I just read a study by Generate Insight about people’s perceptions of the term “green.” There is a lot of good news in the study, but “green” is still perceived as a confusing goal that’s hard to achieve. Maybe that’s because it often is! For example, I am now in the process of trying to build a green roof on a chicken coop. I have a great builder (he built my eco house). But we’ve been down this road before. We are often the first people in our area to try something new. We built the first home solar photovoltaic system that our local power company had to connect to. It took them 3 months (during the sunniest time of the year) to inspect it because they had to read the manual first. Honestly, being a pioneer is challenging and sometimes frustrating. So the coop is out there right now awaiting a roof…and we are still confused.
There are tons of articles and books on how to build a green roof. Lots of websites dedicated to green roofing and people talking about green roofs—but when the rubber meets the…roof…it’s hard to do! There is no section in Home Depot yet that is labeled “Green Roofing.” We don’t want to use premade green roof tiles, which are more appropriate for large projects like city high-rises. We have fairly good illustrations that show what to do, but the actual materials are not specifically defined (or spec’d, as we like to say), and there are no tried-and-true, step-by-step instructions. It’s as if everyone wants to build green roofs, but no one really knows how.
And all the best pictures are from houses in Europe. When my daughter and I went to Iceland, we saw beautiful ancient houses with grassy roofs. I guess they didn’t go to Home Depot either. So maybe it’s not as hard as we think. There are a lot of things that seem really hard until you do them (making tomato sauce from scratch, for example). Then there are the things that don’t seem that hard but really are (like having kids!).
If any of you have any tips or solid resources for building a green roof from scratch (sans prefab tiles)—or have done it before and can tell us what to do, I’d really appreciate it! Thanks! You all are the greatest.