Posts Tagged ‘building’
The race for the largest solar roof in the U.S. is on!
In 2008, the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, unveiled the nation’s largest solar roof—a a 2.36-megawatt system that produces approximately 26% of the center’s power.
But there’s about to be a new solar mayor in town: UK pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline recently announced it plans to build a massive 3.1-megawatt system atop its York, Pennsylvania distribution center. At over 350,000 square feet (about seven football fields) it will be the largest solar roof in the U.S, and produce all of the power for the large facility.
The project will cost an impressive $14 million, but GlaxoSmithKline will receive $4.1 million in federal tax credits, not to mention eliminate its $400,000 annual utility bill.
And the solar fun doesn’t stop there: the pharmaceutical giant plans to start another three-megawatt system at its U.S. headquarters in Pittsburgh next year. The projects work towards GlaxoSmithKline’s goal of reducing its electricity usage 45% by 2015.
We don’t know about you, but the folks here at Cole Roofing could barely be more excited. As eco-conscious roofers, this is just the sort of healthy green competition we like to see. (It’s the green roofing version of football season!) Projects like this make headlines, which get people thinking about solar power and solar roofs. Let the competition begin!
If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, by now you’ve learned a great deal about the benefits of green (or “vegetated”) roofs: Stormwater runoff management, a reduction in the heat island effect, lower utility bills through natural insulation, protection from UV damage. The list goes on and on.
There’s no doubting their benefits, but what if you, either as a homeowner or a facility manager or owner, were mandated by law to have a vegetated roof?
Toronto—where stormwater runoff has been a longtime issue of concern—was the first North American city to require green roofs on new developments. Last year, the Toronto City Council passed a bylaw mandating that all new residential, commercial and institutional buildings with a gross floor area of at least 2,000 square meters (about 21,500 square feet) built after January 31, 2010, have a certain percentage of their roof green. (To see a chart of the city’s green roof coverage requirements, click here. The bylaw will extend to new industrial development in just a few months (all industrial buildings built after January 31, 2011).
The far away metropolis of Tokyo, where government officials are trying to reduce the city’s urban heat island effect, also mandates green roofs on new construction of a certain size. New buildings more than 1,000 square meters (about 10,700 square feet) must green at least 20% of its usable roof space.
What do you think of this? While there are many benefits of green roofs, do you think local governments should be mandating them by law?
To learn more about local government efforts to mandate vegetated roofs, check out this post from Clean Air Through Green Roofs