The 4 Most Energy-Efficient Commercial Roofing Systems

energy efficiency arrows and house icon ecology concept, stock vector illustration

A roof that doesn’t absorb an excessive amount of heat is going to significantly reduce energy costs for a property while improving indoor comfort. That’s why many businesses are now looking to install energy-efficient commercial roofing, or cool roofs, on their properties. Organizations like Energy Star typically measure energy efficiency by emissivity, reflectivity, and thermal resistance. 

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most efficient roofing systems you can install on your commercial property, starting first with single-ply.

1. Single-Ply Membrane Roofing

picture of newly installed black EPDM roofing

Single-ply membrane is a type of energy-efficient roof that can be divided into three categories:

  • EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer)
  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
  • TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin)

Best for low-slope roofs, each type has its share of advantages and disadvantages. However, each of these roofing types does a good job of fending off heat and making the indoor environment more comfortable for occupants while placing less wear and tear on HVAC units. Furthermore, single-ply roofing is available in light-colored pigments, which can further enhance energy efficiency. Single-ply roofs can either be ballast-mounted or installed with chemical adhesives.

2. Built-Up Roofing

3D illustration of built-up roofing material

Next, built-up roofing, also known as BUR, is another good option for low-slope roofs. It’s a UV-resistant roofing material that also offers exceptional insulation.

Roofers install built-up roofing with either reinforced fiberglass or modified bitumen cap sheet or a ballast. The capping is a great way to make this type of roofing system even more efficient.

3. Modified Bitumen Roofing

Bitumen roofing with a roll of tar paper

Modified bitumen is another type of energy-saving roof. It has multiple layers of plastic or rubber material underneath a smooth finish or mineral granule surface. As previously mentioned, you can also use modified bitumen in tandem with built-up roofing. The application of a reflective coating is the secret to making this a true cool roof.

4. Standing-Seam Metal Roofing

Metal Roof

Lastly, all metal roofs tend to reflect UV rays, which makes them energy efficient. Standing-seam metal roofs are ideal for all types of commercial buildings.

Adding Reflective Coatings

painting a roof with reflective white elastomeric coating with a paint roller

If a roofing system isn’t rated as energy efficient, you can make certain modifications to make it more efficient. One of the easiest paths to more energy-efficient roofing systems is simply adding reflective coatings to existing roofs. 

These coatings are typically made from acrylics, urethanes, and silicones, and are designed to reduce heat transfer, decrease thermal shock, and prevent leaks. You can coat just about any type of commercial or residential roof, including all of the types that we’ve mentioned in this post. The only real exception is if the roof has a gravel-surfaced membrane.

It’s important to note that only trained industry professionals should place these coatings on any roofs. Having professionals install these coatings will help you prevent defects and avoid fines due to noncompliance with local codes and state regulations.

Qualifying for Tax Incentives

As if saving money and improving indoor comfort wasn’t already enticing enough, switching to a cool roof can even qualify you for certain tax incentives.

While incentives or rebates vary depending on the location/state, they can help alleviate some of the upfront costs associated with installing a more efficient roof. Learn more about tax incentives offered by Energy Star and search for rebates in your area here.

Get Help Selecting the Right Energy-Efficient Commercial Roofing System

Interested in installing energy-efficient commercial roofing? Contact Summit Commercial Roofing today. As a full-service commercial roofing company, we specialize in installing EPDM, PVC, metal, and modified bitumen roofing systems. We can also help you select the right roofing system for your property, as well as find any tax incentives that are available to you. 

If you’re interested in learning more, or want to request a quote, please fill out our online form today.


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Contact Summit Commercial Roofing Today

Summit Commercial Roofing is proud to be an industry leader in commercial flat roofing replacement, repairs, maintenance and installations. Courtesy, integrity, and transparency are a big part of everything that we do. Are you ready to see why we’re one of the best commercial roofing companies in Southeast Michigan? Call (734) 564-0371 or fill out our online form today to request a quote on our commercial roofing services.

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