Sustainable Roofing Options
Designing and selecting the right sustainable roof depends largely on the climate where you’ll be building your new home, since not every roof will suit every climate. Correctly installed roof vents will ensure good air circulation, critical to reducing heat build-up and eliminating interior moisture problems.
Here are some green considerations for commonly used roofing materials:
- Durability: The longer it lasts, the less waste.
- Weight: Heavier materials require a stronger underlying structure, which usually means increased use of resources.
- Rainwater collection: Is the rainwater safe to use?
- Manufacturing: Does the roofing manufacturer use green practices and materials to produce the roofing products?
- Recycling: Can the material be reused or recycled after its lifespan is over?
When considering a new roof, the two key dimensions you should think about are the material and the colour.
A high performance roofing material coupled with a well insulated attic will help to keep your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Your roofing material is the final layer of protection from the outdoor elements and from indoor heat loss. When deciding what’s green and what’s not, you should consider several aspects of a given material. These include the raw material source and composition, durability / life cycle, maintenance, and disposal.
It should be no surprise that a light coloured roof reflects heat and a dark roof absorbs it. If you live in a heating-dominated climate, dark roofs are the way to go since they will capture more of the sun’s energy during cold weather.