Grass Roofs Across the Globe [54 PICS]

April 16th, 2015 Permalink

If it is springtime where you live, then it’s time to start mowing the grass again. Can you imagine if you also had to control the grass growth on your roof? Sod roofs have been around for about a thousand years out of necessity; in modern times, living green roofs have become more popular again by environmentally conscious people. However for many people, grass roofs are not something you see every day. If that describes you, then here’s a big collection of grass roofs from around the globe. [54 Photos]

Grass roofs on wooden houses in Tysfjord, Norway

Grass roofs on wooden houses in Tysfjord, Norway. Sod roofs, or grass roofs, were traditional types of Scandinavian green roofs. Photo #1 by hqwalls

A shed with a green roof at the east coast of Lyngen fjord in Troms, Norway

A shed with a green roof at the east coast of Lyngen fjord in Troms, Norway;mountains in the background belong to Lyngen Alps. Photo #2 by Ximonic (Simo Räsänen)



Almen mountain farm

Waterfall and Almen (mountain cabin) farm in Norway. Photo #3 by Frode Inge Helland

Grass roof on bed and breakfast located in Romania's Carpathian Mountains

Not all houses with sod roofs are in Norway. For example, this grass-roofed bed and breakfast is located in Romania and the Carpathian Mountains. Photo #4 by CameliaTWU

Grass roof in Suyavik, Iceland

Grass roof in Suyavik, Iceland. Turf roofs and even turf houses have been an Icelandic architectural style since before the time of the Vikings. Photo #5 by Trey Ratcliff

Rooftop of the National War Museum, Ottawa

While this may appear to be a wheat field, it’s actually a “green roof” top in downtown Ottawa, Canada, at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. The spires of Parliament Hill are visible in the distance. In urban areas, vegetated roofs and an eco-housing trend continue to grow in popularity as outdoors space is limited. Photo #6 by cjuneau

Grass roofs in Saksun, Faroe Islands

Grass roofs in Saksun, Faroe Islands where the climate is “windy, cloudy and cool throughout the year with over 260 annual rainy days.” Photo #7 by Hans Juul Hansen

Goat mower of grass roofs

Goat on a roof…also known as a goat mower for a grass or sod roof. Photo #8 by Andrew Bowden

Sod roof in immediate need of repair

This is what happens without a goat or other care given to a sod roof as this roof on a 19th century house in Hemsedal, Norway, is in “immediate need of repair. Trees that are allowed to grow on a sod roof will eventually destroy the house.” Photo #9 by Roede

Sheep and the Hobbit's Shire in New Zealand

Sheep and abandoned Hobbit homes in the Shire…aka in New Zealand where Lord of the Rings movies were filmed. Photo #10 by Rob Chandler

miner's hut in Roros, Norway

Miner’s hut in Roros, Norway. Photo #11 by Timtregenza

Sod roof on Scandinavian cottage on Williams Lake, Minnesota

Sod roof on Scandinavian cottage on Williams Lake, Minnesota. About three or four decades ago, Germany began really taking advantage of green-roof technology; green living roofs caught on and became popular in Europe. There are some in Canada and the U.S. as well, primarily for their positive environmental impact. Photo #12 by smarzinske

Icelandic stone house with grass roof

Icelandic stone house with grass roof…and a roof quote. “Tiny drops of experiences collated from the roof of our journeys in life becomes the ocean upon which we sail to greatness,” ~ quote by Ikechukwu Izuakor. Photo #13 by Sergii

Norway monument Hallingdal farmstead at Norwegian Folk Museum

Norway monument Hallingdal farmstead at the Norwegian Folk Museum, which is the world’s oldest open-air museum. Photo #14 by GuoJunjun

Nature Sanctuary in Scotland

Nature Sanctuary in Scotland. So what is a living roof? Wikipedia states, “A green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems.” Photo #15 by Gemma Grace

Faroese doghouse with turf roof

On the Faroe Islands, even some doghouses have a turf roof. They say what’s old becomes new again and that seems to be the case with grass roofs and the growing popularity of green roof technology. Photo #16 by Arne List

Green roofs sustainability in Norway

Green roof sustainability in Norway. Photo #17 by Jensens

Grass roof on  emergency shelter in Kerry, Ireland

Grass roof on an emergency shelter in Kerry, Ireland, below the Heavenly Gates which are located at the gap in left skyline. Photo #18 by Tom Fahy

Sod roofs on summer living and winter lounge, Norway

Sod roofs on summer living quarters and winter lounge in Norway. Photo #19 by Jensens

Icelandic replica of Viking farm

Icelandic replica of a Viking chapel. The turf-clad stave church that sits adjacent to the medieval farmhouse is a reconstruction of a typical Icelandic medieval chapel. “The reconstruction is based upon the foundation of a small church or chapel which was uncovered during archeological excavations at Stöng in Thjorsardalur-valley in 1986-88.” Bottom: The same church, but via panorama that covers a field of view of about 270 degrees. Photo #20 by Thomas Ormston & #21 by Jan Vrsinsky

Reconstructed Viking farmhouse and Viking chapel

This angle provides a better view of the reconstructed Viking farmhouse. The Stöng Commonwealth Farm, a reconstructed viking-era farmstead in Iceland, is a “historically accurate reconstruction of the three buildings, including a longhouse, which stood 7 km to the north at Stöng; the farm is believed to have been buried under volcanic ash in 1104.” Photo #22 by Thomas Ormston & #23 by Gernot Keller

Hobbit's home in Heptonstall, England

The photographer called this house in Heptonstall, England, a “Hobbit’s home.” Photo #24 by PhotoGraham

Hobbit house in New Zealand

Whereas this actually was a Hobbit’s home, Bilbo Baggin’s home in the Shire but minus the green door. The photographer in New Zealand said it’s “Bag End, as used in the Lord of the Rings films.” For fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien‎, Puzzlewood was his mystical, magical muse and inspiration to create the fabled forests of Middle-earth within The Lord of the Rings. Photo #25 by Rob Chandler

Conifer trees on overgrown grass roof in Norway

Conifer trees on overgrown grass roof in Norway. It surely would be weird to look up at your ceiling and see tree roots growing down into your living room. Photo #26 by myszysz

Left built in 1800, Right built in 1600s

The building on the left was built in 1800 and the one on the right was built in the 1600s; both are located at the Glomdal cultural history museum, an open-air museum in Norway. There are 92 buildings which date from “1611 to 1940, revealing much about the history of the 350 km long Glomma Valley through the last 400 years.” Photo #27 by Jensens

A sod roof on houseboat in a canal in Amsterdam

Houseboat with grass roof, Prinzengracht, Amsterdam. Photo #28 by Siadhal

Houses with turf roofs on the island of Heimaey, Iceland

Houses with turf roofs on the island of Heimaey, Iceland. Turf roofs were originally used in Iceland due to a lack of natural resources; people used what local building materials were available like stone and sod. Photo #29 by michael clarke stuff

Icelandic turf houses in Glaumbaer

Icelandic turf houses in Glaumbaer. Regarding the Glaumbaer Farm: “A farmhouse is said to have stood on the hill at Glaumbær since the Age of the Settlements (900 AD). The present buildings vary in age; the most recent addition having been built in 1876-79, while the oldest – the kitchen, ‘long pantry,’ and middle badstofa – are believed to have been preserved much as they were in the mid-18th century. The passages connecting the individual units have also remained unchanged for many centuries.” Photo #30 by Michael Ransburg & #31 by Michael Ransburg

Turf roof of Glaumbaer, Iceland

Turf roof of Glaumbaer, Iceland, with grass surrounding the windows and the rest of the house. Icelandic turf houses were known to offer “superior insulation compared to buildings solely made of wood or stone.” Photo #32 by TommyBee

Icelandic Turf House

“A house with a turf roof and walls near Reykjavik, Iceland.” The photographer added, “Turf was plentiful in Iceland and provided superior insulation against the weather.” Have you ever laid back on a blanket in the grass and gazed at the stars? Can you imagine if that blanket were on your grass roof? In Iceland it’s more than stars as the aurora borealis is often visible at night during the winter. Photo #33 by Mark Fischer

Grass roof in Heimaey, Iceland

Heimaey, Iceland. Since there’s only so much to say without going into massive details about growing your own living roof, then here’s a quote about grass. “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself,” ~ quote by Henry Miller. Photo #34 by Wolf-Ulf Wulfrolf

Icelandic Church with turf roof, as the mist descends from the mountains

Icelandic Church with turf roof. Mother Teresa of Calcutta once said ~ “See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…we need silence to be able to touch souls.” Photo #35 by Ryan Taylor

Stone house with grass roof at Icelandic Hot Springs

Stone house with grass roof at Icelandic Hot Springs. “To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug,” ~ quote by Helen Keller. Photo #36 by Sergii

Norway sod roofs

Almost an entire town in Norway has sod roofs. Photo #37 by myszysz

grass-roofed house in northern Norway

Grass-roofed house in northern Norway. “The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence but you still have to mow it.” Photo #38 by gleamingnorthernskies

Stabbur Food storage houses for Norweigen farm

Stabbur (food storage houses) for a Norwegian farm. Photo #39 by trolvag

Turf roof on a farmhouse at house museum near Trondheim Norway

Turf roof on a farmhouse at house museum near Trondheim, Norway. There are numerous old buildings that have been reconstructed for the ‘house museum.’ Photo #40 by Pat Hayes

Norway storehouse built in 1600

Precariously perched Norwegian storehouse built in 1600, located at Sunnmore Museum in Alesund. Photo #41 by Islandmen

Fossestuen Hotel, Trondhjem, Norway color photochrom print from 1890-1900

Fossestuen Hotel, Trondhjem, Norway; a color photochrom print from 1890-1900. Photo #42 by The Library of Congress

House with a grass roof in Norway

Walt Whitman once said, “I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.” Photo #43 by blueSkySunHigh

Goats on the grass roof in Wisconsin

Goats on the grass roof of a restaurant in Sister Bay, Wisconsin. Photo #44 by gobucks2

Faroese farmstead and waterfall

Faroese farmstead. “Buildings of an old Saksun farmstead known as the Duvugarðar, which is now a museum run by the Faroese Museum of History. These buildings give a perspective of farmlife in the Faroe Islands from the Middle Ages up to the beginning of the 20th century. Note the lush green hillsides, wildflowers and waterfalls that course their way down the rocky slopes.” Photo #45 by Charlie Kellogg in 1994

Sod roof on log buildings of Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo Norway

Sod roof on log buildings of Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo, Norway. Why spend thousands of dollars to put shingles on your roof when you can multitask and use your roof as your garden? You could even get yourself or your kids a pet goat to help keep a grass roof trimmed. Did you know?…The EPA says that green roofs provide good insulation, helping to keep a home warmer as well as to naturally keep it cooler, as well as reduce storm water run-off and filter pollution. Photo #46 by Kjetil Bjørnsrud

Sod roof church, Iceland

Sod roof church, Iceland. Photo #47 by hjkwantstoknow

Tea cart and grass roof in Scotland

Tea cart and grass roof in Scotland. Photo #48 by ideath

Real living roof but not real goat in Michigan

Meanwhile in Michigan…”Live Roof (REAL) with Goat (NOT REAL).” Photo #49 by Ken Bosma

Goats eating the grass on the roof

Goats eating the grass on the roof. Photo #50 by ron.heasley

Time to mow the roof

Time to mow the roof or put a goat to work eating it. Photo #51 by David Stanley

Too late to mow or send in the goats for a roof trim

Too late to mow or send in the goats for a roof trim. Photo #52 by notivaga

Goat roof mower in Lara Valley Romania

Goat roof mower in Lara Valley, Romania. Photo #53 by CameliaTWU

shed with hay roof (a kind of green roof) at Ullsfjorden, Lyngen municipality, Troms, Norway

Shed with hay roof (a kind of green roof) at Ullsfjorden, Lyngen municipality, Troms, Norway. Photo #54 by Ximonic (Simo Räsänen)

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