Programs for Residents

Eco-Roof Incentive Program

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Grants for green and cool roofs

Install a green roof or cool roof and get a grant.

• Green roof projects receive $100 / m2
• Cool roof projects receive $2 - 5 / m2

Applications are currently being accepted.

Submit your application before work on the roof starts.

What's new for 2017

Green roof updates

  • Incentive increased to $100 / m2.
  • Structural Assessment Grants offered. 
  • New construction projects by not-for-profit corporations eligible.

Cool roof updates

  • Partial roof retrofits are now eligible.
  • Cool roofs on new buildings eligible (GFA less than 2000 m2).

Eco-roof overview

  

What is an eco-roof?

An eco-roof is a:

  • Green roof that supports vegetation, or
  • Cool roof that reflects the sun’s thermal energy.

A green roof is a roof surface that supports the growth of vegetation and is made up of:

  • waterproofing membrane
  • drainage layer
  • organic growing medium (soil)
  • vegetation

green roofgreen roof

 

A cool roof is a roofing system with an exterior surface with:

  • high “solar reflectivity” that reflects the sun’s rays, and
  • “thermal emissivity” that reduces heat build-up from the sun’s thermal energy.

A cool roof can be a:
a) coating applied over an existing roof system, or
b) new single-ply waterproofing membrane.

cool roofcool roof

 

Why install an eco-roof?

  • Save energy
  • Reduce urban heat
  • Capture stormwater
  • Improve air quality
  • Create habitat

Eligibility

  

What buildings are eligible?

Buildings must be located in the city of Toronto.

Funding is provided for:

  • All existing buildings, and
  • New buildings with a gross floor area of less than 2000 m2.

Types of building eligible:

  • Residential
  • Industrial
  • Commercial
  • Institutional

Green roof funding is also available to all new construction projects by:

  • Toronto School Boards
  • Not-for-profit corporations

Specific requirements for green roof and cool roof projects are provided below.

What cool roof projects are eligible?

Project Type:

Funding is available for cool roof projects on:

  • existing residential, industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings
  • new residential, industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings with a gross floor area of less than 2,000 m2

Incentive Offered:

  • $5 / m2 for a cool roof with a new membrane or
  • $2 / m2 for a cool roof coating over an existing roof
  • Funding requests greater than $50,000 are subject to Council approval.

Roof Material:
A cool roof must meet the following specifications depending on the slope of the roof.

a) Low slope (flat) = surface slope less than 16.7% or 9.5 degrees.

Must be a roof material or coating system that meets this criteria:

  • Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) rating of 78 or greater.
  • Emissivity equal to 0.9
  • Asbestos and mercury-free and
  • Emits zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone depleting substances (ODSs)

b) Steep slope (pitched) = surface slope greater than 16.7% or 9.5 degrees.

Must be a roof material or coating system that meets this criteria:

  • Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) rating of 29 or greater.
  • Emissivity equal to 0.9
  • Asbestos and mercury-free and
  • Emits zero volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ozone depleting substances (ODSs)

Coverage:
Partial roof retrofits and full roof replacements are eligible.

The goal is to have 100% of the roof area of the building covered as a cool roof.

This can be achieved by:
a) Partial roof retrofit:

  • Provide a letter from the property owner stating their intention to complete future roof replacements as an eco-roof surface that meets program requirements.

b) Full roof retrofit:

  • Must cover 100% of available roof space (excluding mechanical equipment or other environmental technologies).

Documents required with cool roof application:
1. Photo of the roof prior to construction (not applicable for new construction)


2. Roof plan – Detailed drawing of the roof showing:

  • Total roof area in m2
  • Proposed cool roof area in m2
  • Percentage coverage

3. Cool roof materials information:

  • Manufacturer documentation providing evidence that the product meets the minimum requirements (SRI, emissivity, etc).

4. A five year maintenance plan and contract or equivalent assurance that includes:

  • at minimum, an annual roof cleaning
  • an annual roof condition assessment and resulting maintenance
  • if applicable, re-coating of cool roof spray as per the life expectancy of the material or site conditions
  • the inclusion of all maintenance recommendations provided by the manufacturer or materials supplier.

These items can up uploaded via the online form or emailed to ecoroof@toronto.ca

The City reserves the right to request additional supporting documentation.

What green roof projects are eligible?

Project Type:

Funding is available for green roof projects on:

  • existing residential, industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings
  • new residential, industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings with a gross floor area of less than 2,000 m2
  • all new construction projects (of any size) by Toronto Public and Separate School Boards
  • all new construction projects (of any size) by organizations incorporated as not-for-profit corporations

Incentive Offered:

  • $100 per m2 of green roof provided.
  • Funding requests greater than $100,000 are subject to Council approval.

Construction Requirements:
The green roof must be designed and constructed in conformance with the requirements of the Toronto Green Roof Construction Standard.

Coverage:

A green roof will have minimum coverage of available roof space in accordance with the following chart:

Gross Floor Area*
(Size of Building)
Minimum Coverage of Available Roof Space**
(Size of Green Roof)
Less than 4,999 m² 20%
5,000-9,999 m² 30%
10,000-14,999 m² 40%
15,000-19,999 m² 50%
20,000 m² or greater 60%

* Gross Floor Area - The total area of each floor level of a building, above and below average grade, measured from the exterior of the main wall of each floor level, including voids at the level of each floor, such as an atrium, mezzanine, stairwell, escalator, elevator, ventilation duct or utility shaft, but excluding areas used for the purpose of parking or loading.

** Available Roof Space is defined as the total roof area minus areas designated for renewable energy, private terraces and residential outdoor amenity space (to a maximum of 2 square metres/unit).

Documents required with green roof applications:

1. Photo of the roof prior to construction (not applicable for new construction).


2. Roof plan – Detailed drawing of the roof showing:

  • Total roof area in m2
  • Proposed green roof area in m2
  • Percentage coverage
  • Total Gross Floor Area of the building

3. Green roof design plans showing:

  • plant material
  • type of growing medium
  • construction details

4. Maintenance plan that should address the following:

  • Protection measures for vegetated areas from impact of foot traffic (i.e., minimizing potential for damage);
  • The amount, time and control of Irrigation;
  • The amount, type and time of fertilizer application;
  • Weed Management, including how often, which weeds to remove;
  • Replanting (if required);
  • Periodic inspection of drains, edging, roof penetrations, flashings, non-planted areas. This may also be part of the roofing membrane maintenance program;
  • Troubleshooting, and
  • Assignment of responsibility for removal of, care for, and reinstallation of growing medium and vegetation in the event of a leak.

These items can up uploaded via the online form or emailed to ecoroof@toronto.ca

The City reserves the right to request additional supporting documentation.

Is my green roof project eligible for a Structural Assessment Grant?

If you are considering a green roof on an existing building, the first step is to determine if the building can carry the extra weight of the green roof. A structural engineer can determine this for you.

Please read the guidelines below to determine if your green roof project is eligible for additional funding support. 

Structural Assessment Grant (SAG) Guidelines

Purpose: To help offset the cost of a structural assessment to determine whether or not an existing building can carry the additional load of a green roof.

Amount: The SAG amount is either the actual cost of the structural assessment or $1000, whichever is less.

Required documentation: To be considered for SAG funding, applicants planning to install a green roof must submit the following:

  • A copy of the structural assessment report that evaluates the ability of a building to hold the weight of a green roof that meets the requirements of the Greene Roof Construction Standards.
  • A copy of the paid invoice for the structural assessment

These two supporting documents must be submitted with Eco-Roof Incentive Program application before the green roof is installed.

Process if proceeding with green roof: After the green roof has been approved, completed and verified by City of Toronto program staff, the SAG amount will be added to the final green roof grant payment and dispersed as one total amount:

SAG amount + Green roof incentive amount = Total grant amount

Process if not proceeding with green roof: If the structural engineer determines that the building cannot support the additional load of a green roof, the applicant is not required to install a green roof, but is still eligible for SAG funding. The applicant will qualify for the SAG as long as the following documents are received:

  • A copy of the structural assessment report (the report must state that the building cannot support the additional load of a green roof)
  • A copy of the paid invoice for the structural assessment

Qualified professionals: Property owners may choose any structural engineer licensed to work in the Province of Ontario.

If you are interested in applying for SAG funding, please email the Eco-Roof Program Manager at Annemarie.Baynton@toronto.ca

Application Process

 

How do I apply for funding?

Apply using the online Application Form.

Please Note: Green and cool roof projects that have already started or are complete are not eligible for funding. You must receive approval of your application prior to the work on the roof commencing.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to contact the Eco-Roof Program Coordinator in advance of their application to discuss their proposals (Annemarie Baynton: abaynto@toronto.ca or 416-392-1848).

How are applications assessed and approved?

  • Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis.
  • Applicants will be notified of their application status within six weeks of requesting a grant.
  • Application approval is subject to funding availability.
  • Cool roof applications greater than $50,000 and green roof applications greater than $100,000 are subject to Council approval.
  • Green and cool roof projects that have already started or are complete are not eligible for funding.
  • Projects must be completed within six months of the application date.
  • Funding recipients will be selected based on the eligibility criteria.
  • Applications will be reviewed by an independent Review Committee, comprised of staff from the Environment and Energy Office, City Planning, Toronto Building and Toronto Water.

When will the grant payment be issued?

The City will issue payment upon completion of the project provided that:

  • A complete and compliant application has been approved.
  • The installation is fully completed in accordance with all terms and conditions of this Program.
  • A permit has been obtained from the Chief Building Official in accordance with the requirements of the Green Roof Bylaw (for Green Roofs only).
  • The following documentation has been received by the City:
  1. Declaration Letter: from the roofing contractor verifying the installed eco-roof has been completed in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Program, and includes the final size of the eco-roof in square metres
  2. Photographs of the completed eco-roof
  3. Final invoice stating the full cost of the installed eco-roof
  4. Invoice or quote showing the cost associated with any maintenance plan proposed

Please note: The City may request an inspection of the eco-roof by City staff or its agent verifying the installed Eco-Roof has been completed in accordance with the terms and conditions of this Program.