Contractors and architects in search of sustainable and energy-efficient roofing products increasingly face a broad range of new choices. But a recent study suggests that a frontrunner in the race to be green may be one of the most tried and true products in the marketplace.
In February, President Obama announced the Better Buildings Initiative, a multi-pronged effort to make commercial buildings 20 percent more energy efficient over the next decade by encouraging private sector investment through incentives to upgrade schools, universities and municipal facilities, as well as offices, stores and other commercial buildings.
Energy efficiency, re-use, and recyclability are buzzwords in the roofing industry, and while such terms have a tendency to lose their meaning over time, some in the business take them very seriously. With landfill space at a premium, recycling has become much more than a fad. Instead, it is increasingly providing a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and easy alternative to skyrocketing waste disposal rates.
Chicago has long been known as the Windy City. But Chicago is earning a new nickname - “Green Roof City.” Much of the credit goes to the Public Building Commission (PBC), which oversees public buildings across the city.
While sustainability is on the forefront of clients’ minds, it is often perceived as the more expensive option. In fact, a McGraw-Hill Construction study showed the largest obstacle to green construction is the perception of an increased cost. Educational institutions in particular are concerned with achieving sustainable design at a value, as they are often dealing with limited budgets and public money.
As global interest has increased in passive, energy-saving technologies, cool roofs have received a significant boost in awareness and research over the past year. In both commercial and residential applications, people are discovering the comfort, energy efficiency and climate change mitigation benefits of cool roofs.
George School in Bucks County, Pa., hadn’t constructed a new freestanding academic facility in 33 years. So when the time came to construct a new facility, the goal was to do it right for the students, faculty, community and environment.
The Arlington Grove neighborhood in north St. Louis has seen its share of hard times in recent years, but through the efforts of the community’s dedicated church officials, residents and aldermen, plus developer McCormack Baron Salazar, KAI Design & Build, the City of St. Louis and the St. Louis Housing Authority, its future is looking brighter and greener.
Most people have heard the terms acrylic, polymer, elastomeric and reflective. Some terms may seem obvious while others may or may not be understood at all. All polymers are not acrylic, and all acrylics are not appropriate for all applications.