Overview and Trends in Cool Roofing
Cool roofing and sustainable (or “green”) roofing emerged as separate, but closely related, commercial roofing industry trends about ten years ago. Today, both cool and sustainable roofing continue to gain momentum, and they are driving change in commercial roofing market dynamics, roof system design and manufacture, product innovation, industry initiatives, selection priorities, building codes and legislation. They are also sparking a considerable degree of discussion, disruption and controversy due to their ongoing impact on the commercial roofing industry.
The overall objectives of cool and sustainable roofing have become widely accepted as desirable, sometimes mandatory, criteria for the design, manufacture and selection of commercial roofing systems. Cool and sustainable roofing have both been embraced by a host of industry associations and government agencies, many of which are trying to define the “roofs of the future.”
As industry groups continue to develop universal definitions and objectives for cool and sustainable roofing, government agencies at the federal, state and local level are implementing more standards, regulations and incentives to encourage, or mandate, the use of energy-efficient and/or sustainable roofing systems.
These actions, combined with simple but powerful economic factors, are creating increased demand for a new class of High-Performance Roofing (HPR) systems that can satisfy traditional performance criteria – such as installed cost, performance and longevity – as well as relatively newer criteria – such as life-cycle costs, energy efficiency, and preservation of the environment.
High-Performance Roofing is part of a larger trend toward High-Performance Buildings –a hot topic among builders and managers involved in the construction and renovation of school systems and government facilities.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has established a High Performance Building initiative that focuses on promoting energy-efficiency nationwide. DOE defines the benefits and objectives of High-Performance Buildings and “whole-building design” as: Energy consumption reductions of 50 percent or more; Reduced maintenance and capital costs; Reduced environmental impact; Increased occupant comfort and health; Increased employee productivity
High-Performance Roofing systems can contribute significantly toward all of these High-Performance Building objectives. As part of a High-Performance Building, an HPR system acts as a vital, performance-enhancing umbrella that protects the facility from the elements, enhances the performance of other building components, enables uninterrupted operations, and contributes to the health and performance of occupants.
Contrary to some popular myths, HPR systems that are cool and sustainable do not necessarily involve additional costs. In fact, one essential definition of a High-Performance Roofing system is that it reduces life-cycle costs (LCC) significantly without substantial tradeoffs in performance or longevity.
For more information on Cool Roofing, visit www.duro-last.com