In 2007, a single-family home in Paterson, NJ, became the first on the East Coast and only the second in the entire country to earn Platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-H rating system. The home features integrated solar technology and an ULTRA-Cool-coated metal roofing system from Englert Inc. of Perth Amboy, NJ.
The home was constructed as part of the USGBC LEED-H pilot program to promote the design and construction of high-performance, green homes. It was built out of a partnership between the Public Private Partnership For Advanced Housing (PATH) and BASF to demonstrate how advanced industrial innovation can help build homes that are better for both their residents and the environment.
The metal roofing material and the labor needed to install it were donated by Englert Inc. The New Jersey-based manufacturer of ULTRA-Cool metal roofing material and gutters is one of the nation’s largest makers of metal roofing materials and was among the very first to standardize all of its metal roofing products with ULTRA-Cool paint coatings, a product developed by BASF. ADPI Inc. of Avenel, NJ, fabricated the system at no cost.
The new Paterson House features materials and design strategies that make optimum use of natural energy resources. The house is said to be 80% more efficient than comparable homes, and is regarded as being more durable too. It was also constructed faster than homes of similar design.
The completed home was donated to St. Michael's Housing Corporation, a local, nonprofit organization. It, in turn, gave the home to the family of Richard Sosa, an 11-year-old quadriplegic.
“The Englert metal roof provides both the critical platform and the shelter for two of its energy sources—renewable energy from the sun that can provide heat and power through solar electric, and solar thermal technology using the sun to heat domestic hot water,” said Kevin Corcoran, vice president of business development for Englert.
Corcoran said the use of photovoltaic material meets the requirements of LEED Energy and Atmosphere Credit 2, (Renewable Energy), which incrementally awards up to three points for generating 5 percent, 10 percent, or 20 percent of the building's energy use with renewable power. And the roof’s integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs) provide increased value by simultaneously serving two purposes: power generation and architectural, he noted.
The innovative photovoltaic material used on the Paterson house is an extremely lightweight and unbreakable self-adhesive laminate material less than a quarter-inch thick. It was attached to the standing seam panels with a hand roller. Made by Ovonic Solar, the photovoltaic laminates are flexible and made durable by encapsulation in UV-stabilized polymers. The Englert metal roof is ideal because of the uniformity of the surface and the ability to paint metal to custom colors to match the laminates.
The laminates can be attached before or after the standing seam material has been installed and in many cases, provides all the electricity a building needs. Because of the severity of winter weather when the Paterson house was being constructed, the panels were fabricated off site by ADPI, and brought to the work site where the photovoltaic laminates were applied in the residential structure’s garage. The standing seam panels with the laminates were then installed by Kris Construction, a local roofing contractor in Lakewood, NJ. Standing seam material without the photovoltaic laminates was also installed on other parts of the multi-level roof.
An estimated 2.5 kW of the laminates are bonded to the roof with wiring connections down to an inverter. Whenever the sun shines the system will send direct electrical current to the inverter supplied by GridPoint—an intelligent energy management appliance that improves power reliability and management for traditional and renewable energy users—where it will be converted to alternating electrical current to satisfy the home’s utility loads and keep a backup battery pack charged.
The system generates an average of 10 to 12 kilowatt hours of electricity a day from solar energy. If the system supplies more electricity than the house requires, solar electricity will turn the utility meter backwards and reduce or eliminate the utility bill.
The solar thermal collection system was installed under the Englert standing seam metal roof and before it was applied.
The Model 3004L building integrated solar thermal system by Dawn Solar of New Hampshire is mounted under the south facing roof above the second floor. The entire system is positioned between the attic roof and the outside roof covering. The Englert Series 2000, 24-gauge metal, 18-inch wide standing seam panels became components of the solar collector, heating the Dawn Solar thermal purlins, which in-turn heat the water/glycol mixture that is circulated through the crosslinked polyethylene tubing. On sunny days, the water normally warms to between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit above the ambient air temperature, which is a lower temperature than those produced by traditional, externally mounted, glazed solar collectors. Because the roofing material will radiate heat after it reaches a certain temperature, the system is self-regulating, preventing overheating and component damage when the system is inactive for extended periods of time.
As a solar domestic hot water preheating system, it becomes part of the invisible and nearly indestructible solar 6.5 kilowatt combined heat and power system that derives 2.5 kilowatts from the solar electric component and 4 kilowatts from the solar thermal component. The system consists of Dawn Solar’s proprietary one-inch thick solar thermal collection system concealed under the Englert 2000 Series metal roof.
The Dawn Solar system is expected to harvest solar energy as heat, whenever available, to offset the fossil fuels and electricity used for heating domestic hot water. Additionally, the solar thermal system and the solar electric system interact synergistically with the photovoltaic system’s performance improving as a result of the solar thermal system cooling the photovoltaic system as it moves the heat energy from the roof to the solar storage tank.
Using thermal systems like the one in the Paterson house to heat domestic hot water is becoming more common on residential buildings because of rising conventional fuel costs. Because of its relatively short payback, solar water heating is increasingly seen as a means of offsetting the cost and difficulty of generating grid-based energy. Because the solar thermal technology is fully integrated, it can reduce cooling loads on residential buildings and can directly contribute to process and space cooling by dissipating excess heat through radiational cooling.
Unlike those of the photovoltaics on the roof, the efficiency gains created by solar thermal technology do not generate power and are not considered part of the Credit 2 renewable category. But they are captured by LEED Energy Credit 1.
As is the case with the Paterson project, homeowners can realize immediate financial and operational benefits from these modern integrated mechanical systems. And it’s not difficult to do. The number of roofing and electrical contractors who install rooftop solar arrays is growing. These contractors can offer commercial and residential building customers metal roofing and solar warrantees at the same time. And metal roofing manufacturers and the developers of solar technologies are eager to invest manpower and expertise in on-site installation of their products.
Many architects and builders active in the U.S. Green Building Council program already know that residential structures with standing seam “cool” roof material like the Paterson house can generate seven LEED credits for heat transfer, reuse and recyclability as well as several more points in the Energy & Atmosphere category where PV and thermal energy roofing materials apply.
And there are also many grants and tax credits that come with the installation of PV and standing seam systems. More than 20 states provide tax incentives in support of renewable technologies. Eighteen states have public benefits programs that have active energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.
The practical technologies and support for architects to introduce new rooftop energy saving technologies exists. It is an area of opportunity and growth worth investigating. To learn more, contact Englert Inc. at (732) 826-8614 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.