US Demand for Green Roofing Vegetation is Forecast to Grow 11% Annually Through 2023

Demand for green roofing vegetation is forecast to grow 11% per year to $46.9 million in 2023. Vegetation is the most distinctive component of green roofing. These and other trends are presented in Green (Vegetative) Roofing, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Choice of vegetation is influenced by a number of factors related to the roof’s environment and function, including:

  • location of the building, including the climate and the level of surrounding urbanization
  • building’s height, as the elevation can affect growing conditions (e.g., high winds for skyscrapers)
  • structural load capacity of the roof, which affects choice of growing media depth and vegetation (e.g., shrubs and trees are not suited to extensive roofs)
  • purpose of the roofing system and whether it is intended to be accessed as a recreational green space

Vegetation pricing is primarily affected by plant type and the manner in which the vegetation is planted. For plants, costs can vary greatly – e.g., meadow grasses can be seeded for as little as a few cents per square foot, while a single plant, shrub, or tree can cost several hundred dollars. Sedum varieties are also lower cost options and are often preferred for vegetative roofs due to their shallow roots, low maintenance requirements, and high tolerance to environmental factors like sunlight and frost.

Through 2023, demand for complete green (vegetative) roofing systems is forecast to increase 11% per year to $278 million (16.9 million square feet). The most significant advances are projected for cities that have adopted legislation mandating green roof installations and/or that offer related incentives (such as green infrastructure funding or credits for stormwater treatment fees).

Green (Vegetative) Roofing (published 11/2018, 180 pages) is available for $3900 from The Freedonia Group. Please link citations to