5 Modern Roofing Materials And Designs For Your Project


Traditional roofing materials have fallen out of favor due to their maintenance requirements and weight, especially in the case of clay and slate tiles, but the aesthetic they provide is still highly desirable. That’s where modern roofing comes in. With new technology and methods, modern roof materials can mimic the look of traditional materials without the maintenance or weight of the natural materials.

Modern roof materials also include new aesthetics, like metal roofing. Modern roofs can also create an improvement on traditional materials such as a sod roof which, rather than making up the entire roof, can be worked in with other modern roof materials to create a green rooftop oasis.

1. Metal Roofing


Metal roofing can be installed in sheets or as metal roof tiles. It can last between 40 and 70 years and some metal roofs have a wind rating up to 160 mph. Metal roofing is also impact and fire resistant. This type of material can be expensive and while today’s metal roofs are much quieter than they have been in the past, they can still be noisy during heavy rain or hail.


Color can fade over time, and if repairs are needed down the road, it may be difficult to get a perfect color match. Metal roofs are often used in areas with significant snowfall because the snow will slide off the roof, which lessens the load that rests on it. However, it can also lead to snow accumulation beneath the eaves.

2. Grass/Green Roofing


In the early days of civilization, people lacked access to manufactured goods and relied almost solely on natural materials. In some cultures, like Scandinavian, homes were built into the ground or below ground level to reduce the amount of building materials needed to construct the home.

Early homes often used sod and grass as a roofing material. Not only was sod natural and easily accessible, but it also has insulative properties, to keep the home cool in the summer and retain heat in the winter.

Today’s green roofs look decidedly different from early sod roofs, but they serve similar functions. Often the green roof is made up of carefully planned gardens and vegetation that aids in reducing runoff by absorbing rainfall.


Green roofs that consist of rooftop gardens and vegetation aren’t possible in every scenario, but they are ideal for commercial, residential, institutional, and multi-family buildings that meet certain criteria, including roof pitch, structural capacity, roof access, roof type, and building codes.

3. Composite Spanish Barrel Tiles

Traditional Spanish barrel tiles are made with clay that has been formed by hand over a barrel, post, or pole, and dried or fired until they become a roof tile. Both beautiful and durable — barrel tiles have been known to last over 100 years — clay tiles are heavy and require added structural support to hold their weight. They are also difficult to walk on and should be installed and repaired by qualified professionals.

To capture the style and traditional look of clay barrel tiles, modern methods and technology have made it possible to recreate the look of this beautiful material but without the weight and maintenance that they require.

Composite Spanish barrel tiles are made from recycled rubber and plastics and are a lightweight and durable roofing option that doesn’t require additional structural support. They don’t require any maintenance to keep them looking beautiful, so they will save you time and money over the course of their life.

One of the draws of traditional clay tiles is the way that they weather over time, by revealing a naturally variegated terra cotta color. Brava’s Spanish Barrel Tiles are individually colored to mimic this natural weathering while giving you more control over the final result. We offer nature-inspired hues that range from the dark and brooding Arendale to traditional Terra Cotta and French Clay that create an authentic aesthetic.

4. Composite Cedar Shake

Natural cedar shake tiles were used because of the accessibility of natural materials. Crafting logs into cedar shake tiles created roofing materials that were naturally rot and insect resistant, and that lent a rustic aesthetic to early homes.

Wood tiles tend to absorb water, fade, cup, and split over time, leading to the need for upkeep and repairs over the life of the tiles. Composite Cedar Shakes, however, create the traditional, natural feel but without the maintenance.

Our easy to install Cedar Shake roofing mimics the look of hand-split cedar by using molds cast from hand-split Western Red Cedar shakes. This allows us to create tiles that look organic and don’t have repetitive patterns. You can also choose from a range of colors created from natural minerals to give you control over the final aesthetic.

5. Composite Slate Tile

Natural slate tiles are made by mining slabs of slate and splitting them into thin sheets and then cutting them to size. Slate is a beautiful and durable material that has been used since the 1300s and it appeared in America in the 1600s. With the opening of the first quarry in 1735, it became a popular roofing material that can last up to 200 years. As with any natural material, there are downsides. Slate can chip and flake, which can lead to expensive repairs, and the weight of slate tiles requires structural reinforcements.

Composite slate tiles are a modern alternative that allow you to create the aesthetic of Old World slate without the maintenance and weight concerns. Brava Old World Slate roof tiles are cast from pieces of hand-chiseled slate to give them the natural edges and thick profile that captures the essence of its natural inspiration.

Choose Brava’s Modern Roofing Materials For Your Project

Brava’s craftsmanship and commitment to honoring the beauty and tradition of natural materials means that you’ll get high quality, commercial and residential modern roof materials that stand the test of time — and it even comes with a 50-year limited transferable warranty

Contact the experts at Brava today to discover modern building materials and designs for your project.