The Focus on Sustainability is Changing Roofing Strategies, Products

  August 23, 2011

Today's tip is about how the avalanche of environmental regulations and rating systems is changing some of the roofing industry's standard operating procedures.

Expert roof consultant John D'Annunzio of Paragon Roofing Technology explains that due to increased requirements for reflectivity and emissivity, both in required energy and building codes and in voluntary green building rating systems, many manufacturers are stepping up their efforts to develop products that conform. One example of that modified bitumen manufacturers are developing new cap sheets with factory-applied reflective coatings, says D'Annunzio. That saves time in the field, and money for the owner, because the contractor doesn't have to field-apply the reflective coating so that the roof is compliant with its local energy code.

Another area where environmental initiatives are changing long-held roofing practices is in regards to fastening methods. Roof adhesives that emit volatile organic compounds are being used less frequently, so manufacturers are beginning to develop new adhesives with zero VOCs. Additionally, mechanically fastened roof systems are becoming more prominent. Facility managers should be sure that proper fastening methods are used to avoid "wind flutter" - or the wind getting under gaps between fastener and causing the roof to flutter, and eventually pull or peel off.

If facility managers install photovoltaics on their roofs, they should understand that in some cases increased UV energy from the PVs at points adjacent to their installation has caused premature failure of some single-ply roofs, says D'Annunzio. To combat this problem, manufacturers are developing UV-resistant modified bitumen and thicker thermoplastic membranes specifically for roofs with PVs on them.


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