Category Archives: Rainwater Harvesting

Complement Backyard Living Spaces with a Standing Seam Metal Roof

American homeowners increasingly are adding outdoor “rooms” for entertaining and recreation on their properties, according to a Residential Landscape Architecture Trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Garden shed with Englert metal roof.Nationwide, household participation in do-it-yourself lawn and garden activities showed an increase of three million households, translating into an extra $688 million in retail sales.  In total U.S. households spend about $29 billion each year on their lawns and gardens.

Results also show demand is growing for sustainability in these designs including recyclable materials, solar lighting and rainwater and gray water harvesting.

Decorative water elements such as ornamental pools, splash pools, waterfalls, grottos, and bubblers rated high along with spa features including hot tubs, Jacuzzis, whirlpools and indoor/outdoor saunas. Outdoor backyard structures also ranked well including pergolas, arbors, utility sheds and even tree houses.

And while they aren’t backyard recreation and leisure facilities, add to that canopies and carports which are also becoming targets for consumers concerned about sustainability, the use of solar power and water reclamation. Carports are used in a variety of ways and come in many shapes and sizes, but essentially they fulfill the same basic function. Carports, pergolas, gazebos, cabanas and large yard equipment sheds are ideally suited for PV deployment, providing sloped areas with direct sunlight. Continue reading

What Contractors Should Know When Buying Metal Roofing Coil

Contractors looking for a good deal on galvanized steel and aluminum roofing coil should always be careful—if it looks too good to be true then it probably isn’t.

There are some tools and “rules of thumb” for them to be sure they’re at least getting what they paid for.

Contractors order metal roofing coil by the square foot and most, in turn, charge their clients the same way.

So the number of square feet a coil is going to yield will dictate how much they are going to pay and how much they are going to earn.

There are a few unknowns in the process. Let’s use 24 gauge steel coil as our example. One coil of 24 gauge material can be different from another. That’s because industry standards permit “tolerances” in what constitutes a 24 gauge thickness. For example, we’ve know of one widely used “standard” that allows the thickness of 24 gauge galvanized steel to be anywhere from .0236 to .0316 inches thick. We know another one that only allows it to be from .0236 to .0296. A lot of contractors know this and realize that the yield of a coil may differ to some degree based on those tolerances. The only way to figure how many square feet the coil will accurately yield is to use a micrometer to measure the thickness of the material. And only a handful of large contractors and distributors have micrometers. Continue reading

Buildings Have Faces, RainPro Adds “Character”

Light commercial structures have faces.

And those faces—or facades as we also know them–are as interesting and diverse in every particular—color, shape, surface details and size—as your face or mine. In a world where our work and leisure environments increasingly wear the stamp of conformity,  the face of a small commercial structure remains an area where individualism can still express itself.The RainPro gutte blends well into the architecture of the building

Look around you. It must be abundantly clear from what you can see here in America that some commercial building owners have still invested substantial care in how their structures look outside.

And why not? Making something happen to the outside of one’s creation brings personal satisfaction but it also makes an impression on the world passing by.

That’s precisely the issue we were struggling with when we invented the RainPro Design Series gutter systems five years ago.  Sure, we wanted a gutter that would be eminently functional. And we made sure that—it’s larger than average capacity moves water away from your building faster than conventional gutters. RainPro’s wider gutter bottom and larger 3 3/8” outlet give you a dramatic increase in water flow capacity compared to a 5” gutter system which only has a 2 3/8” outlet.

But we also wanted to change the look of a gutter.  Conventional gutters serve their purpose but they do nothing for—and in many cases can actually detract from–the look of a building. Continue reading

Manufacturing Metal Roof Systems More Efficiently On the Job Site With Portable Roll Forming Machines

Standing seam metal roof panels are formed for a project in one of two ways— directly at the job site using a portable roll former or off site at a factory and transported by truck to the job site.

When on-site portable roll forming first appeared on the scene more than 25 years ago, the sellers of factory formed panels saw the threat of losing business to metal roofing companies that formed the metal roof panels at the job site using portable roll forming equipment that provided greater flexibility and job control.  These in plant manufacturers began to make a lot of noise about the perceived disadvantages of on-site manufacturing.  Their unfounded claims were that on-site roll forming was too new and lacked a proven track record.   They focused a great deal of time and effort trying to disparage and eliminate the competition from on-site metal roofing fabricators.

Despite their great protestations, job site roll forming has thrived and millions of metal roofs have been installed using portable roll forming machines.  In fact, during the intervening years metal roofing projects completed using portable roll forming equipment have not received any more complaints than those projects that were completed using factory formed panels.  In many cases the advantages with respect to flexibility and increased job control resulting from the more efficient on-site roll forming process drew raves from GC’s, Architects and Building Owners.

Recently, times have been tough in the building industry—we all know that. And twenty five years later the sellers of factory-made panels are feeling the pinch and protesting again—from their factories, hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles from the job site where their roofing panels are being installed.

Twenty five years later, they’re still obsessed with the competition and still complaining about product reliability issues which were clearly never an issue in the first place. Meanwhile, job site roll formers have proven to have several distinct advantages over factory-made panels.

Unlike sellers of the factory formed panels, they don’t store piles of standing seam metal roof panels at the job site only to wait until other crafts have completed their work before roof installation can begin. They don’t leave panels exposed to inclement weather. They don’t have to worry about possible shipping and job site damage.  And they never have to worry that the panels will be too long or too short or that there weren’t enough panels manufactured and sent to the job site in the first place.


Conversely, job site roll formers are able to accommodate last minute changes in plans without waiting several days for the factory to take the order, make the new panels and ship them back to the job site.  Meanwhile, sophisticated roll forming machines allow contractors to punch in 50 different programs and get a series of different panel lengths in sequence.  Today’s contractors produce panel lengths in batches—without touching the unit.

Polyurethane drive rollers drive all materials up to 24 gauge steel through a machine with ease.  A wide variety of materials are run through the machine, with little or no adjustments.

The use of AutoCAD and CAD in the machine design process has resulted in shorter machines that produce finished panels and gutter systems in record time.

And… due to the resulting quality and efficiency more and more architects and GCs are turning to on site metal roof fabricators as the preferred choice to manufacture their clients metal roof systems.

Standing Seam Metal Roofs – An Ideal Choice for Rainwater Harvesting

In my last blog we talked about wildfires and what you can do to guard against them.  We suggested a Class A fire resistant standing seam metal roof for obvious reasons and a leaf protection system to keep leaves, pine needles and other natural debris out of your gutter so it doesn’t become kindling.

Studies by the University of Texas, the Texas Water Development Board and other universities have emphasized that a standing seam metal roof snares more water for reuse than any other roofing material—up to 95%. Those same studies also say a metal roof delivers the highest quality water for indoor domestic use.  Other roofing materials can spawn bacteria and high levels of dissolved organic carbon which can be unhealthy.  And while harvested rainwater that goes into a cistern is nearly always recommended for secondary uses like toilet flushing, landscape watering and car washing, the water taken from a metal roof is considered the safest.Harvesting rainwater allows you many uses for the collected water.
The same type of leaf protection system we recommended for keeping flammable debris out of the gutter in wildfire areas will also serve as the first step in filtering harvested rainwater. A standing seam metal roof and a leaf protection system are superior, effective and economically efficient designs for fighting wildfire AND capturing rainwater.
For the balance of the system, which  includes a pumping mechanism to pump the water back out for reuse and the storage system to hold the rain water that is captured – what you choose will be dictated by how much water you’re trying to capture. Englert rainwater harvesting system.You can choose from a list of professionally designed products ranging from a 100-gallon, inexpensive rain barrel with spigots for watering and drainage on up to a large in-ground system capable of storing 2,000 gallons of water or more.  We recommend that you contact a rainwater harvesting professional to discuss the type of system that best suits your specific needs.
Rainwater harvesting systems are a relatively inexpensive way to reduce long term water costs while conserving water and protecting the environment.

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