Asphalt is a great roofing product but its days are numbered. All types of synthetic rubber, concrete, and plastic have come and gone. That leaves metal and believe it or not, glass. Glass can be shaped, made harder and given colors that no other material can beat.
The Chinese have 5000 year old porcelain on copper so I think we could come up with a 50 year product. Skylights with tempered glass, solar panels that are somewhat hail resistant, and sun rooms have been around for awhile.
There's a lot of glass to recycle and a lot of sand to to turn into glass. Factor in the chemistry advances and I think we will be living in glass houses.
Otherwise we may burrow down and let the earth be our walls and the landscape be our roof but mankind still needs lots of light.
I copied this from gizmag.com:
Nanotechnology threatens some radical changes to the way we live – indeed, it threatens to change some of our fundamental belief systems. Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of physics will tell you that putting a clear roof on our dwellings allowing full spectrum, natural light, will result in a disastrously inefficient energy monster. But nanotechnology can offer glass and polycarbonate remarkable new properties as this story illustrates. We’ve written about the world’s lightest substance before ...but now some of aerogel’s other properties are beginning to find commercial application and by filling polycarbonate or glass with nanogel, the clear substances retain their light transmission qualities while delivering outstanding thermal insulation.
The first to market with the new nanogel-filled polycarbonate is Centerpoint, which sells a roofing structure designed to allow penetration of natural, filtered daylight into living areas without the energy loss and higher heating and cooling costs of glass roofing inserts. The company chose GE's Lexan Thermoclear multiwall sheet for the new pre-assembled roofing system based on its outstanding performance properties: excellent light transmission; the ability to withstand wind loads of up to 140 mph; superior UV resistance and impact strength; light weight and design flexibility vs. glass; and exceptional sound and energy insulation. The secret to the system though is the use of Cabot's Nanogel translucent aerogel, a lightweight, nanoporous insulation material. The Lexan Thermoclear multiwall sheet is filled with Nanogel, enabling the system’s to deliver outstanding thermal insulation and light transmission
The translucent roofing system is also an excellent candidate for roof domes, skylights, walkways, conservatories, and other building applications where it is desirable to admit high levels of light while keeping excess heat to a minimum.
Centerpoint's patent-pending roofing structure is designed to allow penetration of natural, filtered daylight into living areas without the energy loss and higher heating and cooling costs of glass roofing inserts. The company selected GE's Lexan Thermoclear multiwall sheet for the new pre-assembled roofing system based on its outstanding performance properties: excellent light transmission; the ability to withstand wind loads of up to 140 mph; superior UV resistance and impact strength; light weight and design flexibility vs. glass; and exceptional sound and energy insulation.
"Centerpoint's translucent roofing system gives residential developers a high-end product to differentiate their homes and communities in the increasingly competitive new-construction segment," said Centerpoint’s President, Kendall Sayers. "GE provided tremendous support in helping us identify a material candidate for our roofing system. Its Lexan Thermoclear sheet not only delivers outstanding performance but also enhances the beauty of the home environment."
Consumers purchasing new homes are increasingly requesting floor plans that include more natural light, both to improve aesthetics and to reduce energy needed for interior lighting. However, intensive use of glass glazing can cause harsh lighting effects and lead to interior heat buildup from penetration of near-infrared radiation, especially in hot and/or sunny locales. Centerpoint's new roofing system addresses these concerns by using the GE and Cabot materials to filter and diffuse natural daylight entering home living areas, eliminating shadows and glare, and raising energy efficiency by a factor of five compared to glass panels. The system also provides sound-dampening qualities for a quieter environment.
GE will supply a gray metallic/white tinted version of Lexan Thermoclear multiwall sheet in a custom-designed 25mm that will come with a 10-year limited written warranty. This configuration will be filled with Cabot's Nanogel translucent aerogel, a lightweight, nanoporous insulation material that delivers outstanding thermal insulation and light transmission. The End
My bet is on a lot of glass and a lot less asphalt with a lot of metal in between.
Look at the high rises in downtown Dallas and Las Colinas as well as the North Central and Dallas Tollway corridors then look in your neighbors back yard. There are lots of glass add-on alrady throughout Irving, Richardson, Plano, and Arlington. I don't think there are any in Bedford though. We haven't fixed any leaky ones there yet.