Sika has developed solutions which can help ensure that the roof creates minimal impact on the environment whilst meeting the functional requirements of clients, specifiers, contractors and nature. Roofing membranes/ products are not only manufactured in an ISO 14001:2000 accredited production facility they have a low embodied energy and long life expectancies.
The following important environmental and sustainability aspects are always taken into account in Sika roofing systems:
- Embodied Energy
- Sun light reflectivity
Sika has proactively recycled factory waste back into production since 1960. Wherever possible, higher quantities of production and post-consumer membrane are recycled into new products, such as Roof Protection Sheets and Walkway Pads. Today walkway pads, manufactured in Europe since 2000, provide tough, durable solution for pedestrian access on exposed roofs and at the same time they are produced from almost 100% recycled material. The only non-recycled product being less than 1% carbon black that is added for colour consistency. Sika recyclate is also sourced from existing membrane roofs when they are removed to enable the client to thermally upgrade the building, a common practice in Western Europe. This process is managed through the company’s involvement with the Roof Collect scheme operated by Vynyl 2010.
Embodied energy is the measurement of the amount of energy required to produce a tonne or square metre of a product, it can also be used to measure the carbon embodied within a product. Generally the lower the embodied energy and carbon levels, the better a product is for the environment. All Sika roofing membranes have low embodied energy, contributing less to global warming than many alternative roofing technologies.
The benefits of solar reflective materials and colours are well known and understood in warm climates around the world. With urban density increasing, the “heat island” (Albedo) affect is impacting on cities at an ever-increasing rate. A significant contribution to reducing the Albedo affect can be made by simply replacing dark roof surfaces with a lighter colour, ideally white – Sika roofing systems include solutions which allow the reflection of up to 83% of the heat in sunlight.
Ronnen Levinson & Hashem Akbari’s December 2007 report “Potential Energy Savings and Environmental Benefits of Cool Roofs on Commercial Buildings” demonstrated that by changing from a relatively low solar reflectivity light grey membrane, to a higher reflectivity white membrane, large energy cost savings could be made. Therefore significantly reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and mercury (Hg).
Long service life is a key element of sustainability, the longer something lasts the less damage it should do to the environment in use. Sika roofing systems has been tested for aging and life expectancy by different institutes and organizations with outstanding results. As an example the British Board of Agrément (BBA) certifies a standard 1.2mm thick Sarnafil G/S membrane to have a life expectancy “in excess of 35 years”.