Sika Sarnafil, the worldwide market leader in thermoplastic roofing and waterproofing membranes, has been awarded the 2012 RoofPoint™ Excellence in Design Award. The accolade was in recognition of their supply of sustainable roofing products to the General Motors (GM) Customer Care & Aftersales Warehouse at GMs’ Distribution Center in Lansing, Michigan, USA.

The RoofPoint Excellence in Design Award, developed by the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing, recognises the best in design and installation of long lasting, energy efficient, and environmentally friendly roof systems. The Sika Sarnafil-GM project was one of 100 entries received for the 2012 awards and was selected for demonstrating “Excellence in Materials Management”, including material recycling, project waste management and the use of environmentally preferable construction materials.

This General Motors (GM) project involved reroofing 44 130m2 with Sika Sarnafil’s reflective, energy-efficient Sikaplan vinyl membrane. Two layers of vinyl roof were removed from the building and as a result, nearly one million square feet of membrane, equaling 140 tons, was recycled – making it the largest vinyl roof-recycling project in North America. The material has been recycled into Sika Sarnafil roofing membrane products.

“Sika Sarnafil is committed to helping contractors, building owners and government to reduce their environmental footprint and achieve their sustainability goals,” said Brian J. Whelan, Senior Vice President of Sika Sarnafil. “The Sika Sarnafil Roof Recycling program helps reduce waste and allows us to be more efficient with our products and resources. We are honored to be recognized for this project by the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing.”

Why Choose Sika Sarnafil?

Performance over time is the only true test of a waterproofing system’s quality. Sika Sarnafil has been waterproofing green roofs and other landscaped areas across Europe for over 40 years, in the United States for over 25 years, and in South Africa since 2008. With close to four hundred million square metres of roofing and waterproofing membrane installed worldwide, architects, specifiers and building owners depend on Sika Sarnafil for proven products and system performance.

When you specify a Sika Sarnafil Green Roof, you get watertight security and peace of mind. The Sika Sarnafil G476 membrane is specially designed for sub-grade environments, compounded to remain watertight in extreme conditions including constant dampness, ponding water, high and low alkaline conditions and exposure to plant roots, fungi and bacterial organisms.


As you can imagine the addition of a green roof to an otherwise unused area on a building is beneficial for the surrounding environment. Initial loss of “green” space and its inherent natural processes like photosynthesis are restored - albeit just a few stories higher. But green roofs also have other benefits that you might not be aware of.

Storm-Water Retention:

During heavy rainfalls, runoff from surfaces such as pavements and rooftops can cause serious problems such as sewer overflow and water pollution. Green roofs slow down the water flow by retaining up to 75% of the rainwater, thus alleviating the pressure on storm-water infrastructures.

Reducing Energy Consumption:

Green roofs are great insulators. They can reduce peak energy demand by lowering a building’s cooling costs in the summer months and heating costs in the winter months.

Reducing the Urban Heat Island Effect:

More green roofs and fewer dark coloured roofs equal a cooler city. Dark roofs retain heat while plants naturally cool their surrounding environments through evapotranspiration cycles. In cities where the ambient temperature can be up to 10 degrees hotter than the surrounding areas, green roofs can help bring the overall temperature down.

Waterproofing Membrane Protection:

A green roof protects the waterproofing membrane from damaging UV rays, freeze-thaw cycling and repeated foot traffic, extending its lifespan. Some green roofs in Europe have lasted more than 40 years without being replaced.

Improved Air Quality:

Green roofs filter air by absorbing and converting carbon dioxide to oxygen.

Sound Insulation:

Soil and plants are effective sound insulators.


Green roofs are visually stimulating and can make great areas for recreation and pleasure.

Increased Property Value:

Installing a green roof can increase property value by providing a valuable building asset.

Root Resistance

Many waterproofing membranes are not resistant to root penetration. They fail, often in five years or less, due to root infiltration into the field seams and flashings. Sika Sarnafil membranes are inherently root and algae resistant and require no additional barriers to be added to the system. Sika Sarnafil membranes have passed the most stringent European tests (German FLL Standards) for root resistance. The FLL standard test exposes the waterproofing membrane to four years of accelerated root growth.

Heat Welded Seams and Flashings

Faulty seams and details are a common source of leaks in green roofs. Some waterproofing membranes use sealants, adhesives or tapes to secure the seams, but because Sika Sarnafil’s membrane is thermoplastic; seams and flashings are welded together using Sika Sarnafil’s automatic hot-air welder, the Sarnamatic. When welded together, the sheets become one monolithic layer of material impervious to moisture infiltration.