Sod Roofs and Modern Plans

Green On Top

Our inventory of eco-friendly plans got a boost with the arrival of our newest design, Plan 525-1, which is by architect Karl Smith, the latest member of our Signature Studio. His idea was to design an 1,800 sq. ft. three-story, sod-roofed home to fit a tight lot.

The ground floor contains a covered patio, mud room, and guest suite-office;

the  living-dining area and kitchen are on the middle level,and the master bedroom suite is at the top. 

You can see how carefully thought each floor is, from the wood stove in the ground floor guest room to the walk-in pantry by the kitchen and the master closet with its own island on the top floor. A very elegant and urbane design. According to Karl the sod roof sits over a waterproof membrane of Bituthene (manufactured by Grace Company) and “provides an R-48 U value, and can be supplemented with a layer of rigid insulation in the roof sandwich.  The walls are minimum R-16, but that can also be increased, and with insulated glass in the windows, it will more than accomplish most environmental concerns.” I think his roof watering system is clever: it uses reclaimed water pumped from cisterns  below French drains.

Another only-at-Houseplans.com sod roof design — this one by Werner Field Architects, Plan 491-5 — takes an opposite tack and is long and low and the living is all on one level.


The green roof even extends over the carport. The plan is simplicity itself — with a bedroom at each end of the long bar-shape –

and blurs the distinction between the natural and the man-made as well as between inside and outside.

A dusk view adds to the  green roof although, as the architects explain, the design can work without this feature. We’ll keep adding more “green conception” plans — so instead of letting the grass grow under your feet, why let it grow over your roof!

4 responses to “Sod Roofs and Modern Plans

  1. Pingback: Sod Roofs and Modern Plans | Smarter Clicks | Keeping you in the know...

  2. Regarding the plan for 525-1, what’s the deal with the ground floor parti? The Mud/Splash/Utility room needs to be connected to the outside, that’s what makes it a mud room, otherwise your entrance hall just became your mud room. Also, why is the bathroom off of the mud room and not off the entrance hall or ground bedroom? This is an amateur mistake, one must never traverse a utility space to get to the bathroom!

    I like the aesthetic, but the ground floor needs to revisit architecture 101.

  3. Bravo to Karl Smith. Nicely done!

  4. Great to see some green plans!! Turf roofs are a great idea in this age of concrete and tarmac!

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