Go green. Save the planet. Reduce, reuse, recycle. When hearing these phrases, you typically think of the environment. When it comes to building green in utilizing greener building materials in roofing and contracting however, families can not only benefit the environment, but can also increase the comfortability of their home, support the health of their family and greatly reduce costs.
Across the country, we need to start making a difference to help our home planet and the homes we live in. Below are three reasons why contractors should consider giving their clients a green makeover.
Our environment can be profoundly impacted by building methods, materials and operations. More often than not, that impact is negative. Shingles can clutter landfills, harming air and water quality; building materials such as aluminum, concrete and steel are responsible for an excess of CO2 emissions; and water, air and land pollution can build up from contracting waste.
Contractors must be responsible. When building green, contractors protect and enhance ecosystems and biodiversity. We can do this by utilizing recyclable materials in our products, shingles and other components. Concerning installation, it is paramount to read through manufacturers’ recommendations for each product that’s being installed. One of the most valuable players in the sustainable manufacturing industry is CertainTeed. The company not only recycles the majority of internal waste created by manufacturing (90% is turned into asphalt materials for road construction), but they are also constantly developing new products, systems and solutions to reduce contracting’s carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency. Products such as their CoolStar® are designed with solar reflective surfaces to reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption. Partnering with a manufacturer that benefits the environment is critical in propelling our communities and our world forward.
Roofing and contracting businesses who partake in the Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) rating system help to reduce or eliminate negative impacts on the environment by utilizing sustainable methods to “help people, and the communities they reside in, safely, healthily and sustainably thrive.” These methods include erosion and sediment controls, soil stabilization and pollution prevention measures to ensure pollutants are discharged correctly and safely, in addition to minimizing the discharge of pollutants from any used equipment (site vehicles, associated chemicals, etc.).
One of the biggest benefits of building green is the increased health opportunity. A “green” roof will utilize green building materials that enhance the air quality of homes, in addition to increasing the thermal and acoustical quality. This means the utility systems will work less to maintain temperatures in the home. Overall, families will experience a higher level of occupant comfort and health. While helping protect the environment from further harm, homeowners will also be improving the overall quality of life for their entire family — a big selling point to mention when discussing these types of roofs, and green buildings in general, with clients and homeowners.
The economic payoff of a green roof isn’t always immediately noticeable, as many materials and installations of green materials do cost more initially. In the long term, however, homeowners can expect to both lower their home’s utility bills and greatly increase the value of their home when they do end up selling. As most green building materials are of higher quality, they will last longer, and provide a more sustainable design, construction and operational practice.
When it comes to a family’s health, homeowners don’t want to sacrifice any expenses. Building green saves money in the long run, improves the overall quality of health for everyone in a home and of course, helps the environment heal.