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Back in 2015, the French parliament passed a law that mandates all new buildings constructed in a commercial zone must partially cover their roofs in either plants or solar panels. While the original proposal initiated by French environmental activists was for roofs to be completely covered by greenery, the government decided that to ease costs to businesses, roofs must be partially covered (to at least 30 per cent) with greenery or solar panels instead. However, this is still a huge step toward a more sustainable future for our cities and infrastructures.

In this article, we are going to explore the benefits of green roofs and the influence France’s mandate has had on the future of biophilic construction around the globe.

What are the benefits of Green Roofs?

Green roofs or ‘living roofs’ are rapidly gaining in popularity thanks to the mandate passed in France. Not only are green roofs a truly stunning addition to any building, but they also offer a range of economic, social, and environmental benefits. These benefits include:

  • Provides a rainwater buffer
  • Filters pollutants from the surrounding air
  • Reduces the ambient temperature
  • Reduces ambient noise outside and inside
  • Encourages biodiversity
  • Generates renewable energy through solar panels
  • Improves mental wellbeing
  • Protects the infrastructure of buildings
green roof benefits

The Future of Biophilic Construction

France is not the first government to legislate green roofs and will certainly not be the last. Before France’s mandate came into action, the City of Toronto set the standard by requiring all new buildings to include rooftop planting in their design. And before Toronto, Switzerland passed a mandate for all new and renovated flat roofs to be greened.

However, since the mandate in France, more countries have started to harness the environmental benefits of green roofs. Cities such as Munich now have around 300 hectares of green roofing and Hamburg now have 144 hectares.

France’s rejection of outdated traditional roofs and embracing of green roofs in the Climate and Resilience Act demonstrates the powerful transformation that can occur when government’s embrace ecology in all aspects of society: in urban planning, public services, consumption patterns, education, and travel. (Rose Mary Petrass)

The future of biophilic construction is certainly growing in popularity and there are hopes that in the future, all commercial buildings in all large cities across the world will be required to have some form of greenery or solar panels.

green roof

Green Roofs by Viritopia

As you can tell, we’re huge fans of green roof systems at Viritopia. In fact, we’ve installed over 100 million plants since we began experimenting with green roof systems in 2005. Whether you’d like to discuss the benefits of green roof systems further or would like to discuss your project requirements with an expert, contact us at Viritopia today.

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