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The Growing Focus on Sustainability in the Roofing Industry

As there is increased attention given to the carbon emissions associated with human activities and development, we are seeing the construction industry shift approaches to both new and retrofit projects with less of a carbon contribution. Within the larger scope of this shift, the commercial roofing industry has responded by prioritizing sustainability in product and practice.

Sustainability On Top

Despite the carbon impact of the built environment, there are still ways to construct buildings with reduced carbon emissions. Choosing sustainable products can grant building owners credits towards green building certifications like LEED or WELL

There is also a concept among sustainably-minded building owners and roofing contractors that commercial roofs can be what is known as a “benefit multiplier.” By integrating features like “renewable energy, rainwater management strategies, and rooftop agriculture,”1 roofing systems can be better optimized to address our changing environment.

Additionally, we are already seeing more and more cities nationwide adopt “green roof”2 mandates or building incentives for both new and retrofit projects. Green roof initiatives such as these turn unused spaces into productive and efficient areas that can support plant life and contribute a positive impact to the built environment.

Building Green

On a recent episode of RoofersCoffeeShop’s “Roofing Road Trips” podcast, host Heidi J. Ellsworth and USG Sustainability Manager Stacy Simpson discussed the topic of sustainability in roofing.  

In their conversation, Simpson spoke about her role in helping develop USG’s 2030 Sustainability Goals and how meaningful action against climate change takes a group effort. Resilience and longevity were also discussed as key sustainability factors in USG’s sustainable product portfolio; lasting products that require fewer repairs over the lifetime of a building means less embodied carbon and lower carbon emissions.  

USG has developed take-back programs for both wallboard and ceiling tiles and is working on a similar program for roofing materials like Securock® Brand Gypsum-Fiber Roof Board. This will help contractors meet growing demands for recycling and promotion of a circular economy. For those who wish to build more sustainably in the meantime, the USG Sustainability Tool powered by ecomedes can help optimize product specification to help projects achieve green building certifications.

Through USG’s holistic approach to sustainability, you can design with the entire building lifecycle in mind.

Securock® Brand Gypsum-Fiber Roof Board

The commercial roofing industry can start building for sustainability from the top down with USG Securock® Brand Gypsum-Fiber Roof Board. 

This product has a dense concentration of gypsum and cellulose fibers to provide exceptional panel and bond strength, low surface absorption, and superior wind-uplift performance with no face layer to delaminate. The sustainably-designed Gypsum-Fiber Roof Board is manufactured with recycled material and the appropriate transparency documentation, including a Declare Label with Red-List free status, an HPD, an EPD, and a CDPH 01350 certification (VOC low-emitting).

Contribute towards green building certifications as well as the long-term structural integrity of the entire building with USG Securock® Brand Gypsum-Fiber Roof Board.

The USG Solution

Through Gypsum-Fiber Roof Board and other products within our impressive portfolio of sustainable solutions, USG enters a new era of enabling our customers to specify products with a complete portfolio of material and environmental transparency.

USG is committed to innovation and pushing boundaries, especially when it concerns sustainability. But this is not a solo effort; manufacturers, contractors, and all stakeholders must  strive to complete more sustainable projects in order to make meaningful progress in both the roofing and construction industries.

With committed leadership and embracing sustainability across the industry, the roofing sector is well positioned to reduce its environmental impact and work towards a greener built environment by 2030 and beyond.

Listen to the full Roofing Road Trips podcast with USG Sustainability Manager Stacy Simpson below: