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Green Roofing

Many construction trends don't withstand the test of time, or the building industry simply refuses to embrace an innovative change, leaving behind another potentially beneficial building technique, even as the often inefficient status quo marches forward. Well, innovative green roofing is beating the odds, as the industry reported a growth of 16% in 2009, despite the economic recession and downturn in construction within the US.

Green roofing at its most basic is the use of vegetated roof covers on top of buildings, but it can also mean establishing complex rooftop eco-systems which benefit the building and the environment. While there are many traditional rooftop gardens throughot the US, a green roof system is more than potted plants installed on top of buildings. These roofing systems use specialized membranes and construction materials to incorporate the plants and the soil with the building's design and structure, essentially creating a living rooftop.

Benefits of Green Roofing Systems

  • A green roof can protect a structure from the sun's harmful ultra-violet rays, which can extend the life of a building and reduce its maintenance costs by eliminating the need for a new roof coating every 20 years or so. This reduction in maintenance costs can increase the value of a building and increase its sales marketability.
  • A green roof can absorb rainwater, which would normally be diverted into a sewer or storm water runoff system. The absorbed water then feeds the vegetative covering and is slowly returned to the natural water cycle through evaporation.
  • As the planet heats up, the cost of cooling a building increases. The natural thermal insulation of a vegetative covering can reduce a building's solar heat gain during the hot months of the year and decrease its heat loss during the cold winter months, both of which help reduce overall power consumption.
  • Each new building's footprint is another section of the natural environment which is lost, yet a green roof replaces that lost section of natural ground with a verdant, artificially made ecosystem. This "nature replacement" process can help cool large cities by reducing the urban heat-island effect, which is a condition that causes considerably warmer air temperatures in our planet's largest cities.

As the beneficial attributes of green roofs become more widely known and desired, the building industry will most likely step forward to meet the growing public demand for more energy efficient buildings. Hopefully green construction techniques such as green roofing will surpass their experimental niche in the construction marketplace and become commonplace in an evolving landscape of needed change.

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Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material in North America mainly because they are economical and versatile, work well on steep-sloped roofs, are sunlight and weather resistant, require little-to-no maintenance and are reasonably priced. In addition, asphalt shingles are also easy to cut, fasten, and fit, as well as being compatible with many different kinds of flashing and edging products.

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