Environmental protection and conservation of our natural resources are concerns that every commercial building owner needs to be aware of. Even if it is not of immediate concern to you personally, you can bet at least some of your customers or clients will have those concerns. Your ability to address those concerns can make or break a deal with customers that set a high value on environmental issues.
Additionally, many “green” roofing solutions have underlying governmental incentives, which help reduce the cost burden. Some are associated with tax credits, both federal and local, depending on your area. Finally, many will actually reduce your overall costs, while concurrently increasing the value of your commercial building.
Green Solution Considerations
“Green” comes in many forms. Generally, it refers to anything that is good or even simply less damaging to the overall environment. Some areas to consider when thinking “green” roofing options are:
System Durability. The longer a roofing system will last, the less waste in our landfills, as well as the lower the overall carbon footprint. A system that lasts 10 years before replacement is needed would generally have a lower carbon footprint than a comparable system requiring replacement every 5 years due to reduced manufacturing needs.
Energy Efficiency. Roofing systems that increase the thermal efficiency of your commercial building are another green aspect to consider. Not only do they save money immediately in the form of reduced electrical costs, but they can also reduce the amount of fossil fuels necessary to generate that electricity, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Structural Longevity. A roofing system that increases the longevity of your underlying roof structure is another aspect to consider. Not only is a complete tear off and replacement expensive, it sends a lot of waste into landfills. In fact, there are estimates that 6-9 million tons of discarded roofing materials end up in U.S. landfills every year.
Green Roofing Options
There are several different green roofing options popular in today’s market. Not all roofs are appropriate to these options, so meeting with your team at VM Commercial Roofing BEFORE committing to any of them is definitely in your interest. We can evaluate your roofing structure and existing system, then advise you of best option for the situation.
Single-ply Membranes and Coatings. This is one of our favorite green solutions. Why? Because it meets so many of the areas previously discussed. Single-ply membranes are extremely durable, lasting up to 20 or more years, depending on the situation. Their reflective properties can reduce the heat of solar rays hitting the roof surface by up to 85%. Depending on your area, this can reduce your cooling costs up to 30-50%. Finally, the longevity of your underlying roof structure is improved by protecting it from damaging water, UV rays, and environmental pollution.
Single-ply membranes can go directly over your existing roofing system, in most cases. This eliminates the need for any substantial form of tear-off and reduces waste. Yet another “green solution”!
Insulation. Increasing the amount of insulation in your roofing system also improves your commercial buildings thermal efficiency. Obviously, it reduces the amount of fuel necessary to heat the building, regardless of the source. It also helps reduce loss of cooling from the building during the warmer months.
The efficacy of insulation is dependent upon two primary factors, (1) the R-value of the insulation and (2) the amount of insulation installed (depth).
Adding to your insulation during a roofing renovation or replacement is definitely a green solution to consider.
Solar Power. Adding a solar power system to your existing structure is another great green solution. You should be aware, however, that it is not suitable for all roofing structures. Additionally, your roof must be thoroughly inspected prior to your solar commitment to ensure that the roof is able to support the power system adequately.
A good solar power system meets most of the aspects of a good green solution. It is durable, and extremely energy efficient. The improved thermal efficiency of the building may offset the fact that It doesn’t increase the longevity of the underlying structure.
Want more green solution options? Call VM Commercial Roofing today at 937-742-4577. Our professional team of experts will schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with you to discuss all the options appropriate to your unique roofing situation.