Which Is Greener, White Roofs or Green Roofs?

house roofs in white reflect heat

Are white roofs or green roofs more better for the environment?

Which Is Greener, White Roofs or Green Roofs?

In this article for Sourceable.net, I looked into the environmental benefits of white roofs compared to green, or living roofs, as stated in a new report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. It turns out that white roofs are most cost effective overall, and most effective at mitigating climate change by reflecting heat back into the atmosphere.

Green roofs, however, offer other benefits, and last roughly twice as long as white roofs or traditional black roofs. Green roofs of living plants can absorb pollutants such as particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides. Green roofs also produce oxygen, consume carbon dioxide, and help to manage stormwater and runoff. Over their lifespan, green roofs are not necessarily substantially more expensive than white roofs.

Is Sprawl Development Simply Unaffordable?

photo of sprawling city; is sprawl development simply unaffordable?

Sprawling development costs more than it pays back.

Is sprawl development simply unaffordable? Also called “suburban sprawl,” this has been the dominant development pattern in the U.S. since World War II.

This article for Sourceable.net cites¬†Sustainable Prosperity, a think tank at the University of Ottawa. The group published a report about sprawl in 2013. “Suburban Sprawl: Exposing Hidden Costs, Identifying Innovations,” offers a number of observations and conclusions regarding sprawl.

Chuck Marohn of Strong Towns calls the traditional suburban development pattern a “Ponzi scheme.”

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Are Prefab Homes Ready for the Mass Market?

are prefab homes ready for the mass market? prefab home

Prefab homes come in a variety of styles, such as this modern style.

Are Prefab Homes Ready for the Mass Market?

Prefab, or prefabricated, homes are not a new idea. The idea dates back England in the 19th century, though they really looked poised for success in the U.S. in the 20th century. Bucky Fuller’s Dymaxion Home, steel Lustron Homes, modular homes, manufactured homes, and panelized homes all offered people a new way to get a new house.

Are prefab homes ready for the mass market? The homes themselves are better than ever, and offer solutions from very low cost to completely custom homes.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture

Sustainable Doesn’t Have to Cost More

sustainable homes, Sourceable, sustainable doesn't have to cost more

Builders and architects are learning how to build energy efficient homes at cost parity.

¬†Sustainable doesn’t have to cost more

Here’s another article for Sourceable.net. Builders and architects are making loads of progress and are learning how to build extremely energy-efficient homes at a competitive cost. It’s now true: sustainable doesn’t have to cost more.

Adam Cohen of Structures Design/Build has now built an eye-catching, traditionally styled home in Virginia for about $150/square foot. And it’s a certified Passive House, no less!

Here’s another approach, from Blue Ridge Energy Systems in North Carolina.

And here’s the Newenhouse, a Passive House in Viroqua, Wisconsin, with yet another approach.

Newenhouse, Passive House, sustainable doesn't have to cost more

The NewenHouse front facade, as seen from Hickory Street.

The Farmhouse Media is all about living sustainably through

  • green building

  • green cities

  • permaculture