Energy Efficiency Truths When Designing Single-Ply Roofs

Membrane color, insulation levels, attachment methods and vapor retarders contribute to a roof's energy efficiency
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Webinar On-Demand
Sponsored by GAF
Presented by Christian Hartwig and Thomas J Taylor

Learning Objectives:

  1. Design roof systems by choosing membranes based on color, and the role of membrane choice and insulation levels in building energy efficiency.
  2. Identify demand charges and the role they play in determining air conditioning versus heating costs.
  3. Describe roof installation methods and system designs and their impact on energy efficiency.
  4. Review trends in membrane types and understand how the market has changed, and go beyond today's code levels to become a more demanding or sustainability conscious building owner.
  5. Review commercial electric tariffs and their effect on HVAC operating costs.


This test is no longer available for credit

Roof design plays an important role in determining future operating energy costs for buildings. Membrane choice, insulation levels and attachment methods all play a role in building energy efficiency. This course examines membrane trends and the implications for the building designer in terms of energy efficiency. The effects of the type of membrane, along with methods of installation and previously published studies are reviewed. The importance of heating energy source, eg. gas versus electricity, will also be discussed. Using validated modeling tools, systems will be compared to show how energy efficiency can be improved. In addition, the impact of installation methods will be reviewed showing how roof assembly design can be improved in ways not yet considered in current building codes. Architects, designers and roof consultants will benefit from this course, as will building owners, facility managers and anyone in the roofing industry.

Energy Efficiency of Single-Ply Roofs webinar image.

Christian Hartwig

Christian Hartwig is the Associate Product Manager for TPO and PVC membranes and adhesives used in low-slope roofing. He has a B.A. from William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. Christian is a frequent presenter to industry groups and associations and has co-authored several publications covering the use of cool roofing and building energy efficiency. He has been with GAF for 2 years, and has a background in project management for injection molded, extruded and fabricated plastics including acrylics, polyolefins, PVCs and styrenes.

Tom Taylor

Thomas J Taylor PhD is the Building & Roofing Science Advisor for GAF. This position is focused on the relationships between individual roofing materials and the overall roof system. Tom is a frequent presenter to industry groups and associations, and has authored many primary research and review publications on building science topics. He has been with GAF for 12 years, and has a background in building material development and use. He has more than 20 years' experience in the building products industry and holds about 35 patents.

GAF, the leading roofing manufacturer in North America and part of the largest roofing and waterproofing business in the world, has roofing and waterproofing solutions for residential, commercial, and civil engineering applications supported by a network of factory-certified contractors. For more details, please visit