The flat roofing industry along with most areas in construction, has tried very hard in recent years to paint itself as green. It has been an uphill struggle, particularly for those involved in waterproofing who have traditionally used bitumen based products, resins and other chemical additives to produce products that are proven to work but are not necessarily considered to be environment friendly.
Somewhere in the middle there has been a trade off with building owners not prepared to risk using alternative types of waterproofing but who are more than happy to accept that the industry is at least trying to be a little greener.
It has led to a whole range of what many critics call “greenwash” initiatives such as carbon offsetting where companies buy into environment friendly schemes in the third world to offset emissions in the west.
While such schemes might have created a warm feeling for some it did little for climate change and did nothing to alter the fact that bitumen based products, while probably remaining amongst the best type of waterproofing available, would never be the first products of choice for specifiers with green aspirations..
But that could all be about to change thanks to a remarkable initiative by Proteus Waterproofing which has formed a unique partnership in the UK to supply bitumen roofing felt manufactured in Switzerland that really does tick some, if not all of the green boxes.
Ok, so let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Pro Felt from Proteus is still traditional roofing felt, manufactured using bitumen and on face value no more environment friendly than any other felt – but it has one huge advantage over all of its competitors – it is manufactured totally using 100% green renewable energy.
Hydro and solar energy are used exclusively to manufacture Pro-Felt in Switzerland significantly reducing its impact on the environment which means that Proteus can truly claim that its felt has significantly higher levels of green credentials than any similar product of its kind.
No roofing felt can of course ever claim to be totally green but if specifiers, building owners and contractors are serious about trying to prevent climate change then, at the very least, they should choose a waterproofing product such as Pro-Felt – greener than the rest and a step in the right direction.