By Allen Foster
A roof is an investment that provides protection for everything that lies beneath it. It is a barrier that shields you from the elements and, as such, it is also the key to controlling the climate within your structure. In that respect, when it comes to money, the right roof can benefit the consumer with an incredible reduction in energy usage over its lifespan. Some options include upgrading the insulation, using reflective material, installing a Green Roof, or using your rooftop as a source of renewable energy.
Heating and cooling your business accounts for over half of your utility bill. Approximately 25% of heat loss occurs through the roof. Upgrading the insulation in your roof from its current R-value to the high performance levels embodied in a High R Roof can lower your utility costs by as much as 20% in many cases.
What is a cool roof? Basically, it’s a roof made of highly reflective and emissive material so that sunlight isn’t absorbed as heat in the building below. According to Oak Ridge National Laboratories, a cool roof can lower your overall heating and cooling costs by as much as 40 percent.
Just like it sounds, a green roof is a roof that supports plant life. Although it has yet to fully catch on in North America, studies have shown that this type of roof, although more expensive, can last for up to 40 years. Additionally, a green roof can reduce the temperature of a roof by as much as 80 degrees Farenheit, which, in turn, can lower the inside temperature by as much as 8 degrees Farenheit. Additionally, a green roof can become a usable space, it can help cleanse the air of pollutants, it can reduce storm water that can overflow sewage systems, and, if done on a large scale, green roofs can actually reduce the ambient temperature in the summertime.
Sustainable Roof System
Lastly, and most proactively, you can put your roof to work for you. Literally. Your roof can provide heat to your water through solar thermal heating, and it can produce electricity through Photovoltaic panels or even rooftop wind turbines.