Houses with a flat roof in the total mass of low-rise buildings are unique and therefore attract a lot of attention and cause controversy about the wisdom of using this type of building top covering in our conditions.
Traditions are serious things
Russia is a forest country. Wood has always been the main, if not the only available material for housing construction. Russia is a snow country. The chopped huts brought down the pipes are still a symbol of our country for many. These two factors largely determined the appearance of a traditional Russian house with a gable roof.
It is easier to make a ridge roof with sloping rafters from logs and lumber (unless, of course, this is a dugout). It is easier to install it on log walls. The under-roofing space of a pitched roof is an additional thermal insulation of a dwelling. This is also a place for a chimney (low chimney - bad draft!). All this confirmed the triangular roof in the minds of builders and developers almost at the genetic level.
The fashion for architectural styles changed, the window to Europe opened and closed. Today, few people have not seen warm countries and southern cities. Architects are not limited in theirfantasies neither material nor technology. And the customer in individual residential construction is still mainly a supporter of traditional architecture.
Meanwhile, fashionable now minimalism has Russian roots. The domestic architectural avant-garde of the twenties influenced subsequent generations of architects around the world. It was in the work of constructivists that large areas of glazing, a minimum of decor, and the expressiveness of simple geometric shapes appeared. Flat roof houses are also one of the proposals of young avant-garde architects.
Freedom and novelty
It is the novelty of architecture, the expressiveness of the visual image that is usually inherent in residential buildings with a flat roof. Such designs are more organic for low-rise buildings of advanced, futuristic architecture. A modern house with a flat roof is most often built by a person of new views, a person free from the cobweb of the old, a creative person. And if he finds a real professional architect and builders who own new technologies, he gets an original and exclusive object that speaks a lot about its owner.
The use of a flat roof offers greater freedom for the architect to create a comfortable living environment. The layout of a flat roof house does not depend on the need for competent pairing of roof slopes in order to avoid the formation of snow bags, etc.
If the roof is made exploitable, houses with a flat roof get extra usable area.Improvement of the roof for recreation areas - places for sunbathing and exercising on simulators, playgrounds for children's games or barbecues - is impossible with a roof with sloping slopes. Roof gardening, such as creating a lawn or planting shrubs, is possible not only on the coast of Florida or the south of France. Modern roofing and landscaping technologies also make it possible to arrange a flower garden or garden on the roof of a country house near Moscow.
Impossibility of correct comparison
It is difficult to compare pitched and flat roofs in terms of functional or economic parameters. Any roof, regardless of shape and design, must perform the main task - to protect the inhabitants and parts of the building from the effects of adverse external factors. Any roof and roofing must meet the requirements for moisture resistance and heat capacity, the ability to withstand wind and snow loads.
It is impossible to say exactly which roof will be cheaper or more expensive, even for buildings of the same shape and area. The roof area near the pitched roof in this situation will be larger, the costs for roofing and heat-insulating materials will be higher, but the cost of waterproofing a flat surface due to increased requirements for it can offset this difference. A one-story flat-roofed house can be more expensive than a three-story high-rise frame mansion, and a large villa with a greenhouse on the roof will cost less than a house with a high attic covered with natural tiles.
It is more convenient to install on a flat roofnumerous systems of a modern home: antennas, solar panels, ventilation and air conditioning systems, etc. With inclined slopes, it is easier to control the condition of the waterproofing from the attic and easier to make repairs.
Technological features of a flat roof
In addition to the peculiarities of the mentality of the customer and the builder, the emergence of new houses with flat roofs is hampered by the belief that snow and water will accumulate on a flat roof in large quantities, which will inevitably lead to leaks and destruction of the ceiling. Of course, it is more difficult to achieve complete tightness of a flat roof. But the experience of operating the roofs of multi-storey buildings speaks of the reality of such a task.
Inverse roofs are considered the most suitable for flat roofs. They differ from the usual ones in a different arrangement of the layers of the roofing "pie". Usually, waterproofing is performed closer to the outer surface of the roof (under sheet or piece roofing) or directly under the top layer (roll and built-up roofs). Subsequent layers (vapor and thermal insulation) are laid below. In an inverted roof, waterproofing is carried out on the floor (in the case of a flat roof, it is usually a concrete slab), then insulation is laid, a expanded clay sealing layer is poured in and a slope is formed for water runoff (angle - 5 degrees). The top layer can be any hard surface - flooring, tiles, etc. With this design, the service life of the roof increases significantly.
The choice of roof shape and design should be linked to the overall architecturala solution for a residential building, with the capabilities of a developer and a construction contractor. There are no technological barriers to flat roofing. In any climatic zone, you can build a comfortable and reliable house with a flat roof. A photo of such a house covered with snow can be found in the article.
The originality and high functional qualities of the best examples of residential buildings of this type are the key to their wider distribution.