Be mindful of the entire roof build-up - not just the vegetation layer - when looking to achieve an environmentally friendly solution
When someone says sustainable roofing, most specifiers instantly think of green roofs.
These roof systems have exceptional sustainability credentials, providing a huge number of benefits to the wider environment and the community that use and surround the building.
But architects need to think beyond this and consider the entire roof build-up, including the waterproofing membrane.
Sustainable roofing systems: consider the whole, not the parts
As a natural solution to reduce urban heat islands, local flooding and carbon emissions, the benefits and sustainability credentials of any green roof system are well documented and widely known. However, the entire roof build-up has not received the same analysis.
Although referred to as a ‘roofing system’, the uppermost layer of vegetation of a green roof does not waterproof the building; that job is done by the waterproofing membrane underneath.
With the most common roof type in the UK being a warm roof, the insulation within this system build-up can also increase the thermal performance of the roof - an important consideration for the sustainability credentials of the building and the reduction of energy costs.
Waterproofing membranes: the core of the matter
If the components are not as environmentally friendly as the vegetative layer, is it truly a sustainable roofing system?
The waterproofing membrane underneath a green roof is essential, acting as a dual-barrier; protecting the building against both water and root damage.
To achieve a sustainable roof build-up, architects need to ensure that this roofing membrane, which is integral for all green roofs, is as environmentally friendly as the layer that sits above it.
Various waterproofing technologies can be installed that are compatible with either an intensive, extensive or biodiverse green roof, but it’s a single ply membrane, Sika Sarnafil Advanced Technology (AT), that offers a sustainability package when used in conjunction with a green roof system.
Market-leading roofing manufacturer Sika developed this technology with sustainability in mind and it is the first and only single ply roofing membrane in the UK to meet the strict criteria of Cradle to Cradle Silver Certification - a globally trusted stamp of approval.
Cradle to Cradle Certification: an asset for specifiers, architects and building owners
- Offers assurances from a third-party organisation that a product has been assessed in how truly sustainable it is.
- Provides a quantifiable method of analysing sustainability.
- Stringent testing in five separate categories: Material Health, Material Reutilisation, Renewable Energy Use, Water Stewardship and Social Fairness.
- Only products that excel in all five are awarded a Cradle to Cradle Certification, establishing a high bar for manufacturers.
Combining two sustainable technologies - Sika Sarnafil AT and a Sika Green Roof system - into a single roofing package helps architects fulfil criteria for sustainable building certifications, including BREEAM and WELL.
This helps the sector reach its net zero targets, aligning with United Nations Sustainability Goals, and provides a roofing system that is reliable in practical terms, lasting for decades.
Architects can be confident that Sika roofing systems deliver the best solutions with unmatched, proven sustainability credentials.
For more information and technical support, visit sika.co.uk/SarnafilAT