4 Earth-Friendly Options For Your Commercial Roof

If you want your company or organization to exhibit more environmental awareness and adopt more sustainable operational practices, you might as well start from the top -- with your roof. Here are four earth-friendly roofing options to consider for your commercial facility.

1. Cool Roofs

As many businesses strive to become more energy efficient, facility managers are taking a good hard look at their air conditioning bills. If your employees find themselves constantly turning down the temperature control just to keep your building tolerably cool, it may be time to have a cool roof installed. A cool roof usually takes the form of a thermoplastic or acrylic membrane, either white or extremely light in color. Commercial roofing contractors can fit this membrane over an existing roof, eliminating the need to tear out the asphalt (although leveling and other preparations may still be necessary).

Cool roofs are highly reflective, bouncing much of the sun's thermal radiation away from your facility. This means less heat is absorbed into the building, so you gobble up less electricity during the warmer months. The results can be dramatic; by covering an old black asphalt roof with a white cool roof membrane, you can actually neutralize your carbon emissions within just two years.

2. Green Roofs

Do you like the idea of creating fresh oxygen for the atmosphere, lowering your energy usage, and beautifying your community all at the same time? If so, you may want to top your building with a lush green roof. A green roof is exactly what it sounds like -- a layer of topsoil that supports a green carpet of grass, and in some cases, even trees. The greenery actually draws heat out of the air above your roof, keeping the area cooler than the sizzling surface of an ordinary roof in the summertime -- a potential difference of up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Green roofs also allow your business to help make a cleaner atmosphere. Vegetation actually absorbs airborne pollutants and other toxins, effectively scrubbing the air and improving the health of those who breathe it. This makes your green roof a perfect place for employees to take breaks and get some fresh air.

3. Recycled Roofs

Recycling is an important means of preserving natural resources. If you want your business to plays its part in global sustainability, installing a roof made from recycled (and/or recyclable) tiles or shingles is a great start. Commercial roofing services generally have access to a variety of such materials, many of which are made from up to 80 percent recycled material. If you're removing old shingles, don't just throw them away -- they can be recycled for road construction and other valuable applications.

Metal makes another sensible choice for a sturdy, durable, recyclable roof. Steel and aluminum are popular choices for everything from warehouses to retail stores, and they can easily be melted down and refashioned into future roof components or other useful items.

4. Solar Roofs

It's hard to imagine a more universally available energy source than the sun -- and since the sun does its own generating, all you have to do is collect that energy. Many environmentally-conscious businesses are now doing exactly that by fitting their facilities with solar roofs. The most powerful and well-established solar technology involves installing photovoltaic tiles over the roof's surface. The tiles can be angled somewhat to capture sunlight as efficiently as possible, creating current which is then shunted to the building's fusebox for use by electrical appliances. If you'd prefer a more subtle look to your solar roof, and your facility's roof is sloped in an advantageous manner, some commercial roofing services can install solar shingles instead of photovoltaic panels.

Not only will you slash your electric bills by drawing power from your own roof, but the reduced load on the community's electrical grid helps you leave a smaller carbon footprint. Even with the advent of hydroelectric and wind generators, much of the electricity consumed by businesses is still created through the burning of fossil fuels. By requiring less power from these sources, you're doing your part to make the world a cleaner place.

Talk to your local commercial roofing services about sustainable, energy-efficient options. Both your business and your planet have a lot to gain! You can also visit http://www.vandoornroofing.com for more information.