President of Zeppelin Development Donates $5000 to Green Roof Initiative

Flight Roof Rendering

By Katie Rapone

DENVER – Ahead of the Nov. 7 election, Kyle Zeppelin, president of Zeppelin Development, has committed a $5,000 donation to the Denver Green Roof Initiative. If passed, the ballot initiative will require that all new buildings greater than 25,000 square feet, dedicate a portion of their rooftop to green space or a combination of green space and solar panels — a stringent mandate that has met strong opposition from the CRE industry and even Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

Flight Green Roof
Plants being installed on FLIGHT Green Roof

Father and son team Mickey and Kyle Zeppelin are committed to promoting social change through intelligently designed projects that address unmet needs in the market and provide a catalyst to surrounding neighborhoods. A long advocate of biophilic design, natural produce, and design that enhances the health and wellbeing of its tenants, Zeppelin Development have incorporated rooftop gardens into their recent projects, including Zeppelin Station — a 100,000-square-foot Market hall and creative working space (opening in December), The Source — an artisan food market that occupies a former 1880‘s brick foundry building in RiNo and FLIGHT — a 140,000-square-foot office building currently under construction that will house Denver-based Boa Technology, a leading innovator of purpose-built closure and adjustment systems. FLIGHT is currently being built at 3575 Ringsby Court, as part of the mixed-use TAXI community. Among its design-forward and environmentally conscious features, FLIGHT boasts one of the city’s largest private green roofs and is targeting LEED Silver certification from the US Green Building Council.

Zeppelin Development began incorporating green roofs in an effort to do their part for the environment, as well as create impactful design. “This is really an opportunity to start to improve the quality of buildings and be a part of those solutions,” says Kyle Zeppelin. Among the benefits associated with green roofs, Zeppelin credits the insulation value that green roofs provide, the high performance value (green roofs don’t need to be replaced nearly as often), as well as effective stormwater management.

“To have spaces that open up to landscape instead of just busy streets or typical ornamental landscape, it was a no brainer to include those elements,” says Zeppelin. “Zeppelin Station has green roof terrace walk outs on every major office space in the building that are highly visible from the outside of the building — for what that cost, its a pretty modest move that has a very significant impact.”

Zeppelin is surprised by the opposition the initiative has met, especially when a similar mandate in SanFransisco was virtually unopposed. The added costs associated with upgrading a small percentage of Denver’s public buildings is one aspect of the initiative that the opposition has pinpointed,  “I think public buildings have more of a responsibility for design, they tend to have a much longer life and they should be contributing in a positive way both to the environment and to the surrounding neighborhood, ” he says.  “The business community here is accepting public dollars hand over fist and yet they turn into libertarians when it comes to baring their share of the burden — I think there’s a need for some more responsibility on these types of issues and this is a simple step to try and make up some ground.”

Zeppelin Development are confident that the Green Roof Initiative can and will work for the city. Where green roofs are not feasible for some buildings, solar can be installed. Where climate is concerned, Zeppelin believes that there is a real need city wide for more permeable area. “There’s lots of different planting patterns to prevent erosion and allow a green roof to function.”

Zeppelin Development are excited to give their donation of $5000 to an initiative that they believe whole heartedly in, “We wanted to put our money where our mouth is. We are very excited to support the group of citizens who have stepped up and taken the initiative,” Zeppelin says. “Some developers in this town have shown that they are not entirely reliable to be environmentally responsible on their own and so there is the need for some rules.”

Images courtesy of Zeppelin Development.




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