Elevating Rooftops as Productive Spaces

Sustainable Solutions Guide 2021


Our urban environments have never been so lively, and the maximum capacities of urban infrastructures of some communities seem to have been reached. What can be done? The solution reveals itself when looking at any aerial images of downtown areas: roofs! Indeed, building roofs represent 15% to 35% of their total area of their structure, which is a huge underused surface that is available to us.

The idea is to rethink the roof in order to appreciate its value and its contribution to communities and sustainable buildings beyond its primary waterproofing function. In addition to contributing to the well-being of occupants, it can also reduce the building’s impact on the environment.

The possibilities offered by roofs are endless and could make it easier to address a vast array of challenges related to housing, energy transition, resilience to climate change, social inclusion, and many more. Roofs have been underutilized for too long: it is high time to rethink and optimize their purpose!


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It is undeniable, the various stakeholders in the construction sector are essential players in sustainable development, and their role is decisive in ensuring a better world. On the one hand, builders play a major role in the industry by improving the design of buildings and construction methods. On the other hand, manufacturing companies like SOPREMA must make it a priority to contribute to the protection of the environment and human health as well as to the fight against climate change, by multiplying and diversifying solutions aimed at supporting the evolution of building sustainably.


For many years, SOPREMA has been looking to optimize the performance of buildings and working to multiply and diversify its offer in order to support the evolution of sustainable buildings. It is therefore imperative for SOPREMA to offer sustainable solutions enabling all of us to meet the challenges likely to affect the performance of buildings as well as the quality of life of the occupants. Our solutions presented in our Sustainable Solutions Guide make it possible to carry out your innovation-driven roofing projects by adding value to the roof, a space that is too often left unused.

Sustainable solutions are means based on the will to resolve several environmental, social and economic challenges in a durable and systematic manner:

Increase the useful life of buildings

Increase the overall performance of buildings

Increase the building’s resilience

Ensure the health and comfort of the occupants


Urban Heat Islands


Urban areas generally have higher temperatures than rural areas, which is caused, among other things, by abundant asphalt surfaces and concrete buildings—both heat-absorbing elements.

SOPRANATURE green roofs represent a way to help counter the effect of urban heat islands thanks to the evapotranspiration capacity of plants (natural air conditioning). Adding small green spaces on roofs would reduce heat accumulated on the surface even more effectively than a park of the same size.

Another solution would be to select roofing materials with a reflectivity capacity, such as SOPRASTAR white membranes and SENTINEL PVC membranes. The solar reflectance index (SRI) of white roofs is much higher than that of traditional asphalt or gravel membranes, which effectively reduces the temperature of the roofing system.


With the scarcity of water resources in certain parts of the world, the necessity for the development and optimization of rainwater management is becoming essential.

One of the key functions of SOPRANATURE green roofs is to retain part of the rainwater through the various layers of the system, whether the growing medium, retention membranes, or plants. This water absorption and evapotranspiration capacity reduces the pressure exerted on municipal rainwater collection and treatment networks.

Air Quality


Human activities such as transportation and industrial operations discharge large amounts of pollutants into the atmosphere. Poor air quality can have negative consequences on the health of the population.

The plants growing on SOPRANATURE green roofs contribute to cleaning the air by filtering certain pollutants, such as fine particles released into the atmosphere. Through the process of photosynthesis, the plants participate in the oxygenation of living environments.

Living Space


The housing crisis is increasingly taking its toll with an extremely low vacancy rate. At the same time, urban sprawl is accelerating and so are its harmful effects.

Optimizing the use of roofs could contribute to the better densification of cities. Additional space provided by roofs could accommodate tiny houses and counter both the housing crisis and the growth of the suburbs.



The extreme temperatures in Canada increase the energy demand of buildings, making construction a major energy-hungry sector leading to negative consequences on the environment, such as air pollution.

SOPRANATURE green roofs optimize the thermal insulation of buildings and thus reduce their energy demand.

The direct access to solar rays on roofs is perfect for the installation of solar panels supported by the SOPRASOLAR FIX EVO TILT system, and can help achieve carbon neutrality when it comes to energy efficiency. Roofs can therefore also be used as energy generators in order to better control the energy consumption of buildings.

Urban Biodiversity


Urban development greatly affects biodiversity, and restoring ecological functions in urban areas is becoming a major concern in order to ensure the longevity of the ecosystems that make up these living environments.

SOPRANATURE green roofs help create microhabitats for animal and plant species. They promote the feeding of pollinating insects and provide perfect nesting areas for birds. In short, they represent the possibility to reconcile the built environment and nature, while offering residents an oasis away from noise, and an opportunity to connect with nature.

Food Production


The lack of accessibility to healthy foods, such as fresh vegetables and fruits, particularly in disadvantaged areas of larger cities, can create food deserts, which have direct impacts on the health of these vulnerable populations.

Thanks to SOPRANATURE green roofs, the conversion of roofs into space dedicated to urban agriculture and accessible to communities is an effective solution to urban food deserts, while promoting a return to local sourcing and community cohesion. SOPRANATURE green roofs also contribute to reducing the environmental impact of food production and transportation, while ensuring better economic accessibility to healthy nutrition.



Provides a wide variety of social, economic and environmental benefits for building owners and communities


Offers one of the highest solar reflectance indexes in its class


Meets the CRRC (Cool Roof Rating Council) requirements for white reflective membranes


Creates a connection between the panel and the cap sheet membrane without the need to puncture it and to risk compromising the roof waterproofing