Four reasons why natural slate is a sustainable roof material
SPONSORED ARTICLE: Cristina Fernández of CUPA PIZARRAS examines the factors that she says makes natural slate the most sustainable material for roofs
Report from – Cristina Fernández
Nowadays there are so many types and styles of roofing materials but attempting to choose the one that is environmentally friendly can be difficult. Here are four reasons why natural slate can be considered the most sustainable material.
1 .The greater the durability, the lower the impact
The cost and environmental impact should be measured over the service life of the product, and natural slate is an outstanding material that has stood the test of time, with a service life of more than 100 years. Extraordinary long-lived, remarkably durable, fire resistant and naturally waterproof, natural slate is one of the highest quality roofing products available with practically no maintenance costs.
2. A 100% natural product
As a mineral product, slate is completely inert and natural, subject only to extraction and craft-working processes, without any need for additional treatment. The simplicity of its production process, which does not need any additional artificial material, furnaces or chemical products, makes it the ideal solution for more sustainable construction to reduce environmental impacts.
3. Low embodied energy
Natural slate produces low embodied energy – the energy required to manufacture, transport and use the product and deal with any waste created. Life cycle analysis, which allows you to analyse a product’s overall environmental impact, confirming natural slate as the sustainable choice for architectural projects. Other products have considerably more complex manufacturing processes, involving a higher environmental impact. Zinc, for example, consumes large amounts of electrical energy during its manufacture. Ceramic tiles or fibre cements need high-temperature processes in furnaces that consume large amounts of energy.
4. The least environmental impact
CUPA PIZARRAS’ production process requires a certain level of constant humidity. In order to reduce the consumption of water, closed circuits have been created, which enable them to reuse the water. Also, once the reserves of slate have been exhausted, the quarry is restored by hydro seeding native plants, ensuring natural recovery of the local flora and fauna. Over 60% of CUPA PIZARRAS’ production already uses ship transport, which is cleaner and more efficient than land transportation.
Cristina Fernández is communications manager at CUPA PIZARRAS, a world-leading producer of natural slate for roofing and facades since 1892. Its 16 quarries and 22 processing plants combine the latest technology with traditional know-how and craftsmanship.