Resiliency and the Future of Roofing

At ERA, we consider it an important part of our job to keep our eye on emerging issues that could impact the roofing business, and its customers.

Recently, we’ve noticed that resiliency is getting a lot of attention – from government officials, industry leaders and environmental groups. The concept of resiliency has been around for a long time, but now it’s being talked about in a new and more urgent context. Regardless of their cause, extreme weather events – tornadoes, hurricanes, hailstorms, torrential rain and the resulting floods, droughts, and record-setting heat and cold – are becoming increasingly common in the United States. Already in 2016, New York City has received its heaviest snowfall in more than a century. Houston saw record-setting rainfall in April, resulting in flooding that left eight dead. In May, wildfires forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Canada. Firefighters trying to bring the blaze under control were challenged by extremely dry conditions, strong winds, and record-setting heat: on May 3, the temperature in Fort McMurray was 91 degrees, nearly thirty degrees above average.

These weather extremes – along with threats from other natural disasters such as earthquakes – have sharpened the focus on resiliency as an essential component of the built environment. Resilience is now being discussed in terms of entire communities, and how quickly a community can rebound to normal functioning after an extreme weather event. The Federal government has convened discussions on how building codes and standards can help support community resilience. And the private sector is considering steps it can take to incorporate resilience into its products, specifically, and building design in general.

At ERA, we’re excited about the benefits that EPDM can offer as resiliency becomes an increasingly important component of building design. EPDM is one of the most durable membranes available. It has superior resistance to hail damage and will not become brittle or shatter due to low temperatures. Fully adhered EPDM delivers superior wind resistance. With a documented lifespan of more than 35 years in the field, and up to 50 years in laboratory tests, EPDM has been shown to withstand virtually all of the challenges that nature has served up.

So ERA will be watching and participating as code-setting and regulatory groups take up issues related to resiliency. And we will be sure that EPDM plays its part as communities search for durable, tried-and-true ways to protect themselves against weather extremes.

Ellen Thorp