Welcome to the new Limited Systems web site. There are still some kinks to work out and some other material to add, but, we hope you find this site to be a helpful resource. We have over 100 million square feet of roofing experience spanning more than the last 20 years. We can provide you with roof consulting, roof forensics and just plain roof sense. We’ll keep this blog posted with as much current roof info as we can get our hands on. Feel free to visit often.
In truth it has to do with green roofs. The most often heard response when I tell people I’m a GRP or Green Roof Professional is “aren’t they expensive?” Which or course leads to the whole conversation of why someone would actually want to put one of those expensive, maintenance intensive pastures on their roof.
One very big answer is the EPA. And I’m giving you the short version here, the whole answer is a bit more complicated. The Environmental Protection Agency is pounding (as in fines for non-compliance) on cities to better manager their storm water. Particularly the cities which have a combined storm water and sewer system. Heavy rains typically overflow the systems flushing raw sewage into places where raw sewage shouldn’t be. EPA says, “cities clean up that mess.” Cities have typically have two choices 1) create a new system to separate and handle storm water, or 2) reduce the amount of storm water hitting the system. The first choice is usually very expensive, the second only a little bit expensive. They can obviously choose some combination of the two, or come up with any old idea they want, including rain barrels, as long as the EPA requirements are met.
Enter green roofs -one of the easist ways to mitigate and even clean storm water run off. A simple green roof system with only 4 inches of soil can handle up to nine tenths of an inch of rain. That translates into 63% of rainfall on that space never hitting the storm water system.
Now you have one of the simple answers as to why people are even talking about that pricey rooftop vegetation. It has as much to do with cleaner water as it does any of the other green roof benefits. We’ll get into more of those next time.
Okay, call me silly, but wouldn’t you think you should design incentives for green roof installation that would actually incent the installation? Mitigating storm water fees as an incentive for green roofs is probably not going to work. Exempting a few hundred dollars so the building owner can install a green roof at thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars is not an incentive.
Some of the more enlightened incentives we’ve seen include allowing a larger building footprint on the property if a green roof is installed. This not only is revenue neutral to the city, it might even generate more property taxes from the same property which now has more usable, taxable space. Additionally, the building owner can more easily amortize the cost of the roof in additional lease revenue.
Accelerated permitting is another useful revenue neutral tool. Allowing building owner to step to the head of the line to get all their permits could give them a several month jump on collecting lease payments, again more easily amortizing the cost of the roof.
Incentives require a 35,000 foot perspective, they are not just the purview of a single governmental entity.
Next, Green roofs and the EPA.
If you are at all interested in taking advantage of the solar power incentives, from both the Federal government and the Tennessee Valley Authority, some urgency is required. The guidelines for both have stipulations that require the construction of the system be underway or completed by the end of this year.
We have some financial models which can show you how these systems can break even and start a decent return on investment in substantially less time than without the incentives – a return time frame which is much more business friendly.
Just let us know if you want more info.
Flat Roof Guys’ 1st law of thermodynamics: Your desire to be on a black roof is inversely proportional to the outside temperature. Well, if that is true, and let’s assume it is for the moment that it is true, unless you have some perverse desire to romp around in 165°F heat, then how do you think your HVAC unit feels up there?
Never considered the feelings of your HVAC unit before, have you? Well I’ll tell you how it feels – HOT, as in processing air that is 15 – 20°F hotter than if it were on a white roof. White roof = 5-10°F above ambient at the roof level; black roof = some big dumb number bigger at the roof level. At the intake level of your unit, usually 30 inches above roof level is where they got that 15-20°F number. And most units are rated for optimum efficiency at 95°F – from that point up you get diminishing performance and dramatically increasing energy use.
So, consider, which roof gives you the best chance at saving some energy money? Come on, say it, you know you want to say it, we all know the answer already, go ahead……
NEXT: FRG’s Second Law of Thermodynamics. No cats will be harmed in this experiment.
Sounds like the opening line of one of the old chainsaw furniture commercials I used to read. “Brides, grooms, newlyweds, students, military personnel now is your chance to get furniture at low, LOW PRICES!!! Schmengy’s Furniture is going out of business (under license #336465837472)….” I think Schmengy’s went out of business 27 times over the 9 years I was in radio in that town.
Yes, but in truth, time is running out – on two of the federal grants you can receive for installing a photovoltaic power plant on your building. The deadline for applications for the USDA Rural Development grant (25% of installation costs) is June 15th (thanks Lightwave Solar http://bit.ly/k99zP0) and the Federal Grant for 30% expires at the end of the year. So if you have any interest at all in solar power, now would be the time for you to contact your solar power professional to see if you and your building are eligible. I even know of a commercial lease program that can help you defersome of the cost of putting a new roof on your building, by adding solar to the mix.
Might be a good time to find stuff out because “TIME IS RUNNING OUT! CALL TODAY – DON’T DELAY!!!”