San Francisco approves green roof mandate


Often considered the most progressive city in the U.S., San Francisco is continuing to pioneer environmentalist policy with its new green roof requirement. The scheme goes hand in hand with the drive for solar rooftops in the city, and was announced in the same week that one of the city’s famous “Painted Ladies” homes had a solar array installed on its roof.

The new legislation, which was originally suggested at the CitiesAlive 2013 Green Roof Conference, was unanimously approved by the San Francisco Planning Commission last week. Provided that the legislation passes a final approval by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors later in the year, which it is expected to, it will be the first requirement of this kind in any U.S. city.

In this case, the ordinance would come into effect on 1 January 2017, which would oblige all new construction projects to have at least 30% green and/or solar roofs. “Rooftops are one of the last untapped environmental resources in our growing city, and we need to be strategic about how we activate these spaces,” commented San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener.

To inspire developers to add solar arrays onto new constructions, one of the iconic “Painted Ladies” homes installed its very own solar plus storage unit last week. Residential solar company Sunrun installed the system, which included a Sunrun Birghtbox storage solution, under a solar lease program.

“We’re proud to help such a unique and iconic property in our hometown of San Francisco to go solar and start saving money,” said Michael Grasso, chief marketing officer at Sunrun. “Solar is really for everyone – and this development demonstrates that it’s possible to pay respect to the past while still keeping an eye to the future.”