Trying to gauge the demand for sustainable roofing is difficult. Currently, there are no reliable industry statistics regarding many of the key elements of sustainable roofing. As a result, it can be very difficult for the roofing contractor to make decisions about investing in sustainable marketing strategies. A new survey suggests that sustainable roofing products are generating a lot of interest compared to other construction products.

GreenWizard is an online database offering detailed sustainable product data for building designers and specifiers regarding thousands of green construction products. Architects frequently use this database to develop specifications for sustainable building

projects, and the types of products they search for can tell us a lot about what key construction systems hold the highest priority for achieving sustainable building design. The good news for the roofing industry is that product searches involving roofing and insulation are far greater than every other key building material.

According to a recent GreenWizard survey, “thermal and moisture protection” products accounted for 19 percent of all searches last year.  Considering that roofing typically accounts for around 5 percent of a total building project cost, the level of interest in sustainable roofing materials clearly exceeds its share of the construction dollar. 

This survey report clearly suggests that the professionals who design our nation’s buildings place a disproportionate emphasis on roofing materials. By focusing on roofs, architects are able to achieve significant gains in sustainability. For example, roofing accounts for 25 percent of all construction waste; and when architects specify roofing products with high recycling content and easy reusability, they can help achieve a significant reduction in the vast amount of construction-related waste clogging our landfills. By focusing on cool and high-R roofing products, building designers may be able to make a significant impact on the quality of life in the expanding heat islands around our major urban areas.

For the roofing contractor, the results of this survey show how valuable the products you sell and the expertise you bring are for every construction project. And that means you should be confident about your ability to provide useful advice and influence product selection to achieve the best in sustainable roofing. So remember the next time you meet with a building designer or specifier, no other construction trade gets as much attention as roofing when it comes to achieving sustainable buildings.