Something new is going on at Hidden Acres. As I type these words, several workers are on site, installing a “Green” roof over our Stonehouse meeting room.
A roof is an obvious necessity in renting facilities to many diverse groups, running retreats, providing space for leadership development, and operating our summer camp programs. And the old roof was badly in need of replacement. While it would have been easy to simply replace it with the same materials used before, Hidden Acres’ Board and staff always ask the question—is there another way we can do this that demonstrates better “appreciation and care for the natural environment”? That is, after all, one of this organization’s core values.
The answer in this case is yes—go for a green roof. Around here we are eagerly anticipating its completion! But how does one capture our excitement and try to pass it along in a newsletter article, because when it’s all said and done, isn’t it just a roof?
The answer is no! And here’s why:
- A green roof extends the life of a roof. Covering the waterproofing membrane, it provides protection from UV rays and extreme daily temperature fluctuations, extending the roof’s lifespan to twice as long as conventional solutions and reducing 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 the added insulation overhead. This translates into fewer greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to cost savings.
- A green roof is an efficient storm water management tool. The soil & sedum blanket absorb and retain rain water, much of which is used by the plant material. 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.
So there you have it! 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!