Green Roof Industry Posts Greater than 80-Percent Growth

April 18, 2006
First-of-its-kind industry survey shows tremendous growth in vegetated roofs

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a Toronto-based non-profit industry association whose mission is to increase the development of the green roof industry across North America, announces the results from the first survey of its corporate members, independently administered by Kendon Light, EA.

The survey asked member-companies to report on their completed 2004 and 2005 green roof projects in North America. Results indicate a 72-percent growth in green roof square footage across North America between 2004 and 2005, and over 80-percent growth in the United States. North American green roof infrastructure implementation increased from 1.3 million square feet in 2004 to 2.5 million square feet in 2005. “We’re very excited to see the actual growth numbers, which match the huge increase in green roof interest our association members see on a daily basis,” says Steven Peck, founder and president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. “We anticipate even greater growth in the future.”

Boston, which ranked fourth in the 2004 Top Ten Cities list, is the co-host of the 4th Annual Green Roof Conference, Awards, and Trade Show on May 11 and May 12, 2006. “Boston is proud to host this year’s Green Roofs Conference,” says Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “Our city is committed to sustainability through high-performance green buildings, and green roofs will be an important component in meeting LEED™ standards, slowing climate change, and keeping our environment clean and healthy for the future of our cities.”

The top 10 cities (by square footage planted) in 2005 are:

-Washington, D.C.
-Suitland, MD
-Ashburn, VA
-New York City
-Culpepper, VA
-Austin, TX
-Arlington, VA
-Des Moines, IA
-Ottawa, ON

“Given their many public benefits, more and more cities, states, and utilities are developing policies that support widespread green roof implementation,” says Peter Lowitt, chairman of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

The survey results and methodology,
as well as details of May’s Annual Conference in Boston (featuring more than 40 speakers from around the world and 75 exhibitors), are available at ( “This first major survey of the green roof industry shows the growth has not abated, and I believe the industry is poised for even greater growth in 2006 and beyond,” says Steve Skinner, chairman, Corporate Members Committee.

Green roof infrastructure (also known as eco-roofs and vegetated roofs) involve the use of technologies that incorporate drainage systems, high-quality waterproofing, a root-repellant layer, specialized growing media, and specially selected plants onto the roofs of buildings. The benefits of green roofing are widespread and include a significant reduction in stormwater run-off, better heat and sound insulation, energy savings, improved air quality, and reduction in the city’s urban heat island. Other benefits include increased park space, improved aesthetics, community gardening, and biodiversity. 

This article was reprinted with permission from Toronto-based Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, a non-profit industry association whose mission is to increase the awareness of the economic, social, and environmental benefits of green roof infrastructure across North America and rapidly advance the development of the market for green roof products and services. To find out more, visit (

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