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Urban Heat Islands and Cool Roofs

When I left the PolycreteUSA office in Richmond Virginia’s Manchester neighborhood one day recently, the thermometer in my truck said it was 101 degrees outside. Back at my farm 20 miles and a half hour later, it was 8 degrees cooler.

That’s a perfect example of what’s called the Urban Heat Island Effect. Cities generally have few trees and lots of dark-colored paved areas, roofs, and hard masonry or concrete surfaces that absorb and hold heat.

The design and construction community can help reduce urban heat island effect. We can help save lives, money, and stress on the electric grid. We can do this by including high insulation values, thermal mass, and cool roofs on all new construction.

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Imagine A Building That Practically Builds Itself

A few months back, we told you about a six-story Polycrete apartment building on which the contractor built the entire ICF portion in 6 weeks – a floor a week. That included all of the structural walls, floors and roof.

It’s hard to imagine how someone could pull that off, but we used our secret weapon: XpressWall.

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS: We start with your plans. We scan them into our proprietary software...

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Theft of a Sale (Bryant Wheeler)

I was drug up in the construction industry as my father was before me. I was tarring foundation walls as soon as a brush would fit in my hands. It was a time when your word carried more merit than a signature on a paper. When a contractor not only built a building he also built a reputation. A reputation of self-worth, value, character and honoring one’s word. This stood in life no matter if it were private or business affairs.

Polycrete USA still recognizes and lives by these values. Sure we get things in writing – but the word of a person or business still holds value to this day. We see and hear all too often in this ICF industry where an installer or distributor is working on a deal but the manufacturer takes it in house because they are afraid to lose a truck load of forms. Maybe they think the person working the sale can't close it. Or maybe perhaps they just jumped the gun. Either way, if it’s your lead, it should be your sale.

When the manufacture takes your customer in house for whatever reason without your consent this is theft of a sale.

If you, the installer, contractor or manufactures rep, feel you can't close the deal on a PolycreteUSA lead you should call for help. I for one love to help close deals. But it’s still your sale. We are not going to sell direct without paying the rep, and we are not going to send another crew to the site to do the erection. That is your job.

We know how hard you work to make a sale -- so much goes into it. First you must get the lead from somewhere. If it’s by word of mouth this is because you have built a reputation with someone and that’s a beautiful thing.

If the contact comes from a lead source, this costs hard earned money out of your pocket. Either way you put countless hours into working this sale. From convincing the customer that is the best way to build, to working with their architect and making suggestions to their engineer.

It could be a developer you have to pitch. Maybe you point out a tax incentive, insurance breaks, make site visits and general schmoozing -- most of the time it is all of the above including your reputation for doing good honest work.

Coming from the construction industry, later joining the Marine Corps then back into construction, acting honorably has been embedded into me and this is why we do what we do. I would like to challenge ALL the manufacturers and installers to try to live by these values. To assert great character and build this industry on honesty and self-respect.

This industry has been rough on its distribution channel. It's time to put those days behind us and work together for the greater good. We need to do this with old values and new technologies. If we treat our partners, supply chains, and distribution channels ethically and honorably we can show America that ICF technology’s time is now.

Bryant Wheeler, Executive VP
Richmond, Virginia

2-16 Thurman St., PO Box 24185
Richmond, VA 23224

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