Numerous municipalities have vegetated roof programs, incentives or requirements with a focus on stormwater management. Here are examples of a policies and incentives that are promoting the growth of the vegetated roofing industry.

RainScapes Rewards Rebates Program in Montgomery, MD offers qualified residential and commercial vegetated roofs tax rebate of $10/sf.

Baltimore Stormwater Fee Credit offers rebates for reducing impervious surface.

Blue Water Baltimore Green Roof Incentive offers $2/sf and covers up to 50% of total cost of project.

Green Roof Permit Program in Chicago, IL allows for density bonus and accelerated building permit.

Green Roof Tax Credit Philadelphia, PA, provides businesses a rebate of 50% for project cost up to $100,000.

Stormwater Management Incentives Program (SMIP) and the Greened Acre Retrofit Program (GARP) Philadelphia, PA offer stormwater management grants to non-residential property owners, and contractors.

Onondaga County’s Green Improvement Fund (GIF) Syracuse, NY has provided nearly $9 million in funding to local green infrastructure projects on private property

Green Infrastructure Grant program in NYC offers a grant program for private property owners in combined sewer areas of New York City. The minimum requirement is to manage 1″ of stormwater runoff from the contributing impervious area.

Green Roof Tax Abatement Program, New York, NY, offers rebate of $4.50/sf up to $100,000 per project.

Green Roof Rebate Program in Washington, DC: provides base funding of $10/sf, and up to $15/sf in targeted sub-watersheds.

RiverSmart in Washington DC provides reduction in stormwater fees and property taxes.

Green Infrastructure Partnership Program in Milwaukee, WI offers $5/sf for approved vegetated roofs.

Stormwater Credit Program in Minneapolis, MN includes vegetated roofs for stormwater utility discount of up to 100%.

Green Roof Credit Program in Nashville, TN offers up to $10/sf of green roof installed.
Stormwater Management Credit for Green Roofs in Devens, MA vegetated roofs may reduce size of stormwater management systems, save land and money.

Clean River Rewards Incentive and Discount (CRID) Program in Portland, OR provides property owners with the opportunity to earn a discount on their monthly stormwater utility charge by treating stormwater runoff onsite. Discounts are available to property owners based on the extent and effectiveness of on-site stormwater management practices that control flow rate, pollution, and disposal.

Density Bonus Incentive in Seattle, WA allows downtown commercial, residential, and mixed-use developments which gain LEED Silver or higher certification to build to a greater height and/or floor area than would normally be permitted.

Green Factor Program in Seattle, WA requires 30 percent of a parcel in the Neighborhood Commercial Zone to be either vegetated or functionally equivalent to a vegetated area.

Downtown Density Bonus Program, Austin, TX allows buildings with vegetated roof greater floor area than would normally be permitted.

Green Roof Loan Program in Cincinnati, OH offers $5 million in low-interest loans to property owners – residential, commercial, or industrial— for the design and construction of green roofs with an option to incorporate on-ground stormwater controls.

Stormwater Management Tax Credit in Anne Arundel County, MD offers 10% of the cost of the material and installation of an approved stormwater management practice, limited to $10,000.00.

Green Roof Rebate in Palo Alto, CA provides $1.50 per square foot for the installation of a vegetated roof to a maximum of $1,000 per single-family residential property and $10,000 for commercial/industrial and multi-family residential properties.

The Green Building Ordinance in San Francisco, CA sets standards for stormwater runoff and allows for expedited permits for green buildings.

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11 Sep 2017
Green infrastructure offers climate resilience in urban environments.

How vegetated roofs alleviate impact of climate change

Vegetated roofs, otherwise known as green roofs, are a key part of infrastructure resilience in an era of extreme heat events and more frequent and intense downpours.

Below are 4 ways vegetated roofs can have an immediate impact to improve resilience:


1. Help manage localized flooding

Vegetated roofs absorb rainfall, and help prevent water from overwhelming stormwater sewers and flooding streets or basements.  This reduces damage to infrastructure and property. They also reduce the volume of stormwater that flows into streams and rivers and thus protect local watersheds.


Vegetated roofs help mitigate urban heat island effect cooling the building, surrounding air and improving human health and comfort.

Vegetated roofs help mitigate urban heat island effect cooling the building, surrounding air and improving human health and comfort.

2. Help reduce urban heat island 

Vegetated roofs are a natural cover for rooftops that would otherwise absorb and retain heat.  Vegetated roofs mitigates air pollution levels an remove heat from the air through evapotranspiration. On hot days, vegetated roofs, reduce temperatures of the roof surface, and the surrounding air, improving human health and comfort.



Vegetated roof reduces the heat flux through the roof.

Vegetated roof reduces the heat flux through the roof.

3. Help lower building energy demands 

By shading the surface of the building, the vegetated roof is reducing the heat flux through the roof and reducing the indoor temperatures and demands on air conditioning.





Vegetated roofs delay peak flow and reduce pumping and treatment demands for municipalities.

Vegetated roofs delay peak flow and reduce pumping and treatment demands for municipalities.

4. Help save money managing water

Vegetated roofs retain and detain rainwater, delaying peak flow into sewer systems which helps reduce pumping and treatment demands for municipalities.