Roofing industry suppliers focus on durability and environmental sustainability

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Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer

            Candian roofing products and systems manufacturers know they must work in a highly competitive environment, providing products which meet a diversity of requirements and client demands.  Here are profiles of some manufacturers with excellent reputations.

CGC Inc.: New focus on roofing products built on more than a century of building experience

CGC Inc. began in 1907 in Nova Scotia as Canadian Gypsum Company with a focus on quarrying and exporting gypsum rock to the U.S.  The business has evolved into an international enterprise with the addition of innovative wall and ceiling products, industrial products including plasters and cements.

USG, CGC’s parent company, has been developing and producing roofing products for more than a decade and, five years ago, expanded the product offering into Canada.

CGC belongs to several organizations and associations including the Canadian Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) , the Canadian Construction Association, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, the Canadian Green Building Council and a standing committee of the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes.

Marketing manager Jeff Glancie says the company focuses on clients’ requests for environmentally sustainable products. “Our SECUROCK Gypsum – Fiber Roof Boards have a 95 per cent recycled content and are stronger, with a uniform composition avoiding face layers that may be prone to separating and they achieve high wind- uplift ratings.”

“Roof systems have always been an integral part of building owner’s decisions but that is even more the case today,” Glancie says. “It’s important owners invest in good quality products from reputable companies with the longevity to stand behind what they sell.”

Firestone offers “green” roof assemblies with extended warranties

Stefan Bolduc, principal with Keel Agencies, represents Firestone Building Products in Atlantic Canada and says the key to industry success is a good balance of roofing systems with complete offerings to suit each individual project. “Environmental issues are different in every part of the country,” he says. “In coastal regions like ours we are often tasked with finding systems to resist hurricanes and meet higher wind speeds and are able to meet those demands through the wide range of solutions we can offer.”

Bolduc says green roofs increasingly in demand. “Reflective, vegetative and daylight systems are of interest across the board,” he says. “In Nova Scotia there are incentives for wind power and tidal power additions but not yet for photovoltaic (PV) like in Ontario through Ontario Power Authority’s Feed-in Tariff Program. We’ve given a lot of seminars and symposiums on this in the hopes that may be added to the incentive program down the line.”

Bolduc says upgrading rooftops with green technologies is more affordable and can be simpler than people realize and that is part of the education process. “Firestone offers a SunWave™ SMRT (Solar Motion Response Technology) daylight system that incorporates mirrors and satellite technology to follow the sun during the day and allows big box and similar stores to have lights off 70 per cent of the day,” he says. “The ROI (return on investment) is actually a lot faster than people initially expect.”

Mirza Hodzic, Firestone’s marketing and communications manager, says owners and designers are seeking sustainable roof assemblies  compatible with green technology upgrades such as daylighting, vegetative roofs or rooftop photovoltaic systems.

“Marrying a rooftop PV solution with a 20-year FIT contract in Ontario to a platinum roof assembly (with a 30-year warranty) provides building owners peace of mind,” says Hodzic.  “Having to replace a failing roof beneath PV panels can be an expensive proposition, obliterating projected ROI. Firestone recently launched a PlatinumPV program that minimizes risk while maximizing one’s rooftop PV investment. The one-point of responsibility offering prevents potential finger-pointing amongst trades when issues arise.“

Other innovative solutions include a highly reflective cap sheet for asphalt as an option for contractors who may not be comfortable with single-ply systems but have clients looking for that reflective option. “Providing solutions means offering options for different kinds of projects, building owner needs and  installer preferences,” says Bolduc.

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