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 green roof 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.
The sod roofs on the cabins and cottages pictured above, at right, and below are examples of early Norwegian designs. Green roof designs such as these can still be found in many parts of Scandinavia and are currently enjoying a resurgence in popularity.
Visually appealing, sod or grass roofs are eco-friendly and offer a variety of benefits to the environment. The living vegetation produces oxygen, consumes 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 Iceland . . . . .
. . . . . . . as is the picturesque church in the pastoral scene that follows.
The log cabins 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 getaway!
Green roof design is ideally suited for the charming cottage designs at right and below. Commonly referred to as "Hobbit Style Architecture," the designs 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, traditional 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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