Discover the Top 5 Most Popular Roof Types in the World

A roof is more than just a cover that protects you from the environment. 

With all the great new materials, designs, and technology developed, roofing is now a science, even an art. 

From the practical benefits, you can get from picking one roof type or another to the aesthetic and architectural ones, it’s worth learning what options are available and thus selecting the ideal choice for your project.

This article will explore the top five most interesting modern roof types worldwide. Enjoy the trip!

Cool Roofs

Since these are made of materials that reflect sunlight, cool roofs absorb less heat than traditional roofs. You can find cool roofs in hot and sunny areas like the United States, India, and Australia. 

People love cool roofs because they help reduce energy costs by keeping buildings cooler, so you don’t need to crank up the AC. Plus, they’re great for fighting the urban heat island effect, which can make cities hotter than nearby areas. However, cool roofs are not ideal for colder climates, as they can increase heating costs. 

Getting a cool roof won’t break the bank, with an average cost of just $0.75-1.50 per square foot.

Cool Roof type

Photovoltaic (PV) Roofs

PV roofs are just too cool (but not in the same sense) – they’re made of solar panels that soak up the sun’s energy and turn it into electricity! You’ll find them everywhere in Europe, Japan, and the United States. PV roofs are popular because they are environmentally friendly and can generate enough energy to power an entire building. 

Another awesome thing about PV roofs is that they help you save money on your electricity bill by reducing your reliance on the grid. But, they can be a bit of an investment when it comes to installation and maintenance. Plus, watch out for pesky things like shading and dust that can impact their efficiency. 

The average price for a PV roof is around $5-8 per watt.

photovoltaic roof type

Green Roofs

Green roofs (known as living roofs, too) are covered with vegetation. Green roofs are just plain awesome. You can garden on them, give critters a natural place to hang out and help fight the urban heat island effect in cities. No wonder they’re popping up all over the world in urban areas! 

Green roofs are popular because they provide natural insulation, which can reduce energy costs and extend a roof’s lifespan by protecting it from weathering. However, green roofs are expensive to install and maintain and can be heavy, requiring additional support structures. 

The average price for a green roof is around $15-25 per square foot.

green roof type

Single-Ply Membrane Roofs

Single-ply membrane roofs are made of synthetic materials, such as PVC or TPO, commonly found in commercial buildings worldwide. Single-ply membrane roofs are popular because they are lightweight, easy to install, and cost-effective. 

They also offer excellent waterproofing, fire resistance, and durability. However, they can be vulnerable to punctures and require regular maintenance to remain watertight. 

The average price for a single-ply membrane roof is around $2-4 per square foot.

single-ply membrane roof type

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are made of steel, aluminum, or copper and are commonly found in commercial buildings worldwide. Metal roofs are popular because they are durable, fire-resistant, and low maintenance. 

They also offer energy efficiency by reflecting sunlight and reducing heat absorption. However, they can be expensive to install, especially for copper roofs, and noisy during heavy rain or hail. 

The average price for a metal roof is around $5-12 per square foot.

metal roof type

These five modern commercial roof types offer unique pros and cons depending on your building’s needs. To wrap up what we have discussed:

  • Cool roofs provide energy savings and mitigate the urban heat island effect but are not ideal for colder climates.
  • PV roofs offer environmentally friendly energy generation but can be expensive to install and maintain. 
  • Green roofs provide natural insulation and protect against weathering but are costly and heavy.
  • Single-ply membrane roofs are lightweight and cost-effective but can be vulnerable to punctures.
  • Metal roofs are durable and energy.

The critical question becomes, which one will you use in your next project?

Take your time to consider things like the weather, costs, aesthetics, the possibility of future expansion, and more.

Don’t hesitate to reach out here if you have any questions or comments.

Happy roofing!

Founder & Editor

Hi, I’m Jim. I was a roofing constructor for 20 years, before deciding to start and gather the best content about roofing. I love woodworking and construction and it was only natural for me to start this passion project of mine. Thank you for visitng.