If you’re a building owner, contractor, or developer, the cool roof ordinance may seem like yet another regulation to follow, but the positive impact it will have on our community is worth it. And even if the Denver Green Building Law might have you reeling over all the options and regulations, not following it properly can, like with all laws, have you paying fines or experiencing delays in permitting.

The Price of Penalties

Some might say rules are meant to be broken, but obviously breaking laws come with consequences. We’d like to think this isn’t an option for most, but we cannot stress how bad an idea it is to ignore the ordinance completely. Those who do not comply and open the doors of their building anyway will be fined a penalty of $50 times 60% of the total roof area. Putting the cost aside, paying fines or penalties for not complying with local laws can make your business no longer credible or trustworthy in the eyes of potential clients. And that can cost you a lot more than a fine in the long run. The city may also close your building down and use legal action to force you into complying anyway, so it won’t really do you any favors.

The Price of Delayed Permits

When there are delays in construction or opening, every developer and building owner knows that it will cost money. In fact, many often plan and budget for delays in construction caused by hiccups. But permitting delays can last not just days or weeks, but months in a city the size of Denver. If you’re an already established business building a new location to move to, that can mean double rent. If you’re constructing a residential building, that could mean months that you aren’t leasing units and making a profit, while also losing credibility with potential renters.

But delays due to permitting can be avoided if the ordinance is followed correctly on schedule, which is why understanding the ordinance and your compliance options is so important. If you think it is worth it, we recommend hiring someone who understands the law and can help you comply correctly the first time, saving you time and money.

Roof Replacements vs. Roof Recover
It is worth noting that there are exceptions and exemptions for compliance, so not installing a cool roof, or any of the additional compliance options might actually be an option you have anyway. Like in the case of roof replacements, you still need to comply with part of the law, but not all.

If you are doing a roof recover of more than 5% the total roof area or individual roof section of a building over 25,000 square feet, you will still need to install a cool roof. In other words, the materials used to cover the roof must have at least the minimum required amount of solar reflectance in the ordinance. But a roof recover does not need to choose an additional compliance option (such as green roofs or solar panels). If the building owner can prove that a cool roof recover will cause a significant amount of condensation, then they can be exempt from the cool roof requirement. If you are doing a full-fledged roof replacement, then you’ll need to not only install a cool roof but choose one of 5 additional compliance options.

All in all, even if you think that complying will cost you a lot of money, it doesn’t have to and not complying will only cost you much more in the long run. There are many low-cost and easy to implement compliance options, and low-interest long-term financing options exist to help people afford more green building options.
Need help with navigating the law and choosing the best compliance option available to you? Sow Green has a lot of experience in green building projects and will not only help you find the right compliance option but will also help you get it right the first time so there are no delays in permitting. Contact us today for a free consultation!