Solar Roof Dynamics Announces Management Additions

Solar Roof Dynamics (SRD) of Davis, Calif., has announced two new additions to their executive management team, Debbie Schrider as its new vice president of sales and Nick Lowrie as its director of operations.

Schrider joins SRD bringing with her 25 years of sales and management experience, most of which was based in residential new construction and the solar industry. With almost 10 years of experience in solar, she had held leadership positions at SolarCity and SunEdison, where she focused on customer acquisition, and One Block Off the Grid, where she helped pioneer remote-based solar sales.

Lowrie comes to SRD with solar operations and design experience and a track record of building high performance operations teams. Most notably, Lowrie spent eight years building the Northern California operations for SolarCity.

“I am elated to bring Debbie Schrider and Nick Lowrie onto our team during a time of growth,” CEO Aaron Nitzkin states. “Their wealth of experience and innovative spirit will bring great results for Solar Roof Dynamics and our Signature Dealer Network.”

Solar Mounting System Features Carbon Steel Finished Frame

The framing of the solar mounting system features a carbon steel finish that is hot dip galvanized per ASTM A 123.

The framing of the solar mounting system features a carbon steel finish that is hot dip galvanized per ASTM A 123.

PHP Systems/Design, a designer and manufacturer of rooftop pipe and equipment support systems, has introduced a solar mounting system.
 
The PHP Solar Panel Mounting System’s base material is made from injection molded high density/high impact polypropylene with UV-inhibitors and antioxidants. The framing features a carbon steel finish that is hot dip galvanized per ASTM A 123. This system addresses height, wind and heat concerns with regard to solar panel installations.
 
The PHP Solar Panel Mounting System is designed to support a variety of solar panels and can be used for any type of roof; from flat roofs to roofs sloped up to 2 in 12. Seismic and high wind applications are available for solar support applications. 

Solar Roof Dynamics Partners With GAF

Solar Roof Dynamics has announced its expansion into the Southern California market with the addition of six new roofing contractors into its Signature Dealer Network of vetted solar roofing installation companies.

“After successfully building out our Signature Dealer network throughout California, the company is now ready to expand nationally, thereby maintaining and solidifying our market position,” explains Aaron Nitzkin, founder and CEO of Solar Roof Dynamics. “Our goal is to bundle solar with roof installations nationwide, optimizing the warranties of both for homeowners and commercial building owners.” The company plans to enter at least five new markets during the first half of 2017, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Texas.

“Our business has been transformed since joining Solar Roof Dynamics’ program in 2015,” states Aaron Weiss, owner of Roofmasters, a roofing contractor based in Suisun, Calif. “Through the support of the team at Solar Roof Dynamics, we now frequently sell and install solar systems at the same time that we are installing new roofs.”

Through a new relationship with GAF, Solar Roof Dynamics will help support GAF’s Solar Elite Contractors, factory-certified “Master Elite” roofing contractors integrating solar into their business.

Consumers across the country continue to have negative experiences going solar due to problems caused by solar companies that do not understand roofing. “About one out of every five residential solar systems have roofing problems caused by inexperienced solar installation companies. Problems that will often lead to roof leaks over time,” explains Nitzkin. “The best time to install solar is when a roof is being installed, and the most qualified contractor to handle this installation is a professional roofing contractor.”

Construction Camera Produces High Resolution Images

The OxBlue 50-MP construction camera produces high resolution images for documenting, managing, and marketing construction projects.

The OxBlue 50-MP construction camera produces high resolution images for documenting, managing, and marketing construction projects.

OxBlue has announced the launch of a 50-MP construction camera, which produces high resolution images for documenting, managing, and marketing construction projects. The camera is one of several enhancements the company has made to its construction camera system.

The 50-MP construction camera uses optical technology to achieve high resolution, resulting in still images with a level of detail and clarity that sets a standard in the industry. Still imagery forms the foundation of the project documentation, management, and marketing capabilities provided by all OxBlue camera systems, including the time-lapse construction movies the company is known for.

The resolution of the 50-MP construction camera enables users to:

  • Zoom in on archived images to inspect construction details.
  • Capture the build and the area surrounding the jobsite in detail.
  • Produce photos and time-lapse videos for use in marketing and presentations.

Earlier this year, OxBlue introduced live video on demand (VOD), newly designed solar equipment, and an update to its construction camera interface.

Live VOD is an optional service that lets clients view jobsite activity in real time. Using monocrystalline technology, the company improved the efficiency and reduced the size and weight of its solar panels and energy-storage batteries, respectively, by 25 percent. The interface update included automatic fit-and-fill of jobsite images on any viewing screen, including mobile devices, computers, and flat-screens.

The launch of the 50-MP construction camera comes approximately one year after the release of the company’s 24-MP camera.

OxBlue construction cameras are part of an integrated system that includes hardware, software, cellular data connection, time-lapse video technology, and professional services.

ATAS International Hosts Architects During Anniversary Conference

ATAS International hosted members of the Society of American Registered Architects during their 60th anniversary conference in Arizona.  Over 35 SARA members attended an educational presentation and toured ATAS’ manufacturing facility in Mesa, earning learning units for both activities.  David Srokose, architectural business development manager at ATAS, presented on sustainable building envelopes, and Dick Bus, president of ATAS, led the plant tour, which was followed by lunch for the guests.
 
During the educational presentation, attendees learned how metal cladding on roofs and walls can contribute to green building objectives, and how metal walls can use sunlight to provide a building with solar air heating.  Cool roof technologies, including UV reflective pigments and above sheathing ventilation, were discussed, as well as how metal roofing can provide a solar ready platform for photovoltaic systems.
 
Dick Bus states, “We were pleased to welcome the SARA members to our Mesa, Ariz., facility while they were in the area for their annual conference.  The plant tour allowed our guests to view the equipment and processes used to fabricate metal components for the building envelope.  All attendees were invited to visit our Allentown, Pa., headquarters, if they are ever in the area.”

Axalta Distinguished Lecture Series Speaker Discusses Artificial Photosynthesis

Professor Daniel G. Nocera, the Patterson Rockwood Professor of Energy at Harvard University, was the honored speaker at this year’s Axalta Distinguished Lecture Series. Axalta Coating Systems, a supplier of liquid and powder coatings, sponsored the event which was hosted by the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania last week. Professor Nocera’s lecture titled, “A Complete Artificial Photosynthesis,” explained his research that led to the development of an artificial device that converts water and carbon dioxide into biomass and liquid fuels using sunlight.

One of the challenges with using solar energy as a source of electricity is the need for a cost effective method to store the sun’s energy. One example of energy storage is photosynthesis, the process whereby plants and other organisms use sunlight to convert water and carbon dioxide into biomass that can be used later, as needed, as a source of fuel. Professor Nocera has mimicked key aspects of this process by creating an artificial leaf.

“We first invented an artificial leaf that can split water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight,” says Professor Nocera. “We then used a bio-engineered bacterium to convert carbon dioxide along with the hydrogen produced from the artificial leaf into biomass and liquid fuels. The hybrid microbial and artificial leaf operate at solar-to-biomass (10.7 percent) and solar-to-fuels (6.2 percent) yields, exceeding the 1 percent yield of natural photosynthesis,” states Professor Nocera.

“At Axalta, we are committed to delivering innovative coatings solutions that protect our customers’ products,” says Dr. Barry Snyder, Axalta senior vice president and chief technology officer. “Our sustainable coating systems benefit stakeholders, including our customers and the communities in which we operate. Professor Nocera’s research has the potential to have an impact by offering a sustainable source of energy. The translation of fundamental research to practical application, as embodied in Professor Nocera’s research, is an element of the collaboration between Axalta and the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania.”

“The Axalta Distinguished Lecture Series provides opportunities for our students and faculty members to interact with scholars in the world,” says Gary A. Molander, department chair and Hirschmann-Makineni Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. “This year, we are delighted to have Professor Nocera share his innovations with us. Professor Nocera’s work exemplifies the opportunities that exist to use fundamental science to create technologies that have broad societal benefits. We look forward to continued collaboration with Axalta in the years ahead.”

Past speakers have included world renowned scientists, including Nobel Prize laureates William Moerner (Chemistry 2014), Robert Grubbs (Chemistry 2005), Ahmed Zewail (Chemistry 1999), Steven Chu (Physics 1997), Harold Kroto (Chemistry 1996), Richard Smalley (Chemistry 1996), George Olah (Chemistry 1994), P.G. de Gennes (Physics 1991), Elias Corey (Chemistry 1990), Thomas Cech (Chemistry 1989), Donald Cram (Chemistry 1987), Jean-Marie Lehn (Chemistry 1987), John Polanyi (Chemistry 1986), Yuan Lee (Chemistry 1986), Roald Hoffmann (Chemistry 1981), and Herbert Brown (Chemistry 1979).

Solar Solution Can Be Used with Third-party Tile Hooks

EcoFasten Solar has released the newest product in its line of solar roof mount solutions: The Tile Hook Flashing was designed specifically for use with third-party tile hooks.

EcoFasten Solar has released the newest product in its line of solar roof mount solutions: The Tile Hook Flashing was designed specifically for use with third-party tile hooks.

EcoFasten Solar has released the newest product in its line of solar roof mount solutions: The Tile Hook Flashing was designed specifically for use with third-party tile hooks. Because it replaces one complete tile, the need for cutting, grinding or replacing of tiles is eliminated. The Tile Hook Flashing is currently available in profiles for flat, S and W tile roofs in mill finish or sierra tan.

A Coastal Home Is Built to Withstand the Severe Weather that Destroyed Its Predecessor

Dave Caldwell doesn’t have to travel into the future to see how a sustainable beach house—a complete rebuild of a home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy—in Westerly, R.I., will survive the next major storm. Half an hour northeast along the coastline, on the ocean side of Narragansett Bay, stands a testament to resiliency, another new home that Caldwell built in October 2012, just two weeks before Sandy swept in.

The Westerly, R.I., coastal home features an asphalt laminate shingle and integrated solar shingle roofing system.

The Westerly, R.I., coastal home features an asphalt laminate shingle and integrated solar shingle roofing system.

Featuring the same asphalt laminate shingle and integrated solar shingle roofing system, the Narragansett Bay home weathered the worst storm to hit the Ocean State in more than half a century, emerging unscathed while 1,000 other coastal Rhode Island properties incurred a combined $35 million in damage. The home’s survival demonstrated the power of construction techniques used to protect against the forces of nature—techniques that Caldwell repeated in the re-creation of the Westerly home.

For Caldwell, the second-generation owner of North Kingstown, R.I.-based Caldwell & Johnson, a design-build firm founded in 1968, the construction industry’s response to Hurricane Sandy only validates an approach to sustainable building that emphasizes long-term value over one-time costs. He says the owners of the Westerly home, a retired couple from South Carolina, were not afraid to put a little money into making the building stout and durable after their previous home was destroyed by the storm. “The goal,” he says, “was to sit and watch the next category 5 hurricane blow through.”

HURRICANE DESTRUCTION AND ITS AFTERMATH

It’s a good thing nobody was at the Westerly home in late October 2012 when 15-foot waves carrying softball-sized stones and tons of sand crashed onto Misquamicut State Beach. The structure there at the time was a bedrock of family tradition, an annual summer destination for the owners and their children and grandchildren. But without insulation to even keep out cold air in winter, it was no match for flooding and gale-force winds. Caldwell describes the storm’s impact in neat and peaceful terms. “After the tidal surge, not much of the house was left,” he says. “Where the living room used to be, there was a 4-foot pile of sand.”

Commissioned to rebuild using the maximum footprint allowed by regulatory agencies, Caldwell designed a flood-resistant foundation using concrete footings and pilings reinforced with rebar and breakaway walls at ground level so the rest of the house will not be compromised by the next big storm. The whole house received airtight insulation, efficient heating and cooling systems, and a third-party-verified air quality measurement that combined to achieve a silver rating by the National Green Building Standard, which is maintained by the National Association of Home Builders, Washington, D.C.

Caldwell gets a lot of customer requests to add rooftop solar panels. Many times he says no because of shading impacts or suboptimal roof orientation that can limit energy production. When site conditions allow for solar, Caldwell usually brings in a subcontractor for the installation. For high-end projects with an aesthetic that requires preserving the architectural integrity of the roofline, Caldwell has his own construction crew, led by foreman Dwayne Smith, install solar shingles that integrate with traditional shingles to form a seam- less roof system. Smith went through a manufacturer’s training program to become a certified roof shingle and solar shingle installer, making Caldwell & Johnson eligible for warranty protection from the supplier and demonstrating to customers that the firm is serious about the product.

Traditional solar panels would not have been suitable for the Westerly beach home, because durability was a principal concern for the client, a retired physicist.

Traditional solar panels would not have been suitable for the Westerly beach home, because durability was a principal concern

Traditional solar panels would not have been suitable for the Westerly beach home, because durability was a principal concern.

“Durability is a key component of sustainable green building,” Caldwell explains. “Oceanfront homes in our region are exposed to some pretty harsh elements throughout the year, including high winds, ice, salt and more. Fortunately, the individual components of the integrated solar system are up to task, and the fastening system allows the entire array to be secured directly to the roof deck as an integral unit.”

Caldwell was able to easily dispel the concern by referring to the Narragansett Bay project that survived Hurricane Sandy, where his team had installed solar shingles for the first time. “That home came through the storm with no problem at all. The solar energy system turned on and hasn’t had a problem since,” he says.

If the conditions in Rhode Island don’t provide enough assurance that solar shingles can withstand the worst that Mother Nature has to offer, Caldwell can also point to an installation he’s put on his own ski house in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, about 4,000 feet above sea level. “If you wanted to test this stuff, that’s getting on the outer edge of the bell curve,” he says. “I wouldn’t put traditional solar panels there. It would be too dangerous. But in pretty harsh conditions, the solar shingles work great.”

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McElroy Metal Announces Website Relaunch

McElroy Metal, a metal roof and wall systems manufacturer serving the construction industry, announces its website relaunch at www.McElroyMetal.com.

McElroy Metal has dedicated sections of the new site to the specific markets it serves: residential, architectural/commercial, post frame, retrofit/recover, green building/solar and insulated metal panels. The site also contains animations highlighting installation sequences and a color visualizer enabling visitors to view their personal homes or businesses with McElroy Metal products and colors. The McElroy University portion of the site has been expanded to feature information on Hands-On Installation Classes, Substrate and Coating Facts, Finish and Substrate Warranty Education and Educational Videos.

ICMA and TSF Launch SolSmart Designation Program

The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and The Solar Foundation (TSF) launched the SolSmart designation program. SolSmart will recognize leading solar cities and counties, as well as empower new communities to advance through no-cost technical assistance.

A core component of the technical assistance program are the SolSmart Advisors, fully-funded temporary staff embedded in up to 40 communities to help each achieve designation. Communities interested in pursuing SolSmart designation, receiving technical assistance, and applying to host an advisor can learn more and take action on SolSmart’s website.

SolSmart is funded by the U.S Department of Energy SunShot Initiative through the Solar Powering America by Recognizing Communities (SPARC) funding opportunity. Over the three-year, federally-funded portion of the program, SolSmart will recognize more than 300 communities that cut red tape around going solar and make it possible for more American homes and businesses to use solar energy to meet their electricity needs.

SolSmart national designation will signal that a community is “open for [solar] business,” helping to attract local economic development and create solar jobs. Attracting new solar businesses can help communities deliver cost savings for solar customers and local governments while new solar installations can help communities achieve their climate goals.

“Our city has worked hard to make solar more affordable and easier for our residents and small businesses to install,” says City Manager Scott Wingerson of Gladstone, Mo. “We have seen firsthand how our actions have led to considerable social and economic benefits locally. The solar panels that have been installed at our water treatment plant have served to partially offset the annual utility costs at this facility. Solar gives us another tool to help manage operational costs. SolSmart presents cities and counties nationwide with an opportunity to realize similar benefits, and I encourage every community to join Gladstone and get involved.”

The SolSmart program seeks to address solar “soft costs,” which are business processes or administrative costs that can increase the time and money it takes to install a solar energy system. Local governments are in a unique position to reduce these costs and to promote the use of solar in their jurisdictions.

SolSmart offers three levels of designation: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Communities can earn points to achieve designation tiers by taking action across eight categories. To achieve designation, communities must meet minimum requirements pertaining to two main categories: permitting, as well as planning, zoning and development regulations. SolSmart communities then have flexibility in achieving the remaining points toward designation in six special-focus categories.

“The role of local governments in building stronger and more resilient communities has never been greater,” says ICMA Executive Director Robert J. O’Neill Jr. “Cities, towns and counties consume a large portion of the nation’s electricity, which is why they can also have a significant impact on the financial, environmental, and economic health of the country by adopting solar energy technologies. The SolSmart program will recognize that impact.”

ICMA will lead the effort to designate communities under SolSmart by reviewing applications and determining whether a community meets the criteria for designation. Communities that apply and do not reach the base designation level will be referred to TSF and their team to receive no-cost technical assistance to help the community qualify for designation. The SolSmart technical assistance program includes the opportunity for communities to host fully-funded temporary staff called SolSmart Advisors. These program ambassadors will travel to communities selected through an open, competitive process and provide personalized, hands-on assistance to help each host community achieve SolSmart designation.

“The Solar Foundation and its technical assistance partners have extensive experience working with communities to implement best practices,” says Andrea Luecke, president and executive director of The Solar Foundation. “We look forward to collaborating with local governments on SolSmart to tackle soft cost barriers and establish robust solar markets. Additionally, we are excited to roll out the SolSmart Advisors program, and encourage all communities pursuing designation to apply to host an Advisor by mid-June.”

ICMA will be supported by the National Civic League, Home Innovation Research Labs, Meister Consultants Group, and TSF. Joining TSF on the technical assistance team are the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Meister Consultants Group, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties, the Solar Energy Industries Association, the Electric Power Research Institute, the Regulatory Assistance Project, and Brooks Engineering.