Implementing the concept of sustainability has become mission critical in the design, construction, and operation of the built environment. It is a concept that is revolutionizing the construction industry. The essence of sustainability was first defined in 1987 by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development, when they provided the first definition of the term “sustainable development,” as that which “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Applying the concept of sustainability requires a holistic and multidisciplinary approach, bringing together global environmental concerns and the demands for functionality and efficiency of the individual building. While the concept of sustainability is being used to evaluate building options and make decisions regarding various aspects of the building process there has been some confusion about the use of various terms and principles. ASTM International addresses the standardization needs of the global marketplace and with regards to sustainability they have developed two standards that help bring some clarity to the issues. They are:
• ASTM E2114 Standard Terminology for Sustainability Relative to the
Performance of Buildings
• ASTM E2432 Standard Guide for General Principles of Sustainability
Relative to Buildings
One of the best definitions for sustainable roofing was developed at the Sustainable Low-Slope Roofing Workshop, held at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in October 1996. A sustainable roof was defined as:
“A roofing 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.”
Progressive building owners and roof system designers are interested in making use of roofing systems that meet the sustainability criteria. The challenge of the roofing industry is to translate this interest into practical guidelines that lead to improvements in the long-term performance of roof systems while being mindful of the budgetary constraints that are always part of any construction project.
The basic tenets of Sustainable Roofing are to preserve the environment, conserve energy, and extend roof service life. There are many strategies that can be used to meet these goals. Among them are using products made from raw materials whose extraction is the least environmentally damaging, using products that can be reused or recycled, specifying reflective energy efficient finishes, using adequate insulation, using local labor and materials to reduce transportation, recognizing the value of a durable roof and designing roof systems accordingly, providing for preventative roof maintenance, arranging for periodic roof inspections and making timely roof repairs.
At Acrymax Technologies, environmental sustainability is a fundamental consideration of every roof coating system we offer. Our coating systems are used to restore and recover metal roofs, concrete roofs, asphalt roofs, or single-ply roofs. Reflective cool roof coatings may be an important component of the sustainable roof systems that Acrymax offers, but they are only part of the story. Our elastomeric roof systems have proven for decades that they are exceptionally durable roof systems and that they offer superior performance. Sustainability can only be achieved when long-term roof performance is considered as part of the overall roof design process. A sustainable feature of Acrymax roof systems is the ability to recoat the installed roof system periodically to extend the life of the system. Acrymax has roof installations that have been providing continuous leak free service for over 25 years with simple periodic recoats. These are truly sustainable roof systems!
High-Performance Roof Systems and Sustainable Buildings
High-performance green buildings are not only good for the planet, they also create economic value for the owners. LEED standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) are a helpful guide when designing High Performance Buildings. Consideration of all costs over the life of the building (life cycle costs) rather than just the first cost of construction are an important component of proper building design. Roofing systems provide the first line of defense against a hostile environment and since the roof is such an important part of a high-performance building it pays to consider performance over the long haul when choosing a roofing system. With Acrymax you get a roof system with a proven track record and long term cost effective reliability.
At Acrymax, our history of environmental protective coatings and overall eco-friendly practices – including ENERGY STAR®-qualified roof coatings and our membership in the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) – affirm our investment in the future of our planet. Whether it is a complete roofing restoration project, a reflective cool roofing system, repairing roof leaks, or routine roof maintenance, Acrymax is committed to environmentally responsible coating solutions and environmental sustainability.
Sustainable Coating Solutions: Waterborne Coatings
An awareness of the need to address sustainability issues related to the coatings industry has led to the fast growing use of waterborne coatings. Waterborne coating materials rely primarily on water as the “solvent” to disperse the coatings resin. Waterborne coatings significantly reduce the release of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) into the atmosphere. VOC’s are known to contribute to the formation of greenhouse gases, which lead to global warming and are a contributor to smog and air pollution problems. The improved performance of waterborne coatings has resulted in a sea-change across the paint industry, resulting in an enormously positive environmental impact. In fact, in many cases waterborne coatings will outperform the solvent based coatings of old. Waterborne coating materials have become the materials of choice for environment-conscious consumers and businesses. In addition to the environmental benefits offered by waterborne coatings they are also safer for those applying the coatings and for those in and around the buildings where they are being used.
Acrymax has been an industry leader in flexible, high-performance coating solutions for more than five decades. By providing a wide range of coating solutions and roofing systems – including cool roof coatings, waterproof masonry coatings, architectural coatings, liquid acrylic elastomeric roof coatings, concrete and metal roof coatings, and protective coatings, and specialty products – Acrymax assumes an important role in the sustainability and future of our environment. Contact Acrymax today to find out what we can do for you.