Saanich mayor begins living roof planting process

Haynes jumped in and got his hands dirty planting his living roof. (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)
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)

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.

Just Posted

Commercial fisheries off-loading business booming in Port Hardy

Off-loading facilities pack, ice, and load in totes the fish that are caught by commercial fishermen

Four days of mediation fail to break four-month strike in the woods

Steelworkers union says Western Forest Products refuses to budge from ‘unreasonable concessions’

Vancouver Island firefighters showcased on Discovery Channel

Second season of Hellfire Heroes premieres Oct. 22

Birders flocking to Greater Victoria after rare warbler sighting

Tiny bird draws big audience to Panama Flats

Guilty verdict for man accused of setting fire to his Esquimalt rental property

Wei Li was arrested at airport with burns to face and hands

In the news: Liberals eke out a win, but will need NDP, Green support to pass bills

Conservatives say they are ready if Trudeau should falter

Oak Bay to complete LED switchover of 1,506 street lamps

Electricians to install final 356 steet lamps

Second young woman dies after rollover crash near Williams Lake

‘Someone’s going to get her heart, which is awesome, because she has the best heart in the world’

Google searches for ‘how to vote’ surge on Election Day

Interest spikes despite social media campaign by Elections Canada

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

Raiders to face Rebels in football playoffs

Island football squads on a collision course for the playoffs

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Most Read