Sustainability of Metal Roofing
We are busy preparing for the upcoming Metal Roofing Summit! We have already set a record for number of attendees and companies, but there is still time to register and reserve a room at $65/night. Again, travel and lodging are your only costs to attend!
We have been working with our speakers to ensure the content will be of maximum value to you and your business. I am very excited about the collaborative, creative marketing workshop we have scheduled for Tuesday, March 14th. Susan Graim and Becky Frederick of Proceed by Design will facilitate the workshop so we can leverage the combined expertise and experience in the room – the leading residential metal roofing companies in all of North America – to evaluate the current societal and cultural dynamics set to impact our businesses in the years ahead. Once identified, we can prepare appropriately, and craft our marketing and branding messages to help us be successful whatever those dynamics might be.
Whether you currently offer residential metal roofing, or you are only considering adding it to your product offering, there is still plenty of time and space for you to take advantage of this incredible event. The Summit will be March 13 – 15, 2017 here in Piqua, OH, and you can view the complete agenda and register online.
Now, to this issue of the Residential Metal Roofing Executive Report…
We have been revisiting the key benefits of metal roofing and identifying new ways to leverage them in the new year, recently covering the beauty, low weight, and fire safety of metal roofing. In this issue, we will discuss the sustainability of metal roofing.
In green building construction, the “sustainability” of a product refers to its total environmental impact throughout its life cycle. Obviously, with any product, this impact is determined by many unique factors. Metal roofing can be highly sustainable due to its energy efficiency, low weight, permanence, recycled content, and recyclability. Energy efficiency will be covered in a future issue of the Executive Report, so let’s take a closer look at the other factors for sustainability, and how to make them most relevant to consumers.
Low Weight – Due to the low weight of metal roofing, as long as code allows, many products can be installed over a layer of existing asphalt shingles. Every company and homeowner must make their own decision, but 60+% of our roofs every year are installed over at least one layer of asphalt shingles and we have never seen a problem in 37 years. By leaving the old shingles intact, homeowners save the expense of removal and the local landfill is saved the space of disposal. Quick Fact – An average asphalt roof weighs 7,500 – 9,000 pounds, and 22 billion pounds of asphalt shingle waste is thrown in landfills every year! That is a lot of precious landfill space that can be saved! And, the remaining asphalt shingles have some R-value that can assist in the overall energy efficiency of the home.
Permanence – By installing a permanent roof, homeowners end the never-ending cycle of energy and resources being spent to roof their home. They will never have to “go back to the well” for more oil, gas, wood, landfill space, etc. to roof that structure. Quick Fact – the average asphalt roof uses about 189 gallons of oil. That means about 462,000,000 gallons of oil is expended on asphalt roofing every year!
Recycled Content – Most metal roofs are manufactured from metal that is composed, in part, of recycled material. At Isaiah Industries, our aluminum systems are composed of 95% recycled content, and our steel systems are 35%. Most responsible citizens are diligent in collecting their recyclables every week and taking them to the curb on the appropriate day. Yet there are few major purchases they can make to close the recycling loop; major purchases that they know use a significant amount of recycled material. A metal roof gives them that opportunity. Quick Fact – the average aluminum roof can use 35,280 aluminum beverage cans.
Recyclability – A painted metal roof is the only roofing material that can be truly recycled at the end of its functional life, 80 – 100+ years from now. Some slate and tile, if disassembled carefully, can be reused as roofing material, but a painted metal roof can be removed and reincarnated as any number of uses. A stone coated metal roof’s finish does not allow it to be recycled, so it must be sent to a landfill. This ensures that the entire life of the roof will leave as little of environmental impact as possible.
Metal roofing is by far the most sustainable roofing solution available on the market today. From manufacturing, through installation, and till the end of its functional life, it is the choice for homeowners conscious of their own environmental impact. And, again, this doesn’t consider the incredible energy savings that come from a metal roof. You can view a past discussion of energy savings here.
As always, thank you for being here and participating in this conversation. We truly hope we can meet you in person at our Metal Roofing Summit in March! Please do not hesitate to contact me with any comments, questions, or ways we could be of service.
Todd Miller has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.
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