Editor's note: The author is traveling on a "clean tech road trip" through Ohio and Michigan with experts from NRDC. All of her posts from the trip can be found here on her blog.
Classic Metal Roofing manufactures products that are efficient in more ways than one. In addition to manufacturing durable roofs whose paint alone has an integrity warranty almost triple the lifespan of asphalt shingles (40 years vs. 17), the Piqua, Ohio-based facility also makes roofs that provide a better heat buffer than their asphalt counterparts, keeping homes cooler and energy bills lower during the summer months. How is this done? We were lucky enough to meet with President Todd Miller and tour the Ohio factory to learn about the manufacturing process and the company’s history.
Classic Metal Roofing was founded in 1980 by Miller’s father. Initially making roofs for Pizza Hut, IHOP, and other free standing restaurants, the company moved into the residential sector in the late 80’s. Making their roofs from recycled materials since early on -- ”when it was taboo to talk about [from a marketing perspective],” says Miller -- their steel roofs currently contain 35 percent recycled content, while their aluminum roofs are almost entirely comprised of recycled metal. Beyond their recycled content, the roofs keep houses cooler in hot weather through the use of a reflective glaze coating, as well as a dead air space in between the panels that acts as a thermal break. ”Same idea as a double paned window,” says Miller.
Miller shows a flat roof panel to NRDC colleagues Cai Steger and Dylan Sullivan.A roll of metal travels through the stamping press.
And since the majority of their market is made up of remodeling homeowners, they have not struggled significantly in the wake of the housing market crash. In fact, 2009 was their strongest year ever. While 2011 did see slower business, the company refrained from laying off any workers. Employing domestic workers and sourcing manufacturing materials from as nearby as possible is one of Miller’s top priorities, and is a key component to the efficiency economy beginning to bloom in Ohio.
- • Classic Metal Roofing, of Isaiah Industries
- • Location: Piqua, OH
- • Manufacturing metal roofs since: 1980
- • Efficiency scorecard: roofs have heat reflective coating, air gap in middle acts as insulating thermal buffer, made of mostly recycled metal, and durability reduces raw resource consumption
- • Number Employed: 45 locally, additional workers in other U.S. factories
- • Markets: Domestic and International: Canada, Japan, Australia