Sept 16

Lightweight Insulating Concrete – The Holistic Roofing Choice

 

We know that “going green” is good for the environment and for future generations. But it also is good for economic development. How?

Take lightweight insulating concrete, for example. It provides an environmentally friendly choice for any new and re-roofing project. It also is less expensive, permanent and durable. It is the type of construction that is best for future generations – leaving a light footprint while still being safe.

Green Is In

Currently there are more than 4.3 million people living and working in LEED certified buildings (according to a report by the U.S. Green Building Council).

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The U.S. has the most LEED credential holders, contributing to building better, more environmentally sound commercial buildings and homes. Currently there are 13,000 USGBC member organizations, ranging from Fortune 100 corporates to small neighborhood businesses and representing 13 million employees and $1.8 trillion in combined revenue. This is no small effort!

While LEED and green building is becoming more popular, many believe that the cost of building to LEED certifications is more expensive. While this may be the case with some materials, it is not so with commercial roofing.

LWIC to the Rescue

“One of the major benefits of lightweight insulating concrete is cost savings. Head to head with other rigid roofing materials, we can cut the roofing cost as much as 30% by introducing LWIC,” said Charlie Krauss, KPOST Roof Deck Manager & Senior Estimator. “Because it saves money and is very durable, we approach every job with an LWIC option.”

The benefits to lightweight insulating concrete are numerous. In addition to saving money, choosing LWIC over more rigid roof materials will provide:

  • Longevity – the product remains in place for the life of the building.
  • Durability – LWIC sustains very high uplifts often greatly exceeding other commercial roofing systems, particularly rigid board system.
  • Sustainability – the LWIC system stays in place, so there is no removing of original roofing and dumping in landfills.
  • Eligibility – LWIC will meet any requirements, including LEED and R values.
  • Versatility – ideal for complicated roofing and re-reroofing projects, particularly if unusual slopes are needed, or the roof has obstacles such as sky lights or HVAC systems.

In addition, lightweight insulating concrete systems have improved since their introduction in the 1930’s. Now the systems use cellular concrete that creates air bubbles, thereby making the concrete lighter. Plus, the newer systems use significantly less water, making them even friendlier to the environment. Originally, the systems required over 100 gallons of water in the initial mix. Now, LWIC systems need about 23 gallons of water, and cure in two to three days. This is a significant improvement in hydration rate PLUS the new LWIC systems can be installed much faster, positively impacting the project schedule.

“Lightweight insulating concrete is a quality product that provides strong value for our customers. Not only is it ideal for re-roofing projects, but for new projects we can install LWIC systems in approximately 7 days, picking up 3 weeks’ time and improving the overall job schedule,” said Keith Post, KPOST CEO.

Re-roofing is another project type for which lightweight insulating concrete is well-suited. Many re-roofing projects have varying slopes. With LWIC, accommodating these different slopes becomes quite easy.

According to Billy Ward, KPOST Supervisor for Lightweight Insulating Concrete projects, “LWIC is the best solution for re-roofing projects because you can add slope, can change slope direction if needed, and provide a better solution with a 20 year guarantee.  With LWIC, we don’t have to tear off old roofing materials. Simply add a new layer and you are good to go.”

With the continued focus on environmentally friendly construction, it’s good to know that in the commercial roofing space, lightweight insulating concrete provides a green option that is cost effective, easy to use and improves project scheduling. That is truly a win-win!

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