Given Langka’s directive that “the people who live around us have to see our roof and I don’t want them to see anything but grass,”
Carver & Schicketanz topped the house with a green roof with the help of local horticulturalist Fred Ballerini. The architects are well versed in the benefits of green roofs; the first house that Carver designed in 1978 had a sod roof. In the last 30 years, the hippie overtones often associated with grass have been replaced with yuppie connotations. “There’s way more receptivity to them now,” says Schicketanz.
Gone are the days when you had to mow your overhead lawn daily or climb up to pull weeds. Instead, advances in technology have created an ease in building with sod. Unlike older models, which required 12 to 18 inches of soil and stronger structural support, making the endeavor less affordable and more unwieldy, the Treadwells have a Hydrotech roofing system, which uses only four inches of soil and needs no special buttressing. Native grasses such as California oat and red fescue were planted, and the result is a roof that needs only annual pruning while providing insulation for the home and an attractive vista for the neighbors.