Think wood’s got the advantage for environmental benefits? Think again. Metal has significantly longer life, better insulation and can be recycled. Meanwhile, wood has significant waste. Looking at the big picture, metal is the better environmental choice.
Metal offers more than great looks, efficient construction, and money saving application. With green benefits like better insulation, longer lifespans, and recycling capability, metal has the advantage!
We may know the start of 2014 down to the exact second, but the lines between old and new metal design and building materials will continue to blur well into the New Year and beyond. Here are two examples of how metal manufacturers are helping to redefine the true age of metal roofs in a green world.
First, let’s look to Europe where 100-year-old zinc roofs are commonplace, and in particular, at the recently renovated 120-year-old zinc roof on St. Catherine’s Church in Reutlingen, Germany. This roof restoration called for dismantling and removing all the zinc tiles from the roof in order to inspect, clean, and salvage as many as possible. Tiles that were too damaged for reuse were recycled, but inspectors found the tiles that were not exposed to the main west-facing wind and weather were nearly all reusable. The remaining roof was re-clad with RHEINZINK 0.7mm square tiles, using 1,500 PrePATINA blue-grey 330mm x 330mm tiles.
Located at the old cemetery, the Gothic Revival-style church is now preserved to its original state, circa 1890. RHEINZINK says that with the service life of zinc products expected to last 80–100 years for roofs and 200–300 years for walls, the roof tiles will be around for New Year celebrations for generations.
Stateside, a new LEED Platinum home in Glencoe, IL, features an unusual look for a LEED home—traditional rather than modernist design, allowing the home to complement its neighborhood. The standing seam metal roof was a key element of the sustainable design. About 600 sq ft of 24-gauge PAC-CLAD material from Petersen Aluminum, Elk Grove Village, IL was used. The Silver Metallic Kynar 500 coating offers high reflectivity and SRI (solar reflectance index) ratings and is Energy Star approved.
The roof provides many green features. Its shape is asymmetrically arranged to collect as much storm water as possible. It is also sloped at two different angles—a summer and a winter angle. The steeper, south facing roof supports solar thermal panels, which are optimal for the low winter sun. The shallower south facing section of the roof includes solar PV panels, which maximize electrical production during hot summer days.
“When our client said ‘give me a roof that I will never have to replace,’ we thought metal immediately,” said Nathan Kipnis, AIA, principal of Kipnis Architecture and Planning, Evanston, IL. Meanwhile, general contractor, Scott Simpson, president of Scott Simpson Builders in Northbrook, IL, says that, beyond this project, he recently used an old metal barn roof on the interior walls of a renovated—and much beloved—bakery in Evanston.
EPDs provide life-cycle assessment information and details about the product’s environmental impact (i.e., raw-material extraction, transportation, packaging, and disposal). As such, EPDs assist purchasers and users in making informed comparisons among products.
“With the recent approval of LEED v4 rating system, we expect to see more members of the design community looking for EPDs as part of an overall emphasis on transparency,” notes MCA Technical Director Scott Kriner. “The EPD for IMPs is based on the life-cycle assessment of this product category. It is a major step forward for the metal construction industry in reporting the environmental impact of IMPs.”
IMPs are composed of rigid foam that is sandwiched between two sheets of coated metal. Their steel or aluminum panel facings create a vapor, air, and moisture barrier that provide long-term thermal stability. According to MCA-member manufacturers, IMPs
offer long-term durability
come in a multitude of colors and finishes
offer cost-competitive construction advantages and long-term high performance to help lower operating costs for building owners in any construction market.
Sometimes the word “cool” can be a bit overused–but not in the case of this recent metal roof retrofit project with the U.S. Air Force’s Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas. This roof is cool–both literally and figuratively.
In 2010, a team of leading metal construction companies and the Metal Construction Association (MCA) were awarded a $1 million Environmental Security Technologies Certification Program (ESTCP) grant to develop a retrofit metal roof system with integrated renewable energy technologies, including an integrated assembly of six different roofing system components.
View the video above or read MCA’s case study to learn more about the project’s energy-efficient technologies, which include photovoltaics to generate electricity, solar-thermal technologies for domestic hot water and space heating, and rainwater capture for irrigation.
The Department of Energy’s Oakridge National Laboratory will soon be analyzing a full year’s worth of data on heat transfer, energy output from the photovoltaic panels and water usage from the building. MCA expects that the results will be positive, and the Air Force reports that preliminary numbers how a 44-percent reduction in energy consumption.
Stay tuned for the full report and results in the coming months from this “cool” project.
The list of design accolades for the Redding School of the Arts in Redding, CA, is impressive. It is the first new school campus in the world to receive Platinum certification under the LEED for Schools 2009 standards, and it also is expected to achieve Net-Zero. The school is designed to achieve the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) certification, a national movement to improve student performance and enhance the education experience by building the best possible schools.
The design for the school was based on two essential ideas: First, the learning environment should create opportunities to show students, teachers and parents the importance of metal sustainability. Second, students should be inspired to learn in creative, colorful and fun surroundings. To help achieve these two ambitious functional and aesthetic goals, the design team turned to Metal Sales Manufacturing Corporation.
All of the metal panel colors used on the school are listed with ENERGY STAR®, improving energy-efficiency and reducing the amount of energy needed for cooling. The panels also have a long life cycle that will endure the wide temperature variations of the Sacramento Valley, are 100% recyclable, and contain a high percentage of recycled material – contributing to LEED points.
The use of metal wall and roof panels helps give the facility a smart and modern look worthy of its high-profile, high performance mission.