Green Roof Design for Small Cabins... Ahead of its Time!
The green roof design on the small cabins featured here is way ahead of its time -- in some cases, centuries ahead! A sod or turf roof is a traditional Scandinavian type of
covered with sod on top of several layers of birch bark overlaying wooden roof boards. Dating back to before the Viking and Middle Ages, it was the most common type of roof on rural log houses and cabins in Scandinavia until the late 19th century.
on the cabins and cot- tages pictured above, at right, and below are examples of early Norwe- gian designs. Green
roof designs such as these can still be found in many parts of Scandinavia and are currently enjoying a resurgence
Visually appealing, sod or grass roofs are eco-friendly and offer a variety of benefits to the environment.
The living vegetation produces oxygen, con- sumes carbon dioxide, and absorbs rainwater. An effective insulator,
it also reduces heating and cooling costs.
Additionally, the weight of a sod roof provides a significant advantage for log cabins by compressing the logs
to make the walls more draft-proof and, once again, effectively reducing heating and cooling costs.
The romantic grass-covered turf houses shown below are located in Ice- land . . . . .
. . . . . . . as is the picturesque church in the pastoral scene that follows.
pictured at right and below are located in the western United States and the State of Alaska. Cozy and
comfortable, they epitomize the image of a perfect weekend get- away!
Green roof design is ideally suited for the charming cottage designs at right and below. Commonly referred
to as "Hobbit Style Architecture," the de- signs were inspired by the dwellings of J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional
characters, called Hobbits, in three of his novels -- most notably, The Lord of the Rings.
The enchanting hobbit style cottage pictured below is located in Wales. Though of relatively recent origin,
tra- ditional building methods and materials such as birch bark were utilized in the construction of the roof.
With today's interest in green roof research and eco-friendly building, much can be learned from the grass-covered houses and cabins in Scandinavia. These dwellings were created in an effort to live in complete harmony
with nature, as opposed to conquering it . . . . . . long before the concept of green building became popular!
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