The Role of Metal Roofs for Sustainable Green Building

The Role of Metal Roofs for Sustainable Green Building


The rise of green initiatives in the commercial and residential sectors has steadily grown in the last decade due to the rising adverse effects of climate change. The planet has seen an annual temperature increase of 0.18 degrees Celsius or 0.32 degrees Fahrenheit every decade.

The alarming temperature increases the need for sustainability in many aspects of our lives, especially in our homes and workplaces. Many businesses incorporate efficiency into their daily operations by choosing sustainable products, smart appliances and installing eco-friendly building components such as lighting, energy-efficient roof hatches, and metal roofs.   

Your commercial roofing is one of the essential aspects of your building because it protects your business from external elements. Durability and protection are some of its most enduring qualities, but few people know its significance in sustainability.    

Metal roofs are becoming a top sustainable choice for commercial and residential use. But how exactly is it sustainable, and how can it help buildings achieve sustainability?    


About Metal Roofing   

Sustainability is now a priority in many construction projects as designers and builders find practical solutions and alternatives to create green buildings. These buildings aim to achieve a zero-impact construction and long-term solution in the building materials that they use, especially when it comes to commercial roofs.   

The industry considers metal roofing a mainstream material, mainly due to its resilience and weather-resistant features. Whether made with copper, aluminum, or galvanized steel, metal-made roofs are becoming an obvious choice for sustainability and durability.   

Another fascinating feature of metal roofs is that they are virtually fireproof, crucial in areas prone to wildfires. It is also safe from pest infestations, rot, and mildew, making it a fast-rising choice for new roof installations and replacements.   


How are Metal Roofs Sustainable?   

Metal roofing, in general, is lightweight, attractive, durable, and resistant to fire and extreme weather. It has found its way to commercial construction because of its features and because it can help your building become more environmentally friendly. Here are the reasons why metal roof panels are ideal for green buildings:  

1. Recyclable   

One of the most ecological aspects of metal roofing is its recyclability. Manufactured metal roofs contain 40% recycled sheets, while the materials these roofs possess with 100% recycled metal. You can reuse the material repeatedly without damaging any of its fundamental properties.    

As a result of their high reusability feature, most metal-based materials rarely become waste compared to the 11 million tons of asphalt shingles found in landfills. Reusing and recycling materials are the most crucial factors in sustainability, making metal an ideal choice for environmentally conscious companies and homeowners.   

2. Long-lasting   

Since metal is durable, it is not surprising that this material will last longer than asphalt shingles — up to three times longer. The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) study indicates that metal roofs generally have an extended lifespan than most commercial roofing materials.   

It is also malleable and can last for 60 years, depending on manufacturing and maintenance. Speaking of upkeep, it does not need regular maintenance, unlike other roofs, allowing you to gain financial savings even if you need a repair or replacement. However, one thing to note about metal roofs is that they have a higher initial cost compared to asphalt.   

3. Energy-Efficient   

With the help of a solar spectrum reflectometer, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Buildings Technology Center concluded that metal roofs have high solar reflectivity. This innovation is beneficial in reducing the effects of urban heat.   

The extensive three-year-long study also determined that painted and unpainted metal roofs maintained their surface properties regardless of continuous exposure to external elements. Another study also demonstrates the high reflectance attribute of metal roofs to the extent that it exceeds the federal EnergyStar requirement of 60%.    

4. Ideal for Solar Panel Installation   

Since metal roofs have the highest strength-to-weight ratio, they are strong enough to facilitate solar panel installation. Solar panels are one of the pioneering renewable devices usually used in sustainable establishments.    

Installing the panel's mounting device in conventional materials such as asphalt shingles is not a viable option as you will have to replace your roofing system every 10 to 15 years. With metal roofs, you do not have to worry about replacements or repairs due to the solar panels, as they can last for more than 60 years.   

5. Suitable for Rainwater Collection   

Rainwater collection is an essential aspect of many green buildings as it effectively reduces runoff volume and flooding and improves the facility's overall water quality. It is collecting the rainwater from buildings or houses to store for later use.    

Metal roofs are an ideal partner for rainwater harvest primarily due to their anti-microbial paint system. Large pieces of materials can easily glide through metal panels and have a lower concentration of organic carbon and other bacteria, allowing for increased sanitation when collecting rainfall.   

6. Help Achieve LEED Certification   

LEED certification is a project governed by the US Green Building Council wherein they independently review and certify buildings as efficient or sustainable. Gaining LEED certification proves an effective marketing tool, especially now that more people choose to go green.   

To summarize, here are some ways to use your metal roof to gain LEED points:   

  • Solar reflective roof panels lower heat island ratings  

  • Retrofitting existing structures with metal roofing  

  • Reduces construction and demolition debris  

  • Manufactured with recycled materials  

  • Improved thermal efficiency and indoor air quality  

  • Longer lifespan than most roofing materials, typically up to 60 years  

  • Works well with solar technologies to promote renewable energy sources   

Metal roofs, in general, rank high on the LEED point system because they are durable, energy-efficient, reusable, and recyclable. They tend to collect credits in various efficiency and environmental innovation categories.   


Importance of Being Environmentally Responsible   

Environmental responsibility is generally important nowadays due to the relentless effects of global warming. As the industry with the most-generated waste and high resource consumption, the construction sector is now turning its back on traditional methods and materials harmful to the environment.   

One way of incorporating green initiatives into construction is by choosing green buildings. These structures offer an ecological solution to urban heat by effectively mitigating carbon emissions and creating a cooler environment.    



You can amplify a green building's sustainability with your materials, such as metal roofs. Overall, they are durable, weather-resistant, impervious to fire, and highly recyclable. Finally, they have high reflective properties, effectively reflecting the heat away from the building and its immediate surroundings.  

 Metal Roofs
 Sustainable Building
 Green Infrastructure

Author of the page

  • Chris Jackson

    Business Development Manage

  • Last modified by the author on 25/04/2022 - 08:17

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