Sustainable application of metal decking
As a 100% recyclable product, metal roof decking is the ideal choice when sustainability in construction is a key consideration. However, there are a number of other benefits to using metal decking in the construction of single-ply, standing seam or green roofs.
It’s incredibly strong for its weight, the fact that metal decking can span up to 12 metres allows building designers to lose much of the secondary structure. Roof deck is fast to lay therefore reducing time on site and as large quantities can be bundled and loaded effectively, each lorry delivers a vast roof area, reducing the number of vehicles to site, not to mention all associated traffic, unloading and storage activities. Roof deck is a solution to the negative environmental impacts of a construction site – reducing noise, emissions, traffic congestion and more importantly our carbon footprint.
These substantial sustainability benefits pale into insignificance, compared to the benefits gained over the life of a building, by utilising metal deck sustainable roof design. It is commonly accepted that the embodied energy in a building is approximately one tenth of the energy used in that building over a period of 50 years. The impact of including a highly insulated, well sealed metal deck roof can be a reduction in heat loss through the roof by half.
However it’s not just about carbon and energy, metal deck green roofs offer far more than just that.
- Slows the run off. They reduce the amount of rain that runs off the roof and they slow down the peak rate of runoff by several hours, which in turn dramatically reduces flooding and the burden on the drainage system. The water is cleaned as it percolates through the layers.
- Habitat for wildlife. They cool the surrounding air as well as the building they are on and they provide a safe habitat for plants, bees, butterflies insects and birds.
- Feel good factor. Green roofs look good in any work or home environment and encourage wildlife.
- Economics. Green roofs reduce the need for air conditioning and heating so they save money.
- Planning benefits. Many councils now insist on the inclusion of green roofs in building developments.
As a recent example, the UK’s largest and greenest sustainable storage facility at Adnams Brewery used a metal deck green roof with a Corus Panels and Profiles D159 under a Sky-Garden Greenroof to reduce the visual impact of the building on the landscape and to regulate the internal temperature. A drip irrigation system was installed to sustain the plants.