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Roofs are a critical element of buildings, protecting occupants and contents from climate, including:

  • Rain - the roof must be able to deflect water, and possibly collect it, especially in dry regions (see rainwater harvesting).
  • Heat - solar energy can overheat a building, but solar collectors (photovoltaic or solar hot water) can make use of this energy. In cold weather.
  • Wind. The design of the roof for wind resistance is critical in storm-prone regions.

Types of roofs

  • Living roofs (a.k.a. green roofs) use plants and cool roofs use light colored or specially reflective paint, to achieve similar goals: reducing energy usage and the urban heat island effect.
  • Solar shingles are solar panels built into the roof itself.
  • Thatch and other lightweight natural materials make roofs which are pleasantly cool, but are prone to fire and pests, and need to be replaced often (perhaps every two years or even more often). They also have lower security against break-ins compared to more sturdy materials.

Roof features

Skylights enable a roof to capture light during the day, giving a pleasant natural light indoors, and reducing lighting costs.

See also

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