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Montreal borough leader urges city to issue green roof guidelines

Lacking official standards, green roof projects subject to six-month approval process

September 04, 2014 |

The mayor of Montreal's Saint-Laurent borough wants Quebec's housing authority to speed up its plan to publish construction guidelines for green roofs. Housing authority Régie du bâtiment has yet to publish the standards. Without them, green roof projects in Montreal are subject to a six-month approval process.

Mayor Alan De Sousa says he has negotiated with developers to ensure that all new construction involves green roofs, and he wants the Régie du bâtiment to draft and publish its guidelines before that progress is lost. The current National Building Code of Canada does not include guidelines for green roofs. Each province is responsible for developing rules governing vegetative roofs. 

Owen Rose, an architect and member of the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre, says regulations are making it increasingly difficult to include green roofs on new projects. "We shouldn't be building green roofs for Florida hurricanes, San Francisco earthquakes and Japanese tsunamis; we're living in Montreal, we have to adapt to our local climate," Rose told CBC news. 

Montreal has granted some exceptions for the construction of green roofs for certain developments, including buildings that are less than three stories, residences under nine units, and some small commercial buildings. But on taller residential buildings, the Régie du bâtiment has the final say.


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