10 Sustainable Roofing Materials Everyone Should Know About

Duro-Last Sustainable Roofing Materials 4.11
April 25, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

By Evelyn Witterholt. 

In honor of Earth Day, we are highlighting 10 of our favorite eco-friendly roofing products that everyone needs to know about. 

Earth Day is right around the corner, a day where we all come together to make changes that will better our planet. But these changes don’t have to be limited to just one day. Sustainable roofing is well within our reach no matter what kind of roof you want. 

While there is a plethora of sustainable roofing products out there, here are 10 of our favorites that are available now: 

1 – Malarkey smog-reducing shingle 

Last year, Malarkey Roofing Products announced they were embedding 3M™ Smog-reducing Granules into every one of their shingles. This groundbreaking roofing technology converts smog into water-soluble ions using the power of the sun. According to Malarkey, “By simply installing an average of two Malarkey roofs per week, the contractor ‘planted’ the equivalent of 260 trees annually.” 

2 – Green roofs 

What could be a greener roofing material than a roof made of plants? Green roofs, or roofs that are made entirely of vegetation and a waterproof membrane, are popping up all over the world. Recently, the Coffee Shops’ Reporter Cayden Wemple, wrote about a green roof on the University of Denver commons building. The university installed the roof as part of Denver’s green roof law which, according to the 2017 green roof law that was approved by Denver voters, mandates that all new buildings of a particular size incorporate green spaces. 

3 – Solar shingles  

You’ve heard of solar panels, but what about solar shingles? CertainTeed recently launched their Solstice shingle, which can easily be installed with asphalt shingles. They produce almost the same amount of energy as a traditional solar panel while offering a more seamless and less-bulky look.  

4 – Metal 

The metal roofing industry is constantly growing, largely in part because of how sustainable the material is. The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) has done a great job promoting how eco-friendly metal roofing can be. According to the MRA, “metal roofing lasts 50-plus years — nearly two to three times longer than other materials. It is 100% recyclable and can be recycled at the end of its long life.” 

5 – Cool roofs 

These types of roofs are cool in more ways than one! At its core, cool roofs are any kind of roof that reflects sunlight really well to the point of keeping itself cool. One organization we love is the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) for all the work they do to educate contractors and homeowners about cool roofing systems. 

We recently spoke with Audrey McGarrell from CRRC about the broader definition of a cool roof and why they are so great for the environment. Audrey said, “All materials are reflecting some degree of light and they're also absorbing some degree of heat. When you're talking about a cool roof, it is one that is a greater percentage of reflectance and emittance than maybe your conventional material.” 

6 – Recycled shingles 

Recently, Owens Corning launched their shingle recycling program where they take recycled shingles and turn them into new shingles or asphalt paving. Their goal with the program is to divert 2 million tons of shingle from landfills annually by 2030. 

7 – Reflective roof coatings 

Reflective roof coatings are a great way to keep buildings cool by reflecting the sun away from the roof. Coatings like these can be found in fluid applied reinforced roofing systems, like the ones from Western Colloid. In an article by Western Colloid, it states that “reflective coatings can reflect anywhere between 76 and 84% of the sun’s rays, drastically reducing the heat load on your building.”  

8 – Gypsum-fiber roof boards 

USG Corporation has long been committed to offering contractors sustainable building products. While they have many sustainable materials, one we think is cool is their Securock® Brand Gypsum-Fiber Roof Board. Not only can this roof board be used on all kinds of roofing materials, but it is also made from 97% recycled material.  

9 – 600-month-old roof 

Earlier this year, Duro-Last® and DuPont™ announced their Duro-Life™ 600 Roofing System, a roof that’s built to last 600 months (50 years). This roofing system is great for low-slope roofs, like schools or hospitals, as it will require minimal maintenance and will not need to be replaced for decades. 

10 – Sustainable roof-pond repair kit 

Last but not least is the GreenSlope roof ponding repair kit from Viking Products Group, a ponding repair solution that is as sustainable as it is effective! This product works wonders on roof ponding problems while being 1/5 the weight of other concrete solutions. Plus, it’s made from recycled EPDM which will please eco-friendly contractors and building owners alike. 

Have a question? AskARoofer.    

Find your local roofing contractor in the RoofersCoffeeShop® Contractor Directory 

About Evelyn 

Evelyn works as a writer for RoofersCoffeeShop, MetalCoffeeShop and AskARoofer. When she isn’t writing about roofing, she’s either at the gym lifting weights or curled up on the couch watching a movie. 

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