EPDM Roofing Association Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The EPDM Roofing Association (ERA) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary of service to the roofing industry, building on its foundation of science-based research to expand its focus on sustainability. This will include further investigation of the complex and inconsistent temperature assessment protocols that are being used in virtually all Urban Heat Island (UHI) evaluations. Given the multiple approaches to reducing UHI, such as expansion of green spaces, use of reflective roofing, and introduction of moisture into the atmosphere, this inconsistency is making comparisons of efficacy problematic. 

Additionally, during this anniversary year, ERA will focus on providing new and additional research-based science to help clarify the choice of appropriate roofing systems in climates throughout the U.S. and internationally. Members of ERA—Holcim Building Envelope, Johns Manville and Carlisle Construction Materials—manufacture both white/reflective and dark roofing membranes, and represent top line expertise in the use of both systems. 

“We realize this is a critical time for the building community. People have questions about sustainability, cool roofing, recycling, and the environmental impact of construction products,” says Ellen Thorp, executive director of ERA. “We are proud of our two decades of industry leadership. And we plan to celebrate those twenty years of success by continuing to provide the industry with specific answers to many of the questions that confront us.”

Since its founding in January 2003, ERA has protected industry decision-makers from restrictions that would limit their choice of building products.  This has included defeating broad efforts to mandate reflective roofs in areas that present a variety of construction challenges, requiring different solutions.

ERA has also sponsored research on the benefits of dark roofs in cold climates, investigated the superior resistance of EPDM to hail, and conducted a service life assessment that showed the outstanding longevity of EPDM. To stay current with state-of-the-art thinking about the sustainability of various roofing systems, ERA leadership visited the IBHS (Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety), the Building Envelope Materials Research Program at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to consult with leading scientists on the result of their specific research.

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