Are Your Buildings’ Operating Costs Going Through the Roof?


With too much emphasis on the near term and not enough regard for future cost implications, it’s easy to be penny wise and pound foolish. So how can your business optimize initial costs for a newly planned facility roof or roof retrofit and also increase total cost of ownership (TCO) savings?

Building lifecycle studies have shown that only 10% of a building’s lifetime cost is in the construction budget while the remaining 90% is incurred after construction in ownership operating costs. Selecting a roof system that fits for the initial construction budget may not be the one that delivers the lowest total cost of ownership. You need to ask yourself about the impact on maintenance and replacement costs at the early planning stage.

In the case of the MR-24® standing-seam metal roof system developed by Butler Manufacturing™, actual in-place performance has exceeded 45 years in many installations. A conservative estimate puts its average service life at more than twice that of a conventional TPO or EPDM roof.

“We have seen TPO (rubber) roofs less than 10 years old with serious levels of membrane deterioration.”Jeff Evans, RRC and Roof Consultant, Benchmark Perspectives, May, 2010

The MR-24 roof with Butler-Cote™ Finish System together with proper assembly of insulation and vapor retarder could result in energy savings of up to 40% or more when compared to black EPDM single-ply roof systems.* It’s fair to say that the MR-24 roof has clearly proven its value and longevity. Currently, it is protecting over two billion ft2 of buildings in all types of environments around the world.

“The biggest consideration (when evaluating roof systems) is the fact that the MR-24 roof can last two to three times longer than a TPO roof with very little maintenance required.”Rodger Russ, North American Sales Manager, Butler Roof Systems

Will that performance translate to your project?

Even though these comparative lifecycle numbers are real, they are based on generalized assumptions that may or may not indicate how a certain roof will perform over time.

With the advantage of looking at actual performance figures and the ability to view the impact of different building approach options, project owners would have the true, actionable data needed to make an informed decision. A new, advanced modeling tool makes this possible by demonstrating long-term energy, maintenance and replacement savings, plus tax incentives and rebates.

SmartView™ removes many uncertainties

SmartView from Butler Manufacturing is an innovative cost analysis tool that takes into account construction investment and operational factors affecting building performance over the lifespan you determine with a goal of maximizing your investment. Calculations are based on widely accepted Department of Energy (DOE2) data – down to county level figures – and include the latest industry energy standards and performance tests.

Once all inputs have been entered and processed, project owners are able to look at a comprehensive report for their building with up to two options modeled against the original plan.

10-Second Survey

What problems have you run into with existing roofs?

Accumulated results of surveys will be compiled and shared in a future summary report.

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TCO Value of Roof Maintenance & Replacement

Cost Comparison Using SmartView Modeling

A SmartView analysis was done for construction of a 240,000 sq. ft. building in Pennsylvania comparing conventional concrete tilt-wall construction with a TPO roof versus two Butler efficient envelope solutions featuring the MR-24 roof system. The project also called for in-roof natural daylighting, energy-efficient interior lighting and lighting control systems. Calculations were made anticipating a 30-year facility lifespan.

  • Screen shots from SmartView analysis compare the “Planned” option – concrete tilt-wall with conventional TPO roof versus View 1 & View 2 options – two different wall systems with the MR-24 Roof System by Butler Manufacturing, including day lighting, efficient lighting & controls.

  • Highlights maintenance/replacement costs. Here the conventional TPO roof is $1.25 million more than either MR-24 roof option.

  • Indicates comparative analysis: energy cost savings, peak kW savings, kWh savings, therms savings, first cost, rebates.

  • Highlights lighting energy cost savings in dollars and percent of TCO optimal solution – View 2.

The preferred Butler option showed maintenance and replacement savings (in NPV) of $1.28MM for the MR-24 roof compared to the TPO roof. In addition, there was a 31% energy cost savings along with qualification for $109,000 in energy incentives.

These are only partial examples of the data that a SmartView report can provide, and also only a fraction of the performance benefits that an MR-24 roof system can deliver. Bottom line, the data shows in real numbers, that evaluation of impacts to operating costs in early construction planning gives you a clearer picture of your total cost of ownership and investment performance.

To gain TCO insight on the performance value of the MR-24 roof system against other roof options on your project, contact a Butler Corporate Accounts Manager. If you would like to schedule a meeting, please complete this simple form.

* “Rising Value in MR-24® Standing-Seam Roof System vs. Conventional Roof Options,” a comparative study. To request a copy, contact

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