Sustainability through the roof

Repair and Renovation employees installed the solar panel at the campus Solar Pavilion, where users can charge their electronics via solar energy.

With more than 400 buildings on NC State’s campus, the university’s team of 11 roofers and waterproofers has an important task of repairing and maintaining one of NC State’s most valued assets.

“A roof is what protects everything inside the building,” said Chris Wolfgang, who supervises the roofers in NC State’s Repair and Renovation General Shop.

By fixing leaks and providing upkeep that prevents interior and exterior damage, the General Shop plays a vital role in the university’s mission. And they try to do their work as sustainably and cost-effective as possible.

For example, the cost efficiency of buying roof primer by the gallon was once negated by the short shelf life the material has once opened. Now, when a new gallon is opened, the team seals the unused amount in quart-sized storage containers for future use. That eliminates material waste and saves money.

The General Shop has also installed campus innovations such as slate-like roof shingles made of recycled rubber atop the campus Solar House and a solar panel at the student-conceived Solar Pavilion, where users can charge their electronics via solar energy.

Solar panels are only installed on new campus roofs, so the team also contributes to identifying potential buildings for future solar energy projects.  Even more energy savings will come with the upcoming application of a special coating to some campus roofs.

“The coating will increase [the roof’s] lifespan and reflect more sunlight to keep the surface cooler and save energy,” said Joe Hill, the General Shop’s assistant supervisor.

In addition to roofing, the General Shop handles many miscellaneous repairs on campus such as tile replacement, street maintenance, exterior waterproofing, concrete and masonry work, and bollard and sign installations. All the while the team’s 23 members have their eyes open for material that can be saved for future campus use.

Less waste. Better efficiency. It’s just another way NC State is becoming leaner, smarter and stronger than ever.

Published in News.

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