Architects / General Contractors

From pre-design through commissioning of the system, we partner with architects & GCs every step of the way.

General contractors and architects bring us in early in the solar design phase to anticipate and prevent problems on the back end. Here are some of issues that must be considered in solar design and installation, and the value we can bring to the process.

  1. Up on the roof: We start right from the top, with an existing roof or a new design. The roof type and the amount of available space on it will determine the kind of system and anchoring method we recommend. Importantly, the anchoring method – roof curbs, aluminum legs with bolts, u-anchor system or ballasts – must not interfere with the roof’s drainage system.When a new roof is installed, some material manufacturers insist on choosing the anchor type and on a roofer who is licensed by them, or they will not provide the building owner with a full warranty on the roofing material. As roofing and solar experts, we can either do the roofing ourselves or work closely with the chosen roofer.
  2. Roofer to roofer: Once the choice of roof anchors is made, it is critical that the roofing contractor is thoroughly briefed on the selection, as it can impact his scope of work. The project’s architect and GC can count on SolarWerks to lead the discussion and to speak the same language, roofer to roofer.
  3. Future considerations: While a commercial roof typically lasts about 15 years, the solar system will outlast it for at least twice that time. That means that the solar system must be dismantled when it’s time to re-roof. The choice of racking and mounting must factor in the necessity of making the future dismantling and re-installation of the solar system as easy and as cost-effective as possible.
  4. Work flow: It’s important that the work between the roofer and the solar installer is scheduled so it does not slow down either party. The anchoring system is installed after the old roofing is removed, or if it’s new construction, when the roofer creates temporary roofing to protect against water damage. The balance of the solar system is then installed after the roofing is completed.
  5. Weather impact: Installation of a solar system can be held up by cold weather delays, so ensure there is enough lead time built into a schedule to allow for these potential delays. The installation process of the racking system could also be challenging at such times.
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