Saanich mayor begins living roof planting process

Living roof expert Gord Baird (left), Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes and organic horticulture specialist Helen Hertel climbed up onto the roof without hesitation and began organizing the plants. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Haynes was beaming while showing off his living roof project. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
One of Haynes’ main goals was to ensure that the living roof would be a habitat suitable for the native pollinators. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Several layers have been used to give the plants something to hold onto, ensuring the plants aren’t going anywhere, and an irrigation system will keep the plants hydrated in the warmer months. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Haynes jumped in and got his hands dirty planting his living roof. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes got his hands dirty in a garden high above his house on Friday morning.

Haynes and his team broke ground on his new living roof and began the task of planting all the different plants that will make their home on top of the house.

Haynes and his wife, Kathy, wanted to minimize their ecological footprint and have worked hard to ensure their new home on Prospect Lake will have a “net-zero footprint” – the green space on the roof replaces the green space that the house takes up.

A lot of planning goes into a living roof and Highlands Coun. Gord Baird, also of Eco-Sense, helped plan Haynes’ roof. He recommends doing your homework. An engineer must ensure the roof can handle the added weight, insurance is required and then there’s the task of getting all the equipment and plants up to the roof.

Helen Hertel, owner of Helen Hertel Gardens, worked with Haynes and Baird to choose plants that would thrive on the roof, help the local pollinators and be aesthetically pleasing. The colour themes were carefully planned and plants were chosen so that something will always be in bloom from February to November.

Hertel chose both native and non-native plants ranging from camas to nodding onions. She also made sure there would be some crocuses and daffodils in the mix as they’re Haynes’ favourite.

Haynes noted the Capital Regional District is encouraging living roofs as there are so many benefits. They help to moderate the temperature inside the house so the heating and cooling systems aren’t used as often.

“Living roofs are cool and they cool,” Haynes added with a laugh.

There is an initial cost, Haynes explained, but the roof can be left alone with no maintenance for almost 100 years and in the long run, the benefits outweigh the expense.

He also noted Victoria has adopted a rainwater rewards program to offer folks who collect the water a tax reduction. Living roofs help make the water collection easier and the tax reduction is something Saanich will consider, he said.

Haynes is hoping to invite residents to take a tour in the spring when the roof is blooming.


@devonscarlett
devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Undercover operation exposes prominent human trafficking problem in Greater Victoria

VicPD’s Operation No More took place in mid-June at a local hotel

Victoria man in custody after shooting in 100-block of Gorge Road East

The man is facing recommended charges including assault with a weapon

Sooke’s homeless reflect on housing situation

Ed MacGregor Park a new temporary home for Sooke’s homeless population

Victoria Royals draft dynamic Danish forward for tentative fall season

Marcus Almquist drafted to Victoria after international tournaments

Langford approves permit for 124-unit mass timber building

Tallwood 1 to be completed by late 2021

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

B.C. repairs COVID-19 emergency order for local government

Ombudsperson shut out as his recommendations implemented

No doctor assisted death allowed at Hamlets in Duncan

Faith-based company that owns facility believes in sanctity of life

More than 50,000 Coronavirus cases reported per day in US

Coronavirus cases are rising in 40 of 50 US states

Trump plans huge July 4 fireworks show despite DC’s concerns

Despite health concerns from D.C.’s mayor, no one apparently will be required to wear masks

Canadian engineer detained in Egypt released, needs treatment, family says

Yasser Albaz was detained at the Cairo airport after a business trip in February of 2019

RCMP arrest armed man on grounds near Trudeau residence

Officers descended on the sprawling estate Thursday morning.

Canada Day tractor incident kills three children, injures seven in Quebec

The tractor driver has been arrested following the accident

Longtime Vancouver Island fishing family hooks into local market over wholesale

Locally caught fish are scarce in fishing towns, an irony one Sointula family is working to change

Most Read