Malarkey’s Smog-Reducing Roofs Enable Social and Circular Construction in LA

Solutions like Malarkey’s roofing shingles are helping cities like Los Angeles and others around the world to actively advance initiatives to support circular construction, while also making sustainable building possible for all.

Cities at the heart of circularity, energy efficiency and wellbeing


Cities are at the forefront of the shift to low-carbon and circular construction. With 70% of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, this rapid urbanization means cities can make a real difference in decarbonizing the built environment. One of the ways to achieve this goal is to ensure that buildings are sustainable in use and circular across their lifecycle.

The built environment also plays an important role to play in developing a healthier society and contributing to city dwellers’ wellbeing.

Malarkey Roofing Products, part of the Holcim Building Envelope, is meeting the triple challenge of material use reduction, improving buildings’ energy efficiency and cleaning the air we breathe with its circular, smog-reducing and solar-reflective roofing shingles.

To put the solution into practice, Malarkey teamed up with Los Angeles-based non-profits Climate Resolve and GRID Alternatives to donate roofing systems to three local households in one of the city’s low-income neighborhoods.

Clean air and energy efficiency for all


Los Angeles is a city notorious for its smog, a combination of particle and ozone pollution. Lower-income neighborhoods, however, are breathing in significantly more tailpipe pollution than wealthier areas of the city. In addition, low-income households face more barriers when it comes to accessing energy efficiency measures and renewable energy, putting them at risk of energy poverty.

Climate Resolve and GRID Alternatives work to bring sustainable building innovations to underserved residents. When the two organizations offered Malarkey the chance to give back to the community, our colleagues jumped at the opportunity.

The project, partially funded by a Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Community Emissions Reduction Grant, supplied more than a dozen homes with new roofs and solar energy systems.

Malarkey provided complete systems featuring shingles with 3M™ Cool and Smog-Reducing Roofing Granules for three roofs. Shingles with these granules are solar reflective and help stave off energy use to cool homes under the hot Southern California sun and combat the heat island effect. They also act as the equivalent of approximately 2 trees “planted” per roof to help clean the air of pollutants.

Circularity and sustainability – Malarkey’s guiding principles


These roofs both improve the lives of the local community, they also help the environment by advancing the principles of circular construction. An average-sized Malarkey roof diverts approximately 5 rubber tires and 3,200 plastic bags from landfill by upcycling them into the shingles.

Manufacturing the industry’s most sustainable roofing shingle is the guiding principle at Malarkey Roofing Products.

When Malarkey first sought to make its shingles more sustainable, the team did a life cycle assessment of the products. This involved looking at how they are resourced, manufactured, aged, disposed-of, and more. At each stage they looked for opportunities for sustainable innovations – such as adding polymers from upcycled plastics and rubber to their asphalt.

Circular construction also helps improve the number of buildings in a city certified as green. Malarkey’s OmniSeal® line of roll roofing products, featuring NEX® polymer modified asphalt made with upcycled polymers, were recently part of a LEED Platinum project in California’s Highlands.

"Manufacturing the industry’s most sustainable roofing shingle is a guiding principle at Malarkey Roofing Products, but we are just one part of the building envelope. To help build sustainably overall, many hands are needed to make light work. We are honored to be a part of this amazing initiative to make sustainable, circular construction accessible to all."

Eileen Dutton| Vice President of Product at Malarkey

"The community’s wellbeing is our top priority and we want to give them innovative products. That’s why Climate Resolve worked together with Malarkey on this project. Their roofing shingles will not only allow homeowners to make significant energy savings, but the smog-fighting shingles will remove nitrogen oxide particles from the air they breathe."

Thelma Briseño| Senior Director for Energy at Climate Resolve

Elevating roofing with Holcim


Roofing is a unique and attractive business. It is innovation-, sustainability- and brand-driven, offering significant advantages to the market’s strongest players.

The market in flat roofing is growing especially fast, driven by the need for waterproofing, energy efficiency and more.

In just two years Holcim has built a USD 4 billion platform in the most attractive USD 40 billion North America market, led by Elevate in the commercial segment and Malarkey in residential.

With ongoing expansion in Latin America and the recent acquisition of FDT in Germany, we’re leveraging our global strength to reach a wide range of markets.


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