Why a Living Roof?
Many municipalities across Canada have already adopted policies requiring a certain percentage of “living rooves” on modern structures. Why? Man-made structures are quickly chewing up green space that would otherwise provide food and homes for animals and pollinators. Living rooves not only provide shelter, they also provide oxygen, the one thing we cannot live without!
We want to help people find a way (and a desire) to convert their own rooves to living rooves as well. Growing plants on manmade structures is advantageous for many reasons. Living rooves can be used to grow gardens for food, medicine, and flowers, and they also have excellent insulation value. Once installed, living rooves are also easy to maintain.
Solar panels will be installed on the roof of the circular walkway that connects the four oval building. These panels will collect energy for storage during times of power outages, and also to feed excess power back to the grid. We are also investigating the potential of solar panel paving stones for use throughout other areas of the village. We intend to make this kind of technology available for purchase in our 'green' retail store!
Sirewall, Cordwood Masonry & Other Eco-Friendly Methods
Both Cordwood Masonry and Sirewall construction methods are our preferred choices for construction. They both have a very low carbon footprint as well an inherent beauty and longevity.
Cordwood is a natural building method in which short logs are piled and held together with mortar. Sirewall is a high-end construction method that uses insulated rammed earth.
Some public structures, such as hotels and restaurants, have regulatory constraints that prevent us from using certain types of construction, such as cordwood masonry. So we will have to make some compromises. But the Ginawaydaganuc Village project is all about raising awareness, and we intend to work together with municipal planners to determine the best way forward.
Sirewall is the most expensive construction method, but it’s also the most durable and eco friendly method. Canadian building company Terra Firma Builders Ltd, say, “Sirewall’s durability is measured in hundreds or thousands of years. These are not disposable buildings.”
Further reviews on Sirewall’s own website claim that it is “a more appropriate and solid form of construction, better adapted to climatic variation, comfort and low energy consumption. It responds to a desire for authenticity of local materials, colours and textures - and is a beautiful material.”
A review by The International Living Future Institute says, “Sirewall is timeless and beautiful, the most sustainable wall system on the planet. Sirewall is designated as a ‘Living product’.”
Cordwood masonry is an eco-friendly and durable construction method. It requires debarking and cutting logs into 18” lengths, age-drying them, then installing them with a special mortar to create walls. The beauty, affordability, durability and R-value of this method is outstanding. The materials are fairly accessible in most regions of Canada, and are far less expensive than modern constructions materials. However, the drawback is that it is labour intensive and more time-consuming than many other methods.