An Affordable Green Roof

| 1/21/2009 10:23:15 AM

Tags: natural building, green roof,


earthbag green roof 


Owen Geiger of built an earthbag dome with a green roof and wrote an article about it for Mother Earth News. Green roofs have several positive aspects:

  • They retain water from precipitation instead of creating problems with runoff.
  • They reduce the cooling load on a building and reduce the "heat island effect" in cities.
  • They provide extra insulation.

The Huffington Post asked readers to submit photos of green roofs. Geiger submitted a photo of the earthbag dome, and it made the top 10! Now it's time to make it No. 1! You can vote for your favorite here (hint: the earthbag dome is photo No. 9).

Earthbag construction is a low-cost method of making sturdy, long-lasting buildings. The do-it-yourself article explaining the process of this method is scheduled for the August/September 2009 issue of Mother Earth News.

allie engle
6/1/2012 3:49:30 PM

Our house is a traditional ranch style, early fifties construction, in the country, surrounded by trees. We need to replace it, and are looking at a metal roof. We like the green roof, but costs appear to run about double that of a metal roof, and I'm very concerned about weeds. I don't think our roof could really support an oak, and we have mile a minute weed to contend with too. Should we just go with the metal, or is there a green roof that would be sensible for our site? The present roof is concrete asbestos composite and about sixty years old.

alex reid
1/25/2009 6:04:14 AM

adress in Ireland have been in on your site often always interesting

1/25/2009 12:15:39 AM

Yes, roof strength is an important consideration since most green roofs are heavy. Reinforcing structures to carry the extra load typically requires stronger beams and sometimes stronger walls. This is where domes really shine. Domes are inherently stronger than other forms. In fact, they're the strongest form in nature. The dome pictured above has about 15 truckloads of soil on the roof and around the base. That's a lot of weight! But the dome didn't budge at all.

philip blom
1/24/2009 4:07:37 AM

I hope my questions about the strength of roofs to carry the weight of roof gardens.

1/23/2009 9:06:27 PM

Earth naturally stabilizes humidity levels. Also, mold will not grow on earth. In addition, you can add vents by burying pipes through the wall to supply ventilation. If you have a mold problem in your area, remove materials that support the growth of mold (wood, paper, etc.) and replace them with materials that do not mold.

kathy padley
1/23/2009 11:00:00 AM

How do you keep down the humidity inside, so as not to have a problem with mold?

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!