“Green is real to building owners today,” said Dr. James Hoff, Director of Research for the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing in Washington, D.C. He detailed ways contractors could use green programs and incentives to build their businesses in his session titled “Roofing Green.”
Property managers fear they’ll lose rents if their buildings aren’t green, according to Hoff. “There’s a real opportunity out there to meet those needs,” he said. “Build your unique selling proposition for the future based on green, and use green to develop leadership in the next generation of roofing contractors.”
He pointed to several environmentally friendly roofing opportunities including high R-value roofs, cool roofs, rooftop energy production, daylighting, storm water management and roofing material management.
He urged attendees to become known as the cool roof expert in their market. “Know the impact of the local climate, and know the impact of electricity rates, especially peak rates,” he said. “Understand how roof reflectivity is measured and the differences between initial and aged values. Provide an energy analysis with every roof quote using the Cool Roof Calculator. It’s a free tool.”
“We’re at a tipping point” when it comes to solar power, according to Hoff. “The only thing missing for solar to take off is that we don’t have much of a financial market right now,” he said. “It’s still healing."
Understanding local incentives can be the key to selling, noted Hoff, who pointed out that the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency is online at www.dsireusa.org. He noted that there currently is a $300 federal incentive for the installation of residential skylights. “A skylight should be part of every re-roof project,” he said.
With the country’s aging infrastructure, storm water management is a key concern in some parts of the country. “Understand water management in your market,” Hoff stated. “Do you have a combined sewer system? Is the city council beginning to sweat?”
He also outlined options for recycling roofing material and the importance of managing roof assets. “Maintenance is the icing on the green cake. It’s green if it extends life. You should be selling your maintenance programs as sustainable projects.”