Saturday, April 18, 2015

Studio Construction - A Roof

Ooh, another delivery truck with a load.

And the guys are wearing special equipment.

The load is going up on to the roof.

At the same time, Alex, owner of  Nortek Exteriors arrived on site to measure the exterior walls. He has the contract to clad the building.

Mauricio Reyes, the owner of Proline Roofing and Gutters, got the contract to put on the roof.
We decided on an SBS Torch-on roof. Here is the first layer being nailed in place.
Torch-on is suited to the low angled roof, has a long life and is low to no maintenance. All big pluses.

The 2nd layer is melted on with a gas flame - see the flame in the middle of the above image.
Initially, I had wanted a living roof to make it blend into the forest. We will see a lot of the roof from the upstairs level of the house. From my research on living/green roofs, I noticed most of them were planted in grasses or succulents. Grasses grow in a different ecology than rain forest and succulents require a much warmer climate. Planting either of these types of plants would require getting up on the roof to do maintenance replacing dead plants and lots of weeding. It would be too artificial, expensive, time-consuming and wouldn't fit with the native ecology. So no grass roof.

The top layer of Torch-on has small chips of stone stuck into it. If the roof is left undisturbed over time it will become colonised with mosses and lichens without any planting. The needles continually falling from the evergreens, the stone chips and the winter rains supply the food for these plants. The spores would come from the mosses and lichens growing on the surrounding trees and forest floor. No extra layers of roofing material are needed so the roof is kept lightweight, unlike the many layers required by grass roofs. I will be looking to see if the roof is shaded enough for the western sword fern (Polystichum munitum) to grow up there. We have so many of them in the forest some of their spores must get up onto the roof. 
The plan is to leave it alone and let natural biological processes of succession happen. My kind of roof. And it will look great.

The blue tarps have gone making the building disappear a little bit more into the forest.
In a cool climate, the dark colour has a warming effect on the inside of the building.
We considered solar panels because the roof faces south/ south-west but a bit of research suggested it wouldn't be a wise investment. We have long winter days and many overcast days in spring and fall. The building is in under the tree canopy. The solar panels wouldn't function on enough days to justify them.
Now the building is watertight it is time to start drying it out. 2 de-dehumidifiers and a small heater on low are put to work to take water out of the wood. Ron has a moisture probe and is regularly testing the moisture levels in the wood. The inside has to be dry enough before the next stage - insulation.

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