Demand for natural, environmentally responsible materials is at an all-time high. Clay and concrete tile do not deplete limited natural resources and are produced without chemical preservatives. Tile reduces energy use, and its long life reduces reroofing and landfilling of waste. In fact, clay and concrete roof tile are easily recyclable and can be immediately returned to the manufacturing stream.

Energy Efficiency

Only clay and concrete roofing tiles possess two inherent qualities that reduce energy use:

  • Natural thermal resistance
  • A thermal barrier created by natural airspace around individually installed tiles

This natural air space can greatly reduce heat flux transfer compared to asphalt shingles.

Concrete and clay tile roofs save money by significantly reducing energy use. Plus, federal legislation (the PATH Act of 2015) changed the roofing criteria for the Residential Energy-Efficiency Tax Credit (IRC Sec. 25C) so all products meeting Energy Star requirements – including tile roofing – qualify for the 10% tax credit that’s capped at $500 and is currently set to expire on December 31, 2020.


TRI Alliance has worked extensively with Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in breakthrough research showing that air flow beneath tiles combined with a pitched roof design creates a natural, measurable cooling effect. Heat transfer through the roof deck into the attic space can be reduced by 70% compared to a conventional asphalt shingle roof. Estimate energy savings based on roof type with ORNL’s Roof Savings Calculator.

In conjunction with the Cool Roof Rating Council, TRI Alliance continues to perform benchmark statistical analyses for the ASTM C1549: Reflectometer Test, as well on the ASTM E1918: Pyranometer Test Methods, to rate tile roofs based on the reflective abilities of both flat and curved profiles.

A properly installed tile roof reduces the amount of heat transferred to a building’s attic by nearly 50%.

Sustainable Building

Centuries before anyone said “green construction,” craftsmen were unknowingly building natural, sustainable roofs from concrete and clay tile that often outlasted the structures they were built to protect. Today, tile provides a reliable, durable, beautiful roofing material that outperforms virtually every other product on the market.

Tile roofing comes from raw materials that don’t deplete limited natural resources, unlike petroleum-based roofing materials such as asphalt shingles. Tile roofing systems contain no preservatives, and waste from production can be immediately recycled back into the manufacturing process instead of landfilled.

Eagle Roofing Products | Bel Air : Augusta Blend | California
Leed® +
Energy Star®

Heat Island Effect Reduction

1 possible point

To minimize effects on microclimates and human and wildlife habitats by reducing heat islands.

Option 1. Non-roof and Roof

2 points except healthcare, 1 point healthcare
  • 75% of roof area must be high reflectance
  • Steep Slope Roof (>2:12) must have a 3-year aged SRI of 32 (preferred)
  • If three-year aged SRI unavailable, must meet initial SRI of 39.

Heat Island Effect Reduction (Homes category only, 1-2 possible points)

Option 2. Non-absorptive Materials

  • At least 50% of the hardscapes and roofs meet requirements
  • 50% – 75% earns 1 point
  • >75% earns 2 points
  • Use ENERGY STAR qualified roof products in appropriately sloped applications


Rainwater Management

Homes category only, 1-3 possible points
  • To reduce rainwater runoff volume from site.
  • Ensure that at least 50% of total lot area is permeable or can direct water to an on-site catchment or infiltration feature
  • 50-64% earns 1 point, 65-79% earns 2 points, 80% and above earns 3 points

Case 1. Low Impact Development

Clay roof tiles can assist with a rainwater management system and earn points when combined with other techniques. Clay roof tiles are smooth, hard and do not shed contaminants.

Energy and Atmosphere

Optimize Energy Performance

Achieve increasing levels of energy performance beyond prerequisite standard to reduce environmental and economic harms associated with excessive energy use.

Option 1. Whole-building Energy Simulation

  • Analyze efficiency measures
  • Use energy simulation of efficiency opportunities

Materials & Resources

Sourcing Raw Materials

To reward project teams for selecting products verified to have been extracted or sourced in a responsible manner.

Option 2. Leadership Extraction Practices

1 point
  • Use products that meet responsible extraction criteria such as recycled content for at least 25%, by cost of total value of permanently installed building products in the project.
  • Products sourced (extracted, manufactured and purchased) within 100 miles of project site are valued at 200% of base contributing cost.

Equation 1
Recycled content value ($) = (% post-consumer recycled content x material cost) + (0.5 (% pre-consumer recycled content x material cost))

Equation 2
Recycled content % for project = total recycled content value ($)/total materials cost ($)

Environmentally Preferable Products

Homes category only

To increase demand for products that minimize material consumption through recycled and recyclable content, reclamation or overall reduced life-cycle impacts.

Option 2. Environmentally Preferable Products

1 point for roofing
  • Products sourced (extracted, manufactured and purchased) within 100 miles of project site are valued at 200% of base contributing cost.
  • At least 90% of building component, by weight or volume, must contain at least 25% postconsumer or 50% pre-consumer content.

Concrete and clay roof tile is inherently sustainable. While other roofing materials – particularly petroleum-based asphalt shingles – clog landfills, concrete and clay tiles are mineral-based, nontoxic and can be recycled back into manufacturing immediately.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the United States produces 11 million tons of waste asphalt roofing shingles annually – 8% percent of the nation’s total building-related waste – largely due to re-roofing. Approximately two-thirds of roof shingles in the United States are made of asphalt. Discarded asphalt shingles take up landfill space and release carcinogenic hydrocarbons into the ground.

Manufacturers have produced naturally green roof tile products for decades in the United States and for generations worldwide. TRI Alliance producer members are committed to using naturally available materials, reducing environmental impact and emphasizing conservation and energy efficiency. The sustainable life cycle of tile roofs meets the needs of the present without compromising those of the future.

TRI Alliance producer members are also committed to reducing greenhouse gases through use of environmentally conscious manufacturing and distribution processes, thereby minimizing their carbon footprint.

Ludowici | Spanish 18-3/8” Barrel Tile : Dark Tuscany | Florida
Solar Tile Roofs

The tile industry has developed methods to incorporate solar panels into tile roofing while maintaining the roof’s aesthetics. Tile roof solar installations are increasing dramatically in markets such as Hawaii, California and Arizona, where utility rates are soaring and incentives are available.

Cool Roofs

A “cool roof” is designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. Many tile roofs are naturally reflective, and others can be treated so they meet the standards of cool roof tile.

Cool Roof Benefits

  • Reduce energy costs by decreasing air-conditioning needs
  • Improve indoor comfort in spaces that are not air conditioned, such as garages or covered patios


Skip to toolbar