Sustainable Commercial Roofing

The zero-waste roofing system that is being used by Target has become a big part of the company’s efforts to work with sustainable efforts. Target has been active in the world of environmental support for years and has been responsible for recycling cardboard in its stores for decades and working hard to get all its locations to meet Energy Star standards with regards to the appliances, lighting, and HVAC systems being used here. That roofing system is being used in the roof assembly in the local Target in College Station.

The company has been using PVC roofing materials for the last twenty years. Much of this was done to keep the heat from the sun from getting inside of the building and making it harder for the HVAC system in the workplace to operate. Recently they analyzed all of their roofing materials and found that thermal insulation and cover board will still be intact and capable of working properly even after a PVC membrane wears out and has to be replaced. That means roofing companies can recycle the old PVC roof material, saving more than 25,000 cubic feet of waste will be saved every time Target replaces a PVC membrane without replacing insulation.

Sustainable commercial roofing is reached by cutting the old PVC roof into strips and rolled and tossed with secure fasteners to keep the strips from coming apart as they are rolled. The manufacturer of the membrane will then take control of it as it is shipped off to the manufacturer to recycle everything. Target is also using recycling confirmation plans through a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories Environment. UL® has created a system that analyzes the individual steps utilized in the process of getting a roof set up and ready for use.

The process has been utilized by Target on a few dozens of its stores and about a million pounds of PVC membrane has been recycled in the process, thus reducing the amount of landfill space that would have to be used when getting a new roofing surface ready. Overall, this should help to improve the ways how Target will stick onto its plans to recycle at least 80% of its waste materials in its roofing plans.

It may not be the “zero waste” goal that Target is looking for but this does get the company one step closer to reaching its ultimate goal for achieving its goals for sustainable roofing.

Reference: Fenner, M., & Graveline, S. P. (2011). Zero Waste Roofing. Proceedings of the 2011 International Roofing Symposium. Retrieved from