Green Roof on the chicken coop

Sometimes you start to question doing something unnecessary. I did that several times during the process of putting a greenroof on top of our chicken coop, but now that I’m done and have forgotten the extra time and cost, I’m happy we went with it.

Why did we put a greenroof? (an “eco-roof” to some) I must admit I liked the novelty and wanted to see how difficult it was. Plus, it gave me the chance to learn a little more about the process. Sara lent me here notes from the 1-day greenroofing class she took a few years back, and with that, I developed a simpler, less expensive version for the chicken coop.

Different how? Fewer layers of complex stuff. My roofing layers look like this:

  • plants & soil-medium
  • carpet pad
  • 2 layers of 6 mil. black plastic
  • roof decking

A better designed roof would use a real waterproof membrane, but I happened to have a lot of black plastic leftover from when our basement had radon mitigation. Also, the there should probably be a slip sheet between the membrane and padding, then a barrier between the soil and the pad, but I’m not too worried about root intrusion into the pad. I added a small drain to the lowest corner (it somehow lost square/level once we put the 150 lb roof up) in case of excess moisture. Hopefully it doesn’t get used much.

Finally, the roof media came from ProSoil in Tigard, and the sedum, not the ideal choices, came from Livingscape Nursery on Vancouver and A-Boy. I couldn’t find all the ideal varieties, and Michelle wanted some hen & chicks on the roof, so we’ll see what works and what doesn’t (thus the tags). I need a little more soil, so I’ll be making another run to the soil place to fill up another computer box with someone else’s roof media.

9 thoughts on “Green Roof on the chicken coop”

  1. Didn’t I just get a truckload of dirt from you?

    Looks awesome, can’t wait to see it in person. :)

  2. It was actually a 1 credit class (about 4 days), not a 1 day class but thanks for the recognition. It’s looking pretty good.

  3. How funny that I have an extremely similar coop to which I just added a green roof a couple of weeks ago. Yours looks beautiful. I guess great (green) minds think alike.

  4. Cool, man! Reading some of your recent blog posts, it strikes me that you’re basically living the life that I am seeking. I, too, want a garden, chickens, a dog, house projects, and to get back to homebrewing again (I’ve also been thinking about the concept of teaching homebrewing).

    Well, I might have to pick your brain about the chickens. We’ll be moving to Portland in the new year and at some point will buy a house.

    I’d also like to “keep” bees and, later on, two or three pigmy dairy goats. It’s just a shame that employment sort of gets in the way of fun stuff like this!

  5. I was trying to find plans for a green roof chicken coop when I came across the photo of yours on Google. It’s reeeeeaaally cool. I’m so impressed that I have been bugging my husband to build a similar one for me. I’ve never raised chickens before so this should be interesting! I haven’t got a clue what I’m doing although I’m trying to find out about Bokashi feed right now. I’m starting up a green roof business here in Central Cal so I HAVE to put one on everything I build, including my chicken coop. If you have any advice on chicken coops and raising chicks I’m all ears… ;)

  6. Thanks for posting your pictures. Do you have any thoughts on replacing an old corrugated metal roof on a shaded garage with a “green roof”? My husband and I live in an environmentally sensitive area and desire to manage/filtrate as much rain water as possible. We know we need to replace the roof someday that sits on our cinderblock garage…so, we either get a gutter for 1 side OR try to do something with more longterm effect. These recommendation were made by our Stormwater managememnt advisors. Your thoughts?

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