How This Global Construction Standard Impacts the Modern Roof
Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design (LEED) and its eco-friendly regulations are the building blocks of tomorrow’s construction
The elements of a LEED-certified roof spell out a healthier experience for anyone living or working underneath one – or even on top!
In the worldwide shift toward “green,” eco-friendly construction is more than a trend. The World Green Building Council states that greener builds are saving the planet by reducing global warming, boosting economies, and creating healthy and happy communities. LEED is part of this global initiative, and it is making sure that both new and existing structures meet a set of high construction standards.
Some LEED facts and figures
The U.S. Green Building Council’s most recent data shows that 167 countries are currently building by LEED standards, with over 2 million certified square feet being laid every day. America had over 67,000 LEED-approved buildings and counting in 2018.
LEED’s prime concern is building a better world through responsible, renewable construction techniques that increase the standard of living for homes, businesses, and public buildings. The program is currently on version 4.1 and regularly evolves to improve itself. Here are some core LEED construction principles that remain constant:
- Buildings are graded on a points-based rating scale of Certified (40 points), Silver (50), Gold (60), or Platinum (80)
- Water resources must be protected and restored
- Buildings must enhance human well-being, health, and quality of life
- Structures must reverse or make no contribution to climate change
- All undertakings must focus on renewable energy and restructured materials
LEED is more than just a construction template. It applies to the building’s entire life cycle, from foundation to eventual demolition. This ensures it won’t negatively impact people or the environment at any stage of its existence. While a LEED-approved building stands, residential and professional occupants will enjoy lower operating costs, cleaner indoor air, and safer building materials around them.
LEED’s dedication to these things will eventually become commonplace in every kind of construction. Will these high standards change the face of roofing in the future?
LEED and the greener roofs to come
The answer is a definite yes! No aspect of a structure embodies LEED construction more than its roof, which becomes a living addition to the building. The fact that they’re lovely for the occupants and neighbors to look at is a big plus over the standard flat or sloping roofs we’re all used to seeing, but a green roof is more than just pretty.
They’re highly functional on a practical level and help roofers to tackle some of the oldest problems in roofing and urban living in general:
- Stormwater management. Water gathering on a roof can cause a host of problems, but a green roof simply drinks it right up. Rainwater is stored in the substrate, absorbed by the greenery, and evaporated back into the atmosphere. LEED states that green roofs can safely handle up to 90 percent of the water that falls on them.
- Handling the “heat island” effect. A green roof also drinks in the sunlight and uses it to grow. A standard roof can’t do that and simply gets hotter and hotter. This not only damages it over time but also turns the roof into a heat island. You can imagine the problem in urban and metropolitan areas with all those roofs throwing out reflected heat. In this way, green roofs can help cool entire towns and cities.
- Waste diversion. Roofing waste takes the form of damaged membranes and coverings that have lost the battle to the elements. Thanks to green roofs, the lifetime of roof coverings is greatly increased, which means a decrease in thrown-away materials. Greenery also prolongs the life of HVAC, ventilation, and heating systems (all typically found on roofs) through decreased use.
- Improved air quality. Air pollution, harmful gases, and atmospheric disposition are all tackled more healthily. Plants and in some cases trees absorb things like carbon dioxide and give back oxygen. Employees are also becoming less cooped up indoors. Many green roofs also contain seating spaces where occupants can work in the fresh air or simply relax and enjoy the view.
- Green peace. Noise can be a headache for many people living and working in urban environments. Green roofs have been proven to absorb noise just like they do with sunlight, water, and toxins.
- Superior insulation. The roof is the number one spot for heat loss in cold weather. In a neat reversal of the heat island effect, green roofing ensures you don’t lose so much warmth by blanketing your building with a layer of insulation that helps cut down on heating bills.
A lot to look forward and up to
You may not be ready for a whole garden on top of your business just yet. We’ve always shared LEED’s opinion that quality roofing is an investment in the future. Get in touch with us to see what we can do for your roof through one of our many services and discover how we care for our customers.
At Peck Brothers Roofing, we take a creative approach to roofing solutions. From repair and replacement to maintenance and disaster response, you can count on us to literally keep you covered. Give us a call at 201-791-3235, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.