Image Source: LivingRoofs.org.

Last year’s COP-15 event may have achieved “epic fail” status, but that’s certainly not going to stop the former host city—Copenhagen, Denmark—from pushing their green standards a bit further.

Copenhagen is now the first Scandinavian city to put a mandatory green roof policy into action. The new policy requires vegetation and soil to be a mandatory part in architectural planning; in particular, it covers all roofs with a slope less than 30 degrees, plus the refurbishment of older roofs. By putting this new green roof policy into action, it pushes the great Danish city one step closer to reaching their carbon neutral goal by 2025.

Now, as far as the green roofs go, there is a list of specific requirements to consider. Buildings with green roofs must be able to meet at least 2 of the following requirements:

  • The roof must absorb 50-80% of the precipitation that falls on the roof.
  • The roof must provide a cooling and insulating effect of the building and reduce reflection.
  • The roof must help make the city greener, reducing the urban heat island effect, counteracting the increased temperatures in the city.
  • The roof must contribute to a visual and aesthetic architectural variation that has a positive effect on the quality of life.
  • The roof must double the roof life of the roofing membrane by protecting it against UV rays, etc.

So far, at least 30 buildings in Copenhagen have green roofs—and this is before the policy even went into effect. I am curious to see what their next steps will be to add more green to the city.