Lasting a century or more, copper roofs and cladding do not have to be replaced. Over the building’s life, this longevity eliminates the need to use new roofing material and prevents the waste generated from other, old, worn roofing material. Any higher initial costs for such copper applications typically are offset by low to no maintenance costs over the operationally life of the building. Across its life cycle-from extraction to recycling- copper has a minimal impact on energy consumption and natural resources, while its use has an immensely positive impact on energy efficiency, indoor air quality and life-cycle costs.
Copper’s benefits do not end once construction is completed. In fact, a major benefit of copper’s use, total recyclability, is realized during demolition. And, nearly all of the copper ever mined is still in use today. It is one of the most easily recycled metals available today and maintains its performance attributes through the recycling process-it is not down cycled into lower value products. Further, recycled components can be sourced locally in many parts of North America. Visit the Copper.org website.
Aluminum is lightweight, durable, corrosion resistant, energy efficient, aesthetically appealing, and infinitely recyclable making it the ideal roofing material. Nearly 75% of all aluminum ever produced since 1888 is still in use today, and 95% of aluminum used in buildings is recycled.
Among aluminum’s most sustainable attributes is its recyclability. LEED recognizes and encourages that use of building products that incorporate recycled content, thereby reducing the environmental impact relating to the extraction and processing of virgin materials. Furthermore, recycled aluminum takes only 5% of the energy to produce as compared with primary aluminum and can be recycled over and over without loss of useful properties.