How to Select a Sustainable Roof System

Roofs play an essential role in protecting our buildings and the environment. Furthermore, they help keep interiors cool, thus cutting down on energy costs.

The design, installation and care of roofing systems are critical factors in their longevity. Time-tested eco-friendly materials and systems have a greater chance of providing reliable performance over time than less-than-stellar alternatives.

Light Colored Roofs

Selecting the ideal color and material for your roof can make a substantial impact on energy efficiency and how much money you save. Fortunately, there are plenty of sustainable roofing systems to choose from.

Lighter-colored roofs are renowned for their energy-saving benefits. They reflect sunlight away, keeping your home or business cooler in the summertime.

Cool roofs typically stay 50-60 degrees cooler than dark-colored roofs, cutting cooling costs and providing increased comfort inside your home or office.

Energy-saving roofs require proper installation, such as proper ventilation and insulation. Together, these elements work to keep your home or office cool, leading to lower utility bills and an increased resale value.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofing is an ideal option for residential and commercial buildings due to its durability, energy-saving qualities and environmental friendliness.

Materials commonly used for building are steel and aluminum, but copper can also be a popular option due to its beautiful patina-green hue that ages with age. Plus, copper can be coated with an oxide sulfate coating which makes it even more resistant to corrosion.

Metal roofs offer several benefits, one being their recyclable nature; they use less energy to produce both new and recycled than other roofing materials, thereby saving energy in production. Furthermore, metal roofs are highly durable – lasting anywhere from 40 to 80 years depending on the type of metal used.

They re-reflect the sun’s UV and infrared light rays that cause rooftop surface radiant heat, cutting cooling costs by 10-25% over conventional shingles. Furthermore, this reflective surface keeps building surfaces cooler, improving habitat for native plants and decreasing smog that can impact air quality in cities.

Hybrid Roofs

Hybrid roofs offer an alternative to warm flat roof construction, in which extra insulation is installed below the structural deck. This alters the temperature differential between different layers of construction, potentially leading to unexpected risks.

Hybrid roof constructions’ U-values are determined by the relative thicknesses of insulation, known as ‘hybrid insulation,’ and air and vapor control layer (AVCL). More important, however, is how these layers are installed – poor workmanship may leave gaps that let air through which increases condensation risk.

Sustainable roofing systems are becoming more commonplace, especially where energy efficiency is a priority. Not only do they offer significant environmental advantages such as reducing fossil fuel usage for heating and cooling, but they are more cost-effective in terms of installation, disposal and upkeep over their lifecycle. Furthermore, sustainable roofs often boast better aesthetics and require less effort to install than their non-sustainable counterparts – helping building owners make the most out of their budgets.

Recycled Materials

When selecting a sustainable roof system, it is essential to choose materials that use fewer non-renewable raw material inputs. This can be accomplished through the incorporation of recycled content into the production process and using biobased ingredients.

It is also essential to select materials that can be recycled at the end of their usefulness. Doing so reduces landfill waste and helps lower energy costs.

Recycled roofing membranes offer increased longevity and require less upkeep, making them an eco-friendly choice for many types of rooftop environments.

Many companies produce roof shingles from recycled rubber and plastics, saving plenty of raw materials from being sent to landfill and helping reduce pollution levels.