Dallas Roofing Contractor Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Repair and Replace Roofs for Deserving Homeowners

Chris Zazo, CEO of Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, established the non-profit Roof Angels, which repairs and/or replaces up to 30 roofs per year through Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program.

Chris Zazo, CEO of Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, established the non-profit Roof Angels, which repairs and/or replaces up to 30 roofs per year through Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program.

Chris Zazo is a CEO who sees opportunity everywhere. When he needed a corporate gift idea to give to hail-restoration customers of his commercial roofing business, Dallas-based Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, he established Hailstone Vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif., and now makes his own cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

While considering how to differentiate Aspenmark Roofing & Solar from its competitors in a market that has no licensing, Zazo embraced community service. “I wanted to find a way to better our industry and really take the sting off the title of ‘roofing contractor,’” he says. “We were getting asked every year by this charity and that organization to support their causes‚ which we were happy to do. Then we got involved doing the new-build roofs for Dallas Habitat for Humanity and really rallied around that organization.”

To differentiate his firm’s charitable work from its for-profit work, Zazo officially established the non-profit Roof Angels in 2013, but he couldn’t quiet his entrepreneurial spirit. He wondered how he could involve the entire roofing industry in community service. “I really wanted to put together a program for the industry,” he explains. “I wanted to get the manufacturers and distributors involved, get our employees involved and create a model in which if we took it to a national organization it could be replicated anywhere in the United States. I dug a little further and found out Habitat has a program called A Brush with Kindness, which is perfect for this idea.”

Although the homes chosen for restoration are usually small, Zazo says they often have extensive damage and four or five layers of shingles.

Although the homes chosen for restoration are usually small, Zazo says they often have extensive damage and four or five layers of shingles.

A Brush with Kindness is Habitat for Humanity’s home-repair program for owners who are struggling to maintain their homes. The program seeks $10,000 donations to support one family’s home repairs. “When we found out about this program, we jumped in and asked, ‘What if we [Aspenmark Roofing & Solar] took the roof off of your hands?’” Zazo recalls. “The roof is usually about 50 to 70 percent of the budget for the home repairs, so, without it in the budget, A Brush with Kindness could do much more to a deserving family’s home. I reached out to GAF to see if they’d donate the shingles. I called SRS Distribution to see if they’d donate the accessory items and delivery. Then all we had to do was raise money for the labor. We proposed this model to Habitat and they said, ‘We love it. When can you start?’”

FUNDRAISING

A Brush with Kindness’ representatives asked Roof Angels and its partners, Parsippany, N.J.-based GAF and McKinney, Texas-based SRS Distribution, to repair and/or replace up to 30 roofs per year. In the beginning, Zazo hadn’t thought through the fundraising part of Roof Angels, so he was often paying his crews for these roof installations out of his own pocket. He started holding Happy Hours and other small events in which he could quickly raise a few thousand dollars.

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Sprayfoam Event Features Steve Thomas as Keynote Speaker

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) has announced that author and Emmy Award-winning television personality Steve Thomas, from PBS’s This Old House, will be the keynote speaker for the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention and Expo. Being held now through Feb. 1, in Palm Springs, Calif., the official national convention of the Spray Polyurethane Foam industry features three days of educational sessions, an 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall, an industry awards ceremony, professional certification programs, an annual golf tournament, and other special events and features.
 
Steve Thomas will deliver the official Sprayfoam 2017 keynote address on January 31st at 9 a.m. He is currently spokesman for Habitat for Humanity International, with an emphasis on Builders Blitz and the ReStore. Steve Thomas completed three seasons hosting Planet Green’s Renovation Nation, a sustainable building show. During his 14 years as the host of a home improvement series, This Old House, he became known as a home enthusiast and helped catapult the show to the top of PBS’s most-watched ongoing series list. He also contributed to the debut of Ask This Old House, the series in which viewer questions are addressed on-air, as host during its first year. Steve was honored with a 1997 – 1998 Daytime Emmy Award and a total of nine nominations for Outstanding Service Show Host. He is a speaker, video producer, blogger, photographer, renovator and branding consultant. He also consults on sustainable building and renovation for clients across the U.S. and is currently writing a book.
 
“As a longtime sustainable building and renovation expert, Steve Thomas is a major coup for our annual event,” says Kurt Riesenberg, executive director of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), the official organizer of the show. “His enthusiasm for quality craftsmanship in the built environment, as demonstrated in his hosting This Old House, and his high profile role with Habitat for Humanity, align with the Sprayfoam Convention & Expo’s goal of providing education and business insight to the industry.”
 
During his keynote, Steve Thomas will likely speak about his various experiences working with spray foam, both personally and professionally, as well as his current renovation efforts, while providing attendees a great perspective on the business that they will be able to bring back to their customers. He will utilize any remaining time to answer audience questions about his life-long passion for building, his time spent on This Old House and his upcoming book.
 
Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo’s event agenda includes a 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall showcasing booth displays from over 80 industry organizations, manufacturers, contractors, equipment providers, and many others; a three-day educational program including more than 30 break-out sessions; a general session with Sam Rashkin, Chief Architect, Building Technologies Office highlighting the Department of Energy’s Net Zero Initiatives; the 12th Annual Industry Excellence Awards Ceremony highlighting innovation, best practices and excellence in SPF projects; SPFA Annual Member Awards, honoring members who have demonstrated dedication to the betterment of the organization and industry at-large; the Annual Golf Tournament; VIP events; member and contractor-only events; a entertaining Close-Out Reception and Networking Party.
 
The SPFA offers Professional Certification Program testing onsite. Testing is administered to individuals active in the installation of SPF in roofing and insulation, as well as to contractor and supplier companies, with the ability to gain professional accreditation on-site. Testing is offered as part of the internationally recognized program built to advocate best practices and safety in the installation of SPF. The standards-driven program is ISO 17024 compliant, was developed by committees of industry stakeholders in collaboration with OSHA, NIOSH and the EPA. Due to an abundance of PCP scholarship sponsors the Field Exams needed to obtain the Master Installer certification will be offered for free to candidates at the show for the second year in a row.
 
“Sprayfoam 2017 is the spray foam event of the year,” says John Achille, president of the SPFA. “As an annual event serving our industry with education, onsite certification, networking opportunities and more, it is the place to be if you are part of the spray polyurethane foam marketplace.”
 
Attendance for the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo is expected to exceed 1,200 individuals representing the complete Spray Polyurethane Foam industry and value chain, as well as the general public.
 
Premier sponsors of Sprayfoam 2017 include: Accella Polyurethane Systems, CertainTeed, Chemours, Covestro, Gaco Western, Honeywell, Icynene, Lapolla, NCFI Polyurethanes, and Polyurethane Machinery Corp. Premier Media Sponsors include “Sprayfoam Professional” (the official publication of the Sprayfoam 2017 event), “Building Enclosure”, “Roofing Contractor”, and “Walls & Ceilings” magazines.  

Tiny House Appendix Will Be Included In 2018 IRC

The International Code Council (ICC) reported that public comment RB168-16, the tiny house appendix, has passed the final round of voting, receiving the required 2/3 majority vote. As a result, a tiny house specific appendix will be part of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC), allowing people to receive a Certificate of Occupancy (COO) for their tiny house when built to meet the provisions of the adopted code appendix. A lack of recognition of tiny houses in the IRC had been a hindrance to the creation of legal tiny houses in communities across the U.S.

The approval of RB168-16 is a culmination of the efforts of Andrew Morrison (www.TinyHouseBuild.com) and a team of architects, builders, designers, and educators. The team initially defended the proposed appendix at the ICC public comment hearings this fall at which time they received the first 2/3 majority vote necessary to place RB168-16 on the official ballot.

Tiny houses have gained popularity in the last few years as a result of historically high housing costs, flat lined wages, and a grassroots movement towards minimalism. A tiny house specific code helps not only those wanting to build tiny but also local building officials overwhelmed with applications for tiny house projects.

“RB168-16 brings much needed safety standards to tiny house construction,” says BA Norrgard, volunteer coordinator at Habitat for Humanity and founding member of the Tiny House Collaborative. “This is a breakthrough that holds potential for positive change in the housing sector, which is in crisis.”

The approval of RB168-16 is historic; however, each jurisdiction currently enforcing the IRC must now adopt the appendix for it to become law. That is the next step for the tiny house appendix and one that Morrison’s team intends to meet head on.

Morrison, a builder for over 20 years who leads tiny house workshops and has taught over 2,500 students to date says, “We have a group of enthusiastic people in the tiny house community and we will work together to continue the positive movement forward for the industry.”

Darius Rucker Is Home For Good Project Ambassador

Three-time GRAMMY Award winner Darius Rucker is partnering with Ply Gem as the 2017 ambassador for the Home for Good project to help hundreds of families build homes across the U.S. with Habitat for Humanity. Ply Gem’s commitment to the belief that everyone deserves a place to call home aligns with Darius’ core values as well as themes across his music.

The Ply Gem Home for Good project is a multi-year initiative that includes a donation of over $1 million of exterior building products and funds for Habitat for Humanity to help families build strength and stability through housing. The company will support the project with advertising and social media initiatives to encourage its associates, the building industry—including distributors, builders and remodelers—as well as consumers to bring awareness of the need for affordable housing in communities across the country. Last year, Ply Gem featured country music icon Alan Jackson as the ambassador for the project.

“From an early age, my mother always encouraged us to give back,” shares Rucker. “Whether it was mowing a neighbor’s yard or supporting a friend, I think it’s important to give back any time and chance you can. For me, the opportunity to partner with Ply Gem and its Home for Good Project to help so many people at a national level is incredible. I am really looking forward to what we can do together.”

“We are proud to have Darius Rucker join us as the 2017 Ply Gem Home for Good project ambassador. He shares our passion for giving back to the community and conviction that every American deserves a safe and decent place they can be proud to call home,” states Gary E. Robinette, chairman and CEO, Ply Gem. “We are committed to the Home for Good project and look forward to partnering with Darius, Habitat for Humanity and families across the U.S. in 2017.”

Through their first year of the Home for Good project, Ply Gem has donated enough building materials –including windows and siding – to help 300 Habitat homeowner families build their homes.

As a way to kick off the Home for Good project, the Ply Gem Deck the Halls with Darius Rucker Sweepstakes has opened. Contestants can learn more about how to enter by visiting www.dariusrucker.com/plygem. There will be five lucky winners, one each week, who will win a $250 Visa gift card.

Dow Building Solutions Celebrates 75th Anniversary of STYROFOAM Brand XPS Insulation

Dow Building Solutions (DBS), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., is celebrating the 75th anniversary of STYROFOAM Brand XPS Insulation, which has continued to facilitate sustainability, innovation and community success in the building and construction industry since its discovery in 1941. Dow marked the anniversary while attending the 2016 NAHB International Builders’ Show, a large annual light construction show that brings together the industry’s important global manufacturers and suppliers.

Builders today face a bewildering number of products and technologies promising better building performance. Dow’s portfolio-based approach offers solutions for the entire building envelope, offering energy efficiency that can stand the test of time. STYROFOAM has a long and rich heritage as a sustainable building product, insulating to meeting core thermal, moisture, air and vapor performance requirements through its rigid foam board technology. Over its lifetime, STYROFOAM can help save more than 30 times the energy embodied in it.

STYROFOAM has been part of Dow’s commitment to sustainable chemistry innovations for the last 75 years and will expand this legacy well into the future through continual optimization of building energy efficiency and performance. Dow has been a proud national insulation partner of Habitat for Humanity, with STYROFOAM donations leading Dow’s pledge to the address the need of affordable housing around the globe. More than 2,500 Habitat for Humanity builds in 2015 used Dow products to help homeowners reduce their home’s overall natural gas and electricity usage.

“New possibilities for resilient, energy-efficient and well-designed homes and buildings are being realized in neighborhoods and communities around the world thanks to imagination, science and engineering,” says Tim Lacey, global business director for Dow Building Solutions. “We are proud to offer 75 years of product innovation that addresses the need for long-term value as a sustainable building solution and look forward to improving, innovating and perfecting building envelope science well into the future.”

InterWrap Teams up with Habitat for Humanity to Build Homes

InterWrap teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to build homes and hope in partnership with more than 200 low-income families during Habitat for Humanity’s annual Home Builders Blitz. This was InterWrap’s first collaboration with Habitat, and the company is donating nine skids of RhinoRoof U20, equivalent to more than 500 rolls.

“It’s a great opportunity for professional home builders and suppliers to collaborate and help build homes for families in need,” says Scott Fisher InterWrap’s SE regional sales manager. “Our contribution of RhinoRoof underlayment provides these homes with a secondary layer of roofing protection should the primary roofing fail for any reason temporarily protecting the homeowner’s interior and valued possessions from water damage.”

During the annual building event, Habitat for Humanity recruited and partnered with local professional builders, who in turn provided labor, funding and materials while coordinating the project through its completion. This partnership allows Habitat affiliates to serve more families without the usual tasks of raising funds and recruiting volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity has hosted four national Home Builders Blitz events since 2006, with nearly 1,400 homes having been constructed by construction professionals.

GAF and Habitat for Humanity Partnership Contributes to Building More than 700 Homes

Kicking off a revolutionary program in 2011, GAF committed to a national partnership with Habitat for Humanity, matching its own roofing materials donations with installation services donated by GAF Master Elite and Certified Contractors across the United States. Reaching the three-year mark this summer, the collaboration has contributed to building over 700 homes for families in need.

Over 460 of GAF’s Master Elite and Certified Contractors have signed up for the program, and are working with their local Habitat for Humanity affiliates to provide roofing materials and professional installation for Habitat houses. “We are thrilled not only to be able to offer this contribution to an organization creating affordable housing, but also to be able to reinforce the efforts of our Master Elite and Certified Contractors as they strive to support the communities in which they live and work,” stated Jim Slauson, vice president of Certified Program and Services at GAF.

Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit with more than 1,500 local affiliates in the United States and more than 70 national organizations around the world. The organization has helped to build or repair more than 800,000 houses and serve more than 4 million people worldwide through volunteer labor and donations. Habitat for Humanity homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor into building their Habitat houses and the houses of others, and their monthly mortgage payments are used to build more Habitat houses.

Washington, D.C., Habitat for Humanity Uses 8 Inches of Polyiso on Roof

Six passive townhomes that are part of Habitat for Humanity’s Ivy City community of Northeast Washington are including 8 inches of polyiso insulation on the roof. These passive townhouses are designed to reduce overall energy consumption by 70 percent and heating and cooling demand by 80 to 90 percent.

The six townhouses are being built to meet the Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) Passive House specifications. Founded in 2007, PHIUS is the leading certifier of passive buildings.

“The Ivy City townhouses show the role high-performance insulation plays in the built environment, particularly when it comes to designing homes that are more affordable to operate,” said Jared Blum, president of the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA). “We are proud to be involved with this Habitat for Humanity project that will provide much needed affordable housing in the nation?s capital.”

PIMA member companies—Atlas Roofing, Firestone Building Products, GAF, Hunter Panels, JM, and R-max—donated the polyiso for this project in celebration of the association’s 25th anniversary.

“The passive house model embodies Habitat for Humanity’s vision that all people deserve safe, comfortable, affordable and sustainable housing, and the polyiso insulation contributes to that vision,” said Andrew Modley, production manager, Habitat for Humanity of Washington, D.C. “Passive housing will provide our homeowner families with an ability to consume significantly less energy overall by using passive integrated design, climate appropriate insulation, and airtight construction. These benefits will not only save the homeowners money, but will empower them to create a more sustainable lifestyle.”

Garland Raises Money for Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity

­The Garland Co. Inc. raised more than $54,000 to support the Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity in its effort to provide safe, affordable housing to local families in need.

The approximately 100 employees at Garland¹s headquarters on East 91st Street in Cleveland dedicated the week of May 27-May 30 to raising money in support of Habitat through various fund-raising activities. Meanwhile, Garland’s sales representatives, who are located across the U.S., Canada and the UK, joined in the cause, sending in donations throughout the week.

At the end of the week, funds raised totaled just over $27,000. Inspired by the incredible generosity of its employees, Garland’s Board of Directors announced that the company would match the amount raised, brining the total to $54,173.

“Garland’s generosity of funding and employee time is extremely meaningful. Here is a company that is making a significant investment in its own neighborhood and providing affordable home ownership opportunities for families ready to fulfill that dream,” said John Habat, executive director of Cleveland Habitat. “Garland’s Spirit Week is a tremendous example of corporate philanthropy in action.”

David Sokol, president of Garland Industries, added, “As I watched the employees at our corporate office dig deep in their hearts and pockets to give so generously to a family in need who they didn¹t even know, I felt an extreme sense of pride. Our employees truly value the importance of giving back and continue to demonstrate that year after year.”

In addition to the financial contributions provided by Garland, its corporate employees will be volunteering throughout the summer to rehabilitate a Habitat partner home in Cleveland’s Fairfax neighborhood.