WHICH OF THESE SUSTAINABLE ROOFING OPTIONS WILL YOU PURSUE?
When considering sustainable roofing options, there are four main categories under which most improvements fall. Beneath each of these categories, there are nearly endless sustainable roofing ideas available to you for creating a sustainable roof. Every good sustainable roofing system will pull ideas from one or more of these categories. These categories are often stated as colors, because each roof type has a distinct color to it based on the category it falls under. Let’s look at each category available to you and some possibilities within each of those.
Green Roofing Options
A green roof doesn’t just mean an environmentally friendly roof; This term is used to refer to the color of the roof, because it is covered in living vegetation. These roofs are also often called living roofs because they have plant life growing on them, and they are great sustainable roofing options.
If you elect to install a green roof, you can install native or non-native vegetation on the roofing surface. Native vegetation will perform better because it is in its natural ecological system, but either way, as long as you are growing plants on your roof, you have a green roof that is great for the environment around your building.
You can plant something as simple as rooftop grass to very elaborate gardens, both of these and everything in between are beneficial. The key is to get vegetation growing on your roof, the type of vegetation is not as important as there being vegetation.
Blue Roofing Options
Blue roofing refers to a roof that captures stormwater. These roofs are designed to capture stormwater as it falls and then utilize that water in other parts of the building that don’t require purified water. By capturing this stormwater, you can prevent large amounts of water from being captured by the city, purified, and then pumped back to you. This reduction in process time improves efficiencies for your locality’s water service and also saves you money on your bill.
So what can you use captured stormwater for? Most buildings can use this water for around 80% of total water usage in the building. If you are in need of completely sterile water, such as a hospital, stormwater is not as useful, but it is great in most other applications.
White Roofing Options
This category is the reflective category. It contains any roofing system or application that reflects the sun’s UV rays back into the atmosphere, rather than absorbing those rays and heating up the building.
White roofs can come in the form of white spray-applied coatings, EPDM roofs, or other white roofing systems. These sustainable roofing options do great in the summer when they reflect the sun and allow you to keep the building cooler, but they are not without their downfalls: these roofs also reflect the sun’s rays in the winter and that means your building isn’t absorbing the sun and staying warm. There have been many studies that have concluded the advantages in the summer outweigh the disadvantages in the winter and building owners still see a net gain in energy costs.
Black Roofing Options
Black roofing options are those based around solar power. They are described as black because the roof surface is covered in black solar panels. Solar used to be a very expensive luxury that wasn’t very effective, but as with all technology, it has rapidly improved and is now very efficient.
There are many different types of sustainable roofing options when it comes to solar panels and they can be custom configured to the layout of your building. They don’t have to be ugly as they were once considered, and can actually be a very aesthetically pleasing roof feature.
There are many different sustainable roofing options available to you today, and most of them fall into one of the above four categories. Which category fits your building and your budget best? Do you have any other types of roofing ideas we didn’t mention? Contact us and let us know!