Before engaging yourself in buying a new roof or reroofing a roof, you’ll need to understand the spectrum of offerings. The market is filled with many types of commercial roofing systems with each having its own pros and cons. Therefore, it’s extremely important that, in keeping with the vital elements of a modern commercial building, your roof lives up to the required standards for a roof of its type, your building’s requirements, and your company’s requirements. The main purpose of this article is to define the different types of roofs within the market place, their explicit features as well as main advantages.

Types of Commercial Roofing Systems

Roof performance is reliant on selected materials, installation techniques and lastly, the installation company. There are four main types of commercial building roof types within the industry to consider:

  • Green roofs
  • EPDM roofing
  • Photovoltaic panels
  • Thermoplastic roofing

Description of Commercial Roofs Types

What are Green Roofs?

chicago city hall green roof case study
The City of Chicago tested green roofs on their city hall and found “a roof surface temperature reduction of 70 degrees and an air temperature reduction of 15 degrees.” (source)

Amongst these commercial flat roof types, green roofing systems have garnered increased market traction. Essentially, these are flat and covered in soil and vegetation that has been cultivated over a waterproofing membrane. They are environmentally friendly. Not only does it reduce carbon in the atmosphere, it’ll reduce your building’s temperature because these roofs are primarily designed to soak up heat – curbing the urban heat island effect. Additionally, the soil and vegetation improves the roof’s insulation, ensuring a longer roof lifespan and hence good value for your money.

However it is vital to note that since flat roofs do not slope or drain rainwater away, the materials used are effectively water-resistant and watertight as possible to minimize serious damage to the building, its roof, and contents.

What are Thermoplastic Roofs?

Thermoplastic roofing designs are hot because they are fitted with a durable material having a low to high temperature flexibility and tolerance. This commercial roof can therefore resist ultraviolet and chemical exposures. Additionally they are even more valuable since they feature a high resistance to fires, punctures, chemicals and even high winds.

What are Photovoltaic Roofs?

Photovoltaic roofing is a category within solar energy commercial roof construction types. They are valuable because they simultaneously conserve and control energy costs. They are installed over normal flat rooftops or fitted with membrane and roof-mounted tiles or glass. They absorb and convert sunlight to energy for powering buildings.

What are EPDM Roofs?

EPDM roofs are a different roofing system type that offers superior durability and versatility and is therefore long lasting. Additionally, they are easier to install, maintain and repair. Essentially this roofing system offers an unparalleled and unmatched service through top-quality craftsmanship within the commercial roofing industry.


We’ve covered the 4 main types of commercial roofing systems for buildings with flat roofs. EPDM roofs, which are very common, are the default for most buildings but green roofs are the fastest growing type of roofing system followed by solar roofs. Which one you’ll choose for your company is up to you.


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