A green roof in Ocoee 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 Ocoee 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 Roofs' Popularity
Before I became involved in the world of green building I had never even seen an eco-roof. The first time I saw one it struck me that from a purely aesthetic or architectural point of view they create a sense of integration, or synthesis between the structure and the surrounding landscape, but that isn't even the half of it...
I had the pleasure of interviewing Rosalind Haselbeck who along with Richard Alianelli form Building Green Futures, a San Diego company that specializes in living roof installation, here's what she had to say;
BIGC- So what do you see as the chief benefits of a living roof?
BGF- The answer to that depends on your idea of 'beneficial' I would say the greater benefit lies in the many environmental aspects, such as the regained space for plant life (pollution and CO2 reduction) as well as mitigation of the urban heat island phenomenon. However for the individual property owner his immediate and personal benefit lies in the exceptional insulation, and temperature reduction/stabilization effects, as well as improved storm water management due to the absorptive qualities of the growth medium and plant life. Did I mention they are beautiful?
BIGC- And maintenance?
BGF- That varies depending on type. Generally you would maintain your green roof twice a year, weeding, clearing drains, fertilizing- the same sorts of things you would do with your regular garden or landscaping...only on your roof.
So there you have it from the horses mouth. There are many factors involved in the world of green roofs. It all comes down to what is right for you and your budget. The good news is that there are now professionals out there like Rosalind and Richard who have made it their business to green the roofs of the world.
P.S. If you want more info check out these Cool Green Roof Links)