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Green Roofing for a Sustainable Home

By Dez Duran-Lamanilao

Sustainability has become the popular term to describe practices through which a specific idea or technology can grow without having to drain the resources of an organization, a company or even a nation. It has been the focus of experts in the real estate industry in the past years as well. In fact, a study conducted by Dodge Data & Analytics in partnership with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), published in the “Green Multifamily and Single Family Homes” 2017 SmartMarket Brief, reveals that green homes continue to gain market share among both single family and multi-family homebuilders. Green building has definitely become a constituted part in residential construction.

A green home expectantly goes hand in hand with green roofing, which refers to the layers of plants that building owners, both residential and commercial, grow on their rooftops. One of the many aspects of green roofing is sustainability. Green roofing can reduce the homeowner’s heating and cooling costs. Architects are continuously innovating designs to come up with sustainable green roofing. Some of the strategies they use include:

  • Using plants that come from the area’s local flora, thus stimulating the habitat of local wildlife
  • Designing a layout that can collect rainwater to help in landscape irrigation
  • Planting a garden that produces herbs and veggies
  • Making use of climate-controlling grasses that best suit the needs of a region to help them deal with climate challenges
  • Integrating the green roof with other natural features such as an aquarium or a man-made rain forest
  • Using a green roofing that is habitable; something that features a soft, grassy bed where one can enjoy the view of nature

While the materials used for sustainable green roofing vary from one manufacturer to another, their goals are similar, to come up with materials that can help conserve resources. They employ the following techniques in the production of sustainable green roofing materials:

  • Recycling of production waste such as plastic, rubber or wood fiber into materials that can reduce carbon emissions and help in the decrease of energy costs
  • Use of roofing granules that can radiate heat better than traditional roofing shingles

There are two common types of green roofing. Intensive roofs usually have deeper soil depths, heavier weight load, and feature more plant options; although their maintenance costs may be higher than extensive green roofs, since maintenance would include more comprehensive fertilization of the plants as well. Extensive green roofs are more common because they are lightweight and only need lower maintenance and irrigation requirements. In the previous blog, we highlighted the benefits of extensive green roofing, which include:

  • Reduced volume of and delayed storm water runoff
  • Energy conservation
  • Increased lifespan of roofing membranes
  • Increased biodiversity
  • Additional space for urban agriculture
  • As a habitat for microorganisms and wildlife
  • Improved aesthetic value
  • Mitigation of air pollution
  • Noise reduction
  • Additional credits in the Leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED) standards

According to the University of Michigan, green roofing installation would cost almost $500,000 for a 21,000-square-foot property, versus $335,000 for a conventional roof in 2006 dollars. This means that the green roof would save around $200,000 almost over its lifetime.

Regarding green roofing maintenance, it will focus on upkeep and observation, particularly during spring and summer seasons. Below are examples of activities that should form part of your regular maintenance schedule:

  • Inspection of vegetation-free zones
  • Removal of debris and other organic waste materials
  • Control of weeds
  • Trimming off spent flowers
  • Checking of irrigation and moisture levels
  • Fertilization

If you are wondering how fast plants may grow, it depends on the method of initial planning. Cell plugs and bulk cuttings may reach full growth after three years while sedum tiles may grow 100% after two years. Clarify the installation method with your roofer first and ask for more information about the possible problems that you might encounter. This way, you can properly plan your green roofing maintenance. Scheduling it earlier may incur additional unnecessary costs and consume valuable time.

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Car Insurance and Watercraft Insurance: How Do They Differ?

Boating is a recreational activity mainly done by the middle-class and has always been associated with adventure, bonding, and fun. According to the 2014 National Marine Manufacturers Association data, 35.7% of the US population, equivalent to 87.3 million Americans, participated in recreational boating at least once in 2014. With the enjoyment of such hobby comes the responsibility of protecting the vessel. A basic knowledge of what differentiate watercraft insurance from car insurance will help you decide the type of insurance you need for your boat:

Image source: The Watercraft Journal

  1. Car insurance protects the vehicle for its market value regardless of what is involved in the loss. On the other hand, mort watercraft insurance policies offer a predetermined and agreed value regardless of depreciation on the vessel. Thus, you will get payment for the cost of the boat at the time of purchase.
  2. Insurance for boats can be put on hold, unlike cars which need to be insured as long as they are registered under the owner’s name. This saves money especially if you rarely use your boat. Just remember not to take your boat out when it is not covered during that month.
  3. There are areas that restrict entry of boats and thus will not be included in your coverage. Make sure that you are aware where these areas are.
  4. Except for New Hampshire, all states have ordained mandatory car insurance liability laws. In fact, it is considered illegal in 50 states to drive without the proper car insurance. Though not mandatory, insurance for pleasure boats is usually required if you have a loan using the vessel as collateral. Some marinas also require liability insurance.

To save money on watercraft insurance, follow these tips:

  1. Shop around and get specific with your needs.
  2. Avail of policy discounts on safety features.
  3. Enroll yourself in a boating class. Having a certification can offer savings on your policy.
  4. Stretch out your lay-up period. Insurers can cut your premium if there are specific months that you will not use the boat.
  5. Finally, deal with an insurer that is capable of offering effective options specific to your needs. Whitehaven Insurance can deliver that for you. Get a quote now and enjoy a worry-free adventure the next time you are out on the waters.