A design in harmony with the natural environment, the Wilson
Natural Home, designed by Martin
Liefhebber, creates a sustainable solution for the site,
materials and lifestyle of the owners. Copyright 2004 John Wilson
roof system reduces heating inside the home or building by
up to 30-40% making it a natural air conditioner. Green roofs
are found in 20% of the homes in Germany.
winning Wilson Natural Home above uses a green roof to both
cool in the summer but also to improve insulation levels for
improved warmth in the winter. The six inches of soil and
several layers of membranes significantly increase the insulation
levels in the roof which is a major contributer to heat loss.
of green roofing replaces soil that is displaced during construction.
The return of native plants to the construction site returns
the health of the local environment. Green roofs have been
proven to significantly reduce the heating effect typical
of homes, buildings, cities and towns caused by their dark
roofing materials that absorb and then radiate heat into the
keep the grass on this homes roof in Denmark nice and
trim while feeding the goats a healthy meal. Photo courtesy
of Hal Geraghty. Copyright 2004 John Wilson
design and construction of a green roof can be quite simple
and inexpensive. Given the additional loads that a green roof
requires engineering will be required to ensure the correct
level of support structure. The basic design of a green roof
is as follows:
layer on top of roof trusses or joists (some slope is required
for drainage, too much slope may be difficult to cultivate
due to erosion).
a synthetic rubber membrane on top of the plywood roofing
structure. Up to this point you have basically created a
common industrial roof.
order to retain the soil the roof must provide a containing
edge from four to eight inches high, also covered by synthetic
rubber. Don't forget to leave some drainage scuppers.
the base roof water proofing system is in place the additional
green roof components can be added when ready.
first layer of the green roof is typically a foundation
membrane (a dimpled "Delta" membrane or something
similar that can catch and retain some water in the little
a landscaping root barrier membrane. Apply the all membranes
from bottom to top and ensure layers overlap with upper
(higher) layers on top of lower layers. (The same way you
shingle a house).
the drainage zones create a drainage area as you would around
the foundations of a house, with gravel and drainage tubing.
in with soil from four to six inches.
straw mats tucked under the soil to reduce erosion as the
soil begins to grow plants in it.
model of the award winning Wilson
Natural home displays the large extent of green
roofing applied to this magnificent home. Copyright
2004 John Wilson
straw bale wall on the north side of this home protects the
house from the cold north winds. The wall has few windows
or doors. The space is used primarily for storage, as a hallway,
and for stairs. Copyright 2004 John Wilson
on the Web on how you too can take advantage of solar, wind, straw
bale, green roofing and to learn much more about the construction
of the Wilson home see - http://www.NaturalLifeNetwork.com/wilson
/ Martin Liefhebber
The firm is the award winning architect for the Wilson House.
Breathe Architects is an unique design firm with leading edge expertise
in ecological and renewable energy systems. The firm combines a
variety of interrelated disciplines to develop affordable and environmentally
Construction Inc. (formerly C & R Construction) / Colin Richards
Kolapore Construction is in the custom home construction business
with a distinct view to the integration of natural, ecologically
friendly, and renewable energy resources.
Corporation / Leonard Allen
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