American homeowners increasingly are adding outdoor “rooms” for entertaining and recreation on their properties, according to a Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects.
Nationwide, household participation in do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities showed an increase of three million households, translating into an extra $688 million in retail sales. In total U.S. households spend about $29 billion each year on their lawns and gardens.
Results also show demand is growing for sustainability in these designs including recyclable materials, solar lighting and rainwater and gray water harvesting.
Decorative water elements such as ornamental pools, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, and bubblers rated high along with spa features including hot tubs, Jacuzzis, whirlpools and indoor/outdoor saunas. Outdoor backyard structures also ranked well including pergolas, arbors, utility sheds and even tree houses.
And while they aren’t backyard recreation and leisure facilities, add to that canopies and carports which are also becoming targets for consumers concerned about sustainability, the use of solar power and water reclamation. Carports are used in a variety of ways and come in many shapes and sizes, but essentially they fulfill the same basic function. Carports, pergolas, gazebos, cabanas and large yard equipment sheds are ideally suited for PV deployment, providing sloped areas with direct sunlight.It is a relatively simple task to incorporate solar energy systems into commonly found landscape structures and building features, while the beauty and function of the structure is retained.
The best platform for solar power and rainwater harvesting for most of these structures is a standing seam metal roof. Here are four reasons why:
- A standing seam metal roof is durable and will most likely out live the structure itself – providing excellent protection for the structure.
- On most structures including pergolas and similar decorative outdoor designs, a metal roof covered in PV laminates is nearly unnoticeable.
- Traditional solar PV panels or the newer thin PV film laminates can be attached without affecting the roof structure.
- And, tests have shown that rainwater recovered from coated standing seam metal roofs is the highest quality and provides the highest volume of recovered water than any other roofing material. That’s gratifying to know, particularly in geographic areas where water conservation is critical.