Thinking about re-roofing your home next spring? Read up on these two roofing innovations, both of which appeared on in the past week. The first is an innovative glass tile thermal roofing system, designed by the Swedish company SolTech Energy. The tiles, which are shaped like ordinary roof shingles, are installed on top of a slotted black nylon canvas. The tiles absorb heat from the sun and then transmit the heat through the slots in the canvas, heating air, which heats water, which is connected to the house’s heating system. You can read more about the specifics of SolTech’s tiles at Inhabitat.

The article about the tiles argues that for North Americans, who are accustomed to cheap asphalt shingles instead of more expensive European clay shingles, the glass tiles are absurdly expensive. What do you think? Are SolTech’s tiles worth it?

The second roofing innovation can only be described as adorably twee. Designed by Dutchman Klaas Kuiken, these roofing tiles are a combination of shingles and birdhouses. Installing three or four of these special terracotta shingles would not only spice up your roof, but it would also provide a built-in habitat for our feathered friends. What do you think of the bird house tiles? Would you consider adding these the next time you redo your roof? Or are they too eclectic to permanently install in your home?

Credit: Treehugger