Can’t Get a Green, Blue, or White Roof? Get a Soy Roof Instead


Many of the eco-friendly roof options require upgrades to structures to support the extra weight. Building an blue, green, or even a white roof isn’t a solution for every existing building. For buildings with unsubstantial asphalt roofing what can we do? We can use soy! Shingles dry out when they degrade over time, currently oils are used to prolong the life of shingles. Instead of using nonrenewable oils a company has explored using soy based oils instead.

Organizers demonstrated Roof Maxx on Earth Day because it’s a green product made from 86 percent USDA biopreferred soybean oil. By restoring a roof instead of replacing it, the product also eases the strain on landfills. The EPA estimates about 13 million tons of asphalt shingles are discarded every year.

“If there’s an opportunity for recycling or sustainability, in my mind you should look into it,” Schafer said. “In the past, it was a lot more expensive sometimes… but as time goes on it’s more prevalent, it’s a little easier to do.”

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Soy Habitats for Humanity

A company built a house to show off soy products and other environmentally friendly building techniques for the modern home and they have chosen to donate their model home to Habitat for Humanity.

The Soy House was built to showcase environmentally friendly, soy-based products used in home construction. It includes products such as spray foam insulation, soy board cabinets, soy-based adhesives, low-VOC paint, carpet backing, bathroom fixtures and foam for mattresses and furniture.

Dale Petrie, director of Strategic Development and Innovation, Grain Farmers of Ontario, says his group staged an exhibit of 101 uses for soy in December 2008 at the Toronto Stock Exchange and decided to showcase an entire home at the Royal. Because there would not have been time to construct a home from scratch, the province’s soy farmers approached modular builder Quality Homes Inc., which agreed to build the house in its factory and ship it to the fair.

“We don’t mind taking on a challenge like this at all,” says Howard Sher, executive vice-president of Quality Homes.

“And we weren’t concerned about the quality of the soy products at all. We are using the soy rigid insulation in our homes now.”

“But after the fair, the next step was, what are we going to do with this house?” says Petrie. The decision was made to offer it to a Habitat Canada affiliate.

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Thanks Kathryn!

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