There’s no hard and fast rules for what constitutes a living roof (they’re also known as ‘green’ or ‘brown’ roofs). They can be anything from a very shallow layer of soil supporting the growth of lichens and mosses right up to a complete and fully planted up roof garden.
We need more green spaces for the environment and for wildlife and there’s a place that’s almost completely unused on many of our houses. If only a very small proportion of people planted a living roof it could potentially make a huge difference.
Some of the Benefits of a Green Living Roof
There are actually quite a few benefits in a number of areas. Probably the most important is that of water drainage, a living roof will on average absorb 75% of the rain that falls on it. The advantages are that they allow slower drainage and evaporation reducing the risk of flooding. The water that flows into our drains and sewers is much more gradual and is less likely to cause damage and importantly reduces the flood risks.
Some of these roofs are very beautiful to look at and when you admire one just remember how that extra little piece of green is helping the environment. If a city or town has a lot of these ‘living roofs’ such as in Berlin, there is a significant impact on air pollution and carbon dioxide – both of which are absorbed by these roofs.
Wildlife also love these roofs, of course not all animals can get access but birds, insects and butterflies in particular can use these as a successful habitat. As we slowly reduced the amount of gardens and green spaces for wildlife in general these can offer a lifeline.
Another important benefit to creating a green roof is due to insulation – on average this can be increased by up to 15%. This green layer will also help protect from the effects of frost and also ultraviolet light. There are lots of people who can help you get started with a simple search on the internet, in fact there are many green home builders who have vast experience in this area.
Industrial Living Roof
You don’t see that many living roofs unfortunately, however industrial living roofs are much more common.
Look at this wonderful living roof on a detergent factory owned by a company called Ecover in Belgium. It’s effectively created a 6000m2 green area literally out of nothing. There are many more across the globe although it has to be said not nearly enough. If you’re interested – check out the Ford Motor company in Michigan which also has a huge living roof on it’s factory there.
This is certainly quite a substantial package for the do-it-yourself woodworker who likes to keep busy by doing things. This MyShedPlans system contains literally thousands of designs for all sorts of woodwork projects. There are countless designs that are straightforward for any professional to use.
It’s perfect for any avid wood worker will have over 12,000 woodwork designs and design projects to choose from. You will be able to complete a standard shed with your family over a weekend using these plans. You don’t have to waste time trying to figure out a supplies list. You’ll know exactly what you need and don’t need for your woodworking venture. You will find plenty of guidelines for woodworking projects, information on doing home improvement, along with lots of detailed plans. Building your first garden shed will be a snap, with all of the planning done for you.
What number of people would like to have a storage shed in their backyard to put their stuff in? Even so, the price of buying a pre-built shed is pretty high. The component that is challenging with a building task is choosing the materials that you need and creating the plan. You will discover that this particular woodworking package has all the plans with every detail required for you to succeed. Whether or not you haven’t done it before, that is okay. MyShedPlans can enable you to uncover the best project for you, and then help you put it all together. Even though you have two left hands, the blueprints will direct you each step of the way. You’re going to be placed on the correct course, even if you have failed previously.
MyShedPlans even is sold with four bonus items. The principal bonus is 12,000 plans for the carpenter. The next added bonus is an ebook that goes over the basics of building. The third bonus also is 12,500 woodworking plans and projects. The fourth bonus tops them all with a mega amount of information about woodworking. You’ll study all the secrets and cool tips that all the professionals know.
This kind of mega woodworking pack has more information than you can even image. This is perfect for the person who loves woodworking or wants to build their own shed. If you’re not that into woodworking it’s going to be a little bit over the top to be honest, but for anyone who wants to learn and try and take the hobby seriously it’s a tremendous buy. The package could be the start of a very profitable home business if you get proficient enough.
This program can be purchased for immediate download. The MyShedPlans plus the four bonuses is actually only $37 and comes with a money back guarantee.
Living “green” these days doesn’t stop with recycling your plastics and composting your kitchen scraps. Environmentally friendly houses are popping up everywhere as people work to both decrease their eco-footprints and save energy. Builders and developer are moving towards use renewable, sustainable resources to meet the demand for more environmentally friendly houses. And green architects are designing do-it-yourself kits for the ultimate enthusiasts to build their own environmentally friendly houses.
The number one benefit of environmentally friendly houses that catches the eye of not just the eco-savy is the long term cost saving that comes with cutting energy and water use and finding alternative sources. Most major cities have green environmentally friendly housing developments. Or kit home companies like Deltec, Gateway Homes, and Rocio Romero offer environmentally friendly houses that you can put almost anywhere you have land available. If you are willing to live in a small space these environmentally friendly houses can be affordable. However, the upfront cost can add up quickly depending on the size of the environmentally friendly houses. The savings start showing when you get your first electricity bill.
Even if you are not ready to spend the money necessary for completely environmentally friendly houses, there are ways to make your current home green. Most people already know that changing your light bulbs to florescent uses 75% less energy. But that’s not the only simple change to make, if you want to live green. Try these five other things to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint:
Replace your windows with double paned glass. This is a mainstay of environmentally friendly houses. Without properly insulated windows, you are constantly losing heat or cold through the glass and cracks around the edges. There is some cost associated with the environmentally friendly retrofit, but you will soon find it takes less energy to heat or cool your home. While your at it, also add window tinting to reduce sun glare and cooling costs.
Consider solar panels installation. When most people think of environmentally friendly houses, they think solar. If you live somewhere with lots of sun, that’s free energy waiting for you to collect, with out using up fossil fuels. Solar panels can also be costly, but look in your area for used panels. They might be quite a bargain.
Install low flow shower heads. Another mainstay in environmentally friendly houses, these are fairly inexpensive and can be found at almost any hardware store. Save more by doing the installation yourself. Instructions should come with the shower heads.
Use power strips. Even when they are turned off computer equipment and entertainment centers will continue to draw power while plugged in. Instead, turn off the power strip and stop the energy drain. If you are like most people, you probably already have one or two of these sitting around just waiting to be used.
Use a motion detector for outside lights. Having outside lights at night is important for safety, but they can be a huge drain on energy if left on all night. A motion detector makes sure lights are only on when they are needed. This is another device that is low cost and easy to install.
Environmentally friendly houses are not only good for the ecosystem but can be for your wallet too. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon even if your not investing in a new green housing development or the latest environmentally friendly houses kit. Just remember that some cost upfront, mean long term savings on your electricity bill and for the environment.
For people who are remodeling, eco friendly flooring has become almost a staple. In my line of work – working for an architect, that is – I’m seeing a heck of a lot of cork flooring. I’m also seeing some concrete flooring. Both are great choices, but I’d like to talk about another great option for green flooring that hasn’t yet gotten as hot.
I’m talking about bamboo wood flooring. Bamboo is one of the most sustainable and eco friendly options on the market today. It is a great green flooring alternative to other types of flooring. First of all, it grows like crazy. Some types of bamboo can actually grow up to a foot per day. That makes it far more renewable than traditional hardwoods.
Many people falsely believe that hardwood is the strongest flooring available, but that’s simply not true. There are actually many types of bamboo that are actually stronger than wood. Bamboo wood flooring has been tested to be harder than maple and twice as hard as red oak. It is a great green flooring alternative to many other types of flooring.
If you are laying new floor in your home, you want it to look good. Whether or not you’ll like bamboo depends on your personal style and what’s appealing to you, but it looks quite similar to hardwood and it’s extremely attractive. The drawback is that it can’t easily be stained, so what you purchase is what you get. It does, however, come in different stain colors and those colors are mostly affected by how it’s been baked.
Last, if you’re remodeling on a budget, bamboo might be a great choice for you. The cost of the actual floor depends on a number of factors – but can run between about $3 – $8 per square foot. Compare that to the cost of hardwood or travertine, which typically runs between $4.50 – $6.00 per square foot. If you go with a lower grade of bamboo, which is still quite high quality, you can easily save over the cost of other options.
You can also save money on the installation of bamboo wood flooring. for do-it-yourself types, this type of flooring can easily be installed by yourself. Most people install bamboo as a floating floor. You don’t need adhesive (which is good, because adhesive contains VOCs). Installing is basically as simple as connecting sections of flooring. The most difficult part may be adding sub flooring.
Overall, I give bamboo wood flooring a 9.5 on a scale of 10. It’s extremely eco friendly, the price is right, it looks great, it holds up well, and it’s easy to install and care for. As you look for new flooring, don’t overlook this great green flooring.
If you are planning on doing any remodeling this winter or spring, you’ve got to take a look at natural cork flooring. Heck, even if you aren’t planning on updating your flooring, you should at least look at it. This stuff is seriously cool.
In my humble opinion, cork is one of the MOST sustainable flooring choices out there. Not only is it made from totally recycled content, it has the additional benefits of:
~ Being healthy for the inhabitants of the homes using it
~ It has shock absorbing properties. Basically that means it’s easy to walk on and it’s good for people who have joint problems.
~ It has a great ability to dampen sound so it’s a wonderful choice for a second floor or for people who live in condos.
~ Cork flooring can help to reduce your heating bills. It provides insulation which will help to keep your home warm in the winter.
To truly understand the how natural cork flooring is made, you have to first understand the cork industry as a whole. I’ll try to make this as simple as possible.
For hundreds of year, tree bark has been harvested using a method that doesn’t harm the tree at all. Harvesters peel bark from trees every 9 years. Once the bark has been harvested, it’s sent to wine bottle stoppers manufacturers. Once the wine corks have been made, the cork flooring manufacturing companies take the post-industrial byproducts and create cork floors. So, natural cork flooring is double green!
Once the flooring manufacturers have the cork, they grind it into very small pieces. They are then coated with a non-toxic resin and made into planks or tiles that are used as flooring.
Another great, green property of cork flooring is that you can get it into all kinds of different shades and colors. The manufacturers aren’t using stains and dyes to create the different colors available, they simply bake the cork for different amounts of time to achieve different finishes.
If that’s not enough, cork is easy to install and take care of. The cost of natural cork flooring is about the same as hardwood or high-quality laminates. As long as you occasionally put a sealer on your floor, it will outlast most other types of flooring.
If there is any drawback to using cork, it’s that it is soft. Using furniture pads will help to protect your floor from damage.
If you are already using cork flooring, send us pictures of your application – we’d love to show them off!
Envirocork is a company that provides a wide range of cork flooring, here is an example of cork flooring that’s currently available on the market. You can check out some of their products at Amazon
Cork Flooring Flooring Durango Floors 1/2