The term “green roof” has become narrowly defined in recent years to refer to “vegetative roof.” But “green roof” can also mean “sustainable roof” – one that provides long-term environmental benefits that building owners want roofing systems to deliver for their high-performance facilities: high reflectivity; recyclability; able to accommodate photovoltaic systems; able to help facilities obtain LEED credits; etc. This brief video discusses these benefits and more. For additional information about green roofing, visit www.whiteequalsgreen.com.
Archive for August, 2009
Our final installment in this series discusses the life-cycle costs of a roof. Any roof life-cycle discussion must take into consideration the factors covered in previous posts: price; quality; prefabrication; installation disruptions; ease of maintenance; performance; environmental impact. Each type of roofing system will vary on these factors, so it is important to compare your options in order to make the right roofing choice. Some systems are beneficial because they offer substantial energy savings; some are virtually maintenance-free but may cost more to install; others offer lower initial installation costs, but require the expense of tearing off the existing roof and/or regular maintenance once installed.
Clearly, investing in a new roofing system is a major decision that should not be taken lightly. Your choice can determine how long your roof will last, its performance, maintenance, etc. Make sure to research all your roofing options by visiting manufacturers’ web sites and getting their literature or look at independent industry sources – this ensures that you are educated in making the right roofing decision.
Finally, don’t be fooled by lower initial costs. An evaluation of the areas in the following list should help you estimate the real, long-term cost of any roof you are considering.
a. Roof product cost
b. Installation costs (labor & overhead)
c. Tear-off costs (if required)
d. Disposal costs
e. Building disruption costs
2. Long-Term Durability
a. Regular maintenance costs (over 20 years)
b. Roof replacement costs, if life expectancy is less than 20 years
a. Roof repair costs (estimated over 20 years)
b. Interior damage repairs (estimated over 20 years)
4. Energy Savings
a. Estimated energy savings (over 20 years)
b. Energy rebates/incentives
a. Cost for 15-year No Dollar Limit (NDL) warranty
Cool roofing and sustainable (or “green”) roofing emerged as separate, but closely related, commercial roofing industry trends about ten years ago. Today, both cool and sustainable roofing continue to gain momentum, and they are driving change in commercial roofing market dynamics, roof system design and manufacture, product innovation, industry initiatives, selection priorities, building codes, and legislation. They are also sparking a considerable degree of discussion, disruption, and controversy due to their ongoing impact on the commercial roofing industry.
The overall objectives of cool and sustainable roofing have become widely accepted as desirable, sometimes mandatory, criteria for the design, manufacture and selection of commercial roofing systems. Cool and sustainable roofing have both been embraced by a host of industry associations and government agencies, many of which are trying to define the “roofs of the future” – including:
- U.S. Green Building Council
- Green Globes
- ENERGY STAR
- Lawrence Berkeley
- Oak Ridge National Laboratories
- Single-Ply Roofing Industry Association
- The National Roofing Contractors Association
As industry groups continue to develop universal definitions and objectives for cool and sustainable roofing, government agencies at the federal, state and local level are implementing more standards, regulations and incentives to encourage or mandate the use of energy-efficient and/or sustainable roofing systems. These actions, combined with simple but powerful economic factors, are creating increased demand for a new class of High-Performance Roofing (HPR) systems that can satisfy traditional performance criteria – such as installed cost, performance and longevity – as well as relatively newer criteria – such as life-cycle costs, energy efficiency, and preservation of the environment.
In our next installment, we will discuss the High-Performance Roofing trend.
Who is Responsible For What?
Once the building owner has officially hired a roofing contractor, he or she can take steps to ensure the relationship is a productive one. It’s important to clarify at the outset the events that are and are not covered by the roofing warranty, so that everyone is on the same page and fully understands its contents. In the past, some roofing manufacturers and contractors have been less than forthcoming about the scope of warranty coverage. In some manufacturer’s warranties, roof damage from acts of God and third parties, such as when a satellite dish installer screws the dish directly to the roof, are not covered. The building owner should be aware of these types of warranty issues
Prior to issuing a warranty, to ensure that each roof installation meets our standards, Duro-Last’s Technical Representatives perform an evaluation consisting of four elements:
- Quality of the welding.
- Quality of the detail work.
- Contractor’s adherence to specifications such as for roof attachment and sealant requirements.
- Overall aesthetic quality of the job.
It’s important to identify the responsibilities of the manufacturer, the contractor, and the building owner once the roof has been installed and the warranty has been issued. With some roofing systems, the contractor is responsible for making repairs covered under the warranty for the first two years after the roof is installed, while the manufacturer is responsible for any warranty work for the duration of the warranty period.
Similarly, the building owner or facility manager should be aware of his or her responsibilities in upholding the warranty.
For instance, some warranties require the building owner to report any roof leaks within 30 days so that the leak can be repaired before the interior of the building is severely damaged. The building owner should also ask the contractor about charges involved in performing any repairs (including potential premium charges for “after hours” work), and the amount of time typically needed to respond to emergencies.
As with most business partnerships, knowing what to expect upfront makes a project run much more smoothly.