When you think of eco-friendly roofing, your first thought is probably solar panels right? However, there are a plethora of alternate roofing materials and even roofing types/sizes that are conducive to sustainable lifestyles. Let’s explore!
Roofing materials, grass and garden roofs, solar panels, tiny homes, water collecting roofs, etc.
When it comes to roofing materials, there’s a large market available now for the eco-conscious consumer. Reclaimed roofing materials that are comprised of recycled content is a great option but be sure to confirm that the material can be recycled again at the end of your roof’s lifetime.
Wood shakes and shingles not treated with synthetic additives or preservatives are naturally biodegradable and when available from FSC certified sources or local producers, can be a very sustainable and environmentally friendly option.
Living roofs or green roofs that are partially or completely covered by vegetation offer several benefits in addition to being a sustainable option. How sustainable this option is comes down to several factors: the types of vegetation you use on the roof should be native to your area or you can opt for grass in lieu of small plants, a heavy duty rubber membrane is needed to ensure the roof is waterproof but once the greens are established this type of roof will insulate your home (cutting costs for heating/cooling) and will absorb rainwater and prevent runoff.
A flat roof option: EPDM which stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer, is synthetic rubber very similar to PVC and TPO. It is durable, has a long-life span (30-50 years), with low cost and is made from recycled materials giving rubber a second life where it usually only has one. What also makes it sustainable are it’s reflective properties allowing UV rays back into the atmosphere rather than absorbing them which significantly increases heat for a building. This can mean a cooler home in the winter but owners typically see a net gain from energy savings in the summer (depending on where you live, this option could be beneficial or unsuitable).
Solar Panels have come a long way from when they were first introduced to the roofing market. While cost is still a major factor to consider, it has fallen by 80% over the last 8 years and the energy savings are proving to be a worthy investment. Affordable panels on the market today are more than 20% efficient at converting sunlight into electricity, making them an eco-friendly and sustainable option.
You could tackle three main movements by downsizing to a shipping container that had solar panels AND a living roof! Checkout Off Grid World’s open source concept https://offgridworld.com/12-steps-how-to-build-a-cozy-1720sqft-solar-powered-shipping-container-cabin-with-living-roof/
Blue roofing is a storm water management system largely used in metropolitan cities and is great at collecting and releasing water. The collected water can be re-purposed for a variety of uses and the releasing of water can be used to clean out gutters or streets.
Know of any other sustainable roofing options? Send us a message on Facebook or Instagram! Interested in installing a more eco-friendly roof? Give us a call or reach out via our Contact page to get started.