Volume 8, Issue 9 (October 2011)
Single Ply Roofing: Introduction to a New Sustainability Standard for the Roofing Industry
This standard development began with a partnership between members of the roofing industry and NSF International to facilitate the thorough communication of information that is verifiable and accurate about the environmental and social impacts associated with the production and use of single ply roofing membranes. This industry among other product manufacturing industries is responding to the global pressures of sustainable practices. Attributes in this standard were developed to address this growing need. Key elements of the standard include product design, life cycle assessment considerations, minimization of chemicals of concern, product manufacturing, energy, water, waste, durability, corporate governance (social responsibility), and innovation. Sustainability related information may influence a manufacturer’s decisions about supply chain modifications, product content changes, manufacturing adjustments, performance improvements, end-of-life options, and corporate governance with the goal of producing more sustainable products. NSF International is an accredited standards developer with American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The consensus body for this standard, called a joint committee, is balanced among the following interest categories: industry, public health/regulatory, and user. Work has been ongoing since the first stakeholder meeting in May 2009. Various task groups and experts have been participating in meetings on a monthly basis. This paper will introduce the Single Ply Roofing Membrane Sustainability Standard (NSF 347) along with background on its development. Additionally, other standards that may be applicable to single ply roofing membranes, certification, and conformance will be reviewed including third party certification versus conformity assessment. The anticipated voluntary consensus based standard should be available late 2011.