Sustainable roofing practices make economic and environmental sense. Prologis, always a leader in sustainable and resilient building design, has defined three guiding principles for our roofing program:
- Leverage scale to reduce costs. Securing large contracts with roofing suppliers and contractors, as well as installing photovoltaic solar systems on rooftops, saves money for our customers, reduces our own operating costs and feeds clean energy back into the grid. Prologis ranked third in the Solar Energy Industries Association’s “Solar Means Business” report among all U.S. companies for solar installations in 2017 with 120.7 megawatts of capacity.
- Explore options to achieve a cool roof where possible. Municipalities are starting to require roof design that contributes to the energy efficiency of the building. Approaches range from mandating a minimum solar reflective index for roofing materials to requiring rooftop gardens, or "green roofs." As of July 2018, 42 percent of Prologis’ global portfolio includes cool roofing designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. Cool roofs—which are made from highly reflective paint, tiles, shingles or membrane material—reduce the urban heat island effect and demand for air conditioning. When energy efficiency requirements came into effect in many markets—including Chicago, Denver, San Francisco and Toronto—Prologis was already installing sustainable roofing.
- Reduce landfill and recycle materials where possible. A good example of this principle is our program to replace EPDM roofing, a common material in many markets across the Americas comprising a black single-ply membrane ballasted by river rocks. EPDM isn’t as efficient as TPO membrane, a cool roof system. Swapping EPDM for TPO would drive up roof replacement costs and add waste to local landfills. We solved for both cost and waste issues in 2012 when we initiated a process that maintains in-place river rocks and replaces EPDM membranes.
Since 2012, Prologis markets in the U.S.—including Atlanta; Baltimore/Washington D.C.; Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; Chicago; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; Denver, eastern Pennsylvania; Indianapolis; Louisville, Kentucky; and New Jersey—have avoided $8.5 million in transport and disposal costs, saving $3.6 million in Chicago alone. In terms of volume, we have prevented 108,034 tons of waste from going to landfills—more than the equivalent of a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, which weighs approximately 100,000 tons.
Read more about how Prologis is staying ahead of what’s next in sustainable development.