Perhaps the main appeal of log cabin living is the sense of being closer to nature, at one with the surrounding environment in a building that blends effortlessly into the landscape. And most people can picture a log cabin such as this. But, fewer people have stopped to think about the roof and how this can take your cabin even further towards disappearing into its environs. In some parts of the world, particularly Scandinavia, green roofs have been used for centuries and in this article we explore everything you need to know about green roof systems, also known as living roofs or sedum roofs.
Why choose a green roof?
There are many distinct benefits to choosing a green roof system over a steel, tile or shingle roof and some of them are surprising.
A well maintained green roof system acts as additional insulation for your cabin, helping regulate both temperature and noise. Slow evaporation of rainwater acts as a cooling mechanism during warmer months, whereas the additional biomass of the living roof plants themselves help keep the cabin warmer in winter. This complements the other thermal efficiency benefits of building with logs further reducing energy consumption and costs.
The projected impacts of climate change include longer, hotter summers, heavier rainfall and stronger winds. It has been demonstrated that green roofs are more resilient to all of these than some more commonplace roofing materials and actively protect your underlying structure from UV radiation and mechanical damage from the elements. At the same time, a green roof does not reflect heat back into the atmosphere - a significant problem in urban areas where abundant concrete, glass and other materials do just that.