New French Law Passed Requiring New Rooftops to Be Covered With Plants or Solar Panels
In a response to growing concern from environmental activists France passed new law that all buildings constructed in commercial zones must have sections roofed with solar panels or green spaces. Originally, French environmental activists wanted the law to cover the entire roof but they decided to start with partial covered roofs to see how it does.
This concept is already common in countries like Germany, Australia and Canada. Many benefits stem from such activity as plants create an isolating effect to help reduce the energy required to heat and cool the houses. Similarly the solar panel on the roofs of businesses is beneficial because it helps reduce the amount of energy they use while creating sustainable, renewable energy instead. Green rooftops also significantly reduce the urban “heat island” effect in which urban areas are noticeably warmer than their surroundings.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency the upfront investment for green roofs is to be $10 per square foot for modest roofs and $25 per square foot for more intense designs. However, these initial costs are compensated by the benefits of decreased energy expenditure and the increased lifespan of green roofs.
France is making significant effort to adequately combat growing rates of pollution having negative effects on the health of citizens. Last year, the World Health Organization stated that outdoor air pollution has been classified as an environmental cause of cancer deaths. Currently, Germany takes the lead in the advantages of green roof research with more than 10 per cent of houses having plant-covered roofs and that number increasing each year by 10 to 15 percent.