Roof of a building is part of the building envelope and plays a major role in the design of an energy efficient building. The design of the supporting structure will be governed by the shape and geometry and the layout of the structural system for the building, the climatic conditions, the site environ and so on.
The choice of roofing material will also depend on the shape and geometry of the roof -- for example whether it is pitched, flat, and so on.
Roof of a building plays a key role in protecting building occupants and interiors from outside weather conditions, primarily moisture.
The roof, insulation, and ventilation must all work together to keep the building free of moisture. Roofs also provide protection from the sun. In fact, if designed correctly, roof overhangs can protect the buildings exterior walls from moisture and sun.
Typically residential buildings roofs are sloped whereas commercial buildings generally are low-slope or flat. Choice of roofing material will be based on issues such as concerns regarding moisture, standing water, durability and appearance.
The roof design of a building can impact the building's thermal performance -- for example, in a metal-framed building, the metal eaves can act as thermal fins, moving heat out of the building, which is not desirable in climates where the building needs to be heated.
There are a number of roofing choices available for high-performance buildings -- for example new roof shingles on the market today even produce electricity using solar technology., and reflective roofing materials or coatings can help send the heat back into the sky rather than into the building.
Considering environmental conservation as well as energy conservation, recycled content shingles are available that look like slate or wood. In the design of the building, roofing materials should be integrated into the building's whole-building design.
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