Eco-Friendly Roofing Options

Asphalt shingles aren't your only option. Whether wood, metal, or rubber, you can choose from a variety of durable and eco-friendly roofing materials.

| June/July 2010

eco-friendly roofing

If you want to go with eco-friendly roofing, consider its recycled material content, how long it will last, and whether it can be reused.


Most homeowners have to replace their roof shingles at some point. Exposed to sunlight, heat, cold, rain, wind, and sometimes snow, sleet and hail, conventional asphalt shingle roofs last 20 years, if you’re lucky.

If you’d like a roof that will outlast a conventional asphalt shingle roof and is made from eco-friendly roofing materials, consider the products outlined here. Many of them are virtually immune to hail. Green roofing products are many and varied, ranging from recycled-plastic shingles to recycled-metal roofs to sustainably harvested or reclaimed wood roofs. The best option for your home depends on the design of your home, local building codes, and price considerations.

Recycled Shingles

Among the most popular — and perhaps the “greenest” — of all roofing products are shingles made from recycled waste materials, such as plastic, rubber, or wood fiber. Some products are made from clean post-consumer waste (waste from homes), others from post-industrial waste (factory waste). Recycled-content shingles are amazingly durable, and they look nice, too. You’d never know they were made from “waste” materials!

Recycled-content roof shingles help divert waste from landfills and reduce our need to extract and process raw materials, which lowers energy consumption and reduces pollution. Some of these products are recyclable, too, and many come with amazing 50-year warranties. A few even carry fire ratings that could lower your insurance rates.

Wood Shingles and Shakes

In many parts of the country, wood shingles and shakes have long been a popular choice among builders and homeowners. Unfortunately, conventional wood shingles are made from old-growth western cedar. Although the amount of energy it takes to produce this product is relatively low, the harvest of old-growth trees is not sustainable in the long run. These shingles are also quite combustible and can no longer be used in areas where there is a risk of brush and forest fires.

If you would like to install wood roof shingles and local building codes permit them, consider a product made from reclaimed lumber. The Armster Reclaimed Lumber Co. in Connecticut, for example, makes roof shingles using wood reclaimed from mills, bridges, old water and wine tanks, and a number of other sources. This company acquires old wood throughout the country and makes an effort to process it locally — close to where you purchase the product — to reduce costs and transportation energy.

11/8/2017 9:04:12 AM

Brava Roof Tile has the best synthetic roofing product available. I challenge you to try and find a better composite roofing material. Brava has a 50 year warranty and is ECO friendly!

11/8/2017 9:04:10 AM

Brava Roof Tile offers the best synthetic roofing options. I challenge you to find a better product. You will see that Brava is superior on every level.

7/18/2016 3:20:27 AM

Thanks for your article! It's useful enough! How I can make Eco technology at my roof? What can you tell me about my roof now?

11/8/2013 4:27:24 AM

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11/8/2013 4:20:20 AM

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