Did you know that construction alone contributes 38% of all annual CO2 on the planet? In 2023, developing more sustainability in the construction industry is essential – from big industrial construction sites to individual homeowners, the onus is on us to ensure we’re making the effort when it comes to integrating environmentally friendly practices.
So, what does this mean for roofing? Is it possible to have an eco-roof? And are there ways to make your roof more environmentally friendly?
What is a sustainable roof?
When we consider the term ‘roofing sustainability’, there’s more than one factor at play. There are a number of ways to make a roof more eco-friendly. Using the right roofing materials, installing solar panels, and choosing reflective roofing can improve the overall energy efficiency of a roof. Let’s look further into the different types of roofing sustainability:
Don’t know what a green roof is? You’re not alone. While increasing in popularity, green roofing is not exactly mainstream just yet. Green roofs refer to roofing materials that are flat or low-sloping, and covered by vegetation – either in the form of grass or other small plants. While more maintenance than general roofing materials, green roofing is obviously great for the environment and absorbs rainwater, improving overall insulation of the home.
Solar panels installed on the roof
Installing solar panels on your roof or having solar integrated into your roofing system is one of the most eco-friendly ways to make your roof more sustainable. Harnessing the sun’s energy, solar panels can supply the building’s lighting, power, and overall energy. Depending on the system and connection to the grid, over-generated energy can even be fed back and supplemented by the energy provider.
When we consider the energy efficiency of a roofing material, metal roofing is up there as one of the better materials. Materials such as aluminium, steel, copper, and other metals improve thermal efficiency of the home, saving energy and money on energy bills. Metal roofing works to keep the property cool in summer, and warm in winter. If you’re looking for a sustainable roofing material that is affordable, accessible, weather-resistant, and easy to maintain, metal roofing is ideal.
Roofing made from recycled materials
You can improve and integrate roofing sustainability by constructing your roof with recycled materials, rather than brand new materials. There are plenty of roofing companies out there that use recycled materials as part of their sustainability practices. You can even source the materials yourself and have your roofer install them for you!
What Colour roof is most energy efficient?
Did you know that different colour roofing materials can be more energy efficient than others? While installing a green roof or investing in solar are large investments, you can also improve roofing sustainability by simply choosing the right colour for your roofing materials.
Different coloured roofing materials can influence how much sunlight gets reflected or absorbed. Depending on your local climate, you can use this to your advantage.
Warm Climates: Choose a light-coloured roof. Roofing colours such as white or light grey reflect more sunlight than others. Therefore, more heat gets reflected when the sunlight hits your roof, keeping your home nice and cool.
Cold Climates: Go with a dark-coloured roofing materials. Colours like black or charcoal absorb a lot of sunlight, absorbing heat and keeping your home nice and warm.
Benefits of an energy-efficient and sustainable roof
A sustainable and energy-efficient roof will provide a variety benefits beyond doing your part for the environment:
Reduced energy costs
A sustainable roof generally means a more energy efficient roof. Improved energy efficiency means less reliance on power to heat and cool a home, which means savings on energy bills.
Reduced carbon footprint
Your carbon footprint refers to the total amount of greenhouse gases that are generated per person. Choosing the right roofing material or enhancing your roof to be more sustainable means reducing your overall carbon footprint.
Environmentally-friendly roofing materials like metals are often low maintenance, durable, and resistant to weather. While you will still need to regularly inspect, clean, and maintain your roof regardless of material, these sustainable roofing options generally mean less money and time spent on repairs and maintenance when compared to traditional roofing materials.
Increased overall value
Constructing a sustainable roof is an investment into your home and it’s overall value. In 2023, we’re only becoming more concious of sustainability and ways in which we can reduce carbon footprint. Improving energy efficiency is one primary ways in which you can increase the overall value of your home as an asset, and for future potential sales.