Benefits of Metal Roofs in Building Design


benefits of metal roofs

For many years, the upfront cost of metal roofing was probably the single biggest objection from business owners and building managers when considering what material should top new construction. Within the last decade, however, focus has shifted to sustainability and the lowering of carbon footprints in all types of construction. The many benefits of metal roofs make them cost-attractive for commercial purposes, even with higher upfront costs, as they pay for themselves in other areas over a number of years. When designing new buildings, pointing out the following benefits can help convince your clients that including a metal roof is in their best interests.

Reduced Heating and Cooling Costs

This is one of the biggest factors making metal roofs cost-effective for new construction and is a particularly important consideration in warmer climates that use air conditioning more frequently. Manufacturers coat metal roofing materials with a substance that reflects radiant heat so that the roof does not absorb solar rays and add to building load. This is called “solar reflectance”.

However, metal roofs also have great insulating properties, making them ideal in cooler climates too. Metal roofs retain this insulating and reflective factor as they age, unlike traditional asphalt roof that deteriorate with age.  This is called “thermal emittance”.

Additional insulation along with ventilation at proper intervals can augment this energy-saving benefit. Roofs with high emissivity ratings that allow solar energy to dissipate will also increase utility savings. More information, including reflectance and emissivity ratings when new and 3 years out can be found by product at:


Whereas asphalt roofs have an average life of 12 to 20 years, metal roofs last much longer, up to 70 years in some instances, according to State Farm Insurance. Traditional asphalt roofing begins deterioration a soon as it is installed. Metal roofs, on the other hand do not decompose when exposed to weather and ultraviolet radiation. Metal panels interlock, allowing the roof to withstand almost any severe weather. These roofs are also resistant to impacts, fire, mildew and insects and won’t corrode when properly installed, further extending their longevity. Most metal roofs come with warranties of up to 50 years. Considering that a building will need two or more asphalt roofs during this time period, installing a metal roof will reduce renovation costs over time.

Environmentally Friendly

Depending on the manufacturer, metal roofs have a recycled content between 25% and 95%. While using recycled materials is a consideration for those businesses looking to fulfilled LEED certification for new buildings or remodeled structures, metal roofs are also 100% recyclable. The International Green Construction Code that went into effect in 2012 requires that at least 55 percent of building materials must be salvaged, recycled-content, recyclable, bio-based, or indigenous, further adding to the desirability of metal roofing. When one considers that up to 20 billion pounds of asphalt from spent roofing shingles per year ends up in landfills, metal roofs have a much kinder impact on the environment.

Light Weight

Light weight metals have a number of benefits. First, it reduces transportation costs, which in turn lowers material costs. Minimal weight also allows installation over existing roofs, if so desired, eliminating tear-off costs which can be expensive in scenarios where asbestos may be embedded. Additionally, lightweight materials speed installation, thus reducing labor costs When used in new construction, metal roofs maintain the structural integrity of buildings as they require fewer support materials, ultimately reducing structural building maintenance over a number of years.

Additional Benefits

Metal roofs are manufactured to easily shed snow and ice, which is a major concern in snowy areas where heavy loads can compromise structural integrity. Metal roofs are also ideal bases for installation of solar arrays, further adding to their green benefits.

If you do commit to a metal roof, make sure that is is properly protected from moisture with a high performance underlayment, like DELTA®-TRELA. If moisture accumulates under the metal it can prematurely damage the roof substructure, or lead to corrosion. Both of which require the metal to be replaced sooner than necessary.


Dörken delivers innovative, high-performance air and moisture barriers for commercial and residential construction sold under the DELTA® brand name. A North American manufacturer based out of Beamsville, Ontario, Dörken Products, Inc. is a subsidiary of Ewald Dörken AG, a leading European developer and manufacturer of waterproofing and drainage products sold worldwide. Dörken is known for delivering premium products while providing educational programs and full technical support. For more information, call 1-888-4DELTA4 (433-5824) or visit