As concerns over our environmental impact has increased, home builders and real estate owners have begun using copper more and more frequently in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint. Compared to traditional building materials such as wood and synthetic roof tiles, copper has many environmental advantages that make it a superior choice for home construction.

1. Copper is long lasting. A copper roof is an expensive but worthwhile investment that holds up under all types of weather and dangers. While a wooden roof may need to be replaced every decade or so (and possibly sooner if there is damage from wild animals or insects), a copper roof can last for literally hundreds of years with maintenance.

2. Copper can be recycled continuously. Wood, another natural resource, wears out and becomes weak over time. However, copper maintains its integrity through continuous recycling and can be reused over and over again for multiple purposes. Some copper roofs are made up of 75 percent recycled material. Compared to other metals, copper’s recycle value is far higher. Copper has almost twice the recycled value of aluminum and almost four times the recycled value of stainless steel. When it comes to roofing, copper is far better for the environment than synthetic roofing tiles, which cannot be recycled and take up to 300 years to decompose in landfills.

3. Copper is naturally produced. Consumers can purchase copper without worrying about whether the manufacturing process is harmful to the environment. Copper mills use as much as 95 percent recycled materials when producing copper sheeting and many of the copper pipes and fittings that are produced are made up of previously used wire and cable.

4. Copper is an energy efficient resource. When used as piping material, copper efficiently directs energy for use in air conditioning and heating systems with less material than other metals. The way copper tubes are designed cuts down on the amount of refrigerant that is needed to run the system, which makes it easier to maintain the unit and less expensive to operate it. Since copper tubes are smaller than those made with other materials, the heat transfer efficiency is greater in systems with copper tubing.