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Single Ply Roofing Membrane: Is It Worth It?

Single ply roof membranes are increasingly popular in UK construction projects, both for new construct and refurbishment. Selecting a roof is constantly a mix of design criteria, efficiency requirements and cost, and it is necessary to find a balance all three.

Last week we introduced the five most popular single ply roofing membranes utilized in the UK and their main qualities. Today we’ll look in more detail at key factors to consider when picking which single ply roofing membrane suits your project.
Sustainability Considerations

Exactly what makes a ‘sustainable building product’ is still a matter of argument. The Building Products Assocation has actually written a great article about this which discusses the complexity of sustainability in renovation products.

In the end, any effective assessment of the sustainability of a renovation product has to take a look at it in the context of the entire building, its life cycle and overall impact.

For the purpose of this short article, we’ll concentrate on the environmental impact of the products themselves– whether they can be recycled, and exactly what effect they and their components have on the environment.

PVC Whilst being really long lasting, long lived, and in many case produced in the UK, PVC could be considered the least eco-friendly of the items due to the presences of plasticisers and chlorine in the item. For some designers, the danger to the environment postured by the manufacture, use and disposal of PVC, renders it inappropriate. It is likewise just partially recyclable.

EPDM can not be recycled, though the membrane can be recycled if loose laid or mechanically repaired.

TPO, like PVC, is long lasting, does not contain plasticisers and can be partly recycled. Some items include recycled material. Setup might include solvents, as pointed out last week.
TPE is 100 % recyclable, and no solvents are used in its setup. It is also made in the UK.
PIB is also 100 % recyclable. It is the only membrane with a complete life process assessment to ISO14040, verifying the product has no significant ecological impact from cradle to grave. For this factor PIB might be considered the most sustainable of the products.

Expense of Single Ply Roof

Typically speaking the cost of these five single ply roof membranes follows this sequence:

1. EPDM is most likely to be the least expensive,

2. Then TPEs and tpos, though their cost is typically comparable to some PVCs,
Then PIB.

Cost can vary significantly depending upon the producer. With hundreds of various PVC roof membranes offered to choose from, a variety of prices are readily available, but the efficiency attributes of the materials will vary too. The preliminary expense of the product itself is only one aspect.