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A Paper presented jointly by Thomas W Hutchinson and Keith Roberts at the Eighth International Conference on Durability of Building Materials & Components, Vancouver, June 1999.

sustainable roofing, sustainable roof system design, life cycle analysis, durability, sustainable development.


There is a genuine interest among enlightened building owners and roof system designers in adopting environmental objectives. In many countries a whole generation has grown up in a culture sympathetic and supportive to 'green' issues and many colleges and universities include environmental studies as part of their normal course work. The challenge facing the roofing industry and CIB W.83/RILEM 166 RMS Committee, of which the authors are co-chairmen is to translate this interest and good will into practical guidelines which will lead to improvements in the long term performance of roofs, within a given financial budget.

Defining Sustainable Roofing as: "a roof system that is designed, constructed, maintained, rehabilitated and demolished with an emphasis throughout its life cycle on using natural resources efficiently and preserving the global environment," this paper addresses life cycle analysis issues across each step in the life of a product: from raw material extraction or processing, production, packaging, transportation, design, installation, service life, reuse, recover or tear-off, and its ultimate disposal and is illustrated in a cradle to grave model.

Practical guidelines or 'tenets for sustainable roof systems' will be developed and systemized under the basic principles of 'Preserving the Environment,' 'Conserving Energy,' and 'Extending Roof Lifespan.' These tenets will be produced in a form that will be of practical everyday use for designers, suppliers, and contractors. Examples of sustainable roof design from around the world with optimal service life goals will be given.

If you require a copy of this paper please contact us.

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International Papers