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There are many new types of roofing materials on the market. Some examples are ballasted roofing systems, a green roof (not exactly the green you are thinking!), and solar shingles, which are thin-film photovoltaic (PV) cells. These are just a few of the many options for innovative roofing.
A ballasted roofing system is usually made up of a membrane laid on the roof deck and held in place by the weight of natural stone or precast concrete pavers. The stone and paver’s weight uses gravity to hold the membrane in place. This makes the roof nearly resilient to strong winds. These are very popular in hurricane-prone and tornado-prone areas.
A green roof, or rooftop garden, is a layer of vegetation grown on the roof. Green roofs provide shade and are known to minimize air temperature by reducing temps on the roof surface. Green roofs absorb heat and act like a blanket, thus keeping extreme temperatures at bay. This will reduce cooling and heating costs substantially.
Solar shingles made of thin-film PV cells use sunlight to generate electricity for the building where they are installed. If there are enough of them and are in a sunshine area, they can also generate electricity to the power grid.
Solar shingles provide the same protection and durability as more commonly used asphalt shingles. They are also inexpensive to install and replace a lot of excess roofing material. There are no additional materials needed underneath.
As you can see, today’s roofing options are vast!