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Two story with living roof question  RSS feed

 
David Nash
Posts: 15
Location: Tennessee
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I am very close to getting some raw land and am trying to fit building with the topography and use - I am thinking about building a classroom/living space out of cob - thinking about a single story 20x40 open classroom, with a two story living space on one end.

I want to use a living roof system, and have the second story open out to use it as a "deck"

My gut tells me walking on a living roof is fine for occasional maintenance, but probably not suitable for every day.

Does anyone have any ideas/experience?

Dave
 
Brian Knight
Posts: 554
Location: Asheville NC
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My only experience has been the pain of watching my other friends/builders struggle with the details. I will hopefully get to experience it someday soon. Living roofs are awesome for many reasons but costs and maintenance are not among them. They tend to be one of the most challenging construction practices. Everyday walking is almost always a bad idea.

My advice is to keep the experimentation to a minimum, build over non-living spaces when possible, and do them small enough to use membranes that have no seams or penetrations. All of this minimizes the substantial risk that comes with living roofs. Another big negative to living roofs is the loss of rainwater catchment potential.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
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Brian and David: rob roy, The very successful Author, and D.I.Y. Builder/Teacher has several "Owner Built Homes" type books, and gives lectures and workshops all
over the U.S.! He not only teaches green roofs, he lives in a house with a green roof and has a guest house and other buildings here in upstate New York with 'Green
Roofs', he also has at least one book on Green Roofs and his 'Timber framing for the rest of us' details the building materials/components that go into supporting
a ''Green Roof " !

You can do a google search for Rob Roy and his books ! Rob Roy is a member / contributor here at Permies !

For the Good of the Craft ! Be safe, keep warm ! As always, comments/questions are solicited and Welcome ! PYRO - LOGICALLY Big AL !
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
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Hello Allen L.,

I agree that Rob has written some great DIY books, but he is not a timber framer, historical architect nor a professional in the building field per say, and Rob would be the first to tell you that. He is brilliant, thinks outside the box, has broad range of knowledge that any architect or contractor wood die for...that said, what Brian was saying about "living roofs," is SPOT ON, and then some. I admire Rob, but just because someone writes a book on how to do something does not make it a "best practice," nor what should always be done. It is just a method to consider, Rob would say that also. So I am clear, I love his work, consider him a friend, but warn folks to really understand what they are reading whenever they are considering a DIY project or following along in a DIY book, no matter how many books the author has written.

I have built both traditional living roofs as you would find 500 or a 1000 years ago and contemporary ones with modern materials. They are not for the faint of heart, they very commonly leak and cause water damage, are not for the beginner without some go solid support and building experience, very hard to trim out compared to other roofs, and with the modern materials, may only have a 100 year life span at most (more like 50.) I do not recommend walking on them unless professionally designed and engineered, nor do I recommend them in general unless you have the skill sets, equipment, time , and materials to do it with only the best materials. Small is better than large when it comes to a living roof (under 10 sq-5 sq better,) either with contemporary materials, or traditional ones.

Regards,

jay
 
Jay C. White Cloud
Posts: 2413
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Hello Allen L.,

I agree that Rob has written some great DIY books, but he is not a timber framer, historical architect nor a professional in the building field per say, and Rob would be the first to tell you that. He is brilliant, thinks outside the box, has broad range of knowledge that any architect or contractor wood die for...that said, what Brian was saying about "living roofs," is SPOT ON, and then some. I admire Rob, but just because someone writes a book on how to do something does not make it a "best practice," nor what should always be done. It is just a method to consider, Rob would say that also. So I am clear, I love his work, consider him a friend, but warn folks to really understand what they are reading whenever they are considering a DIY project or following along in a DIY book, no matter how many books the author has written.

I have built both traditional living roofs as you would find 500 or a 1000 years ago and contemporary ones with modern materials. They are not for the faint of heart, they very commonly leak and cause water damage, are not for the beginner without some go solid support and building experience, very hard to trim out compared to other roofs, and with the modern materials, may only have a 100 year life span at most (more like 50.) I do not recommend walking on them unless professionally designed and engineered, nor do I recommend them in general unless you have the skill sets, equipment, time , and materials to do it with only the best materials. Small is better than large when it comes to a living roof (under 10 sq-5 sq better,) either with contemporary materials, or traditional ones.

Regards,

jay
 
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