Friday, August 29, 2008

The Shedworker's Bookshelf - The DIY Guide to Green & Living Roofs

This is one for your virtual bookshelf as it's only available as a pdf (though I suppose you could print it out and bind it if you really wanted). Two of the UK's leading proponents of green roofs have teamed up to produce The DIY Guide to Green & Living Roofs, a guide aimed at individuals with a Do-It-Yourself inclination along with those having trouble persuading local contractors to take up the challenge of installing a green roof on their behalf.

Published by Dusty Gedge of and John Little of The Grass Roof Company, features details on how to convert existing sheds to take a green roof as well as instructions on how to build a small green roof from scratch. It is available in eBook formats at for £11.65.

"Over the last few years we have both been inundated with phone calls and emails from people keen to build their own green roofs or to convert their sheds and existing roofs to green roofs," says Dusty. "As enthusiasts it is difficult not to reply to emails and answer phone calls but we both struggle to keep up so we decided to write the guide to try and give people a starting point. Big green roofs on large developments are one thing but there is also a huge appetite out there at the micro level. This guide hopes to meet that appetite, not only in the UK but also in North America, Australia and throughout Europe."

John adds:
"We also want to challenge the 'IKEA' approach to green roofs. You don’t have to go out and buy a system. You can source all the individual components yourself, hopefully locally, and create your own unique green roof. That is the second point of the guide. When I started out 10 years ago I just wanted to build green roofs. There was no information out there to help me so I had to learn through experience only. Every small building I have built has had a green roof installed and over 10 years you realize that it can be quite simple. At the end of the day Dusty and I just want to see more green roofs and we hope this guide helps add to what is already happening out there on the larger scale."
John and Dusty are also planning to run workshops based on the guide throughout the UK over the next year and hope to feature many of the projects stimulated by the guide on their websites.


  1. This looks great. Just what I need as have decided to try to do the sedum roof at our railway carriage house myself and need a bit of guidance. We'll be moving in this week in spite of builders still being about during day, as daughter due to start school and dog having puppies any time now. It's all go...
    Here's another Scottish shed type building I've come across in Blogland: Looks as if the next stage will be interesting.
    Enjoyed your August postings - did skyeshed make it? Maybe I missed it.
    x Elspeth

  2. Elspeth, thanks for the tip. I haven't done Skyeshed yet but it's on the list.

  3. E-publication is really interesting - can that £11 price tag really be justified when there is no physical article? ANd yet there's also all that evidence that people think something cheap is not worth paying for etc. Maybe I've been reading too much Tim Harford...

  4. Fair point. I have read it though and it is really good (although I'm no horticulturalist). And of course there's also the danger that somebody who has a copy will just circulate it to their pals.