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Category : Green Roof

What You Need to Know About the California Solar Mandate

(Adco Roofing) What You Need to Know About the New California Solar Mandate

They may not be fun to read, but the building codes and mandates are something that every building owner needs to understand and become familiar with. The more you understand, the better you can maintain your buildings and protect your investments over time. They also help keep your buildings up to code, which will bring you more success in the long term. The 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards are designed to get California into solar power without inconveniencing too many people. The main points you need to know are discussed below.

What You Need to Know About the California Solar Mandate

The time to recoup money spent on solar installation has been a time-consuming challenge for building owners, and the process is still not a cheap one. The California Energy Commission (CEC) estimates that new construction of an up-to-code building will increase by $9,500 but you will save $19,000 on energy and maintenance costs. On top of this, if multiple buildings are constructed within the same neighborhood, labor and transportation costs can be combined which will lower the per-unit installation cost.

  1. It is important to understand that not all buildings are covered by the new solar mandate. Multi-family homes fewer than three stories in height are included. Industrial, commercial and high-rise residential buildings are not. There are also new climate-zone specifics to be enforced which state that common areas in all multi-family buildings are not included in the sizing calculations for energy usage that gets compensated.
  2. Multi-family developments and builders will now need to consider solar installation on any new projects. Previously, there was not much incentive for this, but now owners can include solar power so installation and maintenance will need to be factored into rental prices and planning costs. There may be resistance when it comes to renters not wanting to cover the increased costs with solar power. Owners have to be creative when accounting for solar system needs and time to recoup the costs to keep everyone happy.
  3. The ‘duck curve’ charts energy usage throughout the day compared to energy generation. During the day the potential for generation always exceeds the demand and in the evening more energy is needed but less is produced. This updated mandate includes compliance credit to reduce the impact of this curve. The installation of batteries during the day allows power to be stored during times of high generation and used later when demand is high, but little energy is being produced.
  4. Solar systems will lose functionality without proper maintenance so customer education will be critical for this. The new code includes that it is now mandatory that an update to the building owner be provided as to how the system is operating. These updates need to be completed and the builders of these new solar-powered buildings must include warranty and maintenance costs in their plans.
  5. Since not all buildings are the same, flexibility is important. The idea is to use community solar and not individual rooftop units, and by having a single solar garden, labor costs can be reduced. However, the tenants will not benefit from net metering of this solar arrangement. There are also rules in place stating that if a roof can not sustain solar panels for any reason, builders have the option of trade-offs and storage credit to consider.
  6. Local authorities have the ability to make codes more stringent, so you should always refer back to them when you want to build. If they are able to demonstrate that changes to the code will reduce energy consumption the CEC will allow their changes to be made. This is great in terms of flexibility but it means that you need to verify all designs with local authorities to make sure any changes have been incorporated into your design.

Final thoughts

These are the main points of the new mandate and there are more details available in the full 2018 California Solar Mandate code. Understanding the new solar changes coming into place will be essential for your success.

If after plenty of research, you’ve determined that you want to invest in solar panels, don’t start researching solar installers just yet. First, we suggest checking to make sure your roof is as ready for a solar panel installation as you are. There are three main factors you should consider:

  • The age of your roof
  • The roofing material
  • Possible obstacles for the solar panels

If you’re not sure whether your roof is ideal for solar panels, give us a call and we’ll evaluate the condition of your roof at no charge.

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Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing Ideas

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With much of the world going ‘green’, the roofing industry has been taking steps to provide eco-friendly roofing too. The roof of a building adds to the value, so the more sustainable it is, the better off owners will be. You can now choose from several different styles and materials that are durable, long-lasting and environmentally friendly.

Eco-Friendly Roofing

  • Cool Roofing: A cool roof is one that is white or another light color and it helps to reflect the sun’s heat away rather than absorb it. What this means for you is that you will not need as much air conditioning to get a comfortable inside temperature. If you live in a hot and sunny climate, cool roofing is the way to go to help you save on energy costs. To get the most out of a cool roof, you want to use light colors.
  • Metal Roofing: These make a very economical investment and since they are made from recycled materials, metal roofing is definitely a ‘green’ way to go. Standing seam metal roofing delivers the best longevity at one of the lowest prices and compared to asphalt roofing, metal roofing can last 50 years, which is a good 30 years longer. Metal roofing comes in several colors and designs so you can get a style that best suits your need and building. If you choose a light color, you also get the added benefit of reflective power.
  • Wood Shingles: Wood is popular because of the classic look it gives and because it is biodegradable and eco-friendly. Wood today comes from sustainable forests since the old-growth cedar wood that was once used is becoming scarce. Sometimes you can find wood roofing systems made from claimed materials that once were bridges, water tanks, and mills. Despite their beauty, wood shingles are not fire resistant so you want to use a protectant or coating to protect your roof.
  • Clay and Slate Tiles: Tiles have been used in roofing for centuries because of their durability and because they can last for up to 100 years. Clay tiles are made from natural materials so are eco-friendly in many ways; rot-resistant, fire-resistant, insect-resistant and virtually maintenance free. The drawbacks include being very heavy and very costly. You may need additional support for your roof to handle the weight. When it comes to pricing, your initial output may be high, but the longevity of clay and slate tiles more than makes up for this cost in the long run.

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The Best Eco Friendly Options For Your Roof

The Best Eco Friendly Options For Your Roof (Adco)

 

Generally speaking, you want to replace your roof once every 20 or 30 years. This means we are not up to date on the latest in roofing materials. If it is time for you to consider a new roof, then you would be wise to familiarize yourself with how roofing products have evolved. In this day and age, energy efficiency and the environment dictate everything, and roofing is no different. Many new roofing products incorporate recycled and salvaged materials as means of fitting in with this green trend.

Recycled roofing

We love recycling because it keeps waste out of the landfills and is an effective way to manage natural resources. Most roofing materials are made from up to 90% recycled materials. For example, rubber shingles are often made from discarded tires and metal roofing materials contain recycled steel and copper.

Don’t worry about the appearance of the recycled materials. Recycled composite shingles mimic Spanish tiles and slate and they resist fire and bad weather just as well as their non-recycled cousins. Most recycled products come with warranties and as for pricing, rubber shingles is the way to go if you need to keep costs down. There are of course many people that do not like recycled shingles. Additionally, depending on the area you live, they may be hard to find or they may not even be approved for use.

Salvage your shingles

You may not particularly like the look of composite roofing but still, want an eco-friendly material like wood or slate. The best way to avoid high energy costs associated with slate is to use shingles salvaged from other buildings. Wood shingles can be made from leftover boards of old buildings or bridges. You can also buy wood shingles that are made from substantially managed forests.

There are a few drawbacks you should be aware of. All natural products cost more than composites and heavier items like slate cost even more because of transportation. You also have to be cautious with wood, because it is not fire resistant and only lasts around 15 to 25 years. The brittle materials like clay can easily crack from falling branches or harsh weather.

Go lighter

Whether you use natural or composite materials, the lighter the color is the more energy-efficient your roof will be. Light colors reflect the sunlight away, therefore, keeping your home cooler and by adding natural light to the house, saving you money on electricity in the summer.

Let nature do the work

Depending on just how green you want to be, you can consider a green color roof. This is an updated version of a sod roof with plants growing on it. Plants allow for natural insulation and cooling and the organic material requires no energy to manufacture. These green roofs make an unusual visual addition to the home being both efficient and a great talking piece.

Installation of green roofs is expensive and does not make a good fit for every house. You cannot have a roof that slants more than 30 degrees and it has to be positioned to get good sunlight. They also require regular maintenance and upkeep. You also need to consider reinforcing your roof because the heavy soil can cause damage.

Most people might think the green roof is a little too green which is why there are numerous ‘green’ options available without you having to cultivate your own. Contact us today for a consultation and we will help you find the right option for you and the environment.

 

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How Do Green Roofs Create Value?

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Discover all the positive effects a green roof can have for energy costs, ecology, community and well-being. Read on to find out about the convenience of vegetation blankets, for rapid installation of a full-coverage green roof requiring negligible maintenance.

A Natural Air and Water Purifier

Your green roof will contribute to purifying and de-polluting the air, producing oxygen out of carbon dioxide and filtering particulates. It purifies rainwater too, and facilitates evaporation from the plants.

The plants and the substrate and drainage layers around them also provide a rainwater buffer. This has benefits for the local groundwater and sewage systems, delaying rainwater discharge and reducing the load and risk of flooding after heavy rainfall.

Cooling Effect

The plants on a green roof reduce the ambient temperature. They absorb one half of the sunlight that reaches them, and reflect another 30%. That makes a pleasantly cool climate, reducing temperature in the building’s immediate neighborhood.

Inside, the building’s cool air systems have less work to do, reducing energy bills and extending the life of your air conditioning. And if you use solar panels already, or take the opportunity to install them with your green roof, you’ll find the cooler roof surface provides conditions for the panels to operate more efficiently. Energy is channeled into your power supply instead of being lost as heat, and your energy costs are further reduced.

A Roof Saver

Upgrading to a green roof won’t just preserve your aircon. It could triple the lifetime of the roof itself. Protected from the strongest sun, rain, temperature extremes and wind the weather can throw at it, a roof structure can be good for 60 years. In maintenance costs alone, a green roof can recoup your investment in as little as 8 years.

Quieter, More Pleasant Environment

A green roof will act as a sound barrier, absorbing external noise with particular appeal in urban areas. It makes for a quieter environment outside as well as within the building. It’s a more relaxing space that promotes well-being. Greenery offers a positive environment that encourages people to unwind and reduce their stress level, whether it’s at the end of the working day or for convalescent patients. People can tolerate pain a little more in a healing, green environment and require a shorter stay at the hospital.

Plants, herbs and grasses in a green roof encourage biodiversity. It provides a habitat for birds, butterflies and other insects and will attract more life than any gray, concrete and glass building.

Brings People Together, Reduces Vandalism

Everyone living in a green environment has a higher perception of their space and quality of daily life. They’ll naturally work together to maintain it. An environment people take pride in has positive social effects: more interaction and cohesion in the community. Greener areas are proven to suffer less violence, aggression and vandalism.

Vegetation Blankets Save Time And Maintenance

Direct-green mats pre-cultivated with greenery are delivered with 90% coverage, way quicker and easier to install than establishing a green roof with individual plug plants. An attractive green roof can be realized in a very short time.

Vegetation blankets bring great benefits going forward too. They make a solid top layer for the green roof that resists erosion, protecting substrate from blowing away in a storm. The nearly-full coverage means weeds struggle to get established, and very little effort and cost is required for maintenance.

Adding Value to the Building

A building with a green roof gains an attractive appearance with much more appeal than grey, man-made structures. Its strong, sustainable image adds value, as do the reduced energy and maintenance bills.

A green roof brings much more than just visual appeal to your property. It’s a sound economic investment which brings multiple savings in energy costs, maintenance and repair costs. You and other residents will benefit from clearer, cooler air, reduced noise and better climate proofing. And a green roof gives back to the local area, encouraging biodiversity and doing its bit to regulate the wastewater supply and ambient temperature.

 

Do you want to build a green roof?

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