Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Green, or Sod Roofs

I attended a class for Leadership in Energy Efficient Design (LEED) this past week. One of the most important things I learned was that installing a "green roof" would be an extremely effective means of insulating one's house, thereby keeping energy costs down and contributing to the overall and long-term sustainability of the planet.

Sod roofs are age-old means for roof coverings in vernacular architecture. These days they may be called vegetated or vegetative coverings for roofs, or simply, green roofs. In the last year, New York State and more specifically, New York City, has initiated tax credits for homeowners who take the plunge to become pioneers in this new movement.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden, as always, has installed a concise and extremely helpful exhibition, giving us basic information about the kinds of plants that work well on such a roof. However, do not rush out to cart soil up to dump on the roofs of your houses. The internet is abuzz with all sorts of articles and contractors who are anxious to put one up for you. Study the information. Suffice it to say that the trick to the whole deal is DRAINAGE, or water run-off.

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