Metal roofs and ecological benefits

Metal roofing has been around for a long, long time and worldwide.  There are many handmade metal roofs that date back to the 1800’s.  So what is it about metal that makes this material so fantastic that they were using it many years ago? Well, the roof of a building is a major component of a structure and it is a component where the product chosen can have a dramatic effect on the life cycle costs and energy costs of a building.  Read below for more info/benefits of metal.

Sustainable/Durable – Metal roofs are durable and long lasting and some are warranted for as long as 50 years! It’s imperative that we start choosing long-term building materials  and metal is a great product for this.  Metal roofing’s durability can virtually eliminate the need to use future raw materials to produce roofing.  Metal roof is unaffected by the hot-cold/wet-dry weather cycles that break down other materials.

Ever been asked or wondered if hail will dent a metal roof? Metal roofing is known for its ability to hold up against weather forces including windstorms, hail, ice, and snow. Today’s  metal roof systems have a 120 mph wind rating (equal to a F2 tornado), meaning that your metal roof is also safe from wind gusts that can accompany hail storms.

Recycled Content– as consumers, we are careful to collect our recyclable materials and turn them in for collection. In reality, we are offered few consumer products where we can “close the loop” by purchasing products that are high in recycled content. Metal roofing, however, offers that option to consumers by allowing them to choose a significant building product on the basis of its recycled content. Most metal roofs have recycled content ranging from 25% to 95%.

Recyclability – while metal roofing is known for its extremely long life, it does have the benefit of being 100% recycled if it was removed. Whereas older other roofing materials are disposed of by the ton in landfills, the steel, aluminum, and copper used in metal roofing can be recycled.

Low Weight – do you know about the benefits of low weight on a roof? Metal roofing has a weight that is 1/3 to 1/8 the weight of conventional roofing shingles! This low weight serves several valuable purposes. It puts less weight load on a structure which extends the life of buildings and it also provides invaluable protection against roof cave-in threat in the event of seismic activity.

Product Safety– Metal roofing is noncombustible, which provides additional fire protection for homes. Check out reduction in home insurance with metal roofs!

Energy Efficiency – the reflectivity and subsequent energy efficiency of metal roofing has been confirmed and ongoing studies are being conducted to continually substantiate and quantify the energy efficiency of metal roofing. Prepainted metal roofing can display solar reflectance of at least 65% and thermal emittance of 80%. This can have a tremendous impact on energy usage by reducing air conditioning costs and the smog and pollution that are created by the production of that energy.  Furthermore, the low thermal mass of metal roofing means that it dissipates heat very quickly once the sun goes behind a cloud or sets for the day.

The photos show the McElroy Marquee  panel and the Medallion-Lok roof panel with a Galvalume finish on the office/studio and residence of Herron Horton Architects.  We are enjoying the metal.

Article by the Metal Construction Association at