The Top 5 Sustainability Trends in Commercial Roofing
I recently gave a webinar for Roofing Contractor Magazine called ‘The Top 5 Sustainability Trends in Commercial Roofing’ (registration is free). It was a big success, with more than 1300 attendees! Here’s what I called out as my top 5 trends:
#5: Green Building Codes and Rating Systems. Everyone’s heard of LEED®, but now it’s influencing the building code, and creating competition with other rating systems – all of which has led to the International Green Construction Code, and growth in other rating systems such as Green Globes, Passiv Haus, Earth Craft, etc. This is creating a major market shift.
#4: Roofing Materials Recycling. While the percentage of roofing materials that get recycled is still too low, market growth is very strong. Industry players – notably RCI and AIA – are driving recycling, and professional roofing contractors are participating in it for the green positioning and because it can save money.
#3: Cool Roofing. As we know, everybody wants to be green – but they want it to be easy. And the great thing about cool roofing is, it’s pretty easy. This trend is sweeping the world, not just North America. There’s lots of reasons for this, but in my view, one of them is the science is pretty easy to understand – everyone has experienced first hand that light colors stay cooler. And in most cases, there is little to no upcharge for a cool roof, so you can get a benefit for little to no cost.
#2: Solar Ready Roofing. It’s hard to make propane on a roof. But you can make electricity and hot water, and most buildings use electricity and hot water! And roofs are perfect for solar. So even if you’re not installing renewable energy at the time of the roof install, more and more projects are looking at making the roof ‘Solar Ready’. California is even requiring new roofs to be ready for solar.
#1 Give your Company the Green Edge. The approach here is to work to position yourself and your business more effectively within the green marketplace – in general, this means focusing on cool roofing, roof maintenance, and sustainability. A great way to start is by pursuing a green designation such as GAF Sustainable Roofing Council membership, which provides a template for ‘getting into green’ and will help make sure you have the latest information on sustainability trends. It’s also important to walk the talk by performing an office and jobsite waste audit, and to set up a membrane recycling program. You can also network with other green professionals by joining your local USGBC chapter; and measure your efforts by submitting a job for Roofpoint rating.
These trends are very strong. You can look at them as either an opportunity or a threat, but GAF is investing to make sure we are ready for these changes, and we are ready to work with you to help you take advantage of them as well.
What do you think? Do you see these trends within your own business? Do you have some more ideas for ‘green positioning’?