An Unlikely Way to Reduce Waste and Save Energy
Installing Metal Roofing to Save and Reduce Waste
As consumers become more educated about the need for sustainable living, many homeowners and homebuyers are prioritizing eco-friendly living in their home purchases and renovations. To meet the public outcry for conservation, recyclability and sustainability, those in the home improvement and construction industries are seeking solid alternatives that will adhere to even the most rigorous standards of eco-friendliness and sustainable living. Of the various home improvement green solutions, metal roofing is definitely one that is gaining great popularity even among the most skeptical homeowners and buyers.
The rise of metal roofing
Made of various metal materials — such as tin, aluminum, copper, and galvanized steel — metal roofs are known to withstand some of Mother Nature’s most wicked rages. Be it heavy rainstorms, hailstorms or snow, metal roofs will keep homeowners safe and away from the elements. In addition to being fire-resistant and impervious to the most unforgiving weathers and troublesome pests, metal roofs are also an environmentally friendly roofing solution for their superior energy-saving features, unmatched longevity and high recyclability.
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Considered a ‘cool’ roof, metal roofs are an energy efficient roofing solution that will save homeowners up to 40 percent in their energy expenditure. Using a solar spectrum reflectometer and an emission meter to conduct a three-year study on the energy efficiency and service life of metal roofing systems, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Buildings Technology Center found that the high solar reflectivity and emissivity levels of cool metal roofing can greatly mitigate urban heat island effects. Moreover, while white coatings on other roofing materials displayed a 25 to 40 percent drop in their initial reflectance, the metal roof tested retained most of its initial solar reflectance during the study. In fact, researchers found that pre-painted metal was able to keep almost 95 percent of its reflexivity.
Another study showed that an unpainted metal roof demonstrates a very high solar reflectance level that usually exceeds the minimum federal Energy Star requirement of 60 percent. Depending on the color of a painted metal roof, the reflectance range can go anywhere from 10 percent to 75 percent, which is definitely better than the 5 percent to 25 percent range of an asphalt roof. As a recent case study on the trend of cool metal roofing in North America points out, dark colors can absorb significantly more solar radiation than light ones. Therefore, switching to a white or light-colored metal roof will not only reduce energy spending by 20 percent, but also make your home 50 to 60 degrees cooler than a conventional dark-colored roof.