Colorado has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the solar revolution. Notably, the state aspires to be running on 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2040. Their commitment to going solar reaches back to 2004, when Coloradoan’s passed the first voter-led Renewable Energy Standard (RES) in the nation, which required electricity providers to gain a minimum percentage of power from renewable energy sources. Additionally, a myriad of tax incentives and rebates were offered to builders who incorporated solar.
Boulder, Colorado-based Sopris Homes, in the business of building high-performance luxury homes for the past 25 years, has been on the front of this trend. As more communities desire and even require solar on new home construction, savvy builders have begun incorporating solar products that are both functional and attractive, says Sopris Homes President John Stevens.
“In some areas, we’re mandated to use solar,” said Stevens. “In other areas, it’s a choice. Most people don’t voluntarily pay for solar on new home construction because many don’t consider it to be an aesthetic improvement.”
Rooftop solar was a mandate when Stevens was contracted to build a 5,150 square-foot, five-bedroom net-zero home in the Portico Subdivision near Longmont, Colorado. He faced the challenge of finding a solar solution that would complement a concrete tile roof, and was more subtle than a traditional rack-mounted solar system.
Stevens turned to CertainTeed’s Apollo® Tile II integrated solar roofing system, making it the first project of its kind in the state of Colorado. Utilizing solar tiles specifically designed for integration with concrete roofing tiles, Stevens created a seamless covering that serves as both a roof system and a source of energy generation. The completed roof system incorporated 229 solar tiles, each with a power rating of 68 watts of per tile, according to Stevens.
“I’m not aware of anything like it on the market here,” said Stevens, referring to the Apollo Tile II solar tiles. “You get the savings of solar energy generation and you don’t have to sacrifice aesthetic quality.”
The solar roofing tiles, coupled with energy-saving mechanical systems and insulation techniques, helped the Portico Subdivision home win a Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association residential installation award. With on-site solar generation, the home achieves a Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index score of -5. According to the Department of Energy, the home’s estimated annual energy cost is -$392—meaning it generates more energy than it uses.
Stevens said installing the solar tiles was “a new experience for everyone,” but that CertainTeed’s team of local installers and trainers worked closely with Sopris Homes to help them overcome the learning curve and ensure the installation success.
“CertainTeed worked hard to make sure the installation was smooth, and was there to answer questions,” he said.
To the average onlooker, the home looks like other similarly priced homes in the neighborhood.
“From a distance, it looks just like a regular concrete tile roof, but there is a lot going on under and on the roof. People are surprised to learn that it is generating energy.”
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Original article source: CertainTeed