A smart solution for a commercial roof would be a roof that provides quality
protection from the elements, a roof that is durable and doesn’t need a lot of
maintenance, a roof that is energy efficient and decreases the overall utility bills of
With the growing concerns for our climate, the environment and the general quality of life, the roofing industry is also taking necessary steps to play their part in the preservation of our planet. With the attention increasingly shifting towards the environment, conservation of energy, and energy efficiency, one of the most important characteristics of a roofing system is to be sustainable or green.
The direction in which the majority roofing companies are going is towards reducing carbon emissions and towards a greener product. When it comes to smart, green roof solutions, the choice is usually between solar and green roofs.
There is a detailed study in the Journal of Industrial Ecology assessing roof types for buildings , and according to it, the two best solutions for roofs when it comes to energy efficiency and the environmental impact of the entire process of production and installation of roofs, are solar and green roofs, for both warmer and colder climates.
1) Solar roofs
According to the study in the Journal of Industrial Ecology mentioned above, solar roofs have been found to be the best option when it comes to the overall environmental impact. Using only natural, renewable energy, they create their own green energy and help reduce the carbon emissions.
They also perform best when it comes to the building’s energy efficiency. Throughout the
day, the solar panels keep the ceiling cooler, preventing it from absorbing too much heat
from the sun, and during night they function as insulation by holding in the heat. So they
keep the building cooler during summer, and function as insulation during winter, reducing the need for heating and cooling, and decreasing the overall utility costs.
2) Green roofs
Green roofs are experiencing a surge in popularity when it comes to commercial roofing.
Companies are realizing that “going green” and being eco-friendly is both environmentally and financially favorable, so they are expanding their services to green and sustainable roof options which are increasingly in demand in the last few years.
They are very durable due to the waterproofing membrane on top of which the plants are
planted. It retains water, prevents runoff and therefore prevents moisture, leakages and
erosion of the building. The membrane also serves as a protection from UV rays and it
regulates the temperature, preventing the building from overheating or overcooling.
3) Smart green roofs
One step further in production of green roofs is automation of its monitoring and
maintenance. It can be done through the use of sensors, which could be solar powered.
Smart sensors would collect data on the temperature, water evaporation, etc.
Except said to lower the cost of roof maintenance, green roofs improve the air quality of the area, especially if there are more buildings with green roofs out there. As they also function as insulation, both in winter and summer, green roofs will undoubtedly decrease the energy consumption and with it the utility costs. They prevent the building from heating or cooling too much, so there is far less need for air conditioning in summer and heating in winter.
With less energy consumption, the emission of greenhouse gases is also lower.