Environmentally Friendly Roofing Options

At a time when more and more are aware of the impact that their actions have on the environment, it’s always nice to discover new ways to save energy. When it comes to new buildings, or large upgrades to current architecture, there is a real focus on modernising not just the structural aspects, but considering the energy saving implications too. Roofs are an integral part of the ability for a building to retain heat, not just in the insulation but the roofing quality and materials used. It can be tricky trying to find the best balance between cost, aesthetic and function, but on average a more environmentally friendly roof will save you money in the long run. That is, your energy bills will be reduced with the roof helping to keep the house warm for longer. When it comes time to replace your old roof, consider looking at environmentally friendly options. As roofing experts in Nottingham, we’re passionate about the technologies at our fingertips and love seeing how they evolve and improve. Here are some materials and technologies that are becoming more popular as more people decide to go green.

Green Roof

Unfortunately, green roofs are not in our repertoire! They require a very specific skillset and are relatively rare in the real world. It makes sense to include them in this list, however, as a living, growing roof is about as environmentally friendly as it gets!

What is a green roof exactly? A green roof, also known as a living roof, is covered with vegetation. It has a waterproof sheet, a drainage system, an irrigation system, and soil for the vegetation to live and grow in. Green roofs certainly have their appeal, particularly in commercial blocks designed for a flat roof. The aesthetic appeal is immediately a big selling point, because being packed in a concrete city means there is often no natural plant life in sight. Not only this, they also absorb rainwater, reduce noise, and reduce the “heat island effect”. That is, areas with high human activity are typically warmer than the surroundings. A green roof helps keep a building cool. Green roofs do require some maintenance, some more than others depending on which type you go for.

Going Solar

Solar panels are becoming more and more common. Now that the technology is readily available commercially it’s an option for many. Most modern roofs are compatible with solar panels. Unfortunately, solar panels aren’t particularly attractive. While they can certainly reduce your energy bills and carbon footprint in the long run, they aren’t always a good option depending on the specific circumstances. For example, if you already have very low energy consumption, it would take a very long time for the solar panels to have been a worthwhile investment. Are solar panels right for you? Do your research! If you live in a sunny area, have plenty of roof area, and are looking to save energy, solar panels might be a good choice.

Recycled Shingles

The ability to recycle and reuse asphalt shingles is good news for the environment. There are a few ways that old shingles can be recycled, from being used in new shingles and even in road aggregate. If you have an old roof with asphalt shingles, ask your roofer if they recycle them. It’s nice knowing they won’t just go and clog up a landfill! Alternatively, you can find roof tiles that have been made completely from recycled waste materials. These include plastics, rubber (for example from old tires), wood fibres and even some industrial by-products. This might sound like it would lead to compromise, but in fact, recycled tiles are incredibly strong and durable. You would be surprised the length of warranty you can get on a recycled shingle roof.

Metal Roof

Metal roofing is becoming more popular in the UK with its exceptional performance. One barrier to this is larger initial cost; metal roofs tend to be on the more expensive side. There are reasons why it is such a good choice though! They are exceptionally durable and resistant to the elements, meaning they require less maintenance than more traditional styles. Their high thermal emissivity will keep you cool on hot days (hence why hot countries such as Australia have lots of metal roofing) and keep you insulated in the winter. Metal roofs are also 100% recyclable which is what makes them an excellent choice in the long run in terms of helping the environment.

These are just a few of the roofing types that are great choices for anyone concerned about their environmental impact. All it takes is a simple choice and you can certainly do your part! Perhaps we’ll write about more environmentally friendly roofing options in the future!

Check out an excellent article written in 2003 about the impact of roofing on energy usage.