France legislates for compulsory green roofs for commercial buildings

France legislates for compulsory green roofs for commercial buildings

A new law has been approved in France obliging rooftops on new buildings built in commercial zones in France to be partially covered in either plants or solar panels.

Green roofs have an isolating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. They also retain rainwater, thus helping reduce problems with runoff, while favouring biodiversity and giving birds a place to nest in the urban jungle, ecologists say.

The law approved by the French parliament was more limited in scope than initial demands by French environmental activists which called for green roofs to cover the entire surface mandatory on all new buildings but the Socialist government limited the scope of the law to commercial buildings.

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