A green roof in Winter Haven 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 Winter Haven 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?
Roofs are different wherever you go. Just about every building around the world has one, but they vary in shape, materials, durability and construction. Why is this so and why hasn't someone come up with the definitive roof for all roofers to copy?
Depending where in the world you live roofs have a variety of purposes. Primarily they are to protect against rainfall, but also they give shelter from sun, wind, cold and heat. Characteristics also differ according to local architectural style, available materials, wealth and the purpose of the building.
The main influences on the shape and look of a roof are the materials available, on how the roof is supported and on whether the roof is pitched or flat. Roof support is usually provided by timber, bamboo, cast iron, steel or metal rods encased in reinforced concrete. Bamboo is very flexible and so in Asia, where it is commonly used, roofs are often curved. Timber is versatile and can provide virtually any shaped roof - from low and high pitch to dome shapes. Metal supports are good for large, heavy roofs.
But the basics will remain - areas of high rainfall and snow such as Scandinavia will continue to have high pitched roofs. Dry areas such as the Middle East will stick with the simplicity of flat roofs as they have little rain to deal with. In addition many Governments are increasingly protective of local style and resistant to design which ignores regional tradition and taste.
Roofers around the world have different methods and materials to work with and this will always encourage a range of roofs to enrich our skylines.
Roofs Around The World
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!