A three-bill package sponsored and authored by Hoboken Assemblyman Ruben Ramos Jr. to encourage more environmentally-friendly buildings in New Jersey was advanced by the General Assembly earlier this month.
Two of the three bills he proposed aim to encourage the incorporation of green and blue roofs into the design of new and existing buildings. "Green and Blue Roofs use vegetation or mechanical devices, respectively, to prevent roof water from draining too quickly," according to the assemblyman's press release, "not only improve storm water management but also provide cost saving opportunities, such as more efficient energy usage for heating and cooling."
Ramos called blue and green roofs a "smart approach that will help save money in the long-term."
The first bill of the three bill package would require any new state government building, facility, or structure with at least 15,000 square feet in total floor area to be designed, constructed, and managed to include a functioning green roof or blue roof.
Another bill requires the Department of Environmental Protection to adopt rules and regulations to help buildings incorporate blue or green roof technologies to limit the release rate of storm water runoff.
The bill would also require buildings to use blue or green roofs in storm water management plans and storm water management ordinances.
Both bills passed the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee, of which Ramos is a member, earlier in June.
The third bill in the package, also sponsored by Assembly Environment Committee Chairwoman Grace Spencer, directs the Department of Community Affairs, the DEP, the Department of Transportation, municipal agencies, and county planning boards to give priority consideration to permit applications for green building projects.
“If we’re serious about creating a more sustainable future, we have to give developers a reason to help achieve that goal,” Ramos said. “A chance to earn priority consideration from the DEP should be enough to make any sensible building planner leap at the opportunity.”