop
a business case are in flux. Supply and installation costs for green roofs have been
dropping for years while the capital and total costs of conventional roofs have been
rising. At the same time, fast growing technical knowledge in building trades and
professions, as well as increasing product availability, sophistication and integration, are
all creating a dynamic situation in the industry. This makes it difficult to assign a static
value to costs and benefits that should otherwise be easily quantifiable. The numbers
derived in this publication are from actual projects in the Lower Mainland of B.C. and
used to develop the business case. The costs reflect a best estimate of where the market
was in 2005, when the original data was collected.

1.2 SCOPE OF WORK
This publication is in three parts, each of which investigates and discusses the benefits of
green roofs from a different perspective. The scope of work for the project is described
below.

The first part of the publication, comprising sections 1 to 3, provides technical
information. The purpose of these sections is to provide a detailed overview of green
roofs, including information on their applicability, assumed design, installation and
function. The information in this section includes:

ƒ an explanation of what a green roof is and how it functions;
ƒ the regional, social and operational performance benefits of green roofs;
ƒ general green roof design principles;
ƒ the regional barriers to installation of green roofs; and
ƒ how to specify and include features that deliver the benefits of green roofs.

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The second part of the publication consists of a business case for installing a green roof
rather than a conventional roof. Section 5 determines the impact a green roof has on a
development’s marketability, liveability and desirability. The information in this section
includes:

ƒ relevant studies and research providing hard costs to the more quantifiable benefits of
green roofs as relevant within Metro Vancouver;

ƒ definition of the costs associated with installing a green versus a conventional roof
and quantification of the savings resulting from the societal, operational and regional
benefits provided by green roofs; and

ƒ a comparison of the structural and design considerations required to install a green
roof relative to a conventional roof and the implications to the life cycle costs of the
roof.

Section 5 also presents two case studies. The purpose of section 5 is to integrate and
contextualize information presented in the previous sections. The case studies highlight
technical real costs and barriers of how a green roof is engineered, specified and
constructed and illustrate the social, economic and environmental desirability of green
roofs. The information in this section includes:

ƒ utilization of case studies to show the costs of a green roof;
ƒ explanation of ongoing operational and maintenance requirements;
ƒ reviews of issues and lessons learned; and
ƒ highlights of unique situations or problem-solving successes.

The final section, section 6 of the publication, concludes this report and includes possible
strategies for increasing the green roof area in Metro Vancouver.

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Section 2

Overview of Green Roofs
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
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2. OVERVIEW OF GREEN ROOFS

2.1 INTRODUCTION
This section of the report begins with a general history of green roof applications. The
definition and function of a modern green roof will be explained and the extent of green
roof technology world-wide and in Metro Vancouver will be presented. This section will
describe the benefits of green roofs and present the design standard required to achieve
these benefits. Finally, the applicability of green roofs throughout Metro Vancouver will
be discussed.

Some of the information presented in this section has already been published in the Metro
Vancouver document “Stormwater Source Control Preliminary Design Guidelines”1 and
in the Public Works and Government Services Canada document “Green Roof
Waterproofing: Expertise from Germany”.2

An annotated bibliography of the references that were investigated to produce this
publication is provided in Appendix A.

2.2 HISTORY
Green roofs can be traced back through time beginning with the Hanging Gardens of
Babylon. Constructed around 605 BC, the Hanging Gardens have been identified as one
of the seven ancient wonders of the world. They are described in written records and
have been confirmed by archaeological evidence. One record states that the Hanging
Gardens:

… consist of vaulted terraces raised one above another, and resting upon cube-shaped
pillars. These are hollow and filled with earth to allow trees of the largest size to be
planted. The pillars, the vaults, and terraces are constructed of baked brick and asphalt.

Another record states that:

… platforms on which the garden stood consisted of huge slabs of stone (otherwise
unheard of in Babel), covered with layers of reed, asphalt and tiles. Over this was put “a
covering with sheets of lead, that the wet which drenched through the earth might not rot
the foundation. Upon all these was laid earth of a convenient depth, sufficient for the
growth of the greatest trees. When the soil was laid even and smooth, it was planted with
all sorts of trees, which both for greatness and beauty might delight the spectators.”

1
Lanarc et. al., 2004
2
Ngan, 2003

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More recently, the relatively high industrialization and dense populations in European
countries have led them to develop a strong environmental consciousness many years
ahead of North Americans. Europeans now have 40 years of technical and practical
experience with green roof construction and maintenance. In particular, Germany has
emerged as a world leader in green roof technology and now, one out of every seven new
roofs in Germany is green3.

In the Lower Mainland of B.C., many ground level green roofs were initially built in
conjunction with the development of underground parking garages. Others were built as
roof gardens or deck garden features. These intensive green roofs were built primarily to
provide pleasing urban green space. Since the 1970s, the construction of green roofs has
been increasing, motivated by ecological benefits as well as aesthetic desirability. There
are now over 600 green roofs in the Lower Mainland4.

2.3 WHAT IS A GREEN ROOF AND HOW DOES IT FUNCTION?
A modern green roof is simply a conventional roof with layers of drainage and vegetated
growing medium installed on top of the waterproofing membrane. Typically, two types
of green roof are defined, extensive and intensive.

Extensive green roofs mimic nature and require very little external input for either
maintenance or propagation. The plants, normally mosses, succulents, herbaceous plants
and grasses, are carefully chosen to be able to regenerate and maintain themselves over
long periods of time, as well as to withstand the harsh conditions on rooftops such as
exposure to extreme cold, heat, drought and wind. Extensive green roofs have a
relatively shallow layer of lightweight growing medium that is low in organic material
and high in mineral substrate. In general, the growing medium is about 2 – 15 cm thick
with a saturated system pressure of 0.5 – 3.0 kPa. Because of the low structural capacity
required, extensive systems may not require structural upgrades and therefore are
particularly suited for retrofits. They typically do not require irrigation, and are usually
inaccessible to the public.

Intensive green roofs in comparison to extensive are usually constructed where public
access and recreational use are a primary function. These roofs have a deeper growing
medium than extensive roofs, with a higher organic content, and can support lawns, large
plants, trees and outdoor furnishings. The growing medium depth ranges from 20 cm to
100 cm or more, with saturated system pressures of over 4 kPa. Because of the high
structural capacity involved, intensive green roofs are almost always incorporated in the
building plan at the design stage as structural upgrade afterwards can be expensive and

3
Hämmerle, Fritz. “Grün wächst” in DDH Das Dachdecker-Handwerk Heft 14/02. pp.22-24
4
Davis, Kim. 2002. Green Roof Inventory: Preface Report. Report prepared for the Greater Vancouver Regional District, December
12, 2002

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impractical. Like gardens on the ground, intensive systems require ongoing maintenance,
including regular irrigation, weeding and fertilization.

Intensive green roofs such as landscaped roofs and garden terraces have been installed in
the Metro Vancouver region for the past 35 years. However, extensive green roofs have
been gaining popularity in BC in the past 10 years because of light weight, low
maintenance and the multiple benefits offered to the urban areas. The focus of this
document is on extensive green roofs because these roofs provide a wide range of
benefits for minimal cost, with only minor changes to conventional construction and no
additional effort over the long term. In contrast, intensive green roofs generally have
higher costs for structural upgrades, materials and for ongoing operation and maintenance
than extensive green roofs.

2.4 GREEN ROOF UPTAKE AND INSTALLATIONS

BRITISH COLUMBIA

Davis identified over 600 green roof installations in the Lower Mainland of B.C.5 The
majority of these installations are intensive green roofs but there are several examples of
extensive and semi-extensive green roofs constructed over the last decade. Many
extensive green roofs have been installed since the inventory was completed in 2002.
Some examples of recently completed and upcoming installations of extensive green roof
systems in BC are as follows:

ƒ Operations Centre, White Rock;
ƒ Justice Building, Sechelt;
ƒ Motion Capture Building at Electronic Arts, Burnaby;
ƒ Firehall, Richmond;
ƒ Arts and Social Sciences Complex at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby;
ƒ Information Centre, Whistler;
ƒ The Verana, Penticton;
ƒ Vantana, North Vancouver;
ƒ Musee, Vancouver;
ƒ Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre, Vancouver;
ƒ Vancouver Police Department Training Facility, Vancouver (scheduled for 2009);
ƒ Broadway Technology Centre, Vancouver (scheduled for 2009); and
ƒ Millennium Water, Vancouver (scheduled for 2009).

Although most extensive green roofs in BC are installed on public or institutional
buildings, the number of installation in private developments is increasing. Because of
the increase in public awareness on green roof benefits and the availability of lightweight,

5
Davis, Kim, 2002

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low maintenance green roof systems, there is a growing demand for green roof
installation on private residences in the Lower Mainland.6

Although Metro Vancouver and the various municipalities in the Lower Mainland
support sustainability, there are presently no directives or incentives to encourage green
roof installations in the region. The City of Port Coquitlam is the first city in BC to
formally incorporate green roofs as part of its sustainability initiative. The council
approved a zoning bylaw in December 2006 that requires green roofs for all large format
buildings over 5000 m2. The main purposes of the bylaw are to achieve environmental
benefits from green roofs such as stormwater management, energy savings and urban
heat island mitigation and to beautify the city with greenery. The City of Vancouver is
proposing a similar bylaw for 2009.

The City of Richmond approved a new Bylaw 8385, “Green Roofs and Other Options
Involving Industrial and Office Buildings Outside the City Centre” in September 2008.
The current proposal for the bylaw specifies that use of a green roof on at least 75% of a
building’s area can be used as a method of achieving stormwater management goals on
commercial and industrial buildings of 2000 m2 or more.

Of the several recent projects in the Metro Vancouver area, two are particularly
significant for the evolution in the use of green roofs in the region. The Vancouver
Convention Centre Expansion Project (VCCEP) in the downtown core will implement
the largest green roof yet built in Canada. The project comprises approximately 2.4
hectares of extensive green roof planted with a variety of native plant species and located
on a sloped, rather than flat, roof.7 As a large and highly visible green roof installation,
this project is expected to increase public awareness and interest in green roof
implementation.

The Millennium Water project is another significant milestone for the region. As part of
the Athlete’s Village construction for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, the City of
Vancouver required that green roofs be implemented as part of the development.

Building insurance has been a challenge for green roof installations in BC. Up until
2007, the four major home warranty insurance companies in BC had been cautious in
undertaking insurance on buildings with green roofs. The BC Homeowner Protection
Office organized a conference to bring together stakeholders in May 2007 to address and
attempt to resolve the issues and several of them were addressed at that time (see section
3.12), but insurance for strata-owned residential structures with green roofs has been
virtually impossible to obtain. The Millennium Water project received a commitment

6
Schmidt, 2008
7
Gilbert, Richard; “New Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre Features North America’s Largest Green Roof”, Journal of
Commerce, February 29, 2008. URL: http://www.journalofcommerce.com/article/id26657 (Note - the title of the article is factually
incorrect and the VCCEP is not North America’s Largest Green Roof).

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from a major insurer for the post-Olympic use of the building prior to moving forward
and represents an important initial success over this obstacle for the region.8

TORONTO, ONTARIO

The City of Toronto is one of the first cities in Canada to promote green roofs through
financial incentives. The Council approved a Green Roof Incentive Pilot Program in
2006 that offered a financial incentive of $10/m2 for eligible green roof area. Toronto
Water funded and administrated the program, which supported the Wet Weather Flow
Master Plan. The main objective was to reduce stormwater runoff through green roofs as
a source control. The pilot program also aimed to showcase a variety of green roof types
and planting styles.

To increase uptake in the industrial sector, the Council approved a measure to increase
the incentive to $20/m2 for eligible green roof area up to a maximum of $10,000 for
single family homes and $50/m2 up to a maximum of $100,000 for industrial, commercial
and multi-family residential buildings in the City of Toronto. An eligible green roof
requires at least 50% footprint with a growing medium depth of at least 150 mm on a roof
slope of less than 10% and be installed over heated space. Other green roofs can be
considered eligible if the applicant can show equivalency with respect to runoff
coefficient and plant survivability.

The pilot program was extended and approved 30 successful applications in 2007/2008.
Successful applications included single-family residential, institutional and commercial
buildings. The City plans to merge the Green Roof Pilot Program with a more
comprehensive program of renewable incentives and rename it the Eco-Roofs Incentive
Program in 2009, to be administrated by the Toronto Environment Office. This program
will better address other benefits of green roofs in addition to stormwater management.
In addition, the city is working on building code requirements for a green roof standard
for renovation and new construction in Toronto. The City also plans to implement a new
bylaw to require green roofs and govern their construction by late 2008.9

PORTLAND, OREGON

The City of Portland, Oregon is considered as one of the leaders in promoting green
roofs, or eco-roofs, in North America. The Bureau of Environmental Services at Portland
has conducted several pilot projects in the city to prove that eco-roofs are an effective
source control tool in stormwater management for Portland. A green roof can mitigate
roof runoff and thus lower the occurrence of combined sewage overflow events during
heavy rainstorms, reducing water pollution in receiving rivers.

8
Ian Smith, City of Vancouver; telephone communication, May 2008.
9
URL: http://www.toronto.ca/greenroofs/

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Portland promotes green roofs through a number of policies. Internally, it requires all
new city-owned public buildings to have a green roof that covers at least 70% of the roof.
Roof replacement must also include a green roof when practical.

To encourage green roof adoption on private buildings, the City offers developers a floor
area bonus through its Floor Area Ratio Bonus Planning and Zoning Code. Basically, the
larger the green roof, the larger the bonus offered. The City also offers discount for
building owners that manage stormwater on their own properties and green roofs is one
of the tools for on-site stormwater management. The City allows either type of green
roof, as long as it has a minimum depth of growing medium or 4 inches.

In addition to financial incentives through density bonus and discount in stormwater fees,
Portland also provides technical resources to help building owners install green roofs. It
funds various green roof demonstrations and research projects to provide technical data to
support its initiatives and provides education and outreach programs to increase public
awareness of the various benefits of green roofs.10

OTHER NORTH AMERICAN EXAMPLES

Green roofs are gaining acceptance and advocates across the continent and construction
of green roofs grew 30% in North America in 200711. Other areas in North America that
are encouraging installation of green roofs using various incentive and regulatory
approaches include:

ƒ New York City, New York – The New York State Legislature recently enacted a
bill12 to provide a one-time tax credit of $48 USD per square metre for a qualifying
green roof installed on a building in New York City. The incentive is available for
new construction and renovation projects, and is intended to defray approximately
35% of the additional cost of installing a green roof rather than a standard roof;
ƒ Chicago, Illinois – The City of Chicago instituted a green roof grant program in 2001
and constructed a green roof on the Chicago City Hall the same year. Chicago leads
the U.S. in area of green roofs installed with 48,090 square metres of green roofs
added in 2007.13 Other prominent Chicago buildings with green roofs include the
Michigan Avenue Apple Store, the Chicago Center for Green Technology, and the
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Millennium Park, at 9.9 hectares, is one of the
largest intensive green roofs in the world and covers two parking garages, a transit
center and a 1,525-seat indoor performance center14;

10
URL: http://www.portlandonline.com/BES/index.cfm?c=44422&
11
3rd annual Green Roof Market Industry Survey, by the Toronto-based non-profit group Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
12
New York State Assembly Bill A11226 (same as S7553), sponsored by Bronx Assemblyman Ruben Diaz
13
Anderson, Lisa, “Green roofs are taking root in American cities”; Chicago Tribune, September 19, 2008.
14
URL: http://www.greenroofs.com/projects/pview.php?id=459

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ƒ Michigan – The Ford Motor Company Truck Manufacturing Facility in Dearborn
Michigan has a 4.2-hectare green roof which was primarily designed to reduce air
pollution in this region. A green roof research program at Michigan State University
was initiated in collaboration with Ford Motor Company during 2000 in an effort to
advise them on the installation of the truck plant’s roof and the program continues to
support green roof research and education in Michigan.

GERMANY AND CONTINENTAL EUROPE

Green roof standards are well established in Europe and for many years, the publication
by the Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung Landscaftsbau (FLL) Guidelines
for the Planning, Execution and Upkeep of Green Roof Sites has been the main reference
for green roof designers. The FLL is the governing body which issues guidelines for
green roof installation practices in Germany.

Growing environmental concerns in urban areas in the 1970s, created opportunities for
the introduction of a number of environmental advancements in Germany, and among
them were green roofs. Green roof technology was quickly embraced because of its
broad-ranging environmental benefits and aesthetic appeal in a time of increasing
environmental consciousness. Many German cities have since introduced incentive
programs to promote green-roof technology and improve environmental standards.
Building law now requires the construction of green roofs in many urban centers. This
type of regulatory encouragement resulted in extensive implementation and success of
green roof applications throughout Germany.15 German experience with green roofs
(called Dachbegrünung) over the past 30 years has provided the base for modern green
roof technology. Green roofs are installed in about 1 in 7 of all new and retrofitted flat
roofs in the country16. In 2001, this translated into 13.5 million m². In Berlin, where
many developments require them, 30% of all new flat roofs are greened17.

Extensive green roofs are also commonplace in the Netherlands, Belgium, France,
Austria, Norway, Switzerland and other European states.18

2.5 THE BENEFITS OF GREEN ROOFS
Green roofs offer multiple benefits to urban areas. While some of the benefits can be
quantified and assigned financial values, other benefits are intangible and their values are
difficult to quantify objectively. This section of the report summarizes the major benefits
of green roofs regardless of when, to whom, or with what value the benefit accrues. A
detailed analysis of the latter characteristics is provided in section 4.

15
Oberndorfer, 2007.
16
Hämmerle, Fritz. “Grün wächst” in DDH Das Dachdecker-Handwerk Heft 14/02. pp.22-24
17
Podium discussion in proceedings from Infoforum Regenmanagement, Berlin 2000. p.80
18
Peck, 2004

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STORMWATER MANAGEMENT

Urban development increases impervious surfaces such as paved roads and rooftops and
changes the hydrology in the urban areas. In natural landscape, rainfall and snowmelt
infiltrate through the pervious surfaces into the ground with little surface runoff.
However, in urban areas stormwater from impervious surfaces runs off and flows into the
drainage system with little infiltration. It picks up contaminants such as heavy metals, oil
and grease from pavements and rooftops on the way. Therefore, tools such as source
controls, detention facilities and stormwater treatment units are used to manage the
volume, flow rate and quality of stormwater in urban areas.

Green roofs can convert impervious rooftops into pervious surfaces that absorb water and
release it slowly over a period of time. Some of the water is taken up by the vegetation
and released back to the atmosphere through evapotranspiration. Excess water is
discharged from the system to the roof drain. Graham and Kim19 conducted a simulation
study in Vancouver to examine the potential of green roofs as stormwater management
tools. Their simulation results show that green roofs, both extensive and intensive
systems, are potentially very effective at reducing volumes and peak rates of runoff from
developed areas. The combination of green roofs and ground-based infiltration facilities
was shown to be the most effective overall source control strategy for the Metro
Vancouver region.

The water retention capacity of a green roof depends on the system configuration,
including roof slope, type and depth of growing medium, vegetation types and coverage
and the local climate characteristics such as temperature, humidity, rainfall intensity and
frequency.20 The FLL green roof guidelines provide useful information for the design of
green roofs for runoff retention.

The FLL Green Roof Guidelines show that the coefficient of discharge generally
decreases with growing medium depth.21 The coefficient of discharge is based on the
ratio between drainage volume and rainfall volume during a standard block of rain. A
higher coefficient of discharge results in greater runoff and thus less retention. For roof
slopes up to 15o, the coefficient of discharge reduces from 0.7 at 2 - 4 cm depth of
medium to 0.1 at > 50 cm depth of medium. At the same depth of medium, the
coefficient of discharge increases slightly for roof slopes greater than 15o.

The FLL green roof guidelines also showed that the annual average water retention
increases with depth of medium and different types of vegetation.22 The annual average
water retention increases from 40% for moss-sedum vegetation on 2 – 4 cm depth of

19
Graham, P. And Kim, M. (2003) “Evaluating the Stormwater Management Benefits of Green Roofs Through Water Balance
Modeling”, Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities, Chicago, IL
20
Monterusso, 2003
21 1
FLL, 2002
22 2
FLL, 2002

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growing medium to 60% for grass-herbaceous plants on >15 – 20 cm depth of medium.
Note that annual water retention figures were obtained from various German locations
with annual precipitation values of 650 – 800 mm over several years. The FLL
guidelines for water retention only apply to those regions with similar climate patterns.
For regions with lower annual precipitation, higher water retention is expected and vice
versa.

Connelly showed that the retention of green roofs in Vancouver23 was 86 - 94% of
rainfall between April and September, while they retained only 13 – 18% between
October and March. Similar results were observed by Liptan who showed that the
retention of a green roof in Portland Oregon was 59% between December and March
while the retention was 92% from April to November24. The cool, wet winters on the
west coast mean that evapotranspiration rates, and therefore the retention rate of green
roofs, are lower in the winter months.

Liu observed that green roofs can attenuate runoff peak flows.25 The amount of
attenuation depends on the intensity of the rain event. Hutchinson also noted that the
green roof can attenuate the peak runoff even when the substrate is saturated during the
winter months.26 Monitoring of the Vancouver Public Library Green Roof showed that
peak flow reduction was approximately 30% for smaller winter events, but only 5% for
large winter storm events.27 Rowe showed that extensive green roofs could retain 61% of
total rainfall on average in Michigan. However, the percent retention also depends on the
rainfall intensity. The green roofs were more effective in light rainfall than heavy
rainfall28.

Green roofs have been shown to affect the quality of runoff. While green roofs can filter
out certain chemicals, the substrate can also act as a source of contaminants.29 Water
quality analysis at the York University green roof showed that the total loads of most
pollutants of concern were lower from the green roof than from the control roof.30
However, the green roof runoff showed higher levels of phosphorus, which is likely due
to leaching from the soil. Phosphorous was also observed in the runoff from other green
roofs.31 Based on analyses done on several green roofs in Sweden, Czemiel Berndtsson

23
Connelly, 2006
24
Liptan, 2003
25
Liu, 2003
26
Hutchinson, 2003
27
Johnston, 2004
28
Rowe, 2003
29
Czemiel Berndtsson
30
Macmillan, 2006
31
Hutchinson, 2003

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concluded that the green roofs behaved as a source of phosphate phosphorus, a minor
source of total nitrogen and as a sink for nitrate nitrogen.32

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Green roofs increase the energy efficiency of the building envelope and reduce a
building’s energy demand on space conditioning and therefore greenhouse gas emissions,
through direct shading of the roof, evapotranspiration and improved insulation values.33

Green roofs are particularly effective in reducing heat entry into the building in the
summer. The plants shade and cool the roof. The insulation value is in both the plants
and the growing medium.34 Water in the plants and the growing medium evaporates and
further cools the roof. The growing medium also acts as a thermal mass that stores solar
energy during the day and releases it at night. Green roofs are less effective in preventing
heat leaving the building in the winter due to the limits of the same thermal mechanisms.

Minke showed that a 200 mm layer of growing medium and a 200-400 mm layer of thick
grass have a combined insulation value equivalent to 150 mm mineral wool insulation
(RSI 0.14).35 An experimental study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory demonstrated
that a vegetated roof of 0.46-0.76m of soil reduced the peak sensible cooling needs of a
building by about 25%.36 The National Research Council of Canada showed that an
extensive green roof with grass planted on a 150 mm growing medium reduced the heat
flow through the roof by over 75% in the spring and summer in Ottawa.37 Also, the roof
membrane underneath the green roof rarely reached above 30°C compared to an exposed
membrane that typically reached over 60°C in the summer. The British Columbia
Institute of Technology’s Centre for the Advancement of Green Roof Technology found
that extensive roofs in Vancouver reduced the heat flow through the roof by over 80% in
the summer and by about 40% in the winter. The same study found that the median
membrane temperature fluctuation reduced from 48ºC to less than 5ºC.38 Temperature
measurements on an intensive green roof in Singapore also confirmed the cooling effects
of the plants and the growing medium.39

URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECTS

32
Czemiel Berndtsson
33
Minke, 1982; Christian, 1996; Eumorfopoulu, 1998; Palomo Del Barrio, 1998; Environmental Building News, 2001
34
Palomo Del Barrio, 1998 and Eumorfopoulu, 1998
35
Minke, 1982
36
Christian, 1996
37
Liu, 2003
38
Connelly, 2006
39
Tan, 2003

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The urban heat island refers to the higher air temperature in the city centre compared to
the surrounding natural landscape. The difference in temperature is usually in the range
of 2-3ºC. The lack of vegetation cover and natural landscape in the city means the city
experiences less evaporative cooling and therefore increases the air temperature.40 Dark
building materials such as rooftops and pavements further absorb and trap solar heat and
these factors combine to contribute to the urban heat island.

Many ways have been proposed to modify the urban surface to mitigate the urban heat
island effect, including urban forestry, green roofs and white roofs. A white roof has
increased reflectivity of the roof surface and reduced daytime net energy input from the
sun.41 Green roofs convert the incoming solar energy into latent heat through the process
of evapotranspiration by vegetation, which results in a cooler surface.42 Temperature
measurements showed that vegetation could reduce the surface temperature and that the
extent of reduction depends on the foliage density of the vegetation.43

Bass44 used a Mesoscale Compressible Community Model to illustrate the potential
impacts of green roofs on the urban heat island effect in the City of Toronto. A
simulation was conducted over a 48 hour period in June 2001 when the air temperature
was high. The model showed a 2-3ºC increase in urban temperature compared to the
surrounding area. Simulation results showed that irrigation of the city reduced low-level
urban temperatures by 1°C. The addition of irrigated green roofs, located in the
downtown area, further increased the cooling to 2°C and extended the 1°C cooling region
over a larger geographic area. The simulation showed that with sufficient moisture for
evapotranspiration, green roofs can play a role in reducing the urban heat island effect.

ROOF MEMBRANE DURABILITY

Experience from Europe shows that a green roof can double the life span of a
conventional roof by protecting the membrane from extreme temperature fluctuations,
ultraviolet radiation and mechanical damage.45 Porsche claimed that a roof covered with
plantings can be expected to outlast a conventional roof by a factor of at least two.46
German experience showed that modern green roof planting systems will last over 50
years. Old green roofs in Berlin demonstrated a life span of more than 90 years before
they require major repair or replacement.

40
Sailor, 1995
41
Akbari, 2001
42
Bass, 2001
43
Tan, 2003
44
Bass, 2002
45
Peck & Kuhn, 2001
46
Porsche, 2003

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Liu showed that the surface temperature of an exposed roof membrane reached over 60ºC
on a hot summer day in Ottawa, Ontario. Under a green roof with 150 mm of growing
medium and grass, the roof membrane did not reach 30ºC.47 This reduced the rate of heat
aging that degrades roof membranes. In addition, the green roof lowered the daily
temperature fluctuations on the roof membrane from a median value of 45ºC to less than
5ºC in the summer, greatly reducing the thermal stresses on the roof membrane. These
observations suggested that green roofs can make the roof membrane last longer thereby
requiring less re-roofing over the structure’s lifetime. This not only saves money for the
owner, it also reduces material wastes potentially going to landfill.

AIR QUALITY

Plant surfaces adsorb airborne particles and remove them from the air. The particles are
washed off the leaves and into the growing substrate during rain events. An UK study48
estimated that 2000 m2 of uncut grass on a roof could remove as much as 4000 kg of
particulates from the surrounding air by trapping it on its foliage.

Trees, shrubs and smaller plants on green roofs can adsorb air pollutants, thus improving
air quality in urban areas. A pilot study in Singapore noted that green roofs can reduce
sulphur dioxide by 37% and nitrous acid by 21%.49 However, the researchers also
recorded an increase in nitric acid and particulate (PM 2.5 and 10) likely from gravel
ballast and bare spots on the green roof.

Currie used the Urban Forest Effects (UFORE) model developed by the United States
Forest Service to simulate the air purifying potential of green roofs in Toronto by
examining the levels of NO2, SO2, CO, PM10 and ozone in different vegetation
scenarios.50 The study showed that although trees have significantly high potential in
addressing air pollution in Toronto, green roofs planted with grass could provide
considerable mitigation as well.

Green roofs and reflective roofs can also reduce summertime peak cooling demand
therefore indirectly reducing CO2 emissions from power plants due to lower energy
demand.51 This is particularly important for air quality in regions that generate electricity
through coal combustion.

Ryerson University researchers estimated green roofs could potentially save up to
$2.5 million annually for the City of Toronto due to improvement in air quality.52

47
Liu, 2003
48
Johnston, 1996
49
Yok, 2005
50
Currie, 2005
51
Akbari, 2001
52
Banting, 2005

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AESTHETICS AND PROPERTY VALUES

Rooftops are perhaps the most underutilized space in cities. Green roofs not only make
use of this space by providing much needed recreational green space for city dwellers and
living space for birds and insects; they often improve the architectural aesthetic of the
building, therefore increasing the overall property value.

German statistics showed that green roofs, particularly intensive green roofs that are
designed to provide visual interests and passive recreational space for occupants, can
increase rental value of office buildings.53 In Germany, the increase in property value
alone often can justify the installation of a green roof.

In Germany, building owners have to pay stormwater fees depending on the impervious
area on site. Green roofs absorb rain water and reduce site runoff, thus qualifying for
discounted stormwater fees. The discount depends on the size and design (and thus the
runoff coefficient) of the green roof. Therefore, buildings with green roofs are often of
higher value due to the reduced annual stormwater fees.

URBAN AGRICULTURE

Green roofs can provide secured growing space for gardening and agriculture in urban
areas. They have the potential to address the balance between urban spaces for living and
growing – an essential component of improving living quality in high density urban
areas.54

In Vancouver, the intensive green roof on the terrace roof at the Fairmont Waterfront
Hotel produces herbs, vegetables, fruits and edible flowers for the hotel’s restaurant –
saving an estimated $25,000 - $30,000 yearly.55 Edible plants include chives, pansies,
sorrel and tulips. The savings in cost of herbs and produce more than offsets the garden
maintenance cost of about $16,000 annually.

In Vancouver, land value is at a premium and there is little space for gardening on the
ground. There are often long waiting lists for community garden plots in the city.
Rooftops offer excellent opportunities for urban agriculture. The City Farmer, a
Vancouver based group promoting urban agriculture, provides resources on growing
produce on rooftops.56

The students in Environmental Sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal created a
rooftop garden to grow food. The goal of the project was to allow students to explore
urban agricultural opportunities. The produce from the garden are distributed to the

53
Porsche, 2003
54
Kongshaung, 2004
55
CMHC, 2002
56
URL: http://www.cityfarmer.org/subrooftops.html

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homeless. The group supplies “Ready-to-Grow” kits and guides to promote urban
agriculture on rooftops.57

BIODIVERSITY AND HABITAT PRESERVATION

The expanding encroachment of urbanization has created an environment of lifeless
concrete within our human communities. This sterile world has had a devastating effect
on the natural environment. Isolated and manicured parks within city boundaries do little
to alleviate the threat to dwindling populations of song birds, plants and other endangered
wildlife. Green roofs can provide habitats for birds, insects, native plants and rare or
endangered species.58 Inaccessible extensive green roofs, allowed to flourish with
minimal human intervention, can be designed to create safe havens and provide wildlife
corridors in the urban area for birds and insects. Considerations should be made to
provide shelter, food and water to create a suitable living environment. By choosing
native plants for landscaping on rooftops the biodiversity of the area can be greatly
enhanced by creating food and shelter as well as providing passage ways for wildlife to
travel from one area to another. An excellent example of how quickly wildlife can
become established on a green roof is the Ford Truck Assembly Plant at Dearborn,
Michigan where birds were observed to nest on the roof only weeks after the installation
was completed.59 A variety of insect species such as bees, butterflies and beetles are also
commonly observed on the Ford green roof.

NOISE ATTENUATION

There are few research studies indicating the benefits of green roofs at muffling and
attenuating urban noise. At the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT),
Connelly and Hodgeson60 studied the noise attenuation capacity of two 33 m2 extensive
green roof reference plots relative to a control section of conventional flat roof to
determine the differences. While the study had to be performed outside in open air,
rather than in an acoustically controlled environment, the background noise was
minimized by careful timing of the testing during calm periods and at night. The study
found that the green roof plots reduced noise transmission by 5 to 13 decibels (dB) over
the low to mid frequency range and by 2 to 8 dB over the mid to high frequency range.

2.6 DEVELOPMENT OF A GREEN ROOF DESIGN RECOMMENDATION
With green roofs now emerging as a best management practice in North America, many
suppliers, trades people and building professionals are newly expanding their services to
include this feature. The market is developing, and as might be expected, green roofs

57
URL: http://www.rooftopgardens.ca/
58
Brenneisen, 2003; Gedge, 2003
59
Schmidt, 2008
60
Connelly and Hodgeson, 2008

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with varying thickness, growing media, plants and other details are being designed and
constructed. The purpose of this report is not to provide detailed design guidelines;
however, in order to consistently compare the costs and benefits of green roofs, a
standard green roof type has to be defined. Furthermore, although any functioning green
roof will provide some benefits over a conventional roof, there should be a baseline green
roof standard that optimizes value over cost.

In a recent project by the Metro Vancouver Stormwater Inter-Governmental Liaison
Group (SILG), extensive green roofs were identified as one of five stormwater source
control best management practices. The “Stormwater Source Controls Preliminary
Design Guidelines” Interim Report61 includes preliminary design guidelines for an
extensive green roof. Stormwater control is the primary depth-dependent benefit of green
roofs in Metro Vancouver and for this reason, the green roof standard presented in the
Metro Vancouver guidelines is adopted in this report also.

The baseline green roof standard is an extensive green roof system consisting of the
following principal components: plants, growing medium, drainage layer, protection
layer and waterproof membrane. The growing medium layer should have a thickness or
depth of 150 mm, as discussed in section 4.3. The design considerations presented in the
Metro Vancouver “Stormwater Source Controls Preliminary Design Guidelines” (2004)
are included in this report in Appendix B.

2.7 IS A GREEN ROOF APPROPRIATE FOR ANY SITE IN METRO VANCOUVER
Green roofs – in particular light-weight extensive green roofs – are suitable for most
rooftops in Metro Vancouver, including warehouses, office complexes, hospitals,
schools, institutional buildings, single and multifamily residential developments and
garages.

Green roofs must be designed with an awareness of the loading of the roof on the
underlying structure. However, use of lightweight growing media has created solutions
where the saturated weight of growing media can be added without structural upgrading
beyond the standard requirements, especially in concrete buildings or new construction.62
Extensive green roofs have been installed on existing buildings without structural
upgrading, but only in cases where the green roof load has been approved for the existing
structure by a structural engineer. A green roof designed to provide specific energy or
stormwater benefits will likely require more than minimum thickness and weight and
some level of structural upgrade to support it. In all cases, the structural load will need to
be assessed by an experienced structural engineer. Structural aspects of green roof design
are discussed in detail in section 5.4.

61
Metro Vancouver, 2004
62
Peck & Kuhn, 2001

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Most applications of green roofs are on flat roofs (i.e. 2% roof slope). With proper
design, green roof systems can be applied to roofs of 20º slope or more.63 Special
precautions should be considered to prevent shearing and sliding of green roof materials
and plantings. Green roofs are not recommended for slope over 45º due to the danger of
shearing and sliding.64

Green roof layers may be applied over inverted or traditional roofing systems. Note
however, that it is critical that green roof systems include a root penetration barrier to
provide long term protection of the roofing membrane.

Shingle and tile roofs are not suitable for greening because these roofs function by
shedding water but they are not waterproof.65

63
Peck & Kuhn, 2001
64
FLL, 2002
65
FLL, 2002

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Section 3

Breaking Down Barriers and
Transforming the Market
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3. BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS AND TRANSFORMING THE
MARKET

3.1 INTRODUCTION
This section discusses and where possible suggests strategies to break down barriers to
designing and installing green roofs that exist in North America. The barriers can
generally be grouped into four categories:

1. Misconceptions arise due to a lack of correct information and prevent builders from
considering a green roof. Misconceptions can be resolved through education.

2. Improper design results from insufficient technical knowledge and/or attempts to
reduce cost by cutting corners. Improper design leads to problems or failure and fuels
misconceptions. Improper design can be resolved through the provision of standards
and specifications.

3. Lack of scientific data occurs because insufficient record-keeping and performance
monitoring is carried out. Lack of scientific data prevents the costs and benefits of
green roofs from being quantified and green roof technology from being adopted.
Lack of scientific data can be resolved through design and construction cost tracking,
life cycle cost analysis, cost benefit analysis, performance monitoring and research.

4. Lack of market acceptance occurs because green roofs are different and people are
typically resistant to change. Lack of market acceptance is resolved through
education and where appropriate regulatory and financial incentives. Ultimately, lack
of market acceptance is resolved through market transformation.

3.2 A BAD REPUTATION FROM THE PAST
Today’s green roofs are not the same as roof gardens built in the 1970s or 1980s. Most
earlier green roof applications were on underground parkades with a greater focus on
aesthetics than on technical performance. For example, little attention was paid to
installing roof membranes that were resistant to root penetration. In Germany:

...the major factor contributing to the public’s impression that green roofs can be
problematic was the failure of many green roofs installed during the initial green roof
construction boom. New, inexperienced companies simply made mistakes or installed
poor quality, cheaper materials and ‘cut corners’ in order to keep costs down. This form
of negative advertising adversely affected the entire industry.” (Herman, 2003)

As described in section 2, today’s green roofs are engineered systems designed for long
term, low maintenance performance.

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ƒ Modern waterproof membranes are highly sophisticated and provide superior
performance. Some of these same membranes are used as liners in reservoirs and
other hydraulic structures. Major suppliers in conjunction with approved roofing
contractors offer 10 to 15 year warranties on their green roof products.

ƒ Green roofs protect the waterproofing membrane from UV, temperature and physical
damage, such that green roofs typically do not need ongoing membrane patching or
repairs, and furthermore, have a life of 40 years, compared to 20 years for a
conventional system.

ƒ New membrane leak detection technologies are reducing the risk associated with
leaks in both green and conventional technologies.

Solution: Standards, specifications, warranty, reputable manufacturer with long history
and an approved roofing contractor.

3.3 GREEN ROOF MISPERCEPTION WITH ENVELOPE FAILURES
The perception of green roofs in Metro Vancouver is often clouded by association with
the large scale building envelope failures that began to manifest in the region in the early
1990s. Kim Davis (2002) writes that:

Many of the concerns and assumptions about landscaped roofs appear to stem from the
atmosphere created by the region’s leaky condo situation, and a lack of understanding of
contemporary green roof design and construction. One landscape architect noted that
these concerns dramatically increase when the landscaping is over habitat space.

“Leaky condo syndrome” is defined as catastrophic failure of the building envelope
allowing water to enter the envelope and leading to rot, rust, decay and mould.66 The
syndrome has affected condominiums, detached homes, schools and hospitals.

Leaky condo syndrome affects buildings constructed in the early to mid 1980s when the
Lower Mainland experienced a dramatic increase in housing construction and a similarly
dramatic increase in land prices.67 A number of factors, including a shift to a southwest
U.S. architectural style, a change in municipal building bylaws for calculating floor area
and an erosion of good construction practice and dilution of trade skills as the demand for
labour outstripped the supply in the booming market, led to the construction of buildings
with envelopes incapable of blocking the ingress of rainwater.

66
URL: http://www.cmhc.ca/publications/en/rh-pr/tech/03-108-e.html
67
URL: http://alcor.concordia.ca/~raojw/crd/essay/essay000347.html

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The major factor causing the exterior water penetration problem in leaky condos was
exposure, both in terms of orientation with respect to weather and problems with or lack
of overhangs above walls.68 Ninety percent of the problems were associated with
interface details such as windows, balcony and exterior walkway connections, penetration
through the walls for wiring or vents, or where elements such as handrails penetrated the
cladding to connect to the structure.

The leaky condo syndrome is not related to roofing systems, whether green or
conventional. As Maureen Connelly, Research Program Head at the BCIT Centre for the
Advancement of Green Roof Technology, said: “Nothing about a green roof will make a
building leak. Poor detailing of any roof will cause a problem. A properly detailed roof
is a key factor – it’s not whether it’s green or not”.69 In Germany, Herman70 credits the
FLL guidelines for “reversing the downward spiralling reputation of green roofs.” The
FLL – Research Society for Landscape Development and Landscape Construction – is
the governing body which issues guidelines for green roof installation practices in
Germany.

Solution: Guidelines, standards, specifications, public education.

3.4 REPAIRS
Repairs are more difficult and potentially more costly on a green roof than a conventional
roof and leaks may or may not be more difficult to find. However, the need for repairs
generally arises from faulty workmanship, faulty design, lack of or incorrect maintenance
and rarely from material failure. Addressing those issues through appropriate expertise in
design and maintenance should make green roofs less likely to leak than conventional
roofs.

New technologies have been developed over the past several years to troubleshoot green
roof leaks. Previously, a large amount of growing medium would have to be removed to
expose the membrane. Locating the leak and repairing it was not an exact science, but is
similar to repairing any conventional membrane leak. The additional repair cost for
green roofs is displacing the growing medium over a distributed area to prevent
concentrating the loading. Today, however, companies including International Leak
Detection, Detec Systems, and Levelton specialize in using leak detection equipment that
can pinpoint the leak on either a green or conventional roof to within centimetres71
through Electric Field Vector Mapping (EFVM). Modular or mat green roof systems
offer greater ease of repair, should it be necessary.

68
http://www.morrisonhershfield.com/papers/F8DBM55.pdf
69
Mah, 2004
70
Herman, 2003
71
International Leak Detection, Pers Com. April 2005.

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Aside from leaks, the replacement of the roofing membrane at the end of its lifespan may
also be a concern. If a green roof is installed on a high-rise building, there would be no
easy way to shift the green roof materials off of and then back on to the roof in order to
replace the roofing membrane. There could be several approaches that would allow
replacement of the roof membrane on a high-rise building, including: overdesign of the
structure to allow shifting of the materials to one side as the membrane is replaced in
sections; or use of a tray-type installation that would allow the separate segments of green
roof to be removed and replaced manually via the roof access points.

Solution: Technology, public education.

3.5 MAINTENANCE
Proper maintenance can also prevent future leaks. For example, it is important to remove
tree seedlings and other plants whose roots may puncture the waterproof membrane.
Drainage needs to be checked and cleared, weeds need to be removed and plants need to
be growing well and covering the entire surface. FLL and the British Columbia
Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA) offer maintenance guidelines for green
roofs, and green roof manufacturers have maintenance guides for their particular systems.
BCIT covers maintenance issues in its green roof instruction course.

Solution: Guidelines for maintenance, public education.

3.6 STRUCTURAL ISSUES
Structural load, in particular with wood frame buildings or light steel truss warehouse
(which are the majority of buildings in commercial and industrial applications), will be an
issue in most instances. This is directly related to the saturated weight of the green roof,
which is generally proportional to the thickness of the growing medium. Notably, North
American building codes generally permit lower weight bearing capacities than German
construction.

It is important to involve green roof designers right from the start of the project and to
educate engineers to the concepts and design needs of green roofs so that the design can
take account of the additional load. For example, on a concrete structure, the increased
cost of a 150 mm green roof is almost negligible provided it was incorporated in to the
project at the beginning. Costs for wood and steel structures are slightly more expensive,
but can also be reduced if incorporated early in the design process. See section 5 for
more details on the incremental structural costs.

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Solution: Incorporate green roof loadings in to the design at an early stage, educate
structural engineers and architects on standard loadings and installation details.

3.7 AVAILABILITY OF EXPERTISE
Davis (2002) noted that an apparent scarcity of local expertise – knowledgeable and
experienced green roof professionals, particularly with extensive systems, was a
challenge to green roof implementation. Lack of experience with growing media and
plants were included in this limited local expertise. Poor technical support, both in
written documentation and customer support, from suppliers was also cited as a problem.
Under-bidding, possibly due in part to this knowledge gap, was also cited as a factor in
project management and financial difficulties and failures.

Solution: Education. As with any new idea, change takes time. However, it should be
noted that the green roof manufacturers are well established in Europe and have a
significant technical presence in North America. As awareness and interest increase,
research and education are also expanding. BCIT, for example, offers green roofs
courses and holds monthly open houses to educate the public about green roofs. Green
Roofs for Healthy Cities has developed training courses for a Green Roof Professional
certification program that will be launched in the spring of 2009.72

3.8 SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH
Much of the development of green roof technology comes from Europe, especially
Germany. Significant effort has been invested there in system design, substrate
formulation, plant selection and maintenance to ensure long term success of green roof
applications. However, the majority of German green roof information is published in
popular or semi-technical publications and very little in peer-reviewed, scientific
journals.73 Furthermore, most of the information that is available from German institutes
and universities is published in German, making accessibility difficult by the English
speaking community.

Over the past ten years, green roofs are gaining popularity in North America because of
the multiple benefits they offer to the urban areas. Government and universities have
conducted research on this technology to evaluate its suitability and benefits to North
America. Since the performance of green roofs and thus their benefits are sensitive to the
climatic conditions, green roof research studies are initiated in different climate zones to
evaluate specific benefits of green roofs in different regions.

72
URL: www.greenroofs.org for information on developments in this training and certification program.
73
Beattie, 2004; p. 108

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RESEARCH IN CANADA

Research studies have been initiated in Canada to evaluate suitability and quantify
benefits of green roof technology in northern climates. The studies are being conducted
in major cities as the benefits of green roofs are best realized in an urban context. Major
research projects and findings relevant to BC are summarized below:

a. Vancouver Public Library’s green roof

The green roof on Vancouver Public Library was monitored by Kerr Wood Leidal
Associates Ltd. and Public Works Government Services Canada as part of the effort to
gain information on Best Management Practices and Low Impact Development
methods.74 The objective of the study was to assess the performance of the green roof
during rainy and dry seasons. The green roof consisted of mature vegetation growing on
350 mm of growing medium. The piping was modified to include two water meters of
different capacities to cover a wide range of flow rates. During the summer when the
roof is dry and rainfall events are small, peak flow reduction in excess of 80% was
achieved. During the winter when the roof is wet and rainfall duration is long, peak flow
reduction was about 30% during smaller events to less than 5% for larger events. The
green roof reduced the runoff volume by 16% from July 2003 to February 2004 when
compared to that estimated for a traditional flat roof.

b. British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Centre for the Advancement of Green
Roof Technology75

The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) constructed a Green Roof Research
Facility at its Great Northern Way campus in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2003. The
main objectives of Phase 1 of the study were to collect regional data for green roof
performance in BC and to educate the public about the benefits of green roofs.76 The
BCIT facility was modelled after the Field Roofing Facility at the National Research
Council in Ottawa, Ontario. The 90 m2 roof was divided into 3 equal sections by
parapets – one section was a reference roof (without green roof) in the middle with two
green roof sections on east and west sides. The roof was fitted with thermocouples and
heat flux transducers to measure energy efficiency. Each roof section was sloped at 2%
towards a central drain where the runoff was collected and measured by a modified
tipping bucket flow meter. A weather station was installed on the rooftop to measure
local weather conditions. All instruments were connected to a data acquisition system for
continuous monitoring.

Phase 1 of the study compared the performance of two extensive green roof
configurations to the reference roof. The first green roof system (GR-1) consisted of a

74
Johnston, 2004
75
URL: http://commons.bcit.ca/greenroof/
76
Connelly, 2005

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sedum mixture growing in 75 mm of growing medium while the second system (GR-2)
was composed of a grass mixture growing in 150 mm of the same growing medium.
Both systems contained the same non-reservoir drainage layer and geo-textile filter cloth.
Regular irrigation was provided for one full year to achieve good vegetation coverage on
the green roofs. Performance monitoring was conducted in 2005.

The runoff data showed that the green roofs retarded runoff, reduced peak flow and
volume.77 The retention efficiency depended more on the climatic conditions than on the
green roof configurations. Vancouver is characterized by hot dry summer and cool wet
winter. Out of the 1,508 mm of rainfall recorded during the monitoring period in 2005,
only 242 mm fell between mid-April to end of September with the rest of 1,266 mm fell
in the fall/winter. Between April and September, GR-2 (94%) retained slightly more than
rain than GR-1 (86%). Because of the high temperature and low rainfall during this
period, the deeper growing medium in GR-2 offered a higher capacity to absorb rain
water, especially during heavier events. During the period between October and March
where the temperature was cool and it rained almost every day, GR-1 (18%) retained
more rain than GR-2 (13%). These observations corroborated those obtained at the
Vancouver Public Library78 and supported the observations made in Seattle,79 where the
deepest (20-cm) growing medium did not evaporate moisture as well as the shallower
medium depths in the cool wet environment during the winter in Pacific Northwest. The
total annual retention was similar for the two green roofs – 29% for GR-1 and 26% for
GR-2. The findings indicate that thicker is not always better for growing medium in
designing green roofs for stormwater management in the Pacific Northwest where the
temperature is cool and the humidity is high, resulting in low evapotranspiration rates for
the green roofs during the rainy season.

The data from the study also showed that both green roofs were effective in reducing heat
flow through the roof throughout the year, therefore saving energy used for space
conditioning in the building. The effectiveness was higher (83-85%) in spring/summer
than in the fall/winter (40-44%), with an overall annual reduction of 66%. Despite the
difference in growing medium depth and plant species between the two roof sections, the
thermal performance of the green roofs was very similar, except during the hottest
periods of July and August when GR-2 outperformed GR-1 because of the deeper
growing medium (thus higher thermal mass). The findings suggested that for the
temperate climate of Vancouver, a green roof with shallow growing medium (e.g.
75 mm) can be nearly as effective for thermal performance as one with deeper growing
medium (e.g. 150 mm).

The green roofs also reduced the maximum temperature experienced by the roof
membrane in spring/summer from 50ºC to 30ºC, thus lowering the heat aging on the roof

77
Connelly, 2006
78
Johnston, 2004
79
Gangnes, 2007

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membrane. Also, the green roofs reduced the median daily temperature fluctuation in
spring/summer from 48ºC to less than 5ºC, therefore lowering the thermal stresses
experienced by the roof membrane. There was little difference between GR-1 and GR-2.
The results suggested that green roofs can increase durability of the roof membrane and
extend its service life.

Phase 1 of the BCIT study showed that a green roof system with appropriate plant species
in 75 mm of growing medium can provide a similar level of stormwater mitigation and
thermal benefits as one with 150 mm of substrate. The results suggested that Vancouver
can benefit from green roofs with lightweight green roofs with shallow growing medium.
This is an important finding since shallower green roof systems mean lower cost on
materials and structural upgrade, making green roofs more affordable, particularly in
retrofits where upgrade in structure can be prohibitively expensive.

It was questionable whether the deeper rooting grasses in GR-2 might have changed the
drainage channel structure in the growing medium, thus affecting its water retention
capacity as compared to the shallower rooting sedums in GR-1. To eliminate this
variable, starting in spring 2006, Phase 2 of the study at BCIT’s Green Roof Research
Facility compared two green roofs with the same sedum mixtures growing on two
different depths of the same growing medium (75 mm and 125 mm). In addition, Phase 2
of the study also examined the effectiveness of using sedum cuttings as an economical
propagation method for green roof applications in Vancouver.

c. Regional Infrastructure Network in BC

BCIT’s Centre for Architectural Ecology created a Regional Infrastructure Network
(RIN) to support the evaluation of green roofs as a sustainable approach for future
development in the Metro Vancouver region. This network includes the green roofs on
the Electronic Arts building in Burnaby and the Operations Building in White Rock.

Electronic Arts’ Motion Capture (MOCAP) building has a 1760 m2 extensive green roof.
BCIT outfitted it in 2006 with thermocouples and flow meters for performance
monitoring. The study aims to evaluate the stormwater management potential and study
its implication on the energy efficiency of the building.

The White Rock Operations Building has a 135 m2 extensive green roof. In 2007, BCIT
modified the piping and installed flow meters to record the runoff from the green roof.
The study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the green roof as a stormwater source
control tool. BCIT will also determine various hydrological parameters of the growing
medium that affect the water retention capacity of the green roof.

d. Roof Evaluation Modules at BCIT80

80
URL: http://commons.bcit.ca/greenroof/testing.html

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The Roof Evaluation Module (REM) is an innovative tool that allows researchers to
evaluate and compare the engineering performance of green roof systems through field
monitoring. Each REM resembles a mini-building with an experimental roof deck over a
temperature-controlled interior space. The roofing and green roof systems are fully set
up to measure the temperature profile, heat flow and roof runoff. REMs enable
manufacturers and researchers to change the variables and configurations of green roof
systems and evaluate the effects systematically. In collaboration with various roofing
and green roof manufacturers, BCIT is collecting performance data from ten REM’s
consisting of different green roof system designs. The results will not only provide
information on performance of individual green roof systems, they will also assist the
researchers to better design green roof systems for the Pacific Northwest.

e. National Research Council’s Institute for Research in Construction’s green roof
research program.81

The National Research Council’s Institute for Research in Construction established the
first field facility dedicated for green roof research in Canada – the Field Roofing Facility
– at its Montreal Road campus in Ottawa, Ontario in 2000. The objectives of the study
were to quantify the energy efficiency and stormwater retention potential of the green
roof and examine the applicability of green roofs in northern climates such as Canada.82
The 70 m2 rooftop was divided into two equal roof sections by a median parapet – one
with and one without a green roof. The indoor environment of the facility was kept to a
constant temperature via thermostat. The roof was fully wired with thermocouples and
heat flux transducers to measure the temperature profile and heat flow across the roofing
systems. Each roof section was sloped at 2% to a centre drain where the roof runoff is
collected and measured by a tipping bucket flow meter. Two weather stations, one on the
rooftop and one about 100 m from the test building, recorded the local weather
conditions. All instruments were connected to an automatic data acquisition system for
continuous monitoring.

Findings from the Field Roofing Facility showed that the green roof with grasses planted
on 150 mm of lightweight growing medium increased the energy efficiency of the
roofing system.83 The green roof was particularly effective in reducing heat entry in the
summer through shading, insulation, evapotranspiration and thermal mass. It reduced
over 85% of heat flow through the roof in the summer when compared to the reference
roof (without a green roof). The thermal efficiency was overshadowed by the deep snow
coverage (e.g. over 200 mm) in the winter, which provides good insulation to both roof
sections. The heat flow reduction averaged at about 15% when compared to the
reference roof. In addition, the green roof was effective in mitigating stormwater runoff
from the roof by retarding runoff, lowering the peak flow and total runoff volume. The

81
URL: http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/bes/index_e.html
82
Liu, 2003
83 1
Liu, 2004

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green roof retained 54% of the annual rainfall that would otherwise go into the
stormwater infrastructure. In addition, the extensive green roof lowered the maximum
roof membrane temperature by over 30ºC in the summer and reduced the median daily
temperature fluctuation experienced by the roof membrane from 45ºC to less than 6ºC.
These temperature data suggested that the green roof can extend the durability of the roof
membrane by reducing heat aging and thermal stresses. The grasses also survived on the
roof over the winter and without supplementary irrigation in the summer on 150 mm of
growing medium. This study demonstrated that extensive green roofs have the potential
to benefit buildings in urban areas from an engineering perspective.

f. City of Toronto Green Roof Research and Demonstration Program

This was a collaborative effort between the City of Toronto, the National Research
Council’s Institute for Research in Construction, Environment Canada, Green Roofs for
Healthy Cities and the Climate Change Action Fund.84 The objectives were to develop
green roof research and demonstration sites in the City of Toronto to quantify the benefits
of green roofs in Toronto’s specific climate zone and to increase public awareness of the
benefits of green roofs. The City of Toronto established extensive green roofs on the
Toronto City Hall and the Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre.

The Toronto City Hall project consisted of eight green roof plots of various themes such
as a butterfly garden, urban agriculture and native plants. Four of the green roof plots
were monitored for thermal performance by the National Research Council.85 Since this
is a protected roofing membrane assembly (i.e. inverted roof), the green roof lowered the
membrane temperature only slightly due to the presence of extruded polystyrene
insulation shielding the roof membrane from temperature changes. However, the
extensive green roofs were shown to reduce the heat flow through the roof by over 80-
90% in the summer and 10-30% in the winter, thus potentially reducing the energy
demand for air conditioning.

The Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre consisted of about 450 m2 of green
roof over its gymnasium. Two commercial green roof systems were evaluated – one with
75 mm of substrate and the other with 100 mm of a different substrate. Small plant plugs
were grown on both green roofs with about 20% of initial vegetation coverage. Both
green roofs effectively reduced heat flow through the roof, more in the summer (70-90%)
and less in the winter (10-30%).86 Both green roofs also reduced the runoff from the
roof, averaging 56% reduction in annual runoff and 10% to 30% reduction in peak flows.
This study demonstrated that extensive green roofs are effective in reducing energy
demand for cooling and effective in stormwater management for the City of Toronto.

84
Gutteridge, 2003
85 2
Liu, 2004
86
Liu, 2005

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g. York University Green Roof

The green roof study was initiated by the Toronto Regional Conservation Authority in
2002 to examine the stormwater management and biodiversity benefits of green roof
technology in cold climates.87 The monitoring study was conducted on a green roof
sloped at 10% on York University Computer Science and Engineering building. Two
roof surfaces, a green roof and a control roof were instrumented with flow meters and soil
moisture sensors. The runoff retention was 54% in 2003 and 75% in 2004. The lower
retention in 2003 was due to greater precipitation in the fall in that year. The retention
rates were better in the summer (78-85%) than in spring and fall (39-64%), likely due to
higher temperature and evapotranspiration rate in the summer months. Retention rates
varied due to rainfall intensity and rainfall volumes, evapotranspiration and antecedent
moisture contents.

Water quality analysis was conducted on 21 storm events during the two-year monitoring
period.88 The study showed that the total loads for most pollutants of concerns were
lower from the green roof than from the control roof. Part of the reason was due to the
smaller runoff volumes from the green roof. The green roof had higher loads of
potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, which formed part of the growing
medium. Phosphorus is of particular concern since elevated concentration in rivers and
lakes can adversely affect aquatic organisms. It was noted that phosphorus concentration
dropped over the monitoring period, likely due to continuous leaching out of the soil over
time.

RESEARCH IN UNITED STATES

Several universities, government departments and engineering firms have conducted
green roof research in different parts of USA. Some of the major green roof research
centres and projects are highlighted below. These projects generated fundamental
understanding in substrate formulation and system design that help to advance green roof
technology in North America. Performance monitoring projects that are conducted in
Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington are of particular relevance to BC because of
the similarity in west coast climate pattern.

a. Michigan State University89

The green roof research program at MSU was initiated in collaboration with Ford Motor
Company during 2000 in an effort to evaluate different options for the installation of a
4.2 hectare extensive green roof on a truck assembly plant in Dearborn, Michigan. The
objectives of MSU’s green roof research program are to evaluate plant species,

87
MacMillan, 2004
88
MacMillan, 2006
89
URL: http://www.hrt.msu.edu/greenroof/

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propagation and establishment methods, plant succession, carbon sequestration potential,
water and nutrient requirements, water quality and quantity of stormwater runoff and
energy consumption. Field experiments are currently being conducted on the roofs of
two buildings on campus, in green houses and on a series of roof test platforms. The roof
of one of the test buildings is equipped with temperature and heat flux sensors to measure
the temperature profile across the various layers of the roof, as well as at various depths
of the growing substrate and indoor and outdoor air temperatures. In addition, runoff
from individual test platforms is monitored by electronic tipping buckets to evaluate the
runoff retention efficiency of various green roof configurations. Long-term plant
survival, persistence and succession are also being studied with different system and site
parameters.

b. Penn State University’s Centre for Green Roof Research90

The centre is a partnership between faculties from Horticulture, Agricultural and
Biological Engineering, the Department of Architectural Engineering at Penn State,
University Park, and The Environmental Pollution Control Program at Penn State, in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The mission of the Centre is to characterize and quantify the
performance of green roofs and to promote their use through education and outreach.
The centre uses small test green roofs on replicated buildings for research purpose.
Research studies included storm water runoff quality and quantity, building energy
consumption and insulation value, chemical and physical characteristics of growing
media, plant selection, plant water use, waterproofing resistance to root penetration and
drainage materials for green roofs. The centre also performs testing of green roof media
and waterproofing materials using FLL and ASTM methods.

c. The University of Texas at Austin, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centre, Green
Roof Research Program91

This research program is a partnership between the University of Texas at Austin and the
roofing and green roof industry. The objectives of the research program are to examine
the performance of green roofs in Texas and the use of native plants for green roof
applications. The study involves a series of roof test platforms, each of which is outfitted
with instruments including temperature sensors to measure the temperature profile across
the green roof assemblies and a flow meter to measure the runoff from the green roof.
Various green roof assemblies with different parameters such as substrate types and
depths and plant types are being studied. Native plants are grown on the modules to
examine their survival and success rates on green roof applications.

90
URL: http://web.me.com/rdberghage/Centerforgreenroof/Home.html
91
URL: http://www.wildflower.org/greenroof/

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d. North Carolina State University’s Biological and Agricultural Engineering Green
Roof Research92

North Carolina State University currently has two extensive green roof research sites:
Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, NC and the Neuseway Nature Centre in
Kinston, NC. The main objectives of the research program are to evaluate the quantity
and quality of stormwater runoff and plant growth. There is a control roof and an
undisturbed rooftop on each site to provide comparison for runoff. Flow rate and volume
of runoff are measured by weir boxes while automatic samplers collect water samples for
quality analysis. Different types of succulent plants such as sedums and delosperma are
used in the studies.

e. Portland Oregon

The Bureau of Environmental Services of the City of Portland monitored several
ecoroofs, or green roofs, to quantify their potential in stormwater management. Two of
the ecoroofs studied are the Hamilton Apartment Ecoroof and the Multnomah County
Building Green Roof. The Hamilton Apartment Ecoroof also featured two green roof
types – a thinner, lighter substrate on the east side and a thicker, heavier substrate in the
west side. The results showed that all roof configurations worked well in reducing peak
flow and therefore would help reduced incidence of flash flooding during heavy storms.93
Volume retention at the Hamilton Apartment Ecoroof varied with season – higher
retention was observed in the summer (67-86%) when rainfall is low and
evapotranspiration rates are high. In comparison, lower retention (14-47%) was recorded
in the winter due to high rainfall and low evapotranspiration rates. The high retention in
the summer was important because regulations for water quality and combined sewer
overflows are most stringent during these months.

Hamilton West showed higher annual retention (56%) than Hamilton East (27%). The
differences appeared to derive mainly from the difference in soil media. Hamilton West
contained a substantial amount of fine particles (sandy loam) in the soil, allowing it to
hold water longer for evapotranspiration to occur and for other components in the soil to
absorb water. Also, it was possible that the fine particles may partially clog the filter
fabric and keep the water out of the drainage system.

It is interesting to note that the annual and seasonal retention for the Hamilton Apartment
Ecoroof improved over each of the four years of monitoring. The annual runoff retention
of Hamilton West increased from 41% in 2002 to 63% in 2005 while that of Hamilton
East increased from 4% in 2002 to 55% in 2005. The researchers suggested that retention
performance of ecoroofs improve as the soil and plant complex mature.

92
URL: http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/greenroofs/
93
Adams, 2006

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The water quality analysis of the roof runoff showed that metal (copper and zinc) and
nutrient (phosphorus) concentration in ecoroof runoff were at levels that could impact
watershed health. The levels of zinc and copper appeared to be rising over the four years
of monitoring. While the soil contained zinc and copper, the corrosion of roofing
materials such as flashing and railings might be a factor. The results also showed that
phosphorus appear to decrease over time, possibly due to leaching from the growing
medium over time. However, the levels were still high (0.35mg/L) when compared to
benchmarks established in some Portland watersheds (0.13-0.16mg/L).

The City of Portland also published a study evaluating the costs and benefits of a green
roof over the life of the roof, separating the benefits into private and public to
differentiate who receives the benefit. Private benefits accrue to the owner of the
property over time, such as energy savings on cooling and heating, while public benefits
accrue to the public over time, such as heat island mitigation and carbon sequestration.
The study found that at the 5-year mark there was a net private cost of a 3716 m2 roof,
but over the 40-year expected lifespan of the roof the study estimated a net public benefit
of $404,000 and a net private benefit of $191,421.94

f. Seattle Green Roof Evaluation Project (GREP)

Magnusson Klemencic Associates initiated the GREP to monitor runoff characteristics of
five green roof test plots in downtown Seattle in 2005.95 The 2-year project aimed to
evaluate the effectiveness of green roofs as a low impact development (LID) tool to
manage stormwater in the urban areas.96 The five test plots varied in drainage layer,
substrate types and depths, and vegetation types and coverage to provide different system
configurations for comparison. Flow meters were installed on each test plot to measure
runoff.97 Data were collected for 18 months. Cumulative measurable runoff mitigation
ranged from 65% to 94%.

The data showed that the green roofs were effective in reducing runoff even in Seattle’s
wet climate in winter.98 For the green roof test plots with substrate between 50 – 150 mm
thick, the soil moisture data showed that they were able to dispose of 12 mm of rainfall in
just 2 days. However, the test plot with 200 mm thick substrate remained relative moist
over the same period. The researchers suggested that 200 mm was too thick to allow
evaporation to occur as readily as the thinner plots. The report further suggested that the
optimal green roof thickness would be between 100 mm and 150 mm for stormwater
management in Seattle.

94
David Evans and Associates, Inc., 2008.
95
Gangnes, 2006 and Taylor, 2005
96
Gagnes, 2006
97
Taylor, 2006
98
Ganges, 2007

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Solution: Scientific research is being conducted in North America to provide information
on various aspects of green roof performance. Much of the fundamental research on
substrate and materials are universal and can be adopted or adapted for BC. However,
because of the unique climate of BC, performance data from eastern and central Canada
may not be relevant and data from Pacific Northwest such as Portland, Seattle and
Vancouver are necessary for green roof design in BC. Designers are therefore
encouraged to use data coming from research projects in these regions. More local
scientific research will better address region-specific issues in BC.

3.9 FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN/“FIRST TO MARKET” RISK
Lack of information leads to narrow perceptions and “fear of the unknown” on the part of
developers/builders as well as regulators. Reluctance on the part of local governments to
approve ‘new things’ is legendary, as is the reluctance of builders to be ‘first’ to try
something new. This applies more to the multi-family residential buildings rather than
the commercial and industrial buildings as the latter tend to focus more on life-cycle costs
rather than public perception.

One solution is to expand the scope of the Certified Building Envelope Specialist
designation. Certification of a green roof by an expert would draw the liability away
from the regular builder or municipal inspector.

Another solution is to provide added incentives to put green roofs on private, multi-
family residential buildings. The incentives could be temporary until the first few
buildings are built. Incentives could include “density bonuses” which eliminate the need
for money to change hands. Further, land owned by a municipality that is to be sold to
the private sector is also a perfect candidate to initiate green roof development on multi-
family rooftops. The Southeast False Creek Lands represent a golden opportunity to
achieve these firsts.

Solution: Champion developers, an expanded Certified Building Envelope Specialist
designation and incentives.

3.10 COST
Davis99 notes in her inventory of green roofs in Metro Vancouver that the cost of a green
roof was by far the largest deterrent for many clients of landscape architects and
architects. Even where green roofs are part of the building design, when cost cutting is
required, the green roof is usually one of the first elements to be eliminated.

99
Davis, 2004; p. 14

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Compared to Germany where installation costs for green roofs are about $40/m2,
installation costs in North America range from $80 to $200/m2 – about double that of a
conventional roof.100 Reasons for these higher costs include a comparative lack of
economies of scale, lack of companies in North America that can do an entire installation
(unlike Germany, where specialist companies do the entire installation under a single
contract), and a relative lack of materials and supplies specific to green roofs in North
America compared to Germany.

When examining costs, however, it is important to separate intensive green roofs from
extensive green roofs. Intensive green roofs are far more expensive per unit area than
extensive green roofs. Also, any cost analysis should attempt to take into account the full
life-cycle costs101 (e.g., extended life span of the membrane resulting from green roof
protection) and benefits that cannot be readily quantified (e.g., biodiversity and improved
interior heat management). It should be noted that while construction costs for green
roofs are significant, there has not been significant evidence of on-going costs associated
with green roofs for maintenance or repairs due to leaks or problems with properly
installed systems.

Nonetheless, offsetting costs is one of the reasons why many parts of Germany provide
direct and indirect financial incentives such as subsidization programs and reduced
stormwater fees. Any government trying to promote green roofs should look carefully at
the legislative and policy measures that are being employed.

Solution: Municipalities may consider implementing financial mechanisms to offset the
costs of green roof construction with their reduced off-site costs (see sections 4 and 5).

3.11 LACK OF STANDARDS
Neither B.C. nor Canada has detailed design guidelines, standards that are integrated into
the building code, or a procedure for testing materials and new products. “Without
regionally relevant research and concise design standards and guidelines, many
professionals will continue to perceive green roofs as ‘new’, untested and hence,
risky”.102

The FLL’s document Guidelines for the Planning, Execution and Upkeep of Green Roof
Sites has been the standard resource for green roofs for many years. Happily, the latest

100
Beattie, 2004 and TRCA, 2007
101
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) has an online green roofing cost calculation tool called “Greensave Calculator”,
developed by GRHC and the Athena Institute. The tool compares roofing alternatives over a specific time period to determine
which has lower life-cycle costs. URL: http://www.greenroofs.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=626&Itemid=116
102
Davis, 2002: 15

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2002 edition is now available in English.103 “The German FLL guidelines provide a
source of information for the interim, but they should be evaluated for their application to
local building practices and climates in Canada”.104

Additional standards for green roofs are being and have been developed. The British
Columbia Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA) has developed a “BC Standard
for Extensive Green Roofs” in conjunction with the British Columbia Society of
Landscape Architects (BCSLA). This publication defines standards for green roof
components from the membrane up. FM Global, an insurance industry group, has a
general guide on green roof systems “Green Roof Systems (Property Loss Prevention
Data Sheet 1-35)” that covers design and maintenance concerns of green roofs. A
proposed ASTM International standard, WK14283, “Guide for Green Roof Systems”,
will identify terminology, principles and concepts related to the construction of vegetated
green roof systems. The proposed standard is being developed by Subcommittee E06.71
on Sustainability, part of ASTM International Committee E06 on Performance of
Buildings. ASTM is also developing a new work practice which is currently designated
ASTM WK575 – “New Practice for Assessment of Green Roofs”, but which is
considered to be a much longer range project than WK14283. ASTM WK14283 is
expected to provide initial guidance and a significant source of information for green
roofs in the interim.

Solution: Standards, flood testing, leak detection systems.

3.12 INSURANCE COVERAGE
In May 2007 the Green Roofs and Homeowner Protection in British Columbia
conference was hosted by the HPO to formulate recommendations to the Homeowner
Protection Office (HPO) Board of Directors about insuring buildings with green roofs.

Before green roofing technology becomes widely insurable, it must be shown that no
additional cost or risk will be created for homeowners on a long-term basis as a result of
the installation and maintenance of green roofs. HPO’s primary concern was the possible
conflict between local government mandates for green roofs and the fulfillment of the
consumer protection requirements of the Homeowner Protection Act, specifically that
insurance is mandatory. Of the four home warranty insurance providers active in the
province, only one at that time was prepared to consider providing home warranty
insurance for residential projects with green roofs and then only in very specific
circumstances. The HPO report makes it clear that, “it is technically feasible to design,
install and maintain a green roof such that it performs as well as a conventional roof or

103
http://www.f-l-l.de/artikel_3187.html
104
Ngan, 2004

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better.” The insurance issues surrounding green roofs centre on the cost-benefit value of
green roofs, the probability that such roofs will be designed, installed and maintained
properly and the risks that may arise if they are not.105

The risks that may arise from failure to design, install and maintain green roofs properly
were defined as:

• The failure of the membrane or other related roof component or detail, leading to
water penetration and damage to residential units;

• The destruction of the plant material through drought or other influence, leading to
the failure of the roof to perform as intended;

• Economic losses for homeowners if failures occur that are not covered by home
warranty insurance and/or property and casualty insurance; and

• Significant losses for home warranty insurance providers if green roof failures are
widespread.

In May, 2007, the HPO committee could not state that there was an extensive body of
experience and expertise in green roofing within the various climatic zones in British
Columbia. They could also not state that, in addition to cost benefits, there was a
sufficiently low probability of risk and actual risk to recommend the implementation of
green roofing technology in the residential sector.

The HPO suggested that at the present time, the primary focus of experience with green
roof technology in British Columbia should continue to be in the industrial, commercial
and institutional sector, where buildings typically have a single owner with expertise,
more involvement in the design and construction phases and the incentive to take a long-
term view of the application of new technologies. In BC’s commercial building sector,
there have not been the same insurance issues. Concerns around liability and risks can be
reduced by requiring that all green roof installations are to be signed-off or certified by a
professional as is already required for standard roofs on commercial and industrial
buildings in most jurisdictions. The professional’s liability insurance then provides
financial protection in the case of failure. Close attention should be paid, however, to the
terms of the insurance policies that cover the work of these professionals, as the
insurance industry has begun to exclude water penetration claims from errors and
omissions insurance coverage for design professionals.106

Recent conversations with several insurance company personnel in 2009 indicate that
progress is being made on the insurance issue. Several high profile projects in the Metro

105
HPO, 2007
106
HPO, 2007

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Vancouver region are under construction with full insurance coverage, including the
Millennium Water project which will be the first major residential construction to include
green roofs. While some insurance companies express concerns, others are moving
forward with green roof projects in the understanding that green roofs that are well
designed and well constructed will perform as designed and do not pose an increased risk
for the insurer.

Solution: More research on risk and reliability in green roof installations in the region and
continued communication between the design, engineering, construction and insurance
industries as data and technologies improve.

3.13 FIRE HAZARD AND UPLIFT
Research in this area is sparse. However, with the appropriate plant mix, green roofs
appear to be less of a fire hazard than tar or gravel roofs. Sedums and other succulents
are fire resistant whereas long, dry grasses may pose a fire hazard. Fire breaks further
reduce risk. There is also some risk of wind damage due to uplift of the green roof
structure.

Solution: More research on wind uplift and use of fire breaks and fire resistant grasses.

3.14 ARCHITECTURAL STYLE
A significant barrier to wide spread green roof acceptance is changing the architectural
style of certain land uses. It is unlikely that in the foreseeable future green roof advocates
will be able to persuade the public to flatten single-family residential roofs, which are
generally 30- to 45-degree angle for aesthetic reasons, in order to install green roof
systems. However, it may be possible to promote the use of green roofs on land uses and
building styles already having flat rooftops. These land uses include multi-family,
commercial, institutional and industrial land uses.

Land-use data from 2000 was used to estimate the percent coverage of various land-uses
in the City of Vancouver. Based on the type of land-use, it may be assumed that a certain
percentage of those roofs are flat or nearly flat and combining the percentages gives an
estimate of how much of the existing City land area could be adapted for green roof
technologies.107 Table 3-1 summarises the percentage of these rooftops throughout the
City of Vancouver.

Table 3-1: Determination of Potential Green Roof Areas in the City of Vancouver
Land Use Total Estimated Possible Potential

107
source: Land Use in the City of Vancouver, Nowlan 2000

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Area (%) Roof Top Green Roof Green Roof
Area (%) Applicability Area (%)
(i.e. flat) (%)
Single Family 32 50 0 0.0
Multi-Family 6 80 70 3.4
Parks and Open Spaces 12 0 0 0.0
Institutional 6 30 100 1.8
Commercial 4 90 100 3.6
Industrial 8 30 100 2.4
Streets, Lanes, Sidewalks 32 0 0 0.0
Total 100 11.2

Therefore, it can be concluded that overall, 11.2% of the land mass could be made
available for green roofs without significantly changing architectural styles, with the
exception of steep roof multi-family. In municipalities outside the City of Vancouver,
there are significantly more peaked roof multi-family buildings. Efforts should be made
to encourage a flatter style of roof. This percentage will be considerably higher in
watersheds that are predominately multi-family and commercial land uses.

Solution: Education, incentives, encourages flatter (greened) roof styles.

3.15 AESTHETICS
Some argue that extensive green roofs look messy and are not “green”. “The appearance
of extensive green roofs should not be compared to lawn and traditional gardens.
Extensive green roofs have a natural appearance that changes with the seasons. They are
more similar to dry wildflower meadows and develop much in the same way as natural
systems. “…. when we can associate how a healthy functioning extensive green roofs
looks with the ecological benefits that they afford, then we will have an eye for
sustainability”.108

The City of Portland prefers the term “eco-roof” because it emphasizes the ecological
functions over the colour green.109 Another more appropriate term could be ‘living roof’,
as this reflects the intent of a natural, living system rather than a design for purely
aesthetic or human purposes.

108
Ngan, p. 9
109
Hauth and Liptan, 2003

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Solution: Changing public perception, incentives and education.

3.16 INTERVIEWS WITH DEVELOPERS
Based on discussions with Metro Vancouver at the beginning of the project, it was felt
that the key barriers for green roof implementation were faced by the development
community and building owners. Other groups such as municipal staff, architects,
engineers, insurance agencies, banks and fire departments also have concerns, but the
barriers facing the development community and building owners are more numerous and
carry more financial risk. As a result, it was decided to interview a number of individuals
and companies that have either considered implementing green roofs or have actually
built a green roof to identify what they feel are the major barriers to implementation.

Two types of interviews were held with development/building owners group:

1. Informal Discussions: involving a wide range of businesses and individuals through
telephone calls.

2. Case Study Discussions: involving a review of the barriers, costs, and benefits of
two recently constructed green roofs. Sections 5.6 and 5.7 show two case studies:
The Silva building in North Vancouver and the White Rock Operations building in
White Rock.

The informal discussions involved dozens of individuals. However, many wish to remain
anonymous, as they do not want their affiliations to be branded as “anti-green”.
KEY CONCERNS RAISED IN INFORMAL DISCUSSIONS

Surprisingly, it appears that the concerns about green roofs from the past are not
necessarily the concerns today. Previously, the concerns focussed around costs, leaks,
insurance and public perception in the aftermath of the leaky condo affair. Green roof
costs are still a concern today, but have lessened for concrete construction associated with
commercial developments. The greater concern now has become “how do you replace
the membrane when the design life is reached?” This is mostly a concern in high rise
towers where it would be extremely expensive to remove the growing medium.

Replacement of the roof membrane (beneath the green roof) at the end of its useful life is
an area of concern for developers which requires more research. It is certainly possible
that the growing medium can be moved from one part of the roof to another, but the
structural loads would have to be reviewed. Since roof tops are designed to take a
considerable snow load, there should be ample opportunity to move the soil around, but it
still raises a valid concern.

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HPO GREEN ROOF TASK FORCE REPORT

At the Green Roofs and Homeowner Protection in BC conference in May 2007 a survey
was also produced to get input from conference attendees on main issues with respect to
green roof design and construction on new residential buildings, specifically: home
warranty insurance, the role of local governments and maintenance requirements for
strata corporations.110 The resulting Green Roof Task Force Report was very cautious
towards green roofing technology being used in new residential construction and made
these 6 recommendations111 that the HPO Board of Directors should:

1. Advise local governments against mandating extensive green roofs in residential
construction at this time.

2. Request home warranty insurance providers to specify the conditions, if any, under
which they would accept for initial consideration a request for home warranty insurance
coverage for a residential building with a green roof.

3. Review the Homeowner Protection Act to clarify the provision and coverage of
mandatory home warranty insurance with respect to extensive green roof installation and
maintenance.

4. Recommend to the provincial Office of Housing and Construction Standards that
consideration be given to the issues surrounding extensive green roofs in the Green
Building Code, including regional climatic variations within the province.

5. Continue to support research and education activities that will expand the knowledge
base about the design, installation, maintenance, durability and life expectancy of
extensive green roofs in the different climatic zones in British Columbia.

6. Recommend that the Minister of Finance consider the need to ensure that strata
corporations’ obligations for maintenance of green roof systems are strengthened in the
Strata Property Act.

110
HPO, 2007
111
HPO, 2007

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Section 4

Regulatory Stormwater Control
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4. REGULATORY STORMWATER CONTROL CRITERIA

4.1 INTRODUCTION
Many of the above categories fall into the “soft cost” area and although the benefits are
real and measurable, they are difficult to implement thus difficult to motivate a developer
to build green roofs.

In the subsections below, the benefits of stormwater runoff mitigation due to a green roof
are quantified as estimated cost benefits. The benefit calculations are all based on the
“baseline green roof”’ identified in section 2.6. This represents an extensive type green
roof with a growing medium depth of 150 mm, as specified below in this chapter.

Generally, deeper growing medium depths provide higher stormwater storage capacities.
The stormwater effectiveness of green roofs is in direct proportion to the water storage
capacity of its growing medium and plants. In the Metro Vancouver climate, growing
medium depths may need to approach 300 mm in wetter parts of the region to meet 100%
of rainwater capture targets and thus to avoid the need for off-roof or at-grade stormwater
source control. However, successful designs using wood/steel lightweight structures will
balance a certain amount of on-roof rainwater capture with green roofs with a companion
role for at-grade stormwater source control.

4.2 THE STORMWATER BENEFIT
By far the greatest measurable benefit for the Lower Mainland, with a high degree of
expected implementation success, is the stormwater category. Municipalities already
charge costs to developers to deal with the negative consequences of stormwater off-site.
Municipalities and senior Provincial and Federal Agencies also demand certain
stormwater criteria to be met on-site that can further add to these costs. If these negative
consequences could be reliably offset by green roof systems, offsetting credits could be
used to establish credits for green roof construction.

SALMON HABITAT – CREEK SYSTEMS

The reason why stormwater provides the greatest benefit is due to the fact that in Metro
Vancouver, we are heavily focussed on the protection of salmon habitat and compliance
with the Fisheries Act. It has been proven that increasing impervious area destroys fish
habitat. To mitigate this, development must control stormwater quantity and flow rates.

The Pacific Northwest has a completely different stormwater business case than many
other areas of the world. In order for the stormwater benefits to be truly realized, green
roofs constructed in Metro Vancouver, MUST meet the stormwater criteria outlined by

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either the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ (DFO) Urban Stormwater Guidelines112
OR Stormwater Planning: a Guide Book for British Columbia113, AND a municipality’s
local stormwater control bylaw, OR that prescribed in a local Integrated Stormwater
Management Plan (ISMP). Otherwise, municipalities will be required to construct off-
site works to mitigate the impact of the impervious surfaces and will be unable to offer
offsetting financial benefits.

Typical stormwater criteria would likely be comprised of the components listed in Table
4-1

Table 4-1: Typical Stormwater Criteria1 in Metro Vancouver
Volume Reduction: 6-month 24-hour post-development volumes from impervious
areas are not discharged and are infiltrated to ground. If infiltration is not possible, the
rate-of-discharge from volume reduction Best Management Practices (BMPs) will be
equal to the calculated release rate of an infiltration system.
Water Quality: Collect and treat the volume of the 24-hour precipitation event
equalling 90% of the total rainfall from impervious areas with suitable BMPs. Rate of
discharge will not be greater than required to provide suitable hydraulic retention time
as to maximize the effectiveness of the specific BMP.
Flow Rate Control: Post-development flows match the volume, shape and peak
instantaneous rates of pre-development flows for the 6-month 24-hour, 2-year 24-hour,
5-year 24-hour, 10-year 24-hour, and 100-year 24-hour precipitation events.
1
A blend of DFO’s Stormwater Criteria for the protection of aquatic habitats and typical municipal
criteria to protect against flooding and erosion in downstream conveyance systems

If a green roof can demonstrate that the above criteria are met, it is possible that an
offsetting financial credit may be obtained from a local municipality provided a legal
framework is in place to offer a credit.

REDUCTION IN STORMWATER INFRASTRUCTURE

There is also a downstream infrastructure benefit when green roofs are implemented.
The benefit can be calculated two ways:

1. Reduced 10-year and 100-year peak flows; and
2. Reduced impact to existing infrastructure due to climate change.

The purpose of this section is to quantify the green roof stormwater benefits identified
above and develop financial mechanisms allowing builders to realize those benefits. This
section relies heavily on research carried out by KWL, Public Works Canada, The City of

112
Urban Stormwater Guidelines and Best Management Practices for Protection of Fish and Fish Habitat, Department of Fisheries
and Oceans, Draft, April 2001
113
Stormwater Planning: a Guidebook for British Columbia, Ministry of Environment, Province of British Columbia, May 2002

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Vancouver, The City of White Rock and Metro Vancouver with the monitoring of the
Vancouver Public Library and White Rock Public Works building.114

4.3 OVERVIEW OF 2003/2004 GREEN ROOF MONITORING STUDY
The Vancouver Public Library’s (VPL) Central Branch building and green roof were
constructed in 1995. The 2,600 m2 roof includes an extensive green roof with a gross
area of 1,850 m2 and a net area of 1,500 m2. The green roof was designed and completed
by architect Moshe Safdie and Landscape Architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander. The
green roof is inaccessible to the general public but can be viewed by occupants in the
surrounding residential and commercial towers.

Another similar green roof project was undertaken at the Public Works Building of White
Rock. The green roof at the City of White Rock was constructed in 2002. The building
recently obtained a LEED® Gold certification and was recognized as the first building in
Canada to obtain this status.

Both green roofs were monitored from July 2003 through September 2004. Flow, rain,
air and runoff temperature, humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and soil moisture were
recorded every 5 minutes. A XP-SWMM computer model was calibrated using the
results to evaluate the green roof function under various design storm conditions.

IMPACT OF GREEN ROOFS ON REDUCING EFFECTIVE IMPERVIOUS AREA

One of the major outcomes of the VPL and White Rock flow monitoring study was the
development of an effective impervious area (EIA) relationship with growing medium
depth. Since reducing EIA is a key objective in any watershed planning study, it is
important to be able to calculate EIA reductions for green roofs. Figure 4-1 illustrates
this relationship.

Figure 4-1: EIA Versus Growing Medium Depth

114
For additional information, refer to the proceedings of the 2004 Green Roofs for Healthy Cities conference in Portland, Oregon
and consult the paper “Vancouver Public Library Green Roof Monitoring Project”.

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Figure 4-1 shows that 70% of the EIA reduction of a green roof occurs with the first 150
mm of depth. Additional depth produces decreasing benefit to EIA.

Other research has shown that the relationship between growing medium depth and the
stormwater benefits of a green roof is not as clear-cut as is indicated by these results from
the calibrated XP-SWMM model. Monitoring results from BCIT and the Seattle GREP
show that a greater percentage of runoff retention was achieved with a growing medium
depth of 100 mm than with 150 mm in the Pacific Northwest’s rainy climate115. But the
components of the growing medium (e.g. percentage of mineral soils and humus), the
types of plantings and the design of the drainage layer all contribute to the water retention
capacity of the green roof. Both studies had additional variables, such that the difference
in runoff retention cannot be attributed only to growing medium depth. Therefore it must
be recognized that depth of growing medium alone is not sufficient to characterize the
expected stormwater benefits of the green roof system.

But, in general, research does support the XP-SWMM results shown in Figure 4-1,
assuming all variables other than growing medium depth are held constant. It has been
found that the linear increase of retention with growing medium depth holds up to 5 cm
depth, and the incremental benefit decreases above that value116, which is illustrated by
the results in Figure 4-1. Also, a separate green roof modelling tool called LIDSWMM
was developed as part of the Seattle GREP.117 The tool was used to model an ideal green
roof using parameters from the FLL guidelines in order to show that it should be possible
to achieve the stormwater volume reduction and rate control goals using only a green
roof. The ideal green roof design that resulted was a single-layer green roof system
conforming to FLL standards, with 150mm depth of growing medium.

It is proposed then that the optimal depth of a green roof in Vancouver, based on a
stormwater benefit only, is 150 mm.

IMPROVING THE STORMWATER PERFORMANCE OF GREEN ROOFS

Peak flow attenuation remains a goal that green roof design addresses but has not yet
achieved at a level that meets the needs of stormwater design in the Pacific Northwest. In
typical extensive green roofs currently installed in North America, once the growing
medium becomes saturated, rainfall flows relatively quickly through the soil and into the
under-drain system. The under-drain system is designed to move water as quickly as
possible out to the roof drains such that ponding will not occur on the roof membrane.
The trouble with this approach is that the water travels too fast through the saturated soil,
thus failing to meet the flow rate control criteria in Table 4-1.

115
CONNELLY, 2006 and GAGNES, 2007
116
TRCA, 2007; Appendix A
117
GAGNES, 2007

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More information, methods and technology are emerging that can improve this
performance aspect of a green roof without compromising the roofing membrane. One
method is to change the design of the under-drain system, which is evolving as green roof
manufacturers improve and update their designs. For example, the interface at the
growing medium could be partially impermeable in a pattern that would force rainfall to
move vertically then horizontally then vertically. This would substantially increase the
travel time as the horizontal movement of water through soil is slower than the vertical
movement. The Seattle GREP found that current designs for cellular mat under-drain
systems were still inadequate to reduce flow rates for the Pacific Northwest climate.118
The study’s authors recommend that aggregate drainage layers can perform up to ten
times better for flow attenuation than cellular mats and may be cheaper, while tray
systems seem to perform somewhere in the middle. More testing and research needs to
be done on how to fully achieve the desired level of stormwater flow control with a green
roof. If this can be achieved, a greater stormwater benefit will be realized and the
business case can be adjusted.

4.4 RECEIVING WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENTS
Research has shown that provided growing mediums are deeper than 100 mm, green
roofs are effective at removing atmospheric pollutants from rainfall.119 They are also
effective at reducing negative thermal aspects of impervious area runoff. However, most
of the urban pollutants that degrade receiving waters are generated at the street level.

On the other hand, green roofs significantly reduce the volume of water leaving a rooftop
during the smaller rainfall events such that end-of-pipe treatment facilities, if employed,
can be reduced in size. It is likely that in the future, some form of end-of-pipe treatment
will be required in highly urbanized watersheds (i.e. impervious areas greater than 50%);
particularly as combined sewers are separated and frequently occurring rainfall events are
discharged directly into the aquatic environments. Since most urban pollutants are
washed off during these small rain events, an offsetting benefit could be calculated for
the construction of green roofs.

CALCULATING A GREEN ROOF WATER QUALITY SAVING

Water treatment facilities and other best management practices (BMPs) are sized to
remove pollutants from the smaller rainfall events. Typically, designers optimize the size
of water quality facilities by predicting removal efficiencies using a continuous rainfall
data set ranging over at least one year. Since no locally published research is available
documenting the linkage between green roofs as a percentage of the watershed area and
water quality BMP size, this report assumes that the effective impervious area (EIA)

118
GAGNES, 2007
119
TRCA, 2007; Appendix A

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relationship developed in the VPL and White Rock Green Roof flow monitoring study
can be used.

To calculate this benefit, the 15th Avenue Trunk in the City of North Vancouver was
selected as a pilot project. In order to reduce the pollutant loading into Wagg Creek, the
City recently installed a high rate settling facility on their 15th Avenue storm sewer at a
cost of $250,000. This facility is predicted to significantly reduce the loading of 50
micron and larger particles in the downstream creek system. Numerous studies have
shown that many of the chemical constituents in stormwater attach themselves to grit in
the stormwater stream. By removing these particles it is hoped that the water quality in
Wagg creek improves. Assuming that this basic level of treatment is acceptable to meet
the objective, a cost per square metre of impervious area surface can be calculated.

To accurately develop this cost however, the design criteria used will have to be
increased to meet DFO’s water quality criteria from their stormwater discharge
guidelines. The facility will need to be tripled in size for a total cost of $750,000.

ƒ Basin size: 80 ha.
ƒ Estimated cost of high-rate settling facility: $750,000.
ƒ Percent total impervious area: 60%.

Unit cost to treat impervious area: $15,625 /ha ($1.56/m2 ).

Assuming 150 mm green roofs are constructed in the basin to reduce the stormwater
treatment requirement and that the effective impervious area of the 150 mm green roofs is
29%, the net benefit can be calculated as $1.56*(1-0.29) = $1.11 /m2.

It could be argued however, that using high rate settling facilities that settle only the 50
micron and larger particle sizes does not provide sufficient treatment to meet the water
quality guidelines. In fact, if a wetland were to be constructed similar to the Lost Lagoon
facility in Stanley Park, the costs would be 20 times the above number (i.e. $22.20/m2)
plus property acquisition costs. Property costs could double or triple that number again.

TIMELINE FOR IMPLEMENTATION

Currently, there is no political will to force municipalities to meet the effluent standards
set by the aquatic water quality guidelines at a stormwater outfall other than if a federal
grant is offered or a DFO authorization is required. Instead, senior governments have
reluctantly agreed to receiving water monitoring programs that link future actions to
exceedance thresholds using chemical and biological indicators. Should these thresholds
be exceeded, stormwater quality treatment could be required. The green roof water
quality benefit could then be used to offset future stormwater treatment facilities.

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4.5 REDUCTION IN MAJOR STORM FLOWS AND DEVELOPMENT COST CHARGES
Depending on the municipality, storm sewers are sized to convey the 5 or 10-year storm
event. Major overland flow routes, creek systems, culverts and canals are usually sized
to convey the 100-year storm. With extensive green roof systems, water takes slightly
longer to move through to the storm sewer even during saturated soil conditions. This
delay reduces peak flows during storm events and hence can reduce the size of
downstream drainage infrastructure. However, the delay reduces with increasing storm
severity. Table 4-2 determines the expected percent reduction in peak flow under the 2,
5, 10 and 100-year return period using AES storm distributions and Burnaby mountain
rainfall amounts. The results were developed using the calibrated XP-SWMM model on
the VPL green roof and can be viewed as typical for Lower Mainland conditions.

Table 4-2: Impact of 150 mm Green Roofs on Major Storm Flows1
Return Conventional Predevelop- Green Roof Peak Flow
Period Roof Flow ment Flow Flow Reduction
(L/s) (L/s) (L/s) (%)
2 2.39 1.16 1.71 55
5 3.10 1.48 2.23 54
10 3.58 1.61 2.57 51
100 5.07 2.73 3.64 61
1
Based on the results of an American Hydrotech and Soprema Roof System.

Since most municipalities size their storm sewers for the 10-year storm peak flow, it can
be concluded that the 50% reduction in peak flow can equate to a reduction in sizing to
downstream drainage infrastructure of roughly 50% from a 150 mm green roof.

Referring back to section 4.3, if the travel time of rainfall through the saturated growing
medium can be reduced as has been shown by some manufacturers, the peak flow
reduction will be increased and the offsetting financial benefit increased as well.

PROPOSED REDUCTION IN DEVELOPMENT COST CHARGES (DCCS)

DCCs are charged to a developer to cover the cost of the off-site measures as a direct
result of developing land. DCCs include the costs for downstream conveyance
improvements including storm sewers, culverts, detention ponds and environmental
BMPs. A 50% reduction in downstream infrastructure sizing is a significant amount.
However, when translated to a reduction in DCC amount, it must be recognized that
roughly 70% of construction cost is the trenching cost. A pipe diameter reduction of 1 or
2 sizes may only amount to 15% of the total cost. Therefore, it is recommended that
municipalities consider reducing Development Cost Charges (DCCs) 15% for
developments that implement green roofs into their design. A formal DCC study for
green roofs would need to be carried out, but for the purposes of this report, we have
assumed a 15% reduction is possible.

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To calculate the stormwater benefit of this item, the City of Surrey’s DCC bylaw was
referenced. The average DCC cost for multi-family residential development in the city
centre area is $15.61/m2. Assuming four-storey buildings and using a rooftop basis, this
DCC can total $62.44/m2 of roof area. Reducing it by 15% carries a green roof benefit of
$9.37/m2 of roof area.

RE-DEVELOPING AREAS

In areas that are already developed with a properly sized storm sewer, DCCs may not
apply depending on the bylaws of a municipality. In these areas, it may be difficult to
realize a saving. However, many older drainage systems in the Lower Mainland were
sized based on limited climatic information using simplistic calculation methods. It is
likely that existing capacity restrictions exist and will be identified in upcoming
Integrated Stormwater Management Planning studies (ISMPs). As a result, it is felt that
the $9.37/m2 savings is applicable to green roofs in re-developing areas as well.

4.6 REDUCTION IN RISKS DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE
A recent study by the University of British Columbia (UBC) assessed the potential effect
climate change120 will have on municipal drainage infrastructure. Since most municipal
drainage infrastructure design is based on the capacity to pass a design discharge, it is
possible that any climate change that produces an increase in precipitation, or more
importantly an increase in the intensity of precipitation, will increase the magnitude of
the design discharges.

Drainage infrastructure designed based on pre-climate change conditions may be
potentially under designed and would not have the capacity to properly convey the higher
design discharges. Green roofs have the potential to minimize the effect increases in
precipitation have on design discharges, therefore reducing possible conveyance
upgrading expenditures.

The UBC study determined that there were strong increasing trends in short-duration
rainfall intensities in its North Vancouver case study. Typically, discharge from
developed areas that are greater than 50% impervious area, such as high-density multi-
family high rise, commercial and institutional buildings, is governed by shorter duration
storms (i.e. less than the 2-hour). It is these types of development that will be most
affected by increases in rainfall intensities. By reducing the impervious area to less than
50% of the total area, longer duration storms will govern the discharge; therefore the
climate change effect on the conveyance system will be minimized.

For example, the UBC study showed that the 84 ha 15th Street catchment requires
upgrades to approximately 1,000 metres of storm sewer trunk due to the increase in short

120
Denault et. al, 2001

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duration rainfall intensities. These upgrades would cost approximately $550,000. By
constructing green roofs on 2.8 ha within the catchment, the overall impervious area
would be reduced to below the 50% threshold. The cost benefit of the green roofs in
reducing the cost of the infrastructure upgrades would be $7.75/m2.

4.7 REDUCING THE STORMWATER IMPACT TO AQUATIC HABITAT
It has recently been established that as the effective impervious area of basin increases,
watershed health decreases. In fact, once the effective impervious area of a watershed
exceeds 35% EIA, it is unlikely to support salmon populations at all. Metro Vancouver
estimates that the region’s population will grow to nearly 3 million people over the next
30 years. Much of this growth will mean increased densities and a higher percentage of
impervious surfaces. Metro Vancouver has estimated that unless stormwater source
controls are implemented to maintain current EIA levels on all new buildings and sub
divisions, most creek systems west of Langley will no longer be able to support salmon
populations by 2036.

Assuming then, that EIA levels are to be maintained, the purpose of this section is to
examine the role that green roofs can play in maintaining a watershed’s EIA percentage.

Watersheds can be broken down into two categories:

ƒ Developing Watershed: a watershed that contains undeveloped land with pressures
to develop it.

ƒ Re-developing Watershed: a watershed that is fully developed, but is experiencing
re-development pressures due to densification.

To maintain existing EIA levels, either the impervious area must remain constant, or
additional impervious areas must be designed in such a way to “capture” rainfall. By
“capturing” rainfall, a stormwater source control must be able to evaporate, transpire,
infiltrate, or harvest up to a pre-determined amount of rainfall. This amount can vary and
is defined in the DFO Stormwater Guidelines as the 6-month storm and in the B.C.
Stormwater Guidebook as 50% of the Mean Annual Rainfall (MAR) event. For the
Lower Mainland, this 24-hour rainfall amount ranges between 27 mm in the Southern
areas to 45 mm or greater in the North Areas next to the mountains.

ESTABLISHING GREEN ROOF BENEFITS IN DEVELOPING WATERSHEDS

In developing watersheds, most municipalities charge DCCs to offset downstream
improvements and require the land to be developed in such a way that it meets set
stormwater criteria. DCCs cover costs associated with conveying stormwater off-site and
costs to protect the environment. However, the costs of environmental protection
measures are typically born by the land developer directly as part of their initial
infrastructure costs as no formal process is in place to recover these on-site

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environmental costs. For the purposes of evaluating the environmental protection benefit
of green roofs in both developing and re-developing watersheds, it is proposed that these
costs be allocated as part of the municipal costs in both cases.

An example of the magnitude of this onsite environmental cost is for a single-family
residential developer. Currently, when faced with the construction of an outfall to a creek
system requiring a DFO authorization, developers have been paying upwards of $6,000
per lot for additional lot and road stormwater mitigation measures (excluding DCC costs)
to meet the capture target outlined above. Approximately $3,000 of this cost is allocated
to mitigation measures on the lot through the construction of rock pits, amended soils and
rain gardens. Since typical roof areas are 186 m2, this translates to a cost of $16.15/m2 of
roof area.

For new multifamily, commercial, or industrial land uses in developing watersheds, the
cost to capture rainfall can be far more expensive particularly with multifamily residential
developments as the impervious surfaces are very large and the area available to
construct any mitigative measures limited. Currently, there are no published examples of
on-site stormwater capture costs for the non-single family land uses. For this reason, and
for the purposes of this report, it is assumed that the costs are equivalent to the single-
family land uses.

To calculate the stormwater benefit, again, the City of Surrey’s DCC bylaw was
referenced. The average DCC cost for multifamily residential development in the City
Centre area is $15.61/m2. Assuming four-storey buildings and calculating on a rooftop
basis, this DCC can total $62.44/m2 of roof area. It is proposed that the DCC cost is
further reduced by $16.15/m2, in addition to the other noted savings benefits, to offset the
cost of adding a green roof, provided the on-lot capture target is met by the green roof.

ESTABLISHING GREEN ROOF BENEFITS IN RE-DEVELOPING WATERSHEDS

In re-developing watersheds, the site level stormwater criteria is not clearly laid out. In
this case, the land is already developed and the receiving environment has already felt the
stormwater impact. As a result, if the proposed impervious area remains the same, no
additional negative consequences will occur. However, this is normally not the case. For
example, as single-family residential land uses are replaced by multi-family land uses,
impervious areas will increase, thus degrading the downstream receiving environment.
However, the environment makes no distinction between new development and re-
development; any increase in impervious area degrades watershed health. For this
reason, it is felt that green roofs in re-developing watersheds should also receive the
$16.15 /m2 benefit either through a reduction in DCC charges or other equivalent
methods such as density bonuses (to be discussed further in section 5).

Based on research results and modeling of green roof parameters, a baseline green roof
for the Metro Vancouver region is recommended to be an extensive type green roof with
150 mm depth of growing medium. Based on modelling of the estimated performance

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and reduction in effective impervious area of the roof associated with a green roof, this
type of roof could achieve approximately 70% reduction in EIA, which would provide
significant benefits in reduction of volumes and peak flows in downstream infrastructure,
mitigation for climate change impacts, and improvements to stormwater discharge quality
and mitigating impacts to aquatic habitat. These benefits have been estimated on a per
area basis for the baseline green roof case and the results are summarized in the table
below.

Table 4-3: Summary of Estimated Baseline Green Roof Stormwater Savings
Estimated
Stormwater Benefit
Savings
Receiving Water Quality Improvements $1.11/m2
Reduction in Major Storm Flows (DCC) $9.37/m2
Reduction in Risks Due to Climate Change $7.75/m2
Reducing Stormwater Impact to Aquatic Habitat $16.15/m2
TOTAL $34.38/m2

4-11
Section 5

Developing a Business Case
for Green Roofs
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
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METRO VANCOUVER

5. DEVELOPING A BUSINESS CASE FOR GREEN ROOFS

5.1 INTRODUCTION
The business case developed in this report targets commercial, industrial and high rise
multi-family buildings. The business case is likely not applicable to single family homes,
or walk-up condos/townhouses.

There are many papers published on the business cases for adopting green roofs
throughout the world. Significant papers have also been written about the benefits of
Green Roofs/Eco-Roofs in the Lower Mainland.121 The results however, tend to depend
heavily on the local climate, building style and materials, public acceptance and
environmental protection legislation. For example, in Central North America, there is a
strong case for using green roofs to reduce energy costs due to summer air conditioning.
Unfortunately, this is not the case in Metro Vancouver as the air conditioning demands
are far less, significantly reducing the offsetting benefits.

The main benefits of green roofs have typically fallen into the following categories:

1. Aesthetics and Property Values;
2. Agriculture;
3. Energy – Cooling & Heating;
4. Green House Gases and CO2 Sequestration;
5. Heat Island Effects;
6. Air Quality;
7. Stormwater;
8. Roof Life; and
9. Terrestrial Habitat.

These benefits are described in Table 5-1, which also indicates whether the recipient of
the benefit is the developer, owner or community.

Monetary values will be assigned to the above benefits and the benefits will then be
compared to green roof construction costs. Significant effort will be placed on the
stormwater benefits as we feel it to be the superior benefit in Metro Vancouver. Also,
financial mechanisms such as density bonuses, sewer utilities and development cost
charges, are already in place and can be easily modified to promote green roof
construction provided the above caveats are met.

As in the previous section, the business case analysis here looks at the use of an extensive
green roof for installation in the Metro Vancouver region. For this section, the analysis

121
Eco-Roofs and Vancouver: A Critical Analysis. URL: http://www.sustainable-communities.agsci.ubc.ca/thesis/kp-7.pdf

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was not limited to an assumed 150 mm depth of growing medium. Also, several growing
medium depths are reviewed to show the implications that the growing medium depth
can have on the costs of implementation.

5-2
Table 5-1: Summary of Green Roof Benefits and Benefit Recipients
Benefit Recipient
Benefit Description
Developer Owner Community
Aesthetics and In urban areas where tall and short buildings are interspersed, there are significant benefits to the
Property Values neighbouring properties. Also, where green roofs can be incorporated into the design of open areas, they
can significantly improve the saleability of a particular development, and the local area as a whole.
; ; ;
Agriculture There is a growing movement to expand the successful community garden concept and link it to green roofs.
This allows residences in higher density areas to also enjoy the benefits of being able to establish
community gardens.
;
Energy – Green roofs do add to the “R” factor of a building, however, it is argued that during the winter, these positive
Cooling and
Heating
effects are small due to the positive conductivity of the growing medium. The biggest energy benefits tend to
be in the summer, as green roofs tend to be very effective at moderating the membrane temperature.
; ;
Green House Another benefit often cited is the reduction of CO2 levels due to plant growth on green roofs. Unfortunately,
Gases and CO2
Sequestration
the majority of green roofs in North America tend to have very small plantings due to the dominant use of
extensive roof systems using shallow growing mediums. This category would offer more benefit if all roofs ; ;
were intensive with larger plant life, but would likely be off-set by the higher structural costs.
Heat Island Green roofs offer a very credible solution to lowering the street temperature of cities in the summertime. A
Effects recent study in the City of New York found that construction of green roofs in Manhattan could possibly cut
the urban heat island effect nearly 40%. This was then related to a reduction in health costs.
;
Air quality Similar to the proven impacts of planting of urban forests, green roofs can also have a positive impact on air
quality by filtering the air and intercepting air pollutants. The impact will again be determined by the size of
the plantings and is often only measurable with intensive roof systems.
;
Stormwater and Green roofs capture, detain, filter, and cool rainwater. This can provide significant benefits to the
Environment downstream in-stream aquatic habitat, and receiving water quality. Off-site stormwater infrastructure and
facilities can be reduced in size or even eliminated in some cases through the construction of green roofs.
; ; ;
Stormwater, Green Roofs can also provide significant benefits to the downstream municipal stormwater system in urban
Municipal centres where impervious percentages are greater than 50%. A recent climate change study by Metro
Infrastructure,
and Climate
Vancouver has shown that there is a real concern that should trends of the past 25-years continue,
convective storms are increasing in intensity. Areas with impervious ratios over 50% will see their flows
; ; ;
Change increase.
Roof Life It has been observed that a green roof significantly extends the life of the underlying membrane by
moderating its temperature and removing ultraviolet radiation. This benefit may offer significant cost savings
by way of preventing or delaying roof repairs and prolonging roof life.
;
Terrestrial It has been documented that there is a positive benefit to urban bird species due to the construction of green
Habitat: roofs. Nesting occurs on many of Vancouver’s existing roofs. There may be an opportunity to allocate
terrestrial habitat credits to green roofs.
;
; Benefit is realized in other jurisdictions and could be in the Lower Mainland if a financial recovery structure was set up.
; Benefit can be realized today.
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
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METRO VANCOUVER

5.2 COST-BENEFIT RATIOS
There is a disconnect between who bears the cost of a green roof and who benefits. A
developer may erect a building intending to sell it as soon as constructed. To keep costs
low and maximize profits, amenities like green roofs will not be included unless required
or encouraged.

However, the benefits of a green roof can accrue directly to owners or to the broader
community. “The mitigation of urban stormwater runoff represents by far the most
influential potential impact of eco-roofs in Metro Vancouver”, according to Steve
McTaggart, an assistant sewers engineer for the City of Vancouver, and in “… parts of
the region where combined sewer systems service a large, continuous area, even
moderate reductions in stormwater runoff could help offset combined sewer
overflows”.122

There is recognition of the need to see return on investment within a certain time period,
but the extent of that time period can vary significantly. The Penn State Centre for Green
Roof Research is looking for an investment return period of 5-7 years.123 By comparison,
German cost-benefit analyses for green roofs usually cover a 40-year investment period.

5.3 COST OF A CONVENTIONAL ROOF
The cost of a conventional 2-ply SBS roofing system on top of concrete is currently $86 -
$129 per square metre in the Lower Mainland.124 This increased significantly, by about
$32/square metre, between approximately 2001 to 2004 to cover increased insurance
costs, in large part due to fires.125

5.4 COST OF A GREEN ROOF

BASIC COSTS (EXCLUDING STRUCTURAL COSTS)

The estimated basic cost of a green roof varies from $184/m2 for a 100 mm growing
medium depth to $238/m2 for a 300 mm growing medium depth. The baseline green roof
standard used for the business case analysis is 150 mm growing medium depth, which
has an estimated basic cost of $205/m2. A summary of basic green roof costs is presented
in Table 5-2.

122
Anon.: pp. 83 and 88
123
Beattie, p. 108
124
Tom Locke, Aquaproof, Pers. Comm., Dec. 2004 and City of Toronto, 2005
125
Jim Watson, RCABC, Pers. Comm., Dec 2004

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Table 5-2: Summary of Basic Green Roof Costs (Metric)
Growing Medium Green Roof Envelope Costs ($/m2)
Nominal Mass Drains/ Fabrics/ Growing Total
Plants
Depth (kg/m2) Membrane Medium Cost
100 mm 152 $21 $162 $11 $184
150 mm 226 $21 $162 $22 $205
200 mm 299 $21 $162 $33 $216
300 mm 445 $21 $162 $55 $238
600 mm 890 $21 $162 $77 $260

Referring to section 3.10, the reported green roof installation costs in Germany are about
$40/m2. The reported installation costs in North America range from $80 to $200/m2.126
The costs in the above table are at the upper end of the range as they represent 2005
construction levels and thicker growing mediums to achieve a stormwater benefit based
on west coast rainfall. While the costs are still considerably higher than in Germany due
to lack of economies of scale and relative lack of experienced companies in North
America that have specialized in this area, there is some evidence that North American
costs are starting to come down. TRCA (2007) found the average reported green roof
installed cost to be $112/m2 which was based on green roofs with varying thickness of
growing medium.

STRUCTURAL COSTS

A green roof has weight implications on the structure below it. The significance of this
structural load in terms of structural design and costs depends on the weight of the
proposed green roof, and the location of heavier areas (e.g., deeper soil depths for larger
plants) in relation to columns and other structural bearing members. All green roof
projects require the services of an experienced structural engineer.

For a new building, the cost of the additional roof structure to support the weight of the
green roof will increase approximately proportional to the percentage increase in weight
of the structure. It takes a heavier structure to carry the extra load and the cost of the
material for the structure will go up by approximately the same amount. The addition of
a green roof will have a larger impact on the cost of lighter structural materials (wood and
structural steel) than it will on heavier structures (such as concrete).

A summary of the additional structural costs associated with a green roof is provided in
Table 5-3. The costs are based on the following roof structure construction costs:

ƒ wood – $86 to $108/m2;
ƒ steel – $161 to $194/m2; and
ƒ concrete – $269 to $301/m2.

126
Beattie, 2004 and TRCA, 2007

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In the current building market it is very difficult to define a single value construction
cost. Also, the total cost of the structure will fluctuate depending on how many floors
and spans there are. For the cost analysis, the middle of these cost ranges was used:
$91/m2, $178/m2 and $285/m2 for wood, steel and concrete respectively. These costs are
limited to the structure of the roof. Vertical structural elements will also be affected but
to a much lesser extent. Foundations will also be affected but this will depend on the
percentage of increase in load on the foundation. For example there will be little impact
in a 24-storey tower and greater impact in a one-storey building.

Table 5-3: Summary of Additional Structural Costs
Incremental Increase in Incremental Increase in Cost of
Growing Medium
Cost of Roof Structure Roof Structure with Green Roof
(Moist Condition)
with Green Roof (%) ($/m2)
Mass
Nominal Depth Wood Steel Concrete Wood Steel Concrete
(kg/m2)
75 mm 114 161 97 19 $156/m2 $172/m2 $54/m2
100 mm 152 208 125 25 $205/m2 $226/m2 $75/m2
150 mm 226 308 185 37 $301/m2 $328/m2 $108/m2
200 mm 299 408 245 49 $398/m2 $436/m2 $140/m2
300 mm 445 608 365 73 $592/m2 $646/m2 $205/m2

These structural costs, developed using 2005 cost data, may be on the high side. Most
new building designs accommodate the cost of a structural upgrade for the green roof
from the initiation of the project, such that the incremental cost is not broken out. In a
2007 survey127, only one response out of 24 in Southern Ontario could report the cost of
the structural upgrade due to the fact that the green roof was added after the preliminary
design had been completed and priced out. The incremental increase in actual cost was
$54/m2 for a 2-storey building, which is the lowest cost shown in Table 5-4.

TOTAL COSTS

For the baseline standard green roof with growing medium depth of 150 mm, the total
estimated cost of a green roof, including envelope and structural upgrade costs, ranges
from $312/m2 in a concrete structure to $533/m2 in a steel frame structure. (See Table
5-4).

127
TRCA, 2007

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Table 5-4: Total Cost of a Green Roof
Total Cost of Green Roof
Depth of Growing Medium
($/m2)
Depth Wood Steel Concrete
100 mm $398/m2 $420/m2 $269/m2
150 mm $506/m2 $533/m2 $312/m2
200 mm $614/m2 $651/m2 $355/m2
300 mm $829/m2 $883/m2 $441/m2

The estimated total cost of green roof construction including the structural component is
rarely reported, likely due to the difficulties in separating these costs from the building
costs. However, the structural costs are significant in wood and steel buildings and
cannot be ignored. Concrete buildings can accommodate the increased loadings
relatively easily, but the estimated total cost of the green roof still adds a 53% premium
on the basic roof cost, assuming a 150 mm roof.

Manufacturers continue to work on providing all the benefits of a green roof for less
saturated weight and the costs herein should perhaps be viewed as a yardstick for
structural and total cost considerations. Each project should be individually reviewed by
a structural engineer to evaluate the impacts of incorporating a green roof.

5.5 SAVINGS FROM A GREEN ROOF
The savings associated with the benefits of an extensive green roof implemented in the
Metro Vancouver region are tabulated in Table 5-5. The research which supports these
calculations is provided in Appendix B. The total benefit of a green roof with a
minimum growing medium depth of 150 mm, in Metro Vancouver, was calculated to be
$83.47/m2. Of this amount, $43.60/m2 is due to the longer life of the waterproof
membrane, and $34.37/m2 accrues from potential stormwater management benefits. The
incremental difference between a green and conventional roof per square metre for wood,
steel and concrete respectively is estimated at $314, $341 and $120 as shown in Table
5-6.

5-7
Table 5-5: Details of Green Roof Benefits
Results from Literature Search Conversion to Vancouver Conditions Benefit Recipient
Value of Value of
Published NPV Conversion NPV
Benefit Benefit Developer Owner Community
Benefit (1) Method (1)
$/m2/year $/m2/year
Aesthetics and
Property Values Unquantified at this time. $0.00 $0.00 N/A $0.00 $0.00 ; ; ;
Agriculture
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver –
green roof herb garden.
$141.00 $2120.00
Direct application if opportunity exists
(unique case).
$0.00 $0.00 ;
NRC – Ottawa green roof pilot Transferred to Vancouver conditions
Energy - Cooling study showed 75% reduction in
cooling costs.
N/A N/A by factoring 265 Degree cooling
hours to 65 degree cooling hours.
$0.37 $5.49 ; ;
Energy - Heating N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Green House
Gases and CO2
Sequestration
Unquantified at this time. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A ; ;
Heat Island
Effects
New York City Health cost
reduction.
To be determined. ;
Air Quality N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A ;
Stormwater and
Water Quality
Green roofs improve water
quality.
N/A N/A
Value of benefit calculated by KWL
for this report.
N/A $1.11 ; ; ;
Stormwater and
Value of benefit calculated by KWL
Major Storm Green roofs reduce runoff effects. N/A N/A N/A $9.37
for this report.
Flow DCCs
Stormwater and Value of benefit calculated by KWL
Green roofs reduce runoff effects. N/A N/A N/A $7.75
Climate Change for this report.
Stormwater and Green roofs reduce urbanization
Aquatic Habitat effects.
N/A N/A
Value of benefit calculated by KWL
for this report.
N/A $16.15 ; ; ;
A conventional roof lasts 20
Roof Life years. A green roof lasts 40
years.
N/A $43.60 Direct application. N/A $43.60 ;
Terrestrial
Habitat
Green roofs provide habitat. N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A ;
TOTAL GREEN ROOF BENEFIT IN METRO VANCOUVER $83.47
Note:
(1) NPV – Net Present Value over 40 years at a discount rate of 6%

; Benefit is realized in other jurisdictions and could be in the Lower Mainland if a financial recovery structure was set up.
; Benefit can be realized today.
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
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Table 5-6: 150 mm Green Roof Cost-Benefit Analysis Summary
Value ($/m2)
Wood Steel Concrete
Cost of Green Roof $506 $533 $312
Green Benefit -$84 -$84 -$84
Conventional Roof -$108 -$108 -$108
Total Incremental Cost $314 $341 $120

In other words, if the green benefit could be doubled, the incremental costs would be
neutral in the concrete building scenario. The subsidies could likely be reduced over time
as costs begin to move closer to European costs.

5.6 CASE STUDY 1 – “THE SILVA” BUILDING IN NORTH VANCOUVER

OVERVIEW OF DEVELOPMENT, CONSTRUCTION AND INSTALLATION

The Silva high rise development is located in Central Lonsdale area of the City of North
Vancouver. The building was constructed by “West Coast Projects Ltd. of Vancouver”.
The 67-unit building was fully supported by the City as it represents the City's
commitment to pursue opportunities that will support its goals for a sustainable
community.
Completed in February 2005, the 67-unit concrete development achieved LEED®
certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED®, also known as
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building rating system that
sets the national standard for developing high performance, sustainable building. The
Silva was the first Canadian residential/commercial building recognized by LEED®.
The Silva includes 8,175 square metres of residential space and 446 square metres of
commercial space. Developed by 16th Street Development, the building was completed
on time and under budget. The Silva was quickly sold out upon completion indicating a
positive trend in the housing market.

The purpose behind the LEED® system is to:

• define “green building” by establishing a common standard of measurement;
• promote integrated, whole-building design practices;
• recognize environmental leadership in the building industry;
• stimulate green competition;
• raise consumer awareness of green building benefits; and
• transform the building market.

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The Silva building was the first LEED® Certified building constructed by West Coast
Projects. Discussions with the owner of West Coast Projects revealed that the LEED®
Certification was a positive experience and the construction practices and materials
required for LEED® certification made sense.

TECHNICAL AND DETAILED DESIGN INFORMATION

Table 5-7 shows the project facts and statistics of the Silva Project. Figure 5-1 shows a
photograph of the eastern section of the green roof.

Table 5-7: Green Roof Facts for the Silva Building

West Coast Projects Limited
Developer 1040 Georgia Street East, Vancouver, BC V6E4H1
(604) 685-2303
Contact: David Sprague
Green Roof Area 418 square metres
Location of Green Roof 2nd floor over top of the commercial area
Roof Construction Material Concrete
Access for Public ? Yes, incorporated into an amenity area
Roof Membrane Type American Hydrotech
Growing Medium Depth: 600 mm
Completion Date: February 2005

Figure 5-1: Eastern Section of the Silva Building Green Roof

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OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE REQUIREMENTS

Since the growing medium of The Silva’s green roof is substantial, it was decided that an
irrigation system would not be required. It is anticipated, however, that some manual
irrigation may be required for the first three years to establish healthy root systems.

COST OF THE GREEN ROOF (EXCLUDING STRUCTURAL COSTS)
Table 5-8: Green Roof Construction Costs for the Silva Building
Constructed Construction
Green Roof Construction Item
Area Cost ($)128

Cost for drainage: 418 m2 $9,100
Cost for soil (special soil mix) 418 m2 $ 24,000
Cost of landscaping (special grass and plants) 418 m2 $28,000
Cost of irrigation typical spec.(not required) $0
Waterproofing (Hydrotech): 418 m2 $13,500
Total $74,600
Cost per Square Metres (using green roof area) $178/sq.m.

The reported costs are likely low as they represent the raw sub-contractor’s costs.
Missing is likely the line items of covering the prime contractor markup, insurance and
mobilization/demobilization. For this reason, it is possible that the costs are 30% low.
Marking the $178/m2 up by 30% yields a green roof cost of $231/m2. However, the
estimated green roof construction cost for a 600 mm thick roof in Table 5-2 is $260/m2.
The resulting difference in cost between The Silva green roof and the estimate appears to
be mostly in the cost of the membrane.

Based on the above, it appears that the Silva building costs are similar to those in Table
5-2. The costs might also be closer to 260/m2 if the green roof were installed at a higher
level rather than on a two-storey building.

LESSONS LEARNED

The Silva highlights the use of a green roof system that was easily constructed on the 2nd
level of a 16-storey residential tower. Once the developer committed to building a green
building and striving to obtain a LEED® certification, the green roof above the
commercial retail space became an easy decision. Changing construction practices to
recycle materials and use more sustainable products “just made sense” to the developer.
It also appealed to City staff and council, who assisted the developer by reviewing and
processing the development’s paperwork smoothly and in a timely manner.

128
Raw sub-contractors cost from Brent Rassmusen, Marcon Construction, Pers Communications, May 2005

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The premium for constructing the 600 mm deep green roof was small as the alternative
was to construct an open area for residents to gather. The incremental cost for the green
roof over the alternative was 8% or $6,000129. This small incremental difference was
easily justified given the stormwater benefits of the green roof and the LEED® credits
awarded. It also represents a significant lesson learned as it appears that there is a solid
business case to construct green roofs in mixed commercial/residential high rise
developments.

GREEN ROOFS AND MULTI-STOREY TOWERS

The second roof over the 16th storey of the multi-family residential tower was not
constructed as a green roof. Although the costs would have been higher as the same
business case may have not been available, the main reason West Coast Projects did not
pursue this option was due to the perceived difficulty in eventually replacing the roof
membrane130. At sixteen storeys in the air, removal and replacement of the green roof in
order to repair or replace the roofing membrane would be a significant challenge.

The above concerns by West Coast Projects are not isolated. The concerns were also
expressed by the developers interviewed in section 3.16. The concerns can be addressed,
but will take time for research and experimentation to prove out approaches. The
concern about leak repairs can be dealt with through Electric Field Vector Mapping
(EFVM) – a process performed by International Leak Detection and others, as mentioned
in section 3.4.

More research is required on the replacement of the membrane below a green roof after
its design life has ended. It is certainly possible that the growing medium can be moved
from one part of the roof to another, but the structural loads would have to be reviewed.
Since roof tops are designed to take a considerable snow load, there is ample opportunity
to move the soil around, but it still raises a valid concern.

5.7 CASE STUDY 2 – THE WHITE ROCK OPERATIONS CENTRE
The City of White Rock decided to replace their operations centre with a new facility
with the mandate to make it as “green” as reasonably possible. This approach was
undertaken in accordance with the City's own policy of promoting green strategies in all
their developments and planning strategies. The new operations centre opened in the
spring of 2003, and received a LEED® Gold rating, making it the first new building in
Canada to achieve this standing.

The new facility is designed over land that housed an abandoned sanitary treatment plant,
using the existing buried tank walls as the foundations for the new building. The building

129
Brent Rassmusen, Marcon Construction, Pers Communications, May 2005
130
David Sprague, West Coast Projects, Pers Communications, April 2005

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developed into two separate pavilions: a two-storey component on the north end and a
one-storey building on the south end. The north building is built on the existing
basement of the old sewage treatment plant control building and houses the departmental
elements which are only periodically used (field crew facilities, change rooms, first aid
room, meeting and lunch rooms). The south building houses the office component of the
department, the roof of which will be partially used as a roof deck and the majority of it
made into a planted roof.

TECHNICAL AND DETAILED DESIGN INFORMATION
Table 5-9: Green Roof Facts for the White Rock Operations Building
City of White Rock
Developer 877 Keil Street, White Rock, BC, V4B 4V6
(604) 541-2181
Contact: David Pollock, P.Eng.
Green Roof Area 200 square metres
Location of Green Roof 2nd Floor over top of the office spaces
Roof Construction Material Wood
Access for Public ? No
Roof Membrane Type Soprema
Growing Medium Depth: 100 mm
Completion Date: March 2003

Figure 5-2: The Green Roof at the White Rock Operations Centre

Photo credit: BCIT at http://www.greenroof.bcit.ca

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COST OF THE GREEN ROOF

Again, similar to The Silva, it has been difficult to accurately separate the green roof
costs from the other building costs. The reported cost of the 100 mm thick roof is
$150/m2. The additional cost of the green roof over that of a conventional roof is
reported to be approximately $17,225 or $86/m2 resulting in a base cost for a
conventional roof at $64/m2.

It is interesting to note that the difference between the estimates reported in section 5.3
for green roof and conventional roof construction costs are $44/m2 (i.e. $194/m2 less
$150/m2) and $33/m2 (i.e. $97/m2 less $64/m2) respectively. Since the roof was
constructed in 2002, it is likely that the membrane costs have increased by the $32/m2
difference noted by the RCABC.

For these reasons, it is recommended that the costs in section 5.3 remain valid for the
cost-benefit exercise.

LESSONS LEARNED

The City of White Rock has had trouble keeping the vegetation sustained over the
summer. This could be due to lack of a formal irrigation schedule, the shallow growing
medium thickness of 100 mm, or choice of plant material or a combination of issues.
With the exception of the vegetation, the roof is reportedly functioning well and has
begun to provide habitat for the local bird population.

5-14
Section 6

Strategy for Implementation
and Conclusions
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6. STRATEGY FOR IMPLEMENTATION AND CONCLUSIONS

6.1 INTRODUCTION
The purpose of this chapter is to review the business case developed in section 5, and
determine where the next steps should be. This section also provides some possible
incentives to increase the “benefit” side of the equation.

6.2 REVIEW OF BUSINESS CASE FOR GREEN ROOFS
Table 6-1 provides a summary of the previous sections. Generally speaking, there are
currently insufficient benefits to offset the costs of constructing green roofs. The
exception to this conclusion is the mixed commercial and high rise residential sites such
as the Silva building whereby the cost of the green roof was offset by public open spaces
on the 2nd level.

Table 6-1: 150 mm Green Roof Cost-Benefit Analysis Summary
Value ($/m2)
Wood Steel Concrete
Cost of Green Roof $506 $533 $312
Green Benefit -$84 -$84 -$84
Conventional Roof -$108 -$108 -$108
Total Incremental Cost $314 $341 $120

However, in assembling this report, the following deficiencies have appeared:

ƒ Development Cost Charges (DCC) are likely too low to collect sufficient funds to
protect fisheries resources. More specifically, DCCs have been developed to protect
against downstream flooding and erosion and not to protect against the environment.

ACTION: consider either implementing a stormwater bylaw that deals with this
deficiency, or develop DCCs that more accurately reflect the cost of providing water
treatment and volumetric reduction targets.

ƒ Green Roof Construction Costs: Germany is able to construct green roofs for 25 to
50% of the current costs in North America. Economies of scale will obviously
benefit the business case. In fact, if the green roof costs were reduced by 40%, there
would be a strong business case for green roofs on concrete structures.

ACTION: consider implementing a short term incentive program to build the
economies of scale into the system (see section 6.3)

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6.3 INCENTIVES
It is not just greater environmental culture and lower costs that have led to the boom in
green roof installation in Germany. Federal, state and local governments in Germany
have developed a suite of incentives – both regulatory and financial – to encourage or
mandate green roof construction. A summary of these from Ngan (2004) are presented
below:

ƒ Direct Financial Incentives: Many jurisdictions offer subsidies for the
implementation of green roofs. For example the city of Portland, Oregon has an
incentive of $48/m2 for eco- (green) roofs as part of their initiative for ecological and
sustainable water management. The funding is derived from pollution fees. The
roofs must have 10 centimetres or more of growing medium and meet other design
criteria to qualify for the incentive.

ƒ Indirect Financial Incentives: Stormwater disposal fees are charged by a growing
number of German municipalities and are seen by green roof proponents as a very
important incentive. Stormwater fees are calculated according to impervious surface
area. The annual fee ranges from 0.20€/m² to more than 2.00 €/m² ($0.32-$3.20/m²).
Green roofs may also qualify for a stormwater fee discount; again, there is a wide
range but a typical discount is 50%. For green roofs not connected to the sewer
system, the fee is not charged at all. In North America, stormwater disposal is
generally not charged. Until our cities view stormwater runoff created by impervious
areas as a real cost, little progress will be made.

ƒ Ecological Compensation Measure: Under the Federal Nature Conservation Act in
Germany, green roofs may be built as a compensation measure for developments that
cause impairment to the natural functions (e.g. infiltrating stormwater, providing
animal and plant habitat, etc.) of a particular site.

ƒ Development Regulations: Especially in new developments where new buildings go
through a development approval process, integrating green roofs into the
development regulations is common and effective.

In North America, there are fewer examples of green roof incentives but they are growing
– for example:

ƒ The Office of Energy Efficiency of Natural Resources Canada recently announced
that green roof technologies may now qualify under its existing funding programs for
energy efficient buildings – the Energy Innovators Initiative (EII), Commercial
Building Incentive Program (CBIP) and the Industrial Building Incentive Program
(IBIP).

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ƒ The City of Portland has introduced density bonuses and stormwater management
credits for green roofs (see below). Portland’s initiatives may be worth examining
more closely for examples that are applicable to the Lower Mainland.

ƒ The New York State Assembly has passed a bill to provide a USD $48.44/m2 tax
credit to defray the costs of installing a green roof in New York City.

6.4 EXISTING GREEN BUILDING INCENTIVES
Another method of providing an incentive is to facilitate the wide-spread acceptance of
green buildings such as the LEED® rating system. By providing special privileges for
developers who implement green buildings and LEED® certifications, green roofs will
undoubtedly follow. The favourable treatment that the developers of the Silva building
(and others) received will likely result in those firms continuing the green trend.

6.5 DENSITY BONUS
Portland has been a leader in promoting the use of eco-roofs with growing medium
depths between 50 mm and 150 mm, and has been actively involved in several pilot
projects. An eco-roof density bonus option is provided in the Central City:

ƒ Where the total area of eco-roof is at least 10% but less than 30% of the building’s
footprint, each square metre of eco-roof earns one square metre of additional floor
area.

ƒ Where the total area of eco-roof is at least 30% but less than 60% of the building’s
footprint, each square metre of eco-roof earns two square metres of additional floor
area.

ƒ Where the total area of eco-roof is at least 60% of the building’s footprint, each
square metre of eco-roof earns three square metres of additional floor area.

The City of Portland defines roof gardens as landscape areas over slab with growing
medium depths of 200 mm or more. Both eco-roof and roof gardens are treated as
pervious area in the City’s stormwater management calculations.

6-3
Section 7

Summary
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
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7. SUMMARY
The variety of social, environmental, and downstream infrastructure benefits that would
accrue from widespread implementation of green roofs in the Metro Vancouver region
create a tantalizing vision of a cleaner, greener and more sustainable dense urban area.
While green roofs, in one form or another, have been installed in this area for over 35
years, they are not yet prevalent, and it may be up to the regional districts and
municipalities to create an encouraging climate for increased green roof implementation.
Particularly given the increasing public and governmental concerns regarding urban
impacts, environmental degradation, and global climate change, the situation appears to
be favourable for increasing green roof coverage. Research has shown that the benefits
of green roof construction include:

ƒ Stormwater Management
ƒ Energy Efficiency
ƒ Urban Heat Island Mitigation
ƒ Increased Roof Membrane Lifespan
ƒ Air Quality Improvements
ƒ Improved Urban Aesthetics
ƒ Improved Property Values
ƒ Urban Agriculture
ƒ Increased Biodiversity and Habitat Preservation
ƒ Noise Mitigation

And yet even with all the research that has been done on green roofs, there remain
challenges for implementation in the Metro Vancouver region, including:

ƒ Misconception associating green roofs with “leaky condo syndrome”
ƒ Difficulty of repairs and maintenance
ƒ Structural concerns
ƒ Availability of expertise
ƒ Limited local scientific research
ƒ Fear of the “unknown”/ lack of local market data
ƒ Cost
ƒ Lack of standards
ƒ Insurance coverage
ƒ Fire hazard and uplift
ƒ Aesthetics of flat roofs and “messy” look

For many of the above challenges, the best solution is or involves education, including
education of municipal staff and building officials, designers, contractors and installers,
and the general public. Though a long-term effort, education will help ameliorate many,
though not all, of these concerns. In addition, various organizations are currently
working on these issues such as regional and national building standards for green roofs,

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insurance guidelines to assist insurers in evaluating green roofs and more scientific
research projects to further define the design parameters and benefits of green roofs in
this region.

According to developers, the single most critical factor in deciding whether or not to put
a green roof on a structure is cost.131 A green roof will always cost more than a standard
roof installation. In this report, it has been demonstrated that a significant portion of the
cost difference can be allocated to stormwater benefits that are realized downstream of a
green roof installation. This exercise shows that the estimated cost savings benefits of
green roofs do not currently out-weight their estimated costs, but as the case study on the
Silva building indicates, net costs can be minimal. Furthermore, by more accurately
tracking the true costs of the damage to the environment and by either increasing DCCs
or strengthening stormwater bylaws and allowing the economies of scale to lower
construction costs, the business case for green roofs on concrete structures will likely be
met.

The design of green roofs is evolving as more research in the Pacific Northwest helps us
determine how best to achieve the stormwater management benefits required – especially
during the high volume/saturated winter months. Specifically, more research is required
on varying the composition and depth of substrate material and plant species to mitigate
the seasonal variations in discharge. Current designs, from a stormwater management
perspective, focus on volume reduction rather than peak flow reduction or water quality.
A design needs to be capable of addressing all these components to effectively control
runoff since stormwater DCCs are currently based on the size of downstream piping
systems. In addition, for an individual project, energy and other benefits such as visual
appeal should also be accounted for in considering the costs of a green roof.

It is clear that green roofs represent a more expensive solution to stormwater
management than comparable surface-installed systems. Because of this, their
application is better suited to higher density areas where there is little room for ground
surface stormwater mitigation measures. Further, since the costs to support the weight of
green roofs can be considerable, concrete structures represent the most cost-efficient
building type for green roof installation. Based on the above considerations, the most
promising opportunity for green roofs appears to be multi-storey concrete buildings in
higher density areas. This situation minimizes the cost, and maximizes the benefits, of
the green roof due to urban density. Through the evolution of support and incentive
programs in the Metro Vancouver region, the number and visibility of installations will
expand. As this happens, developers, installers, insurers, and the public will become
more informed about and comfortable with green roofs, and eventually, costs are
expected to decrease as the local base of green roof knowledge and experience grows.

131
Davis, 2002

7-2
Section 8

References
DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
APRIL 2009
METRO VANCOUVER

8. REFERENCES
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CMHC (2002) “Fairmont Waterfront Hotel Green Roof Herb Garden Case Study, Vancouver,
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Connelly, M. and Hodgeson, M. (2008) “Sound Transmission Loss of Green Roofs”, Sixth
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Currie, B. and Bass, B. (2005) “Estimates of Air Pollution Mitigation with Green Plants and
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Czemiel Berndtsson, C., Emilsson, J., and Bengtsson, L., “The Influence of Extensive Vegetated
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EBN (2001) “Environmental Building News”, November 2001, p11.

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METRO VANCOUVER

Eumorfopoulou, E. and Aravantinos, D. (1998) “The Contribution of a Planted Roof to the
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David Evans and Associates, Inc and ECONorthwest (2008) “Cost Benefit Evaluation of
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FLL (2002) “Guidelines for the Planning, Execution and Upkeep of Green-roof Sites” English
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Gangnes, D. (2005) “Seattle Green Roof Evaluation Project – Winter 2005”, Magnusson
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Gedge, D. (2003) “From Rubble to Redstarts...Black Redstart Action Plan Working Group”,
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Graham, P. And Kim, M. (2003) “Evaluating the Stormwater Management Benefits of Green
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Gutteridge, B. (2003) “Toronto’s Green Roof Demonstration Project”, Greening Rooftop for
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HPO (2007) “Report of the Task Group on Green Roofs and Homeowner Protection in British
Columbia to the Homeowner Protection Office Board of Directors”, Homeowners Protection
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Johnston, C., McCreary, K. And Nelms, C. (2004), “Vancouver Public Library Green Roof
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APRIL 2009
METRO VANCOUVER

Kongshaung, R. and Bhatt, V. (2004) “The Role of Green Roofs in Cost-Effective City
Greening”, Greening Rooftop for Sustainable Communities, 2rd annual conference, Portland, OR.

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Liu, K.K.Y. and Baskaran, B.A. (2003) "Thermal performance of green roofs through field
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Liu, K.K.Y. (20041) "Sustainable building envelope - garden roof system performance," 2004
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MacMillan, G. (2004) “York University Rooftop Garden Stormwater Quantity and Quality
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MacMillan, G. (2006) “Evaluation of an Extensive Green Roof, York University, Toronto,
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8-4
Appendix A

Annotated Bibliography
Appendix A: Annotated Bibliography
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
– – Eco-Roofs and Vancouver: A This paper discusses the lack of scientific research and critical analysis of Stormwater
Critical Analysis. pp 66-92 the application of eco-roofs in biophysical environments like Vancouvers. It management
questions many of the potential benefits of green roofs reported in the
literature in the Vancouver context, but does agree that green roofs can
mitigate urban stormwater runoff. It reviews the variables that affect the
stormwater retention, and notes that “an eco-roof used in conjunction with
infiltration measures at grade produces a synergistic effect as the roof
retains a percentage of the water until the infiltration systems are able to
deal with it.”
Bass, B.; 2003 The Impact of Green Roofs A mesoscale model is used to simulate low-level air temperature in Toronto Urban heat island
Krayenhoff, E.S.; on Toronto’s Urban Heat over 48 hours in late June 2001. Heat island reduction is modelled and the mitigation
Martilli, A.; Stull, Island. Proceedings of potential role of green roofs is discussed.
R.B.; and Auld, H. Greening Rooftops for
Sustainable Communities,
Chicago, 2003. 12 pages
Beattie, David J. 2004 Green roof research in the Provides an overview of green roof research and application in the USA, in General
USA. Proceedings of particular as it differs from that in Germany.
International Green Roof
Congress, Nürtingen,
September 14-15, 2004. pp.
107-110
Brenneisen, S. 2003 The Benefits of Biodiversity A survey of spider and beetle fauna of the new habitats on green roofs in Urban biodiversity
from Green Roofs – Key Base, Switzerland revealed numerous endangered species listed in Red
Design Consequences. Data Books. A study of birds showed systematic use by species of
Proceedings of Greening grassland and riverbank habitats. Well designed roof habitats seem to
Rooftops for Sustainable represent a valuable replacement of last land habitat. Structural design of
Communities, Chicago, the substrate surface was the most significant factor in supporting
2003. 10 pages biodiversity. The design of green roofs should take into account the wildlife
and habitat of the natural surroundings as well as the conditions of the
exposed space on top of buildings.
Brenneisen, S. 2003 Refugium für Flora und Describes a green roof constructed in 1914 near Zurich that supports a Biodiversity
Fauna. Garten + Landschaft variety of orchids and other rare plants.
10/2003:26-29.
Bundesverband 2002 Jahrbuch Dachbegrünung English title: Green Roof Yearbook 2002. This yearbook contains several General
Garten- 2002, Thalacker Medien, articles written by leading green roof researchers. It provides a
Landschaftsund comprehensive overview of the state of the green roof industry in 2002.
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Sportplanzbau e.V. Braunschweig. There are articles about benefits, cost-benefit analysis, policy, design,
(BGL) Ed. construction, maintenance, vegetation, and guidelines. Another section
lists green roof organizations, research facilities, suppliers and contractors.
Burke, K. 2003 Green roofs and The paper relates the issues dealt with in designing and building the grass Design, policy
regenerative design roof at the Gap’s 901 Cherry Avenue office building in San Bruno, California
strategies – the Gap’s 901 from 1994 to 1997. It focuses on the role of the cost benefit study in the
Cherry project. Proceedings design approval process (e.g., a simply payback of 11 years was
of Greening Rooftops for estimated), and the benefits of including a native grassland specialist in the
Sustainable Communities, design team.
Chicago, 2003. 6 pages
Canadian Mortgage 2003 Fairmount Waterfront Hotel, A green roof of ivy and pea gravel was initially installed in 1991. The south Urban agriculture &
and Housing Vancouver, B.C. – Green side of the roof was converted to an herb garden in 1994 for $25,000. The Community
Corporation Roof Herb Garden Case garden measures 2,100 sq.ft. with a soil depth of 18 inches, comprised of enjoyment
(CMHC) Study 11 beds with amended soils. Values in food production and amenities are
http://www.cmhc- discussed.
schl.gc.ca/en/imquaf/himu/b
uin_034.cfm
Canadian Mortgage – Merchandise Lofts Building Describes a green roof constructed on the Merchandise Lofts Building in Occupant well being
and Housing Green Roof Case Study Toronto, Ontario, a 12-storey mixed use (condominium, retail, commercial)
Corporation http://www.cmhc- complex. The green roof, seeded with a prairie meadow mix, is 10,000
(CMHC) schl.gc.ca/en/imquaf/himu/b sq.ft. surrounded by 15,000 sq.ft. of concrete pavers. Benefits as outdoor
uin_020.cfm recreation area for tenants are discussed.
Canadian Mortgage – Waterfall Building Green A green roof constructed on the Waterfall Building in Vancouver, B.C. – a Community benefits,
and Housing Roof Case Study mixed office, retail, live-work space building – is described. The roof has marketability
Corporation http://www.cmhc- both extensive and intensive elements. Benefits of neighborhood
(CMHC) schl.gc.ca/en/imquaf/himu/b beautification, outdoor space, saleability and permitting supports are
uin_019.cfm discussed.
Davis, K. 2002 Green Roof Inventory: The report documents over 600 green roofs in the GVRD, the majority of General
Preface Report GVRD. 61 which are garage and building roof decks. The City of Vancouver had the
pages highest number among the municipalities in the Region, and the largest
concentration occurred among high-rise residential developments. Ten
more detailed case studies are provided. The report provides conclusions
on green roof trends, performance, perceptions, and challenges and
barriers in the GVRD.
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
ECOVER – ECOVER website - Discusses the green roof on the ECOVER factory in Oostmalle, Belgium Thermal insulation
http://www.ecover.com/engli built in 1992.
sh/index
Fabry, Wolfgang 2003 These 4-3: Gründächer Describes the background on stormwater fees in Germany. Incentives – fee
senken die Kosten bei *EFB-FBB: Europäische Föderation der Bauwerksbegrünungsverbande – reduction
Gespaltener Abwasser- Fachvereinigung Bauwerksbegrünung e.V
satzung. In Proceedings of
the EFB-FBB* Gründach-
symposium, Ditzingen,
March 23, 2003. pp. 31-32

Fachvereinigung 2004 Auswertung der Umfrage Survey on green roof policy by the FBB, the main green roof association in Incentives –
Bauwerksbegrünun Dachbegrünung an Germany, in January 2004. Out of the 1,488 cities contacted, 398 (27%) subsidies, fees
g e.V. (FBB) Stadtverwaltungen von responded. However, many cities with green roof policies are not
Städten über 10.000 represented. The results showed that 70 offer direct financial aid, 201 offer
Einwohner. stormwater fee discounts, and 145 have green roof requirements in local
development plans. The subsidies are often over 10 €/m² ($16 Cdn) to a
stipulated maximum amount. In municipalities with split wastewater fees,
green roofs typically earn a discount of between 50 and 100% on the
annual stormwater fee. That is an average saving of 0.50 €/m² ($0.80 Cdn)
each year for a green roof compared to a conventional roof. Available
online from the FBB [www.fbb.de].
Fachvereinigung 1997 Verankerung von This brochure describes how green roofs can be integrated into Regulation
Bauwerksbegrünun Dachbegrünung im development regulations.
g e.V. (FBB) kommunalen Baurecht durch
Festsetzungen im
Bebauungsplan oder
kommunale Satzungen.
Fischer, P. and 1999 Zur Wurzelungsfestigkeit bei This paper describes the FLL test for determining resistance to root Waterproofing
Jauch, M Dachbgrünungen. Stadt und penetration of waterproofing membranes and root barriers. The test is
Grün 11/1999. pp. 763-768 conducted at certain universities around Germany.
Fischer, P. and 2002 Dränwasser in The title of this paper is, “Drainwater in Potable Water Quality?” It shows Design, stormwater
Jauch, M. Trinkwasserqualität? Dach + how far along the Germans are with their research! Basically, the results of management
Grün 4/2002. pp. 24-31 the study were that the drainwater from the tested planting medium does,
apart from the colour, meet the standards for drinking water.
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Forschungsgesell- 1998 Bewertung von Dachbe- Describes the FLL system developed for rating green roof performance in Performance rating
schaft grünung. Empfehlungen sur land-use planning, building permit approvals and construction acceptance. system
Landschaftsentwic- Bewertung in der The basis of the rating system is the thickness of the green roof
klung Bauleitplanung, bei der construction penetrable by roots, and the ability of the particular roof design
Landschaftsbau Baugenehmigung und bei meeting minimum requirements for the following parameters:
e.V. (FLL) der Bauabnahme. FLL, ƒ water retention capacity of the growing medium,
Bonn. ƒ water retention capacity of the drainage layer,
ƒ number of plant species for extensive green roofs, and
ƒ plant biomass for intensive green roofs.
The FLL system also identifies qualitative characteristics according to type
of roof construction that are used to judge whether a project is suitable for
ecological compensation under the Federal Nature Conservation Act. Each
natural function parameter is deemed either “possible to fulfill completely”,
“possible to fulfill partially”, or “slightly or not possible to fulfill.” The
qualitative parameters are: soil, surface water, load shedding from the
sewer system, groundwater recharge, purification of stormwater, filtering of
air, oxygen production, temperature levelling, flora and fauna habitat,
landscape and urban scenery, and people / leisure / healing.
Forschungsgesell- 2000 Bewertung der English title: Quantification of the Appreciation Effect of Green Spaces on Property value
schaft wertsteigernden Wirkung Real Estate Values – referenced in:
Landschaftsentwic- von Grünflächen für
klung Immobilien. FLL, Bonn.
Landschaftsbau
e.V. (FLL)
Forschungsgesell- 2002 Richtlinie für die Planung, English title: Guidelines for the design, construction and maintenance of Design
schaft Landschaft- Ausführung und Pflege von roof greening. These are the green roof guidelines “standard” in Germany
sentwicklung Dachbegrünungen. FLL, if not in Europe. Among other items, the document contains tables with
Landschaftsbau Bonn. runoff coefficients according to roof slope and thickness.
e.V. (FLL)
Gedge, D. 2003 “…From Rubble to The paper discusses the Black Redstart Action Plan – the Black Redstart Biodiversity
Redstarts…”. Proceedings of being a rare breeding bird in London, England reliant on old vacant lots and
Greening Rooftops for brown land. The Action Plan has been a key driving force in establishing
Sustainable Communities, green roofs in new urban developments.
Chicago, 2003. 9 pages
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Graham, P. and 2003 Evaluating the Stormwater A modeling study in the Greater Vancouver Region shows that green roofs Stormwater
Kim, M. Management Benefits of are potentially very effective in reducing the volumes and peak rates of management
Green Roofs through Water runoff from developed areas in the GVR. The results for 50-years
Balance Modeling. watershed retrofit scenarios shows that redevelopment of existing buildings
Proceedings of Greening with green roofs could effectively counteract the anticipated effects of
Rooftops for Sustainable climate change and land use densification, and also help to restore
Communities, Chicago, watershed health over time.
2003. 9 pages
Hämmerle, Fritz 2002 Dachbegrünung rechnen This article gives some values for cost savings. Design - costs
sich. In Jahrbuch
Dachbegrünung 2002,
Thalacker Medien,
Braunschweig. pp. 18-19
Henz, Anke 2004 Die Bewertung Describes the performance rating system used by the City or Karlsruhe, Performance rating
unterschiedlicher Formen Germany in relation to ecological compensation. The model rates how system
der Dachbegrünung nach suitable a type of green roof (or other biotope) is for use as an ecological
dem Karlsruher Modell im compensation measure based on five natural functions: soil, climate, flora,
Rahmen der Eingriffs- fauna and water balance. A comparison of performance rating systems by
regelung. In: Proceedings of Zeller (2002) found that the Karlsruhe model was the most “well-rounded”.
the EFB-FBB Gründach-
symposium, Ditzingen,
March 25, 2004. pp. 30-31
Herman, R. 2003 Green Roofs in Germany: Discusses factors in the growth and development of green roofs in General
Yesterday, Today and Germany.
Tomorrow. Proceedings of
Greening Rooftops for
Sustainable Communities
Symposium, Chicago, 29-30
May 29-30, 2003. 5 pages
Hutchinson, D.; 2003 Stormwater Monitoring Two Reports on a monitoring project of an apartment building in Portland, Stormwater
Abrams, P.; Ecoroofs in Portland, Oregon vegetated with 2 different ecoroofs. Two years of water quality management
Retzlaff, R.; and Oregon, USA. Proceedings monitoring and 1-year flow monitoring are reviewed. Precipitation retention
Liptan, T. of Greening Rooftops for and peak intensity attenuation are analyzed. Water quality benefits were
Sustainable Communities, more difficult to quantify.
Chicago, 2003. 18 pages
Johnston, C.; 2004 Vancouver Public Library Methods and results of monitoring a 1500 m2 (net area) green roof with Stormwater
McCreary, K.; and Green Roof Monitoring 350 mm (14”) soil layer plus vegetation on the Public Library in Vancouver, management
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Nelms, C. Project. Proceedings of B.C. are discussed. Benefits regarding reductions in stormwater volume
Greening Rooftops for and peak flows are presented.
Sustainable Communities,
Portland, Oregon, June 2-4 ,
2004. 13 pages
Kohler, M.; 2003 Green Roofs as a The paper discusses the growth in measuring urban heat islands since the Urban heat island
Schmidt, M.; and Contribution to Reduce late 1970s. A data set of measurements from a gravel roof and two green Mitigation
Laar, M. Urban Heat Islands. roofs from July 2003 is used to explain some aspects of surface
Proceedings of RIO 3- World temperatures in different roof substrates.
Climate & Energy Event,
December 1-5, 2003, Rio de
Janeiro, Brazil. pp. 493-498
Köhler, Manfred 2004 Energetic Effects of Green Data from the research station in Neubrandenburg, Germany, is provided. Urban heat island
Roofs on the Urban Climate Includes information on factors influencing urban climate and factors mitigation
Near to the Ground and to influencing stormwater retention of green roof systems.
the Building Surfaces.
Proceedings of International
Green Roof Congress,
Nürtingen, September 14-15,
2004. pp. 72-79
Kolb, Walter 2000 Dachbegrünung Describes a cost-benefit analysis that takes into account the lifespan of the Costs
wirtschaftlich? Stadt und construction, the proportion of runoff, the effect on space conditioning, and
Grün 4/2000. pp. 224-227 the improvement of the living environment.
Kolb, W. and 2003 Begrünung von A comparison of six different lightweight green roof systems at a research Design
Eppel, J. Leichdächern – ein facility in Veithöchheim. Measurements included weight, water retention,
Systemvergleich. Teil 1 – maintenance requirements, vegetation coverage, visual rating, runoff
Versuchsergebnisse aus coefficients, and change in finished grade level after 3 growing seasons.
Veithöchheim. Dach + Grün
1/2003. pp. 20-26
Köln, Stadt 2003 Amtsblatt der Stadt Köln. This is a good example of stormwater fees and how green roofs may qualify Incentives - fees
Special Publication Number for a reduction of these fees. In Cologne, the discount is directly
58. December 23, 2003. proportional to the runoff coefficient; e.g., a runoff coefficient of 0.9 means
Stadtentwässerung- 90% of the fee must be paid; a runoff coefficient of 0.3 means only 30%
sbetriebe Köln. must be paid.
Kortright, R. 2001 Evaluating the Potential of The report summarizes the results of a study of a green roof on Trent Urban agriculture
Green Roof Agriculture. University’s Environmental Sciences building in Peterborough, Ontario.
Research project for Fourteen common vegetable crops were planted in a 7.5 x 30 m plot
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Professor Tom Hutchinson, subdivided into four equal beds. Productivity of individual crops and beds,
Trent University. wind speed, soil temperature and moisture were monitored on the rooftop
http://www.cityfarmer.org/gre and at ground level. The results were then compared to each other, to the
enpotential.html ground level results, and to official Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food,
and Rural Affairs crop productivity statistics.
Krupka, Bernd W. 2001 Extensive Dachbegrünung. English title: Extensive Roof Greening: Recommendations and Cost Design - costs
Praxisemphelungen und Considerations. This publication contains very detailed information on
Kostenbetrachtungen. costs. Chapter A contains recommendations on design and implementation
Landesinstitut für Bauwesen of green roofs. Chapter B is on aspects of stormwater management.
des Landes NRW, Aachen. Chapter C contains detailed building costs on 10 existing extensive green
roofs. Because the costs were difficult to compare, price quotes for a
sample green roof project were requested from 50 green roof
companies/contractors and these average costs are also provided. In
Chapter D, several calculations are shown comparing gravel ballast roofs
with extensive green roofs (multi-layer and single layer) over a 40-year
lifespan. Some of the factors are whether or not stormwater fees are
included and different investment models.
Krupka, Bernd W. 2004 Potenzielle Fehlerquellen bei Reviews the potential sources of green roof failures, especially those that Design
Dachbegrünung und deren relate to vegetation, and recommends how to avoid them. Frequent
Vermeidung. Proceedings problems cited are:
International Green Roof ƒ damages to the substrate layer and vegetation caused by wind or water
Congress, Nürtingen, erosion,
September 14-15, 2004. pp. ƒ insufficient initial planting,
136-142 ƒ defects in coverage of the green roof vegetation,
ƒ pest infestation,
ƒ waterlogging,
ƒ imperfection of the substrate layer and the green roof build-up, and
ƒ poor maintenance.
Kuhn, M.; Lui, 2001 Green Roof Infrastructure The workshop was designed to provide architects, researchers and policy General
K.K.Y.; Marshall, S. Workshop Proceedings, makers with an introduction to the benefits, development and design of
June 25, 2001. 34 pages green roofs and an overview of current research projects, needs and
opportunities.
Lando, P. 2004 Test Plots for a Light Weight, The project consists of 8 test plots in Portland, Oregon with varying Design testing
Low-cost, Vegetative Roof in configurations of growth media and drainage. The project is designed to
Commercial Applications. examine propagation methodology, plant material, irrigation regime and
Proceedings of Greening maintenance costs of “bare essentials” approaches. The project concluded
Rooftops for Sustainable its first year of results and is intended to continue for the next 4 years.
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Communities, Chicago,
2004. 7 pages
Liesecke, Hans- 2002 Ergebnisse eines Results from a long-term study on extensive green roofs. Part 1 provides Stormwater
Joachim Langzeitversuches zur data on substrate development, thickness, load-bearing capacity and water management
extensiven Dachbegrünung. retention. The paper also discusses the research program.
Teil 1, Dach + Grün 11:
4/2002. pp. 10-17
Liesecke, Hans- 2003 Ergebnisse eines Results from a long-term study on extensive green roofs, part 2 provides Stormwater
Joachim Langzeitversuches zur data on vegetation coverage and vegetation groupings and combinations. management
extensiven Dachbegrünung.
Teil 2, Dach + Grün 12:
1/2003. pp. 4-10
Lietke, Dirck 2003 These 4-1: Gründächer sind The author presents cost savings for a green roof on a sample industrial Costs
wirtschaftlich und lassen sich building.
rechnen. In: Proceedings of
the EFB-FBB* Gründach-
symposium, Ditzingen,
March 23, 2003. pp. 29-30
Liu, K. and 2003 Thermal Performance of The National Research Council constructed a field roof facility on its Ottawa Thermal insulation/
Baskaran, B. Green Roofs through Field campus to measure the thermal performance of a generic extensive green energy reduction
Evaluation. Proceedings of roof with 150 mm of growing medium and a reference (modified bituminous)
Greening Rooftops for roof. The green roof reduced temperature and daily temperature fluctuation
Sustainable Communities, of the roof membrane significantly in spring and summer, as well as
Chicago, 2003. 10 pages moderated heat flow into the building. The green roof was more effective in
reducing heat gain than heat loss.
MacMillan, G. 2004 York University Rooftop Monitoring results of a green roof on York University’s computer science Stormwater
Garden Stormwater Quantity building in Toronto are presented. The 241 m2 roof garden has a 10% management
and Quality Performance slope and 140 mm substrate. A 131 m2 shingle roof was used as a control.
Monitoring Report. Monitoring occurred from May-November 2003. Reductions in rainfall
Proceedings Greening runoff and peak flows, lag times, and runoff coefficients are discussed.
Rooftops for Sustainable
Communities, Portland,
Oregon, June 2-4, 2004.
14 pages
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Mah, C. 2004 BCIT adds momentum to Describes the application of green roofs in the Vancouver area and the General
green roof concept. J. recently opened Green Roof Research Facility at BCIT.
Commerce Online,
September 27, 2004 issue. 4
pages
Mainz, Christof 2004 Förderungen der Discusses the stormwater source control subsidy program in North Rhine, Incentives –
Dachbegrünung. In: Westphalia. subsidies
Proceedings of the EFB-FBB
Gründachsymposium,
Ditzingen, March 25, 2004.
pp. 16-17

Mann, Gunter 1999 Begrünte Dächer als This article presents the results of a survey of soil organisms on 125 green Urban biodiversity
Lebensraum. Stadt und Grün roofs. It follows with design recommendations on how to encourage soil
5/1999. Pp. 328-333 fauna.
Mann, G.; Uhl, M., 2000 Wasserhaushalt auf A model is presented for simulating the water balance on green roofs. The Stormwater
and Schiedt, L. begrünten Dächern. Stadt model is based on results from the research facility in Krauchenweis, management
und Grün 4/2000. pp. 246- Germany.
254
Mann, Gunter 2000 Retentionsverhalten There is a table in this article that gives a good overview of the German Stormwater
begrünter Dächer: In research into stormwater retention and runoff coefficients for green roofs. management
Abhängigketi von der Otherwise the article is about a stormwater simulation program.
Niederschlagsrevion. Stadt
und Grün 10/2000. pp. 681-
686
Marx, I. and 2002 Mineralische Zusätze für This paper describes the testing of different planting medium amendments Design, stormwater
Kolb, W. Einschichtsubstrate in used to clarify water draining off green roofs. Three amendments are clay, management.
Dachbegrünungen. Dach + zeolite and activated carbon.
Grün 1/2002. pp. 23-28
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Maurer, Edmund 2004 Förderungen von Discusses the green roof subsidy program in Linz, Austria. Incentives –
Dachbegrünungen in der subsidies
Landeshauptstadt Linz
(Oberösterreich). In
Proceedings of the EFB-FBB
Gründachsymposium,
Ditzingen, March 25, 2004.
pp. 12-15
McCarthy, S. and 2004 Milwaukee Metropolitan The MMSD installed the first green roof in the Milwaukee area in July 2003. Stormwater
McCullough, S.G. Sewerage District Extensive The primary purpose was to demonstrate the ability of green roofs to management
Green Roof. Proceedings of reduce stormwater runoff, and to set an example for other public agencies
Greening Rooftops for and private owners to install green roof systems. A Green Grid system was
Sustainable Communities, used. Stormwater monitoring infrastructure was installed but no data
Portland, Oregon, June 2-4, reported as yet.
2004. 8 pages
Michels, Kurt 2004 Norm- und regelgerechte Contains information on standards for green roof waterproofing materials. Waterproofing
Abdichtungen für Dächer mit Discusses the different kinds of stresses on waterproofing such as root
Begrünung. Proceedings growth, moisture, mechanical stress, thermal stress, fire prevention and
International Green Roof protection against wind uplift. References to German norms, standards and
Congress, Nürtingen. pp. guidelines are provided.
September 14-15, 2004. pp.
111-118
Moran, A.; Hunt, B.; 2004 A North Carolina Field Study The results of monitoring two green roofs in North Carolina are presented: Stormwater
and Jennings, G. to Evaluate Greenroof ƒ Wayne Community College, Goldsboro, NC – flat, one-half (70 m2) with management
Runoff Quantity, Runoff other half as control; 2 soil media depths – 50 mm and 100 mm.
Quality and Plant Growth. Monitored April-December 2003.
Proceedings of Greening ƒ Neuseway Nature Centre, Kinston, NC – 27 m2 green roof. Monitored
Rooftops for Sustainable July-August and November-December 2003.
Communities, Portland,
Rainfall retention, peak flow reduction, and water quality impacts are
Oregon, June 2-4, 2004. 15
discussed.
pages
Ngan, Goya 2003 Green Roof Waterproofing: The report reviews current German methods for waterproofing in green roof Design
Expertise from Germany. For design. The German green roof industry has developed detailed standards
Public Works and that serve to reduce the risk of leakage. Problem areas addressed include
Government Services materials, planning and implementation.
Canada. 27 pages
Ngan, Goya 2004 Green Roof Policy: Tools for The report – in preparation for the Landscape Architecture Canada Policy
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Encouraging Sustainable Foundation - gives an overview of green roofs and their benefits. There is
Design. DRAFT. 56 pages detailed information on the types of green roof policy in Germany and the
legal framework that supports it. Four jurisdictions are selected for more
detailed analysis: North Rhine Westphalia, Cologne, Berlin and Linz. The
final section contains recommendations on how to develop green roof
policy.
Oberlander, C.H.; 2002 Introductory Manual for A manual written as a guide for greening roofs throughout Canada. Design
Whitelaw, E.; and Greening Roofs. For Public
Matsuzaki, E. Works and Government
Services Canada. 32 pages
Optigrün – http://www.optima- Website reports on research at a facility in Tornesch from 1994-1998. The Stormwater, thermal
dachbegruenung.de/rtf_ie/3/ results may also be based on other German research. insulation
Peck, S. and 2003 Design Guidelines for Green The article provides an introduction to green roof infrastructure and Design, costs
Kuhn, M. Roofs. For CMHC and describes how to implement and market a green roof, examines costs, and
Ontario Association of presents 3 case studies.
Architects. 22 pages
Peck, S.W. 2002 Green Roofs: Infrastructure This paper introduces green roof technology and describes some of the
for the 21st Century. drivers that will help to create a new niche roofing market. It provides an
Prepared for the Clean Air overview of the latest green roof development work and technical research
Partnership 1st Annual in Canada, and concludes by describing some of the steps required to turn
Urban Heat Island Summit, roofs into a new force for cleaner air, water and cooler more healthy cities.
Toronto, May 2-3, 2002. 16
pages
Roehr, Daniel 2004 Green roofs – the This case study of the prominent DaimlerChrysler building in Design, construction
DaimlerChrysler project, Potsdamerplatz, Berlin, contains many valuable insights by the project logistics
Potsdamerplatz, Berlin, landscape architect.
Germany. Proceedings of
International Green Roof
Congress, Nürtingen,
September 14-15, 2004. pp.
143-150
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Roth-Kleyer, 2003 Leichtgründach-System im Results from experiments in Geisenheim, Germany, comparing 10 different Design
Stephan Vergleich. lightweight green roof systems. Some aspects compared were vegetation
Versuchsergebnisse aus coverage, aesthetic rating, installation costs and maintenance costs.
Geisenheim. Dach + Grün
1/2003. pp. 12-19
Roth-Kleyer, 2004 Wasserrückhalt und Describes the method for measuring runoff coefficients used in the FLL Stormwater
Stephan Abflussverhalten von guidelines. Provides results on experiments with varied substrate type, management
Gründächer. Proceedings substrate depth and drainage elements. Presents the methodology of
International Green Roof measuring with regards to the practical performance and its weak spots.
Congress, Nürtingen,
September 14-15, 2004. pp.
80-88
Rowe, D.B.; Rugh, 2003 Green roof slope, substrate The paper reports on 15 simulated rooftop platforms designed to compare Stormwater
C.L.; VanWoert, N.; depth, and vegetation the effect of slope (2% and 6.5%) and substrate depth (2.5, 4 and 6 cm) management,
Monterusso, M.A.; influence runoff. and vegetation (sedum, substrate only and gravel) on runoff. Rainfall design
and Russell, D.K. Proceedings of Greening retained in the first study examining just slope and depth ranged from 69%
Rooftops for Sustainable (6.5% slope, 4 cm) to 74% (2%, 4 cm). Vegetation of 100% sedum cover
Communities, Chicago, retained 66% of rainfall compared to 63% for substrate only and 25% for
2003. 9 pages gravel.
Schade, Christian 2000 Wasserrückhaltung und The research focuses on stormwater retention and runoff coefficients of thin Stormwater
Abfluβbeiwerte bei profile extensive green roofs with slopes of up to 30º. management
dünnschichtigen
Extensivbegrünungen. Stadt
und Grün 2/2000. pp. 95-100
Scholz-Barth, K. 2001 Green Roofs: Stormwater The general features and potential benefits of green roofs are discussed. Stormwater
Management From the Top management,
Down. Environmental Design thermal insulation/
& Construction January- interior climate
February 2001: 1-11. control
http://www.edcmag.com/CD
A/ArticleInformation/features/
BNP__Features__Item/0,41
20,18769,00.html
Shirley, C. 2003 The Sustainability Value of Discusses the GROW system installed in London, England that recycles Water quality
the Green Roof as a Water grey water from basins, baths and showers through an extended horizontal
Recycling System (GROW) gravel filter with root zone of plants on the roof.
in Urban Locations.
Author(s) Date Title Synopsis Benefit Category
or Topic
Proceedings of Greening
Rooftops for Sustainable
Communities, Chicago, May
29-30, 2003. 9 pages
Trautlein, S. 2003 Seeing Green. Metropolis, Discusses the potential application and benefits of green roofs in Tokyo. General
Tokyo. July 11, 2003.
Ulrich, R.S. 1984 View through a window may Views of natural settings and greenery as a patient benefit. Community benefits
influence recovery from
surgery. (Abstract) Science
224. pp. 420-421
Weston Solutions GreenGrid System – Urban References studies (though does not discuss them in detail) conducted by Thermal insulation &
Environment Challenges. Weston and at the Lawrence Berkeley National Library regarding potential air quality
http://www.greengridroofs.co benefits of green roofs in energy reduction and ambient temperatures. improvement
m/Pages/Urban.htm
Zeller, Stefan 2002 Bewertung begrünter Dächer This thesis examines the different types of green roof performance rating Incentives/
in Bauleitplanung und systems used in Germany. In his survey of 355 municipalities, Zeller found regulation
Eingriffsregelung: Vergleich, that 29 municipalities (8% of responses) used a performance rating system
Anwendung, and that there were 24 different types used. The most frequently used
Erfolgskontrolle. Diplom- system (4 responses) was the one developed by the FLL (1998). It appears
thesis, Fachhochschule that many jurisdictions have devised their own system that may be as
Nürtingen, Nürtingen, simple as a verbal agreement. For reasons of comparability, monitoring,
Germany. justice and legal conformity, there is motivation to develop a national
performance rating system for green roofs.
Appendix B

Green Roof Design
Considerations
APPENDIX B: GREEN ROOF DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

These considerations are based on those presented in the Metro Vancouver
Stormwater Source Control Design Guidelines (2005).

Extensive green roofs can be one of following designs:

ƒ Multiple layer construction (Figure 1A) - consists of either: i) a three-layer system
including separate drainage course, filter layer and growing medium or; ii) a two
layer system where the growing medium is sized to not require a filter between it
and the underlying drainage layer.

Figure 1A: Three-layer construction on inverted roof
ƒ Single layer construction (Figure 1B) - consists of a growing medium which
includes the filter and drainage functions.

Figure 1B: Single-layer construction on inverted roof

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR A GREEN ROOF

1. Start the design of the green roof at the same time as the design of the building or
retrofit project, so that the structural load of the green roof can be balanced with
the structural design of the building. From the outset, involve all design
disciplines – structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, architects and
landscape architects – and include roofing design professionals in a collaborative
and optimization effort (Oberlander et al., 2002).

2. Provide construction and maintenance access to extensive green roofs. Access
through a ‘man door’ is preferable to access through a small roof hatch (Peck &
Kuhn, 2001). Provide areas of storage for maintenance equipment. Review
Workers Compensation Board requirements for safety of maintenance workers –
can gardeners working near the edge of the roof use the same harness fastenings as
window washers (Oberlander et al., 2002)? Provide a hose bib for manual
watering during establishment if no automatic irrigation system is planned.
3. Roofs with less that 2% slope require special drainage construction so that no part
of the growing medium is continuously saturated. As the slope increases, so does
the rate of rainfall leaving the roof. This can be compensated for by using a
medium with high water storage capacity. Roofs with over 20º require special
precautions against sliding and shearing (FLL. 2002). If inverted roof systems are
used with exterior insulation, good drainage needs to be provided to prevent
continuous saturation of the insulation, and subsequent damage (Peck & Kuhn,
2001). With inverted roofs, the green roof components must allow moisture to
move upwards from the insulation and to eventually evaporate (Krupka, 1992).

4. Provide plant free zones to facilitate access for inspections and maintenance and
prevent plants from spreading moisture onto exposed structural components. They
can also function as a measure against fire and wind-uplift. They should be at
least 50 cm wide and located along the perimeter, all adjacent facades and covered
expansion joints, and around each roof penetration.

5. Fire breaks of non-combustible material, such as gravel
or concrete pavers, 50 cm wide, should be located every
40 m in all directions, and at all roof perimeter and roof
penetrations (FLL, 2002). Other fire control options
include use of sedums or other succulent plants that have
a high water content, or a sprinkler irrigation system
connected to the fire alarm (Peck & Kuhn, 2001).

6. There are several choices of waterproof membranes.
Thermoplastic membranes, such as PVC (polyvinyl
choride) or TPO (thermal polyolefin) using hot air
fusion methods are commonly used for green roof
applications. Elastomeric membranes like EPDM
Newly planted extensive green roof
(ethylene-propylene rubber materials) have high tensile
showing plant-free zones at drain
strength and are well-suited to large roof surfaces with and edges – White Rock Operations
fewer roof penetrations. Modified bitumen sheets are Building Credit: Lanarc Consultants Ltd.
usually applied in two layers and are commonly
available. Liquid-applied membranes are generally applied in two liquid layers
with reinforcement in between. The quality is variable. A factor in choosing a
waterproofing system is resistance to root penetration (see 7).

7. Provide protection against root penetration of the waterproof membrane by either
adding a root barrier or using a membrane that is itself resistant to root penetration
(more cost efficient). Resistance to root penetration is not being tested in Canada
at time of writing1. Thermoplastic and elastomeric membranes in suitable
thicknesses are usually resistant to root penetration. Roofing membranes, existing
or new, which contain bitumen or other organic materials are susceptible to root
penetration and micro-organic activity. These types of roofing membranes need to

1
Check with the manufacturer to determine if the membrane is resistant to root penetration according to the German
FLL Root Penetration Test, 2002.
be separated from the growing medium by a continuous root barrier unless they
contain an adequate root repelling chemical or copper foil (Ngan, 2003).

8. Chemically incompatible materials such as bitumen and PVC require a separation
layer (FLL, 2002).

9. When the roofing membrane installation is complete, but prior to installing layers
above the waterproof membrane, it should be tested by flooding and thorough
inspection. Any leaks should be repaired prior to installing materials above the
membrane (Ngan, 2003).

10. Install a protection layer to protect the waterproof membrane/root barrier from
physical damage caused by construction activities, sharp drainage materials such
as lava rock or broken expanded clay, and subsequent levels of stress placed on the
roof (Ngan, 2003).

11. The drainage layer may be drain rock, but is often a lightweight composite such as
lava, expanded clay pellets, expanded slate or crushed brick. If weight is a
concern, rigid plastic materials that allow rapid lateral drainage may be used. The
drainage layer may also function to store water and make it available to the
vegetation during dry periods. The top of the drainage layer should always be
separated from growing medium by filter cloth.

12. Light weight growing medium is often a combination of sand, pumice or other
lightweight absorbent filler, and a small amount of organic matter. The FLL has
guidelines about the properties of these manufactured soils which are too detailed
to list completely. Some of the important values for multiple layer construction
are as follows (FLL, 2002):

ƒ grain size distribution: silt (d ≤ 0.063 mm) ≤ 15 % mass (see Figure 11);

ƒ content of organic substance: 8% mass (with apparent density ≥ 0.8 g/cm³ in
dry condition), 6% mass (with apparent density < 0.8 g/cm³ in dry
condition);

ƒ infiltration rate: ≥ 0.6 mm/min;

ƒ maximum water capacity: ≥ 10%
volume;

ƒ pH value: 6.5-8.0;

ƒ carbon content: ≤ 25; and

ƒ salt content (water extract): ≤ 3.5.
Extensive green roof on a sloping
residential roof, Germany Credit: Goya
Ngan
Figure 11: Grain size distribution range for substrates used in multiple layer extensive green roofs
(FLL, 1995: 34)

13. In calculating structural loads, always design for the saturated weight of each
material (Oberlander et al., 2002). See Section 2.6 for weights of common
building materials.

14. Light weight growing medium can be subject to wind erosion when dry. If
planting is delayed through a dry weather season, provide a wind erosion control
blanket over the growing medium.

15. The drainage layer may be drain rock, but is often a lightweight composite such as
lava, expanded clay pellets, expanded slate or crushed brick. If weight is a
concern, rigid plastic materials that allow rapid lateral drainage may be used. The
drainage layer may also function to store water and make it available to the
vegetation during dry periods. The top of the drainage layer should always be
separated from growing medium by filter cloth.

16. Plant choices for extensive green roofs are limited to plants that can withstand the
extremes of temperature, wind, and moisture condition on a roof. Typically,
extensive green roofs use a variety of mosses, sedums, sempervivums, alliums,
other bulbs and herbs, and grasses.

17. Avoid specifying or allowing volunteer plant materials with aggressive root
systems (e.g. bamboo, couch grass, tree seedlings). Supply and install growing
medium that is free of weeds (Ngan, 2003).

18. Design planting to respect microclimate and sun/aspect conditions. Collaborate
with mechanical engineers on placement of exhaust vents, and design plantings
accordingly (Oberlander et al., 2002).
19. Avoid swaths of one species. The chances of creating a self-maintaining plant
community are increased when a wide mix of species is used.

20. Planting methods include seeding, hydroseeding, spreading of sedum sprigs,
planting of plugs or container plants, and installing pre-cultivated vegetation mats.

21. If automatic irrigation is required, low volume and rainwater reuse systems are
preferred.

22. Provide intensive maintenance for the first two years after the plant installation –
including watering in dry periods, removal of weeds, light fertilization with slow
release complete fertilizers, and replacement of dead plants. It is recommended
that the maintenance contract for the first 3-5 years be awarded to the same
company that installed the green roof and that the service be included in the
original bid price (Peck & Kuhn, 2001). Once established, a typical extensive
green roof should require only one or two annual visits for weeding of undesired
plants, clearing of plant-free zones and inspecting of drains and the membrane.

23. Installers should have experience with green roof systems. It may be preferable to
have one company handle the entire project from roofing to planting to avoid
scheduling conflicts and damage claims (Peck & Kuhn, 2001). If this is not
possible, make a clear separation between the responsibilities of the roofing
contractor and those of the green roof contractor (Krupka, 1992).

24. Although green roof membranes will last longer than others, leaks can still occur
at flashings or through faulty workmanship. Some companies are recommending
an electronic leak detection system to pinpoint the exact location of water leaks,
thus allowing easy repair (Peck & Kuhn, 2001).

25. Consider the environmental impact of each green roof material. How much energy
was required to extract, manufacture and deliver the material? Is there a suitable
material derived from local recycled products? What effect does the material have
on water quality? How often must it be replaced? How will it be disposed of? Is
it recyclable?

26. Several companies provide Metro Vancouver with complete green roof service,
and offer a range of long-term guarantees on the entire assembly. This type of
comprehensive installation may be more expensive than comparable ‘off the shelf’
products not specifically designed for green roof use. The decision on risk
management is with the owner (Peck & Kuhn, 2001).

GREEN ROOF STRUCTURAL CONSIDERATIONS

A green roof has weight implications on the structure below it. The significance of
this structural load in terms of structural design and costs depends on the weight of the
proposed green roof, and the location of heavier areas (e.g. deeper soils depths for
larger plants) in relation to columns and other structural bearing members.
In general:
ƒ Extensive green roof has lower structural implications that intensive green roof,
due to the lower depth of growing medium and related weight.
ƒ Concrete structures often are capable of handling the structural loads of extensive
green roof without significant additional expense.
ƒ Lightweight wood and/or steel buildings with large spans (e.g., industrial/
commercial warehousing or retail) may be restricted in their ability to support
green roof loads. In these cases, designers should consider very lightweight green
roof components (e.g. 75 mm lightweight growing medium) to minimize structural
consequences.
ƒ The stormwater effectiveness of green roofs is in direct proportion to the water
storage capacity of its growing medium and plants. Generally, deeper growing
medium depths provide higher stormwater storage capacities. In the Metro
Vancouver climate, growing medium depths may need to approach 300mm in
wetter parts of the region to meet 100% of rainwater capture targets and thus to
avoid the need for off-roof stormwater source control. However, successful
designs using wood/steel lightweight structures will balance a certain amount of
on-roof rainwater capture with green roofs with a companion role for at-grade
stormwater source control.
ƒ Placing heavier structural loads (e.g. deeper soil for trees or larger plants) over
columns rather than mid-span can reduce the need for structure.
ƒ Use of lightweight filler material (e.g.
Expanded Polystryrene (EPS) under a Table 2-1: Weights of Common Building Materials
minimum depth of growing medium (Oberlander et al., 2002: 26)
is a common technique used in Material Kg/m3
Intensive Green Roof projects to Light weight concrete 1,298-1,622
create berms or other grading infills Precast concrete 2,108
without significant structural load, as Reinforced concrete 2,433
compared to similar grading using Gravel 1,946
soil materials. Timber – hardwood (av.) 730
Timber –softwood (av.) 568
In calculating structural loads, always Sand (dry) 1,460-1,784
design for the saturated weight of each Sand (wet) 1,784-2,108
material (Oberlander et al., 2002). See Water 1,013
Table 2-1 for weights of common Light-weight growing 884-1121
building materials. medium (moist condition)

All green roof projects require the
services of an experienced structural engineer.
Appendix C

Summary of Business Case
Research
Appendix C: Business Case Analysis – Reference Documents
Benefit Reference Case Study (Building/Location) Quantified Indicator
Stormwater Johnston, C., McCreary, K., and Vancouver Public Library, Measured stormwater runoff:
Management Nelms, C. 2004. Vancouver Vancouver, B.C. – 1,500 m2 (net ƒ 16% reduction in volume compared to estimated runoff for a
Public Library Green Roof area) green roof with 350 mm traditional (torch-on membrane) flat roof.
Monitoring Project. Proceedings (14”) soil layer plus vegetation ƒ Compared to 33% maximum possible reduction (natural, pre-
Greening Rooftops for green roof. development conditions), this represented a 48% reduction in
Sustainable Communities, available runoff volume.
Portland, Oregon, June 2-4, Peak flow reduction:
2004. 13 p. ƒ Summer: >80% reduction.
ƒ Winter: ~30% in small winter events, <5% for larger events
(>mean annual rainfall or >2-year storm).

Moran, A., Hunt, B., and Wayne Community College, Rainfall retained (volume temporarily stored and then lost due to
Jennings, G. 2004. A North Goldsboro, NC – flat, one-half evapotranspiration):
Carolina Field Study to Evaluate (70 m2) with other half as control; ƒ Goldsboro – 62%
Greenroof Runoff Quantity, 2 soil media depths – 50 mm and ƒ Kinston – 63%
Runoff Quality and Plant Growth. 100 mm. Monitored April- Reduction in peak rainfall:
Proceedings Greening Rooftops December 2003. ƒ Goldsboro – 78%
for Sustainable Communities, ƒ Kinston – 87%
Portland, Oregon, June 2-4, Neuseway Nature Centre, Water quality – TN (total nitrogen), TP (total phosphorous)
2004. 15 p. Kinston, NC – 27 m2 greenroof. concentrations:
Monitored July-Aug, Nov-Dec ƒ Both significantly higher in greenroof runoff than in rainfall,
2003. hypothesized to be leaching from the soil media, which is
composed of 15% compost (high N and P).
MacMillan, G.. 2004. York York University computer science Reduction in total runoff volume/ m2:
University Rooftop Garden building, Toronto – 241 m2 roof ƒ Average – 55%.
Stormwater Quantity and Quality garden with 10% slope and ƒ Spring/summer – 76%.
Performance Monitoring Report. 131 m2 shingle (control) roof. 140 ƒ Fall (Sept.-Nov.) – 37%.*
Proceedings Greening Rooftops mm substrate. Monitored May- Reduction in peak flow rates:
for Sustainable Communities, November 2003. ƒ Up to 85% for storm events < 20 mm.
Portland, Oregon, June 2-4, ƒ 82% for storm events 20-29 mm.
2004. 14 p. ƒ 68% for storm events 30-39 mm.
ƒ 46% for storm events > 40 mm.
Lag time (centre of rainfall mass to peak):
ƒ Garden: range 3-89 minutes.
ƒ Control: range 0-4.5 minutes.
Runoff coefficient (ratio runoff to precipitation):
ƒ Garden: range 0-1 (Nov*).
ƒ Control: range 0.8-1.2.
Benefit Reference Case Study (Building/Location) Quantified Indicator
*Reduced performance suggested being a result of cooler
temperatures, plant die off, irrigation, and decreased
evapotranspiration rates.

Hutchinson, D., Abrams, P. Apartment building in Portland, Precipitation retention:
Retzlaff, R., Liptan, T. 2003. Oregon vegetated with 2 different ƒ 69% for 4-5” substrate section.
Stormwater Monitoring Two ecoroofs. ƒ Nearly all rainfall absorbed during dry period storms.
Ecoroofs in Portland, Oregon, Two years of water quality Water quality benefits more difficult to quantify.
USA. Proceedings of Greening monitoring and 1 year flow
Rooftops for Sustainable monitoring.
Communities, Chicago 2003. 18 p
FLL. 2002. Richtlinie für die *These coefficients are based on Runoff coefficients for roof slope up to 15º *
Planung, Ausführung und Pflege a rainfall event of 300 L/(s x ha) ƒ >50 cm thickness: C=0.1
von Dachbegrünungen. on a previously saturated roof left ƒ >25-50 cm thickness: C=0.2
Forschungsgesellschaft to drain for 24 hours. ƒ >15-25 cm thickness: C=0.3
Landschaftsentwicklung ƒ >10-15 cm thickness: C=0.4
Landschaftsbau e.V. (FLL), Bonn. **These values are based on a ƒ >6-10 cm thickness: C=0.5
location with 650-800 mm of ƒ >4-6 cm thickness: C=0.6
annual precipitation and multi- ƒ >2-4 cm thickness: C=0.7
year records. In regions with less (roof with membrane: C=1.0, gravel roof: C=.8)
precipitation, the retention
capacity is higher and in regions Runoff coefficients for roof slope over 15º *
with higher precipitation, it is ƒ >10-15 cm thickness: C=0.5
lower. ƒ >6-10 cm thickness: C=0.6
ƒ >4-6 cm thickness: C=0.7
ƒ >2-4 cm thickness: C=0.8

Average annual water retention capacity (%) and the annual runoff
coefficient/permeability factor (C)**
ƒ extensive 2-4 cm: 40%, C = .60
ƒ extensive >4-6 cm: 45%, C = .55
ƒ extensive >6-10cm: 50%, C = .50
ƒ extensive >10-15 cm: 55%, C = .45
ƒ extensive >15-20 cm: 60%, C = .40
ƒ intensive 15-25 cm: 60%, C = .40
ƒ intensive >25-50 cm: 70%, C = .30
ƒ intensive >50 cm: >90%, C = .10
Benefit Reference Case Study (Building/Location) Quantified Indicator
Stadtentwässerungsbetriebe Cologne The stormwater fee for Cologne is 1.10 €/m²/yr ($1.80). Green roofs
Köln. are eligible for a discount. The discount is proportional to the runoff
Available from coefficient. For example, if a green roof has a runoff coefficient of
www.stadtentwaesserungsbetrieb 0.3, the owner pays 30% of the annual fee. If the green roof has only
e-koeln.de a runoff coefficient of .7, then the owner pays 70% of the fee.

Optigrün. http://www.optima- Research took place at a facility Comparison of average stormwater retention for various Optima
dachbegruenung.de/rtf_ie/3/ in Tornesch from 1994-1998. The green roof systems with different thicknesses.
rainfall is approximately 900 mm. ƒ 5 cm gravel: 25%
May also be based on other ƒ 8 cm extensive: 50%
German research. ƒ 12 cm extensive: 60%
ƒ 35 cm intensive: 85%
Regardless of type of greening and thickness, green roofs retain at
least half of the precipitation and release it by evapotranspiration.

Comparison of the maximum peak flow (after a heavy rainfall event or
continuous rain) for different types of construction.
ƒ 5 cm gravel: 112 l/(s x ha)
ƒ 8 cm extensive: 47 l/(s x ha)
ƒ 12 cm extensive: 22 l/(s x ha)
ƒ 35 cm intensive: 26 l/(s x ha)

Thermal Liu, K. and Baskaran, B. 2003. Field roof facility on National Roof temperature modification:
Insulation/ Thermal Performance of Green Research Council building, ƒ the exposed membrane of the reference roof reached over 70º C
Reduction in Roofs through Field Evaluation. Ottawa, Ontario - constructed to while the green roof membrane rarely reached over 30º C.
Energy Proc. Greening Rooftops for measure the thermal performance ƒ The median daily temperature fluctuation of the reference roof
Consumption Sustainable Communities, of a generic extensive green roof membrane was 45º C; of the green roof - 6º C.
Chicago 2003. 10 p. with 150 mm of growing medium Heat flow reduction:
and a reference (modified ƒ Green roof reduced average daily energy demand for space
bituminous) roof. conditioning from 6-7.5 kWh/day to less than 1.5 kWh/day, a
more than 75% reduction.
Greenroofs.com - ECOVER factory, Oostmalle, Not quantified - From Ecover website: “The first ecological air-
http://www.greenroofs.com/world Belgium, 1992. Manufacturer of conditioner – The grass roof plays an important role in managing the
_extensive_cases.htm biodegradable laundry and other factory's temperature. During the summer the grass roof absorbs
Ecover website - green produces. 5,000 m2 (2 some of the sun's heat, which means that it remains pleasantly cool
http://www.ecover.com/english/in acre) roof of meadow grasses, in the factory. At night, moisture settles on the grass. The
dex.htm sloped, extra insulation layer of dampening process ensures cooling the following morning. And
perlite. Roof is mowed twice per during the winter, the covering on the roof reduces the air circulation
Benefit Reference Case Study (Building/Location) Quantified Indicator
year and weeded as necessary. which increases the temperature in the factory.”
Scholz-Barth, K. 2001. Green Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Not quantified. “Pacific Telephone and Telegraph (PT&T) in
Roofs: Stormwater Management (PT&T) building, Sacramento, CA Sacramento, CA, for instance, constructed a half-acre roof garden on
From the Top Down. its building in 1962. The constant indoor air environment provided by
Environmental Design & the green roof helps protect the company's sensitive telephone
Construction Jan-Feb. 2001: 1- computer equipment, which requires a perfectly humidified
11. environment.”
http://www.edcmag.com/CDA/Arti
cleInformation/features/BNP__Fe
atures__Item/0,4120,18769,00.ht
ml

Weston Solutions. GreenGrid -- “In a recent study, WESTON estimated that greening the rooftops of
System – Urban Environment all city buildings in Chicago would result in nearly $100 million of
Challenges. annual energy savings. Peak demand would be cut by 720
http://www.greengridroofs.com/Pa megawatts – the equivalent of several coal-fired generating units or
ges/Urban.htm one small nuclear power plant.”
“According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL),
reducing the ambient temperature in a city by three degrees has the
equivalent air quality impact of converting all of the city’s cars to
electric power. Computer modeling conducted by LBNL scientists
indicates that widespread heat-reduction measures, such as planting
rooftop vegetation, could easily lower a city’s temperature by five
degrees.”
Optigrün. http://www.optima- Research took place at a facility Maximum temperature under the green roof
dachbegruenung.de/rtf_ie/3/ in Tornesch from 1994-1998. The ƒ 5 cm gravel: 50º C
rainfall is approximately 900 mm. ƒ 8 cm extensive: 43º C
May also be based on other ƒ 12 cm extensive: 29º C
German research. ƒ 35 cm intensive: 23º C

Minimum temperature under the green roof
ƒ 5 cm gravel: -21º C
ƒ 8 cm extensive: -18º C
ƒ 12 cm extensive: -12º C
ƒ 35 cm intensive: 0º C

Sound
Insulation
Benefit Reference Case Study (Building/Location) Quantified Indicator
Roof Optigrün. http://www.optima- Comparison of a gravel ballast roof with an extensive green roof over
Membrane dachbegruenung.de/rtf_ie/3/ 40 years (1,000 m²).
Protection ƒ 5 cm gravel roof requires a partial renovation after about 20
years. The cost would be 28,000 € ($44,800)
ƒ 10 cm extensive green roof does not require renovation in the
time period
Hämmerle, Fritz. Dachbegrünung ƒ The cost of the membrane is estimated at 55 €/m² ($88). With
rechnen sich. In BGL roof greening there is a cost saving of 60% (33 €/m² ($53))
(Bundesverband Garten-, because of longer life span of the membrane from 25 years to 40
Landschafts- und Sportplanzbau years.
e.V.), Ed. 2002. Jahrbuch ƒ Roof greening protects against damage and therefore green roofs
Dachbegrünung 2002, Thalacker require fewer repairs. Cost savings estimated at 4 €/m² ($6.4).
Medien, Braunschweig. pp. 18-
19.

Operation &
Maintenance

Occupant Greenroofs.com Private roof terrace, Omate, Italy. Not quantified. Owner converted unused space (60 m2) over double
Well-Being/ http://www.greenroofs.com/world 1994. garage into garden for entertaining, relaxation and gardening. ZinCo
Productivity _intensive_cases.htm Floradrain FD 60 used.
Canadian Mortgage and Housing Merchandise Lofts Building, Not quantified. Outdoor recreational space for future tenants. “While
Corporation (CMHC). Toronto, Ontario – 12-storey originally the roof was to be comprised of container gardens, the
Merchandise Lofts Building Green mixed use (condominium, retail, green roof’s low weight allowed for the design of additional green
Roof Case Study commercial) complex. Green roof space without creating the need to re-examine and make adjustments
http://www.cmhc- (prairie meadow mix) of 10,000 to the loading capacity of the roof.”
schl.gc.ca/en/imquaf/himu/buin_0 sq.ft. surrounded by 15,000 sq.ft.
20.cfm of concrete pavers.
(indirect) Ulrich, R.S. 1984. View through a Suburban Pennsylvania hospital “Records on recovery after cholecystectomy of patients in a suburban
window may influence recovery Pennsylvania hospital between 1972 and 1981 were examined to
from surgery. (Abstract) Science determine whether assignment to a room with a window view of a
224: 420-421. natural setting might have restorative influences. Twenty-three
surgical patients assigned to rooms with windows looking out on a
natural scene had shorter postoperative hospital stays, received
fewer negative evaluative comments in nurses' notes, and took fewer
potent analgesics than 23 matched patients in similar rooms with
windows facing a brick building wall.”
Benefit Reference Case Study (Building/Location) Quantified Indicator
Surrounding Canadian Mortgage and Housing Fairmount Waterfront Hotel, Not quantified. Hotel guests enjoy the garden and other terrace
community Corporation (CMHC). Green Vancouver, B.C. A green roof of amenities. Occupants of neighbouring buildings also benefit from the
enjoyment, Roof Herb Garden Case Study ivy and pea gravel was initially view.
psychologicall http://www.cmhc- installed in 1991. The south side
y pleasing schl.gc.ca/en/imquaf/himu/buin_0 of the roof was converted to a
environment 34.cfm herb garden in 1994 for $25,000.
The garden measures 2,100 sq.ft.
with a soil depth of 18 inches,
comprised of 11 beds with
amended soils.
Canadian Mortgage and Housing Waterfall Building, Vancouver, Not quantified. Additional useable space for residents:
Corporation (CMHC). Waterfall B.C. Mixed use (office, retail, ƒ increased sale-ability; and
Building Green Roof Case Study live-work space) building. Green ƒ assisted in getting approval from the City Planning Dept.,
http://www.cmhc- roof, visible to the public, was particularly in getting relaxation of height limit.
schl.gc.ca/en/imquaf/himu/buin_0 seen as a beautification of the
19.cfm area. Both extensive and
intensive elements.

Urban Heat Bass, B., Krayenhoff, E.S., A mesoscale model is used to Modeled temperatures indicate an urban heat island of 2-3o C.
Island Effect Martilli, A., Stull, R.B., and Auld, simulate low-level air temperature Irrigation in the city reduces modeled temperatures by 1o C, while
Mitigation H. 2003. The Impact of Green in Toronto over 48 hours in late adding a small amount of irrigated green roof coverage deepens and
Roofs on Toronto’s Urban Heat June 2001. extends this cooling over a larger area of the city. Modeled cooling
Island. Proc. Greening Rooftops may be artificially low due to model assumptions, case study choice,
for Sustainable Communities, and input data of unknown quality.
Chicago 2003. 12 p.
Trautlein, Steve. 2003. Seeing Tokyo “The Tokyo-based Organization for Landscape and Urban Greenery
Green. Metropolis, Tokyo. Technology Development estimates that if half of the roofs in the city
July 11, 2003. were planted with gardens, daytime high temperatures in summer
would fall by .84º C, which would save ¥110 million ($126 million
Cdn.) on air conditioning costs daily.”

Air Quality
Improvement

Green House
Gases & CO2
Sequestration

Urban Canadian Mortgage and Housing Fairmount Waterfront Hotel, ƒ Annual food production, primarily herbs, saves the hotel
Benefit Reference Case Study (Building/Location) Quantified Indicator
Agriculture Corporation (CMHC). 2003. Vancouver, B.C. A green roof of estimated $25,000-30,000/year.
Green Roof Herb Garden Case ivy and pea gravel was initially ƒ Hotel guests enjoy the garden and other terrace amenities.
Study installed in 1991. The south side ƒ Occupants of neighbouring buildings also benefit from the view.
http://www.cmhc- of the roof was converted to an
schl.gc.ca/en/imquaf/himu/buin_0 herb garden in 1994 for $25,000.
34.cfm The garden measures 2,100 sq.ft.
with a soil depth of 18 inches,
comprised of 11 beds with
amended soils.
Kortright, R. 2001. Evaluating Green roof on Trent University “From my results it was not possible to conclude that green rooftop
the Potential of Green Roof Environmental Sciences building,
food production can serve as a viable agricultural alternative in any
Agriculture. Research project for Peterborough, Ontario. 14 broad commercial sense. However, it can be concluded that, on a
Professor Tom Hutchinson, Trent common vegetable crops planted green roof such as the one considered here, rooftop growing
University. in a 7.5 x 30 m plot, subdivided
conditions are not substantially different from those on the ground.
http://www.cityfarmer.org/greenpo into four equal beds. Productivity Therefore, it is possible to conclude that such a development is
tential.html of individual crops and beds possible on a small scale, given experience and a broader
monitored separately. Wind
incorporation of green roofs such as this one into the urban
speed, soil temperature and landscape.”
moisture were monitored on the
rooftop and at ground level. The
results were then compared to
each other, to the ground level
results, and to official Ontario
Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and
Rural Affairs crop productivity
statistics.

Urban Greenroofs.com The Company Group 1,400 m2 roof turned into a miniature golf course; owner is an avid
Recreational http://www.greenroofs.com/world Gegenbauer Golf Course, Berlin. golfer. ZinCo Interational’s Floradrain FD 25 and FD 60 used. FD 60
Areas _intensive_cases.htm Built in 1996. is strong enough to support heavy lawn mowers. Extremely high
maintenance to keep playing field at optimum level.

Urban Brenneisen, S. 2003. The Local biodiversity recorded on 16 ƒ 78 spider species, 14 classified as “faunistically interesting”:
Biodiversity Benefits of Biodiversity from green roofs in Base, Switzerland range 7-27 species.
Green Roofs – Key Design for 3-year period: ƒ 254 beetle species, 27 listed in Red Data Books, range 15-79
Consequences. Proceedings of species.
Greening Rooftops for ƒ 12 species of birds recorded foraging, resting, singing, preening.
Sustainable Communities, Most frequent species were ones that occur in open landscapes
Chicago 2003. 10 p. (mountain areas, river banks, steppes); few sightings of birds
Benefit Reference Case Study (Building/Location) Quantified Indicator
common to urban areas.
Structural design of the substrate surface was most significant factor
in supporting biodiversity.

Reduced
Demand &
Deferred
Investment in
Infrastructure

Financial
Benefits &
Savings

Marketability &
Valuation
Appendix D

®
Green Roofs and LEED
APPENDIX D DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF GREEN ROOFS
APRIL 2009
METRO VANCOUVER

What is LEED®?
The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System®
is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable
buildings. LEED® design adds value to buildings and reduces the total cost of ownership.

LEED® was created by building industry leaders, with the mandate to:

ƒ define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement;
ƒ promote integrated, whole-building design practices;
ƒ recognize environmental leadership in the building industry;
ƒ stimulate green competition;
ƒ raise consumer awareness of green building benefits; and
ƒ transform the building market.

How Is Certification and Accreditation Achieved?
The U.S. and Canadian Green Building Councils have developed rating systems for buildings,
and exams for building professionals. LEED® building certification can be achieved in the
following six categories:

1. New Commercial Construction and Major Renovation Projects (LEED-NC).
2. Existing Building Operations (LEED-EB).
3. Commercial Interiors Projects (LEED-CI).
4. Core And Shell Projects (LEED-CS).
5. Homes (LEED-H).
6. Neighbourhood Development (LEED-ND)

Green buildings may achieve “Certified”, “Silver”, “Gold” or “Platinum” LEED® certification
by accumulating a minimum of 26 and a maximum of 70 points, in six categories:

ƒ Sustainable Sites;
ƒ Water Efficiency;
ƒ Energy & Atmosphere;
ƒ Materials & Resources;
ƒ Indoor Environmental Quality; and
ƒ Innovation & Design Process.

Green Roofs and LEED®
Installation of a green roof can aid in fulfilling the requirements to obtain points associated with
11 LEED® credits. Points for four of these credits are obtainable solely or primarily by
constructing a green roof with a minimum area. For the remaining credits, a green roof will
facilitate fulfilling requirements that are based on other design strategies. Table D-1 lists the
LEED® credits which are relevant to green roofs.
Table D-1: LEED® Credits which are Relevant to Green Roofs
Green Text Indicates that a LEED® credit may be achieved solely or primarily by the green roof component of the building.
No Shading Indicates that constructing a green roof will facilitate obtaining a LEED® credit that is based on other strategies.

Credit Requirement Points
Site Credit 5.1 – Reduced Site ƒ On greenfield sites, limit site disturbance including earthwork and clearing of vegetation to 12
Disturbance, Protect or Restore metres (40 feet) beyond the building perimeter, 1.5 metres (5 feet) beyond primary roadway
Open Space curbs, walkways, and main utility branch trenches, and 7.5 metres (25 feet) beyond constructed
areas with permeable surfaces (such as pervious paving areas, stormwater detention facilities
and playing fields) that require additional staging areas in order to limit compaction in the 1
constructed area;
OR
ƒ On previously developed sites, restore a minimum of 50% of the site area (excluding the building
footprint) by replacing impervious surfaces with native or adapted vegetation.
Site Credit 6.1 – Stormwater ƒ If existing imperviousness is less than or equal to 50%, implement a stormwater management
Management, Rate and Quantity plan that prevents the post-development 1.5 year, 24 hour peak discharge rate from exceeding
the pre-development 1.5 year, 24 hour peak discharge rate;
1
OR
ƒ If existing imperviousness is greater than 50%, implement a stormwater management plan that
results in a 25% decrease in the rate and quantity of stormwater runoff.
Site Credit 6.2 – Stormwater ƒ Construct site stormwater treatment systems designed to remove 80% of the average annual
Management, Treatment post-development total suspended solids (TSS) and 40% of the average annual post-
development total phosphorous (TP) based on the average annual loadings from all storms less
than or equal to the 2-year/ 24-hour storm. Do so by implementing Best Management Practices
1
(BMPs) outlined in Chapter 4, Part 2 (Urban Runoff), of the United States Environmental
Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Guidance Specifying Management Measures for Sources of
Nonpoint Pollution in /Coastal Waters (Document No. EPA-840-b-93-001C January 1993) or the
local government’s BMP document (whichever is more stringent).
Site Credit 7.2 – Heat Island Effect, ƒ Use ENERGY STAR roof-compliant, high-reflectance AND high emissivity roofing (for low slope
Roof roofs: initial reflectance of at least 0.65 and three-year-aged reflectance of at least 0.5 when
tested in accordance with ASTM E903 and emissivity of at least 0.9 when tested in accordance
with ASTM 408; for steep slope roofs: initial reflectance of at least 0.25 and three-year-aged
reflectance of at least 0.15 when tested in accordance with ASTM E903 and emissivity of at least
1
0.9 when tested in accordance with ASTM 408) for a minimum of 75% of the roof surface;
OR
ƒ Install an extensive or intensive “green” (vegetated) roof for at least 50% of the roof area.
Combinations of high albedo and vegetated roof can be used providing they collectively cover
75% of the roof area.
Credit Requirement Points
Water Credit 1.1 – Water Efficient ƒ Use high-efficiency irrigation technology;
Landscaping, Reduce By 50% OR
1
ƒ Use captured rain or recycled site water to reduce potable water consumption for irrigation by 50% over
conventional means.
Water Credit 1.2 – Water Efficient ƒ Use only captured rain or recycled site water to eliminate all potable water use for site irrigation (except
Landscaping, No Potable Use or No for initial watering to establish plants), OR do not install permanent landscape irrigation systems. 1
Irrigation
Energy Credit 1 – Optimize Energy ƒ Reduce design energy cost compared to the energy cost budget for energy systems regulated by
Performance ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999 (without amendments), as demonstrated by a whole building
simulation using the Energy Cost Budget Method described in Section 11 of the Standard;
OR 1-10
ƒ Reduce the greenhouse gas emissions due to the energy consumption by regulated loads of the
Proposed design, as compared to that of a baseline Reference model, by using whole building computer
energy modelling.
Materials Credit 4.1 – Recycled ƒ Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of post-consumer recycled content plus one-half
Content, 7.5% (Post-Consumer + ½ of the post-industrial content constitutes at least 5% of the total value of the materials in the project. 1
Post-Industrial)
Materials Credit 4.2 – Recycled ƒ Use materials with recycled content such that the sum of post-consumer recycled content plus one-half
Content, 15% (Post-Consumer + ½ of the post-industrial content constitutes at least 10% of the total value of the materials in the project. 1
Post-Industrial)
Materials Credit 5.1 – 10% Extracted ƒ Use a minimum of 20% of building materials and products that are manufactured within a radius of
and Manufactured Regionally 800 km (500 miles) if transported by truck OR within a radius of 3,500 km (2,200 miles) if transported by 1
rail.
Materials Credit 5.2 – 50% Extracted ƒ Of these regionally manufactured materials, use a minimum of 50% of building materials and products
and Manufactured Regionally that are extracted, harvested or recovered (as well as manufactured) within a radius of 800 km (500 1
miles) if transported by truck OR within a radius of 3,500 km (2,200 miles) if transported by rail.
Appendix E

Resources
APPENDIX E: GREEN ROOF RESOURCES

Scientific & Technical Resources

BCIT Centre for Architectural Ecology – Collaborations in Green Roofs and Living Walls
http://commons.bcit.ca/greenroof/

National Research Council of Canada – Institute for Research in Construction – Sustainability of Green
Roof Technology Project
http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/bes/prsi/greenroof_e.html

Green Skins Lab, University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
www.greenskinslab.sala.ubc.ca/

Michigan State University Green Roof Research Program
http://www.hrt.msu.edu/greenroof/

Penn State Center for Green Roof Research
http://web.me.com/rdberghage/Centerforgreenroof/Home.html

Colorado State University Green Roof Program
http://greenroof.agsci.colostate.edu/

The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin
http://www.wildflower.org/greenroof/

Water Environment Research Foundation – Sustainable Stormwater
http://www.werf.org/livablecommunities/

American Society of Landscape Architects Green Roof Demonstration Project
http://land.asla.org/050205/greenroofcentral.html

The Green Roof Centre of Excellence, Neubrandenburg, Germany
http://www.gruendach-mv.de/en/index.htm

World Green Roof Infrastructure Network
http://www.worldgreenroof.org/index.html

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities – Green Roof Infrastructure Industry Association
http://www.greenroofs.org/

Greenroofs.com - The Green Roof Industry Resource Portal
http://www.greenroofs.com/

Insurance Concerns

British Columbia Homeowner Protection Office (HPO)
http://www.hpo.bc.ca/About/Initiatives/GreenRoofs.php

Green Roof Product Suppliers
Soprema – Sopranature Green Roof System
http://www.soprema.ca/en/content/10/sopranature.aspx

Xeroflor Canada Ltd.
http://www.xeroflor.ca/

American Hydrotech – Waterproofing and Garden Roof Assembly
http://www.hydrotechusa.com/garden-roof.htm

ELT Easy Green – Green Roof Systems
http://www.eltgreenroofs.com/index.php

Natvik Ecological Professional Services (Guelph, Ontario)
http://www.roofgarden.ca/index.php?view=pageView&pageid=235

Government Resources

Toronto and Region Conservation Authority - For the Living City
http://www.trca.on.ca/Website/TRCA/website.nsf/WebPage/trca__living_city__living_city?OpenDocumen
t&ppos=1&spos=0&rsn=

City of Toronto Green Roofs Pilot Program
http://www.toronto.ca/greenroofs/incentiveprogram.htm

City of Seattle, Washington, City Green Building Program – Green Roofs
http://www.seattle.gov/DPD/GreenBuilding/OurProgram/Resources/TechnicalBriefs/DPDS_009485.asp

City of Portland, Oregon, Sustainable Stormwater Management Program – Eco-Roofs
http://www.portlandonline.com/BES/index.cfm?c=44422&

City of Chicago, Illinois, Department of Environment – Green Roofs
http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalDeptCategoryAction.do?BV_SessionID=@@@@00608
79241.1227634544@@@@&BV_EngineID=ccceadefkjdhgfjcefecelldffhdfhk.0&deptCategoryOID=-
536889313&contentType=COC_EDITORIAL&topChannelName=Dept&entityName=Environment&dept
MainCategoryOID=-536887205

Green Roof Design Guidelines and Standards

Forschungsgesellschaft Landschaftsentwicklung Landschaftsbau e.V. (FLL) – German Green Roof Design
Guidelines
http://www.f-l-l.de/english.html

Introductory Manual for Greening Roofs – Oberlander, Whitelaw and Matsuzaki, 2002 (Public Works and
Government Services Canada
http://www.bluestem.ca/pdf/PWGSC_GreeningRoofs_wLink_3.pdf

Design Guidelines for Green Roof – Peck and Kuhn, 2003 (Ontario Association of Architects and CMHC)
http://www.cityofchicago.org/webportal/COCWebPortal/COC_ATTACH/design_guidelines_for_green_ro
ofs.pdf

ASTM Subcommittee on Sustainability – including work item under development: Guide for Green Roof
Systems
http://www.astm.org/COMMIT/SUBCOMMIT/E0671.htm
BuildSmart is the Lower Mainland’s Kerr Wood Leidal Associates The project team is a collaboration of professionals who work
resource for sustainable Limited has developed this in the fields of green building and green roof engineering,
design and construction publication under contract to stormwater management, Leadership in Energy and
information. Developed by Metro Vancouver to assist design Environmental Design® (LEED®) certification, landscape
Metro Vancouver, this innovative professionals, builders and owners architecture, planning and environmental design. The project
program encourages the use of with making informed decisions team is drawn from the following firms:
green building strategies and when pursuing or planning for
1) Kerr Wood Leidal Associates Ltd.(KWL), engineering
technologies; supports green green roof installations.
consultant;
building efforts by offering tools
and technical resources; and 2) HB Lanarc Consultants Ltd., environmental planners and
educates the building industry on landscape architects;
sustainable design and building 3) Goya Ngan, international researcher and landscape
practices. architect;
www.metrovancouver.org/ 4) Glotman Simpson, structural engineer; and
buildsmart
5) Karen K.Y. Liu, PhD, green roof expert with XeroFlor
International.
The report was authored by Chris Johnston of KWL, with
support from Alexandra Johnson and Laurel Morgan. Dr.
Karen Liu from XeroFlor International provided comments
on the text and contributed valuable information on recent
research and improvements in green roof technology for the
final report. Additional editing, comments and contributions
to the final report were made by several persons including
Lyn Ross, Vaillant Tang, Christine Cummings, Robert Hicks
and Mark Wellman at Metro Vancouver, Maureen Connelly at
British Columbia Institute of Technology and Steven Peck at
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities as outside reviewers.
Visit BuildSmart and SmartSteps Directory for your
one-stop shopping for green products and services
For more information call our Sustainable Business Services information line at
604-451-6575 or email buildsmart@metrovancouver.org.

www.metrovancouver.org/buildsmart