Our futures aren't just ahead of us; they're also above us. Someday soon, the roofs on most homes and workplaces will be friendly to the environment and equipped with bold new technologies. They'll improve our daily lives and the environment in multiple ways.
Protecting the Planet
As technology advances, roofs will be ecologically sound and be made primarily with recycled materials. They'll also be able to conserve energy and lower utility bills by letting in sunlight during the day.
Green roofs often feature layers of soil so that plants can grow. Those plants soak in rainwater. Thus, there's less runoff after storms and a reduced threat of water damage. What's more, such runoff frequently contains pollution and sometimes makes its way into lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water.
Roofing is getting not only greener, but cooler as well. Sunlight bounces off cool roofs due to their reflective surfaces or paint. As a result, the indoor temperature drops, and people can save money by turning down their air conditioning.
Cool roofs will be especially valuable in hot climates and densely populated areas. In some cities, the combined heat of roofs that are near each other can create uncomfortable living conditions.
Tesla Tries Roofing
In the future of roofing, Tesla Motors is leading the way. In October 2016, Elon Musk, the company's CEO, demonstrated its roofing technology at Universal Studios in Los Angeles. The energy-efficient Tesla roof, made from tempered glass tiles, is capable of melting snow. And according to Tesla, it's as strong as steel, virtually impossible to break.
Beneath those tiles are solar cells, which convert sunlight into electricity. This roof can then store that power for people to use at night. The Tesla roof, which will be available in a variety of colors, also offers privacy to prevent anyone from looking inside your home.
These shingles should hit the marketplace in 2017, but they'll be appearing gradually. By the end of this decade, though, 5 percent of all new roofs could be Tesla roofs.
This Tesla roof is doubtless just the first of many innovative roofs to come. In fact, roofs could soon be equipped with internet technologies that regulate home heating and other systems. Indeed, when it comes to roofing, the sky's the limit.