A green roof in Georgia is known by several names such as ecoroof or living roof. They have been built on buildings for centuries. Many countries in the world have green roof subsidies or programs that encourage ecoroofs. Scandinavia has long had farm house buildings that have sod covered roofs. Some cities in the US are known for their living roofs such as Chicago’s City Hall building.
Basically a green roof is a roof that has vegetation and a growing medium. It will cost more than a standard asphalt shingle roofing application. Rooftop garden costs also depend on the type of green roof installed. There are several differences among green roofs in Georgia and some applications that may or may not be defined as a green roof such as a container garden green roof.
What Is Green Roofing?
Here are several ideas for Green Service Projects:
1. Energy Audit. Use of electricity and gas is a large driver of greenhouse gas and cost. There are many good energy audit forms available on the internet. Download some, modify for your needs and audit the school and other large businesses. Make specific recommendations to reduce usage with sensors, timers, ballst, light bulbs, insulation and other methods. Consider volunteering to do audits for older folks in your community and try to get funds from the community or sponsors to help them reduce their energy usage.
2. Compost. Large portions of landfill garbage can be composted. Start one at home and then work with institutional and restaurant kitchens to develop compost processes and recipients. Consider selling compost to gardeners. Measure the amount of compost generated in a week and extrapolate to show the annual impact per house or per school/institution.
3. Plastic Bottle Recycling. Many millions of soda bottles are landfilled each year. Many schools still sell drinks in plastic bottles. Consider building or obtaining plastics-only recycling containers and contacting your community recycling center to arrange for pickup. Don't forget the concession stands and other outdoor areas. Measure and communicate the amount of bottles saved and show some items made from the bottles.
4. Compact Flourescent Drive. Work with a local hardware or department store to offer special sales on compact fluorescent bulbs and sell them as a fund-raiser. The recipients get a deal on the bulbs and support a good cause, and they will save energy for them. Make some conservative calculations of the dollar and electricity savings from each kit sold, and show it as a graph or thermometer.
5. Metals recycling in the kitchen. Many cafeterias use large cans for food. Put a bin to collect rinsed cans and either recycle them or use them for planting in other projects. The metal has good recycle value.
17. Plastic-Free Dining. Take a survey of the garbage created in your school cafeteria. Try to find ways to reduce the environmental impact (carbon cost, weight, decomposability, etc.) See if you can transform plastic items to paper or metal that can be either reused or renewed without fossil fuels. Work with the procurement group to obtain the new items at lower cost, and determine if the total "life cycle cost" of dishes and silverware is lower than plastic.
18. Mileage Audits. Develop an audit tool to help people maximize their auto mileage. From tire pressure to weight reduction and driving habit changes, you can make a good guide for people to use. Set up an event, perhaps in concert with a car show or car wash, to perform mileage audits for people, pump their tires and give them a guide to keep in their car. Do a before/after road test on a few cars to gather some hard data.
19. Solar Rooftop. Obtain funding and/or supplies to install a pilot solar cell on a rooftop. Connect it to a unique object inside the school such as a moving sculpture, fountain or light display, or light a hallway. Calculate the cost of operation vs the energy cost saved and make a recommendation to the school for larger scale implementation.
20. Green Careers Research. Do some jobs research on the top 20-30 careers that impact Green. Develop a list of degrees and skills which would be needed for these jobs, along with projections of the growth and the economic and geographic locations of the jobs. Work with the guidance conselor to publish this and make available to students as they make decisions about careers. Consider building a slide show or video composite of interesting jobs in Renewable Energy and other areas.
Hopefully this has given you some ideas on good service projects that will have a positive impact on our environment. Have fun and stay green!
Green Roof Pros and Cons
Roofing shingles come in many different styles, shapes, colors and patterns. But every roof has but three basic shingle (or tile) types. This article explains the three basic types of shingles and tiles which are produced. We're not talking about specific products here, simply the types of each product.
Starters Shingles and Starter Tiles
Starter shingles are, as their name implies, the starting shingles of a Roof System. They are installed on top of the Drip Edge/Rake Edge and on top of the Leak Barriers and begin the overlapping pattern for the remainder of Shingles (or tiles) on the roof. Simply put: One single row of starter shingles is installed everywhere your roof ends, ie: in the same areas as with Metal Drip Edge and Rake Edge.
As with every other part of a Roof System, different types of starter shingles are offered by many different manufacturers. Fortunately for you, you don't need to select what type of starter shingle to use on your roof, because the manufacturer of the Field Shingle you chose chooses for you. As long as your Roofing Contractor follows the manufacturers recommendations when selecting starter shingles, you're in good hands.
A note of interest: starter shingles set the beginning pace for the rest of the Shingles on your roof. If the starter shingles are installed straight, then the installation technician will be off to a good start. Also, starter shingles usually need to be installed off set from the remaining Shingles on your Roof System to allow for a proper overlap of the remaining shingles or tiles.
The final touch. Ridge Shingles are to your roof like a picture frame is to a picture. What kind of frame did they put around the Mona Lisa in the Louvre? I'll bet you it wasn't purchased at Wal-Mart... And what a difference it makes to have a good quality ridge shingle installed. The bottom line is, visually appealing Roof Systems include visually appealing ridge shingles.
If you are not concerned with the visual appeal of your Roof System, then save a buck and use a standard cut shingle for your ridge caps. If however you'd like your house to look more like your castle...use a definitive edge ridge shingle such as an IKO Ultra Hip or a GAF/Elk z-ridge. The price difference between a regular ridge shingle and a more visually appealing ridge shingle on a standard home is around $400 - $800.
Important note: Higher quality ridge shingles typically require special installation procedures when installed. It may be wise to mention this to whoever you choose to install your roof. Ridge shingles are located at areas of your roof most vulnerable to wind damage and therefore subject blowing off if they are not installed properly. Ask your roofing contractor what sort of Special Installations are required for installing high quality ridge shingles.