Jeanne Sheehy of the Tile Roofing Institute in Chicago is gushing green these days having announced the launch of one of the tile roofing industry’s first-ever “Go Green with Tile” campaigns. The idea is to help educate and inform design/building professionals and homeowners about the environmental green benefits of concrete and clay tile roofs.

Jeanne Sheehy of the Tile Roofing Institute in Chicago announced the launch of one of the tile roofing industry’s first-ever “Go Green with Tile” campaigns. (Photos courtesy of the Tile Roofing Institute.)


Jeanne Sheehy of the Tile Roofing Institute in Chicago is gushing green these days having announced the launch of one of the tile roofing industry’s first-ever “Go Green with Tile” campaigns.

The idea is to help educate and inform design/building professionals and homeowners about the environmental green benefits of concrete and clay tile roofs.

“Green building is where we are at,” Sheehy said. “Tile roofing has always had a environmentally friendly story, and we believe this is a great partnership for us.”

TRI’s campaign describes energy-saving properties of tile roofing systems, along with the financial benefits and LEED credits that builders and homeowners can gain by using tile on their new and reroofing projects.

According to Sheehy, the new campaign establishes TRI as a single-source authority for information on tile roofing’s green benefits, including life-cycle cost, recycling, reflectivity and sustainability.

Three Parts of the Green Campaign

There are three parts to TRI’s green campaign: cool roofing, sustainability and energy efficiency. “We’ve done testing with cool roofing and reflectivity, and discovered a lot of energy cost savings in the manufacturing process,” Sheehy said. “The idea is, ‘Every bit of scrap goes back into the recycling process.’ Not one bit of scrap goes into a landfill.”

Sheehy said cool roofing is paramount to any green campaign. “Reroofing as well. It is a recyclable product and goes right back into process,” she said. “On the reflectivity side, from an industry standpoint, we help define the testing requirements for reflectivity because our tiles have air underneath.”

Sheehy said the Cool Roof Rating Council was “not able to compare apples to apples.”

“We are working with them on the basis for testing tiles roofs to show the reflectivity,” Sheehy said. “That will help our industry. All our manufacturers will have testing done to make sure it’s approved. We had to make it an industry-wide testing requirement.”

Sheehy said on the cool roof side, you could coat clay tiles, which helps the reflectivity. “Part of that story is the heat transference that goes in the attic,” she said. “That’s where air underneath tile is having such an impact. I saw some metal and asphalt manufacturers at the IRE show trying to get air underneath it.”

Sheehy said TRI performed testing with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to quantify heat transference.

“Because of that air ventilation underneath the tiles, we can cut the transfer of heat,” she said. “And depending on tile and color, that could go up to 70 percent.”

“In a 3,000-square-foot house, what kind of cost savings will they see?” Sheehy asked. “Everything from their homeowners insurance; what kind of rebates are out there; how does this affect the appraisal. We have to bring this down to buildings and consumers: the cool roofing and sub-tile air ventilation.”

Part two of TRI green campaign deals with sustainability. “It’s a term used in a variety of ways, but our definition is building for longevity while conserving the environment,” Sheehy said.

There are four aspects to sustainability: durability, materials, energy consumption (natural air ventilation), and recycling (not going back into landfill)

Perhaps most important is part three of the TRI’s green campaign: energy efficiency.

“Part of our story is what we’re doing with solar industry,” Sheehy said. “Solar panels are costly and don’t look good. Homeowners have that aesthetic barrier. We’ve worked with solar panel providers who are building solar panels right into tile. It’s flat; you can’t see the solar panels at all; and it’s very subtle. This helps the consumer grasp onto solar energy in the future.”

Sheehy said the benefit of solar paneling is a significant reduction in monthly energy bills, rebates and tax incentives, and property values.”

She said solar panels are reliable and easy to maintain, while also helping reduce pollution and gas emissions.

“This campaign is about being smarter, stronger and cooler,” Sheehy said. “Green is here to stay.”

Go Green Campaign Features

There are many features that will go with TRI’s “Go Green with Tile” campaign. Here is a sample:

Go Green with Tile brochure: The new “Go Green with Tile” brochure will highlight and compare tile’s energy-saving benefits to other roofing products in the areas of durability, recyclables, reflectivity, financial incentives/insurance rebates and other categories.

Go Green Web site: The “Go Green” Web site ( www.tileroofing.org ) will feature articles, reports, photos and information on the environmental benefits of tile roofing, including quarterly updates on current research, along with current and pending (local/regional) energy code requirements and standards.

Go Green seminars/presentations: TRI representatives will take the “Go Green” story on the road at green-building conferences, trade shows, and panel discussions. Technical experts will highlight recent research findings from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Lafarge Roofing Technical Research Center. The new findings will further quantify the ability of concrete and clay tile roofs to significantly reduce energy costs.

In addition to its energy-efficient properties, tile roofing is highly durable. Installed properly, tile roofs can withstand harsh weather conditions including high winds, snow and ice buildup, hail and earthquakes, Sheehy said.

About the Tile Roofing Institute

The Tile Roofing Institute (TRI) is a nonprofit trade and membership association open to those involved in the production, distribution and installation of clay and concrete tile roof systems. TRI has provided technical expertise to roofing professionals and other building industry constituents since 1971. To ensure best installation practices, TRI also offers contractor training through its Certified Installer Program. TRI manufacturer members produce 95 percent of the tile roofing installed in North America. For more information visit www.tileroofing.org.