News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 881-6309

Chicago’s Green Roofs

There was an interesting article in the Chicago Tribune on April 20th concerning the building of green roofs in Chicago.  According to the article, the city “now boasts about 500 green roofs that are either finished or underway, according to Department of Environment spokesman Larry Merritt, and they cover 7 million square feet — roughly double the amount of floor space in the Willis Tower.”

According to the Green Roofs for Healthy Cities North America organization, a green roof is “an extension of the existing roof which involves a high quality water proofing and root repellent system, a drainage system, filter cloth, a lightweight growing medium and plants.  Green roof systems may be modular, with drainage layers, filter cloth, growing media and plants already prepared in movable, interlocking grids, or, each component of the system may be installed separately.  Green roof development involves the creation of ‘contained’ green space on top of a human-made structure.  This green space could be below, at or above grade, but in all cases the plants are not planted in the ‘ground’.  Green roofs can provide a wide range of public and private benefits.”

Mayor Daley and his colleagues at the city should be congratulated for their leadership on green roofs.  It all started with a green roof on City Hall.  Between 2005 and 2007, the city also gave out grants to help finance green roof projects.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

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