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Metal roofs are "solar ready," Bush says. Even if a facility owner isn't planning to install solar panels immediately, the metal roof systems will accommodate them down the road.
In addition, the smooth texture of metal roofs makes them ideal for shedding rainwater. It can be captured in storage tanks, and used for irrigation or other purposes, Kriner says.
Along with their environmental attributes, metal roof and wall systems are available in dozens of standard colors, Bush says. Most providers also can create custom colors. Most are highly reflective and meet Energy Star requirements.
While metal roofing and wall systems are more expensive at the outset than other types of building materials, their cost over the long term is quite competitive. For starters, metal has two to three times the service life of other options, Haddock says. "That's huge when you consider that the premium in cost is only 20 to 25 percent. So you can pay an extra 25 percent and have a roof that lasts three times as long." In addition, the lower maintenance costs of metal roofs make them more competitive in the long run.
When a building owner plans to hold the building for at least 20 years, the higher initial cost usually can be justified, Haddock says. "In those situations, metal has a distinct advantage."
Even these initial cost differences are narrowing, Kriner says.
In some cases, a metal roofing structure may run about the same as a built-up roof, once the costs of the insulation and deck needed to support the built-up roofs are factored in, Evers says. "You need to look at the entire structure: the deck, insulation and roof."
In addition, because metal roofs are lighter than many other types of roofs, the structures that support them often can be lighter as well, Evers says. This is one more way that metal roofing and wall systems can save both money and resources.
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