Special Thanks to the Citizens of Denver

On November 7, 2017, the citizens of Denver passed the Denver Green Roof Initiative 54.3% to 45.7%. This initiative will now pass through various stages of implementation.

  • First, rules will be drafted to better clarify the ordinance as it is currently written. No changes will be made to the actual ordinance at this time. These rules should become available to the public December 26, 2017 and will be open for written comments upon its release. This period shall last approximately 30 days. The city will hold a final Public Comment Hearing January 17, 2018. The time and location is still currently TBD.


  • Second, the City is forming a Green Roofs Review Task Force of stakeholders to develop recommended modifications, clarifications, and improvements to the initiative through a collaborative, consensus-based process. The Green Roofs Review Task Force meetings will be open to the public to observe. Please sign up for the newsletter, where you will receive updates on the task force’s work and opportunities for broader public input. Please Note, any changes to the initiative would require a super-majority of 10 City Council votes, which could not happen until mid-2018 at the earliest.


  • Lastly, Mayor Hancock will be choosing members of the Green Roof Technical Advisory Group. This group shall make recommendations for consideration by the Denver Planning Board with respect to:
    1. Technical issues relating to the creation, implementation and development of  the City of Denver Green Roof Construction Standard;
    2. Possible amendments to the Denver Green Roof Construction Standard; and
    3. Take part in periodic review of the Denver Green Roof Construction Standard.

    If you would like to apply for this group, please follow this link.

Thank you to all who voted in favor of this ordinance. We will continue to fight on your behalf to ensure proper implementation of this ordinance.

Citizen led Denver Green Roof – Initiative 300 wins by an 8.5% margin.

After a year of hard work, Citizen led Denver Green Roof – Initiative 300 wins by an 8.5% margin.

Thanks to all who participated. Whether you volunteered, donated, voted, or told your friends, this never would have been possible without the power of the people. This is what democracy looks like.

While we may have won, we still have an uphill battle. The last I-300 to pass has had tremendous hurdles to overcome due to push back from those in power. Please call your city council person and tell them why you believe in this initiative. Make sure they understand the importance of fighting climate change and developing sustainably.

This is a battle won against climate but the war doesn’t stop here. We must all get active and fight for our values, because we are stronger together. Thanks again for the overwhelming support. The citizens of Denver have a healthier, more sustainable future because of YOU!


To the people,

Hello Everyone. I’d like to take a moment to ask that everyone consider a Yes vote on citizen led Initiative 300. There are a lot of misconceptions out there and I wanted you to know the facts before making your decision.

Initiative 300 would create a new building code requiring buildings over 25,000 sqft to dedicate a portion of their roof to solar or rooftop gardens. The portion ranges from 20% to 60% depending on the size of the building.

These required building improvements would significantly reduce long term operating costs by lowering energy consumption and increasing the longevity of a roof. A green roof lasts 2-3 times as long as a traditional roof because the waterproofing membrane is protected from damage by the elements and workers by covering it with a growing medium and plants. A great example of this is the hailstorm we had in may. While many roofs needed to be replaced, the green roofs in denver lost a couple plants, saving those buildings tons of money. Also, these improvements have a return on investment of 6.2 years.

Because of the great return on investment, the less frequent roof replacements, and the decrease in long term operating costs, we argue that this will have no impact on rents or affordable housing. We would argue that it would decrease rent but we don’t necessarily believe that the owners of the building would pass their savings along to their tenants. This is an unfortunate and sad truth.

While green roofs need, at most, a ¼” of water per week, the amount of water saved from their energy conservation actually conserves more water. I’ll explain, each kilowatt of energy produced uses 25 gallons of water. Green roofs save you 10% or more of energy consumption below the roof. A typical 25,000 sqft building uses 500,000 kw (estimating 5 floors of 5000 sqft. so top floor uses 100,000kw or 2.5m gallons of water) So a green roof would actually save over 200,000 gallons of water.

There are exemptions in place. If a building cannot handle the structural load. If the building does 100% solar. If it is a school or energy star rated building. Exemptions have been left to the discretion of city planning during the permitting phase. Lots of wiggle room for everyone involved.

There has also been concern that this is a mandate. Initiative 300 is a building code and all building codes are mandates. Fire escapes and sprinkler systems are all designed to keep us safe. Just like green roofs and solar will keep our city and planet safe. Denver ranks 11th worst for air quality, 3rd worst for its urban heat island effect, and we have extremely polluted waterways from storm water runoff. Green roofs are a best management practice for managing storm water.

Denver county has had plenty of time to make advancement in sustainability but so far all we have are goals with no plans to reach them. The auditor’s office found that the office of sustainability has had no resources or plans put in place to reach their admirable goals. The buildings affected by this new building code consume 60% of the energy in this city. They mayor has said time and time again that we need to do something about climate change but in the six years he has been in office, no tangible steps have been taken. Initiative 300 would provide a solution for multiple issues that we face now and will face in the future.

I hope this helps answer some questions that you may have had. If not, feel free to comment and I’ll answer them to the best of my ability. I truly believe that development should be done sustainably with the future in mind. With all the flat roofs and all the construction doesn’t it make sense that we utilize that space and build for a cleaner future. Join us in making Denver a leader on sustainability. Please vote YES on I-300!

Citizen led I-300 “Denver Green Roof Initiative” Makes the Ballot!

I wanted to take a moment to officially announce that the Denver Green Roof Initiative has officially made the November Ballot! If you live in Denver please VOTE YES on I-300


We could never have done this without the help of our incredible volunteers. Over 60 people came together, spent countless hours of their time, and collected 8,000 signatures! Truly incredible. I couldn’t be more proud to have met and worked with each and every one!


This initiative would create a new building code requiring large buildings across Denver to dedicate a portion of their roof to solar or vegetation.


Climate change is getting worse every day and is only going to continue to do so. Denver ranks 11th worst in the nation for air quality and already ranks 3rd worst in the nation for its urban heat island effect. This means that the city is exponentially hotter than surrounding areas, both day and night. That means more heat waves, higher energy consumption and a great risk to general health and well-being.


With our federal government no longer paying attention to climate change it is imperative that we take charge at the local level. We are writing to you today to ask for your help doing just that. We have made it this far with the help of passionate people like yourself and we need to continue that momentum all the way through November.


Today we are introducing the triple 10 challenge. Today, we are asking you to tell 10 friends about this initiative, we are asking that you donate 10 hours of your time between now and November 7th, and finally, we are asking for you to donate 10 dollars. 10 Friends, 10 Hours, 10 dollars. Can you help us with this mission?


Welcome to the Denver Green Roof Initiative!

Imagine an aerial view of Denver where the cityscape is flourishing with plant life. This picture in your head is already a reality for cities such as Toronto, Chicago and Washington D.C.  The Denver Green Roof Initiative aims to mirror legislation like Toronto’s Green Roof Bylaw by requiring that all new building development over 25,000 sqft must dedicate a portion of their roof to vegetative space.

The Denver metropolitan region had a 1.5 percent population growth rate between 2004 and 2014 and is consistently ranked as one of the fastest-growing areas in the nation. We believe it is imperative to reduce the footprint of this exponential growth. 

The Benefits of Green Roofs far outweigh the only single negative, cost. Please take your time to explore this site. In it you will find every bit of non-biased information to form your own educated conclusions. Thank you so much for visiting. Please share us with your friends!