Traditionally found in Scandinavian countries, grass or sod roofs are an amusing sight, but it seems there is more to them than just an odd curiosity.
Used in combination with a layer of birch bark underneath the grass, sod roofs form an impressively efficient barrier against rain and snow. Certainly food for thought in a world where sustainability is becoming more and more important, and though they might be labour intensive to install, sod roofs are extremely cost effective in almost every other regard. Best of all the materials used to make them are entirely self sustaining.
Many modern architectural projects have taken advantage of the concept to produce stunning buildings that combine modern design with a seamless integration with nature. Alternatives to grass, including sedum and other flowers are also sometimes used to spectacular effect. Used in dense urban settings, green roofs and roof top gardens add a much needed injection of nature to modern life.
Proponents of modern green roofs note the same benefits of heating and insulation as the traditional Scandinavian method, as well as some other impressive possibilities including the ability to extend the lifespan of the roof by preventing UV damage from the suns rays. Thanks to this of this and other efficiencies, there is also the benefit of increased property value.
Of course the real question here is how do you go about mowing such a roof!? I certainly won’t be volunteering for that job!