Craig Silvertooth is the Executive Director for the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing (CEIR), an organization dedicated to promoting the development and use of environmentally responsible roof systems. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the center is establishing a forum that draws together the entire roofing industry into the common cause of advancing environmentally friendly, high-performance roof systems.
He was on hand at Best of Success to update attendees on the CEIR, discuss ways to measure sustainable buildings, and detail some of the rooftop energy strategies that could help contractors increase their business.
Calling the Center “the leading information resource for roofing, energy and the environment," Silvertooth spotlighted key programs such as:
• Roof Point, a new guideline and rating system for the selection of roof systems to maximize energy efficiency and minimize environmental impact.
• RISE (Roof Integration of Solar Energy), a certification program for roofing contractors installing solar systems, in development in conjunction with the NRCA.
• Excellence in Design Award, an annual recognition program honoring innovation in roofing.
Silvertooth explored three strategies for measuring building sustainability:
1. Carbon neutral buildings, in which the carbon footprint is offset by clean energy production (on or off site) and carbon sequestration (on site or off site).
2. Zero energy buildings, in which all energy used is clean energy generated on site.
3. Net zero energy building, in which all carbon-based energy used is offset by clean energy production.
Net zero energy buildings get their name from the fact that the amount of external energy needed minus the amount of on-site energy used equals zero. Net zero energy is a desirable strategy because it has a simple definition and requires a strong mix of energy efficiency and clean energy production. “The trend today is toward net zero energy building versus carbon neutral buildings” Silvertooth said.
Net zero roofing opportunities include roofs with high R-values, cool roofs, daylighting, and rooftop solar and wind systems, and Silvertooth urged roofing contractors to become experts in these technologies. “There are a lot of people on roofs who have no business being on roofs - electricians, landscape contractors, solar integrators. They don’t have our safety record,” Silvertooth said.
“The roofing professional is critical to maintaining roof watertightness and continuous operations; maintaining the roof warranty; and ensuring that building codes and safety regulations are met.”