Balancing Act

Balancing Sustainability & Practicality: Foolish as Magic Wands & Fairy Dust?

For the past few years it seems the only newsworthy roofing articles or profiles involve LEED, reflective cool roofs, vegetative roofs, or roof mounted solar. These articles spend the majority on the benefits of sustainable technologies and little time on the roof systems itself. They seem to minimize the pains and efforts of the roofing contractor to make sure that the roof installation performs flawlessly throughout the warranted life of the system.

Let me ask this important question. What happens if a roof system fails halfway through the life of a vegetative roof system or part way into a roof mounted solar project? These exciting roof add-ons become an extremely expensive burden that places all of the benefits from the promising sustainable technologies at risk. For example, I read an article just the other day in a national trade publication touting the benefits of an extensive multi-million dollar solar array and how many metric tons of carbon emissions would be reduced and the energy generating capacity, etc. The only problem was the aerial picture taken of the project appeared to have an older existing roofing system for its foundation.

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