Environmental Commission To Begin Work On Suggested ‘Green Roof’ Ordinance

Environmental Commission member Robin Suydam suggested that the Commission broaden the scope of a proposed “green roof” ordinance.

Members of the township’s Environmental Commission will soon begin crafting a proposed ordinance that would require large new commercial buildings to have some form of “green” roof in their design.

That design could include solar or wind energy capturing units, or complete or partial covering by vegetation, which is designed to lower the temperature of the roof and the surrounding air.

Commission members discussed the idea at their November 7 meeting.

A working group comprised of Commission chairman Paul Walitsky and Commissioners Robin Suydam and Stanislaz Jaracz was formed to begin work on the proposed ordinance.

The ordinance would have to be vetted and approved by the Township Council.

The original idea was to create an ordinance requiring new buildings greater than 25,000 square feet — usually warehouses — to be “solar equipped,” but Suydam at the November 7 meeting suggested broadening the scope.

“I think we would be missing an opportunity if we limited it to just solar,” she said. “I think there are so many technologies now” that the township should “encourage developers to do something with that flat surface or low pitch” roof.

Suydam said the ordinance should encourage “a combination of green, cool, solar, and wind-catching” technologies.

She said some cities in the country have developed point quotas that developers have to meet, while others have proscribed that a certain percentage of roofs have to be “green.”

“There are a lot of models out there that we could take a look at, that are not so totally restrictive that a builder would say no way,” she said.

Walitsky said he would convene the working group soon so it could begin its work.

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