Architect Indra Janda hand-cut sheets of polycarbonate into 15¾-inch square shingles and clad the entire timber structure—a gabled roof and walls—with them.
Architect Indra Janda hand-cut sheets of polycarbonate into 15¾-inch square shingles and clad the entire timber structure—a gabled roof and walls—with them.
“In this house, the roof is the only facade—the rest is dissolved beneath it.” —Architect Aljoša Dekleva
“In this house, the roof is the only facade—the rest is dissolved beneath it.” —Architect Aljoša Dekleva
Green roofs are aesthetically pleasing and have multiple positive environmental benefits, even if they are small in terms of square footage. Here, a green roof blooms atop the detached garage of a home.
Green roofs are aesthetically pleasing and have multiple positive environmental benefits, even if they are small in terms of square footage. Here, a green roof blooms atop the detached garage of a home.
In an industrial neighborhood in Brooklyn, a verdant green roof of native grasses, wildflowers, and fruits creates an oasis.
In an industrial neighborhood in Brooklyn, a verdant green roof of native grasses, wildflowers, and fruits creates an oasis.
Purple thistles, California poppies, clover, and dandelions have all taken root in the roughly 10-inch-deep, lightweight humus and grape-husk soil in this 580-square-foot green roof. Designer Peter Liang says that he "wanted to plant a green roof for its thermal mass, but I wanted it to be as natural as possible."
Purple thistles, California poppies, clover, and dandelions have all taken root in the roughly 10-inch-deep, lightweight humus and grape-husk soil in this 580-square-foot green roof. Designer Peter Liang says that he "wanted to plant a green roof for its thermal mass, but I wanted it to be as natural as possible."
"In this project, we got so much benefit out of this 'secret garden' for the master suite along with all of these environmental benefits that the residents were excited to embrace. It's one of the pieces we are happiest about," says architect Jonathan Feldman.
"In this project, we got so much benefit out of this 'secret garden' for the master suite along with all of these environmental benefits that the residents were excited to embrace. It's one of the pieces we are happiest about," says architect Jonathan Feldman.
Landscape architects Reed Hilderbrand helped fill out the completed prefab by planting sedge grass on one of the house’s two green roofs to reflect the texture of the surrounding meadow.
Landscape architects Reed Hilderbrand helped fill out the completed prefab by planting sedge grass on one of the house’s two green roofs to reflect the texture of the surrounding meadow.
The house is oriented to maximize views of the ocean and Edgartown to the west, and Nantucket and Cape Pogue Bay to the east. Natural sea grasses sourced from the surrounding area cover the roof of the building, providing thermal insulation while also dampening the noise of rain, improving air quality, and helping to manage rainwater flow.
The house is oriented to maximize views of the ocean and Edgartown to the west, and Nantucket and Cape Pogue Bay to the east. Natural sea grasses sourced from the surrounding area cover the roof of the building, providing thermal insulation while also dampening the noise of rain, improving air quality, and helping to manage rainwater flow.
Just up a ladder is the green roof, which is planted with maintenance-free sedums and tall grasses near the patio that Monkman tends carefully.
Just up a ladder is the green roof, which is planted with maintenance-free sedums and tall grasses near the patio that Monkman tends carefully.
According to Remijnse, since the only direction they could build on the small site was up, they decided to add height with a gabled roof.
According to Remijnse, since the only direction they could build on the small site was up, they decided to add height with a gabled roof.
A variety of factors—the site, the topography, the dramatic cantilever above the water—led to the home’s specific square shape and position on the site.
A variety of factors—the site, the topography, the dramatic cantilever above the water—led to the home’s specific square shape and position on the site.
One of the main goals of the construction was to do as little harm as possible to the existing environment, which includes waterways that salmon depend upon. Herrin and his team created a garden roof that covers the full extent of the home to meet this objective. “This helps control storm water runoff and also replaces lost insect habitat—insects being a critical food source for juvenile salmon,” he says.
One of the main goals of the construction was to do as little harm as possible to the existing environment, which includes waterways that salmon depend upon. Herrin and his team created a garden roof that covers the full extent of the home to meet this objective. “This helps control storm water runoff and also replaces lost insect habitat—insects being a critical food source for juvenile salmon,” he says.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, food scraps and yard waste make up 20 percent of what we throw away. Composting organic materials keeps them out of the landfill, which cuts down on greenhouse gases, and enriches the soil. To compost at home, make a pile in your backyard, or introduce an indoor bin for throwaways like apple peels and eggshells.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, food scraps and yard waste make up 20 percent of what we throw away. Composting organic materials keeps them out of the landfill, which cuts down on greenhouse gases, and enriches the soil. To compost at home, make a pile in your backyard, or introduce an indoor bin for throwaways like apple peels and eggshells.
The open plan living room and kitchen areas utilize natural materials, from reclaimed oak flooring to custom-made cabinetry. The Oscar sofa by Matthew Hilton from Future Perfect marks off the living room area.
The open plan living room and kitchen areas utilize natural materials, from reclaimed oak flooring to custom-made cabinetry. The Oscar sofa by Matthew Hilton from Future Perfect marks off the living room area.
The roof deck is a place for entertaining, and offers scenic hillside views. During the design process, the team was challenged with preserving these views while adhering to the required 3.5-foot railing height mandated by building code, a height that would block all views while seated. As a solution, the team came up with open metal railings that would maintain safety while preserving the view.
The roof deck is a place for entertaining, and offers scenic hillside views. During the design process, the team was challenged with preserving these views while adhering to the required 3.5-foot railing height mandated by building code, a height that would block all views while seated. As a solution, the team came up with open metal railings that would maintain safety while preserving the view.
The roofs of each of the three sections of the home are constructed of zinc and are insulated for added protection.
The roofs of each of the three sections of the home are constructed of zinc and are insulated for added protection.
The architects discreetly sunk a pool into the roof terrace of the old corral. In order to shade part of the terrace, the architects designed a freestanding sun shelter. So as not to damage the outer walls of the old building, a galvanized-steel frame is secured to the terrace floor. A bamboo-reed covering projects a soft, filtered light onto the outdoor living area below.
The architects discreetly sunk a pool into the roof terrace of the old corral. In order to shade part of the terrace, the architects designed a freestanding sun shelter. So as not to damage the outer walls of the old building, a galvanized-steel frame is secured to the terrace floor. A bamboo-reed covering projects a soft, filtered light onto the outdoor living area below.
The winglike dips in the roofline situate and hold the house against the region’s brutal winds. As the outdoor chairs attest, lifestyles here pass easily between inside and out; a long hike and a good swim are always just steps away
The winglike dips in the roofline situate and hold the house against the region’s brutal winds. As the outdoor chairs attest, lifestyles here pass easily between inside and out; a long hike and a good swim are always just steps away
“We have all these different destinations,” says Sardinas, a writer who works from her home office. “I’ll be working, get stuck on a passage, and take a break to go read outside.” On the lower roof, red Vegetal chairs by Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec for Vitra provide moments for repose.
“We have all these different destinations,” says Sardinas, a writer who works from her home office. “I’ll be working, get stuck on a passage, and take a break to go read outside.” On the lower roof, red Vegetal chairs by Erwan and Ronan Bouroullec for Vitra provide moments for repose.
The 925-square-foot house Maggie Treanor calls home blends into the landscape somewhat; with a galvanized steel shed roof and siding, it looks like a high-design little brother to the barns on the surrounding farms.
The 925-square-foot house Maggie Treanor calls home blends into the landscape somewhat; with a galvanized steel shed roof and siding, it looks like a high-design little brother to the barns on the surrounding farms.
On the outskirts of Austin, Texas, author Chris Brown and his dog Katsu head to the river; the path was once a dumping ground on top of a long-defunct underground oil pipeline. The green roof was conceptualized by John Hart Asher of the Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.
On the outskirts of Austin, Texas, author Chris Brown and his dog Katsu head to the river; the path was once a dumping ground on top of a long-defunct underground oil pipeline. The green roof was conceptualized by John Hart Asher of the Ecosystem Design Group at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.
“There’s a presence to that place—it’s vast, and constantly shifting,” Moffitt says. “It was clear that this house should be an observation shed for the changing landscape beyond.”
“There’s a presence to that place—it’s vast, and constantly shifting,” Moffitt says. “It was clear that this house should be an observation shed for the changing landscape beyond.”
Some 35 percent of the materials from the renovation were resurrected in the yard: Redwood panels became fencing. Blocks cut from original concrete patios form the snake wall. And Purdy plans to crochet colorful cozies over various branches and stumps.
Some 35 percent of the materials from the renovation were resurrected in the yard: Redwood panels became fencing. Blocks cut from original concrete patios form the snake wall. And Purdy plans to crochet colorful cozies over various branches and stumps.
Vegetation from the garden on the lower roof provides a contrast to the backdrop of Gowanus’s rapidly changing landscape.
Vegetation from the garden on the lower roof provides a contrast to the backdrop of Gowanus’s rapidly changing landscape.
The unusually tall shingles on the original house give it some of that Eastern feel, and Simonen, Parco, and Kaefer nodded to Esherick by giving the siding on the pavilion a similar horizontal orientation.
The unusually tall shingles on the original house give it some of that Eastern feel, and Simonen, Parco, and Kaefer nodded to Esherick by giving the siding on the pavilion a similar horizontal orientation.
“At first we thought we might not need that much space, but then we started thinking long term. We look at this house as the home of our lifetime.” —Guido Chiavelli
“At first we thought we might not need that much space, but then we started thinking long term. We look at this house as the home of our lifetime.” —Guido Chiavelli
In the kitchen of Floating Farmhouse in Eldred, New York, a custom-built wood-fired oven extends up to the ceiling, accentuating its steep pitch. Photo by Mark Mahaney.
In the kitchen of Floating Farmhouse in Eldred, New York, a custom-built wood-fired oven extends up to the ceiling, accentuating its steep pitch. Photo by Mark Mahaney.
Architect Will Winkelman and landscape architect Todd Richardson collaborated with client JT Bullitt to design a house that blends into its surroundings in Steuben, Maine. The green roof gives the impression that "the ground just jumped onto the roof," Richardson says.
Architect Will Winkelman and landscape architect Todd Richardson collaborated with client JT Bullitt to design a house that blends into its surroundings in Steuben, Maine. The green roof gives the impression that "the ground just jumped onto the roof," Richardson says.
Bathed in Light

To help disperse light in the newly opened-up interior, the designers clad the roof over the guest bathroom with Danpalon, a translucent polycarbonate that brings in lots of softened natural light. The walls and door are frosted glass. Says Kyprianou: “You can’t see much through the glass—just silhouettes—so our guests don’t mind!”

danpalon.com.au

Hung Up

With the budget running out toward the end of the project, Kyprianou wanted to avoid forking out for a custom-designed walk-in closet in the master bedroom. So he conceived of a simple and cheap storage solution: drilling holes through the wooden roof trusses and feeding inexpensive aluminum closet rods through.

junolightinggroup.com
Bathed in Light To help disperse light in the newly opened-up interior, the designers clad the roof over the guest bathroom with Danpalon, a translucent polycarbonate that brings in lots of softened natural light. The walls and door are frosted glass. Says Kyprianou: “You can’t see much through the glass—just silhouettes—so our guests don’t mind!” danpalon.com.au Hung Up With the budget running out toward the end of the project, Kyprianou wanted to avoid forking out for a custom-designed walk-in closet in the master bedroom. So he conceived of a simple and cheap storage solution: drilling holes through the wooden roof trusses and feeding inexpensive aluminum closet rods through. junolightinggroup.com
The facade consists of exposed concrete, Galvalume roofing, and cedar or torrefied wood coating. The homes are carefully positioned to keep other structures out of sight.
The facade consists of exposed concrete, Galvalume roofing, and cedar or torrefied wood coating. The homes are carefully positioned to keep other structures out of sight.
Metal shingles cut from scraps of sheet metal mix with new material as well as odds and ends, such as a road sign Baker bought at the Alameda Flea market. Baker designed stainless steel clips that allow any tile to be easily moved or replaced without the use of tools. Planter box panels add  functionality to the facade and can be swapped out or relocated throughout the year.
Metal shingles cut from scraps of sheet metal mix with new material as well as odds and ends, such as a road sign Baker bought at the Alameda Flea market. Baker designed stainless steel clips that allow any tile to be easily moved or replaced without the use of tools. Planter box panels add functionality to the facade and can be swapped out or relocated throughout the year.
"Pulling the buildings apart allows what is not a big house to feel really big," says architect Jonathan Feldman of the sustainable retirement home he built for a couple in California. "Because of the ways it opens up, it feels much more expansive than it really is."
"Pulling the buildings apart allows what is not a big house to feel really big," says architect Jonathan Feldman of the sustainable retirement home he built for a couple in California. "Because of the ways it opens up, it feels much more expansive than it really is."
Danish architects John Lassen and Joanna Tench renovated the interior of this quaint 1960s thatched-roof cottage in North Jutland, giving it a clean, modern face-lift.
Danish architects John Lassen and Joanna Tench renovated the interior of this quaint 1960s thatched-roof cottage in North Jutland, giving it a clean, modern face-lift.
Take a look at some of the most exciting, sustainable buildings around the world, and you may notice something they have in common: green roofs, or rooftops covered with a thin layer of soil to allow for grasses and other low-lying plants to grow.
Take a look at some of the most exciting, sustainable buildings around the world, and you may notice something they have in common: green roofs, or rooftops covered with a thin layer of soil to allow for grasses and other low-lying plants to grow.
The backyard sports a sequence of raised flower and vegetable beds and two green roofs—one atop the workshop and other atop the back entrance.
The backyard sports a sequence of raised flower and vegetable beds and two green roofs—one atop the workshop and other atop the back entrance.
Dr. Kenneth Montague’s Toronto loft is both home and art gallery—and the ultimate party house, thanks to two kitchens, a rooftop deck, and no shortage of conversation pieces. In warm weather, Montague’s parties spill onto the roof deck. To encourage guests to explore, Peterson designed two built-in light fixtures, made from LEDs behind white acrylic panels, that cast a dramatic glow across the sauna’s custom-made wood door, designed by Peterson and crafted by carpenter Daniel Liebster.
Dr. Kenneth Montague’s Toronto loft is both home and art gallery—and the ultimate party house, thanks to two kitchens, a rooftop deck, and no shortage of conversation pieces. In warm weather, Montague’s parties spill onto the roof deck. To encourage guests to explore, Peterson designed two built-in light fixtures, made from LEDs behind white acrylic panels, that cast a dramatic glow across the sauna’s custom-made wood door, designed by Peterson and crafted by carpenter Daniel Liebster.

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