Green Roof Plan Falling behind in Portland

Portland Oregon set a goal of 43 acres of eco-roofs by 2013; so far the city has only 17.7 acres of green roof systems. Portland introduced Grey to Green, a sustainable storm water management practice program. The city pays up to $5 per square foot for new green roof projects within city limits, currently the new roof costs between $5 and $20 per square foot.

As well as the environmental benefits, a green roof can provide a relaxing or recreational aspect to a roof. According to the industry trade group ‘Green Roofs for Healthy Cities’ the green roof market has grown 115% in 2011.

Green Roof Has Many Benefits

Eco roofs, also known as green, living and vegetative roof systems reduce and filter storm water, reduce air pollution, provide a natural habitat for insects and plants, reducing the urban heat island effect and provide added insulation to a building thereby reducing the cooling costs during hot months. A green roof can also increase the life expectancy of the roof, lessen noise levels and provide additional usable space.

One of the reasons people are hesitant to install a living roof is the initial cost. A 2008 Portland study researched a detail cost analysis on traditional roofs versus a green roof. On a 40,000 square foot roof, the green roof would cost $128,803 more after 5 years, but the savings over 40 years was $403,632.

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