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Green roof mandates make some see red

June 17, 2009
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TORONTO, ON, Canada — Many real estate developers in the City of Toronto are very upset about the recent passing of a new law mandating green roofs on any new residential, commercial, industrial and institutional structures with floor space of more than 2,000 square meters (approximately 21,528 square feet), according to Reuters.
According to the story, last month, Toronto became the first city in North America to require all new construction projects to devote between 20 and 60 percent of its roof to vegetation.
Many argue that the city should have offered incentives to encourage the planting of green roofs rather than making it mandatory because a green roof adds roughly $177,000 to the cost of a new building, the story stated.
Stephen Upton, vice president for development at Tridel Corporation, a high-rise condominium developer, said: "I don''t think anybody is warm and fuzzy about having a green roof law impressed on them as a prescriptive method. People start questioning affordability."
Supporters of the law say that green roofs offer many benefits to building occupants and the environment, including energy savings, a reduction of storm water runoff, water filtration and reduced pollution, the story noted.
The law will take effect in February 2010, and industrial sites will be granted a one-year grace period, the story added.
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