Vegetative and Photovoltaic Roofing Systems Emerge as Sustainability Leaders

By Dan Hounsell, Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Roofing Systems: Membranes, Installation, and Coatings Affect SustainabilityPt. 2: Roofing Systems Impact Heating, Cooling LoadsPt. 3: This PagePt. 4: Sustainable Roofing Options Demand Unique Maintenance ActivitiesPt. 5: PRODUCT FOCUS: Sustainable Roofing

Manufacturers also have responded to the rise of sustainability by introducing a wider array of roofing systems. Among the new options are vegetative roofs and photovoltaic (PV) technology.

As customers learn more about the requirements and benefits of maintaining vegetative roofs, their popularity is on the rise. Green roof installations increased by 35 percent in 2008 over 2007, equaling more than 3.1 million square feet installed, according to Green Roofs for Healthy Cities.

“One nice thing is they extend roof life,” Bauer says, adding that vegetation offers protection from ultraviolet rays, temperature and general exposure to the elements.

But maintaining vegetative roofs in some organizations requires a new approach to traditional activities. Universities, which tend to be compartmentalized, offer one example of an organization that might have to rethink the way they approach maintenance.

“Roofs used to fall under one department,” Bauer says. “Now you’re bringing in grounds and landscaping. There’s a bigger circle around the table when it comes to maintaining a green roof. It requires more coordination and a different strategy.”

Managers also are asking more questions about roofing systems featuring PV technology. These systems use semiconductors to generate electricity from sunlight and are increasingly popular, says Tony Matter, marketing manager, Carlisle SynTec. One PV system on the market offers either a self-ballasted or fully adhered option that aims to prevent roof penetrations and leaks.

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  posted on 7/1/2009   Article Use Policy

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