Energy Efficiency
Green Roof

What Is It?

Green roofs are “contained” green space on top of buildings or structures. These green spaces can be below, at, or above grade and in all cases include vegetation that is not planted in the “ground.” Green roofs require a high quality water proofing and root repellant system, a drainage system, filter cloth, a lightweight growing medium, and plants. Green roof systems may be modular, prepared in movable, interlocking grids, or each component of the system may be installed separately.


Green roofs can reduce a building’s peak and total energy demand and utility costs. By absorbing and storing heat, green roofs help buildings maintain a steady temperature, which reduces cooling needs in hot weather and heating needs in cool weather. Green roofs also reduce cooling costs by reducing the temperature of the roof surface and the ambient air.

  • Read More about the basics of green roofs.
  • Read More about the benefits of installing green roofs.

Challenge Participants Currently Adopting This Practice

  • Boston Properties, Inc.
  • CB Richard Ellis
  • Dana-Farber
  • Federal Reserve
  • Friends of Post Office Square
  • John Hancock
  • Seaport Hotel

Financing Options, Incentives, And Rebates

Additional Resources

Examples of Green Roofs in the Boston Area

City Hall Boston: Green Roof Demonstration Project Harvard Graduate Student Housing | MGH Center for Outpatient Care | Genzyme | WGBH Boston | IKEA | Simmons College | Cambridge Center Kendall Square | more examples

A Small Sample of Some Green Roof Installation Services in Boston


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