WHY GREEN ROOFING CAN BE KEY TO SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS
Sustainability is becoming a key mission for organizations as environmental awareness grows. Exploring sustainable options allows organizations to drastically reduce carbon emissions while developing new technologies. Green roofing is one solution that is becoming popular. Here is a detailed guide to its advantages beyond simple sustainability improvements.
Green Roofing & Its Benefits
Green roofs are covered with vegetation and plants, either partially or entirely. Vegetation is planted over a growing medium placed atop a waterproof roofing membrane. Additional features may include root barrier systems and drainage or irrigation systems.
Green roofs can be installed with new construction or retrofit for existing facilities. They are increasingly utilized as roofing for commercial, industrial, and municipal buildings. While this technology is well-established across Europe because of legislation and financial support provided by governments, green roofs are still growing in understanding, acceptance, and implementation across the United States.
Intensive green roofs consist of a thicker roofing material that can support a wider plant assortment—they are heavier, require a minimum depth of 12.8 cm, and need more maintenance to upkeep. Extensive green roofs are shallower, weigh less, and require less maintenance. Green roofs can also support other green technology, such as photovoltaic solar panels or solar thermal collectors.
Some environmental, economic, and social advantages of green roofing include:
Aesthetic improvement of facilities
Improved rainwater management
Longer roof lifespan
Improved thermal performance
Wildlife habitat support
Air quality improvement
How Green Roofs Contribute to Sustainability Efforts
Green roofs contribute to the sustainability efforts of an organization through:
Conserving energy by insulating the building and mitigating thermal heat gain, which reduces the need for heating and cooling. This also improves the service life of HVAC systems due to decreased usage.
Extending the lifespan of the roof by shielding it from the elements. Green roofs offer protection that can double or triple the useful life of the structure. This keeps more roofing materials out of landfills, reducing waste.
Decreasing stormwater runoff on average of 40 to 60%, keeping runoff out of local sewer systems, and reducing wear and tear along with potential damage that can lead to contamination.
Improving air quality by trapping airborne particulates and gases and performing photosynthesis to reduce pollution while decreasing urban heat island effects that produce ozone and diminished water quality.
Providing habitat for local wildlife, decreasing the impacts of urbanization to local populations.
Absorbing radiation to better the microclimate of the immediate area.
While green roofs aren’t as widespread in the United States as they are in Europe, they can make a major impact on local organizations and communities. With a variety of installation options for new and existing buildings and the ability to incorporate further sustainable technologies, green roofs have the power to greatly bolster an organization’s sustainability efforts.
Up to 50 design decisions to consider in a high-performance roof
The design and construction of a roofing system is a complex undertaking that can involve up to 50 considerations. To ensure that state-of-the-art roofing practice is incorporated into the finished product, the licensed design professional, architect, engineer, building owner, facility manager or roofing contractor should have the latitude to select the most suitable product, system and assembly available on the market.
The factors that will impact roofing system design include:
Type of structure that needs to be protected. Interior usage of the structure. Geography and climate where the building is l
ocated. Extreme weather conditions the roof will need to withstand (hail, high winds, etc.). Orientation of the building. Climatic impacts of the building. Planned longevity of the roofing system and structure, as well as the recyclability of the roofing membrane. Environmental impact of the materials to be used in the construction process. Given these factors, the roofing professional can then determine the specifics of the roofing system design. This will include basic considerations such as how will the roofing membrane be attached to the roof deck. Options such as fully adhered, mechanically attached, and ballasted systems each offer unique benefits: a fully adhered system, for instance, which is attached to the substrate with adhesives, is essential to protect a roofing system in an area that frequently experiences high winds.
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This complex orchestration of interdependent design and construction decisions requires a steady hand, a wealth of experience and access to a broad range of design solutions, not prescriptive requirements that limit creative choice.
Can Reflective Roofing Save Energy and Help the Environment?
By Bob Schildgen
Hey Mr. Green,
I liked your article about the amount of space needed to provide solar power in the United States. I have wondered how many roofs would have to be painted white to replace the albedo of the melting ice caps. We live in Houston, Texas, and I’ve often thought of painting ours white to reduce our AC bill.
— Dianne, in Houston
Painting rooftops white may have some promise, although there remains considerable debate about its benefits, especially given that the soot in our air has the potential to trap their reflected heat.
There are several other factors to also consider. The cooling effects of the white roof could, for example, force folks to turn the furnace up in winter, thereby offsetting at least some of its benefit. As the EPA politely and rather cautiously reminds us: “Please remember the energy savings that can be achieved with reflective roofing is highly dependent on facility design, insulation used, climatic conditions, building location, and building envelope efficiency.”
If you’d like to dig deeper into the issue and come up with a specific calculation for your location and type of dwelling, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers a Cool Roof Calculator. Based on evidence I’ve seen, the benefits of the white roof would probably be greater in your area than in cities farther north. Good luck with your research!
Most houses in Canada have asphalt shingle roofs, and June is an excellent month to have new shingles installed. With hot weather on the way, shingles will seal down reliably later on in the summer sun. But June itself is also not usually so hot that the shingles will be soft and easily damaged underfoot during installation.
If you’re interested in getting the best possible asphalt shingle roofing job, there are details you need to discuss with your roofer. As with any other professional in life, don’t assume all roofers necessarily use the best possible techniques. Be your own watchdog by asking about the re-roofing details here and you’ll get the best possible results.
There are three parts to any great asphalt shingling job — the shingles themselves, the underlay system and the roof vents that round out any good installation.
Improved tar, gravel and substrates have boosted potential shingle lifespan enough that 40- and 50-year shingle warranties are now common. Thirty years ago shingles were sold with 10-, 15- and sometimes 20-year warranties at the top end. These days all manufacturers have doubled these numbers, and the difference is about more than just marketing.
The “10-year” shingles on the left lasted for 30 years before needing to be replaced. Thefibreglass shingles, right, have a rated lifespan of 40 years. (STEVE MAXWELL)
Most of the gain in shingle life comes from the use of fibreglass as a shingle substrate instead of the more traditional organic felt. Fibreglass shingles look the same as organic ones on your roof because they’re impregnated with the same kind of tar and gravel used as part of all asphalt shingles. That said, fibreglass is much more resistant to heat than felt, and this makes all the difference. Even on very hot, unventilated roof surfaces, fibreglass shingles consistently deliver their expected lifespan without curling. You also get a higher fire rating with fibreglass. In addition, fibreglass shingles are about 30 per cent thinner than organics for a given quality of shingle, making them easier to install on ridges, as part of woven valleys or any other application where bending of some shingles is required.
Ventilation is another critical roof issue. Most roofs need more of it than they have for two reasons — first, more ventilation reduces attic temperatures during summer, making it easier to keep upper floors cool, and second, attic ventilation allows internal moisture from domestic activities like washing, showering and breathing to vent away freely in winter, in case this moisture happens to enter the attic incidentally. You can’t have too much attic ventilation, and there’s no better time to install more vents than during a reroofing job. Ridge vents deliver the most ventilation for the least amount of visual distraction.
The best roof installations are waterproof before shingles go on, and this means more than just a layer of that old-fashioned, 15-pound tarpaper nailed to roof sheathing. There are two philosophies behind creating a reliable secondary layer of protection underneath your shingles, and they’re completely different.
The black fabric being installed here keeps water out if the shingles fail, but also allows watervapour to escape if necessary. (STEVE MAXWELL)
When self-sticking ice and water shield arrived on the scene about 25 years ago, it didn’t take long for it to replace tarpaper as a complete roof underlay on high-end installations. And this approach still makes a lot of sense, except for one universal Canadian issue.
Cold climates create a moisture threat that can attack roof structures from both top and bottom. In addition to the usual hazard of water leaking from above, there’s also the possibility of moisture condensing in parts of the roof structure from below during winter. This is why the best roof underlay these days is breathable. It combines the ability to shed water along with the ability to dry out from the inside.
Ask any prospective roofers for homeowner references, check them out, then go with a contractor who has a track record of good work and is willing to use today’s best shingling methods.
Recycled roofing tiles get a second life as stunning wall tiles with the Parkway collection
MINNEAPOLIS, April 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Parkway collection, made of recycled roofing tiles, joins hundreds of other new and unique tiles being introduced this season at The Tile Shop (NASDAQ:TTS), a specialty retailer of natural stone and man-made tiles.
The two tiles in the Parkway collection, a chevron mosaic tile and a subway tile, are made of authentic recycled clay roofing tiles. The steel-grey, blue and sandy-brown tones visible in these tiles create an entirely original look that is a blend of cool and warm colors on the walls of the home. As more and more tiles function as works of art, the Parkway series, from The Tile Shop’s proprietary brand Fired Earth Ceramics, is one of the most interesting and stunning tiles to serve this purpose.
The Parkway collection is another addition to the assortment of unique tiles that satisfy consumer demand for original and hard-to-find tiles. “A lot of people these days say they want products that are different and have a unique story,” said Kevin McDaniel, vice president of merchandising at The Tile Shop. “With the Parkway collection, each tile is original and one of a kind.”
This collection is one of dozens of new and unique products being released this month and represent part of a commitment by The Tile Shop to offer the leading assortment in the industry.
For more information, please visit www.tileshop.com.
About The Tile Shop
The Tile Shop (NASDAQ:TTS) is a leading specialty retailer of natural stone and man-made tiles, setting and maintenance materials and related accessories in the United States. The Company offers a wide selection of high-quality products, exclusive designs, knowledgeable staff and exceptional customer service in an extensive showroom environment with up to 50 full-room tiled displays which are enhanced by the complimentary Design Studio, a collaborative platform to create customized 3-D design renderings to scale, allowing customers to bring their design ideas to life. The Tile Shop currently operates 140 stores in 31 states and the District of Columbia, with an average size of 20,200 square feet and sells products online at www.tileshop.com.
The Tile Shop is a proud member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and the National Tile Contractors Association (NTCA). Visit www.tileshop.com. Join The Tile Shop (#thetileshop) on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
This post was taken from https://globenewswire.com/news-release/2018/04/30/1490206/0/en/Recycled-roofing-tiles-get-a-second-life-as-stunning-wall-tiles-with-the-Parkway-collection.html
An expectant mum from Northampton is saying enough is enough to her housing association after, she claims, asbestos has been found in her roof.
Jade Fuller, 25, of Billing Road has been living in her property for nine years. But on Friday, after builders arrived to fix a leaky bedroom light, which has been dripping since April 1, she says she discovered her property had been insulated with asbestos.
But upon voicing her concerns about the potentially deadly substance, Jade says no-one has been out to see her since.
She said: “I rang them Friday – I said ‘what’s going on about the roof?’ And they said ‘we believe there’s asbestos in the roof, we can’t send anyone out until we’ve had it checked.
“They put me in a hotel from Friday until Tuesday, just gone, and they’ve still not made it safe.”
While she was away – the mum-to-be was at least expecting her leaky bedroom light to be fixed and for the asbestos to be cleared – but she says nothing has changed.
“They’ve done nothing and I’m just made to come back here,” she added.
Jade, who is six weeks pregnant, is calling on Orbit to move her to a safer property for her and her soon-to-be infant.
“It’s scary because I’m pregnant as well now, it’s not great. I don’t want to be here – I don’t want to live here at all – it’s not a nice place to live.
“I want to move really. I’ve asked them for an urgent transfer, or anything, and they’re saying ‘I don’t think we can do that’.
“But I’m just supposed to be left in a property that’s unsafe?”
Jade’s living room also has mould on the ceiling and around the windows.
“I suffer with depression and anxiety, mainly since I’ve been living here.”
Neil Yeomans, head of property compliance at Orbit said: “We want all of our customers to live in homes that are secure and comfortable, and we apologise to Miss Fuller for the inconvenience this has caused.
“However, we wanted to make absolutely sure that her home is safe and can confirm that at no time were Miss Fuller and her partner in any danger of breathing in asbestos fibres.
“We temporarily relocated her and her partner as a precautionary measure.
A surveyor attended her home again yesterday (Wednesday) to confirm exactly what was needed to complete the roof repair, which Orbit say they plan to carry out as soon as possible.
nstalling a new roof is one of the most important — and expensive — home improvement projects you’ll run into as a homeowner. Considering this, and the fact that your roof is your first line of defense against the elements, it’s important you hire a qualified, licensed professional for your roofing repair and installation
projects. There are a number of roofing companies to choose from, so it helps to follow a few basic rules to ensure that you find, choose and hire the best professional for the job.
TALK TO SEVERAL CONTRACTORS
Talking to several roofing companies will help you identify an honest and reasonable price range. You probably don’t want to hinge your final hiring decision on the difference of a few hundred dollars for a project that costs several thousand dollars, but you should be wary of any remarkably low or excessively high bids. Of course, this will also provide you the opportunity to gauge your level of rapport with each contractor as you work your way through the rest of the rules for hiring a qualified roofing professional.
It’s also important to perform research on the different companies you’re speaking with — particularly those who stand out after your initial conversations. Reputable contractors should be licensed and willing to provide you with at least three references verifying the quality of their work. Confirming that a contractor is licensed — and speaking with past customers who can verify their credibility and qualifications — will give you added peace of mind.
REVIEW THE CONTRACT AND WARRANTIES CLOSELY
Never sign a contract without reading it over carefully. Professional contractors won’t be annoyed with your taking the time to understand the terms of your agreement — and most will be happy to sit down with you and explain parts you don’t understand. Also, make sure you understand the warranty that comes with your new roof. All materials and workmanship should be guaranteed for at least five years, and the roofing itself ought to come with a 20- to 40-year warranty.
COVER YOUR BASES
Before work begins, be sure to cover your bases. Check with your contractor about whether you need to acquire a permit (most roofing companies will take care of this as part of their service), and confirm that their employees are covered by workers comp as well. Finally, if you’re submitting an insurance claim on your roof, make certain you’ve followed all the necessary procedures — and undergone all the necessary approvals — before work on your new roof begins.
NEVER PAY THE ENTIRE BALANCE UPFRONT
Never pay the entire balance of your new roof up front. This goes for all large projects. If your contractor asks this of you, terminate your relationship and be sure not to sign a contract. Asking for a reasonable deposit and a payment schedule that parallels the work is common practice. In no case should you ever pay with cash. Using a credit card increases the likelihood that, in a worst-case scenario, you’ll be able to recover your money without expensive litigation.
A residential property could have triple-reinforced titanium steel walls, and it still wouldn’t be worth a darn without a sturdy roof. It’s through the roof and rooftop features that many problematic elements can enter a building
, from wind to rain to ice to debris. And because of that, the roof must be adequately fortified and properly maintained. Otherwise, the integrity of the building – along with resident safety and property value – are bound to suffer.
Basics for Beginners
Roofs are not just complicated, relatively delicate structures—they’re also harder to keep tabs on than a facade, or windows that people look at all day. Fortunately, there are myriad experts – from property managers to A/E/C professionals to trades persons who work solely on roofs – who can do the job for your building and keep your roof in good repair.
“A roof should be inspected every few years,” says Frank Sausa, Vice President of Altura Construction Company, Inc., in Garfield, New Jersey. “If a leak gets severe enough, a homeowner’s ceiling can literally collapse. The most common cause of leaks that we see is when the rubber boot around plumbing vents deteriorates. Additionally, we often conduct repairs around chimneys, skylights and valleys, utilizing shingles, leak barrier ice and water shield, synthetic paper, step flashing, counter flashing, and, most importantly, kick-out flashings.”
Between formal inspections by a roofing professional, associations should be doing routine maintenance on their own. “Inspection of roofs should be part of the basic building maintenance, and reviewed at a minimum of a few times per month, especially during and after heavy rains or snow,” says Dennis DePaola, Executive Vice President of Orsid Realty Corp., in New York City. “Not only should the roofing surface, pitch pockets, and flashings be checked, but the floor below should be looked at as well, in order to catch even the smallest amount of water infiltration as early as possible, before any major damage occurs.”
Of course, roofs are not ‘one size fits all,’ and a maintenance schedule therefore depends on the make and age of one’s model, as well as the weather to which it’s subjected. “Appropriate frequency of inspections of a roof may depend on its age, but annually is probably a general minimum,” recommends Christopher R. Berg, President of Independent Association Managers, Inc., in Naperville, Illinois. “Severe weather conditions may necessitate specific inspections, particularly for shingled roofs. If you can see the roof from the ground, loose or missing shingles can be spotted by the board or management on a simple walk. However, many problems would only be identified via closer inspection. For example, an examination of the attic may identify leaks and problems that wouldn’t be apparent elsewhere, such as insufficiently ventilated bathroom moisture or dryer lint.”
In areas like New England, where the weather in a given year can reach sweltering highs and frigid lows, roofs can wear much faster than in more temperate regions. To be proactive, an association should perform a visual inspection of its roof on an annual basis,” suggests Tim Arel, Owner and Principal at North Point Management, which has offices in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire. “This inspection should look for missing or damaged shingles, as well as wear and warping. That will allow an association to perform the small and relatively easy repairs before they develop into serious issues that result in the need for full roof replacement, or damage to the buildings. Proactive annual inspections work to extend the life span of the roof, but they also provide information needed to plan for a roof’s eventual replacement. And they can initially be performed by qualified members of the management team, or by association volunteers. The key is to have individuals who know what they’re looking for perform these inspections. Then, when issues are identified, management and the board should contact a qualified roofing contractor to perform the needed repairs, or to provide a professional assessment with recommendations.”
Certain roof-based dilemmas are more common than others, so it pays for a board or management to be aware of the likely suspects.
“We’ve taken over buildings from other firms wherein we have found severe structural steel damage due to neglect, and the failure to stop water infiltration for prolonged periods of time,” notes DePaola. “In such instances, we’ve had to install shoring within apartments to offset the load from the damaged steel. That may require a relocation of the residents, depending on the severity of the situation.
“We’ve also been successful in spotting smaller repairs of roofing systems that are still under warranty, at little-to-no expense to the building owner,” he continues. “By regularly checking for these smaller repairs and addressing them in a timely manner, owners can greatly extend the useful life of the roofing system, sometimes well beyond their 20-to-25-year warranty.”
As one may intuit, ice is a major enemy in regions with particularly cold winters. “The improper removal of ice dams has been a significant contributor to roof damage over the past several years,” says Arel. “When faced with an emergency situation caused by interior water intrusion from ice dams, some vendors believe that the solution lies in removing the ice via the use of hammers and pickaxes. While this may temporarily alleviate the problem, the net result is often significant damage to shingles and roofs. This makes for a great example as to how proper planning and hiring vendors with the correct equipment will benefit an association in the long-term.”
And the type of roof – shingled or flat – also affects its aging process.
“Shingled roofs often age prematurely, as a result of insufficient ventilation and/or insulation, and may need to be inspected more frequently,” warns Berg. “When attics can’t vent the summer heat, cooked shingles will curl and break the adhesive that holds them down, leaving an edge up to become a sail in the wind. Sometimes you can be alerted by shingles on the ground or in the gutters, but other times they seem to have vanished from the earth. When attics can’t stay cold under snow-covered roofs, they cause ice dams that can lift shingles, split wood and bend metal, whether or not it causes visible interior damage. Rubber parts and applied sealants need to be inspected for cracking, so they can be replaced before they leak. However, gutters often have to be cleaned of leaves and other tree debris in both spring and fall, which makes for two great opportunities to just inspect all of the roofing.
“And then flat roofs have both masonry and metallic elements, in addition to drains, pipes, and other membrane penetrations, so they may need regular engineering inspections as well,” Berg adds. “Minor cracking in masonry joints and membrane transitions can lead to serious problems, whose resolution come with serious price tags. So the more complicated your roofing system is, the more regular inspections you may need, and by more technical professionals.”
Balance in Budget
The more on top (pun intended) of roof-related affairs an association is, the less likely they’ll have to spend exorbitant amounts of money to fix a disaster. With that said, unpredictable calamities, however, can happen, and an association is best served tucking away some extra funds in the event of a rainy day.
“Every association should have both short- and long-term capital plans for the essential building components,” says DePaola. “We know that roofing systems have a useful life between 10 and 30 years, depending on the system and the warranties received. Therefore, the association should be funding or implementing a plan to fund – via either borrowing or assessment – for the roof replacement during the entire life cycle of the capital component. The most costly roofing projects to which we’ve been privy are those that have not been planned for and those that have been deferred for too long.”
“Having a reserve study and financial plan in place to ensure that the funds needed for capital projects exist in the association’s reserve account is the best method to avoid the significant impact of special assessments,” Arel agrees. “Proper funding is always based on proactive planning. Unfortunately, a great number of associations are under-funded, and thus do not have sufficient reserve funds required for a significant capital project. In these occasions, associations need to evaluate their options to determine what plan best suits its owners. Due to the current financial environment, a great number of associations are looking to loans to make up for their lack of reserves. This option allows an association to borrow the necessary funding, typically through a fixed interest rate loan that may cost less per month than delaying work and facing the increased costs of labor and materials. When roofs need to be replaced within a several-year period due to leaks or other severe issues, financing the project allows an association to spread out the payment over a greater span, thus resulting in a lower monthly increase.
“However,” he continues, “it’s important to note that one option is not right for all association. A board should weigh all options and the financial impacts thereof and present that to the owners. It’s important to involve the owners when making any decision that will result in a significant fee increase, such that the owners can understand the process that the board has undergone and the options available, then provide input as to what they believe is the best option to meet the association’s needs.”