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Boral Clay and Concrete Roofing Tiles

Boral manufactures both concrete and clay roofing tiles in a variety of styles and colors… Read more
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  • Pre-consumer (also called “post-industrial”) recycling refers to the reuse of industrial by-products, as distinguished from material that has been in consumer use. The iron-ore slag used to make mineral wool insulation and the fly ash used to make concrete are examples of post-industrial recycled materials. While post-consumer recycled content is preferable, a product that uses pre-consumer content or recycles a seldom-used waste product, especially in an area where recycled products are hard to find, can be considered green.

    Excluded from this category, by FTC definitions, is the use of scrap within the same manufacturing process from which it was generated—material that would typically have gone back into the manufacturing process anyway.

  • These products are environmentally attractive because they need to be replaced less frequently or their maintenance has very low impact, both of which can reduce costs as well as environmental impact.
    Robust answers on typical service life of products can be hard to come by, however. In GreenSpec we reserve this criterion for products where the material is clearly more durable than alternatives, such as an exceptionally traffic-resistant polyurethane floor finish. We refer to standardized tests for durability when they are available and appropriate.
    We also consider “appropriate durability”: long life is more important in a building envelope than in interior finish materials that will be replaced for aesthetic reasons. Here, reduced maintenance can be particularly important. An example is resilient flooring that doesn’t require regular waxing: an unnecessary use of resources and a health hazard.

  • Alternative wastewater disposal systems reduce groundwater pollution by decomposing organic wastes or removing nutrients more effectively. Hand dryers reduce water and paper towel use, alternative treatments for cooling tower water reduce chemical use, and carpet tile allows modular replacement of worn areas. In screening products for this area, we focus on quantifiable environmental benefits and strong performance records.

  • Once we’ve considered low-emitting products and those that prevent moisture problems, we also consider green ventilation products, filters, radon mitigation equipment, and other equipment and devices that help to remove pollutants or introduce fresh air. Because ventilation equipment is standard, we only recognize products that are particularly efficient or quiet or which have other benefits, such as heat recovery.

Brent Ehrlich
Products Editor

Boral manufactures both concrete and clay roofing tiles in a variety of styles and colors. Boral's concrete tiles use either fly ash or blast-furnace slag (depending on where they are manufactured) in place of some of the portland cement. Most colors of Boral clay roofing tiles are certified at the Cradle to Cradle Gold level.

BoralPure "smog-eating" tiles have a cementitious coating that contains titanium dioxide, a highly reactive substance that breaks down organic compounds—everything from smog-forming chemicals to nuisance microbes such as algae and mildew. The coating also sheds even small amounts water, which can lift dirt off as well. Because of these properties, BoralPure tiles may require less cleaning than typical roofing tiles.

Although Boral states that a 2,000-square-foot roof can offset the smog-forming emissions of a car driven 10,800 miles, that claim is based on lab testing. These products have not yet been shown to significantly affect outdoor air quality in the real world.

Clay tiles are durable and made from abundant raw materials. As typically installed—with venting—roof tiles are also effective at preventing heat gain through the roof. In some climates and with some products, hail may be a concern. Some recycled-plastic shingles are manufactured to look like clay roof tiles.

Along with regular clay tiles, GreenSpec lists salvaged clay tile products, and products that reduce material use in clay-tile roofing systems.


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