EPDM, Sustainability, and the Environment

EPDM, Sustainability, and the Environment

11 Jan 2022

CARLISLE Construction Materials

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This informal CPD article EPDM, Sustainability, and the Environment was provided by CARLISLE Construction Materials, a globally diversified company offering Waterproofing solutions for flat roofs, facades, buildings and landscapes.

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM)

Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) membranes are incredibly environmentally friendly and offer a range of benefits for flat roofing, which contributes to sustainability and energy efficiency.

EPDM roof membranes have several environmental friendly benefits, including:

100% Recyclable. Because the EPDM is made from rubber, the sheet of membrane is 100% recyclable after use. Furthermore, it’s becoming more common for tyre manufacturers to donate tyres that are recycled and used to create EPDM.

Durability. Unlike other roofing materials, a roof membrane can last in excess of 50 years. It has minimal maintenance throughout its lifetime. An EPDM flat roof doesn’t degrade, is extremely weatherproof and isn’t prone to moss or algae growing on it.

Recyclable rainwater. Because of the rubber properties and surface, rainwater isn’t polluted by the membrane. This allows the potential to harvest and recycle rainwater using appropriate drainage products.

The International Kyoto Ecology Agreement recognises and recommends EPDM as the best value sustainable, environmentally friendly roofing material available today.

Advantages of Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer EPDM

EPDM has advantages over other elastomers in that its weathering resistance is extraordinary and its raw materials are highly cost effective. Presently, EPDM dominates the elastomeric roofing market, outselling all other materials combined. Among the single-ply roofing systems, EPDM offers building owners the roofing industry’s longest average service life, with more than 50 years of field performance, representing more than 20 billion square feet installed.

Because EPDM polymer doesn’t contain halogens within the polymer chain and isn’t inherently fire resistant, fire ratings can be achieved through three different avenues: the addition of an external fire retardant, via ballasted roof systems that obviate the need for membrane fire resistance, or through being installed within a defined build up with additional material components.

Benefits of EPDM

EPDM & Green Roofs

Green roofs contribute to the sustainability of a building. A green roof significantly reduces the need for air conditioning in summer and provides insulation in the winter. The insulation in the winter will depend on the amount of moisture in the various layers. Insulation in the summer is the greatest, because the layers are dry and therefore reflect the heat effectively. Due to the reduced need for air conditioning in the summer and less heating in the winter, a green roof significantly reduces energy consumption.

A green roof also extends the life span of a roof because it shields the roofing material from the harmful influence of sun, wind and rain. Research has shown that roof surfaces last two to three times longer if a green roof is installed. What's more, the roof has a water buffering function, because it holds the excess water from heavy rainfall and releases this gradually to the sewage system. This prevents flooding and ensures a lower ambient temperature through evaporation. In addition, a green roof provides scope for biodiversity to develop. There are shelters and nesting sites for birds, bees, butterflies and other insects.

Being 100% root retardant, EPDM roofing membranes are an ideal partner for green roofs.

Recycling EPDM

Synthetic rubber EPDM roofing can be successfully recycled after it needs to be replaced. In fact, 100% of it can be reused as terrain for children's playgrounds or public spaces like swimming pools. These EPDM particles can be coloured and made into useful components of outdoor design in sports areas. EPDM recycled rubber is durable, and perfect for playgrounds because of its non-toxic nature.

We hope this article on EPDM, Sustainability, and the Environment was helpful. For more information from CARLISLE Construction Materials, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

CARLISLE Construction Materials

CARLISLE Construction Materials

For more information from CARLISLE Construction Materials, please visit their CPD Member Directory page. Alternatively please visit the CPD Industry Hubs for more CPD articles, courses and events relevant to your Continuing Professional Development requirements.

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