A lot of the economic news isn’t great right now, but many experts assert that environmentally friendly products and systems are a potential growth area.

A lot of the economic news isn’t great right now, but many experts assert that environmentally friendly products and systems are a potential growth area. Craig Silvertooth, the executive director of the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing (CEIR), pointed to several market opportunities for roofing contractors offering sustainable systems, including:

  • Upselling on insulation. “What we’ve seen in the marketplace is there is a lot of enthusiasm about vegetative and photovoltaic systems, but we shouldn’t overlook proven technologies,” Silvertooth told me, noting that insulation can have a tremendous effect on the payback of a roof system.
  • Marrying different technologies together. “It’s not just solar or more insulation or vegetative roofs. Roofs can benefit from all of these technologies,” said Silvertooth. “A roof could have a reflective coating, a portion of it could be vegetated, and another portion solar,” he said.
  • Focusing on performance and durability. According to Silvertooth, the key is to focus on life-cycle questions, including durability, moisture control, life-cycle cost assessment, and recycling. “The goal we’re shooting for is ‘cradle to cradle,’ and recycling is becoming more of a factor,” he said. “Owners are asking about recycled content.”
  • Offering daylighting. “There are some impressive daylighting technologies that have come online and others in the works,” Silvertooth said. HE pointed out that daylighting has proven benefits for inhabitants of a building, including improved performance at work and in school, increased efficiency, fewer sick days, and faster recovery by patients in hospitals. Plus, green systems like LEED offer substantial points for daylighting.

Founded in 2007, the CEIR is dedicated to promoting the development and use of environmentally responsible roof systems. Silvertooth will conduct a seminar highlighting the achievements of the CEIR at the International Roofing Expo in Las Vegas. For more information about the seminar, visit www.theroofingexpo.com. For more information about the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing, visit www.roofingcenter.org.