Green Building and Environmental Responsibility
Fuel hungry cars, airplanes, and manufacturing plants are not the only CO 2 / carbon footprint contributors. Residential, commercial, and industrial buildings are also contributing a great deal to overall carbon footprint. Poorly insulated buildings consume vast amounts of energy, natural resources, and contribute to greenhouse gases affect. One of the ways to combat environmental degradation associated with poorly constructed buildings, is to use green building technology in retrofitting of existing buildings and constructing new buildings using green building practices.
Green building practices encourage environmental responsibility through the use of sustainable building materials in residential and commercial retrofits, and new construction projects. The roof structure of the building is not an exception when it comes to in green building design. In fact, roof constructed according to green building practices can earn green building credits with the U.S. green building council based in Washington, DC.
Whole Foods Market place, one of the U.S. top organic food retailers has embraced green building technology by building a state of the art store made of aluminum and green building materials. The roof design incorporates vegetated roofing technology by using easy to integrate green roofing containers containing local vegetation. Green roofing design provides energy savings, insulation, and combats urban heat island affect.
In order for a roofing system to qualify for green building credits it must meet solar reflectivity index of a minimum of 78 percents for flat roofs and 29 percents for sloped roofs. Solar reflectivity index is assigned by cool-roof rating council. SRI incorporates solar reflectivity and thermal emissivity.
Metal roofs provide a wide variety of sustainable roofing options including standing-seam roofs made with long lasting and environmentally friendly metals such as aluminum, zinc, steel and copper. Metal roofs contain up to 50% post consumer content and are fully recyclable. Painted metal roofing panels are coated with solar reflective paint finishes that help keep the roof cooler in warm seasons.
The use of metal in a residential, commercial and industrial roofing aides in reducing building’s carbon footprint, and provides long lasting and reliable roofing solution that is also U.S green building council accredited.
In a typical residential re-roofing situation, the cool-roof rated galvanized steel metal roofing system can offer longevity, durability, energy savings, and earn green building credits for existing buildings and new construction. Modern steel shingle metal roofing systems are available in wide variety of cool-roof rated metal roofing colors that literally reflect solar radiant heat, reduce air conditioning load and provide energy savings.
For homeowners whose roof is covered with a flat roof, installing PVC based cool flat roofmembrane similar to IB roofs in performance will provide significant energy savings, reliability, and long lasting roofing solution. Yes, PVC and green combination may seem counter intuitive, but PVC roofs can last three times longer than EPDM Rubber roofs and can be recycled when the roof has served its purpose. Certain PVC roofing systems are designed to withstand standing / ponds of water, which means that they can be used for vegetated green roofing systems.
No matter what type of metal / cool roofing system you choose, be sure to pay special attention to longevity and Cool Roof ratings of the roofing system in question.