Eco-friendly materials for housing are all the rage right now and for good reason – climate change affects us all and even small alterations in our choices can help stem the tide. But when it comes to going green at home, most of us overlook eco-friendly roof tiling as an option.
That's a mistake because your roof can play a significant role in greening your home. With a large surface area it’s perfect for natural energy harvesting like solar and wind power, can be retrofitted to collect precious rainwater in arid climates, and can be constructed from more sustainable, recycled materials that still last longer than traditional options.
Here’s a list of environmentally friendly roofing materials you might not have thought about yet:
- Shingle roof tiling. Sustainable wooden shingles not only look great, but they've also been used for centuries. You can even source recycled versions for the ultimate in eco-friendly roofing – no waste and no pollution required for manufacturing.
- Corrugated metal roofing. Yes, the traditional Aussie tin roof is robust, affordable and green. You can get it in a variety of styles and colours to suit your palette plus its light and easy to use.
- Reclaimed slate. People have been using slate or clay tiles for millennia. Natural, beautiful to look at and durable they can last for a hundred years and are the most eco-friendly option available.
- Green roofing. Seen a great deal in the media, green rooves have a high thermal effect, which means they're both cooler in summer and warmer in winter. The plants also clean the air around your home, reduce rainwater runoff, are natural insulators and look fantastic.
- White roofing. Also known as a cool roof, any roof material that’s light coloured or white will reflect the sun’s UV rays, keeping your home cooler and reducing the need for air conditioning. That means lower energy use all year around.
- Rubber roofing. Enduring up to fifty years, rubber roofing is made from recycled tyres and coated with ground slate. It’s strong enough to withstand harsh climate conditions and comes in an array of colours.
- Photovoltaic roofing. New technological breakthroughs in roofing include integrated solar panels in metal roofing and shingle tiles. While still expensive, the demand for solar energy is growing, and experts predict the technology will soon be accessible for offices and residences.
- Wind turbines. Some companies are making quieter urban rooftop wind turbines so you can harness wind power and cut your energy consumption. If you live in a windy city, this might just be the right option for you.
- Thatched roofs. This one’s seriously old school, but there’s a reason why it became a classic. Thatching is the age-old process of building a roof using dry vegetation such as straw, reeds, sedge, heather, or palm branches. The material is layered and densely packed so water is shed away from the ceiling and air is trapped underneath. Highly insulating and endlessly recyclable, thatching makes a strong eco statement.
- New-generation metal roofs. Metal shingles are just becoming available on the market, and they're a very sustainable material for roofing purposes. Great for homes that have integrated rain harvesting systems, they're worth a closer look if eco-awareness is vital to you.