May 17, 2004

Green-roof systems to be eligible for NRCan energy-efficient building program funds

TORONTO, ONT-Organizations that plant vegetation on their roofs can save on energy costs and may qualify for federal funding. At the Conference of the Reducers last week in Toronto, John Godfrey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister with Special Emphasis on Cities, announced that green-roof technology is an eligible measure within Canada's existing funding programs for energy-efficient buildings. He made the announcement on behalf of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) Minister R John Efford. The programs, offered through NRCan's Office of Energy Efficiency, include the Energy Innovators Initiative (EII), the Commercial Building Incentive Program (CBIP) and the Industrial Building Incentive Program (IBIP). The EII offers up to 50% of retrofit planning costs and up to 25% of retrofit implementation costs, based on energy savings, in commercial and institutional buildings. The CBIP and IBIP programs provide funding for new building designs that use at least 25% less energy compared to similar buildings. Information on these programs is available online at

Green-roof technology is complex system of root-repellant and waterproof membranes, lightweight growing media, drainage layers and plants which rest directly on the rooftops. It does not include potted plants. The benefits include savings on energy for heating and cooling, decreased roof maintenance, sound insulation and aesthetic appeal. Although considered a new concept in Canada, green roofs have been used extensively in Europe for more than a decade.

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