By Chad Statz, President CMS Construction & Design
No, this photos is not a photoshop nightmare, but is an actual home built and utilized throughout some parts of the world. While some of these homes take the whole “Living Roof” to an extreme, it is worth mentioning that it is possible to have a home with grass…and trees growing from them.
In parts of Sweden, families have cut sod into “bricks” and lay them in such a manner that they provided a functional roof. Think of the low maintenance and well insulated roof you would have, although lawn games would be a challenge. Gone, however, are the days that a Green and Healthy home must look like an
“earthen vessel” or “grass covered turf”. No goats required on more current efficient homes.
Homes that use between $0 and $50.00 a month in utilities at current rates. Can you imagine all of your energy needs like; hot water for bathing and washing, lighting, heating,
computing, everything! It is possible.
So what is the quickest path to achieving this in our current or existing homes in our often dismal climate? Planning, planning, and planning. In my experience, about 80% or more of the “path to a healthy home” is in planning and preparation. Unfortunately many contractors and homeowners don’t like planning beyond our rushed “get it done” attitude. But, planning is almost free. Basic research into the correct applications can yield substantial savings throughout the life of the home.
In a white paper authored by the late William Hurrle titled P2Z (Path to Zero), Bill states that a respect for the laws of physics as they relate to our climate is critical in designing and building High Performance buildings. Bill’s “Path to Zero” research concludes that
design and planning using existing modeling and measuring tools (mostly software) can allow us to design buildings that may ultimately be required to use Zero energy…and more on that later.