EPDM is one of the most sustainable and environmentally responsible roofing materials used today in the construction industry. Its successful track record of superior overall system performance results in low life cycle costs. Less frequent replacement results in decreased building disruptions and reduced impact on the environment. The initial production of the membrane has a low-embodied energy number (the amount of energy required to produce and implement a product from material extraction, manufacturing and installation).
For designs requiring a colored surface, an ENERGY STAR approved coating can be applied. The EPDM surface allows for a robust bond with the coating that results in long-term performance. EPDM also has high emissivity (the percentage of absorbed energy a material can radiate away from itself). This high emissivity allows the heat energy to be reflected back into the atmosphere instead of being absorbed by the building. As a result, a building can “cool off” faster at night, rather than hold the heat.
Low VOC and VOC free products are also available.
Numerous manufacturing facilities, locally experienced installation crews and systems that perform well in conditions of high thermal value all allow for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) point possibilities. In fact, the Green Building Digest’s Issue No. 14 lists EPDM as a ‘Best Buy’ for low-slope roofing. For those systems that have reached the end of their service lives, EPDM membranes are recycled to become walkway pads or used for other purposes.