Green and brown roof construction can also be used to promote biodiversity and create beneficial microclimates
Roofing and drainage material and product choice can have a big impact on CO2 emissions, especially when transportation and other life cycle data is factored in, as this will be affected by products and materials’ expected life. Nearby sources do not automatically lower products or materials’ CO2 emissions as other factors need to be considered. The best guides are EPDs and assessment data from the BRE or other trusted sources.
Many roofing and drainage materials, for example metals, are recycled and recyclable and this affects their environmental profile by limiting resource depletion and minimising landfill quantities. Energy used in production and also CO2 emissions may also be lower where materials have been recycled. Certain forms of roofing construction are inherently less wasteful because work on site, especially cutting, is minimal.
Roofing insulation, detailed construction and workmanship also has a big impact on heat loss, for example through cold bridges and air leakage. On the other hand, natural ventilation through opening lights, panels, louvres and trickle vents lowers energy use and, subject to air quality regulation, improves wellbeing.
Roofs can be used to generate energy through photovoltaic and solar panels. Green and brown roof construction can also be used to promote biodiversity and create beneficial microclimates. Along with other forms of construction, such as paved ballasted roofs, they can be used to generate grey water, which may be viable for flushing appliances.
In the area of drainage, there are now many sustainable urban drainage products on the market.
Certain roofing materials are marketed for their pollution regulating properties. It’s a good idea to be receptive to new technical developments, while also scrutinising validated performance data and CE markings as well as checking for environmental management accreditation and responsible sourcing.