Chicago Zoning Ordinance 17-4-1015 Green Roofs Incentives

Chicago’s zoning code awards a Floor-Area Ratio (FAR) bonus for green roofs that cover more than 50 percent of the roof area. The FAR is available for buildings in downtown mixed-use districts. This type of incentive does not cost the municipality any additional money beyond a small amount of staff time to assess the plans and grant the FAR bonus. For new buildings, developers can make more money by being able to build more square footage on the same plot, and the city gets more square footage of green roofs without large expense.

The floor area bonus provisions of this section are intended to provide an economic incentive for developers to provide affordable housing and public amenities that improve the quality of life of city residents, employees and visitors and are a benefit to the public.

To be eligible for floor area bonus, a green roof must cover more than 50% of the net roof area (i.e., the total gross area of the roof minus any roof area covered by mechanical equipment) or 2,000 square feet of contiguous roof area, whichever is greater.

Additionally, eligibility requires documentation demonstrating that the roof can support the additional load of plants, soil, and retained water, and that an adequate soil depth will be provided for plants to thrive; and vegetation must be maintained for the life of the building.

NOTE: The Green Roofs Ordinance is contained on page 96.  


Publication Date: 2015

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