By Rick Weinberg, Editor, California Business Journal.
NOTHING HAS BEEN MORE UN-GREEN AND UN-ENVIRONMENTALLY-FRIENDLY THAN THE ARCHAIC ROOFING INDUSTRY, which for more than 100 years has been defined by unsafe, landfill-cluttering, energy-inefficient products like asphalt, metal, wood, clay, and concrete.
But ArmorLite Roofing Technology has changed all that — forever. The Santa Ana, California-based company has made one of the biggest breakthroughs – if not the biggest — in the history of the roofing industry by developing the greenest, most environmentally-sustainable roofing material ever.
“ArmorLite represents one of the most unique products I’ve ever seen in this industry,” says Rob Keen, Regional Vice President of Beacon Pacific, one of the nation’s largest roofing distributors. “I look at four to five new products every month, and nothing has caught my attention like this.”
From an eco-friendly, environmental perspective, ArmorLite uses the least amount of the Earth’s resources, is 100% recyclable and has 0% waste in manufacturing — all industry firsts.
From a cost-saving viewpoint, ArmorLite’s highly-advanced polymer material reflects heat back into atmosphere and provides insulation, both of which dramatically reduce homeowners’ and building owners’ heating and cooling costs. It also saves homeowners money because the material is immune to rotting and mildew.
“What we’ve done is historic in that we created the greenest, lightest, safest and most durable roof ever — the only roof a homeowner will ever need,” says ArmorLite CEO Frank Lane.
Nothing of this scale has ever been attempted before in roofing with polymers, which have superior strength and are used in everything from golf-club shafts to underground storage tanks. Even Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner jet is made of polymer. So is the life-saving Kevlar bulletproof vest.
ArmorLite developed its revolutionary product with help from General Electric. The product is made from a highly-weatherable material called Geloy, which gives the product for superior weatherability and strength. This type of material has been used for more than 40 years for outdoor weatherable applications, yet it has never been used in roofing technology — with high UV resistant color pigments — until now.
“This is the most unique product I’ve ever seen in this industry,” says roofing contractor Brian Hicks, owner of Chandler’s Roofing of San Pedro, Calif. “ArmorLite’s technology is so revolutionary in that it is moving the roofing industry out of a totally asphalt-based material for the first time in history. That’s critical for the environment.”
ArmorLite meets the industry’s stringiest certification programs, including the Cool Roof Rating Council, United States Green Building Council and Energy Star.
Other innovative features of ArmorLite include:
● Nearly 0% breakage;
● Increases home values in that the material is an artistic masterpiece of beauty, elegance, and distinction;
● Engineered to withstand the most extreme climatic conditions — high winds, earthquakes and fires;
● Gives architects the opportunity and flexibility, for the first time ever, to create roofing designs using such as seashells and stacked stones;
● Manufactured in 2’ x 4’ panels, an industry first, enabling roofers to install materials quicker and easier — and with 70% less nails.
The issue of massively heavy roofing materials has haunted the industry for nearly a century. Industry organizations have tried to solve the weight problem for decades, to no avail. Even scientists and engineers tried to solve the problem – for more than 50 years.
And no one succeeded.
Until ArmorLite came along.
“The weight problem is highly significant in that it adversely affected the structure and foundation of homes, as well as transportation and shipping costs, and roofers’ health, especially their backs,” says ArmorLite founder Joe Sciarra.
The average roof on a home weighs up to 30,000 pounds. That weight places a tremendous burden on a home’s structure and foundation. By contrast, ArmorLite weighs only 3,500 pounds.
“The lighter weight dramatically reduces production costs and energy, shipping and transportation costs, insurance costs, and workman compensation claims,” Lane says.
According to Jim Stewart, PhD, environmental scientist with Modern Energy Corporation, and the creator of Earth Day Los Angeles, the weight of roofing materials has the overall greatest environmental impact in almost every environmental impact category listed.
Lighter weight roofing materials alone affect the environmental impact from birth to grave more than any other factor, he concluded in a study. Lighter weight roofing materials decrease the raw materials used, manufacturing and transportation energy use, as well as landfill use and waste, he notes. Weight is an easy criterion in determining general environmental acceptance criteria.
ArmorLite has redefined the market to such a degree that when one of the industry’s most well-known people, Roofers Exchange Magazine Publisher Vickie Sharples, recently chose a new roof for her Brea, Calif. home, she selected ArmorLite.
“When someone like Vickie Sharples chooses ArmorLite over all the other products in the industry, that is quite a resounding and ringing endorsement of our product,” Lane says. “She’s considered the voice of the roofing industry.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it – and that’s because there’s never been anything like it,” says Sharples, who has been in the roofing industry for 30 years.
According to Stewart of Earth Day LA, ArmorLite is an ideal example of a sustainable green roofing product that encompasses all the considerations of a sustainable roofing product with low environmental impact as well as meeting all national standards.
ArmorLite would not exist today without Lane, the CEO, and Sciarra, the founder.
“Our first major breakthrough came when Frank became our CEO and created a technical and marketing support relationship with GE, a great go-to-market supplier,” Sciarra says. “That’s when we knew we had the product that would change the industry.”
ArmorLite has also changed life forever for roofing contractors, who have longed for the day when they can install roofs quicker, reduce the number of injuries to their employees, decrease shipping and handling costs, install roofs more easily, have less breakage, and be able to easily walk on roofs without breakage.
That day has finally arrived.
“I had a tough time keeping good roofing applicators because of the wear and tear,” says Randy Ramsey, President of Ramsey Roofing in San Juan Capistrano.
That’s not the case anymore.
“Now they want to comeback and install ArmorLite because it’s so light and easy to install,” he says. “My guys actually look forward to working when they know we’re installing ArmorLite.”
Because of the weight of archaic roofing materials like concrete, tile, metal and asphalt, roofing applicators have the highest workman’s comp rate of any industry in the country. But ArmorLite changed that, too, by reducing injuries, workman comp claims and insurance rates.
“The perfect roofing material has finally been created,” Lane says. “The fact that it is eco-friendly, safer for homeowners and contractors, 100% recyclable, reduces energy and energy bills, and is architecturally beautiful makes it that much better.”
[Editor’s Note: ArmorLite Technology was sold to a larger building corporation.]
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[Rick Weinberg is Editor-in-Chief at California Business Journal. He is a well-known journalist, writer and reporter who has worked for the New York Times, FOX and ESPN. He launched CalBizJournal.com to focus on California businesses and business professionals and California business information and news.]