Solving the Puzzle – Roofing

There is a special feeling that comes with solving a complicated puzzle. That flash of insight in finding a solution can be very satisfying. It’s even more satisfying when everyone else has missed it.

Canopy applications can pose some of the most difficult puzzles. Everything has to fit together perfectly. These real-world puzzles have more than one solution and sometimes a seasoned contractor can come up with an answer that no one else could have imagined. If this solution is more durable, easier to install, and less expensive than the other alternatives, then this is a true win-win-win scenario.

I spoke to two contractors for this issue who recently resolved this issue: Bill Devine of Coatings Application & Waterproofing Co. and Doug Claxton of The Solar Revolution.

When the metal roof with standing seam had to be replaced on the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove in Miami, proposals to replace the metal roof had to erect large construction cranes for months near the entrance of the property, which led to disruption for hotel guests.

Devine, division manager for Coatings Application & Waterproofing Co., suggested installing a PVC system instead, which looks like a metal roof with a standing seam. He claimed it was cheaper and would last longer than metal in the harsh seaside environment. The construction would also be less intrusive for hotel guests as it would not require a crane – Devine knew he could get everything up and down with the service lift.

Claxton, director and founder of The Solar Revolution, had been contacted by the Boulder Jewish Community Center to investigate the photovoltaics on the roof when the facility was being built. Unfortunately, the budget didn’t allow this at the time. Claxton briefed board members when the city and county made grants to help nonprofits add solar power.

When the first phase of the solar project was put out to tender, all other contractors concentrated on flat roof sections for the PV system. Claxton had a better idea. He suggested installing the array on the gym’s standing seam roof. Thanks to an innovative fastening system, the installation of solar modules on the curved metal roof would be easier and cheaper than with other alternatives. And in contrast to the solar system on the flat roof, it would also be clearly visible and would help the Jewish community center to use solar energy as a teaching aid. Like a giant billboard, the solar system also helps to publicize the grant process.

In business you don’t do such home runs every day. If you do, you should enjoy them.

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