With the first-floor walls poured, it’s time to erect the structure for the rest of the house before my panels show up. Does this look a little overbuilt? Well, there’s a very good reason why folks don’t build flat-roofed houses in the Great White North: It’s called snow, and it’s heavy. It makes little sense to design a house that would allow snow to sit on the roof, stressing the structure, instead of just sliding off.
But I’m a man of little sense and I really wanted a green roof, which needs a flat surface with no run-off. So I consulted the engineer, who coldly delivered the facts: You can have both, but there’s going to be a lot of weight up there and you’ll need structural steel to hold your roof up. Lucky for me, steel prices have been down a bit lately. I still spent more than I wanted to on the steel, but I hope to make it up with my future rooftop corn crops.