Question: I run a small business in the city and plan on renovating this upcoming spring. Do you know anything about commercial roofing?

Answer: There is awesome energy efficient commercial roof technology available and something you may want to consider during your renovations for future energy savings on your bills.


Since heating and cooling costs make up for almost half of your energy bill — the last thing you want is for these expenses to, well, go through the roof! When it comes to your building, your roof can play a huge role when it comes to keeping heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer.

The good news is there are energy efficient roofs available, along with additional materials out there to maximize energy efficiency in your building.

Understanding different types of roofs

Depending on where your business is, the climate will affect what kind of roof you’ll want to properly insulate your building. In Canada, it’s important to combat the cold as well as keep out the heat in our summer months. We often take a good look at the measure of how much heat can be deflected by insulation materials (otherwise known as the R-value) in efforts to determine how efficient a building can be. The R-value is important when figuring out what insulation is necessary to keep heating inside where you want it in the winter.

Finding ENERGY STAR approved roofs is a good start — this approval means you’re going in the direction of energy efficiency. Depending on your climate, the colour of your roof may matter. For example, a dark tile will attract the heat and a light colour will discourage it.

Roofing with a high solar reflectance is known to be the most energy efficient due to its ability to reflect the sun and send energy back to the environment as opposed to absorbing it. By installing this type of roofing, you will not have undesired heat enter your home in the summer.

Newest to the roofing scene, the new photovoltaic (PV) roofing material actually creates its own energy.  Many green design buildings are on board with this type as it has the capability of creating electricity from sunlight. Hotels like the W Hotel Singapore have used it — and received much recognition for their efficiency efforts.

If you’re more interested in a traditional approach, concrete roofs are known to be more energy efficient than other materials — though they also cost a little more initially.

Of course, if your building is in a place where it’s warm all year, the cool roofing technology is something you will be interested in. This means roof technology can be selected to keep your building cooler and your air-conditioning costs lower.

Then, there’s the green roof option

A flat roof in an urban setting is an optimal situation for folks to consider a green roof installation. Along with being aesthetically pleasing, it’s also energy efficient as it provides excellent insulation and results in lower heating and cooling costs.

“Green roofs also act as insulators in the cold weather and have a host of other benefits, such as absorbing rainfall for better stormwater management, reducing air pollution and providing garden space in densely populated areas where parkland is rare,” reports SFGate.

Though the benefits are awesome — the initial installation costs for the green roof option is a larger investment.

The good news is that we offer incentives and rebates for those making efforts in energy efficiency.


Image credit: Mike Hilton