Trying to get back on my old schedule here…
The photographer doesn’t say exactly where this is, just that it was taken in Iceland in August 2014 to showcase a traditional sod roof. A quick check on Wikipedia reveals that sod roofs were common on rural Scandinavian log houses until the late 19th century.
A sod roof or turf roof is a traditional Scandinavian type of green roof covered with sod on top of several layers of birch bark on gently sloping wooden roof boards…The load of approximately 250 kg per m² of a sod roof is an advantage because it helps to compress the logs and make the walls more draught-proof.
…Sod is also a reasonably efficient insulator in a cold climate. The birch bark underneath ensures that the roof will be waterproof.
The term ‘sod roof’ is somewhat misleading, as the active, water-tight element of the roof is birch bark. The main purpose of the sod is to hold the birch bark in place. The roof might just as well have been called a “birch bark roof”, but its grassy outward appearance is the reason for its name in Scandinavian languages: Norwegian and Swedish torvtak, Icelandic torfþak.
But this house is a modern frame construction with siding, so it’s interesting to see the old sod roof paired with it. I wonder how well it insulates compared to synthetic insulation? And whether that insulation factor increases with snow?
(Click the image to sod all.)