January 16, 2015
by Amy Crenan
The majority knows that metal roofs are durable, but it wasn’t until recently that a study showed the longevity of low-slope unpainted 55% Al-Zn alloy coated steel standing seam roofing (SSR) systems- 60 years. With the service life of a commercial building being 60 years, according to LEED version 4, this means that essentially the metal roof system described above, and commonly referred to as Galvalume® metal roofs, does not require replacement. To put this into context, by comparison most non-metal roofs require at least one replacement during the same period. This study also reveals that the longevity of a 55% Al-Zn alloy coated standing seam roofing system far surpasses the typical warranty period granted, which is 25 years. Basically, this is a game changer and we, manufacturers, are thrilled!
Technical Director of MCA Scott Kriner said, “This study is a breakthrough for the metal construction industry because it finally provides third-party, scientific data that backs up the long held stance that 55% Al-Zn coated steel standing seam roofing systems are very durable, economic and can be better for the environment.”
Let’s take a closer look at the study. The Metal Construction Association (MCA) and Zinc Aluminum Coaters (ZAC) Association sponsored it. The study involved three independent consulting firms testing 14 buildings in five climate zones. The variety of structures and climates allowed them to analyze how Galvalume metal roofs perform in a range of temperatures, humidity and precipitation pH, or acidity, levels. All of these can affect the metallic corrosion rate of roof panels, their sealants and components, and that’s what the consulting firms analyzed.
Here were some of their findings:
So what does it mean for architects and building owners? Speaking from a purely biased manufacturer’s prospective, specify and purchase more metal roofs! All jokes aside, this study displays the appeal in selecting a metal roof because it reduces the maintenance costs of the building. It also changes and increases the accuracy of Life Cycle Cost (LCC) or whole building Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) associated with Galvalume metal roof systems by providing tangible research as opposed to previous calculations based on roofing professionals’ opinions. To find out more information or to download the full report, visit http://www.metalconstruction.org/index.php/education/technical-resources.