Revolutionary Roofing, Anyone?
Roofing is an age-old skill. Throughout human history, mankind has needed shelter and protection from the elements and this has led to roofs being made from any available resources. Neanderthals would cover their structures with roofs made from sod and covered with earth and plants which, although they provided effective insulation, were not entirely waterproof. The first glazed clay roofing tiles were used in China as far back as 5,000 years ago, a practice quickly adopted in both Greece and Babylon and carried on by the Romans. The Romans brought clay tiles here to England around 100 BC. Around 800 years later, thatched roofs were developed, followed by the introduction of wood shingles in the 12th Century.
Slate roof tiles were used here in the UK but were usually limited to castles and military buildings due to the expense involved. The first domestic slate tile roof on a private home is thought to have been in North Wales around 1300. Clay tiles went into industrial production in the 19th Century then concrete tiles were introduced in the early 1900s. The first green roof systems were developed in Germany in the early 1970s and in recent years we’ve seen an increase in the popularity of living roofs as we become more conscious of our environment.
The latest development in roofing material is truly innovative – Canadian-American business magnate Elon Musk has announced that Tesla’s solar roofs are available for purchase in most countries around the world. The first deliveries will begin in the United States later this year, followed by a rollout of deliveries to overseas locations next year. What’s more, it’s been announced that the solar roofs will have an infinite warranty, guaranteed to last forever! Roofing is the latest field to benefit from disruptive technology and the prospect of an ever-lasting roof is an attractive one for business premises owners and home owners the world over.
While roofing workers may view this new development with dismay (after all, the roofing industry is not just about installing roofs, it also includes repair and maintenance of roofs), not all rooftops are suitable for solar panelling. There are several factors that determine just how much electricity any rooftop can generate, including average sunlight at a location, how much sunlight reaches each individual roof, etc. This means that roofing remains a safe career choice – and, anyway, all of these new solar roofs will need to be installed once they’ve been purchased. Tesla does take care of the whole solar roof installation, including the removal of the existing roof, so it looks as though the company will be needing to hire roofing professionals in all countries where its solar roofing is available.
The solar roofs are combined with Powerwall, a rechargeable lithium ion battery that is used for home energy storage and will store the electricity generated by the solar roof. This is an exciting development in the field of construction as it looks as if renewable energy is about to become a viable option in the not too distant future.