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Good Materials To Use For Large Roofs?  RSS feed

 
Bob Louis
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Location: S.W. Washington State
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I plan to build a large traditional barn style building... Well, large for me, 36' X 70'. I plan either a Gothic or gambrel roof. Somehow I resist just doing a standard pole barn with a 4 on 12 truss and gable. I am also not wanting to use metal roofing if I can avoid it. Cedar is out too (it looks better when the bark is still on and the tree still standing). The barn is going to be wood frame construction, as I have a WoodMizer mill and can saw to my own needs at 20 foot lengths or under. The loft floor will be ten to twelve feet over an earthen floor, and will be posted as needed, probably every twelve feet. The roof will be an open span, as the floor will be used as a space to make laminated greenhouse arches, after it is used to make the barn rafters themselves.

I would like to know what material to use to shed the 100 inches of rain I get here on such a roof. Any good green ideas out there?
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Other than metal, and wood, you only have stone, and ceramic tiles as traditional methods for roofing. I would also strongly recommend a timber framed structure to support such a roof, whether you choice Gothic pitches (16/12 and 18/12) or the Gabrels.
 
Bob Louis
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
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Is there any issue with composition shingles, except that they are partially made from oil? I have seen them on many barns. There is some breathing and they probably do not constitute an ion barrier.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Only that they are made of oil... that is enough to stop me. You could, if the budget allows, use a recycled composite of tires that looks like slate or shakes.
 
Bob Louis
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
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When asked at the store, "paper or plastic," I say plastic. I choose to use up the dead fossils before the living trees. I guess this is because I am about to have the good people at John Hancock clearcut on three sides of me for the giant Canadian corporation, Manulife Financial, that presently owns more timberlands than any other entity on earth.

I don't have a truly renewable source of rot resistant and fire retardant woods here. I have mainly alder, which I will be using dry, indoors, and under compression, in combination with some long fiber woods in tension. I am a tree worshiper with a sawmill. I will never use a clearcut log. I am now free to not shop at the yards for boards. In this, I feel better. It may be the last great act of defiance, as Pandora is mined. Still, I want to do the best I can, though I burn some fossil fuel to do it. That, I suppose, is my Faustian bargain. But I am old and weak, and want to have this little farm left behind me.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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I am so sorry my friend for you to have to endure that, if we were a tad younger and able, I would take some of my Marine training, and Kiowa/Comanche ways and you and I would visit some unsuspecting logging equipment in the night with a bag of sugar and a few other items. Corporate and societal greed is the the bain of both our worlds.

You never explained why not metal or the wood shakes? I have a saw mill as well for my timber framing work. I have mill shingles a few times. with a layer of one of the modern roof papers, and some good old fashion oil finishes. even a white pine shingle roof, can last over a hundred years on a gothic roof pitch.
 
Bob Louis
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
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Jay C. White Cloud wrote:I am so sorry my friend for you to have to endure that, if we were a tad younger and able, I would take some of my Marine training, and Kiowa/Comanche ways and you and I would visit some unsuspecting logging equipment in the night with a bag of sugar and a few other items. Corporate and societal greed is the the bain of both our worlds.

You never explained why not metal or the wood shakes? I have a saw mill as well for my timber framing work. I have mill shingles a few times. with a layer of one of the modern roof papers, and some good old fashion oil finishes. even a white pine shingle roof, can last over a hundred years on a gothic roof pitch.


I have, as I have aged, seen what many other EarthFirst!ers have, that many forms of monkey wrenching have been counterproductive. The whole industrial land rape that is the commercial timber industry will not be stopped by the gnats. They will strip the hillsides and spray poisons all over them, and there isn't any effective thing I can do in the short term. It just sux for the world, and that's about all. A change on an order above the local skirmish will have to happen. Perhaps an interplanetary collision is in order.

On the lines of reorganizing deck chairs, I am leaning away from sheet steel because I want the negative ions to pass through. And as I said, I don't have the cedar. I once did have a cedar roof I hand split from salvaged flotsam logs. That roof partially burned 38 years ago and nearly took all my meager possessions with it. I have since shied away from cedar. As for the oil in comp shingles, it is a far better use of oil to make something somewhat durable than to burn it, yes?
 
ken radatz
Posts: 4
Location: paris,tn
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well this is my first time posting something on permies i hope i mess it up lol

i have been looking into the same thing for large roof i am about to start some small experiments with a horse stall and a small cover area from my tractor and a back porch area i have been in construction most of my life i am sick and tired of all this crap costing so much money for people to just live life i want to work at things that keep people safe for it to not be about the money anyway !! so i have been studying roofs made with a feral cement concept in mind i have seen roofs made from berlap and mesh type cloth that comes in large bulk role then covered with different cement mixtures i can not think of all of the names i have studied but one that comes to mind is hyper roofing and i looked into sites that talked about farel cement ideas one man used different materials with different mixes of cement made roofs out of wire and bamboo and other woods for a base and covered with the material also just berlap covered with cement left to dry that was so strong he stood on the peek of the roof anyway if your looking for different it might be something to look into

i am very bad at typing hope you all can understand what i am talking about
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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I roofed two small cabins I built in Georgia with old carpets stuccoed with cement. I put two thicknesses of plastic underneath but I think the carpet-stucco pretty much shed the rain. It was laid in roughly overlapping courses and in pretty much the sizes and shapes as it came from the dumpsters. Eventually, moss grew on it so I imagine they are gradually becoming living roofs by default. If I ever do it again I will omit the cement and just encourage a living roof!
The cement itself was also the only environmental issue, which is a significant problem, especially in it's manufacture, so I suppose it isn't that much better than metal or asphalt or whatever....but at least the substrate was free....and in fact redemptive since I was keeping some bulky stuff out of the landfill.
 
Bob Louis
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
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Interesting stuff to think about there. My roof will be about 42 squares of whatever I do.
 
Rob Irish
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Location: Estonia, Zone 5/6
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Bob Louis wrote:...I am leaning away from sheet steel because I want the negative ions to pass through.


This is interesting to me. Can you explain more about the negative ions? I am guessing it is similar to the grounding of the earth but from above?
 
Bob Louis
Posts: 47
Location: S.W. Washington State
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Rob Irish wrote:
Bob Louis wrote:...I am leaning away from sheet steel because I want the negative ions to pass through.


This is interesting to me. Can you explain more about the negative ions? I am guessing it is similar to the grounding of the earth but from above?


Sorry, I haven't been paying attention lately.

Negative ions are generated by trees and streams and help keep air clean and vital. Even foil backed insulation is said to block them. Some of those electrostatic air purifiers are also negative ion generators. Negative ions are what makes the ambiance what it is along those cool shady streams. I think a "green building" would have to take this into consideration.

Try a search on, "negative ions."
 
Rob Irish
Posts: 225
Location: Estonia, Zone 5/6
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Thanks for explaining Bob.

I have also heard of people talking about certain roofs blocking the cosmic or magnetic energy (something like this) coming from above as well.


 
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