Our statewide drought and increasing demand for energy has both the general public and politicians frantically trying to figure out ways to re-legislate our environmental decisions from the past two decades.
Environmentally speaking, our state is always touted as cutting-edge and innovative when the terms “green,” “conservationist” and “sustainable” are bandied about. Well, if we’re so smart and thoughtful about Mother Nature and her resources, why is it that we can no longer manage them to the point that we can coexist with them?
What green measures can we, the wee little citizen, put in place that the state is not or cannot -- because of its laws of unintended environmental consequences?
Roofs can play a pivotal part in helping Californians maximize water reclamation, minimize heat-island effect, and produce energy savings through efficiency measures.
“Really? How?” you ask. Like this:
*Water: Consider designing a vegetative roof with a xeriscape plan (native and drought-tolerant landscape design), installing water cisterns underground (or over the deck substrate) fed by drains and/or porous designer pavers and/or rain gutters with downspouts. This design results in lowering the carbon footprint, adding beauty instead of industrial aesthetics, eliminates water consuming irrigation and helps capture water to store for future use. It’s expensive to install, but the long-term benefits are greater because of the many resource-saving and developing affects it makes.
*Power: Everyone knows about solar power (photovoltaic). But do you know about “cool roofs?” In a dual design, you can reroof with Title 24 highly reflective roofing material that will reduce the temperature of your building, thus reducing your energy use.
Another positive effect of a cool roof is that mechanical equipment used to heat and cool a building will need less maintenance, and might even require a smaller-size unit. Couple this with the electricity harnessed from the sun by the solar power panel array, which helps offset electricity demand in the day time, thus spinning that smart-meter-wallet-depleter backward toward rebate land.
Simply put, the state will continue to muss things up by adding more laws to existing ones, never taking laws away, making it more and more restrictive to produce our needed resources in public areas. We need to think for ourselves, like in the old days, and privatize our own resource development with the environmental innovations available at our fingertips and within our own private properties -- because we can.