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Get Ready to Mow the Grass on the Roof

Is it time to get ready to mow the grass on the roof! Could it be that very soon when it's time to mow the lawn that we not only need to haul out the trusty lawnmower but drag out a step ladder to climb up on the roof to finish the job after the "lower" lawn has been trimmed? Will we be weed-eating around the edge of the gutters in the near future?

This is a trend that I've watched spreading from large American cities on up into Toronto, Canada. In fact, an article published by Crisp Green it was announced that our Canadian friends are introducing a bylaw that requires all industrial buildings over 2000 square meters in size to have green roofs covering anywhere from 20 to 60 percent of the roof area with the percentage depending on the size of roof. In years 2009 and 2010 the city had already introduced bylaws that included residential as well as commercial structures of that size and is now targeting industrial buildings.

Knowing that traditional roofing materials are not that eco-friendly and that green roofs are very well...GREEN, this seemed to me to be a move in the right direction. It makes an environmentalist's heart pound to think of replacing shingles with lush greenery that will reduce fuel consumption through lower heating and cooling bills via its insulating properties and grass is just prettier than gravel covered tar paper!

BUT...yeah, that's right; there's a big ol' but about to bust our bubble.

You see, I'm as big a fan of preserving freedom as I am of going green and they are MANDATING what kind of roof people put on their houses. I don't really like it when laws are made tending to the minute details of my life. Even if the mandates result in something really good; I wonder what directives they are going to come up with next and whether or not my budget could handle the cost of a greener, better roofing system.

You see, one of the biggest drawbacks (negatives) of having a green roof is the expensive cost of installation. Just like shingle roofs, a green roof will "keep you covered" for many years but they are pricey.

The recent laws set for by the city of Toronto apply to new construction which basically means that contractors will need to allow room in THEIR budget to cover a new, improved roof. I can imagine with downturn of the economy that this is a less than popular law. It would be wonderful if going green were more affordable but it's not so there's no reason for my DH to get ready to grow the grass on the roof just yet.