MiaSolé and GTech Global Partner to Sell FLEX Modules in Northern California

GTech Global and MiaSolé have entered into a sales representative agreement. GTech Global will sell MiaSolé FLEX modules in Northern California. GTech Global “GTG” and its associates have more than 35 years of business experience in developing and implementing energy-efficient building solutions. Their group has focused their expertise on energy management and conservation. A broad range of experience has qualified GTG to be a developer of energy management programs. They are excited to partner with MiaSolé and the opportunity to help serve the thin-film solar market.

GTech Global will sell MiaSolé FLEX modules, efficient thin-film lightweight flexible modules with an efficiency rating of more than 16 percent. MiaSolé FLEX modules bond directly to the roof surface with a simple peel-and-stick adhesive. The low-profile FLEX module provides superior wind resistance and a seismic advantage over traditional rack-and-panel systems where their higher profile and method of attachment increases the likelihood of damage in an earthquake, making FLEX modules the ideal solar solution for the Northern California market. This adhesive approach also eliminates the need for racking and reduces labor and logistics cost to provide a 20 percent lower BOS cost than traditional glass solar systems.

The FLEX-02 Series module is available in two formats. The FLEX-02W module is 39.3 by 102.3 inches and is rated at 360 watts, and designed for low-slope commercial single-ply roof systems. The FLEX-02N module is 14.6 by 102.3 inches and is rated at 120 watts, and designed specifically for standing-seam metal roofs. The FLEX-02 Series module is IEC 61646 & IEC 61730 and UL 1703 certified.

The FLEX-02 module provides GTech Global customers other significant benefits. The low weight of the module (less than 0.7 pound per square foot) allows installation on roofs that cannot support the weight of traditional glass solar panels. Because the FLEX-02 panels adhere directly to the roof surface, there are no penetrations, eliminating the worry of leakage and damage to valuable contents within the building. The FLEX-02 also is aesthetically pleasing, blending into metal and TPO roofs and preserving the original look of the roof.

OSHA vs. State Rules: Residential Fall Protection

The Washington, D.C.-based Occupational Safety and Health Administration has demanded some states that administer their own occupational safety and health agencies and enforce state-specific workplace rules adopt federal provisions related to residential fall protection. California, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington are four such states with provisions for residential fall protection that differ from federal OSHA’s. One of the federal requirements is that fall protection is required in roofing work at heights of 6 feet or greater. OSHA has singled out this requirement as one that the states must meet or OSHA will take over enforcement of all construction workplace rules.

Government statistics indicate state plan states that use a risk-based approach, where roof height is one of many factors considered when developing regulations, generally experience lower worker death and injury rates than comparable federal states.

The recent release of initial workplace fatality numbers by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington, for 2014 has again brought the issue to the forefront and prompted the following Jan. 29, 2016, response from NRCA CEO William A. Good to Dean McKenzie, OSHA’s acting director of construction.

Dear Mr. McKenzie:

We are, of course, incredibly disappointed that you choose to carry on with your plan to impose federal rules, developed over the objections of the roofing industry, on states that have had considerable success with their own fall protection regulations. Those regulations have been developed, for the most part, with the ac- tive involvement of health and safety agencies, management and labor in the affected states. What’s more, in most of the states you cite as being deficient in meeting the federal “effectiveness” standard, the rate of accidents and fatalities from falls in construction is consistently better than it is in comparable states under federal OSHA’s jurisdiction.

And what’s even more incredible is that since federal OSHA unilaterally changed the rules for residential fall protection, the number of fatal falls has actually increased. OSHA’s promise that the cancellation of STD 3.1 in 2010 would make roofing workers safer has delivered the opposite result with 61 roofing workers killed by falls in 2012, 66 in 2013 and 69 in 2014. And yet OSHA marches on, unaffected by the facts.

How you can consistently ignore the data and instead rely on a vague definition of “effectiveness” is frankly beyond me, and makes absolutely no sense. It seems to me that an effective safety standard is one that actually works to protect workers from falls, rather than one that meets certain regulatory language.

In your letter you cite “standards that permit, for example, certain work to be performed at heights of 15 to 20 feet without positive fall protection.” As we have argued previously, the height of the roof is not the only issue that needs to be considered for effective fall protection. Rather, job-specific fall-protection assessment should take into account the type of building, the slope of the roof and the type of roofing materials being installed. This strikes me as being remarkably similar to the approach to safety Dr. Michaels, among others, has long advocated, but this approach is missing from OSHA’s heavy-handed efforts to impose federal rules on states.

In addition, if height were indeed the only issue, then perhaps you can explain why certain scaffolding operations are allowed up to 10 feet without fall protection, and why certain steel erection activities are allowed up to 30 feet without fall protection. And perhaps you can also explain why, over the period from 2010 to 2013, Texas had an average fatal construction fatality rate of 11.63, while California’s was 5.95.

The tragedy, of course, is that this isn’t just an academic conversation. Lives are at stake, and more are being lost in those states OSHA is responsible for than in those that have developed workable and, yes, effective, regulations.

I understand you choose not to meet with us to discuss this further. While I’m not surprised, I am left to wonder what is reasonably to be done to make roofing jobs safer. OSHA’s approach has made things worse, and you seem intent on just doing more of the same.

Sincerely,
William A. Good, CAE
Chief Executive Officer
National Roofing Contractors Association

Ygrene Energy Fund and Solar Roof Dynamics Offer Affordable Financing Options for Rooftop Solar

Ygrene Energy Fund Inc., a multi-state provider of residential and commercial PACE financing, announced a strategic partnership with Solar Roof Dynamics LLC, a premier distributor of best-in-class solar solutions for California’s roofing industry. Leveraging Ygrene’s unique PACE financing model, YgreneWorks, Solar Roof Dynamics can now offer consumers through its broad base of commercial and residential partners the ability to pay for their rooftop solar upgrades over time through property taxes.

Via Solar Roof Dynamics’ roster of expertly trained solar contractors, YgreneWorks is now making California’s cleanest, least expensive and most abundant renewable resource—solar—affordable for an even greater percentage of California’s businesses and homeowners, creating the potential for unprecedented growth. This is an exciting addition to Solar Roof Dynamics’ already innovative, value-added business model. Solar Roof Dynamics is transforming the solar industry by working directly through its network of authorized roofing contractors with extensive experience in installing roofing and solar systems. This network of contractors gives consumers the opportunity to install solar panels at the same time that they are replacing their existing roof.

“We have a long history of introducing quality solar products and services to local roofing contractors,” says Aaron Nitzkin, CEO of Solar Roof Dynamics. “With YgreneWorks, we can offer one of the best financing options for solar and roofing available on the market, reach more consumers, and most importantly, generate more clean, cost-effective solar energy to enhance California’s sustainable infrastructure.”

Available in more than 180 communities throughout California and Florida, YgreneWorks provides financing for energy efficiency, water conservation, renewable energy and climate retrofits for homes and businesses. PACE financing programs such as YgreneWorks are authorized by local governments in an effort to stimulate local economies, generate jobs, address climate change and provide constituents with access to low-cost, money-saving home improvement funds. Since its inception, YgreneWorks has approved more than $1 billion in funding nationally for upgrades to the built environment, producing more than $2.6 billion in economic stimulus, 15,500 new and sustained jobs and 65 megawatts of energy, as well as conserving 4.5 billion gallons of water and enough energy to power 1,026,635 homes for a full year and keep 1.2 million metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

“California remains at the forefront of renewable energy innovation and the Solar Roof Dynamics partnership will ensure that PACE-financed solar power will be made available to as many homes and businesses as possible,” says Stacey Lawson, CEO of Ygrene. “We’re proud to support California’s accessible and cost-competitive solar installation platform.”

Spray Polyurethane Foam: A Key Component to Any Net Zero Solution

SPF has the ability to insulate, air and water seal, as well as control moisture throughout the structure, acting as a single-source solution, reducing the need for multiple products.

SPF has the ability to insulate, air and water seal, as well as control moisture throughout the structure, acting as a single-source solution, reducing the need for multiple products.

In July 2014, California initiated the revision process to the 2016 version of Title 24, California’s building energy efficiency codes, which are designed to move the state’s residential and commercial buildings toward zero net energy (ZNE). All new residential construction is to be ZNE by 2020, and all new commercial buildings are to achieve ZNE by 2030. While aggressive, these goals are achievable with the right design implementation and accessibility to proper building materials.

As one of the world’s most influential economies, the state of California has demonstrated its power in leading the other 49 states in the implementation of progressive initiatives. California traditionally takes an environmental stance with a history of enforcing regulations designed to protect the physical environment and health of the state’s residents. These efforts often result in national trending with other states and municipalities following suit with similar regulations. It is widely anticipated a similar phenomenon will occur with ZNE goals.

The design of a ZNE building focuses on the reduction of energy consumption and on the generation of the structure’s own renewable energy (such as via solar panel solutions). Long-term ZNE begins with a quality building enclosure. High-performance attics and wall systems are a key focus of 2016 Title 24 as they make a significant impact in the reduction of peak cooling demand in structures.

SPF may be installed in a continuous layer, eliminating thermal bypasses, and boasts one of the highest R-values of all insulation options.

SPF may be installed in a continuous layer, eliminating thermal bypasses, and boasts one of the highest R-values of all insulation options.

Because of spray polyurethane foam’s unique attributes, the material is widely recognized as an optimal solution for unvented attics, as well as for roofing, walls and ceilings. SPF has the ability to insulate, air and water seal, as well as control moisture throughout the structure, acting as a single-source solution, reducing the need for multiple products.

Energy loss may occur at various points throughout the roof, walls and ceiling via air leakage. Thus the air-sealing ability of SPF is extremely beneficial when trying to improve energy efficiency.

In roofing, SPF acts as a protective roofing solution and as an insulator.

In roofing, SPF acts as a protective roofing solution and as an insulator.

As a thermal insulator, SPF forms in place and fully adheres, almost completely eliminating the cracks and gaps that allow escape of conditioned air. It may be installed in a continuous layer, eliminating thermal bypasses typically found with cavity insulations and boasts one of the highest R-values of all insulation options.

In roofing, SPF acts as a protective roofing solution and as an insulator. The effectiveness of insulation is measured through moisture control, air leakage, health, safety, durability, comfort and energy efficiency factors, and SPF scores exceptional marks in all.

These combined characteristics are integral to SPF’s ability to contribute to total ZNE solutions—solutions, which will become increasingly necessary as the net zero revolution takes hold across the U.S.