Last fall, workers installed a “green” roof over the Stonehouse meeting room at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp. The old flat roof was in need of replacement and while it would have been easy to simply replace it with the same materials as before, the Hidden Acres board and staff are always looking for ways to better demonstrate “appreciation and care for the natural environment.” After all, that is one of the organization’s core values.
The camp staff is eagerly awaiting this coming spring when the sedum plants will spring to life!
Among the reasons for installing a green roof are:
- A green roof extends the life of a roof. Covering the waterproofing membrane, it provides protection from UV rays and extreme daily temperature fluctuations. The lifespan of the roof is extended to twice as long as conventional solutions and reduces maintenance costs.
- A green roof is more energy efficient. Shading the outer surface of a building envelope has been shown to be more effective than internal insulation. In summer, the green roof protects the building from direct solar heat; in winter, it minimizes heat loss through overhead insulation.
- A green roof is an efficient storm-water management tool. The soil and sedum blanket absorb and retain rain water. The water that does run off the roof is reduced and time-released.
- A green roof serves as a natural habitat where many types of birds and insects can find homes and forage for food. With our two observation windows, visitors will be able to watch it happening.
We look forward to sharing the benefits of this decision for the next 35 to 40 years, and hope the excitement about “going green” catches on!