Denver is growing, and the purchasing of condos and other multi-family units is growing as Downtown becomes the fastest developing sector of the city. Many homeowners in multi-family buildings getting a green roof under the new city ordinance might be wondering if the newest renovation will raise their Homeowners Association (HOA) fees.
Typically maintenance of a green roof is most extensive during the first five years, in order to help the newly planted vegetation take root and to make any unforeseen modifications. After that, many green roofs do not require as much attention, and maintenance costs will go down. In fact, many green roof installation contracts include maintenance for the first few years, so often those casts can be paid upfront (1).
And since the lifespan of a green roof is often twice as long as a conventional roof, even with the additional maintenance the overall lifespan cost of a green roof is less per year on average (2). Instead of saving for a roof replacement in 15 years, building owners can put that money towards additional maintenance costs knowing that they won’t need to replace their green roof any time soon. Green roofs also lower the costs associated with unexpected storm and hail damage.
Even with these considerations, many building owners may raise monthly fees to accommodate for the additional amenity of a green roof. Although it may not seem fair to pass this down to residents, there is still no need to worry. Why? Because green roofs will lower your electric bill!
On average, green roofs will lower energy costs in the summer and winter, through additional insulation and evapotranspiration. They also reduce the heat island effect, which can cause an increase in 5%-10% of energy usage in the summer (3). What’s more, a green roof can add additional amenity space with a great view of our city! This is great if your condo or apartment doesn’t have any green space for you to access.
Theoretically a new green roof shouldn’t affect HOA fees, but the cost savings and added benefits of a green roof can more than make up for it.
- Porsche, U. and M. Kohler. 2003. Life Cycle Costs of Green Roofs: A Comparison of Germany, USA, and Brazil. Presented at the World Climate and Energy Event. December 1-5, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.