ARMA Is Looking for Asphalt Roofing Projects to Showcase

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is looking for the top commercial and residential asphalt roofing projects to showcase in its 2016 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study (QARC) Awards Program.

The QARC Awards are open to contractors, consultants, architects and specifiers working with asphalt roofing products. The top three projects that best demonstrate the beauty, affordability and reliability of asphalt roofing will take the prize.

Submissions for the 2016 QARC Awards Program are currently being accepted through Thursday, Dec. 31. Roofing professionals can submit as many projects as they want without any cost to enter.

Industry professionals can enter their project online through the QARC Awards page of ARMA’s website by providing a description of the project and explaining why and how asphalt products were used. High-resolution photos of the completed project are also required for submission. Both new construction and renovation projects are eligible for the program.

“The gold, silver and bronze winners of the QARC Awards Program are selected by leaders in the roofing industry,” says Reed Hitchcock, executive vice president of ARMA. “Previous recipients have been chosen for the beauty that their project displays, as well as how it demonstrates the benefits of asphalt roofing systems. From weather protection and energy efficiency to fire and wind resistance, QARC winners demonstrate the breadth of performance that asphalt roofing systems provide.”

ARMA awards cash prizes to the top three roofing projects, and the winners are featured in national roofing trade publications. For more information on the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study Awards Program, please visit ARMA’s website.

Asphalt-based Low-slope Roof Systems Provide Long-term Service Life

Asphalt-based roof systems have a long-standing track record of success in the roofing industry. In fact, asphalt-based roof systems have more than a century of use in the U.S. Building owners, roofing specifiers and contractors should not lose sight of this fact. It is important to understand why asphalt roofing has been successful for so long. Asphalt roofs demonstrate characteristics, such as durability and longevity of materials and components, redundancy of waterproofing, ease and understanding of installation, excellent tensile strength and impact resistance. Each of these characteristics helps ensure long-term performance.

Using a composite built-up/ modified bitumen roof system provides redundancy helping ensure durability and longevity. Surface reflectivity and a multilayer insulation layer provide excellent thermal resistance. Quality details and regular maintenance will provide long-term performance. PHOTO: Advanced Roofing

Using a composite built-up/
modified bitumen roof system provides redundancy helping ensure durability and longevity. Surface reflectivity and a multilayer insulation layer provide excellent thermal resistance. Quality details
and regular maintenance will provide long-term performance. PHOTO: Advanced Roofing

There are two types of asphalt-based low-slope roof systems: modified bitumen (MB) roof systems and builtup roof (BUR) systems. MB sheets are composed primarily of polymer-modified bitumen reinforced with one or more plies of fabric, such as polyester, glass fiber or a combination of both. Assembled in factories using optimal quality-control standards, modified bitumen sheets are manufactured to have uniform thickness and consistent physical properties throughout the sheet. Modified bitumen roof systems are further divided into atactic polypropylene (APP) and styrene butadiene styrene (SBS) modified systems. APP and SBS modifiers create a uniform matrix that enhances the physical properties of the asphalt. APP is a thermoplastic polymer that forms a uniform matrix within the bitumen. This matrix increases the bitumen’s resistance to ultraviolet light, its flexibility at high and low temperatures, and its ability to resist water penetration. SBS membranes resist water penetration while exhibiting excellent elongation and recovery properties over a wide range of temperature extremes. This high-performance benefit makes SBS membranes durable and particularly appropriate where there may be movement or deflection of the underlying deck.

BUR systems consist of multiple layers of bitumen alternated with ply sheets (felts) applied over the roof deck, vapor retarder, and most often insulation or coverboard. BUR systems are particularly advantageous for lowslope applications. The strength of the system comes from the membrane, which includes the layers of hot-applied bitumen and the reinforcing plies of roofing felt.

FACTORS FOR LONG-TERM PERFORMANCE AND SERVICE LIFE

It is important for building owners and roof system designers to recognize the principles of long-lasting, high-performance roof systems. Roof longevity and performance are determined by factors that include building and roof system design, job specifications, materials quality and suitability, application procedures and maintenance. The level of quality in the workmanship during the application process is critical.

Longevity and performance start with proper design of the asphalt-based roof system. Proper roof system design includes several components: the roof deck, a base layer supporting a vapor retarder or air barrier when necessary, multi-layer insulation and a coverboard, the asphaltic membrane, appropriate surfacing material or coating, and the attachment methods for all layers. Roof consultants, architects and roof manufacturers understand proper design. Roof design needs to follow applicable code requirements for wind, fire and impact resistance, as well as site-specific issues, such as enhanced wind resistance design, positive drainage and rooftop traffic protection. Roof designers can provide or assist with the development of written specifications and construction details that are specific to a roofing project for new construction or reroofing.

Low-slope asphalt-based roof systems are redundant; they are multi-layered systems. BUR systems include a base sheet, three or four reinforcing ply sheets and a surfacing, either aggregate (rock) or a cap sheet. MB sheets include one and sometimes two reinforcing layers and are commonly installed over a substantial asphaltic base sheet. Modified bitumen roofs can be granule surfaced, finished with reflective options or coated after installation. Aggregate, granules, films and coatings add UV protection, assist with fire resistance, provide durability to the roof system and can improve roof aesthetics.

An asphaltic cap sheet with a factory-applied reflective roof coating is installed over three glass-fiber ply sheets and a venting base sheet. The reflective coating reduces heat gain, and insulating concrete provides a stable substrate and high R-value. PHOTO: Aerial Photography Inc.

An asphaltic cap sheet with a factory-applied reflective roof coating is installed over three glass-fiber ply sheets and a venting base sheet. The reflective coating reduces heat gain, and insulating concrete provides a stable substrate and high R-value. PHOTO: Aerial Photography Inc.

Coverboards provide a durable layer immediately below the membrane, are resistant to foot traffic and separate the membrane from the thermal insulation layer. Protecting the thermal insulation helps maintain the insulation R-value as specified and installed.

Asphalt is a durable and long-lasting material for roof membranes and flashings. Asphalt is stable under significant temperature swings and can be highly impact resistant. Various reinforcements can be used to increase an asphaltic membrane’s durability. All asphaltic membranes are reinforced, during installation (BUR) or the manufacturing process (MB membranes). Polyester reinforcement has excellent elongation, tensile strength and recovery. It provides good puncture resistance and stands up well to foot traffic. Glass fiber reinforcement resists flame penetration and provides excellent tensile strength and dimensional stability.

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ARMA Converts Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual into eBook

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association has converted its popular <em>Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual</em> into an eBook that is available in all major online retail bookstores.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association has converted its popular Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual into an eBook that is available in all major online retail bookstores.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association has converted its popular Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual into an eBook that is available in all major online retail bookstores. It can be accessed on smartphones, tablets, the Kindle from Amazon and Nook eReader from Barnes and Noble. An eBook format allows users to bookmark key pages or diagrams, take notes and change the font size for better viewing. In addition, the print-on-demand version of the Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual, which was updated earlier this year, allows the publication to ship straight from the printing press to the customer at a reduced cost. ARMA also is offering discounts for bulk purchases. Purchase ARMA publications.

2015 QARC Winners Highlight Asphalt Roofing’s Durability

The winners of the 2015 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study (QARC) Awards have been announced, and it’s no beauty contest. Although the winning projects all feature aesthetic and innovative design, none were chosen for their looks alone. The top three winners this year—a high school, luxury condominium complex and an upscale home—were chosen because of the vital way asphalt roofing was used to solve a key issue and protect valuable assets.

D&D Roofing, Commerce City, Colo., won the QARC Gold Award for the new roof system installed at Thomas Jefferson High School, Denver.

D&D Roofing, Commerce City, Colo., won the QARC Gold Award for the new roof system installed at Thomas Jefferson High School, Denver.

The Washington, D.C.-based Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association honored D&D Roofing, Commerce City, Colo., with the Gold Award for the new roof system installed at Thomas Jefferson High School, Denver. The school selected a redundant BUR system to protect the school’s staff, students and equipment from a variety of different weather conditions, including heavy snowstorms, hail and high winds, as well as the effects of the blazing sun.

The Silver Award was given to IronClad Exteriors Inc., Sandy, Utah, for its work on The Grand Lodge at Deer Valley, Park City, Utah. This luxury condominium complex located at a ski resort required a new asphalt roof that would prevent heat from escaping through the attic and causing ice damming when snow melts and refreezes at the eaves.

Tom Goldston Roofing, Gardnerville, Nev., received the Bronze Award for the Rosenthal Residence, Glennbrook, Nev. This beautiful home in South Lake Tahoe required fire-resistant asphalt shingles because it’s situated in a heavily wooded area. The homeowners also wanted the shingles to resemble the look of the original wood shake roof.

“Whether through protection from the elements, reliable insulation or fire-resistance, asphalt roofing solved a problem for each building while meeting the aesthetic requirements of the job,” says Reed Hitchcock, executive vice president of ARMA.

The annual QARC Awards program honors North America’s best architects, contractors and specifiers who use asphaltic roofing materials on low- and steep-slope building projects. The program honors the residential and commercial roofing projects that demonstrate the beauty, affordability and reliability of asphalt roofing.

The 2015 QARC judges represented experts from the trade media, roofing industry, and building and construction. For the low-slope commercial systems, judging focused on the project’s reliability, performance and affordability while also considering overall aesthetics. The steep-slope projects were evaluated on how asphalt shingles solved the homeowner’s problem and provided the look he or she desired through different asphalt shingle colors, textures and the overall curb appeal.

The top three winners will receive a check from ARMA in the amounts of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 and will have their roofing projects featured on the ARMA website. For a complete list of winners and to submit your project for the 2016 QARC Awards, visit ARMA’s website.

PHOTO: DAVID PAHL, STACK

Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association Celebrates 100 Years of Commitment to the Roofing Industry

Since its early days in 1915—a year when women couldn’t vote, President Woodrow Wilson was in office and Babe Ruth hit his first career home run—the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has had a momentous impact on the roofing industry.

The trade association has brought the majority of North American manufacturers together under the common goal of championing asphalt roofing and promoting the industry. This year, the association celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new logo and looks back on a century of commitment to asphalt roofing excellence.

ARMA celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new logo and looks back on a century of commitment to asphalt roofing excellence.

ARMA celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new logo and looks back on a century of commitment to asphalt roofing excellence.

Asphalt has been used as a roofing product since roll roofing hit the market in 1893—three years before Henry Ford built his first automobile engine. Since then, it has become the standard in roofing, with four out of five homes in the U.S. choosing asphalt for its beauty, affordability and reliability. Through continuous innovation, asphalt roofing manufacturers have developed high-quality, high-value products.

Since its humble beginnings in New York City as the Asphalt Roofing Industry Bureau 100 years ago, ARMA has served as an industry leader for asphalt roofing and has dedicated its services to the long-term vibrancy and sustainability of the roofing community. Over the years, ARMA’s location has changed from New York City, to Garland, Texas, to its current headquarters in the nation’s capital, but its purpose has remained the same. ARMA represents the majority of North America’s asphalt roofing manufacturing companies and their raw material suppliers and includes almost 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers of bituminous-based roofing products.

When first introduced, all asphalt shingles were organic, with mica, dolomite and even oyster shell granules added to the shingle surface to make it more durable. Now there are many different asphalt roofing systems available, from traditional residential roofing shingles to Built-Up Roofing (BUR), Atactic Polyproylene (APP) and Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS) modified systems. Asphalt roofing comes in a variety of colors, styles and textures and continues to be the preferred roofing material based on its durability, long-life expectancy and low maintenance.

ARMA is kicking off its 100th year by unveiling a new association logo with a sleek, modern design that represents steep- and low-slope roofing systems. Throughout 2015, ARMA will promote its centennial celebration with an anniversary banner that reads “ARMA: Celebrating a Century of Roofing Excellence.”

The new ARMA logo reflects the association’s commitment to innovation and advancements in the roofing industry. In recent years, ARMA has redesigned its website to improve the user experience and enhance the mobile application of its industry news, technical information and educational resources. The association is also streamlining its bookstore by offering technical manuals and other important publications as eBooks this year.

As ARMA positions itself as a technologically savvy and contemporary organization, it will look back at its century-long history throughout 2015. Check ARMA’s website for historical asphalt roofing information, vintage collateral and fun facts.

ARMA, ERA and PIMA Research Advanced Roof Systems in Northern Climates

A coalition of trade groups is funding a research project about advanced roofing systems that were installed on an upstate New York correctional facility to evaluate the benefits of thermal insulation and cool roofing in Northern climates.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), Washington, D.C.; EPDM Roofing Association (ERA), Washington; and the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA), Bethesda, Md., are sponsoring continued analysis of a reroofing project at the Onondaga County Correctional Facility, Jamesville, N.Y. The Onondaga County Department of Facilities Management identified a need to study building energy use and stormwater runoff from roof systems. Temperature and rain data from the project, which includes vegetative roofing, increased insulation levels and “cool” roofs, will provide information about building performance and roof covering selection.

“ARMA members promote a balanced approach to roofing performance, especially when it comes to saving building energy,” says Reed Hitchcock, ARMA’s executive vice president. “Using a whole-building approach, where roofing reflectivity, insulation levels and other design elements are considered in the decision-making process, will help ensure the right system is selected; this project can only help with that decision.”

When the correctional facility was due for a major reroofing project in 2009, Onondaga County saw a unique opportunity to evaluate the water-retention and energy-efficiency performance for a variety of different roof covering assemblies. The project also offered valuable information that could be used to identify the best options for future reroof projects across the county’s entire building inventory.

The county worked with Ashley-McGraw Architects, Syracuse, N.Y., and CDH Energy, Cazenovia, N.Y., to design and install a field monitoring system to collect data on thermal performance, weather conditions and roof runoff from four buildings at the Jamesville facility. CDH Energy released a report in October 2011 that made recommendations on roof covering selection.

Hugh Henderson, P.E., CDH Energy, remarked the original report laid the groundwork for future roofing projects in Onondaga County. “The use of vegetative roof systems as a stormwater control mechanism was the most important takeaway from the first years of the project,” he explains. “Continuing the project will provide a better evaluation of cool roof and insulation products as part of roof designs in colder climates.”

With the instrumentation still in place, it was a simple decision to continue evaluating the roof coverings over a longer time period to better see how roof coverings interact with weather conditions. Of particular interest is the effect of accumulated snow on roofs that may affect the buildings’ thermal performance.

“Roof insulation is an integral part of the design strategy for a building’s energy-efficiency footprint, and this study will help building owners, contractors and architects assess a roof’s performance from a broader basis and ensure the best energy efficient components are used,” adds Jared Blum, PIMA president.

The Onondaga County reroofing project includes an analysis of the comparison of cool roof technologies, consisting of reflective roof surfaces and high-performing well-insulated roof covering assemblies. “Our members produce reflective and absorptive roof coverings; this study will provide meaningful data that can help designers select the right products for their particular project, regardless of where in the country the roof will be installed,” notes Ellen Thorp, ERA’s associate executive director.

The project is expected to run through 2015.

Asphalt Roofing Products Provide a Historic Mansion with Modern Performance Without Sacrificing its Classic Curb Appeal

Historic renovations can pose many challenges to roofing contractors. But when done correctly, a renovation on a classic home maintains the structure’s unique style, provides modern performance and even helps to preserve the rich history of an area. This kind of challenge was presented to Highland, Md.-based Certified Inc. when the roofing company was called upon to install a new roof on a historic mansion in Laurel, Md. By choosing the right roofing materials and utilizing proper techniques, the contractor was able to successfully preserve the home’s Victorian appearance and character using today’s safer, more affordable and reliable products, while also meeting the requirements of the local Historic District Commission.

Formerly known as the Phelps mansion, this Victorian-style house was built in 1888.

Formerly known as the Phelps mansion, this Victorian-style house was built in 1888.

A STORIED PAST

Formerly known as the Phelps mansion, this Victorian-style house was built in 1888. The mansion was the home of Edward Phelps, who served as the first mayor of Laurel. Throughout his seven terms in office, Phelps modernized the rural community by overseeing the addition of electric street lights; brick-paved roads; a telephone system; and a railroad that connected Laurel to Washington, D.C.

Jim Lessig, Certified’s project manager, was immediately drawn to the project when it was referred to him by a previous customer. “I was very interested in the project due to the historic nature and elaborate architecture of the home,” he says. “It wasn’t the largest project of the year for us, but definitely the most interesting and intricate.”

The Phelps mansion is located in the Historic District of Laurel, an area that is part of the original town. In the 1970s, a Historic District Commission was established to ensure the preservation of homes and businesses and keep the area’s small-town charm. When it came time to install a new roof on the mansion in June 2013, the homeowners worked with the commission to receive approval on building materials and roofing techniques based on a set of guidelines drafted by the organization.

Sunny Pritchard, coordinator for the Historic District Commission, describes the mansion as a magnificent old home that “sits on a sweeping piece of land and looks grand and proud with its high roof lines, gables and big open porches.” To Pritchard and the rest of the commission, it was imperative that the roof retained the home’s noble, Victorian look.

AN INTRICATE ROOF

Certified was faced with a historic challenge: How could it imitate the look of the home’s original slate roof while providing the safety and durability of today’s products? The answer came in the form of asphalt shingles, which were selected for the renovation and were approved by the historic commission.

The roofing contractor chose asphalt shingles because they were able to mimic the historic look of the original slate tiles while providing modern performance and reliability.

The roofing contractor chose asphalt shingles because they were able to mimic the historic look of the original slate tiles while providing modern performance and reliability.

“We chose to use asphalt shingles because they were able to mimic the historic look of the original slate tiles while providing modern performance and reliability,” Lessig notes. “The commission approved the shingle because in their view it gave an authentic slate look that maintained the house’s turnof- the century appearance.”

The chosen shingles are individually colored using precision color technology which allows a roof to maintain the color, contrast and authentic look of natural slate. Natural slate is expensive and takes a specialized labor force to install because the process is an art form. Natural slate can also be a heavy product and breakage can occur when you install it. Asphalt shingles provided a great value for the project, while mimicking the look and tone of slate from the curb.

Contractors used a combination of low- and steep-slope materials on the roof, and added built-in copper gutters to really make it stand out. The end result was a roof that is beautiful and durable. The home retains its ability to transport passersby back into a time of horse-drawn carriages, top hats and hoop skirts.

A CELEBRATED PRESENT

Since the installation, the Phelps mansion’s new roof has gained national attention. In February, the historic home received one of the asphalt roofing industry’s top honors—the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study Awards (QARC) Bronze Award. The annual QARC awards program is run by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), Washington, D.C., and recognizes roofing projects that demonstrate the beauty, durability, reliability and affordability of asphalt-based roofing products.

the historic home received one of the asphalt roofing industry’s top honors—the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study Awards (QARC) Bronze Award.

The historic home received one of the asphalt roofing industry’s top honors—the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study Awards (QARC) Bronze Award.

The Bronze Award recognized the contractor’s choice of an asphalt roofing product that was easy to work with and provided a safe working environment while successfully replicating the 19th century look and feel of the home.

Because of Certified’s excellent work and the unique products used for the project, this historic mansion will continue to represent the image of the original Laurel district and help preserve the area’s history for many more years to come.

“I would have loved to be one of the preserved boards in this house so I could have recorded the happenings throughout the years,” Pritchard notes. “That is what old homes have, a history of happenings, and if you let the roofs and boards decay and rot and eventually fall down, all of that history goes with it. We want to preserve both—the boards and the history.”

ROOF MATERIALS
Highland Slate shingles: CertainTeed Corp.

Learn More about Asphalt Shingles
To learn about the color process and how asphalt shingles are made, check out this video from the Washington, D.C.-based Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.

Learn about ARMA and the QARC awards program.

PHOTOS: EMERY PHOTOGRAPHY

ARMA and ASTM to Develop Product Category Rules for Asphalt Roofing in North America

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has partnered with ASTM International to develop Product Category Rules (PCR) for asphalt roofing in North America. The new PCR will provide consistent methodologies for asphalt roofing manufacturers to measure and report the expected environmental impact of their products. This new document can be accessed for free on ASTM International’s website (www.astm.org/certification).

PCRs provide guidelines for the development of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for a specific product group. PCRs are valuable to any industry because they streamline the process through which products are measured and their environmental impacts communicated, creating globally consistent documentation. Asphalt roofing manufacturers can use these guidelines to review their own products and develop an EPD, which is a verified document that reports the expected environmental performance of a product based on its expected life cycle. An EPD uses the data collected through PCR guidelines to provide comparable environmental impact data for similar products.

“This PCR is a significant, universal resource for the asphalt roofing industry,” said ARMA executive vice president Reed Hitchcock. “It provides asphalt roofing manufacturers with a way to collect, measure, and communicate data pertaining to expected product environmental impacts through an Environmental Product Declaration, and will give consumers and industry professionals new insight into asphalt roofing materials. Developing these guidelines helps further ARMA’s commitment to transparency and environmental sustainability.”

ARMA and several of its member companies participated in the development of this PCR, titled “Asphalt Shingles, Built-Up Asphalt Membrane Roofing, and Modified Bituminous Membrane Roofing.” The guidelines cover asphalt shingles applied over underlayment, and low-slope roofing assemblies consisting of various combinations of factory-produced asphalt-saturated or coated base sheets, ply sheets and cap sheets together with specified viscous asphalt coatings, adhesives and surfacings.

ASTM began its PCR and EPD program in 2012 to provide an infrastructure that can be used for the evaluation and communication of a product’s full-lifecycle environmental impacts. ASTM develops PCRs in partnership with various segments of the building construction industry and in accordance with international standards. ARMA’s partnership with ASTM was an efficient way to provide a PCR to asphalt roofing manufacturers that is standard among researchers, developers, consumers and businesses.

ARMA Seeks Projects that Demonstrate Beauty, Affordability and Reliability of Asphalt Roofing

Does your asphalt roofing project have what it takes to win one of the top awards in the industry? The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is again looking for the top commercial and residential asphalt roofing projects for its 2015 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study (QARC) Awards Program.

QARC is open to roofing contractors, consultants and architects working with asphalt roofing products. The awards program will honor the top three projects that demonstrate the beauty, affordability and reliability of asphalt roofing.

The submission period for the QARC Awards Program is coming to an end. Roofing professionals have until Wednesday, Dec. 31 to submit their best asphalt roofing projects. ARMA wants to see your most outstanding work from 2014, so submit your entry today before time runs out!

Submitting a project is easy. Industry professionals can enter their project online on the QARC Awards page of ARMA’s website by providing a description of the project and explaining why and how asphalt products were used. Entrants are also required to upload a few hi-resolution photos of the completed project. Both new construction and renovation projects are eligible for the program.

“The QARC Awards Program highlights top industry professionals and their work with asphaltic roofing products,” said Reed Hitchcock, executive vice president of ARMA. “Previous winners have been chosen for their innovative design, sustainable building methods and successful renovation techniques. We aim to document outstanding projects that demonstrate the benefits of asphalt roofing systems and help home and building owners find the best value in roofing.”

There is no limit to the number of entries a contestant can submit, and there is no fee to enter. ARMA awards cash prizes to the top three roofing projects, and the winners are featured in national roofing trade publications.

Roofing Manufacturers and Contractors Embrace Recycling

In the early 2000s, as the green-building movement reached its tipping point, the roofing industry’s contributions to sustainability focused on increasing energy efficiency, improving long-term durability and addressing the heat-island effect. In the years since, significant strides have been made in all three of these areas for commercial and residential buildings.

In recent years, increasing attention has been given to the benefits and challenges of recycling roofing materials at the end of their useful life. This is no trivial task: Owens Corning estimates asphalt shingles alone comprise up to 5 percent of building-related landfill waste. This doesn’t take into account other roofing materials, including EPDM, thermoplastic PVC and metal.

Not surprisingly, rising removal costs, coupled with the growing demand in some areas of the country to legislate landfill content, are putting pressure on contractors and building owners to seek alternatives to traditional roof construction scrap and tear-off disposal methods.

In response, greater numbers of roofing manufacturers and contractors are driving strategies to avoid the landfill. A general review of emerging trends across the roofing industry suggests manufacturers and contractors increasingly are turning to recycling to steer these materials from the waste stream.

Steel is the most recycled material in building construction today. PHOTO: STEEL RECYCLING INSTITUTE

Steel is the most recycled material in building construction today. PHOTO: STEEL RECYCLING INSTITUTE

METAL

Metal roofing’s sustainable attributes are significant. Industry experts cite its ability to improve a building’s energy efficiency, and metal today contains anywhere from 25 to 95 percent recycled material.

On its website, the Chicago-based Metal Construction Association (MCA) encourages installing metal roofing directly over an existing roof, thus eliminating the need to dispose of the original materials. But when an older metal roof or new-construction debris must be removed from a site, contractors and owners in most regions of the country can quickly identify scrap yards that take metal.

“Steel is the most recycled material in building construction today,” says MCA Technical Director Scott Kriner. “There’s an infrastructure that supports it, and metal in general is virtually 100 percent recyclable.” Kriner notes MCA supports recycling as part of the metal industry’s overall commitment to environmental sustainability and transparency in business.

PVC

PVC has been used in roofing systems since the 1960s, and the post-consumer recycling of roof membranes began in North America in 1999—a nice symmetry when one considers roofs in terms of 30-year life cycles.

In general terms, the recycling of PVC roofing is a relatively straightforward process. The material is sliced into long strips, rolled up, lifted off the roof and transported to a recycling center. Recyclers run the PVC through a conveyor system, where fasteners and other metal objects are removed.

Initially, the recovered membrane was ground into powder for reuse in molded roof walkway pads. More recently, some manufacturers have been incorporating a granulated form into new PVC roofing membranes, exclusively on the backside to avoid aesthetic issues with color variations. The first installations of membrane produced with post-consumer recycled composition occurred in the mid-1990s. So far, its field performance has matched that of PVC roofing produced with virgin raw materials.

The Vinyl Institute, Alexandria, Va., says close to 1 billion pounds of vinyl are recycled at the postindustrial level yearly. “The vinyl industry has a history of supporting recycling,” the institute reports on its website, “and this effort continues as companies, alone and through their trade associations, expand existing programs and explore new opportunities to recover vinyl products at the end of their useful life.”

EPDM

Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer is used extensively on low-slope commercial buildings. Yet even this durable synthetic rubber membrane must eventually be replaced, and today recycling is a viable option.

The removal process generally involves power-vacuuming off the stone ballast, where present, to expose the EPDM membrane below. The membrane can then be cut into manageable squares, which are folded and stacked on pallets, loaded onto a truck and transported for recycling. The recycler grinds it into crumbs or powder, depending on the end use. A growing number of recycling centers nationwide now handles EPDM.

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