Is natural slate considered a green roofing material?

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It is not surprising that natural slate, which requires only minimal processing, has the lowest embodied energy of all the roofing materials (Table 1 – Below). 

A significant talking point is the sustainability and environmentally friendly attributes slate offers. Slate is a mineral product that is completely inert & ecological on behalf of its simple efficient production process. Slate is subject only to extraction and working processes and does not need any additional treatment once extracted. 

Along with many more environmentally friendly attributes including an enduring life cycle, durability, ease of care and maintenance, recyclability and quarry and manufacturing best practices, make it the sustainable alternative roofing product for any project.

Slate undergoes three phases at the processing plant prior to being packaged:

– Sawing – Large blocks of slate extracted from the quarry are sawn into different sizes in accordance with the size of the slate to be produced.
– Shaping –Workers cut each slate block into sheets, treating each item with meticulous care, all of which is done by hand. The water ensures the blocks do not dry, facilitating exfoliation and reducing loss.
– Bevelling – Finally, the corners of each item are bevelled in order to facilitate the passage of water over the slate once in place on the roof.

Slate is extracted in large blocks cut with a diamond blade. The blocks are then transported by truck to the quarry processing plant. Water is used as a coolant and base material for removing rubble throughout the process involving the extraction and processing of the product. This water is recycled and purified in a closed circuit to prevent such a precious resource from being wasted.

Lead’s recyclability advantage is of extreme importance to the roofing industry today, especially in Heritage roofing. Much of today’s lead has already been used before. Due to its low boiling point, it makes it easy to be molten down and reformed into new milled rolls. Independent studies have shown that lead causes less damage to the environment than its modern day man-made alternatives.

Enjoy the below video made by slate manufacturers CUPA PIZARRAS  –

Good quality slates have the potential to last over a hundred years and are one of the best environmental choices for a roofing material.

Contact the team today to find out more 0451 399 226 or email us at

Team Heritage