A building's roof has a major impact on its overall operating costs. A poorly insulated roof that absorbs a lot of heat drives up energy bills, while a well insulated, reflective roof can lower those bills. However, energy-efficient commercial roofing does more than just lower your energy bills. It also has the ability to make your building more attractive and to potentially increase its resale value. There are many ways that you can make your commercial roof more energy efficient. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
In the last few years, the cost of installing solar panels has dropped significantly. Installing panels is now 50 to 60 percent cheaper than it was in 2010. If you haven't looked at the cost-effectiveness of commercial solar panels in a while, it may be time to revisit the idea.
There are often tax incentives that allow you to install solar panels without paying much money upfront. Once the panels are installed, you can offset the energy usage in your building, and if you collect enough solar power, you may be able to sell it to the local utility company.
Essentially, green roofs are roofs that have gardens on them. In order to hold the weight of the plants, dirt, and water, your roof may need extra enforcement, but once the garden has been installed, these roofs offer a range of environmental and business benefits.
From a business point of view, green roofs can be made into a space for employees to meet or relax. This helps your company because exposure to natural elements is a well known stress reliever that can have a positive impact on employee morale. From an environmental point of view, green roofs are important because they do the following things:
Increase biodiversity by providing a habitat for birds and insects
Provide extra insulation, reducing the heating and cooling costs of the building
Reduce the absorption of solar radiation, helping the mitigate the extra heat found in urban areas
Absorb carbon emissions
A cool roof is a roof with a special coating designed to reflect sunlight. By repelling the sun's rays, these roofs prevent the building from absorbing unwanted heat, helping to lower cooling costs. These roofs are ideal for areas with warm climates, and your business may even benefit from an energy rebate once you install one.
By installing skylights or roof windows in your roof, you increase the amount of light coming into your building. The influx of natural light decreases your electricity bills, but this practice, called daylighting, can have environmental benefits as well. For instance, when you reduce the amount of electrical lights you use, you decrease the amount of heat generated in your building, and that lowers your energy bills by 10 to 20 percent.
Daylighting is a fairly involved process that affects more than just the roof of the building. If you want to optimize daylighting practices, you need to integrate the building's windows into the design, and you need to install sensors that turn the lights on or off depending on the amount of light coming in the skylights.
However, if you cannot integrate the windows or light sensors, don't let that prevent you from adding skylights to your existing roof. A skilled roofing contractor can help you determine where skylights will best benefit your building, regardless of whether or not you have other daylighting elements in place.
The best roof for your building is dependent on a number of factors including climate and cost. To learn more about environmentally-friendly roofing strategies and which would be best for your building, contact a commercial roofing contractor.