Update: Denver Green Roof Initiative

Denver residents found the Initiated Ordinance 300 on their ballots last November, otherwise known as the Denver Green Roof Initiative. Environmental activists who organized this voter-initiated ballot question argue the addition of green space at the roof level would help keep buildings cooler while also improving overall air quality by combating the ‘Urban Heat Island Effect’. But of course, more than air quality will be affected.

To the surprise of many, the initiative passed in November’s election. The mandate went into effect on January 1st, but Denver continues to work through implementation.  As the mandate stands now, buildings with a gross floor area of 25,000 square feet or greater are required to install green roofs or solar energy — estimated at $25.00 to $27.00 per square foot higher than the cost of a traditional roof. While Denver’s push to achieve sustainability objectives is noteworthy, Governor Hickenlooper said last October, “It goes too far, too fast”.

The real estate community and Denver tenants have been and will be affected by this initiative. Options for sustainability are now constricted and the market — while already pricing many tenants out — will only become more expensive. The dialogue will continue as we strive toward a sustainable, yet affordable, real estate landscape.


Additional Resource: Denver Business Journal