Greener Building > Greener Roofs

The roofs of most buildings are black and absorb sunlight, warming the building and increasing the need for cooling during the summer. By coating your sports venues’ roofs with a light reflective surface, your sports departments can reduce their energy use, saving both money and natural resources. Green roofs go a step further. By planting vegetation on the roof of your sports facilities, you reduce summer cooling loads, absorb greenhouse gases, and reduce water runoff.

When considering new construction or a renovation, ask your architects, suppliers, and contractors about green and reflective roof options.


Installing green roofs on your athletics and recreation facilities can help your institution earn up to 8 points within the “Buildings” subcategory of AASHE’s Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS). Work with sustainability and facilities staff on your campus to support any institutional efforts to attain or improve your institution’s STARS rating. Use the STARS 2.0 Technical Manual to learn more.


Green and reflective roofs reduce energy consumption, mitigate air pollution, and help to lessen urban heat island effects. Less energy consumption means fewer global warming emissions, less pollution, less acid rain, and fewer negative health and ecological effects associated with air pollution. Decreased stormwater runoff helps preserve stream habitats and prevent sewage overflows.


At 2.5 acres, the green roof atop the Target Center, home to the Minnesota Timberwolves, captures about a million gallons of stormwater per year. The green roof helps the Target Center save $10,000 annually in stormwater charges, as well as helping to prevent runoff into the Mississippi River and alleviate the urban heat island effect. Read more about the Timberwolves’ greening efforts.

Citi Field, home to the New York Mets since 2009, boasts a 15,000 square foot green roof, which reduces energy demand by acting as extra insulation, retaining cool air in the summer and heat in the winter. The green roof also reduces water consumption and diverts approximately 80% of stormwater runoff. Read more about the Mets’ greening efforts.

City of Philadelphia Green Roofs

NRDC’s Santa Monica office

Jefferson-Houston Elementary School, Alexandria, Virginia


AASHE Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS)
AASHE STARS 2.0 Technical Manual
Energy Star Reflective Roof Products website
EPA Green Roofs
Center for Green Roof Research at Penn State University
Green Roofs for Healthy Cities
NRDC-From Rooftops to Rivers: Green Strategies for Controlling Stormwater and CSO