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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Green/Solar Roofs Mandated in France

Rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France must either be partially covered in plants or solar panels, under a law approved on Thursday... The law approved by parliament was more limited in scope than initial calls by French environmental activists to make green roofs that cover the entire surface mandatory on all new buildings. The Socialist government convinced activists to limit the scope of the law to commercial buildings. The law was also made less onerous for businesses by requiring only part of the roof to be covered with plants, and giving them the choice of installing solar panels to generate electricity instead.
I rather approve the way the green roof mandate allows rooftop solar as a "less onerous" alternative, but I wonder just how much the restriction to "commercial" buildings and zones will provide ways to evade the mandate with definitional and micro-rezoning shenanigans. That would surely be the way of it here in the US. Even so, I can scarcely imagine how beneficial such a mandate would be in continent-scaled US context, especially if the mandate extended to both new construction and remodeled rental residential, restaurants, retail space and agricultural plant.

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