France’s New Law Calls for Green Rooftops

French buildings will soon be showing off their greener sides.


Chicago's City Hall building  green roof.

(Keith J Finks /

This past week, the French parliament passed a law that mandates that new buildings constructed in a commercial zone must partially cover their roofs in either plants or solar panels. While environmental lobbyists wanted the law to cover every new building with plants or solar panels, the compromise is a move towards greater sustainability and environmental awareness. The development comes in response to France’s strong dependence on nuclear power, and the fact that the country is lagging behind its other European neighbors in the area of solar power.

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There is a growing trend of green rooftops popping up around the world and it is no wonder - as they pack a powerful environmental punch! Green roofs improve air quality by reducing carbon dioxide, attract and increase biodiversity and wildlife and conserve energy by providing greater thermal performance and roof insulation. Their effect can be most felt in urban areas, which are more congested and polluted. The green rooftop movement is gaining steam with other European countries pushing ahead as well as across the pond, the city of Chicago leading the way for the American city with the most green rooftops.