In the world of commercial construction, “sustainability” means that the building has a positive ongoing environmental impact over its lifespan. Commercial roofing can help building owners and managers achieve this goal because of several factors.
The first is the most obvious: the capability of the roof to deliver measurable energy savings. Highly reflective “cool” thermoplastic roofing systems reduce the load on rooftop HVAC systems, especially during peak demand hours in the middle of the day. This reduction translates to utility cost savings for you and less strain on the power grid. In addition, cool roofs help preserve the long-term effectiveness of rooftop insulation by reflecting harmful IR and UV radiation that penetrates dark roof membranes.
Increasingly, commercial rooftops are being considered usable spaces that add value to a building and deliver environmental benefits. Chief among these are solar and vegetative systems. Rooftop solar provides renewable energy to the building and reduces dependence on the power grid. Vegetative systems help reduce a building’s energy consumption, provide sound insulation, preserve the underlying membrane and manage storm water runoff. Each of these technologies – and others that are emerging – require a reliable watertight roofing membrane underneath. If you are considering one of these systems and, depending on how old your current roof is, it might make financial sense to install a new roof before the solar or veggie system is applied.
Cool roofs can also have a positive impact on the community. Traditional construction surfaces, including asphalt pavement, sidewalks and dark rooftops, absorb heat and retain it. In a dense urban setting, the aggregation of these surfaces causes a phenomenon known as the urban heat island (UHI) effect. City temperatures are raised sufficiently to increase smog production and create unhealthy breathing conditions. Reflective roof surfaces don’t absorb or retain solar heat; they reflect it back into the atmosphere, helping mitigate the UHI effect.
Recycling is also part of environmental responsibility, and many of today’s roof manufacturing processes employ recycling during the production process, minimizing scrap. Also, single-ply PVC, TPO and EPDM membranes are all recyclable, and several manufacturers have programs in place to recycle old roofs into new products for construction and other purposes.
At Tusing Builders & Roofing Services, we look forward to meeting with you to discuss how a new roofing system can provide your commercial facility with years of watertight protection and help you meet your sustainability goals.