A green roof in Valdosta 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 Valdosta 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!
Maintaining Flat Roofs and Your Sanity
Flat Roofing - Why are they so popular?
Gone are the days when roofs for buildings used to be made from easily available materials like thatch or straw. These days, the best of technology and latest advances combine to make roofs durable and more resilient in nature. Although it's easy to think that a roof is not as important as the main structure of the building itself; that is a mistake because a good roof will help protect from the elements and last for years to come. There are different roof types with unique characteristics such as a gable (which is triangular in shape), a mansard (found in many French houses), a shed (which allows rain or snow to run off easily) or even roofs with a combination of two or more designs. The materials used to make roofs are sturdier in nature and are designed to look natural yet stylish. Slate, concrete tiles and even metal are some of the most common options today.
Features of a Flat Roof
A flat roof is almost perfectly horizontal in design but usually has a slight slope so that snow and water can drain off easily. They are very easy to build and have been around for centuries. Initially, gravel and tar were used to contain leakages caused by stagnant water which accumulated on the roof. This kind of roof posed a bigger problem in cold climates as most owners had to deal with small collected pools of water, which invariably caused terrible leakages. These days, flat roofs are made from various materials which are usually a combination of synthetic rubber and polymers. They suit residential buildings better in comparison to commercial buildings, as they can become unstable when the size of the building is considerable. They also tend to be sensitive to large amounts of activity as they may develop cracks easily.
The Pros and the Cons
Unlike most other roofs which are not really cost-effective, flat roofs help minimize installation time, last longer, are easier to maintain, are inexpensive and have been proven to handle weather fluctuations extremely well. In addition, these roofs offer certain flexibility and are easier to clean than a sloping roof. If you would prefer to add a few decorative finishes or even a terrace garden, you can do that with a flat roof. Installing one is also believed to increase the value of your home. On the other hand, all buildings are not suitable for a flat roof and most coatings for these roofs may not be long lasting either. In this context, these roofs may require periodic maintenance to extend the life of the roof itself. The best way to find out if your home or commercial building is ideal for a flat roof is to consult your architect or a roofing expert for advice.