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Everything You Must Know About Designing an Eco-Friendly Roof

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The market for eco-friendly buildings is surging. One study shows that construction companies are likely to spend over $573 billion on eco-friendly building materials by 2027. Consumers and businesses are also investing more in eco-friendly renovations, including sustainable roofing projects.

The Rise of Green Roofing Projects

Your roof is as essential as your property’s foundation, protecting it from the elements, regulating your home’s heat and improving it aesthetically. As such, renovating an aging roof is an important consideration, and, like any form of home improvement, you should be thinking carefully about how to reduce the environmental impact of doing so.

Designing an eco-friendly roof is easier than it might sound and also offers cost-saving advantages as well as environmental ones. By helping to reduce your energy consumption you’ll have lower energy bills, while these types of roofs tend to last longer than conventional ones too. Consequently, you won’t need to spend money on regularly replacing it and will use fewer materials in the long run, further reducing your carbon footprint.

So, what should you consider when designing an eco-friendly roof for your home?

Choose a sustainable material

Almost no roofing material is entirely sustainable, but some are certainly better than others. For example, you definitely want to avoid materials such as tar and gravel as they are non-recyclable and release hazardous fumes. The best choices include:

Wood

Not only can you buy recycled or reclaimed wood shingles in the first place, you can also recycle them again when your roof needs re-renovating in the future. Though, be sure to purchase them from a supplier that sells responsibly sourced timber, such as Building Materials Nationwide Ltd, otherwise you’re kind of defeating the purpose of using wood. Other benefits of the material for roofs include its durability, its superior insulation qualities (more on insulation later) and how great it looks.

Metal

There are a lot of roofing myths that you need to avoid. One of them is that roofing materials can’t be eco-friendly.

While metal roofs take a lot of energy to produce, they are extremely long-lasting and can usually be recycled at the end of their lifespan. They also offer significant protection from the elements as well as provide heat reflection, though this means they should be insulated carefully. The most common types of metal roof materials are steel and aluminum.

Clay tiles

Clay tiles are also extremely long-lasting and are completely recyclable, making them another great roof material. They are particularly common in hot climates due to their ability to reflect heat, and are also resistant to mold, fungus and bacterial growth. Moreover, clay tiles help homeowners cut electricity costs by insulating against both the heat and the cold by creating an air cushion below and above the tile.

Incorporate solar panels

Installing solar panels on your roof enables you to capture the sun’s energy, which has numerous environmental benefits. For instance, they cut your dependence on non-renewable energy sources, help you use less water and reduce air pollution. Solar panels have various non-environmental advantages for homeowners too, including giving you greater control over your electricity, reducing your utility bills and qualifying you for tax breaks. They can also bolster the value of your home by up to 4.1%.

So, when designing your roof, be sure to legislate for solar panels. You’ll want to have a robust and long-lasting roof material like the ones listed above to ensure it can withstand the extra weight of the panels. If you’re designing your roof from scratch, you need to make sure it is facing south (assuming you’re in the northern hemisphere) and that it features minimal accessories like gutters, vents and chimneys. These two steps maximize the amount of sunlight your roof will receive. Two of the biggest solar panels companies around are Sunrun and First Solar, Inc.

Think carefully about insulation and ventilation

You also need to think carefully about the eco-friendly roofing materials that you will use. They are important to make sure that you ensure the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of your roof.

Both insulating and ventilating your roof properly helps to further reduce your energy consumption and make it even more eco-friendly. Let’s look at insulation first, which is a barrier of material within your roof space. This can either be placed between the joists (the horizontal beams that sit above the ceiling) or the rafters (the angled beams that support the roof). However you do it, insulation slows down the transfer of heat between your home and the outside, making it more energy efficient and in turn reducing your bills. You should be sure to use the most eco-friendly insulation material possible to further reduce your carbon footprint. Among the best to consider are stone mineral wool, hemp and cellulose.

Meanwhile, ventilation is the intentional introduction of outdoor air into your home. Installing roof vents has environmental advantages such as protecting your roof (by removing issues like mold and damp) meaning you won’t need to renovate it as quickly and keeping temperatures down in warmer climates. This in turn reduces your air conditioning usage. Like insulation though, it’s important to opt for the most sustainable ventilation option possible, with low-energy types the way forward.

Have some inspiration about going green in all aspect of life. Views are my own.

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