Energy Management

Green roof industry grows by more than 25%


Jun 13, 2007

The green roof industry has grown by more than 25% from 2005 to 2006, according to the Second Annual Industry Survey of corporate members of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, the North American green roof industry association.

The total represents 3 million sq.ft. of green roofs installed in 2006. For  intensive green roofs that typically incorporate larger plants, the growth rate was 110% in 2006.

“The green roof industry is growing rapidly in response to the pressing need for cleaner air, better storm water management, improved energy efficiency and more usable green space in our communities,” says Steven Peck, founder and president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. “Green roofs have really captured many people’s attention as a beautiful way to help fight climate change and save money. Green roofs deliver more public and private benefits than any other green building technology, so we anticipate that strong growth will continue into the future.”

The City of Chicago, which has policies in place to support green roofs and urban greening, implemented the most square feet of green roofs in 2006 of any city, followed closely by Washington, D.C. “My goal is to make Chicago the greenest, most environmentally friendly city in the nation and we are leading by example in our green roof development,” says Mayor Richard M. Daley. “With over 1 million square feet of green roofs completed in Chicago and another 2 million in development, our city has truly embraced this practice as a way to help conserve Chicago for future generations.”

This 2006 Top Ten Cities List, from the top down, by total square footage installed, includes: Chicago, Ill.;  Washington, D.C.;  Wildwood Crest, N.J.;  Dulles, Va.; Kansas City, Mo.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Milwaukee, Wis.; New York City; N.Y.; Portland, Ore. and Columbus, Ohio.

Evidence of the rapidly growing industry also is reflected in the steadily increasing number of delegates to the 5th Annual Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities Conference, Awards and Trade Show held April 29-May 1, in Minneapolis. More than 80 exhibitors featuring the latest in green roof products and services are featured in the sold out trade show. The complete survey results and methodology are available at

Green roof infrastructure involves the use of technologies that incorporate drainage/filtering systems, quality waterproofing, root-repellency, engineered growing media and plants. The benefits of green roofs include a reduction in storm water run-off, better heat and sound insulation, energy savings, improved air quality and reduction in the urban heat island. Other benefits include increased park space, improved aesthetics, community gardening and biodiversity.