Archive for June, 2010

Solar Power at the Vatican

The Holy City has installed 2,000 photovoltaic solar panels to the top of one of the city/state’s buildings. In doing so, the Vatican will reduce CO2 emissions by 225 tons a year and save 80 tons of oil.

The solar panels are not visible from the ground, but the angels in St. Peter’s Basilica may have to wear sunglasses to fight off the glare from the panels.

The solar energy system covers the massive roof of the “Nervi Hall”, where Pope Benedict XVI holds general audiences. The 2,400 panels, designed by a Germany company, will heat, light and cool the hall and several surrounding buildings, producing 300 kilowatt hours (MWh) of clean energy a year. The hall, built in 1971 and one of the Vatican’s newest buildings, has a sweeping, wave-shaped roof which made the project feasible. (via telegraph)

Church Roof Peeled Back Like a Tin of Tuna

King's Way Christian Center June 21, 2010

After intense storms and high winds, workers started the clean up of the damage at King’s Way Christian Center and Cape Coral church. The structural damage which was encounter was incredible. The roof was said to have been, “peeled back like a tin of tuna”.

Paster Dan Lumadue said, “it could have been worse, no one was inside at the time so there were no injuries”.

The Cape Coral police were quickly on the scene in the early hours of Tuesday 22nd June, and announced that the freakish winds managed to dislodge the leading edge of the roof, peeling back the whole roof area. Going from not having a leaking roof to a full sun-roof overnight, the church received water damage and damage to the contents from falling debris.

The church was out of action, while they try and find the $100,000 needed to fix the lovely church. After blowers were used to dry up the interior of the church, clearing out the debris could commence. The roof is now sporting a blue tarpaulin to protect the interior from any further water ingress and to offer a temporary roof over the heads of the workers below.

The pastor also had full praise for the community church members, over 30 of which set about helping clear the mess up and helped evacuate the water. The church has announced that next Sunday it will carry on with sermons and ceremonies, whether the roof is present or not! That’s some dedication!

A selection of professional roofing teams have offered to tackle the mammoth job of refitting a new roof, but it will have to be in keeping with the age of the church. Slate and stone will be used, but preventative measures against further strong winds and gusts will be taken.

Moss can be the Wrong kind of Green Roof

Moss, which thrives in moist, shady areas, can lead to leaks and serious roof damage, writes Brian Rader. To help prevent these problems, homeowners should trim back trees and other vegetation that touches or shades areas where moss growth is a concern. Plant debris and branches also should be cleared from the roof because they can contribute to shade and moisture. Metal roofs work best for moss prevention, he notes.

mossy roof

source: (Friday Harbor, Wash.)

Austin mulls $10,000 Investment for Vegetated Roof Study

Green Austin

Austin, Texas, might invest $10,000 to study the benefits of vegetated rooftops. The research could be done through an agreement between the University of Texas and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

“As the city becomes larger and more dense and more intensive, are there ways that we can maintain our quality of life and have a lot of the environmental and social and cultural benefits that you would otherwise lose if we pave over these areas?” asked Matt Hollon of Austin Watershed Protection. If the research shows positive effects, more green roofs could be added.

source: News 8 Austin (Texas)

Companies Jump on Rooftop Gardening Bandwagon

Roof Garden

A number of companies nationwide are developing technology and techniques to meet the growing demand for rooftop gardening.

  • Trenton Forging in Michigan is trying to come up with an energy-efficient way to warm a year-round greenhouse on its roof.
  • Sky Vegetables wants to build hydroponic farms on roofs in major metropolitan cities.
  • GreenGrid Roofs in Chicago sells a modular system of plastic bins that makes installing rooftop beds easier.

source: Google/The Associated Press