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When Paul Ledman paused to consider the roofing options of the new, multifamily home he was building in historic Portland, Maine, the ultimate choice seemed like a no-brainier.


To the former New Yorker, who has developed several multi-family brownstone and commercial projects, a pitched roof would have just seemed odd for the three-unit home he was contemplating.


Then there was the fact that his dream, in his own words, was to “have the most energy efficient home in Maine”—one that incorporated both the efficient use of energy and a 9,600-watt rooftop solar array.


“Suffice to say,” Ledman says, “a flat roof was perfect for what we wanted.” By the time Ledman, principle of Eco-Capital, his general contractor, Mike White, of Island Carpentry, and his architecture firm, Kaplan Thomson Architects, finalized the design of the building in Portland, the structure was 29’ x 69’, with the first floor having two rental apartments, and the second and third floor (really a half floor) intended to serve as Ledman’s home.


Given the design, the 2,001-sq. ft. roof would be split between the top level of the second and third stories. When the project was completed, a solar array would be attached to the third-story roof, and a deck would cover the second story. “From our perspective, there really was no big deal about doing a flat roof for this project, so long as we had the pitch correct, the load correct, and had fully taken into account the susceptibility of the solar panels to the force and load of blowing winds,” Ledman says.


With the concept in hand, the builder then turned to St. Hilaire Roofing Contractors of Lewiston, Maine, a five-generation, family-owned firm, whom White and others working on the project had known for years.


 


Paul Ledman’s three-story multi-family home in Portland, Maine boasts a flat roof that will provide staging for a full solar array.


 


INTENSIVE ASSEMBLY
1. Growth Media
2. MiraDRAIN G4
3. Root Barrier
4. Extruded Polystyrene
5. Membrane (Adhered)
6. Dens-Deck
7. Approved Insulation 8. Substrate


EXTENSIVE ASSEMBLY
1. Growth Media
2. MiraDRAIN G4
3. Root Barrier
4. Protection Fabric
5. Membrane (Adhered)
6. Dens-Deck
7. Approved Insulation
8. Substrate


ULTRA-EXTENSIVE ASSEMBLY
1. Growth Media
2. MiraDRAIN G4
3. Membrane (Adhered)
4. Dens-Deck
5. Approved Insulation
6. Substrate


Carlisle Roof Garden Systems of Carlisle, Pa. (http://www.carlisleroofgardens.com) makes three garden roof assembly systems for the residential, commercial and even larger scale projects. The company’s website includes information on root penetration, roof garden fire and wind resistance, and the energy efficiency benefits of various installations.

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