What is the most common type of roof in commercial construction?

When it comes to commercial roofing, there are many types to fit a building’s design and budget. Learn more about the most common type of commercial roofing types and where to find commercial roofing contractors to complete the job.

Commercial Roofing Classification Guide

There are many different classifications of commercial roofs. While some are more commonly used than others, learning about each classification can help you decide which one will work best for your project.

The most common type of roof used in commercial construction buildings and projects is metal roofing. Some other types of classifications include BUR Membrane, Thermoplastic/Polyvinyl, and Sustainable/Green Roofing.


Let’s discuss the most popular and frequently-used commercial roofing classification first. Metal roofing is extremely customizable and affordable. This might be why it’s utilized so often in commercial projects. Different types of metal can be used in varying degrees of durability, strength, and style.

These include:

    • Stainless steel
    • Stone-coated steel
    • Aluminum
    • Copper
    • Lead
    • Tin
    • Tiled sheets of metal
    • Corrugated, galvanized steel
  • Aggregates of zinc, silicon, and aluminum-coated steel

Some additional benefits: Metal sheet roofing can be further strengthened by adding protective surface layers to shield from weather and sun. It is a more sustainable option than some other commercial roofing types. It also has one of the highest fire safety ratings.

BUR Membrane

Also known as Built-up Roofing or Tar-and-Gravel Roofing, BUR Membrane is made of layered piles of gravel mixed with tar. Sticky at first, the tar eventually dries into a flexible, durable block that can withstand weather, sun, and debris. BUR Membrane roofing types can be built-up to be as durable as you need them to be. This makes them a customizable and cost effective roofing classification, as well.


Looking for a lightweight option? Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) or Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) are two of the most commonly manufactured roofing types that provide lightweight yet durable support. Since they’re made of extremely strong plastic, they are also virtually weather-proof, resistant to UV rays, and difficult to puncture. These roofing types are common for commercial businesses that use ventilation systems and emit chemicals, oils, or animal fats. They also have a high-tolerance to wind and fire.


“Green” roofing is becoming more popular and versatile for commercial properties. They not only help improve energy efficiency, but green roofing options can also improve water drainage systems and protect buildings from the elements. Plus, more sustainable commercial roofing options help you invest in your community.

Working with Commercial Roofing Contractors

There are many things that might impact what roofing material you use for commercial projects. Environmental factors, weather, and design elements can also impact the roof over time. In order to determine which roof type is right for your project, speak with a commercial roofing contractor like Advocate Construction. We’ll help you discover which materials are the most appropriate for your commercial project.