Sustainable is a frequently used word in today’s increasingly environmentally conscious world, but it leaves many wondering what is sustainable roofing and why it should it be considered for commercial buildings? As a building owner, if you are looking to make the change to a greener roofing option that can be better for the environment, a sustainable roof may be the solution you are looking for.
What Is Sustainable Roofing?
When it comes to roofing, sustainable roofing is that which is more energy efficient in the long run. In other words, these systems are designed to transcend the standards of basic roofing systems to contribute to a higher level of environmental consciousness.
Building owners should note that while a sustainable roof can be a greener option that other roofing systems, it is not the same thing as being completely environmentally friendly in every way. However, it is a purposeful step in the right direction until such an option becomes available.
For commercial building owners who are not sure where to start, the best place can be with a professional roofing company that is well respected within the industry and community.
How Sustainability Translates to Roofing Materials Used
When it comes to sustainable roofing, one of the places that can make the biggest impact is the type of roofing materials used. By using materials that have the ability to reduce energy usage and costs, last longer, and be recyclable, together they can define what sustainable roofing is.
Three of the ways in which sustainability should be considered in roofing materials are:
- Applications. Many modern-day roofing systems utilize coatings, but the exact type of coating chosen can make all the difference. For example, a building owner that chooses a light-colored reflective coating may experience decreased levels of energy usage in their building, which can then in turn lower monthly energy bills. A reflective coating is intended to keep energy usage lower, which is better for the environment, but can also have the side benefit of saving a client money on their regular energy bills.
- Durability. While it is always commendable to be doing something better for the environment, a solution must also be able to perform well in function. When moving towards a more sustainable roofing option, owners should also ensure the materials being used are sufficiently durable. If not, the function of the roof will likely deteriorate quickly and then result in needing a replacement roof. This is a lose-lose for the client and the environment as it will cost the client more money to replace the new roof and create additional waste for the environment.
- Recyclability. Part of a sustainable roofing system can include using recycled materials. It is important in terms of recyclability to ensure that the materials used are functional or the recycled material could end up as roof waste quickly, which generally defeats the purpose of sustainability in roofing.
Benefits to the Building Owner That Chooses Sustainable Roofing
Sustainable roofs for commercial buildings are not inexpensive investments, so it is critical that owners realize the benefits to them from choosing this option. Some of the key benefits to building owners are typically:
- Improved temperature control in the building. Without a reflective coating on the roof, a building can be more at the mercy of intense temperatures that require the air conditioning units to work harder than normal. However, by using the reflective coating it helps the building reflect the heat from the sun and in doing so can usually give the building’s air conditioning units some relief.
- Money savings. With less pressure on a building’s air conditioning units, most building owners can see a significant savings over time on their monthly energy bills. Money saved can then go back into the building’s overall maintenance budget to help where it is most needed.
- Reducing their building’s footprint in terms of landfill waste. Creating sustainability in roofing does not necessarily require a complete roof replacement. In many cases, it can simply mean applying a reflective coating or a similar adjustment. These tweaks can dramatically reduce the waste a complete roof replacement would create.
Finding a Provider that Offers Sustainable Roofing
One of the necessary cornerstones of working with a professional roofing company is trust. It is imperative for building owners to select a roofer based on much more than their quote for a project. Other important considerations should include:
- Experience. Choose a roofing company that collectively offers decades of experience in various roofing systems. Seasoned industry professionals tend to have seen a little bit of everything and can be a good resource for determining a building owner’s best options for moving toward sustainable roofing that is also durable and functional.
- Success with sustainable roofing. Look for a provider who has implemented a number of sustainable roofing systems. Speak with them about the challenges and triumphs of these jobs to learn more about the company and their expertise and experience in this area.
- Reputation. Do not just take a roofing company’s word for it. Look for information on jobs they have done similar to yours and speak with previous clients about their experiences.
- Additional services. Finding an excellent roofer that can be trusted is essential, but even better is to find a provider that also offers additional services such as skylight care, power washing, below grade waterproofing, and more. Once a building owner has found a trusted provider, it is convenient to use that same provider for a multitude of services.
- Cost. While the cost of the project should never be the sole factor for choosing a provider, it is one that should be weighed to ensure a project is reasonably priced.
If you are a commercial building owner wondering, what is sustainable roofing and how can it help me, consider arranging a consultation with a respected and professional roofing company in your local community. Changing to sustainable roofing can be a positive change for both the environment and an owner’s pocketbook.