Going Green At Work: Eco-Friendly Roofing Options

by Grace Motley

The industrial business has changed. While environmental policies used to be the exception to the rule, they are now the expected norm. Consumers look to companies to not only say they support sustainability and green policies, but also to lead by example. As a business owner, you may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of making your business more environmentally friendly. However, if you just focus on one aspect of your industrial business at a time, you will find that going green can be simple and easy. Starting from the top down, your roof is the first sustainability project you should focus on. All you need to do is learn your options and then contact an industrial roofing contractor for roofing services to get your project started.

The Literally Green Roof

One of the easiest ways to make your industrial roof green is to install vegetated roofing. Vegetated roofing consists of a thin layer of soil upon which indigenous plants are grown. This type of roofing serves several green functions.

First, the addition of soil and living plant life serves to further insulate your building, keeping air from inadvertently escaping your building. Secondly, the plants serve to absorb thermal energy from the sun that would otherwise be absorbed directly by your building. So, vegetated roofing serves dual energy conservation purposes.  If your building is a one story structure, for example, installing a vegetated roofing system could represent air conditioning savings of anywhere between 20 and 30 percent.

The additional benefit of vegetated roofing is that any customer or employee who comes to your business will easily be able to see your sustainable business practices in action. You may even inspire others to install vegetated roofing as well.

Rooftop Gardens

Another way to literally green your roof is to install a rooftop garden. This is a viable option if you have easy access to your roof. The rooftop garden functions in much the same way as vegetated roofing. However, it does require a great deal more maintenance.

Plants you choose to garden are not necessarily indigenous to your area. So, you will need to water these plants, add nutrients to the soil, and of course harvest your crops when they are ripe. A rooftop garden, while sustainable and green, can also be a great way to build comradery among employees who choose to participate in the garden project.

Solar Panels

If you are willing to make a major financial investment in greening your business, there is no better way than through installing solar panels. Solar panels work by absorbing solar (thermal) energy and converting it to energy that can be used in your building.

Solar panels, therefore, serve dual functions of keeping energy from penetrating the building and generating energy that your building can use. This represents double savings for you on your energy bills. In real terms, the average savings you can expect to earn from installing solar panels is $20,000 over 20 years, though they could be much more.

While going green can seem like an impossible task for you and your business, you just have to take it one step at a time. Start from the top with your roof and work your way down. As soon as you choose your sustainable roofing material, all you need to do is contact an industrial roofing service to get started.