FINANCING

GREEN

ROOFS

Before installing a green roof, consider the initial construction investment, maintenance cost, return on investment, and financing options, including grants and tax incentives provided by NYC and other entities.

Green Roof Costs & Savings FAQ

What is the average cost to retrofit a green roof?


The average cost to install a green roof ranges from $15 to $35/sqft for an extensive green roof and $20 to $35/sqft for more intensive green roofs, depending on the size of the building. In addition, a structural assessment usually costs $1,000 to $1,500 for smaller roofs and up to $5,000 for large roofs. If the green roof is integrated into the design in the beginning of the construction, the costs per square foot decreases.




How much does it cost to maintain a green roof?


The average maintenance cost for an extensive green roof ranges from $.75 to $2/sqft, while that of intensive green roofs ranges from $1.25 to $2/sqft. Maintaining a roof with landscape design will be more expensive. Annual maintenance of green roofs costs 21 cents to 31 cents more per square foot a year than maintenance of a black roof. Overall green roof maintenance costs decrease after the first two years.




Do green roofs save energy costs?


By creating a layer of insulation, green roofs reduce extreme heat and lower energy use for building owners. The temperature of a green roof can be 30 to 40°F lower than that of a black roof. This cuts heating and cooling expenses, while prolonging the service life of heating and ventilation systems. Building owners can expect overall building savings of .5 percent in winter and 6 percent in summer.




Will green roofs extend roof longevity?


A green roof doubles the life expectancy of the roof: a standard roof lasts an average of 17 years and a roof with a green roof an average of 34 years.




Do green roofs increase property value?


Green roofs provide residents with a space to relax and socialize, as well as an aesthetic amenity, and provides health benefits similar to those of parks. This social benefit can be quantified in terms of greater productivity and lower absenteeism.




What is the overall Return on Investment (ROI) for a green roof?


On a national level, $1 invested in a green roof today can potentially have a return of $1.29 in today’s dollars after 50 years. For Washington DC, the same $1 would yield $1 (in today’s dollars) over the same time period; in other words, the green roof investment is the same as an average, alternative investment of 4.4 percent. If CO2e and community benefits are added in, that $1 invested in a green roof would result in $3.19 and $3.57.





Green Infrastructure Grant FAQ

What is the average cost to retrofit a green roof?


The average cost to install a green roof ranges from $15 to $35/sqft for an extensive green roof and $20 to $35/sqft for more intensive green roofs, depending on the size of the building. In addition, a structural assessment usually costs $1,000 to $1,500 for smaller roofs and up to $5,000 for large roofs. If the green roof is integrated into the design in the beginning of the construction, the costs per square foot decreases.




How much does it cost to maintain a green roof?


The average maintenance cost for an extensive green roof ranges from $.75 to $2/sqft, while that of intensive green roofs ranges from $1.25 to $2/sqft. Maintaining a roof with landscape design will be more expensive. Annual maintenance of green roofs costs 21 cents to 31 cents more per square foot a year than maintenance of a black roof. Overall green roof maintenance costs decrease after the first two years.




Do green roofs save energy costs?


By creating a layer of insulation, green roofs reduce extreme heat and lower energy use for building owners. The temperature of a green roof can be 30 to 40°F lower than that of a black roof. This cuts heating and cooling expenses, while prolonging the service life of heating and ventilation systems. Building owners can expect overall building savings of .5 percent in winter and 6 percent in summer.




Will green roofs extend roof longevity?


A green roof doubles the life expectancy of the roof: a standard roof lasts an average of 17 years and a roof with a green roof an average of 34 years.




Do green roofs increase property value?


Green roofs provide residents with a space to relax and socialize, as well as an aesthetic amenity, and provides health benefits similar to those of parks. This social benefit can be quantified in terms of greater productivity and lower absenteeism.




What is the overall Return on Investment (ROI) for a green roof?


On a national level, $1 invested in a green roof today can potentially have a return of $1.29 in today’s dollars after 50 years. For Washington DC, the same $1 would yield $1 (in today’s dollars) over the same time period; in other words, the green roof investment is the same as an average, alternative investment of 4.4 percent. If CO2e and community benefits are added in, that $1 invested in a green roof would result in $3.19 and $3.57.





Additional Green Roof Funding FAQ

What is the Green Roof Tax Abatement?


State legislators passed A4740, a $5.23 tax break for green spaces, including green roofs in 2008; Resolution 66 triples the existing tax break until 2024 from $5.23/sqft to $15/sqft of green space in priority districts, to be determined by the city in 2019. Visit The NYC Green Roof Tax Abatement website to learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply.




Are there funding options outside of NYC?


The Hudson River Valley Greenway Grant will provide funding for green infrastructure projects to residents within eligible Hudson Valley communities.




Are there community-specific grants?


Greenpoint Community Environmental Fund (GCEF) is an environmental grant program created by the State of New York with monies obtained through a settlement with ExxonMobil over the Greenpoint oil spill. The grant covers green infrastructure projects in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. To date, GCEF’s total investment in improving Greenpoint’s environment is over $67 million.




Are there grant matching programs?


The Climate Smart Communities Grant is a 50/50 matching grant program for municipalities pursuing projects that support climate change adaptation and the local reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Green Innovation Grant Program through the Governor's Consolidated Funding Application (CFA), supports projects across New York State that utilize unique stormwater infrastructure design and create cutting-edge green technologies. GIGP-funded projects may be found from Buffalo to the end of Long Island, and range from rain gardens to stream daylighting.




Does the Water Quality Improvement Project Grant cover green roofs?


Yes, the Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP) is a statewide reimbursement grant program that funds projects that directly address documented water quality impairments or protect a drinking water source.





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The Green Roof Researchers Alliance is funded by The New York Community Trust, A.P.J. O’Connor Fund, and the LuEsther T. Mertz Fund