Green Roofing Gains from Asphalt Innovation

With the current emphasis on energy and sustainability, the roofing industry has continued to innovate to provide excellent protection for today’s buildings. As a roofing material, asphalt meets these new demands while still delivering on its traditional strengths of high quality, long life cycle and reliability.

Thanks to its versatility and value, asphalt roofing systems can be tailored to many current trends in roofing. Member companies of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) have brought forth a steady stream of innovative roofing products to meet various demands:

  • The need for reflective roofs was met by innovative bright white reflective cap sheets.
  • The interest in vegetative roofs was answered with asphalt built up roofing (BUR) and modified bitumen (MB) waterproofing layers combined with appropriate root barriers where required.
  • The concern for the reduction of heat island effect is being resolved by reflective cap sheets, vegetative roof systems or the addition of a reflective coating to an existing smooth surfaced BUR or Modified membrane.
  • The demand for low environmental-impact installation methods was met by cold-applied asphalt materials for BUR and MB roofing systems.
  • The concern for increased recycling is being answered by a continued development of innovative asphalt recycling methods and the increase of asphalt recycling centers.

Due to the versatility of asphalt, ARMA members have been able to provide asphalt commercial roofing systems to meet these various requirements. And yet, quality commercial asphalt roofing systems continue to set the standard for endurance and reliability as a barrier to the elements.

“The green roofing movement is still perhaps in its infancy, and roofing systems and policies are still evolving,” says Reed Hitchcock, Executive Vice President of ARMA. “It’s doubtful that any one roofing system will be found that is ideal for all buildings yet asphalt roofing products have been developed to meet practically any design criteria.”

According to Hitchcock, architects and building owners have long depended upon the quality, versatility and longevity of asphalt built-up roofing (BUR) and modified bitumen (MB) commercial roofing systems. These tried-and-true workhorses have played a central role in the development of today’s building infrastructure and, as the world goes green, they are destined to play a vital role in the development of tomorrow’s building infrastructure as well.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is the North American trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of bituminous-based residential and commercial fiberglass and organic asphalt shingle roofing products, roll roofing, built-up (BUR) roofing systems, and modified bitumen roofing systems. Additional resources, articles and information can be found at www.asphaltroofing.org