Growing Demand for "Cool" Vinyl Roofing -- Economic, Durable Roofs Save Energy, Reduce Maintenance Costs

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Nationwide demand for vinyl roofing is "growing by leaps and bounds," according to industry experts, who say that demand for reflective white vinyl "cool roofs" has soared in the past five years as California and other states adopted codes encouraging the use of reflective materials.

High-performance building with energy-efficient vinyl roofs

Nationwide demand for vinyl roofing is "growing by leaps and bounds," according to industry experts, who say that demand for reflective white vinyl "cool roofs" has soared in the past five years as California and other states adopted codes encouraging the use of reflective materials.

"People have become a lot more aware of the benefits of reflective vinyl roofing," according to Jay Thomas of SikaSarnafil, a leading manufacturer, which has provided several vinyl roofs for the US Postal Service and recently completed the roof for a new GSA federal center He said his company has also seen a jump in demand for integrated photovoltaic roofing as a result of rising energy costs.

Another major manufacturer, Duro-Last, also reported rapidly rising demand. Both companies reported increasing market share for white vinyl roofing, which can reflect more than 75 percent of the sun's rays and produce major energy savings. Energy savings as high as 60 percent are projected for the new Frito-Lay distribution center in Henrietta, NY, resulting largely from its integrated vinyl and solar panel roof.

The criteria for LEED®, ENERGY STAR®, Green Globes and California's Title 24 can all be met through the use of white reflective vinyl roofs, according to Carl De Leon, chair of the vinyl roofing technical committee of the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association. "Cool vinyl roofing is a significant solution to critical national energy and environmental challenges."

Vinyl Institute president Tim Burns said the growing demand for vinyl roofs is no surprise. "These roofs are cool in every sense of the word. They cut energy use by more than half, they are more fire resistant, leak resistant and more durable than most alternatives, and they help building owners, architects and builders meet the toughest environmental building codes. They are one of the great environmental success stories."

Burns noted that one of the very first LEED ratings was given to the Olympic speed skating dome in Salt Lake City, whose huge vinyl roof helped keep the building temperate at all times, with major savings in energy use.

For additional information on vinyl roofing, case studies and the web sites of Duro-Last, SikaSarnafil and other manufacturers, visit http://www.vinylroofs.org, the Vinyl Roofing Division of the Chemical Fabrics and Film Association. Also see "High-performance building with energy-efficient vinyl roofs" in the April 2007 issue of Environmental Design & Construction.

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