Canadian Consulting Engineer

Toronto backtracks on green roofs

The city of Toronto is allowing an extra year before requiring the owners of new industrial buildings and large commercial and residential buildings to incorporate green roofs in their building designs.

January 31, 2011   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The city of Toronto is allowing an extra year before requiring the owners of new industrial buildings and large commercial and residential buildings to incorporate green roofs in their building designs.

Owners of these buildings now have two years before they have to comply with the city’s bylaw, whereas previously they had only one year’s grace period.

Some see the delay as part of a series of moves by the new Mayor Rob Ford and his team to reverse environmental policies and regulations introduced by the previous regime.

According to the Globe and Mail, the city is now looking at allowing building owners to provide alternative solutions in place of green roofs – for example providing reflective or cool roofs, or adding solar equipment.

Industrial companies are reported to be pleased by the city’s change of heart, arguing that it would be next to impossible to maintain a green roof on the large scale of a typical industrial building. The owners would rather rent out the space to a solar-photovoltaic company.

However, others say that asphalt roofs on large industrial buildings are one of the worst offenders in terms of absorbing solar heat.  They also point out that vegetative roofs protect the roof membrane and so they provide long-term savings that must be taken into account.


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