DaVinci Roofscapes Recycles 1.2 Million Pounds of Polymer Scrap

DaVinci Roofscapes has kept more than 1.2 million pounds of polymer scrap out of landfills in 2016. The recycling effort includes the remolding of more than 696,000 pounds of grinded scrap into starter tiles and the transfer of 567,000 pounds of scrap to an end-user who makes pallets, crates and totes.

“Our goal is zero percentage of scrap going into a landfill,” says Bryan Ward, vice president of operations at DaVinci Roofscapes in Lenexa, Kan. “We are always looking for ways to recycle and reuse every piece of waste in our plant.”

“We made a capital investment in regrind machinery in recent years that’s paying off. Over the past two years we’ve decreased our trash generation by more than 50 percent annually. That’s a number we’re proud of and hope to improve upon even more in the future.”

DaVinci Roofscapes produces polymer slate and shake roofing tiles in 50 standard colors, plus custom colors. Each time the manufacturing operation changes color runs, there is a transitioning between colors. Those transition tiles are off spec and are recycled. The tiles, which are 100 percent recyclable, are segregated by color and then ground up and molded into starter shingles, which are generally unseen on the roof.

“We view Earth Day as a time to evaluate the progress of our recycling operations and share the good news about our efforts,” says Ward. “Our operation is efficient. Between reusing the regrind polymer and selling off additional scrap, we’re excited to prevent more than 1.2 million pounds of scrap from sitting in a landfill this year.”

The team members at DaVinci Roofscapes develop and manufacture polymer slate and shake roofing systems. DaVinci leads the industry in the selection of colors, tile thickness and tile width variety. The company’s products have a limited lifetime warranty and are 100 percent recyclable. All DaVinci roofing products are made in America where the company is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Roofing Contractors, the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Henkel Offers Recycling of Anaerobic Adhesives Program

Henkel is partnering with TerraCycle to offer a recycling solution for anaerobic adhesives. Through the Adhesive Recycling Program, Henkel customers can purchase a postage-paid recycling box that they fill with used LOCTITE adhesive containers and send to TerraCycle for processing. TerraCycle will thermally treat the containers and turn them into new plastic products.

“As a company with a commitment to sustainability, we think this is a great way to offer an environmental solution to our customers,” said Simon Mawson, senior vice president general adhesives, North America. “We hope they will appreciate the option of recycling used LOCTITE containers instead of sending material to landfills and incinerators and use it to achieve their own sustainability targets.”

Sustainability is one of Henkel’s core corporate values. By the year 2030, the company aims to triple efficiency by reducing their products’ environmental footprint at every stage of the product life cycle. The Adhesive Recycling Program aligns with that initiative, diverting used LOCTITE containers from local landfills and incinerators.

“We are breaking ground with our Henkel partnership,” said TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. “This is the first time we have recycled this anaerobic adhesives and we hope it will be an eye opener to an industry that has previously not had an option to recycle adhesive containers.”

Henkel sales reps will be reaching out to customers about the program. Interested companies can also contact their local LOCTITE distributor for more information.

300,000 Pounds of Polymer Roofing Tile Scraps Are Recycled Annually at DaVinci Roofscapes

The 45th anniversary of Earth Day in 2015 puts a shining spotlight on recycling efforts around the country—including at DaVinci Roofscapes in Kansas. That’s where more than 300,000 pounds of polymer roofing tile scraps are recycled each year.

“Most manufacturing operations have scrap materials,” says Bryan Ward, vice president of operations at DaVinci Roofscapes in Lenexa, Kan. “The difference here is that every roofing tile we create is 100 percent recyclable, so we are able to reuse every pound of scrap that comes off our production line into our roofing material’s starter shingles. This saves a significant amount of material from going to the landfill, along with making us an efficient, environmentally friendly operation.”

With more than 300,000 pounds of scrap recycled annually, DaVinci doesn’t stop there. The polymer slate and shake roofing manufacturer offers two recycling programs that provide a way for roofers to return scraps, cuttings and unused synthetic roofing material to the company’s facility for recycling.

Waste products from a job site can be returned to DaVinci’s Kansas plant for recycling (with shipping paid for by DaVinci within a 500-mile radius of the plant) and expired tiles (those older than 50 years old) can also be returned for recycling. Ward estimates that almost 5,000 pounds of product are returned from field projects each year for recycling.

Selecting polymer roofing tiles also helps save trees and energy. “Every time someone chooses a DaVinci roof instead of wood shakes, trees are saved—often young growth cedars that are difficult to harvest, produce low-quality shingles and further deplete our limited resources,” says Ward. “Natural slate roofs present other problems. The quarrying process consumes large amounts of labor and fuel and can be harmful to the local ecosystem. Up to 15 percent of natural slate tiles crack or break up during installation, so waste is significant. Because DaVinci tiles weigh one-third as much as natural slate of comparable thickness, transportation energy costs and carbon emissions are lower.

“Just as it’s important to us that all our sustainable roofing products are Made in America, it’s also vital that we keep our earth as clean and healthy as possible for future generations,” says Ward. “We’re a company that celebrates Earth Day every day of the year. By creating roofing products that meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process standards, we’re taking a step toward saving valuable resources.”

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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ASTM International and Sustainable Roofing

ASTM International is a well-known standard-writing organization for the construction industry and other industries. As the building design and construction industries have moved toward more sustainable methods and products, it follows that more standardization of sustainability is necessary. This is certainly true for the roofing and waterproofing industry. ASTM now has a group devoted to developing standards for sustainable roofing.

Organizationally, ASTM is divided into numerous committees, each having a specific focus. The ASTM D08 committee is responsible for roofing and waterproofing standards. Within the D08 committee, there are multiple subcommittees that focus on a segment of the roofing/waterproofing industry—from asphalt shingles to spray polyurethane foam to modified-bitumen membranes to single-ply membranes and more. D08.24 is the subcommittee that is developing standards specifically related to sustainable roofing.

Further division of each subcommittee into Task Groups allows narrowly focused groups to develop standards for very specific topics. There are currently four Task Groups within D08.24:

  • D08.24.01 Guidelines for Sustainable Design
  • D08.24.03 Recycling Practices and Reporting Methodology
  • D08.24.04 Durability
  • D08.24.05 Selection Criteria Vegetative Roof Membranes

Process

Standards are developed by Task Groups with active participation by attendees at the semi-annual meetings. Typically, a draft standard (called a work item until it is an approved standard) is initially sent out for ballot to the Task Group to obtain comments that will improve the draft standard. After balloting to the Task Group, the draft standard is balloted to the full D08 membership. At times, a standard is simultaneously balloted to the Task Group and the full membership. During the balloting process, comments and negative votes are reviewed and dealt with according to ASTM protocols. Standards development is a very linear process that works well to achieve a consensus in the D08 committee. Once a consensus is reached, the standard is published for use.

The background on the process is necessary to understand the activities of the D08.24 subcommittee. Because the subcommittee was only recently established, all standards are still in the development stage.

Task Group Specifics

The D08.24.01 Task Group is developing a new standard, work item WK26599, which is currently titled “New Guide for Design of Sustainable, Low-Slope Roofing Systems”. The current scope is:

  • This Standard provides guidance for designing sustainable low-sloped roofing systems, including exposed membrane roofs, membranes covered with vegetative (green) overburden systems, ballasted roofs and protected membrane roofing assemblies. A sustainable roofing system minimizes environmental impact, conserves energy, and has maximized service life.

The scope recognizes the roof’s primary function is to weatherproof the building’s top surface.

The document provides a sequential process for designing sustainable roof systems. The document does not provide a prescriptive approach, but “attempts to help the user define and consider roofing system demands and environmental life cycle impacts, and integrate these with features that contribute environmental, energy conservation, or other benefit in service” through a number of considerations, which include roofing demands, functional expectations, end-user requirements and site restraints. The document is big-picture, technology-neutral and process-based.

The D08.24.03 Task Group is developing a new standard, work item 24614, currently titled “New Guide for Recycling Practices & Reporting Methodology”. The intent of the document is to unify common practices and develop an industry-accepted reporting format for recycling common roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles. The document is in its infancy and has not been balloted to date.

The D08.24.04 task group is developing a new standard, work item 26595, currently titled “New Guide for Roof System Durability”. The task group is still evaluating the specific scope but will focus on PVC and EPDM membranes in two separate documents. The intent is to provide methodology to evaluate the variables that lead to increased durability of PVC and EPDM roof systems. Neither document has been balloted yet.

The D08.24.05 Task Group is developing a new standard, work item 29304, currently titled “New Guide for Selection of Roofing/Waterproofing Membrane Systems for Vegetative (Green) Roof Systems”. The document will provide technology-neutral considerations for selection of appropriate membranes for vegetative roofs. The Task Group is expected to begin the balloting process soon.

Liaisons

The ASTM D08.24 group works with other groups, like E60 on Sustainability and the Built Environment Advisory Committee, to ensure continuity of ideas with all ASTM committees. Specifically, E60.01 on Buildings and Construction and E60.80 on General Sustainability Standards are in the focus of the D08.24 liaison efforts.

The ASTM sustainability standards are intended to be used by the roofing, construction and design industries to formalize the efforts toward more sustainable roofs and roofing. It is hoped that other roofing groups, such as ARMA, CEIR, ERA, NRCA and SPRI, will reference ASTM’s sustainability standards in their documents.

I encourage everyone in the roofing industry to not only join ASTM, but to participate in the development of the standards our industry uses each and every day. ASTM D08.24 needs your input as the roofing industry moves further toward sustainable products and activities.