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A First Attempt at a Green Roof

 Since opening Pousada Serra Verde we've been keen to embrace 'green' technologies and principles wherever possible. Other than fitting in with our forest setting a green roof also helps with cooling and extends the life of the roof whilst helping bio-diversity.

 We have just built an external breakfast area to replace the ageing 'tent' (which has now found a home on the Fairy Trail). We were keen to have a go at putting a 'green roof' on it but didn't know where to start. Several YouTube videos later we were on our way - still pretty much making it up as we went along. We needed a solid structure to take the weight so used substantially sized cambara beams to form the structure. On top of this we placed a layer of white pvc strips, both for cosmetic appearance and to help keep moisture out of the maderite layer. The maderite layer (we used 1cm thick boards) was then fixed into place.

We covered this with our waterproof layer - we used an old tarpaulin and a redundant swimming pool cover. Once these were stapled into place it was time to start hauling material up to the roof. A 30cm wide gravel strip was put around the edge of the roof to help drainage and drainage channels cut into the wood at the low end of the structure. For substrata we used crushed bricks mixed with sand and gravel and covered the roof with a 5cm deep layer of this. On top of this we sprinkled a thin layer of soil before planting coleus across the roof. A month later the plants have taken and the roof hasn't leaked despite some heavy rainfall so we're happy to have our green roof and will definitely repeat the process when we build at Pousada Serra Verde again.

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