News Analysis

Denver Votes Green Thumbs Up for Green Roofs

A city suffering from ozone pollution and the heat-island effect approves a ballot measure requiring green roofs.

December 11, 2017

More than half of the voters in Denver approved a ballot initiative in November requiring new buildings 25,000 square feet or larger to build green roofs or roofs that combine vegetation and solar arrays. The rules also apply when additions are built that expand a building to 25,000 square feet or more, and to existing buildings of that size when they are replacing a roof.

The unlikely leader of the initiative is a 31-year-old manager of a Red Robin Gourmet Burgers restaurant named Brandon Rietheimer, who has never done environmental organizing before.