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.”

Waterproofing System Provides a Sustainable, Durable Product

SOPREMA Inc. has developed MAMMOUTH Neo.

SOPREMA Inc. has developed MAMMOUTH Neo.

SOPREMA Inc. has developed MAMMOUTH Neo, an eco-friendly, high-performing waterproofing system developed with new technology to provide a sustainable, durable product with increased longevity and UV stability.

MAMMOUTH Neo is comprised of an innovative and environmentally friendly elastomer made from organically sourced raw materials derived from 75 percent canola oil, using 30 percent less non-renewable fossil resources than traditional membranes. This high-quality composition allows the system to withstand the weathering elements longer, slowing down the aging process and contributing to a healthier building environment.

MAMMOUTH Neo system consists of two ultra-thin, ultra-lightweight and easy-to-install layers, reducing time and strain spent on the job. The system contains MAMMOUTH Neo Base SI, a self-adhered first layer and MAMMOUTH Neo Cap, a self-protected second layer, to provide the assurance and durability of a redundant system.

MAMMOUTH Neo is designed for new construction and renovation projects. MAMMOUTH Neo can be applied to concrete, wood or steel substrates. Tensile and wind resistance tests conducted on MAMMOUTH Neo resulted in a maximum permissible depression value equal to 4,989 Pascals (Pa).

A Florida Home Educates Homeowners and Building Professionals and Green Building and Energy Efficiency

Many people visiting Shalimar, Fla., don’t want to miss one of the town’s attractions: a sprawling European-style waterfront estate on Lorraine Bayou. Featuring a 4,000-square-foot main house; 1,600-square-foot carriage house; and 1,200-square-foot guesthouse, the estate offers luxurious finishes and phenomenal views all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

The EcoSmart Demonstration Home in Shalimar, Fla., is built for durability and energy independence. It features a Gerard Roofing stone-coated barrel-vault metal roofing system that slashes energy costs and adds visual appeal.

The EcoSmart Demonstration Home in Shalimar, Fla., is built for durability and energy independence. It features a Gerard Roofing stone-coated barrel-vault metal roofing system that slashes energy costs and adds visual appeal.


But these qualities only hint at its uniqueness. The structures are built to be highly secure against intrusion, resistant to storms sweeping off the Gulf and able to create their own electricity. All interior lighting, exterior lighting and dock lights are LED lighting fixtures using minimal electricity.

The crowning touch is a stone-coated, barrel-vault metal roofing system that not only resists 170-mph winds, but saves energy, as well. No wonder the electric bill for this three-structure estate is $47 and its gas bill is $14 per month.

Model Estate

This estate, the EcoSmart Demonstration Home, is about 50 miles east of Pensacola. This is the second eco-friendly showcase house I have built; the first eco-friendly showcase house was built in nearby Destin. The Shalimar home is open to visitors as a working educational model of an entirely green residence.

It’s a home but actually set up as a business. I can educate people about the top green products, teaching them about how they work and the benefits of saving energy and money. The demonstration home is designed to allow us to educate people first, and then talk about products.

The crowning touch is a stone-coated, barrel-vault metal roofing system that not only resists 170-mph winds, but saves energy, as well. No wonder the electric bill for this three-structure estate is $47 and its gas bill is $14 per month.

The crowning touch is a stone-coated, barrel-vault metal roofing system that not only resists 170-mph winds, but saves energy, as well. No wonder the electric bill for this three-structure estate is $47 and its gas bill is $14 per month.


Located at 781 Boulevard of the Champions, the EcoSmart Demonstration Home is set near the water on a “point lot” overlooking Lorraine Bayou with extraordinary waterway accessibility to Destin, Choctawhatchee Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The home is perfect for the site because we have views of everything. On the point, there are barges and sailing clubs coming up. We’re looking behind the bayou to Destin, and behind that is the Gulf. We have great breezes off the Gulf and bayou. We get the trade winds up here; that’s the great thing about this part of Florida.

EcoSmart aims its sustainable products message not just at industry professionals but environmentally minded homebuyers, as well. We’re teaching industry professionals, like architects, probuilders, residential and commercial developers, and consumers interested in eco-friendly construction and sustainability. We also teach university and school groups. We have had officials and executives of Southern Company, which is called Gulf Power here, come by several times to advise us. They’re very excited because the home is green.

Visitors aren’t required to pay an admission fee, but there are requirements to touring the EcoSmart Demonstration Home. It’s open by appointment only to people who have a current project and aren’t just looking. We ask people to bring their builders and architects with them because if we’re educating all of them at once, we’re saving time. We’re getting them started and thinking along the same lines.

Building the Home

Before construction commenced on the EcoSmart Demonstration Home in2009, my team undertook a full year of site work. That endeavor included the installation of an 11-foot-high, 210-foot-long seawall and stepped-down concrete footers 2-feet wide and 2- to 4-feet deep for security purposes.

PHOTOS: Gerard Roofing

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The Innovative Wood Products Collaborative Launches Website

The Innovative Wood Products Collaborative announces the launch of its website. The new site is the product of a collaboration between Washington and Oregon sustainable forestry managers, wood products manufacturers, conservationists, academics and architects to highlight the latest information about using innovative wood products from sustainably managed forests.

Wood—the only building material that is grown by the power of the sun—is a renewable resource that has a low carbon and energy footprint. Using wood from sustainably managed forests will significantly reduce carbon emissions from the building sector.

According to a Yale University study, substituting wood for more energy-intensive building materials would reduce global carbon dioxide emissions by 14 to 31 percent because wood consumes much less energy than concrete or steel construction.

“Wood construction is incredibly fast and effective, with the added benefit of producing a building that stores carbon rather than emitting it,” says Canadian architect Michael Green. “The only way to achieve a net-zero building is to build with wood.”

As timber grows, it soaks up carbon dioxide through photosynthesis, and that carbon is stored in wood products. This creates a carbon sink that helps mitigate climate change. About half of the dry weight of wood is stored carbon. In contrast, 16 percent of global fossil-fuel consumption goes into manufacturing steel, concrete and bricks.

“This collaboration between Oregon and Washington sustainable forest growers and manufacturers is capturing the recent wave of recognition among architects, builders and conservation groups that wood products have real carbon benefits, and can be used in tall buildings,” says Mark Doumit, executive director of the Washington Forest Protection Association.

“Wood products are carbon-negative because they sequester and store carbon,” says Joseph Mayo, a designer at Mahlum Architects in Seattle. “There is no other natural building material like wood. Increasing the use of wood also supports local jobs and industry.”

“The forest landowners and lumber manufacturers in the Pacific Northwest are the largest supplier of wood building materials in the nation,” says Paul Barnum, executive director of the Oregon Forest Resources Institute. “Using those wood products in new and better ways will benefit the environment and the economies of Oregon and Washington.”

Wood’s strength-to-weight ratio is comparable to concrete and steel. Engineered wood products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), glue-laminated timber (glulam) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) make it possible to build taller wood structures. These mass timber construction materials are highly fire-resistant and cost-effective. Prefabricated CLT panels can also be installed quickly, speeding up construction time.

“As global demand for wood continues to increase with population, we need to be sourcing our timber from sustainably managed forests,” says Thomas Maness, dean of the Oregon State University College of Forestry. “The most environmentally sustainable place to grow wood is right here in the Pacific Northwest.”

Eneref Institute Launches Natural Interior Daylight Initiative

Eneref Institute, an advocate for sustainable development, announces the launch of its Natural Interior Daylight (NID) initiative to encourage greater use of sunlight as a primary light source in homes and buildings.

Expert advisors to the Natural Interior Daylight initiative include three of the nation’s most influential lighting designers: Nancy Clanton, Jim Benya and Chip Israel.

The initiative launched a virtual campus featuring a repository of advocacy reports demonstrating successful applications of natural interior daylight in homes and buildings. Eneref advocacy reports draw on the expertise of advisors as well as testimonial interviews with end-user customers to provide a uniquely authentic, real-world perspective on a variety of technologies and solutions.

In addition, Eneref Institute published a report in LD+A, the journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society, outlining the current market obstacles to daylighting.

Increased human wellness and productivity benefits in spaces prioritizing daylight have been confirmed by three evidence-based Heschong Mahone studies—findings echoed in Eneref Institute advocacy reports.

“Daylighting should be considered in any high-performance building,” says Nancy Clanton, president of Clanton & Associates, a provider of sustainable lighting design.

The use of interior daylight such as energy-efficient windows and skylights—in place of or in conjunction with traditional electric lighting—can significantly reduce a building’s energy load. Lighting represents almost 20 percent of global electricity consumption.

“Whenever we work with clients, our team always encourages daylighting because it makes sense for both energy efficiency and the overall well-being of occupants,” explains Deborah Burnett, U.S. lighting designer and wellness SME principal of Benya Burnett Consultancy.

“We’re delighted to participate in Eneref Institute’s independent initiative because it will benefit our entire daylighting industry,” says John Lawton, electrical engineer and global product skylight manager for VELUX, the world’s largest manufacturer of residential skylights.

“Rooftop prismatic skylights offer facility owners an excellent, low-cost opportunity to enhance the quality of the interior lighting when coupled with proper installation and maintenance,” explains John Godwin, vice president of CentiMark, a commercial roofing and flooring contractor.

“Sustainability is just good design,” according to Chip Israel, an internationally recognized lighting designer and president of the Lighting Design Alliance.

The benefits of natural interior daylight outweigh the investment; as sustainable practices grow more common, its use in homes and buildings will continue to increase, according to Seth Warren Rose, founding director of Eneref Institute.

“You don’t need a degree in illuminating engineering to know that a room with a view—one with windows that lets in natural light—is what people want. Inherently, we just know,” explains Rose.

For more information about the daylighting market, see the Eneref Institute report “Seven Market Obstacles of Natural Interior Daylight.”

Ecotech Institute Clean Jobs Index: 1.2 Million Green Energy Jobs Posted in First Quarter

Ecotech Institute’s Clean Jobs Index reported more than one million green energy job postings across the nation in the first quarter of 2015. The Clean Jobs Index classifies clean energy jobs based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics description, which says that clean jobs are jobs in businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources. The classification also includes jobs in which workers’ duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources.

Ecotech Institute, a school dedicated solely to renewable energy and sustainability, created the Clean Jobs Index to provide objective information about renewable energy jobs and to compare states’ use and development of clean and sustainable energy.

“As more businesses look for ways to conserve energy and renewables continue to gain traction, more jobs are becoming available,” says Chris Gorrie, Ecotech Institute’s president. “States have come to see clean energy sources as an important piece of infrastructure, opening the door to great opportunities in renewable energy.”

Highlights from the Clean Jobs Index Q1 2015

    Number of U.S. Clean Jobs Postings in Q1 2015:

  • 1.2 million
    Top three states with the most clean jobs openings:

  • California – 131,215 job openings
  • Texas – 90,281 job openings
  • New York – 71,748 job openings
    States with the highest rise in clean jobs openings, compared to Q1 2014:

  • Rhode Island
  • New York
  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • Maryland
    States with most clean jobs per 100,000 people:

  • North Dakota
  • Iowa
  • Rhode Island
  • Colorado
  • Wyoming
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Indiana
  • South Dakota

Ecotech Institute’s Clean Jobs Index is an aggregation of statistics by state. Although it may indicate a greater possibility for employment in the clean economy sector, the Clean Jobs Index in no way indicates the presence or the promise of any specific job opportunities. Data for the index is gathered regularly from independent research entities including: American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency, U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Green Building Council.

Green Roof Provides Learning Opportunities at the University of Iowa’s Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building

Established just 59 days after Iowa became a state in 1847, the University of Iowa, Iowa City, boasts a number of firsts. In 1855, it became the first U.S. public university to admit men and women; at that time, its enrollment consisted of 124 students—41 of which were women. In 1873, it was the first school to grant a law degree to a woman. In 1895, it became the first university to place an African American on a varsity sports team.

As such, the university’s new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building was designed and built with sustainability in mind. PHOTO: Roof Top Sedums LLC

The university’s new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building was designed and built with sustainability in mind. PHOTO: Roof Top Sedums LLC


In more recent years, the university has strived to lead via its environmental efforts. As a Green Power Partner of the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the university pledges to reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation through the use of renewables. In 2010, it established its first sustainability plan—2020 Vision UIowa Sustainability Targets, which contains the following goals:

  • Become a Net-negative Energy Consumer
  • Green Our Energy Portfolio
  • Decrease Our Production of Waste
  • Reduce the Carbon Impact of Transportation
  • Increase Student Opportunities to Learn and Practice Principles of Sustainability
  • Support and Grow Interdisciplinary Research in Sustainability-focused and Related Areas
  • Develop Partnerships and Advance Collaborative Initiatives, both Academic and Operational

Among the University of Iowa’s strategies to achieve its sustainability goals is ensuring all new construction and major renovations on campus achieve a minimum LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington.

The 200,000-square-foot, 6-story building, which officially opened in October 2014, boasts many environmentally friendly attributes.

The 200,000-square-foot, 6-story building, which officially opened in October 2014, boasts many environmentally friendly attributes. PHOTO: Scott Nagel


As such, the university’s new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building was designed and built with sustainability in mind. The 200,000-square-foot, 6-story building, which officially opened in October 2014, boasts many environmentally friendly attributes, including glow-emitting sealants, paints, carpet and other materials; water-efficient landscaping; and recycled content and regional materials. It also achieves an-other university first: three green roofs, one of which provides students the opportunity to grow medicinal plants.

Opting for Trays

Des Moines, Iowa-based landscape architecture firm Confluence has been completing projects at the University of Iowa for many years through its Iowa offices—Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Confluence was hired by the project’s architect of record, Rohrbach Associates PC Architects, Iowa City, to complete landscaping around and on top of the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building in the form of three green roofs that total approximately 6,440 square feet. Despite the building’s consider-able roof area, the design team opted to install the green roofs on lower roof areas upon which building occupants would be looking. The rest of the roof cover is a reflective membrane system.

Confluence provided the layout for a modular green roof on the three distinctive roof areas. Patrick Alvord, PLA, RA, LEED AP, a principal in Confluence’s Cedar Rapids office, notes the chosen tray system was off-the-rack, which is what made it appealing to him and his colleagues. “We spent a lot of time talking to the manufacturer and they were just great to work with,” Alvord says. “We had a number of case studies of work they had done in the Chicagoland area that had proven very successful, so we had a very high level of comfort right out of the gate.”

Alvord opted to use the 6-inch-deep tray model because it would provide some flexibility in the plant materials that could be specified. “We were able to specify different plant materials in the plan of the roof to coordinate with shade, densities and location,” he says. “In areas where the roof would be highly visible from floors above, we did some patterning with the plants. In areas where we had the opportunity to go deep, we planted deeper-rooting plants that will grow taller and provide a denser plant palette.”

The plants are a mix of native and adaptive Iowa plants, as well as recommendations from the green-roof supplier. “It’s a mix of perennials, grasses and forbs, ranging from sedums to liatris to a number of different things,” Alvord notes.

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Boral Roofing’s Design Center Showcases Sustainable Concrete and Clay Roofing Systems

Boral Roofing LLC, a provider of sustainable clay and concrete roof tile solutions, opened its Design Center in Phoenix, Ariz. A facility for the showcase of Boral Roofing’s durable, earth-friendly roof tile product line, the Design Center will also facilitate American Institute of Architects (AIA) CEU courses and product training learning sessions for professionals in the building industry.

Boral Roofing’s Design Center offers visitors the opportunity to explore and learn about the company’s sustainable roof tile products. The facility showcases a range of options, including concrete and clay solutions across a range of profiles and colors, offering a range of options to complement any architectural style along with superb curb appeal. Boral Roofing’s tile systems are recognized for their durability, low maintenance, and long-life benefits, as well as their earth-friendly qualities including natural geologic materials content, green manufacturing processes, recyclability and energy efficiency.

The Design Center will also offer AIA CEU courses for the continuing education of industry professionals such as builders, architects and contractors. One course—“Sustainable Green Building with Clay and Concrete Roof Tile”—will be offered regularly at the Design Center. Participants will earn credit in the “Sustainable Design” and the “Health, Safety and Human Welfare” categories, while learning about clay and concrete roof tile solutions.

Membrane System Reflects Sunlight to Reduce Impact of IR Rays

Kemperol Reflect 2K FR, a cold, liquid-applied reinforced cool roofing system that can improve building energy efficiency, was introduced by Kemper System America Inc.

Kemperol Reflect 2K FR, a cold, liquid-applied reinforced cool roofing system that can improve building energy efficiency, was introduced by Kemper System America Inc.

Kemperol Reflect 2K FR, a cold, liquid-applied reinforced cool roofing system that can improve building energy efficiency, was introduced by Kemper System America Inc.

The bright white surface helps reflect sunlight and reduce the impact of infrared (IR) rays that can tax building cooling systems.

The easy-to-apply, fully-reinforced membrane is applied the same way as Kemper System’s Kemperol 2K-PUR solvent- and odor-free system, but the liquid waterproofing pours out white and dries to a bright white finish. Because no topcoat is necessary, labor costs and installation time are reduced.

The cool roof resin membrane system consists of 70 percent renewable resources, is fire rated for Class-A assemblies, and is odor-free and low-VOC.

Kemperol Reflect 2K FR extends Kemper System’s efforts to support sustainable design. It works for exposed roofs where reflectivity can make a major impact on building energy demands, and it offers many of the same advantages as the Kemperol 2K-PUR system, popular for ‘Green Roofs’ and ‘Blue Roofs’.

The product was tested in Europe and proven valuable on ‘cool roofs’ (also known as ‘white roofs’) especially in warmer climates and areas with above average sunshine.

Both Kemperol systems are also both eligible for LEED credits under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program.

Kemperol membrane systems fully adhere to substrates, and are self-flashing and self-terminating for easy installation and edge-to-edge protection. They can seal roof perimeters, multiple penetrations and virtually any architectural detail, with extended-warranty protection. They are fully reinforced with 165 polyester fleece which absorbs the resin and can achieve proper membrane thickness in a single layer.

Copper Development Association Names President

Thomas S. Passek has been named president of the Copper Development Association (CDA) effective February 1, 2015. He succeeds Andrew Kireta Sr., who retired this January after 36 years with the organization.

Passek brings nearly three decades of metals industry and association management experience to CDA. He was most recently the managing director of the ASM International (formerly the American Society of Metals), an organization that serves metallurgists, materials professionals and managers worldwide.

Passek also served as the executive director of The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), where he worked with standards-setting bodies including ASME, ASTM and ISO TAG groups. He is a member of the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives as well as the American Society of Association Executives.

“Thom’s significant experience makes him a strong choice to lead CDA,” says Stephen Higgins, CDA chairman. “I am confident that through his demonstrated ability to successfully lead a large professional association, Passek will continue to advance the strength and influence of CDA.”

The Copper Development Association is a key trade association of the North American copper industry, with the objective of influencing the use of copper and copper alloys through precompetitive research, market development/promotion, and education, as well as technical and end-user support. CDA is committed to promoting the proper use of copper materials in sustainable, efficient applications for business, industry and the home.