MASON CITY — The grass and sedum roof being installed at Central Park Dentistry in Mason City may seem like a throwback to the days of sod huts and thatched roofs — but it is also the latest thing in green.
“It’s good for the environment, it’s good for me and it’s something different,” said Jay Lala, owner of the building, located at 23 N. Federal Ave.
The green roof system will cost approximately $200,000, Lala estimates. He has received some funding help from an $82,500 I-JOBS grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Developed in Germany, green roof technology offers 30 percent better cooling efficiency than a traditional roof and 10 percent more insulation, Lala said.
“The main thing is, it will make the roof last three to four times longer,” he said.
Work has been ongoing for months, with the installation of under-layers of heavy rubber, a waterproof layer, and dirt. The green seedling layer was being rolled out Tuesday.
An automatic irrigation system will also be installed.
The layer of grass and sedum will be six to eight inches tall. Commonly used as ground covers, they are drought-resistant, Lala said.
“Up to an inch of rainfall in a 24-hour period will have zero runoff,” he said.
The roof can go for three weeks without water, a spokeswoman for Northern Cedar Services of Mason City, contractor for the project, said.
She said it is the first green roof the company has installed.
The green roofs were provided by Xero Flor America LLC of Durham, N.C., and Liveroof Hybrid Green Roof System, of Davenport.
More and more cities are encouraging the installation of green roofs, Lala said.
Green roofs are being used at the Ford Motor Co. truck plant in Dearborn, Mich., Duke University Medical Center, Chicago City Hall and O’Hare Airport.