With an eye on energy savings and sustainability, we are replacing many of our roofs in certain markets, depending on the local climate, with more reflective ones such as thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofs. In Chicago, the older roof type, ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM), is made of rubber that is held in place with stone ballasts. The new roof systems use a single-ply reflective membrane that doesn’t require stones to stay in place.

Previously, unused ballast stones might have gone to the landfill. However, three enterprising Chicago maintenance technicians saw an opportunity to put the stones to good use at their properties. Earlier this year, Bill McFarlane, Rick Weinberg and Ryan Duewerth began to repurpose the extra stone for the following:

  1. Shoring up the banks of our waterways, aiding water retention for our buildings and parks
  2. Paving and roadway projects
  3. Landscaping

First, the stones are vacuumed off roofs. Then, the stone is delivered to receiving properties. This creates a win-win for our business and our roofing contractors, as they do not have to transport stone to landfills.

This great idea has been gaining traction in the Chicago market as we move steadily from EPDM to TPO roofs. We have completed 29 projects to date. Read more about our dedication to sustainable development here.

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