Building owners in New York City who install green rooftops on at least 50 percent of available rooftop space can apply for a one-year property tax credit of up to $100,000, Storm Water Infrastructure Matters (SWIM) reports.
Under a new bill passed by the New York legislature, the credit would be equal to $4.50 per square-foot of roof area that is planted with vegetation, or approximately 25 percent of the typical costs associated with the materials, labor, installation and design of the green roof.
Building owners can apply for the credit starting Jan. 1, 2009, under the pilot program that will expire after March 15, 2013, unless it is extended.
According to SWIM, the environmental benefits of the legislation are measurable. Each 10,000 square foot green roof, for instance, can capture between 6,000 and 12,000 gallons of water in each storm event, the evaporation of which will produce the equivalent of between a thousand and two thousand tons of air conditioning — enough heat removal to noticeably cool 10 acres of the city, SWIM says.
Green roofs are taking root in other areas too. The green roof industry in Germany is now annually worth $77 million, CNN reports.
Green roofs at the Metro-North Railroad’s Harmon Yard Support Shop, the MTA Bus Far Rockaway Depot, and the B&T Queens Midtown Tunnel Service Building Annex; and a white roof at the LIRR Hillside facility were among interim recommendations released by the Commission on Sustainability formed last summer to create a plan for reducing the agency’s ecological footprint by Earth Day 2008.
Green roofs are also catching on with businesses and organizations, from banks to libraries.