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Effective January 1, 2017, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to mandate solar and living roofs on most new construction. With the passage of this legislation, between 15% and 30% of roof space on most new construction projects will incorporate solar, living roofs, or a combination of both.
In dense, urban cities our rooftops are valuable space that can be used more efficiently to benefit our environment and our communities. Rooftops are 30% of San Francisco’s land area, and an untapped resource. This new ordinance will provide flexibility for the building designer, owner, and developer to choose the best combination of solar photovoltaic, solar water heating and living roof systems to maximize benefits based on location and building program. With the myriad of benefits that these technologies provide, the legislation would encourage a higher and better utilization of valuable rooftop space.