GreenBuild Roofing is serious about the quality of their services and products. As a full-service roofing company, GreenBuild offers new roofing, re-roofing, repairs, gutters, snowmelt systems, snow-retention systems, photo-voltaic solar systems, fascia and wall cladding, and sheet-metal fabrication. The product lines are the finest available: DaVinci synthetics, GAF/Elk asphalts, JM and Fiber Tite membranes, and Englert metals. First established in the Roaring Fork Valley, the firm is experienced working on some of America’s finest and most carefully detailed homes. This means GreenBuild Roofing has completed some of the most challenging and diverse roof designs possible. Now, the firm is extending services to Vail, Steamboat Springs, and the Western Slope.
Roofs are the only barrier between the comfort and safety of homes and winter snow, spring rains, summer sun, and the autumn winds. Yet roofs aren’t something people think about until they fail. Green building practices have inspired new innovative products, but what’s interesting about these products is the other kind of green that they save. They perform to save money on energy consumption, and that makes them interesting to everyone, whether or not a green building certificate is at stake.
To learn more how these products can benefit homes, Western Home Journal talks to John Diamond, principal and general manager of GreenBuild Roofing, LLC, in Basalt, and he shares his knowledge and expertise about these products, how long they last, and how installation may differ from other roofing products.
What is a green roofing contractor, and how is that different from other roofing companies?
A green roofing contractor works to reduce energy consumption and the related production of greenhouse gases. We install products we call “Cool Roofs” in an efficient manner where our installation reduces waste and conserves resources.
The obvious question is what is a “Cool Roof ”?
Cool Roof is an industry term that is based on performance. I will offer the example of roofs that we use on sloped roofs, Englert Metals. This roofing is ENERGY STAR compliant and will reflect a significant amount of heat, as well as minimizing heat transfer into the home. The paint that colors these roofs is Kynar 500 and variations, and they contain cool reflective pigments. Cool Roofs will usually qualify for a $1,500 federal tax credit for energy-efficient home improvements. A second example is one we use on roofs without a slope, FiberTite® roofing membranes. FiberTite® reflects up to 95% of solar heat and dramatically reduces cooling costs in the summer. With some additional thermal insulation, winter heating costs go down as much as 15-30%.
Help me understand the cost savings you mentioned. Are there savings in addition to energy consumption?
This is an important point, because the savings are calculated on the life span of the roof. Metal roofing is the longest lasting roofing material for sloped roofs. In fact, some copper roofs in Europe have lasted more than five centuries. Installed, metal roofs can outlast an asphalt shingle roof by at least three times (30-45 years versus 10-15 years), and commonly lasts well beyond its warranty period. Also, in addition to cost savings, there is the nuisance of leaking that precedes the need to replace the asphalt roof and the extra construction bother that can be avoided.
The product I mentioned previously for flat roofs, Fiber Tite Cool Flat Roofing, lasts up to 30 or more years without any repairs barring actual physical damage. This is in contrast to the average EPDM Rubber roof or tar and gravel, which last only 10 to 15 years. Combined with this remarkable durability, every year there are cost savings from heating and cooling. It makes financial sense.
What do you mean by installation that conserves resources?
Using Fiber Tite as an example, the roofs are thinner and lighter than an asphalt-based product. Each roll of TiberTite 50-millimeter membrane can cover 600 square feet. Consequently, an average residential flat-roof installation requires a single trip of a fully loaded work truck or van, and that same van brings all the materials, tool, and four roofers to a job site. In addition, there is no need to bring a crane or haul a tar kettle around. Think of the energy required to heat up that tar or asphalt to the boiling point! Similarly, for a torch-down modified bitumen roof, there’s considerable propane being burned. Neighbors are grateful when our products go on without any of these nuisance gases and the related smell.
Here in Pitken County, people are pretty proud of how well they recycle. Are any of your products recyclable, and do you recycle?
Once a steel roof is well past its warranty and starts to deteriorate and leak, it is completely recyclable with plenty of metal recyclers that accept it. I must mention, metal roof failure is usually due to improper installation. We have a policy to recycle and recently in Aspen, we recycled every single piece, including clips and the nails.
There’s another way we reduce waste. In some cases I can build over and not tear off the existing roof. This saves costs as well as disposal.
OK, they can be recycled, but are your products responsible on the other end? Are they made from recycled content?
Certainly. Metal roofs are made from at least 50% recycled content. Other products like FiberTite Flat Roofing membrane and roofing insulation have recycled content, as well. We are very responsible.
Are there any pitfalls to watch out for when buying a green Cool Roof?
Yes, in my opinion, asphalt shingle manufacturers that offer a “cool” and “green” product are simply not what they say they are. These products have only a life of 10-15 years. Then, the asphalt cannot be recycled and ends up in the landfill. This short-term thinking isn’t green nor is it cost-effective.
Do you offer any other products or services in addition to residential roofs?
As a full-service roofing contractor, we offer new roofing, roof replacement, repairs, gutters, and snowmelt and snow retention systems for both commercial and residential properties.
GreenBuild Roofing, the kinder and gentler to the Earth roofer, offers free roof inspections and free estimates. They welcome a chance to demonstrate how their services and products can benefit you and your home.