This project is a personal exercise in sustainable design and construction. A small getaway to work in, on, and around the beautiful outdoor, natural setting. The vegetated roof is right at home in the garden and helps to screen out undesirable traffic views, framing the natural setting and backdrop of the adjacent Cook County Forest Preserve, Somme Woods.
The concept of the Garden Studio came about in response to the salvage and re-use of a number of surplus and reclaimed building materials. A sliding glass door that had taken up space in the garage for years served as inspiration for the project. Surplus siding leftover from a friend’s project found a home on the Garden Studio. A short trip to the Re-Store located a matched pair of casement windows. Pond liner from an experimental waterfall project has new life as the roofing membrane. Plywood, 2×4 studs, rolls of fiberglass insulation, house wrap, and many more materials were gathered from old projects. Friends and family generously donated their surplus materials once they learned of this endeavor. The donated, salvaged, and reclaimed materials include the following:
sliding glass door
fiber-cement lap siding
2×4 wood studs
fiberglass roll insulation (R-19)
fiberglass batt insulation (R-13)
rubber pond liner
pair of casement windows
tongue and groove plywood
There are some new materials to bring it all together. Much research went into vegetative roof system options, there are many. The selected system was delivered on a converted beer truck. After recruiting some strong family talent and gathering the necessary supplies, the roof was installed over the course of a weekend. What else would one’s father do to celebrate Father’s Day, but help to lift and install nearly 8000 pounds of vegetated roofing trays.
This is an all seasons facility. In the winter, the Garden Studio becomes Ski Shack, a place to launch cross-country ski excursions into the forest preserve.