Is Roofing Part of Your Energy Management Strategy? Part 5

Regulatory Mandates

The obvious benefits of cool roofing systems have resulted in many federal, state, and local government initiatives designed to encourage or mandate their use.

Below is brief overview of Federal Energy Management Policy and Mandates. The full overview can be found here.

National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA)

Signed into law in 1978, NECPA serves as the underlying authority for Federal energy management goals and requirements. It is regularly updated and amended by subsequent laws and regulations and is the foundation of most current energy requirements.

Section 543 of NECPA required a reduction in Btu/GSF of 20 percent by 2000, life-cycle cost methods and procedures, budget treatment for energy conservation measures, incentives for Federal facility energy managers, reporting requirements, new technology demonstrations, and agency surveys of energy-saving potential.

Section 102 of EPAct 2005 re-established energy reduction requirement for Federal buildings. The requirement uses a base year of fiscal year (FY) 2003 and requires reductions of 2 percent per year in energy use per square foot, leading to a 20 percent reduction in FY 2015.

In 2007, President George Bush signed Executive Order 13423, strengthening Federal environmental, energy, and transportation management. Section 2 of the Order set more challenging goals than EPAct 2005, requiring a 3 percent reduction in energy intensity per year and leading to a 30 percent reduction in 2015 compared to the base FY of 2003.

Also in 2007, President Bush signed the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007 (EISA). EISA adopts the energy intensity reduction goals of Executive Order 13423 beginning in FY 2008 with a 9 percent reduction and increasing to a 30 percent reduction in FY 2015.

Click the links below for more detailed information.

Energy Policy Act of 1992

Executive Order 13221

Energy Policy Act of 2005

Executive Order 13423

Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007

Cool Roofing is a Win-Win Energy Management Strategy

Most building owners don’t need regulation to recognize a good thing when they see it. Even without regulatory mandates, PVC and TPO cool roofing systems have been the fastest growing commercial systems in America since the late 1990s. Many utility companies now offer rebates for using reflective roofing systems. These rebates – which can amount to several thousand dollars on large roof installations – are offered nationwide, not just in southern climates.

Best of all, cool roofing is a rare example where there are really no cost or performance tradeoffs for selecting an energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly system. The best single-ply cool roofing systems protect buildings from the rain, sleet, and snow just as well, or better, than alternative dark-surface roofing systems, and they can also play an important part in the energy management strategies of smart building owners and managers.

A Through Z of Associations: Part 6

This is the last in a series of posts discussing the various associations that benefit roofing manufacturers, contractors, and other industry professionals.


The Single Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI) is a recognized technical and statistical authority on single-plies, representing sheet membrane and related component suppliers in the commercial roofing industry. SPRI provides a forum that enables members to collectively focus their expertise and efforts on critical industry issues. By acting as a trade organization, the group can effectively improve product quality, installation techniques, workforce training, and other issues common to the industry.

Since 1981, SPRI has been a resource for building owners, architects, engineers, specifiers, contractors, and maintenance personnel, providing information about commercial roofing components and systems.


The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a nonprofit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education through its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

The LEED system is a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED addresses all building types and emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy-efficiency, materials and resource selection, and indoor environmental quality.

LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) have demonstrated an understanding of green building techniques, the LEED Green Building Rating System, and the certification process.


Founded in 1982, the Vinyl Institute (VI) is a U.S. trade association representing the leading manufacturers of vinyl, vinyl chloride monomer, vinyl additives and modifiers, and vinyl packaging materials.

VI advocates the responsible manufacture of vinyl resins; life-cycle management of vinyl products; and the promotion of the value of vinyl to society. The VI has produced a number of publications addressing the environmental aspects of vinyl products, including roofing systems. Environmental Profile: Vinyl Roofing Membranes is available at this link.

Positive Responses to Negative Statements About PVC: Part 6

Statement: “PVC is the largest source of dioxin, the most poisonous chemical on earth.”

The facts: There will always be dioxin present in the environment because the most common sources of dioxin are natural contributors such as forest fires and volcanoes. When it comes to man-made sources, PVC doesn’t even show up on the radar screen.

Dioxin is created during incomplete combustion of any material – even wood burning in a home fireplace. According to the EPA’s inventory of dioxin emission sources, total dioxin emissions dropped from a toxic equivalent (TEQ) of 13,949 grams in 1987 to 1,106 grams in 2004. The top four man-made sources are:

Backyard barrel burning 56%

Land-applied sewage sludge 6%

Residential wood burning 5%

Coal-fired utilities 5%

Vinyl is one of more than 20 sources that make up the “other” category. Individually, vinyl is less than 0.4% of the total – that’s less than 5 grams throughout the entire United States. Even if vinyl was not being manufactured and used daily in myriad essential and lifesaving products, the levels of dioxin in the environment would be essentially unchanged.

Let me know what questions or negative statements about PVC that you have been faced with and we’ll address them here. Email me at

Faces of Duro-Last: Anna Hernandez

Anna Hernandez - Corporate Accounts Coordinator
Anna Hernandez - Corporate Accounts Coordinator

Anna Hernandez joined Duro-Last® in 2004 as Marketing Account Coordinator and recently moved into the position of Corporate Accounts Coordinator, working out of the Duro-Last’s Headquarters in Saginaw, Michigan. She is responsible for identifying new corporate account opportunities, and primarily focuses on companies that implement sustainable roofing in their portfolios. Once a potential account has been identified, Anna works to coordinate the bid process on those opportunities. Ann also works with Duro-Last’s Regional Sales Managers to develop specific corporate account sales strategies for their territories.

Working with lots of different people in the roofing and facilities industries from all across the country, Anna is constantly learning new things. She enjoys being a reliable, “go-to” person that helps get things done by networking and connecting the Duro-Last sales team with facility managers, portfolio managers, and decision-makers that can benefit from our Corporate Account Services.

“Over the past four years I have worked with great people and gained great insight into the construction and manufacturing industries,” said Anna. “Because Duro-Last is a growing mid-sized company, I have been able to utilized my experience and skills to the fullest without being restricted to just one specific function.”

Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Roofing System: Environmental Impact

The drive for environmentally-friendly products extends to the commercial construction arena, including roofing systems. In this post, we will discuss some of the energy aspects of roofing: reflectivity, emissivity, and the solar reflectance index.

Environmental Impact – Part B

Rooftop reflectivity has received substantial attention during 2009, perhaps most notably in Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s remarks recommending that the world’s roofs be painted white. The upshot is that a roofing material’s ability to reflect solar energy has environmental implications, including its contribution to (or mitigation of) the urban heat island effect and impact on emerging carbon markets, among others. In fact, a roofing system’s energy efficiency is really determined by a couple of interrelated attributes.

Reflectivity (technically, albedo) is the percentage of solar energy reflected by a surface. The higher the reflectance value, the more solar energy that will be reflected from the surface.

Emissivity is the measure of how effectively a material sheds the heat it has absorbed. Materials with a high emissivity value may absorb energy easily, but they also radiate large amounts of it back into the atmosphere.

Roofing systems that provide both high reflectivity and emissivity are most likely to have a significant impact on a building’s energy cost. Some systems can reduce a building’s energy consumption by up to 40%.

The solar reflectance index (SRI) is a tool that evaluates reflectivity, emissivity, and other factors to determine a roof’s overall ability to reject solar heat. Its calculation is defines by ASTM E 1980-01 and is based on a formula that includes values for solar absorptance, solar flux, emissivity, the Stefan Boltxman constant, and other coefficients.

Standard black (reflectivity 5%, emissivity 90%) has an index of 0, and standard white (reflectivity 80%, emissivity 90%) has an index of 100. Very “hot” materials can actually have negative values and very “cool” materials can have values greater than 100. Materials with the highest SRIs are the coolest choices for roofing.

The Duro-Last Cool Zone® roofing system, a PVC membrane, has initial reflectivity and emissivity measurements of 87.5% and 95%, respectively, and a resulting SRI value of 108.

Here are the SRIs of some other roofing materials as measured by Lawrence Berkeley Labs and the Florida Solar Energy Center:

Roofing System




White EPDM





Metal, White




New, Bare

Galvanized Steel




Light Gravel





White Granular

Surface Bitumen




Dark Gravel




Black EPDM




A Through Z of Associations: Part 5

There are many associations that roofing manufacturers, contractors, and other industry professionals can be involved with. Some are technical and engineering-oriented; others are sales and networking associations; and some deal with each of these aspects in the roofing and construction industries.

This is the fifth in a series of posts that will discuss the various associations that benefit roofing manufacturers, contractors, and other industry professionals.


The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a multi-program science and technology laboratory managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by UT-Battelle, LLC. Scientists and engineers at ORNL conduct basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and technological solutions that strengthen the nation’s leadership in key areas of science; increase the availability of clean, abundant energy; to restore and protect the environment; and contribute to national security.

The ORNL has also completed in-depth research studies on the reflectivity of PVC roofing systems, and is currently studying vegetative systems along with collecting field data on the corrosion factors that affect ACQ treated lumber.


RCI, Incorporated (RCI) is an international association of professional consultants, architects, and engineers who specialize in the specification and design of roofing, waterproofing, and exterior wall systems.

Since 1983, RCI members have offered design, repair planning, quality observance, legal testimony, and general roof management services. The 2006 inclusion of waterproofing and exterior walls in its mission and service scope reflects the understanding that roofing issues often influence the entire building envelope. Increasingly, RCI members are called upon to address building-wide concerns from below-grade to rooftop.


The Roofing Industry Committee of Weather Issues, Inc. (RICOWI) was established in 1990 as a nonprofit organization to identify and address important technical issues related to the cause of wind damage.

In 1996, RICOWI was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation devoted to research and education on wind issues. After reviewing the need for similar education and research in the areas of hail, energy-efficiency, and durability effects, the organization’s objectives were broadened in 1999 to include other weather topics, and “Wind” in RICOWI’s name was changed to “Weather” to reflect the expanded scope. RICOWI is assisted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Is Roofing Part of Your Energy Management Strategy? Part 4

Single-Ply Cool Roofing Systems

Many single-ply roofing systems have become popular in commercial applications due to their long-term performance, easy maintenance, and life-cycle cost benefits. Some of them have emerged as the best long-term cool roofing options. Their common attribute: high reflectivity.

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) single-ply roofing systems have the best track record of long-term performance among white single-ply cool roofing systems. The first white PVC systems were installed in Germany during the 1960s, and their overall performance and life cycle cost benefits made these early systems popular in Europe during the 1970s and ’80s.
  • Chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE) single-plies were the earliest widespread white roofing systems in the U.S., introduced in the 1970s under the Hypalon® brand. Although effective as a cool roofing system, Hypalon has not achieved the same commercial success as PVC, EPDM and other single-plies.
  • More recent cool roofing single-ply developments include the introduction of thermoplastic polyolefins (TPOs) and certain new co-polymer alloys (CPAs) during the late 1980s and 1990s.

Today, many single-ply roofing systems are available in white, including EPDM and modified bitumen, but PVC and TPO systems are the most popular and best-performing in terms of long-term reflectance. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has identified the PVC/TPO thermoplastic single-ply category as the fastest growing roofing sector in America for several years. The coolest among these systems typically have solar reflectance ranging from 70 percent to 85 percent.

Installing a single-ply cool roofing system can save energy and money for building owners all over the United States.

The Cool Roof Rating Council was created to develop accurate and credible methods for evaluating and labeling the solar reflectance and thermal emittance of roofing products. The CRRC’s web site enables you to search for rated products as you investigate roofing systems that will help make your building as energy-efficient as possible.

In our final installment we will discuss Regulatory Incentives and Mandates.

Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Roofing System: Environmental Impact

You must consider many factors when your roof needs to be replaced or when you are constructing a building that requires a new roof. Reviewing these factors will help you to make the wisest roofing choice and get the best long-term value for your investment.

There’s a lot to cover in a discussion of the environmental issues surrounding roofing selections, so we’re dividing it up into two posts.

Environmental Impact – Part A

Today’s society calls for more products that are environmentally-friendly, and that drive extends to commercial construction products, including roofing systems. Several factors have a bearing on a system’s environmental impact.

When researching roofing systems, investigate the materials that are used in their production. During the past several years, PVC building materials have been scrutinized perhaps more than any other, largely due to production issues that date back more than 30 years. In fact, a recent USGBC report indicated that on the whole, PVC is as benign as other construction products, and in some cases may be the most environmentally-friendly option.

Many PVC single-ply membranes are also lightweight and can often be installed over existing roofing systems, eliminating costly and landfilling tear-offs and requiring less fuel to transport to the job site than other heavier materials.

Some roofing systems benefit not only the external environment, but the internal environment as well, contributing to better indoor air quality and occupant comfort. With optimized insulation and venting, some systems can also relieve positive air pressure to keep indoor air cleaner.

When researching roofing systems, learn what happens to manufacturing scrap as well as the system itself after the end of its useful life. Some roofing manufacturers recycle scrap into other commercial products like flooring, expansion joints, walkpads, etc. Furthermore, manufacturers like Duro-Last® have implemented recycling programs for PVC roof membranes after their useful roofing lives. Such programs keep waste out of landfills and reduce the need for virgin feedstock used in a number of construction products, including new roofing membranes.

In our next installment of Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Roofing System, we will discuss the energy aspects of roofing: reflectivity, emissivity, and the solar reflectance index.

Positive Responses to Negative Statements About PVC: Part 5

Statement: “PVC building products create poisonous gasses when they burn.”

The facts: This is technically a true statement, but misleading, because it is true about all organic materials (containing carbon), whether natural or synthetic, and there are countless organic materials in every commercial building. The major gaseous products of the combustion of PVC are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen chloride and water. Chlorine gas is never produced when PVC burns.

But unlike other building materials, PVC is resistant to ignition; most rigid and flexible PVC will not burn without the continued application of heat from another source. The temperature required to ignite PVC is more than 300°F (150°C) higher than that required to ignite wood. The potential for flame to spread from burning PVC is very low because it has a slow rate of heat release, and it does not drip when it burns; instead, it develops a char which inhibits the spread of flame.

When it comes to structural fires, the U.S. Green Building Council’s Technical and Scientific Advisory Committee (TSAC), in its February 2007 report, Assessment of the Technical Basis for a PVC-Related Materials Credit for LEED, admits that there are many sources of toxic gases besides PVC. The report advises that “any firefighter not using a breathing apparatus would be taking on unnecessary risk, regardless of the specific materials present.” There is evidence that – as do many other building materials – PVC may contribute to hazardous conditions in building fires. However, there is insufficient information to determine how widespread or consistent the risks are. The TSAC report goes on to say that “compared with other plastics, and other combustible materials, PVC may have a beneficial role in reducing injuries in structural fires, as it may reduce the chances of a fire igniting or spreading due to its relatively high ignition temperature.”

In our final installment, we’ll look at this statement: “PVC is the largest source of dioxin, the most poisonous chemical on earth.”

Faces of Duro-Last: Darrell Morris

Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Coordinator
Darrell Morris - Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Coordinator

Darrell Morris has been with Duro-Last® for nearly15 years with the last five as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Sales Coordinator. Darrell works out of the corporate headquarters in Saginaw, MI. He is responsible for supporting the sales representatives and roofing contractors in his area, which includes Virginia, West Virginia, as well as portions of Pennsylvania, and New York.

Prior to his current position, Darrell started at Duro-Last in production as a shipping clerk. Darrell then worked as a cost accountant/inventory control clerk before becoming a customer sales representative where he assisted customers with their orders and general roofing questions.

Darrell credits his success at Duro-Last to his training in the military. Darrell was active in the Army, Army Reserves, and the National Guard for almost 20 years before he was given a medical honorable discharge. During this time, Darrell served in Operation Just Cause, Operation Desert Storm as well as provided security at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Darrell enjoys the relationships he has built over the years with his sales reps and roofing contractors. “I enjoy traveling to the Mid-Atlantic area and spending time with the different people in my territory,” said Darrell.

One common theme that all employees mention is the family atmosphere. Duro-Last has and always will portray the feeling that you are one of the family.