There are many ways to reduce a business's impact on the environment, and making sure your commercial buildings are environmentally friendly is particularly effective. If you are constructing a new commercial building with flat roofing, or need to replace the roofing materials on an existing flat-roofed structure, choosing an eco-friendly roofing material will bolster your business's green credentials.
How Eco-Friendly Is TPO Membrane Roofing?
Thermoplastic polyolefin, commonly known as TPO, is widely used to construct flat roofing systems on commercial buildings, and this versatile material is both practical and environmentally sound. Here are a few reasons why this single-ply roofing membrane is surprisingly eco-friendly:
Unlike many single-ply roofing membranes, such as PVC roofing, TPO is not black. Most TPO roofing is white or pale gray, although other pale colors such as tan are also available. Pale coloring makes TPO roofing reflect light and heat from the sun, rather than absorb it as black roofing materials do.
During hot, sunny weather, a flat TPO roof will absorb less heat than most flat roofing materials. In turn, this prevents unwanted heat gain within the building itself, so your commercial building will not have to rely heavily on air conditioning to keep its interior cool.
Installing TPO roofing can therefore lead to substantial energy savings by reducing HVAC usage in your commercial building(s). Less energy consumption will make your building more environmentally friendly, and also reduce running costs by lowering your building's energy bills. This can be especially useful for customer-facing commercial buildings, where it is always important to keep the interior cool and comfortable.
Any roofing material won't be environmentally friendly if it has to be replaced every few years, as manufacturing and installing a new roof requires significant energy and material consumption. TPO roofing is made to last and can last for several decades when installed and maintained by a reputable commercial roofing contractor.
TPO roofing is also physically durable. Like all single-ply membrane roofing types, it is vulnerable to puncturing, but it can weather heavy impacts from falling roof tiles, tree branches, and other blunt objects remarkably well. If punctures do occur, they can be repaired quickly and inexpensively. TPO is also fire resistant, and will only ignite if exposed to intense, open flames for a long period of time, adding to its overall durability.
TPO roofing is made from a combination of recyclable plastics (originally polyethylene, but polypropylene is more commonly used today), and reinforcing fibers made of fiberglass, which is also recyclable. When a TPO roof reaches the end of its long life, it can be recycled and processed into new materials by most plastic recycling facilities. Keeping non-biodegradable plastics out of a landfill is obviously very eco-friendly.
If you would like to know more about this topic, contact a commercial roofer.