Tacoma Urbanist

Jul. 31, 2008 at 12:03am

Extreme Green Roofer Next Frost Park Chalk Sponsor

***New Sponsor***

This Friday 8/1/2008 is Frost Park Chalk Off Episode XVII at noon at 9th and Pacific Avenue in downtown Tacoma. All are welcome.

Troy Wagner from Armstrong Roofing is the sponsor for Frost Park Chalk Off Episode XVII.

Troy does not look or act like your typical environmentalist.

Rather than shop for the latest Birkenstocks or growing his own spouts, Troy builds many things he believe may save, or slow the disastrous effects of global warming. 

He has placed a sod roof on his house using the latest known techniques as well as relying on his skills gained from running Armstrong Roofing out of Tacoma.

Troy's house is the ultimate do it yourself green project that would likely outperform any Platinum LEED house in the city.

Yes, that's a goat on his roof eating the grass.

View of his house in Tacoma with flower garden on garage and sod roof on house.

Other Alternative Green Devices

Massive vat of grease                    250 water tank under deck gathering
To make alternative fuel                water from his roof

The Prize : $100 Certificate at Pacific Grill

Thanks Troy!

Need a roof?
Asphalt, Tile or Sod


Armstrong Roofing
(253) 221-7663

comments [25]  |  posted under tacoma


by jcbetty on 7/31/2008 @ 1:09am
kick ass!!!!!!

by jcbetty on 7/31/2008 @ 1:09am
(or, goat.)

by izenmania on 7/31/2008 @ 7:21am
(jc... you're a dork)

by izenmania on 7/31/2008 @ 8:35am
Interesting paradigm shift... most previous prizes have been a business providing their own service as a prize. Now we have a businessman providing someone else's service (restaurant gift certificate). We appear to have reached the point of notoriety where it is deemed worthwhile to simply have one's name attached to the event as a sponsor, regardless of the specific prize provided.


by dawntown on 7/31/2008 @ 9:27am
Yes, we are that notorious. This undermining art scene, underground, flash mob cult called the Frost Park Chalkies.

I would love the prize, but more than that, I would doubly love to have a picnic on his garden roof with the goat!

by ixia on 7/31/2008 @ 9:47am
Troy roofed our home a few years ago. His company also restored our old garage into a functioning studio. We love his work. Just one thing: where's our goat??

by Twisty on 7/31/2008 @ 9:57am
250 water tank under deck gathering water from his roof

But... but... that's illegal!


by NineInchNachos on 7/31/2008 @ 9:58am
rock out with your chalk out!

hey also I'm looking for a roofer to fix the old hot-mop on my art studio. Will give this guy a call. Thanks chalk challenge!

by NineInchNachos on 7/31/2008 @ 10:00am
dont say illegal. say illicit

need to get me one of those illicit rain barrels too.

by Erik on 7/31/2008 @ 11:55am
Troy's project was also featured in greeenroofs.com

Project Name: Troy's Green Roof
Year: 2004
Owner: Troy Wagner
Location: Tacoma, WA, USA
Building Type: Single-Family Residential
Greenroof Type: Extensive, Test/Research
Greenroof System: Custom
Roof Size: 5000 sq.ft.
Roof Slope: 45%
Access: Accessible, Private
Submitted by: Troy Wagner

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Roofer/Owner: Troy Wagner, Armstrong Roofing

This system is very simple. You can simply lay sod on your roof and you're done. You should install a 2x4 border around the edge of the roof. If you don't think the water will drain install cedar chips, branches, or even old lap siding on the roof. I live in the NW of the USA so I used cedar shingles which were free for the taking. Simply lay the cedar on the roof backwards, find a used fish net, put it over the cedar and anchor it down.

Lay the sod on the cedar and put a fish net over that; the grass will grow through on both sides this will prevent the wind from blowing it off. The cedar has pockets of oil in it and should last 600 years not exposed to the sun's radiation.

This is the only system that I know that has a negative carbon footprint. If you want to push the envelope on the carbon footprint, tear-off your old roof install Polyply (polyester paper like Tyvec) on the roof, then install a 2x2 with anchors, not penetrating the Polyply (use an angle bracket under the overlap of the paper), then install another layer of sheeting to create a 2" air gap for venting - roots will not grow through a 2" air gap. Last, install a sprinkler system and your system will be bullet proof. Without the sprinkler system your system will brown, which is ok when it rains - mother nature will then grow you another roof.


See. Its that's easy!

by Erik on 7/31/2008 @ 12:04pm
Troy roofed our home a few years ago. His company also restored our old garage into a functioning studio. We love his work.

He put a roof on my house as well.

I first met Troy when I had a nasty leak in a skylight in a house. He jumped up there on a very pitched roof and had his dog running around on top of it which was pretty amusing.

Then he took some metal shears and cut a piece out of an old metal gutter just so and wedged it under a asphalt shingle and the skylight and stopped the leak immediately with his improvised patch. I was pretty impressed.

Then he sent a crew in later to fix it permanently.

by Dave_L on 7/31/2008 @ 12:16pm
I'm sure Troy would agree it's not SO simple. This is kind of a no-brainer, and mentioned elsewhere where this is talked about (like a recent article in the Trib), but one can't assume any roof structure can support the added weight of soil, plants, and water, etc. And eventual snow and wind load, and live load of people walking around. For example, a cubic foot of topsoil weighs up to about 100 lbs. So ONE sq. ft. of 2x4 thickness (3.5") weighs 30-plus lbs. Great idea, but I'd exercise caution before proceeding with putting all that overhead. There are informal weight-calculation programs like this one that can help put things into perspective. topsoiltips.com/topsoil-weight.php Just be careful before you spead the weight of a couple SUV's over your roof. (Disclaimer - I am not a civil or structural engineer!)

by Dave_L on 7/31/2008 @ 12:34pm
Dang, editing timed-out.
TNT's Debbie Caffazzo's article from March:

by beerandhotdogs on 7/31/2008 @ 1:02pm
I was a project foreman for 10 years. The last 5, whenever a roof was needed, Armstrong got the call. Best roof work in the Puget Sound region, hands down. Great pricing to the point where I didn't even get a second bid.


by Heather on 7/31/2008 @ 2:05pm
Nice! Love the sponsor and am also thrilled that I might actually make it to view the chalk challenge this week! :)

I wonder how this would work on our practically flat roof. If it would work, would I install the grass before the solar panels go up, or after?

Plug of my own... Dan of Down to Earth Gadgets and Gizmos sells great rainbarrels at the 6th Ave Farmers Market every Tuesday on 6th and N. Pine from 3:30 - 7:30. Dan is also a wealth of information about composting and other enviro friendly ideas. He'd love to have you stop by to chat.

by Erik on 7/31/2008 @ 2:10pm
Bonus picture of Troy's green roof in action.

Extreme Green Farming:


Vertical Lawn Mowing:


by MarkMonlux on 8/1/2008 @ 2:30pm
As always it was a lot of fun participating in the Frost Park Chalk Challenge. I've been wanting to come down the last couple of weeks to get this design out of my head. It's just been sitting there saying draw me! Put me on pavement! If you do, you will win! And Stowe will make you a celebrity on one of his fantastic playing cards.

I'm just dying to be on one of his trading cards. So, when you see TIKI WATERS, vote for me!

by dawntown on 8/2/2008 @ 8:48am
Armstrong: I would love the opportunity to sit on your garden roof! Would there ever be the chance of that happening? It's like a dream come true!

by scout on 8/2/2008 @ 9:13am
Dawn that sound slightly dirty....

by dawntown on 8/2/2008 @ 9:23am
Alright, zombie lady, get your head out of your cabbage patch

by NineInchNachos on 8/2/2008 @ 10:23am

by Erik on 4/16/2009 @ 12:21pm
Now Troy's roof made it to Komo 4 news!

Go Troy!

SEATTLE -- It takes more than seeds and dirt to get Troy Wagner's garden to bloom. That's because his garden sits on his roof.
"This has worked on my roof now for five years," he said. "Once you get the roof established, then it's just a normal garden."

One one side, Wagner has planted spring flowers. Opposite them, he has prepared the soil for vegetables.

"We've tried just about everything. We have radishes here and green beans here," he said.

Another part of the roof is covered with grass. Wayne doesn't even try to mow it. Nature cares of that.

Spring flowers, a spread of vegetables and water-soaking soil -- together, are they too heavy for the roof? Nah, Wagner says.


by Dave_L on 4/16/2009 @ 12:33pm
I ran into him this week and learned this, too. The newscast digs out every ridiculously obvious gardening, green, and rooftop cliche, and correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they even had the guts to say he's in Tacoma. But it's still cool. KING5 will also be visiting soon.


by Altered Chords on 4/16/2009 @ 2:45pm
Troy did my roof. (no double entendre intended dawntown, scout)

Troy's work gets the Altered Chords superior rating.

Roofing - Pacific Grill certificate what do they have in common? Nothing - it is possibly a strategic marketing alliance where one business promotes another and vice versa. The pac grill may be giving free hot moppings for all porterhouse steaks ordered on tuesdays between 6:25 and 6:34 or something like that.

by Altered Chords on 4/16/2009 @ 2:49pm
If I had a grass roof it would give me 3 more excuses for tardiness.
1) "the goat fell off my roof and I had to comfort him before putting him back up there"
2) "A dirt clod hit me in the head while leaving the house and I had to take another shower".
3) "A piece of goat manure hit me in the head while leaving for work and I needed to take another shower."