In preparation for this month’s edition of Roofing Contractor, I searched the web to see how roofing companies across the country are responding to the growing interest in daylighting. After entering “roof daylighting” in the search engine, I was quickly directed to over a dozen roofing contractors actively promoting daylighting as a valuable service for their customers. Here’s a sampling of what these contractors said about the value of daylighting:
- “Daylighting reduces or eliminates the need for artificial lighting during the day, saving thousands in energy costs.”
- “Daylighting offers a rapid return on investment along with numerous tax incentives and utility rebates.”
- “Daylighting not only saves energy but improves productivity and employee satisfaction.”
- “By cutting down on the energy needed to light your building, daylighting reduces greenhouse gases, water and air pollution.”
Overall, this is a solid marketing message that should appeal to many different building owners. After all, who wouldn’t want to save money, live and work better, and help the environment? But these market-savvy contractors don’t stop with the basic advantages of daylighting. They also make a convincing argument that they provide the best choice to deliver these benefits:
- “It takes skilled roofing professionals to assure your skylights are installed correctly and your roofing warranty is not voided.”
- “We partner with the leading manufacturers of daylighting equipment to make sure you get the best daylighting system for your specific needs.”
- “We’re with you through the entire process, from initial consultation and design to ongoing maintenance to make sure you get the most from your investment.”
Not only is daylighting a solid investment, but the roofing contractor is the best resource for the skill, connections and long-term presence needed to make the most of that investment. With a roofing contractor, you get someone who knows the entire roofing system and can make sure no unforeseen problems spoil an otherwise no-brainer investment. And with so many roof system manufacturers now integrating daylighting equipment into their warranty coverage, the licensed roofing contractor is the logical choice to cover the entire daylighting sale. As the “go-to” source for annual inspections and emergency repairs, roofing contractors can effectively and economically make long-term daylighting maintenance an integral part of any annual roof service agreements.
Hopefully, I’ve gotten you interested in learning more about daylighting and how it can help your business. To learn more about daylighting, the following free web sites offer a great place to start:
The Whole Building Design Guide: Daylighting. Developed and maintained by the National Institute of Science and Technology, this free online design guide is an excellent starting point to learn about daylighting. (www.wbdg.org/resources/daylighting.php).
University of Wisconsin Daylighting Collaborative. The Daylighting Collaborative is a one-stop shop where you can learn about daylighting training seminars and design tools available throughout the country. (www.daylighting.org).
Energy Star: Windows, Doors and Skylights. TheEnergy Star site, maintained by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides everything you need to know about energy ratings and federal incentives for skylights. (www.energystar.gov).
Energy Design Resources: SkyCalc™. Skycalc is a free and easy-to-use spreadsheet tool that can be used to determine the best skylight design and placement that optimizes net lighting and HVAC savings for different climates. (www.energydesignresources.com/resources/software-tools/skycalc.aspx).
Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE). This database, maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy, provides state-by-state information on tax incentives and public utility rebates for daylighting and other energy-saving technologies. www.dsireusa.org).
I hope the information in this month’s column will spark your interest in the business potential of daylighting, and perhaps the next time I conduct a web search for “roof daylighting,” I’ll find your company listed.