You have many options available to you when you’re considering a green roofing material.
Clay is a traditional roofing choice, and hold up well with exposure to even the harshest. It especially goes well with classic or traditional type houses and is a popular choice for historic renovations.
Slate is another highly durable material, although difficult to install. If you order slate from a local quarry, the transportation energy and costs will be drastically cut down. You can also get salvaged and recycled slate from local suppliers.
Metal roofing is perfect for reflecting heat in the summertime and could lead to a 40% savings on your warm-weather energy bills. However, metal roofs won’t hold up as well in bad weather as clay or slate.
Rubber roofing is relatively new in the home construction business. Rubber roofing is made of recycled tires and offers strength and toughness with a fairly easy installation process. It resembles the look of slate roofing.
Installing solar shingles on your roof (instead of installing large solar panels on top of your roof) contribute to your home’s overall energy savings by producing some, if not all, of the energy you use. They can be installed on part of your roof or on the entire roof. They are very expensive to install, but the savings on your electricity bills and the tax breaks you could receive will eventually offset the cost entirely.
Siding can be considered green when the material can hold up for many years and uses environmentally friendly adhesives and resins.
Wood siding (such as cedar) has many drawbacks including frequent upkeep and painting. It can be made from older lumber and may need replacement over time.
Fiber cement siding, such as HardiePlank, is made of cement and wood fibers. They are extremely resilient and resemble the look of natural wood. They are available in pre-painted colors, so you won’t have to worry about painting them.
Stucco is a classic cement-based siding option. It is very low maintenance and certain varieties can be considered extremely green, such as the earth-and-lime plaster varieties.
Choosing environmentally friendly roofing and siding materials can help you lower your overall energy costs and produce a wonderful looking house that can stand the test of time. Be sure to take into account the manufacturing process, transportation, installation and labor costs of the materials you choose. It is a combination of the energy spent on those processes that make the materials truly green.