Simply put, Green Building makes sense from both an environmental and economic standpoint. While reducing our carbon footprint has a societal benefit, individuals, companies and other entities benefit greatly due to lower energy consumption and expense.
Metal is widely recognized as a building material that offers many Green Building benefits, including:
To a building owner, energy represents the single largest controllable operating expense. (source: Building Owners and Managers Association) Most of this energy is used for heating, air conditioning, lighting, heating water, computers and entertainment. A building’s roof can be the least energy efficient component of a building envelope. Combining these facts with the reality of increasing energy prices, it is no wonder that conservation measures and improved energy efficiency are becoming popular and important aspects of Green Building Design.
Energy codes and standards are another driving force behind the growth of Green Building. Codes are becoming more stringent and provisions for cool roofing are now commonplace. Even individual state and local governments are beginning to require that public building construction exceeds certain sustainability standards.
Cool metal roofs reflect the sun’s energy away from the roof, and subsequently the building interior, resulting in a significant reduction in energy use. Utility companies have become interested in cool metal roofing because it can help to reduce the peak demand in electricity during the afternoon hours in summer months, which prevents power disruptions. From an environmental point of view, cool metal roofing can also help to mitigate a phenomenon known as the "heat island effect", where urban areas experience higher air temperatures due to the abundance of non-reflective construction products and less vegetation.
Metal Roofing and Solar
Metal roofing is really the logical choice for solar integration. Metal roofs offer a decades-long service life, so there is little risk the solar panels will outlive the service life of the metal roofing. Additionally, both thin-film and crystalline solar modules can be attached directly to metal roofing without any perforations penetrating the roof. Roof penetrations can be a source for future leaks, so avoiding them is a sound building practice.
Thin-film solar panels are applied directly to select McElroy Metal standing seam products, such as Medallion-Lok, Maxima and 238T. Because the solar panels are attached directly to the roofing material, this technology is referred to as Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV). Some of the advantages of thin-film Solar panels include lightweight, ease of installation and aesthetics. Thin-film solar panels can be factory or jobsite applied. Miasole's Flex Series is McElroy Metal's thin-film provider.
Crystalline panels are manufactured with highly efficient crystalline silicon. Panels are attached to McElroy Metal standing seam products utilizing S-5! Clamps. The main advantage of crystalline solar panels is greater efficiency and power generation.