Specifying SPF Roofing Systems: Part 5
Are SPF roofing systems sustainable?
At the 1996 Sustainable Low-Slope Roofing Seminar, Oak Ridge National Laboratories described sustainable or green roofing systems as “roofing systems that have a long life, low maintenance, save energy, add durability to buildings, control moisture in buildings, and contribute very little to the waste stream.”
Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing systems from Conklin comply with every criteria of this definition. SPF roofing systems greatly reduce tear-offs in many re-roofing projects, which also decreases the amount of materials entering the waste stream. In addition, the SPF systems used today do not contain any ozone-depleting chemicals, and the energy-saving characteristics can save considerable amounts of fossil fuel and CO2 production, which affects global warming.
SPF roofing systems arrive on the jobsite in 55-gallon drums that create the foam plastic, which expands 30-times its original volume on-site. This saves greatly on fuel used for transportation. And SPF roofing systems add durability in severe weather events, such as hurricanes, and last more than 30 years with proper installation and maintenance.
The energy-saving characteristics of SPF roofing have been widely reported by institutions such as Texas A&M and companies like Ford Motor Co., but deserve some explanation. SPF roofing systems are applied above the roof deck. These systems eliminate thermal bridging by providing a continuous layer of insulation over existing thermal bridges in the roof deck and/or assembly. SPF has a very high aged R-value of approximately six per inch, and SPF roofing systems typically are coated with light-colored, reflective coatings.
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