Roofing Sustainability Snapshot for August 2023

This month’s industry highlights include a new green roof certification program, a federal bill to bring green roofs to public schools and more.

Kaitlin N. Schuler, Editor

August 1, 2023

2 Min Read
Green Roof at the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia
Ryan Somma

This is the inaugural Sustainability Snapshot. Each month IRE360 will bring you the latest sustainability news from around the roofing and exteriors industry. Here are three highlights for August: 

1. Bill to bring green rooftops to public schools reintroduced in Congress.  

Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) recently reintroduced the Public School Green Rooftop Program Act, which seeks to allocate federal resources toward implementing green roofs at public elementary and secondary schools. Through this program, the Department of Energy would implement a grant program for the installation and maintenance of green roofing systems. Such roofs, according to the EPA, provide a variety of benefits, particularly for urban communities, including heat island mitigation, lower air pollution, stormwater management, agriculture, habitat enhancement and educational or recreational benefits. 

2. New certification launched for green roof installers and maintenance professionals.  

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities released the Green Roof Installation and Maintenance Professional certification program, designed to combat a “lack of formalized, independent hands-on installation and maintenance training around green roofing systems and a lack of qualified professionals,” according to the nonprofit association. The certification involves a combination of hands-on and presentation-style training, which GRHC says provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of fundamental techniques crucial for sustainable green roof implementation and maintenance.  

Successful certification requires: 

  • Complete a 2.5-hour online training session, which focuses on best practices. 

  • Complete one day of hands-on training with different green roof assemblies. 

  • Successfully pass a one-hour, online exam with 60 multiple choice questions. 

  • Maintain an individual membership with GRHC. 

  • Engage in at least 16 hours of continuing education every two years. 

3. Lowe’s commits to solar panel installations at 174 locations. 

As part of its net-zero target, big box retailer Lowe's announced details of rooftop solar panel installations at 174 store and distribution center locations, including 20 sites in operation. According to the company, once each site is completed, the solar panels will provide approximately 90% of its energy usage.  

Through partnerships with DSD Renewables, Greenskies Clean Focus and Infiniti Energy, Lowe's rooftop solar panel installations include locations in California, Illinois and New Jersey. They will help the company reduce operational emissions and reach its goal of having its operations powered with 50% renewable energy by 2030. 

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About the Author(s)

Kaitlin N. Schuler

Editor, Infrastructure & Construction, Informa Markets

Kaitlin Schuler has nearly a decade of experience as an editor and journalist. Prior to joining Informa, Schuler served as special projects editor for Professional Remodeler magazine and, previously, editor for the American Nuclear Society. She earned a master's in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and a bachelor's in English from the University of Michigan. She now resides in southwest Michigan with her husband and two cats.

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