2.12.2012

Livng Roofs!!


Sharing experiences and thoughts of the eco-build on 97 Kings Dr. has always been the number one aim of this blahg, and honesty and openness of this experience is vital to the progression and whittling down of the alternative-build process to become a more simple, and truly ecological undertaking.  One aspect of the home that we may wish a time machine rental-shop existed for, would be the 'green' roof.  Due to it's near 225 kg/square meter (500 lbs/ square yard) loading of soil and plant matter, the extra engineering required in the design of the sod roof on our project has made the cost ticker jump quite a bit, and the added engineering was just the beginning to the investment increase.  Necessitating nearly 4 times the amount of joists to support the turf roof area, as well as local regulations calling for an extensive waterproofing system, the material expense has also been a bit frightful.

The waterproofing process has been a bit of an interesting procedure that seems to be at slight odds with the whole ecological ethos of 'green' builds.  Below is a cross-section of the living roof system:




And a brief sequence of application of the waterproofing system by New Zealand's Nuralite company.




Somewhat needless to say, this method of water-proofing is nearly second to none in effectiveness and quite bulletproof.  But nearly equally needless to state, is how chemically and carbon intensive it is.  There is not much natural about it, and the processing and creation of such products makes a 'greenie' wince.  This is not meant to vilify or condemn Nuralite, but looking back on the very large and time-tested history of living roofs, it isn't hard to see the environmental disparities and stray from the truly natural & original technique the Scandinavians and Icelandic began back in the middle ages.

So, to get a clear  and more balanced picture we have performed a bit of research into said roofing history.  Due mostly to lack of resources, the ingenious people of Scandinavia & Iceland developed the method of insulating and 'shingling' their roofs with sod.  With the absence of Nuralite and bitumen dealer, the people of these countries turned to the bark of Birch trees as their waterproofing membrane like many other observant native peoples of the world have, check out the birch bark canoe below!!




After placing a layer or two of birch bark down they would then lay a sections of sod with the grass face-down to help prevent the soil (preferably quite sandy for good drainage and minimal humus/organic material) from decomposing the bark to quickly.  Another layer right side up and it's nearly there.  To hold it all in place the use of 'turf-logs'.  In the rough schematic below  you can see the birch bark 'leaves' beneath the two layers of sod being held by the 'turf-logs'. 

This post seems to be getting a bit long winded so if you feel so inclined please check out this link here to get the rest of the story, or ask away in the comments section.  Thanks for reading and look for some Weekend Supplements coming up soon! 





UPDATE:  Look at this 'all-in-one' sod-roof tiling system pioneered by Toyota of Japan- wild!


 Here is a link to a site that talks about it briefly: click hur

27 comments:

  1. "Necessity is the Mother of invention"-My Grandmother.
    Certainly more questions, about the roof-recipe great...just not enough time at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bring on the questions!!! Also checkout the product from Toyota (yes the same people that make the automobiles) that I just added at the bottom of this post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. What room is the roof over? Is there space just below it?How deep can the root systems be?Water and weight are usually the issues and in my expierence therefore-spendy,to meet todays living standards and building codes. It is a real green challenge to do it with any current asthetics in mind-but that is what your showing us how to do. Beautifully...Check out www.Omega.org then click support then major projects, that is for granted an entire community, but has some simple cool ideas that I have seen up close. Keep swinging at it...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Always great to hear from you Nancy! The sod roof spans over the living room and dining room areas (just inside the sliders). The total soil depth will be around 150mm 6", but as you can see the root system in the Toyota tiles are quite minimal. The living roof system was (and continues to be) quite 'spendy', hence the comment about the time machine. Thanks a lot for the suggestion on the eomega.org site - very cool and progressive things happening there!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Like sandals, there is no one roofing boot for people who need to wear them. Roofing boots can come in different designs and makes, and selecting a roofing boot depends as much on traction and durability as it does on comfort.
    roofing services

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very common flat roof problems stem from poor maintenance or a complete lack thereof. Regular maintenance requires flat roofs to be periodically inspected for damage, repaired, cleaned and checked for the functionality of its insulation and waterproofing propertiescommercial roofing Toronto

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Awesome things you've generally imparted to us. Simply continue written work this sort of posts.The time which was squandered in going for educational cost now it can be utilized for studies.Thanks Gutter Raleigh

    ReplyDelete
  9. i read a considerable measure of stuff and i found that the method for composing to clearifing that precisely need to say was great so i am inspired and ilike to come back again in future.. Seamless Gutters Raleigh

    ReplyDelete
  10. pleasant post, stay aware of this fascinating work. It truly regards realize that this subject is being secured likewise on this site so cheers for setting aside time to talk about this! Raleigh Gutters

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great post, please keep on sharing amazing article like this! It makes me happy reading your post. Seamless Gutter installation companies

    ReplyDelete
  12. They are also exposed to UV (ultraviolet) radiation and several cycles of freezing and thawing. Therefore, the nature and properties of the materials from which the flat roof will be made and insulated with should ensure functionality under these conditions for at least 15-20 years.Commercial flat roofing in Toronto

    ReplyDelete
  13. The purpose of a roof is to protect the home from the elements; wind, rain, ice, etc. In most climates, ice and/or water are a concern you can't ignore.metal roof over shingles polk county

    ReplyDelete
  14. "When buyers are considering a home, they're always concerned about the condition of the roof," notes Scott. "With metal, they know they won't need to do anything to it for at least 50 years. With an asphalt roof, they'll need to replace it within 15 to 20 years."Roofing Contractors Sudbury

    ReplyDelete
  15. To do this, you will need a sturdy ladder that will support you while you climb up onto the roof. Knowing what to look for helps. If you aren't sure, ask a professional who will show you how to properly inspect your roof.Viking , Wolf, Dacor, BlueStar, GE Stove & Range Repair in Los Angeles

    ReplyDelete
  16. Energy efficiency has become a significant factor in determining a roof's life-cycle cost. Many facility executives are specifying metal-clad or coated modified bitumen membranes and flashings, calgary roofing other reflective membranes or additional insulation as energy-efficient options.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Energy Savings Did you know that metal roof can greatly decrease your air conditioning bill during the hot months of summer? Sterling Heights Fence company

    ReplyDelete
  18. Attempt to keep your youngsters out of the attic if and at whatever point conceivable. The space is likely loaded up with a couple of things that could be very hurtful or hazardous. Roof windows

    ReplyDelete
  19. No matter how thorough the maintenance program is, however, it is necessary to make routine, semi-annual inspections to burlington townhomes for sale reduce long-term repair costs. At a minimum, facility executives should have their roofs inspected once in the spring and once in the fall.

    ReplyDelete
  20. During a roof substitution venture, it very well might be found that a portion of this decking has been harmed and should be supplanted. roof installation

    ReplyDelete
  21. Should water stay underneath the rooftop shingles, soon the water starts to make rooftop deck harm and wood decay. Roofing

    ReplyDelete
  22. This could be compressed wood, Luan or different covers. Notwithstanding, now and again this harm is covered up until the substitution venture has started. roof repair richmond hill

    ReplyDelete
  23. Be that as it may, if the property holder has accepted the roof's age as a component of condition (for example, the roof is close or past the producer's age length,).Pittsburgh Roofing

    ReplyDelete
  24. However, on the off chance that a full roof substitution is all together, they ought to likewise instruct you with respect to the best arrangement that accommodates your particular necessities and financial plan.
    roof installer

    ReplyDelete
  25. In most cases, installing PVC gutters is less expensive, but because of their properties to change under influence of temperature, plastic pipes and gutters can lead to leakages. Jackson commercial roofing

    ReplyDelete
  26. This is because the arrangement of a flat roof with overlapping roofing material strips can not stand much heavy rain or snow fall. You can opt for other conventional methods if you live in such a place. yukon roofing

    ReplyDelete
  27. To ensure that there is acceptable seepage from your rooftop you should decide the pitch of your current rooftop decking. roofer edmond

    ReplyDelete