DISCOVER: developing innovative, sustainable materials for roofing

The DISCOVER project focuses on a sustainable alternative for conventional roofing such as bituminous or synthetic roofing. The goal is to develop a 100% biobased, environmentally friendly alternative that can compete with existing roofing products in terms of both price and quality. In order to achieve this goal, Food & Biobased Research has teamed up with roofing manufacturer Icopal and Stichting DAKlabel.

Although existing roofing products for flat roofs such as bitumen or synthetic membranes are high in quality and have a long lifespan, they are mainly made of petroleum. Because this fossil material is finite and its extraction, refinery and use contributes to climate change, there are many good reasons to look into alternatives for roofing which offer the required technical and functional properties.

"The major technical obstacle is that biomass components are less waterproof and more reactive than bitumen. Our research is aimed at finding ways to resolve this issue." - Richard Gosselink, project leader Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. 

Biobased roofing

The final goal of the project is to develop a 100% biobased, environmentally friendly alternative to existing bituminous roofing systems. The research is mainly focused on achieving a good miscibility between the various components in a roofing membrane. Formulation and conversion technologies are used for this purpose, along with the current production and application methods for making traditional bituminous roofing systems.

The project is a collaboration of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, roofing manufacturer Icopal and Stichting Daklabel.