There’s an article in the sun about insurance companies not wanting to insure buildings with rooftop gardens, also known as ‘green roofs’.
The plans of dozens of developers poised to put green roofs on their condo buildings — the Olympic village being the most prominent among them — are now in limbo after the province’s Homeowner Protection Office sent out a letter to all municipalities warning that local insurance companies are mostly unwilling to insure green roofs on multi-unit residential buildings that will be sold as condos.
So are there extra risks posed to building integrity from rooftop gardens? Probably not:
No one who works in the green-roof industry had heard of any other jurisdiction in North America or Europe where insurers were refusing to insure green roofs.
But in B.C., where problems with leaky building envelopes in condo buildings provoked a major crisis among consumers and the construction industry, anything involving water in proximity to residential building walls provokes nervousness.
What a shame to have the leaky condo crisis prevent us from creating rooftop greenspace. Hopefully this is something that developers and insurance companies can work out, particularly since it doesn’t seem to be a problem in any other city.