North Carolina Middle School Generates More Energy Than It Uses

Sandy Grove Middle School in Hoke County, N.C.

Sandy Grove Middle School in Hoke County, N.C., was designed to be an energy-positive building. It generates 40 percent more energy than it consumes. Photo: Mathew Carbone Photography

When Robbie Ferris first presented the idea of a school building that generates more energy than it uses, people were skeptical. Now he can point to Sandy Grove Middle School in Hoke County, N.C., as proof that a high-performance school building can go well beyond net zero and generate 40 percent more energy than it consumes.

Ferris is the president of SfL+a Architects and manager at Firstfloor, a development company that specializes in public-private partnerships and design-build-operate agreements. “We designed the building, we own it and we lease it to the school district,” he says. “We monitor all of the systems remotely. One of the reasons we do that is because when you put really high-performance systems in buildings, you have to make sure they are operating at peak efficiency. It can take time to make sure everything is optimized.”

Three years after completion, Sandy Grove Middle School is outperforming its energy models, and the building continues to win accolades. It recently received Energy Star 100 Certification and has been recognized as the nation’s most energy positive school.

“Sandy Grove Middle School is a perfect example of a high-performance facility,” says Ferris. “With the public-private lease-back model, everyone wins. The students receive a quality school, it fits in to the school system budget, and it is energy efficient to help both total cost and our environment.”

The building’s systems were designed to be as energy-efficient as possible, and that includes the roof, which features an array of photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate electricity. “We wanted a roof that would last 30 years,” Ferris notes. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of success with TPOs, and metal roofs as well. This particular client wanted a metal roof look from the front, but they were very open to a membrane roof on other parts of the building. We made the decision to put the metal roof on the front of the building and a TPO on the wings at the back of the building.”

On this project, the warranties were important considerations, along with durability and energy efficiency. SfL+a specified a standing seam metal roof system manufactured by Dimensional Metals Inc. and a TPO system manufactured by GenFlex. “Obviously, if you’re putting a couple of million dollars’ worth of solar panels on your roof, you want to make sure you have a roof that is going to be problem free.”

A Smooth Installation

The installation was a challenging one, but everything went smoothly, notes Aaron Thomas, president and CEO of Metcon Inc. Headquartered in Pembroke, N.C., Metcon is a full-service general contractor that specializes in energy positive commercial buildings, so it was perfectly suited to serve as the construction manager on the project.

Photovoltaic panels were installed

Photovoltaic panels were installed on both the standing seam metal roof and the TPO system. The systems on the low-slope roof sections are fully ballasted, and both sections were installed without penetrating the roof system. Photo: SfL+a Architects

Thomas and Ryan Parker, senior project manager with Metcon, coordinated the work of subcontractors on the job, including the Youngsville, N.C. branch of Eastern Corp., which installed the TPO and metal roofs, and PowerSecure, the solar installer on the project, based in Wake Forest, N.C.

The roof systems covered 85,000 square feet, and Sharp PV panels were installed on both the metal roof and the TPO system. Solar panels were also installed on freestanding structures called “solar trees.” Each solar tree is 20 feet tall, 25 feet wide and weighs 3,200 pounds.

“The TPO roof system was upgraded to an 80-mil product due to solar panels being added to the roof,” Parker notes. “It was 100 percent ballasted on the low-slope sections, with slip sheets being used below the racking on the TPO roof.”

On the metal roof, clips manufactured by S-5! were used to affix the solar racking to the seams. “There are no penetrations for the frames, and penetrations for the electrical wiring went through vertical walls, not the roof,” Parker says. “There were no penetrations anywhere in the roof system, which made all of the warranties that much easier to keep intact.”

The biggest challenges on the project, according to Parker, were coordinating the different scopes of work and ensuring all of the manufacturers’ warranty considerations were met. “We had two different kinds of roofs, both coupled with solar panels,” Parker says. “Like any rooftop with photovoltaic products, there had to be special attention paid to the warranties of all parties involved. Both Genflex and DMI were closely involved in coordinating details to ensure that the owner achieved a great roof free of defects.”

The building’s systems were designed for energy efficiency

The building’s systems were designed for energy efficiency, and the roof features an array of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. Photo: Mathew Carbone Photography

One key was developing a detailed schedule and keeping everyone on it. “We would meet once a week and huddle up on how it was progressing and what else needed to be done,” Parker recalls. “We found that by using a collaborative submittal sharing platform, all of the varying parts and pieces could be checked by all parties to ensure compatibility.”

There were multiple safety concerns associated with combining solar panels to the roofing system, so everyone had to be on the same page. “The roofing subcontractor and the solar subcontractor performed a joint safety plan that utilized common tie off points,” Parker notes. “The job had zero lost time.”

“Everyone coordinated their work and it was a great team effort,” Ferris says. “It was one of the smoothest jobs I’ve ever seen. We have not had a single leak on that project—not a single problem.”

Proof Positive

For Ferris, the greatest obstacle on energy-positive projects convincing members of the public and governmental agencies of the benefits. “The biggest challenges had nothing to do with construction; they had to do with just doing something new and different,” he says. “The toughest challenge was getting the school board, the county commissioners, the public and the review agencies on board. It took a very long time—and lots of meetings.”

Photo: SfL+a Architects

Now Ferris can point to Sandy Grove as an example of just how a high-performance school building can pay huge dividends. “As soon as you see it in real life, you’re on board,” he says. “It’s very exciting for people to see it. If we can get people to the school, they’ll walk away convinced it is the right thing to do.”

With Sandy Grove, the school district has a 30-year lease with an option to purchase. Ferris believes the lease model is the perfect solution for educators. “We’re responsible for any problems for the life of the lease,” he says. “If a problem does come up, we usually know about it before the school does because we monitor the systems remotely online.”

“In their world, buildings are a distraction from educating kids,” Ferris concludes. “This is one building that is not a distraction.”

TEAM

Building Owner: Firstfloor, Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C., Firstfloor.biz
Architect: SfL+a Architects, Raleigh, N.C., Sfla.biz
Construction Manager: Metcon Inc., Pembroke, N.C., Metconus.com
Roofing Contractor: Eastern Corp., Youngsville, N.C.
Photovoltaic Panel Installer: PowerSecure, Wake Forest, N.C., Powersecure.com
Metal Roof System Manufacturer: Dimensional Metals Inc., DMImetals.com
TPO Roof System Manufacturer: GenFlex Roofing Systems, GenFlex.com

Kemper System Features Cost-Effective ‘Cool Roof’ Solutions

Kemper System America Inc. now offers two cost-effective ‘cool roof’ solutions for prolonging the life of metal, BUR, modified bitumen and aged single-ply roof systems.

Roof Guardian RG-170 is an elastomer-based coating system ideal for extending the life of many types of roofing assemblies. Formulated using a 100 percent acrylic polymer base for enhanced adhesion and durability, the coating features a high Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) rating of 109 and is Class A fire rated. Roof Guardian RG-180 is a fiber-reinforced elastomeric coating with an acrylic polymer base, ideal for metal, concrete, single ply, modified bitumen, and granular cap sheets. It offers an SRI rating of 108.

“Kemper System has been at the vanguard of liquid-applied roof waterproofing solutions for decades. These two new white Roof Guardian coating systems offer a quick and cost-effective approach for transforming many kinds of existing low-slope roofs into a cool roof that can help building owners cut cooling costs,” says Jim Arnold, Director of Product Development for Kemper System.

Part of the company’s Roof Guardian Technologies line, the roof coatings can be quickly applied with a commercial-grade sprayer or roller. The highly reflective bright white finish lowers the surface temperature of the substrate to reduce thermal transfer into the structure. This high solar reflectance helps lower indoor temperatures to reduce building cooling requirements.

Formulated to resist cracking and peeling, both products provide excellent waterproofing and long-term mildew resistance. Both solutions are Energy Star and Cool Roof rated.

“For more than 60 years, Kemper System has been a global industry leader in cold liquid- applied, reinforced roofing and waterproofing, having invented the technology and holding the first patents,” says Arnold. “Today the company offers a full range of building envelope solutions to protect against weather, preserve the integrity of surfaces, and enhance the comfort and value of buildings.”

This portfolio encompasses Wall Guardian fibered acrylic air barrier, Roof Guardian Technologies elastomer-based roof coatings, and HeatBloc-ULTRA radiant heat barrier. Other high-value brands include COLEAN traffic coating systems, and the company flagship for exterior and interior waterproofing, Kemperol reinforced membrane systems.

LEARN MORE

Visit: Kempersystem.net
Call: (800) 541-5455
Email: inquiry@kempersystem.net

RCMA Members Apply Roof Coatings for ECA EnergyFit Program

Twenty-three members of the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) volunteered to apply reflective cool roof coatings on 18 low-income row homes on the 1200 block of West Seltzer Street in North Philadelphia to support the Energy Coordinating Agency’s (ECA) EnergyFit Philly program.

Under a hot sun and high humidity, volunteers climbed up 32 foot ladders to apply reflective cool roof coatings under the guidance and support of ECA’s staff and contractors. Working on houses on both sides of the street, every roof received the first coating in about three hours.

Cooling down with iced water, volunteers listened to remarks by City Council President, Darrell Clarke – who thanked each volunteer personally – while acknowledging the good work by ECA and noting how energy conservation helps residents save money. The Director of Sustainability, Christine Knapp, drew attention to our prolonged heat wave and focused on the value of cool roof coatings to reduce air conditioning use. Finally, Darlene Pope, “the city’s best block captain,” gave the final remarks of the day. Gracious and thankful, and an advocate for clean energy, Darlene thanked the volunteers from RCMA for helping to make this day possible.

ECA’s EnergyFit Philly program preserves affordable housing by repairing, and providing energy retrofits to low income homes in poor condition. It is an innovative approach to the prevention of homelessness by preserving and stabilizing affordable housing that is currently ineligible for energy conservation programs due to roof leaks and other home repair needs. Applying roof coatings on these homes reduces the cooling load and extends the service life of the roofs.

Roof coatings are designed for protecting and extending the service life of roof assemblies for new construction and more commonly, existing roof coverings. Reflective roof coatings extend the life of the roof by reducing heat transfer into the building, decreasing thermal shock, and helping to mitigate leaks.

Roof coatings reflect visible light as well as infrared and ultraviolet radiation, causing roof surface temperature to drop by up to 55°F and decreasing the amount of heat transferred into a building on hot days. Lower roof temperatures in turn help to reduce cooling costs for buildings with air conditioning units and reduce interior temperatures and relative humidity in buildings with or without cooling units. A building owner can experience an energy savings of up to 15% after using a reflective roof coating, according to information from the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Program. When reflective roof coatings are used on a significant portion of a city’s roofs, they will also reduce the urban heat island effect, essentially cooling the entire city.

Several RCMA roof coatings manufacturer and supplier members have donated their products for use in this project, or volunteered their time to apply coatings to a block of low income row homes on West Seltzer Street. The RCMA is partnering with ECA on this project as part of its biennial industry conference, the International Roof Coatings Conference.

New Polymer Roof Options Receive CRRC Approval

Four new DaVinci EcoBlend options are approved by the Cool Roof Rating Council to reflect sunlight and heat away from a home or commercial structure.

Four new DaVinci EcoBlend options are approved by the Cool Roof Rating Council to reflect sunlight and heat away from a home or commercial structure.

DaVinci Roofscapes, a leader in polymer roof colors, launches four new DaVinci EcoBlend options approved by the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) to reflect sunlight and heat away from a home or commercial structure. The new color blends all meet Title 24 requirements for California.

Newly introduced color blends for EcoBlend polymer shake and slate roofs include:
– Tahoe-EcoBlend: Light Tahoe, Medium Light Tahoe and Medium Tahoe blend
– Mountain-EcoBlend: Light Mountain, Medium Mountain and Dark Mountain blend
– Brownstone-EcoBlend: Light Brown, Dark Stone and Dark Tan blend
– Slate Gray-EcoBlend: Slate Gray

EcoBlend color blends previously accessible from DaVinci Roofscapes that meet the stringent requirements to receive ENERGY STAR designations and still available from the company include:
– Weathered Gray-EcoBlend: Light Weathered Gray, Medium Weathered Gray and Dark Weathered Gray blend
– Castle Gray-EcoBlend: Light Gray, Medium Gray and Dark Gray

Four new color blends for EcoBlend polymer shake and slate roofs include Tahoe, Mountain, Brownstone, and Slate Gray.

Four new color blends for EcoBlend polymer shake and slate roofs include Tahoe, Mountain, Brownstone, and Slate Gray.

Created in 1998, the Cool Roof Rating Council develops accurate and credible methods for evaluating and labeling the solar reflectance and thermal emittance (radiative properties) of roofing products. The company shares this information with architects, specifiers, builders and all other interested parties.

The experienced team members at DaVinci Roofscapes develop and manufacture polymer roof systems with an authentic look and superior performance. DaVinci leads the industry in selection of colors, tile thickness and tile width variety. The company’s products have a limited lifetime warranty and are 100 percent recyclable. All DaVinci roofing products are proudly made in America where the company is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Roofing Contractors, the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council.

AIA is Offering Continuing Education Credits

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is offering architects providing ENERGY STAR certification pro bono verification services up to 8 Health, Safety, Welfare (HSW) continuing education credits.

AIA, Public Architecture, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have partnered to connect building owners seeking ENERGY STAR certification with licensed professionals willing to provide the pro bono services.

The continuing education credits AIA is offering architects represents a major proportion of their annual requirement for continuing professional licensure! Engineers in licensure states with continuing education requirements may also be eligible to take advantage.

Licensed professionals can further use this opportunity to:
•Build relationships and name recognition with nonprofit building owners and managers.
•Receive national recognition through a listing on the ENERGY STAR Licensed Professional Directory.
•Earn eligibility for ENERGY STAR SPP partnership for your company.
•Help an organization of your choice by performing a visible public service.
•Help reduce carbon emissions in buildings.
•Build a marketable skill verifying ENERGY STAR certification applications.

HOW:
1. View a no-cost, on-demand ENERGY STAR recorded training provided by EPA about how to verify an application. Complete a short quiz.
2. Use these instructions to find a project and validate one or more ENERGY STAR certification applications on a pro bono basis.
3. Secure a letter from the building owner confirming the pro bono work.
4. For more information, visit www.energystar.gov/probono

Solar-reflective Shingle Line Adds New Colors

Malarkey Roofing Products has made additions to its Ecoasis solar-reflective shingle line to meet growing market needs.

Malarkey Roofing Products has made additions to its Ecoasis solar-reflective shingle line to meet growing market needs.

Malarkey Roofing Products has made additions to its Ecoasis solar-reflective shingle line to meet growing market needs. The line now includes three levels of products: Ecoasis Premium, Ecoasis Sol and the new Ecoasis Costa. Ecoasis Costa shingles come in four colors that were inspired by popular traditional shingle colors and updated to meet reflectance requirements of the California Energy Code, Title 24, Part 6. Ecoasis Premium and Ecoasis Sol meet California Energy Code and ENERGY STAR requirements. Ecoasis Premium also features Flexor polymer-modified asphalt technology for granule adhesion, flexibility and impact resistance.

How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

The greatest challenge for anyone responsible for any physical asset is how to keep it operating properly. The key is finding qualified maintenance providers to solve problems that are beyond our own abilities. With the advent of the Internet, our options are limitless. If we need a doctor, we Google the type of doctor we need and get a list of options. The same can be said for all other types of goods and services. But with more options, are we really getting more quality from these numerous choices?

Unfortunately, people and companies can make any claim on the Internet and, as long as they don’t slander anybody else, it’s perfectly legal. I get emails every day claiming to have a cure for cancer, obesity, hemorrhoids, etc., and all I have to do is log on to the website, enter my credit card number and the “cure” will be sent to my house within 72 hours.

Everyone knows this is a hoax, right? Yet more and more of these websites keep popping up every day. Clearly someone is falling for these frauds or there wouldn’t be any! But I digress. The topic of this article is “how to choose a roofing contractor”, not “how not to get ripped off using the Internet.”

Preliminary Questions

Consequently, if I have a roof leak, the first thing I will do is conduct a web search for roofing contractors in my area. I will probably look for ones located closest to my facility. I will call the company and say something like: “I have a roof leak. Do you fix those?” The contractor will probably say, “Yes, I can fix leaks.” I will then say: “Great! When can you be here?” And the rest is, as they say, history. Hopefully, the contractor I selected is licensed, bonded, insured and competent. As you can see, I didn’t ask any of those questions, so I really don’t know. But he must be good; he was listed on the Internet!

If he’s not licensed, there is probably a pretty good reason why he isn’t—he’s not a real contractor, just kind of a handyman. If he’s not bonded and there is a problem with the work he performs and he refuses to fix his mistakes, I will have no recourse to take legal action because he doesn’t have a bonding company backing his work. If he isn’t insured and he falls off my roof, he can sue me personally for causing him bodily injury.

Before any contractor comes out to your facility, make sure the company is licensed, bonded and insured. Always ask for the license number, bonding company name and number, and personal liability insurance policy number. Once you get this information, verify these numbers and providers. I once had a contractor give me his license number only to find out the number was made up! If the information checks out, set up an appointment for the contractor to evaluate your problem. Don’t set the appointment and then check out the company’s qualifications. If a roofer comes out, climbs on your roof and falls off without liability insurance, you are on the hook paying for “Mr. FastRoofs Inc.’s” medical bills or worse: he sues you for not having fall protection on your roof—not that you should know what that is—and rest assured you will pay his medical and legal bills!

Once you have determined a certain level of legitimacy, you should also check what other types of certifications the contractor has attained. I would determine whether he or she belongs to the Better Business Bureau. This is no guarantee that these companies won’t have problems, but it does show a willingness to be responsible once the work has been completed. Also, determine whether the company belongs to trade associations. A roofing contractor should be “a member in good standing” and belong to the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association or one of its affiliates.

Don’t assume just because a company says it belongs to a trade association it does. I once dealt with a painting contractor that listed on its website belonging to the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, Maryland Heights, Mo. I called the trade association and learned the contractor did not belong at all! In other words, if a contractor makes a claim, make a call and check it out—no matter what!

The Proposal

Once you have properly vetted your prospective contractor, call him and describe your problem in the most basic terms. Most people want to solve the problem themselves and then just have the contractor effect the change.

Customers often will call and say: “I have a lot of problems on my roof. Can you come out and give me a quote for a new roof?” I am sure many of you are reading this and are completely incredulous this happens but, be honest, it’s human nature to not want to seem ignorant. As a matter of fact, I find those with the most experience are quickest to opine on their problems when they really don’t have a clue as to what’s wrong with their roof.

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Clay and Concrete Roof Tiles Offered in More ‘Cool’ Colors

Boral Roofing LLC now offers a complete listing of 50 colors on ENERGY STAR and 150 tile colors on the Cool Roof Rating Council.

Boral Roofing LLC now offers a complete listing of 50 colors on ENERGY STAR and 150 tile colors on the Cool Roof Rating Council.

Boral Roofing LLC now offers a complete listing of 50 colors on ENERGY STAR and 150 tile colors on the Cool Roof Rating Council. Boral Roofing Cool Roof Colors are available across multiple profiles to complement a spectrum of architectural styles. According to CRRC, Boral Roofing Clay and Concrete Cool Roof Tiles reflect up to 75 percent of the sun’s solar energy. Boral Roofing Cool Roof Colors are covered under an exclusive and limited product warranty, offering peace-of-mind to homeowners in a long roof lifespan.

Roof Restoration Coating System Is an Alternative to Complete Roof Replacement

The Metacrylics Roof Restoration System is an alternative to a complete roof replacement and tear-off.

The Metacrylics Roof Restoration System is an alternative to a complete roof replacement and tear-off.

The Metacrylics Roof Restoration System is an alternative to a complete roof replacement and tear-off. It provides adhesion to a variety of existing roof systems to form a monolithic, waterproofing membrane, protecting your roof system from further weathering, UV deterioration, moisture, wind and thermal shock—elements that reduce the life of a roof system. The results is a seamless, reflective, economical solution providing many benefits, including a CRRC and ENERGY STAR system that exceeds all Title 24 requirements.

Benefits:

  • Saves energy
  • Environmentally friendly
  • No tear-off
  • Reduces heat transfer
  • Keeps building cool
  • Withstands ponding
  • Low-cost maintenance
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Super adhesion to a variety of surfaces
  • VOC compliant
  • Sprayer or roller applied
  • Chemical and fire resistant
  • Excellent wind resistance

Metacrylics 3-Second Acrylic is in the final stage of development and will be available this summer. It can be sprayed to any mil thickness in a single pass because of its instant set time.

The 3-Second Acrylic is a two-part, water-based, non-flammable, non-solvent, low-VOC product that has excellent adhesion and very low perms.

Premium Stone-coated Metal Roofing Lasts 50 Years or More

Allmet Roofing by Headwaters is a premium stone-coated metal roofing system sold through distribution. It delivers the rugged durability and strength of metal roofing while providing the handsome look of wood shake, genuine slate, Spanish tile and shingle roofing. And Allmet Roofing continues looking great year after year, for half a century or more.

Made from 3/16 Galvalume-coated metal, Allmet systems won’t rot, crack, warp or break.

Made from 3/16 Galvalume-coated metal, Allmet systems won’t rot, crack, warp or break.


An Allmet metal roof may cost a bit more to install, but the expense will be offset by lower repair and replacement costs. Allmet stone-coated metal roofing is light in weight and among the safest roofs in seismic regions. When installed as designed, this dry under-deck roof system eliminates the need for moisture barriers. Made from 3/16 Galvalume-coated metal, Allmet systems won’t rot, crack, warp or break. They’re energy efficient and offer protection against snow, ice, winds and hail. Allmet stone-coated metal roofing also is non-combustible, earning a coveted Class A Fire Rating.

Allmet is offered in an array of styles that attractively complement any home:

Allmet stone-coated metal roofing also is non-combustible, earning a coveted Class A Fire Rating.

Allmet stone-coated metal roofing also is non-combustible, earning a coveted Class A Fire Rating.

  • Granite Ridge Galvalume metal stone-coated shingles are a lightweight, tough and economical roofing backed by a lifetime warranty. This new-generation shingle is not only 67 percent lighter weight than asphalt laminates, but its raised seam joints also ensure enhanced protection against the elements.
  • Allmet Continental gives roofs the appearance of high-profile S-type concrete tiles. Yet it is lighter weight than standard cement- or clay-based tile.
  • Allmet Wood Shake melds the natural beauty of wood shake with the strength of metal roofing. This wood shake product won’t catch fire or blow off in high winds. Because many areas prohibit wood shake, stone-coated metal wood profiles are a good alternative.
  • Allmet Shadowline offers the aesthetics and dimension of natural slate and features four ENERGY STAR-rated colors among its 19 color blends.

Allmet is backed by a limited lifetime transferable warranty that covers up to 120-mph winds, 2.5-inch hailstones and fire.

PHOTOS: Allmet Roofing