RoofPoint™

In February 2010, The Center for Environmental Innovation unveiled RoofPoint™ to a select group of roofing industry stakeholders at the International Roofing Expo.

RoofPoint is a sustainability guideline developed exclusively for roofing systems. It is similar to other familiar building rating systems such as the U.S. Green Build Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, but it embraces important differences that offer unique value to building owners and the green-building community.

RoofPoint evaluates a roof system in five categories: energy management, materials management, water management, durability/life cycle management, and innovation.

Since the beginning of 2011, RoofPoint projects have been certified in over 30 U.S. states as well as Canada and Mexico.

The January 2012 issue of Interface provides a complete overview of the program as well as the RoofPoint guideline, which is a comprehensive checklist of all critical environmental aspects of modern roofing systems.

Have you used RoofPoint on a project? Leave us a comment about the projects you have worked on that incorporate RoofPoint.

War of the Worlds – The Exploding Sun – Part 2

In my previous post we discussed the most common type of solar module utilized today, crystalline silicon panels, which are encapsulated in glass. Another type of rooftop power generation that produces electric energy is Concentrated Solar Power, or CSP. CSP uses lenses or mirrors to concentrate solar thermal energy onto a small area such as a tower. Typically, the mirrors are positioned on the roof to reflect sunlight to the tower mounted on the ground at one end of the building. The tower houses an engine (usually steam), to drive an electric generator.

CSP requires very clear skies to work most effectively, and steam generation requires a fair amount of water which can be an issue in hot, dry climates. Compared to PV, more maintenance may be necessary due to the moving parts in trackers and generators. But focusing the sun in this way also has several advantages.

First, less space is required for the collection units; so less land or rooftop space is required. The cost per watt for CSP is currently par with PV, but has the potential to be half that of PV. CSP steam generators produce AC power so they can integrate directly into existing infrastructure without power inverters. With natural gas back-up or molten salt heat storage systems, CSP has the potential to operate continuously in the event of extended periods of cloudiness or shading of part of the array. CSP is projected to have a larger share of solar power generation within 10 to 15 years due to its efficiencies and potential reduction in cost (and by extension – the ability to generate power more cost effectively) due to technological advancements.