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During the 2023 Greenbuild Conference and Expo, cove.tool CEO and Co-founder Sandeep Ahuja had an insightful conversation with team members from GAF, a leading company in the building materials industry.
The discussion focused primarily on the driving forces behind GAF’s robust commitment to sustainability and how North America's largest roofing manufacturer is navigating the challenges of eco-friendly innovation in the construction sector.
Responding to Market Demands with Sustainable Solutions
GAF’s emphasized customer demands, code compliance, and the need for certifications as the primary drive push toward sustainability.
Sandeep: What's driving your high commitment to sustainability and recycling everything that you might get?
Mary Schenker, Senior Product Manager, GAF: Our customers are asking for it, code compliance, and certifications. We want to be able to offer whatever the customer needs.
Recently, the roofing manufacturer introduced a non-halogenated Polyiso line in their products. This innovation aligns with stringent environmental standards, including the Declare label, Living Building Challenge, and even LEED, showcasing GAF's responsiveness to the evolving demands for more sustainable building materials.
Pivoting in Crisis with Sustainability in Mind
In addressing the balance between cost and sustainability, GAF pointed out the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic causing subsequent material shortages for the industry.
One product line was modified to not only overcome the shortages and the time additions that were brought on by the crisis, but also to ensure that the spec-driven materials would still be sustainable, meet green standards, and exceed customer expectations.
“The assembly, typically, is a couple of layers of ISO,” explains Mary Schenker, Senior Product Manager at GAF. “So, the most common is two layers of two six, which gives you an R 30, and then a coverboard. We offer the non-halogen product in all three, in two different facers.”
The assembly is optimal insulation (R30) and features multiple types of facers to accommodate various building material needs and specifications.
“The thing that makes ours different is we offer the full system. So, we’ve got the flat, we’ve got the tapered, we have a cover board,” says Schenker.
Education Across the Board
Another important part of GAF's approach is their commitment to educating architects about their products.
You can find team members at AIA sessions, conferences, and regional meetings to keep a consistent, constant flow of education.
GAF also focuses on training the sales team to effectively communicate these sustainable innovations to their clients. This educational approach is crucial in ensuring that the benefits of sustainable products are well understood and appreciated within the industry.
A Forward-Looking Approach in Building Materials
GAF’s conversation with Sandeep Ahuja at Greenbuild 2023 is a clear indicator, and an example, of how industry leaders are adapting to the increasing demands for sustainable building practices.
Their commitment to innovation, coupled with an emphasis on education and compliance, positions GAF as a forward-thinking player in the AEC industry. This aligns well with cove.tool's mission of promoting sustainability and efficiency in the built environment.
Stay tuned with cove.tool for more updates and insights from industry leaders in sustainability and construction.