Denver just approved an initiative requiring rooftop gardens or solar panels be placed on large new buildings, according to an ABC News article. Other big cities like San Francisco, New York, London and Paris are already doing this with the goal of reducing energy use and costs and easing the burden placed on stormwater systems.
Supporters of ‘green roofs’ promote their many benefits. As the article states, “Rooftop gardens and solar panels absorb some of the sun's heat or put it to work generating electricity. Greenery absorbs rainwater and releases it more slowly, so storm sewer systems aren't overwhelmed”.
Denver's initiative is different than most, however, because it's requiring not just new buildings to be constructed with an environmentally-friendly roof, but also existing buildings must have one whenever their roofs are replaced. Exemptions would be made for older buildings that wouldn't be able to bear the weight of one.
Of course, if you can’t or don't want to create a rooftop garden of your own, there is also the option to Xeriscape, which combines water conservation practices with creative landscape design. Check out our Water Conservation webpage to learn more.