Thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes make ecological and economic sense
Minimum input of raw materials for maximum performance - that's one way of summing up thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes. There are a number of factors in their favour, and the following profile highlights the most important ones.
Environmental protection is an important subject for producers of thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes. This is why so much attention is focused on durability and the responsible treatment of raw materials in the production process.
The durable waterproofing of roofs is the best form of environmental protection. With a relatively low input of materials, single-ply thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes give buildings lasting protection. Even after 20 years' service in demanding environmental conditions, thermoplastic roofing membranes are fully functional. This has been demonstrated by expert opinions. A low input of materials is also a decisive factor in production. Because thermoplastic roofing membranes with the usual thickness of 1.5 mm retain their full function for a very long period. In order to cut down on the input of raw materials still further, manufacturers have been encouraging the recycling of used membranes with the aim of returning them to the production cycle. The possibility of separating pure-grade materials, particularly if the membranes are mechanically fastened or loose-laid, is a great help to this strategy.
An ecological construction material profile includes environment-friendly behaviour throughout its life. Thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes do not represent a toxicological threat to the environment, neither in production or during laying, nor after many years of service. Not only their formulation, but also their production, laying and disposal meet the requirements of environmental and health protection. Thermoplastic membranes are produced on modern lines with the advantage of accurately controllable properties and precise reproducibility combined with comprehensive documentation and hence verifiability. In this respect they are superior to any "natural product".
During production, storage, transport, laying and recycling, the energy input is low. Compared with other roofing materials the energy input in production alone for what is usually only 1.5 mm thick membranes is minimal. With single-ply laying and minimum membrane thickness, the waterproofing material occupies little volume during transport and also helps to cut energy consumption here as well.
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)
An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a transparent, objective report that communicates what a product is made of and how it impacts the environment across its entire life cycle. A verified EPD can earn your products credits for LEED v4 and other green building rating systems. EPDs are verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products.
EPDs are voluntarily developed information and the purpose is to provide quality-assured and comparable information regarding the environmental performance of products. The key benefit of EPDs is that they allow architects and specifiers to compare products in terms of their whole-life sustainability – an increasingly important consideration as clients demand compliance with certification schemes such as BREEAM and LEED.
ESWA fully supports the use of EPDs to allow its members to provide information on the environmental impact of their products in an objective and comparable manner. To receive EPDs on single-ply waterproofing products, please contact our member companies.
Independent studies have repeatedly confirmed the low environmental impact and extreme longevity of single-ply waterproofing membranes.