The natural crowning glory of a building is the roof: a structure whose purpose is to define the top and protect the interior from rain and reduce heat loss from the building, whether civil or industrial.
The roofing membrane - the outermost layer - ensures water impermeability while the load-bearing structure has the task of supporting it.
It is possible to choose the most appropriate type of roof with respect to the architectural context, the design and construction requirements and, not least, the environmental conditions that can be achieved to ensure the well-being of those living in the building.
Of great importance in this regard is the choice of materials used to ensure thermal insulation in order to increase the energy efficiency of the building and guarantee significant energy savings.
The main types of roof
There are many aspects by which to classify roofs.
The best known is related to the morphology and slope by which they are distinguished:
- Pitched roofs with a slope > 7°
- Curved roofs
- Flat roofs, sloping < 3°
Inclined, or pitched, roofs are certainly the most commonly used and consist of inclined pitches that determine their typical shape.
The inclination depends on the climate and architectural traditions of the area.
So-called 'discontinuous' roofs are used for these roofs: tiles or pantiles laid on top of a waterproofing layer, which allows water to drain off properly.
Alongside traditional pitched roofs, there are now innovative solutions that exploit the insulating capacity of sandwich panels, such as the Isodomus faux tile panels proposed by Manni Group for high-performance roofing while preserving the elegance of traditional forms.
It is a roof with a polyurethane foam sandwich panel, which can be applied to any type of structure (wood, concrete, metal).
The length of the panels varies depending on the size of the building, and the surface finish consists of a sheet metal that simulates the classic appearance of roof tiles.
The slim and lightweight design means that the isodomus panel does not weigh too heavily on the building structure while still providing excellent thermal-acoustic insulation performance.
Isodomus panels offer remarkable performance and, among other things, are:
- easy to install
Curved roofs are characterised by a pitch plane that is not straight but curved. Both continuous and discontinuous covers can be installed on them.
Flat roofs have a minimum slope to ensure rainwater runoff. They may be impracticable, if only accessible for maintenance, or practicable if they provide for user access. In the latter case, a distinction is made:
- green roofs with a layer of earth in which herbs, shrubs and flowers can be grown;
- drive-on roofs.
Features and benefits of green roofs
The green roof, also known as the green roof, is the star of contemporary design because it allows for a significant reduction in energy consumption and an environmentally sustainable choice.
Being 'inhabited' by living beings - plants - it represents an ever-changing scenario.
The stratigraphy of a green roof is a crucial aspect because its elements interact with the external environment and its thermal properties vary according to water content.
Depending on the type of roof being built and the botanical varieties that will be accommodated, the stratigraphy of a garden roof varies in thickness. However, the general structure provides:
- waterproof / root-resistant membrane
- draining layer
- filtering layer
- cultivation substrate and vegetation.
A roof garden also brings economic and environmental benefits, such as:
- microclimate mitigation,
- the growth of biodiversity,
- energy savings,
- the reduction of air and noise pollution,
- improving the performance of photovoltaic panels.
We have seen how roof architecture varies depending on climatic factors and design requirements.
In fact, it is possible to clad a building using an industrial product to achieve important advantages in terms of thermal performance while respecting the traditional appearance and construction context.
Significant benefits can also be achieved with eco-sustainable solutions such as green roofs.
A green roof whose stratigraphy is correctly designed allows for a valuable intervention that extends the life of the roof itself by avoiding dangerous temperature fluctuations.
In conclusion, there are multiple feasible solutions that become the meeting point between design requirements, performance, environment and aesthetics.