When the doors swung open to the Mid-South's first residential "green house," visitors inside the remarkable home were sheltered by an energy-efficient roof provided by Memphis, TN-based Varco Pruden Buildings, a division of BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc.
The house, which had its grand opening February 27, 2009, is applying for platinum level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. If the certification is granted, it would be the first such residence in the state of Tennessee.
Varco Pruden's roof is one of many elements that contribute to making the house extraordinary. TERRA House, which stands for Technologically and Environmentally Responsive Residential Architecture, is a project designed and implemented by the students and professors of the University of Memphis' Center for Sustainable Design. It is designed to serve as a prototype for future residential green building endeavors in the Memphis area.
While the residential market is not a segment of Varco Pruden's business, Chuck Haslebacher, president of VP, said company officials "welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate to a wide and diverse audience how a metal roof can have a positive impact on our environment."
"The enthusiastic media coverage and general interest TERRA House has received certainly is an accurate reflection of the growing concern about environmental issues," said Jim Peckham, VP's marketing manager. "Varco Pruden is delighted to have played a role in this project and to help people in the Mid-South area understand and appreciate the value of a LEED-certified structure.”
Peckham added, "Varco Pruden’s headquarters has been in Memphis for decades and we believe it is important to be involved with the community and contribute when it is appropriate."
The two-story, 1,680-square-foot house near downtown Memphis follows the strict guidelines for residential homes set by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, the Memphis Light Gas and Water Division EcoBUILD Design and the American Lung Association's Health House standards.
Varco Pruden's SLR roof meets the requirement for a LEED-certified high-slope roof. The roof offers a high solar reflexivity index, meaning that it not only deflects radiant heat, but also allows the house to return to ambient temperature more quickly than most other materials. During the scorching summer months, the chemical attributes of the roof's paint finish reflect the heat rather than trapping it as most black asphalt or tiled roofs do. Metal roofs also require fewer repairs than other materials, making the product more energy efficient and cost effective.