Spring has arrived and we are beginning to see the anticipated influx of Duradek installations, as we do each year. Many of these projects are renovations to existing homes and buildings, but we are also seeing an ever-increasing number of new construction projects specifying Duradek. Regardless of the size or scope of the project, Duradek has everyone covered for many years to come. That brings us to this month’s topic: Duradek vinyl is your GREEN choice for walkable roof decks.
What is Vinyl?
Before getting too far into this subject lets go over the basics. PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is a derivative of natural gas and sodium chloride (aka: salt); which is one of the most abundant natural resources. “Vinyl Products are known for their durability, resistance to corrosion, thermal efficiency, color retention, ease of cleaning, safety and other benefits, including recyclability.”(source)
“PVC saves energy and reduces CO2 emissions. PVC takes less energy to produce than many competing products, and 20 percent less than other plastics. PVC also saves fossil fuels.” (Source: Vinyl News Service)
A Brief History of Vinyl:
The following timeline gives a quick glimpse into vinyl’s long history:
“PVC was one of the very first single-ply roofing membranes. The first PVC roof was installed in Germany in 1966, and within a few years, millions of square feet of PVC roofing had been installed on buildings all over the world. The use of single-ply PVC roofing systems became widespread in the United States in the 1970s, particularly when the oil crisis drove up prices on the asphalt used in built-up roofing systems.” (Source: Waterproof Magazine, Spring 2013)
That is about the time when Duradek came around, in 1974 to be exact. For over 46 years Duradek has been leading the charge in producing the most versatile, energy efficient and green vinyl walkable roof membranes.
How Is Duradek Vinyl Green?
In light of Earth Day today (April 22nd) we thought it would be fitting to go over the various green qualities that Duradek has. For starters, Duradek is extremely durable, as its average projected life cycle is 20 years (vs. 10 years for pressure treated wood). Many may not know this but the longevity of Duradek’s performance and its installation recommendations allow Duradek Vinyl Membranes to qualify for LEED Credits for your Green Building projects. For more information click HERE.
“Renewable is good, but so is durable, energy efficient, lightweight and recyclable. All products and materials that reduce the impact of human activity on the environment can be appropriately qualified as green…” Judith Nordgren, director of industry affairs of the Vinyl Institute (Source: U.S. Newswire Publication date: April 3, 2007)
Since we’re on the subject of recycling, did you know that more than one billion pounds of vinyl is recycled annually in the U.S. and Canada? In fact, according to www.vinylinfo.org since 2014, there has been a 40% increase in post-consumer recycling. More and more vinyl products are finding their way into the recycling stream. Landfill diversion is one of the impact categories the U.S. vinyl industry is addressing in its industry-wide sustainability initiative know as +Vantage Vinyl. Amazingly, in Duradek’s manufacturing process, nothing ends up in the landfill!
Previously, one of the more common arguments against vinyl is that not a lot is recycled. Not only is this no longer true, as presented above, but much of the vinyl that has been installed is still in use today due to its extremely long lifespan, meaning it hasn’t even needed to be replaced and recycled to this point!
Another way that Duradek helps to reduce the impact on the environment is through its energy efficiency. In simplistic terms there are two type of roofs, as defined by the U.S. Green Building Council, that help reduce the atmospheric heat build-up caused by man’s urban development or “heat islands”:
- Highly reflective “Cool Roofs”; and
- “Green (vegetative) Roofs”
Duradek is a walkable roof deck membrane so lets discuss reflective “cool roofs”. In the world of industrial and commercial buildings, a roofing system that can deliver high solar reflectance (SRI) and high thermal emittance is considered a “cool roof”. Most cool roofs are white or other light colors due to their natural reflectance. Cool roofs enhance roof durability and reduce both building cooling loads and the urban heat island effect.
The Duradek Cool-Dek line includes Duradeks top 5 “coolest” colors which are up to 16% cooler than our warmest color, Legacy Barnwood, and 18% cooler than concrete. These Cool-Dek colors have a higher SRI number resulting in lower surface temperatures which helps to prevent heat islands. Here in the Mid-Atlantic Region we stock and carry 4 out of 5 of these colors, Artic Quartz, Heritage Sunrise, Supreme Chip Sonoma, and Heritage Agate.
A Few More Considerations:
Let’s face it, we all like to change things up from time to time. Often, this can mean new color schemes and décor for the interior and exterior of our homes. Once again, Duradek has you covered in this area as well with environmentally friendly face-lift options. Here are a few ways the appearance of Duradek can be extended even further through various methods, depending on your needs:
•Through the application of deck coating (acrylic latex paint) over the Duradek vinyl membrane
• A new layer of Duradek can be successfully overlaid without the need for tear-off and removal
• Deck tiles can be laid on top of Duradek – Click HERE to see some options
The longer a product performs the less frequently it needs to be disposed of or recycled which ultimately is better for the environment! Also, as a single product solution, Duradek is applied directly to the substrate, therefore minimizing the weight load placed on the structure. Low product weight means the building structure requires fewer construction materials to support the vinyl.
You may also want to consider the option of overlaying the waterproof Duradek surface with a product such as SYNLawn artificial grass using HeatBlock Technology which is scientifically proven to lower rising temperatures by reflecting sunlight and reducing heat buildup and thermal emissivity!
Who Says It Isn’t Easy Being Green?
As an industry leader and frontrunner in all things vinyl walkable roof decks for over 46 years, Duradek is proud to be a part of the ever improving and sustainable building product industry. We will continue to produce walkable roof decks that incorporate the green vinyl qualities and strive for a smaller and smaller carbon footprint as time goes on.
“PVC’s effects on health and the environment have been investigated at every stage from manufacture through use and on to final disposal. In all cases, vinyl has been shown to be safe and environmentally sound.” Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore