May 2013

Highly reflective

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MRCA conducts a field study of highly reflective polymer-modified bitumen roof membranes

by Matthew Dupuis, P.E.
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It wasn't long ago roof membranes had one function—to keep the elements out of buildings. As time has passed, technologies have evolved and societal needs have changed. Now, these same roof membranes are called upon to do more. Some roofs have become "green"; many roofs have become white. And any roof that is not yet green or white will probably go the way of the Dodo bird with time and new government regulations.

If you haven't noticed, society and the roofing industry are focusing on environmental friendliness and energy consciousness, which poses a question: Does the roofing industry need a new class of product to meet the coming demands of society and, ultimately, our clients? The answer, so far, has been no. The manufacturing side of the industry has responded by adapting long-standing products to meet this new demand.

With this in mind, the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA) and NRCA initiated a field study of highly reflective polymer-modified bitumen roof membranes in spring 2012 and found highly reflective polymer-modified bitumen roof membranes can produce in-service reflectivity numbers that appear competitive with single-ply roof membranes.

Photos courtesy of Matthew Dupuis, P.E., Structural Research...

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