Tag Archives: green builder

Designing a Natural Pool with Fish Habitat

Natural Pool Design Trees 1 b

Designing a Natural Pool with additional fish habitat area for the Sustainable Hemp Home Series.

Top View Natural Pool Design with Fish Habitat
Top View Natural Pool Design with Fish Habitat

Since the Hemp Home Designs are all about Sustainability.  Why wouldn’t the pool be as well and while we are at building a natural pool we might as well incorporate a fish habitat into the natural pool design.  This will allow the pool to serve as a food source in addition to the entertainment value.

Birdseye view Natural Swimming Pool Design
Birdseye view Natural Swimming Pool Design

Tips for natural pools supplied by Mother Earth News

Design Information

  • Reserving at least 50 percent of your pool’s surface area for shallow plants, either at one end or in a ring around the sides, eliminates the need for chlorine and expensive filters and pumps. You’ll want to separate the swimming area of your pool and the filtration area, or plant zone (see the illustration in the image gallery).
  • The water needs to circulate continuously for the plants’ roots to cleanse the pool. You also may need to aerate the water so the water organisms’ oxygen needs are met.
Without adequate oxygen, your pool could become stagnant, harboring odoriferous anaerobic bacteria.
  • Besides cleaning the water and making your pool beautiful to behold, the shallow plant zone warms the water quickly and provides habitat for frogs and many invertebrates. They’ll appreciate the shallow water for breeding grounds and repay the favor by eating mosquito larvae.

  • A rim within an inch of the water’s surface keeps plants in their place but allows water from the swimming area to move to the plant zone for filtering, As water passes through the fibrous root structure of the plants, bacteria concentrated on the plants’ roots act as a biological filter, removing contaminants and excess nutrients in the water. Decomposer organisms, also found in the plants’ root zones, consume the bacteria, effectively eliminating underwater waste buildup.


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Saving a Deck from the Landfill – Part 1

Deck Repair by Scotty-Scotts ContractingSt Louis Renewable Energy

Because the Deck was not built to current Building Codes the St Louis Building Code Department required:

“Bring the Deck to Current Building Codes or Tear it Down”

  1. Structural Site Inspection and Documentation of Needed Repairs of the Deck by an Architectural Engineer,

  2. Obtain a Repair Permit (based on the Engineers findings) for the needed repairs,

  3. Structurally reinforce the existing deck to the Suggestions made by the Architectural Engineer,

  4. Repair other areas that are in disrepair

  5. Have the added “Structural Work” Inspected by the St Louis Building Code Official

  6. Power Wash and Paint

  7. Final Inspection by the St Louis Building Code Official and Property Owner

 Day 1 Work Photos

  • Add ½ in by 8in Lag Bolts at 16in OC at Joist House Connection to existing 3/8 in Lag Bolts
Add ½ in by 8in Lag Bolts at 16in OC at Joist House Connection to existing 3/8 in Lag Bolts, Scotts Contracting, St Louis Renewable Energy
  • Additional Photo of Added Lag Bolts to Joist Wall Connection
Additional Photo of Added Lag Bolts to Joist Wall Connection
  • Lag Bolts at 16in OC the Entire Length of the Joist
Lag Bolts at 16in OC the Entire Length of the Joist
  • Temporary Support for Safety and to make sure the Deck Stays True and Plumb while we added the Double 2×8 Main Support Beam
  • Note: I don’t really think the Deck would have collapsed onto the crew while working on the Main Support but for Peace of Mind I went ahead and installed a Temporary 2×4 Post and Beam.
Temporary Support for Safety
  • Note: Simpson Strong Tie Connector- Post Beam Connection on 2 Center Posts
  • Outer Post utilize 2- 1/2 x 8in Bolt, Nut, Washer
Simpson Strong Tie Connector- Post Beam Connection on 2 Center Posts

Day 2 Work Photos

  • Upper Stairs and New Deck Boards
  • 3- 2×12 Stair Stringers
  • 7 3/4in Risers
  • 10 in Tread
Upper Stairs and New Deck Boards
  • Upper Stairs
  • New Deck Boards
  • New Upper Railing
Upper Stairs,New Deck Boards,New Upper Railing
  • Removing Lower Stair Case
Removing Lower Stair Case
  • Adding 2×8 to Existing Double 2×8 Joist- 3 Total 2×8- Combination of 16 Galvanized Nails, Screws, Glued, and 2-1/2 x 8in Bolt, Nut, Washer
Adding 2×8 to Existing Double 2×8 Joist- 3 Total 2×8- Combination of 16 Galvanized Nails, Screws, Glued, and 2-1/2 x 8in Bolt, Nut, Washer

Scotty-Scotts Contracting, St Louis Renewable Energy

Day 3 Photos will post in the next few days or click here to view complete project photos at Scotts Contracting Photo Album

Air Sealing a Ceiling Electrical Junction Box

CAD Design-Weatherize-Insulate-Fire Block-Electrical Junction Box

Air Sealing Ceiling Electrical Junction Box
CAD Diagram explains how to Build and Air Tight Electrical Junction Box located in most Attics

Sealing Air Leaks

Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter and can waste a lot of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal, and weatherstrip all seams, cracks, and openings to the outside. You can save on your heating and cooling bill by reducing the air leaks in your home.

Hint: Use Fire Rated: 5/8″Fire Rated Drywall or Sheetrock with Fire Proof Caulking to Create the Air Tight Seal

Fire Proof /Air Tight Electrical Junction Box Cover used in Attics

Tips for Sealing Air Leaks

re-posted from:http://www.energysavers.gov/tips/insulation_sealing.cfm

Pie chart shows how air escapes from a typical home: 31% floors, ceiling, walls; 15% ducts; 14% fireplace; 13% plumbing penetrations, 11% doors; 10% windows; 4% fans and vents; 2% electric outlets.How Does the Air Escape?
Air infiltrates into and out of your home through every hole and crack. About one-third of this air infiltrates through openings in your ceilings, walls, and floors.
  • First, test your home for air tightness. On a windy day, carefully hold a lit incense stick or a smoke pen next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing, or weatherstripping.
  • Caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.
  • Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
  • Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
  • Look for dirty spots in your insulation, which often indicate holes where air leaks into and out of your house. You can seal the holes with low-expansion spray foam made for this purpose.
  • Look for dirty spots on your ceiling paint and carpet, which may indicate air leaks at interior wall/ceiling joints and wall/floor joists. These joints can be caulked.
  • Install storm windows over single-pane windows or replace them with more efficient windows, such as double-pane. See Windows on page 18 for more information.
  • When the fireplace is not in use, keep the flue damper tightly closed. A chimney is designed specifically for smoke to escape, so until you close it, warm air escapes—24 hours a day!
  • For new construction, reduce exterior wall leaks by installing house wrap, taping the joints of exterior sheathing, and comprehensively caulking and sealing the exterior walls.
  • Use foam sealant around larger gaps around windows, baseboards, and other places where warm air may be leaking out.
  • Kitchen exhaust fan covers can keep air from leaking in when the exhaust fan is not in use. The covers typically attach via magnets for ease of replacement.
  • Replacing existing door bottoms and thresholds with ones that have pliable sealing gaskets is a great way to eliminate conditioned air leaking out from underneath the doors.
  • Fireplace flues are made from metal, and over time repeated heating and cooling can cause the metal to warp or break, creating a channel for hot or cold air loss. Inflatable chimney balloons are designed to fit beneath your fireplace flue during periods of non-use. They are made from several layers of durable plastic and can be removed easily and reused hundreds of times. Should you forget to remove the balloon before making a fire, the balloon will automatically deflate within seconds of coming into contact with heat.
Cutaway house illustration showing areas of home where air leaks. Refer to caption for list.Sources of Air Leaks in Your Home
Areas that leak air into and out of your home cost you lots of money. Check the areas listed below.

  1. Dropped ceiling
  2. Recessed light
  3. Attic entrance
  4. Sill plates
  1. Water and furnace flues
  2. All ducts
  3. Door frames
  4. Chimney flashing
  1. Window frames
  2. Electrical outlets and switches
  3. Plumbing and utility access
Scotts Contracting is available to assist you in improving your Home or Business Energy Demands.  Please use this form to Contact Scotty, Scotts Contracting to schedule a FREE Energy Analysis for your Property.

Job Notes and Material Suppliers-Energy Star Bay Window-

Build and Job Notes for Custom Bay ‘Energy Star’ Window Build

Click Here to See the Before and After Job Site Photos of the Energy Star Bay Windows

  • Existing Wall 2 x4 Framing with zero (0) Insulation or Vapor Barrier
  • Note: Owners Plan on Adding Insulation in the Future. Insulation will not be needed in the Bay Window Area at that time.
  • Bay Window Ceiling, Floor, and Adjacent Wall- R13 Faced Batt Fiber Glass Insulation with 6mil poly VB
  • 2×6 and 2×4 Framing Members @ 16” OC
  • Header Attachments Combination: Liquid Nails, 3/8” x6” Lag Bolts @ 16“OC, 3” Deck Screws
  • Additional Support (Floor & Ceiling) Added to Existing Building Frame. Total 4-2×6
  • Bay Window Roof System and Floor System are Self Supporting
  • Simpson Strong Tie Joist Hangers Utilized for the Bay Window Flooring System
  • 2×4 Staggered Floor Joists utilized for Energy Efficiency and Added Strength
  • Roof Hip and Roof to Existing Wall Flashed for Added Water-Proofing
  • Existing Window Opening was utilized and un-changed 76”x59”
  • Windows: Energy Performance Rated- Soft Light Vinyl Windows
    • U Factor= 0.46
    • Solar Heat Gain Coefficient= 0.58
    • Visible Transmittance= 0.60
    • Condensation Resistance= 43
  • Roof: 30yr White Asph Shingles, #15 Roofing Felt
  • All Exterior Wood Framing Members and Trim Boards: 
    • White Finish or Wrapped with White Aluminum. To Match Existing Windows on House.
    • All Exterior Joints and Connections Caulked and Sealed with a 
    • combination of Silicone Caulking and Spray Foam Insulation (Closed Cell, Window and Door Sealant by Dow)
    • East Property Boundary Line Established by Edge of Existing Side Walk. 
    • Distance from East edge of House Foundation to Edge of Side Walk is 71”
    • Bay Window protrudes 15” from Building.
    • Leaving 56” Un-obstructed egress
    • Clear Un-obstructed Distance between Bay Window and East Porch Steps is 38 ½”
    Materials Supplied by
    Windows: Berry Door and Window
    Lumber and Misc Materials: Home Depot Southtown #3011
    Roofing: Roofing Supply Group of St Louis
    Flooring: Hampton Flooring
    Click Here to See the Before and After Job Site Photos of the Energy Star Bay Windows

    Misc Front Porch CAD Designs by Scotty


    How To Add Curb Appeal and Save on Home Energy Needs Power Point Presentation of how Incorporating Green Building Practices can Add Curb Appeal and Save on Home Energy Use

    Both of which will Add Value to your Home in Comfort and Appraisal Value This Wrap Around Porch was Designed and Built by Scotty, Scotts Contracting view the power point presentation of the Start to Finish Photos here:

    Add Curb Appeal and Save on Home Energy Needs Power Point Presentation

    Weatherization for the Attic

    Attic Insulation-Energy Solutions

    • Part 1 on Home Weatherization Series

    Attic Insulation-I’ve put a little information to explain Attic Insulation for a Home. It takes a whole house approach to Reduce a Home’s Energy Needs.

    • The Attic Area and Attic insulation being just one area.  When Combined with a Green Roofing System- The pair combined are your First Defense Against Rising Energy Costs.

    Air Infiltration areas be resolved before adding insulation- Stop the Air (Hot or Cold) From Entering or Leaving a Home.

    • This includes: proper attic ventilation, ceiling protrusions(Light Boxes / Ceiling Fan), access points, mechanical and electric points, Attic Knee Walls, Obtrusion’s-
    • Anything that will allow the unconditioned air from the Exterior of the Home

    Adding Radiant Barriers for Existing Buildings-in a nutshell this bounces the Exterior Temperature back outside. Radiant Barriers are being used in more Construction Projects in today’s construction techniques to assist homeowners with additional savings on utility bills.

    • Attached to the Underneath Side of Existing Rafters- Best Option for Retrofits
    • Reflective Radiant Barriers have R-Values that range from R-3.7 to R-17

    Prior Experience: R30 2×4 Vaulted Roof System Example #105:

    • Light Color Shingles on Exterior
    • 1 in roof decking
    • 2×4 Rafters 16″ Space
    • R13 Batt Insulation
    • Double Sided Radiant Barier
      • Also Acts as Vapor Barrier
    • Adequate Ventilation Provided by
      • Automatic Power Attic Fan Peak of Roof
      • Proper Vents in Soffits and Gable Ends

    Energy Savings:

    • Reduced the Need for 1 window AC unit in Typical Two Story Stick Built Home-
    • This translates to a Savings of $30 / Month during Cooling Months or $120-$160 / Year.
      • This Application Payed for itself in the 1st Summer 06. At the time of writing this article the estimated savings for 5 yrs is $600.  This Pays for 100% of the Materials used in the Green Roof System for the Upstairs Bedroom Remodel.
    • The Only drawback reported by owner (which wasn’t really a drawback since it was his teen-age sons room) was the decrease in cell phone reception,
      • This is caused by the Reflective Nature of the Reflective Foil Radiant Barrier.

    Attic Add Insulation to meet Suggested Guidelines for the St Louis Area

    Energy Star, Department of Energy, US Government Suggestions for Optimum Home Energy Savings (Reference Links Below)

    • w/ no insulation Add Insulation to achieve=R38 to R60
    • If existing 3-4 inches Add Insulation to achieve=R38
    • Suggested needed R value of Insulation on Attic Floor=R25 to R30

    Insulation when used in conjunction with a Radiant Barrier can lower the Cost of Insulation by reducing the Amount of Insulation Needed

    Scotts Contracting is Available to assist you in improving your “Homes Energy Efficiency”

    When Scotty comes over to perform an estimate.

    1. He will inspect for the above mentioned problem areas.
    2. Discuss the various solutions.
    3. Next-Determine the Materials and Labor Needed to Complete and Fix the Areas Quoted in the Project.
    4. I’ll then submit a Project Proposal that will discuss project in detail.
    5. Answer any Questions, Explain Procedures, and determine the least obtrusive time to Weatherize your Home.
    6. Computerized Energy Audits for your Home for Estimated Energy Savings are also available- [Equest, Sam, HEED are just a few of the programs I am currently using. The Latest Simulated Advisory Model Beta is in the testing stages and being offered by the US Department of Energy].

    Looking forward to meeting you and discussing the ways I can help with Lowering your Energy Bills for your Home or Business.Green Me UP-Scotty

    Feel free to utilize the above information to Weatherize Your Home or Schedule a Free Green site evaluation-

    Scotts Contracting will Weatherize Your Building Against the High Energy Costs of the Summer Time Cooling Costs

    I will Save You $Money$!!!!

    Scott’s Contracting

    Green Me UP-Scotty


    Referrence Materials:


    Frost on Roof or Lack of Frost is a sure sign…

    On the Frosty Mornings when you are outside your house scraping your cars windshield to prepare for your drive to work. Take a look at the Roof of your Home. -Lack of Frost or Snow on your Roof is a sure indication that it was melted by the Heat as it rises from the Interior of your House into the Attic Area-

    Frost on Roof or Lack of Frost is a sure sign…

    • Does the Frost or Snow cover the whole roof?
    • Are there places where the snow and frost melt first? (not caused by the Suns Rays)
    • Is there Frost and Snow on the Garage Roof but not on the House Roof?
    • Does your Neighbors House have Frost and Snow on their Roof- but-Your Roof Doesn’t?

    Any or All the above may mean that:

    1. Lack of Insulation In the Attic
    2. Air Infiltration from the Interior of the House into the Attic Area
    3. Uninsulated Heating Ducts inside the Attic

    Scotts Contracting can Inspect your Attic for Proper:

    1. Insulation Levels
    2. Adequate Ventilation
    3. Uninsulated Heating Ducts
    4. Air Infiltration

    Email scottscontracting and Scotty will provide a Free Estimate to Fix any of the Above Issues on your Home. I will also provide a Cost Saving Analysis that will provide a ROI on your Investment.

    Weatherization doesn’t cost it Saves! Rule of Thumb: For Every $1 Spent on Weatherization- You will Save $2 on your Home’s Energy Bills

    • Example: By adding ___ Inches of Insulation you will save $__ amount on the Energy needed to heat your Home= Lower Heating Bills and Greater Comfort Levels

    Additional Green Blog Posts:Energy Star Home Improvement Tips ,Insulation and Thermal Performance ,Which Kind Of Insulation Is Best? ,Radiant Barriers for your Attic,Insulating Roofs, Walls, and Floors, Roof and Attic Ventilation ,

    Email scottscontracting and Scotty will provide a Free Estimate to Fix any of the Above Issues on your Home.

    Guest Post: Cool Weather- Energy Saving Laundry Device

    Cool Weather Energy Savings


    Have you ever looked at your dryer vent in the wintertime? A lot of heat is released everytime you use your dryer.
    The Dryernet from Demo-airnet is now in Washington, mo. The Dryernet is a system that saves the heat from your dryer and releases it into your house during the cooler months. Depending on how much the clothes dryer is used, an average family of four could save about $20.00 per month on their heating bill. Only to be used on electric dryers.
    Installthe Dryernet on the air vent for the clothes dryer and is vented into the laundry room, garage, utility room, or wherever you want free heat. Normally the HOT air is vented to the outside because with the screen for the dryer a lot of lint and dust escapes through the exhaust. With the Dryernet, the air is further filtered down to .5 microns hardly enough for you to smell the laundry smell.
    The advantage of the Dryernet is that the user retains heat that would normally be vented outside and also releases humidity into the house which is much needed during the cooler seasons In most cases it also reduces drying time do to increased airflow.
    To use the Dryernet simply disconnect your dryer vent hose from the vent pipe and pull the Dryernet over the end of the pipe. Pull the bungee cord firm around the pipe and use the clip to keep the bungee cord tight. You can make a nice frame for the hose and Dryernet or just lay the hose over the dryer as the picture shows. Use the dryer as you would anytime and after about 20-30 uses, take the Dryernet off the hose, put it into the washer and wash it. Put it back on wet and use your dryernet with the next washer load and it will dry. During warm weather, simply remove the Dryernet and reconnect your vent hose to the outside vent.
    Purchase the Dryernet in Washington, MO at Bubba’s Shrimp and Seafood Market, 216 Elm Street. Bubba’s is the only place to purchase the Dryernet. Or go online at dryernet.com
    By mail order; send a check to Bubba’s Shrimp, 216 Elm St, Washington, MO 63090. Call 636-388-2808 E-mail at dryernet The cost is $32.99 plus $3.25 shipping and handling. If mailed to a Missouri address, add sales tax of $2.50.

    There is a 4 week money back guarantee.
    Check us out at dryernet.com

    This Free Guest Post was Provided

    by: Scotty, Scotts Contracting Green Builder for St Louis Missouri- Weatherization for Home or Business, Solar and Wind Renewable Energy Producing Systems

    Free Green Estimates Providedfor Every Project Click Here

    Guest Post Photo: Dryervent
    Guest Post: Dryervent

    Green Roofs for Homes

    Scotts Contracting is available for the building of your Green Roof. Scotty is available to supply a Free Green Estimate for your Roofing Projects- large or small. With more than 50 different Green Roofing options available at my preferred Roofing Supplier, RSG- Roofing Supply Group, in St Louis. I can build a Green Roof on most every budget.

    Green House

    Green is a great in commercial roofing, but what about for residential roofing?

    Brett Hall/Joe Hall Roofing

    Publication date: May 12, 2010

    By Jim Cory

    Ask a roofer what a green roof on a commercial building is and he probably has a clear idea of the options. It could be a vegetation roof installed on top of a water-proofing system or a roofing system designed to save on the cost of heating and cooling the building. Or it could be both. Many such systems exist because there’s a market for them. Commercial building owners budget to replace their roofs on a regular basis, and reducing energy consumption, as well as prolonging the life of the roof and thus of the building, is always a goal.

    Residential Green

    But for residential steep-slope roofs, where exactly does green fit in? Obviously no one is going to plant a garden on a gable roof, since it would all slide off in the first hard rain. So is the concept of green roofing restricted to commercial roofing applications?

    In Naples, Fla., roofer Ken Kelly, president of Kelly Roofing, doesn’t think so. He is convinced that green is the way to go with residential roofing customers, so much so that he puts green roofing front and center on the company website. “Commercial customers are the ones with the deep pockets,” he says. “They can afford the $500,000 photovoltaic system or the 5,000-square-foot roof garden. But green is as big an issue in residential as it is in commercial roofing. Homeowners are asking more questions about green than our commercial customers.” Driven by changes in the Florida building code and a desire to save on air conditioning bills, Kelly Roofing customers are amenable to suggestions that green products such as solar-powered attic fans be included in their re-roofing jobs.

    Interest, Awareness Vary by Market

    For those working on residential roofs, green means a new roof installed with attention paid to emissivity – the degree to which the roof reflects heat and sunlight away from the building – reduced energy consumption, and the recycling of tear-off materials. Different products, different practices. Once incorporated into a company’s procedures, customers are often open to these. But cost remains an issue, and not all homeowners are open to green roofing or green roofing products.

    Roofers who attend trade shows and read trade magazines may know about green roofing products, but homeowners generally know little. “It hasn’t taken off like it has in commercial,” says Chris Kamis, owner of Absolute Roofing & Construction, in Parma, Ohio, which divides its business about evenly between commercial and residential jobs. Other companies find similar.

    “The customer never brings it up,” notes Brett Hall, president of Joe Hall Roofing, a Pantego, Texas, company that also does both commercial and residential roofs. Hall says that it’s up to him to introduce homeowners to the subject of cooling the roof with enhanced ventilation and different shingle colors. And if people are getting a new roof because they’re planning to move, as is often the case, “it’s not that popular a subject. Why invest in something when they can never recoup the cost?”

    Demonstrate by Example

    Customers may not know that much about the subject, but Absolute Roofing is no stranger to green. Five years ago the company installed the roofing, siding, and gutters at Eco-Village, a 20-townhouse pilot project sponsored by the city of Cleveland and partly funded with federal money. In that case, the cost of using green products was a factor in landing the company the job, but not the only factor.

    What was more important were LEED points earned by the builder/designer. And a year ago Absolute Roofing won the business of a Cleveland-area homeowner who required the bidders to show that they would recycle roofing tear-off. Absolute Roofing & Construction did so and won the job. But projects like these are rare. In many residential jobs, which make up 50% of the company’s business, green for Absolute Roofing means installing shingles that absorb heat and are eligible for tax credits under the 2009-2010 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

    Kamis notes that one popular request in the green building line is rain barrels, which capture rainwater run-off and store it for reuse. Solar would be on the agenda, if the price put it within the average homeowner’s reach. “Some people are a lot more sensitive about it than others,” says Rod Menzel, co-owner of GreatWay Roofing, in Moorpark, Calif. “Some have the money to be environmentally friendly and green, and others don’t.”

    Kelly Roofing found that the suggestion of switching from a shingle to a metal or tile roof in a re-roofing job — the metal product the company installs qualifies for tax credits — met with great receptivity from homeowners once the cost of installing a roof with any of those materials became relatively similar. Because green is all over Kelly Roofing’s website, “our customers are expecting us to mention green in our presentation and to follow that up with some sort of green product,” Kelly says. The company, which does business in a market where failure to recycle shingle tear-off results in a $500 fine, has “Follow Me To The Recycling Center” painted on the back of all its trucks.

    Green in Increments

    Other green products popular with roofing and home improvement contractors include radiant heat barriers, which reduce heat transfer through the attic by as much as 95%. Menzel says that there are a number of roofing systems his company uses to reduce heating and cooling costs in commercial products ? far fewer in residential. “We use the Solaris shingle by CertainTeed,” he says — an Energy Star-qualified product that meets both emissivity and reflectivity standards. GreatWay Roofing has also seen strong demand for those same solar-powered attic fans, a hot product at this year’s International Roofing Expo in New Orleans. But when it comes to big-ticket green items — say renewable energy projects such as solar systems to power the house — most residential roofers hang back. “There are some awesome ideas out there,” Kamis says. “But there’s not enough interest to make them practical and affordable in the market.”Other home improvement companies are looking at eco-friendly roofing products that can be installed without committing to the cost of a totally green roof. Matt Weiner, general manager of Moonworks, in Rhode Island, says that his company is looking at products such as reflective shingles, although “in the Northeast it doesn’t make that much difference.” What does intrigue him, he says, are photovoltaic cells that can be integrated into an asphalt shingle roof. “It’s a way to bring a greener product to the marketplace and differentiate us,” he says. And in the end, a means to greater profitability and a higher close rate.

    Not For the Faint of Heart

    Hall brings up the subject of green roofing to let prospects know what kind of upgrade options are available when buying a new roof. “When we’re talking about green, we’re talking about ways to conserve energy in your home that relate to roofing,” he says. It’s as simple as that. And in Texas, where shingle recycling facilities are few, if they exist at all, the major opportunity for green roofing is in increasing emissivity and energy loss, which is chiefly caused by the roof baking away while air conditioning bills go up, up, up. “In Texas, green is emissivity. That’s where they start having some return on investment,” Hall says.

    To prove the point, the president of Joe Hall Roofing decided to design the new home he is moving into this August with the greenest possible roof. That roof material is standing seam metal painted with a cool pigment. Underneath it is ice-and-water shield covering all the decking. Key to keeping the roof much cooler is the 1-inch pocket of air between that OSB decking and the 1-inch polyiso insulation panel. The roof system is fully vented, with removable soffit vents, for cleaning. The next step: a photovoltaic array on the roof.

    Besides radically reducing what would typically be a $1,000 a month air conditioning bill during the summer, Hall will use the house to show prospects what green roofing looks like, what it feels like, and how well it works.

    —Jim Cory, editor, REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR.