Friday, June 19, 2009

Green Roof and the Sun

Time for an update!
Our green roofs are doing great! The lower roof experienced some freezer burn after the snow came off in March but with the help of a few new cuttings and plugs from Bachmans, it's pulling through and looking better each day. The upper roof looks fantastic! Lots of pretty flowers and colors showing through the green. It's fun to go up on the roof and walk around with the birds and butterflies.

So far this year, our green roofs, rainbarrels and raingardens have captured and used over 60% of the rainfall on the rooftop. The green roofs are responsible for capturing about 45% of the total rainfall. That's looking good!
On the energy side, our solar panels are performing a little better than expected. From January through May - our PV panels have produced 768 kwh of electricity - which is 40% of the house load and/or 30% of the independent office load and just at 25% of the combined whole house and office load. I expect that number to climb higher as we move into full summer sun.
Our hot water panels are in full production and right now through Sept/October, we should get 100% of our hot water needs produced by our solar hot water panels.


ek said...
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ek said...

Looks great. Any hard data on the impact of the PV array on the green roof vegetation, or the vegetation's impact on the panel efficiencies? Do any of the plants grow under the panels themselves?

Kevin & Roxanne said...

Hi, thank you for your enquiry.

We don't have any hard data on the impacts the green roof and pv panels might have upon one another.

The green roof stops at the roof curb of the pv panels and does not continue below the panels.

The panels do not appear to shed any reflected light or heat back on to the green roof. The plants are healthy and growing well at the edge - no more or less than elsewhere on the roof. The plants are thriving! We've had a fairly dry but cool summer and have received just enough rain exactly when we've needed it!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Just happened on your blog whilst doing a IPE wood search.

How is the IPE wood aging? Is it still that beautiful color?

Would you recommend IPE wood windows?

The house looks great--you did a wonderful job.


Donna said...

Hi there, I accidentally tripped over your site while looking for info on World's Greenest Homes. Our house will also be on season 2. :) The blog for ours is

Your place looks amazing! It is really so much fun inside. How are you finding the green roof in terms of maintenance? I will have to look further in the blog to see how you did it. We constructed the entire house to have one but haven't had the funds to do it yet...

Congrats on the house, it is really remarkable.

Kevin & Roxanne said...

Thanks for the message and link to your blog. Great home! It will be fun to see your episode air!
The green roof has been very little maintenance so far- although it's interesting that we had a sprinkler going on our roof tonight for a bit! It hasn't rained in quite some time, so this is the only the 2nd time this summer we've had to water the roof. It looks great and only needs some minor weeding once in awhile to keep the tree seeds from taking root. We love it.
Not sure when the episodes are airing, do you know? I'm also wondering why the website for World's Greenest Homes still lists the old host from season 1?

Donna said...

Hi there! It is actually kind of neat to have contact with someone else who has been on the show.BTW we also have Inline Windows (my architect is a huge fan, plus it helps that they were really local for us!)

As to the show - I think they are airing in Canada starting October 2nd. Not sure when season 2 is starting on Planet Green. The list of all of the Season 2 episodes is
I think you might be Episode 20 based on the details. I think we are most likely on Episode 23... The Cineflix site does show John I just don't think anything else is updated.

Thanks for the info on the Green Roof. The idea of watering the roof is really kind of interesting. I am assuming you have drought tolerant plants up there? which installation did you use?