Roofing’s contribution to improving sustainability

NFRC is committed to reducing the environmental impact of roofing within construction. However, the industry is already making considerable efforts to improve sustainability.

NFRC strategy

Our strategy to reduce the environmental impact of roofing within construction, is based on encouraging the use of low impact materials, using recycled content or secondary material where possible, designing out waste, designing in deconstruction and reducing construction impacts.

By maintaining high standards among NFRC contractor members and through the management of the RoofCERT and NFRC Competent Person Scheme competency schemes, we hope to improve the quality of installations that will help to close the performance gap. This is the gap between the predicted energy performance of a building at design stage, and its actual performance after completion.


Sustainable roofs and roofing materials

Natural slates and clay tiles

Natural slates and clay tiles are highly recyclable and generally with low embodied energy if sourced in the UK or salvaged from existing buildings. Slates are highly are also highly durable.

Green and Blue Roofs

Green roofs and Blue roofs perform a vital role in helping cities adapt to the effects of climate change by reducing the need for artificial cooling in hot weather and reducing rainwater run-off, as well as providing a range of habitats for wildlife.

Metal roofing and cladding

Steel, zinc and other metals are fully recyclable and in the case of steel, recycling can actually enhance quality and strength. Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) is a partnership of 48 European organisations, including steelmakers, which have committed to reducing CO2 emissions of steel production by 50 per cent by 2050.

Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV)

Poor aesthetics coupled with improper installation and expensive maintenance costs are some of the criticisms levelled at mounted solar panels. PV can be integrated into both building facades and cladding using semi-transparent thin-film or crystalline solar panels; and on rooftops, using solar slates and tiles.

Cool Roofs

Cool roofs are those that have been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than conventional roofs, through the use of highly reflective paint, or sheeting. According to US-based Green Building Alliance, the most efficient cool roofs can reflect more than 65% of solar energy away from the building.