A Greener Indiana

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Hi.

I'm shopping for a new home, and I'd like to have a green roof installed once I find one.
I know there are different requirements for pitched roofs vs. flat roofs, but I am shopping for a ranch home, so the pitch will be shallow.

Has anyone here researched or actually installed a green roof on their Hoosier home? Know of any dealers/installers who will work in northeastern Indiana? Any tax credits or financial assistance programs in Indiana for green roofs? I'd appreciate any info you can share. Thanks!

Carl

Tags: green, home, house, indiana, installation, residential, roof

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Carl,

We're moving along with our plans for an earth-bermed, passive solar home with a living roof. A living roof, to a great extent, mitigates the loss of earth growing surface created by a building. I have long advocated that at least all commercial buildings, especially in city centers, be required to have green roofs. Over time they will pay for themselves with the savings from cooling and heating costs, and they reduce the runoff that overtaxes city storm sewers (and sanitary sewers in most Indiana cities).

I hope you will follow through with your plan. One of the best books on the topic is "Earth Sheltered Houses" by Rob Roy, New Society Publishers. It has enough details so one could hand it to a builder and say, "That's what we want." His book's example buildings were both built by him and his wife, with help as needed of course. Both were a bit too "rustic" for our taste, but the concepts described will work on any roof plan.

Though one could likely install a living roof on nearly any pitch, Roy recommends nothing steeper than a 2/12 slope. That's a 2" rise per foot of ceiling, from north to south if you're doing passive solar, or peaked in the middle like most people expect homes to be. Steeper roofs risk the soil mixture slumping downhill over time.

We will not use just plain soil. I's too heavy. A mix of as little as 4" is sufficient to support vegetation. Soil is not a great insulator, so do not count on it for much of your total insulating need. Also, when wet, it can weigh 10 lbs per square foot, so the deeper it is, the more support you will need.

I can't help with any sources in northeastern Indiana. We will likely do most of our roof ourselves.

Tax credits? You did say you live in Indiana, didn't you? Hoosiers still can't build legally with only composting toilets and gray water capture without also installing an expensive septic system that we don't want. We don't have a renewable energy standard. We will spend more on an experimental coal plant at Edwardsport than the cost of building enough windpower for the entire state. Tax credits for green roofs? :(

Hope that helps. You can follow what we're up to at http://greeneviewsprings.blogspot.com.

Ed Paynter

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