In an effort to better understand sustainable products in the construction industry, I recently toured the Derbigum Americas, Inc. manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Missouri. Craig Isaacson, VP of Business Development, for Derbigum was kind enough to conduct the tour and answer my numerous questions on sustainability issues.
Derbigum makes a variety of roofing products at this facility including roofing products that are useful in obtaining a LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council (“USGBC”). These products include a highly reflective roofing membrane called Derbibrite® that is designed to reduce energy costs over the lifespan of building system. A vegetative green roofing system called Derbigreen® and a solar roofing system called Derbisolar®.
As part of the tour, Craig took us on the roof to see the Derbisolar system in action. Now, prior to this tour if you had asked me about a solar system I would have described an array of fixed panels protruding from the roof that require additional structural support. However, the Derbisolar system is comprised of thin film solar panels that are attached directly to the roofing membrane without the need for structural support.