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The University of Kansas Studio 804

Project at a Glance

“Each year, we complete a house or a university-related commercial building, alternating between standing seam roof and flat roof projects. For each metal roof project, we incorporate S-5! Normally, we prefer a pitched roof form and a high gable roof to take advantage of the full interior height without interruption to the floor plan, so directly attaching the PVKIT to the standing seams makes our job quite easy in comparison to the alternative flat roof system, which requires a fairly expensive support system. Integrating into the standing seam saves us thousands of dollars, and S-5! is quick and easy to install.”

—Dan Rockhill, Professor, University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design; Founder, Studio 804

The Situation & Results

Studio 804 is a hands-on learning program at the University of Kansas for graduate students in their final year of studies seeking a Master of Architecture degree. Founded in 1995 by Professor Dan Rockhill, each year students design, procure and execute a complete house in just nine months.

The students had clearly defined sustainability goals and set out to achieve LEED platinum status with a solar PV mounting system that provided a simple, economical, and penetration-free method for direct attachment of modules to the roof. They also required a fully engineered snow retention system that would both match the roof and last the life of the roof.

They chose the low-profile PVKIT solar mounting solution (in black) that is warranted for the life of the solar system, has aesthetic appeal and did not damage the roof. And they were able to reduce the home’s electricity consumption by about 85%. ColorGard was custom-designed and engineered for this project to mitigate any potential rooftop avalanches causing harm to residents or property below.

Challenges Faced Along the Way

The students experienced many project challenges during the construction of the roof. The extreme angle of the roof (12:12) made working on it a challenge from start to finish. Supply chain issues also presented difficulties for the delivery and installation of the roof materials. With a hard deadline fast approaching, Studio 804 needed a solution for the solar array and a snow retention system that would be quick and easy to install (by the students) yet high-quality and able to meet the architectural language of the project.

Rooftop solar was a necessary design component to achieve Studio 804’s sustainability goals, to obtain LEED platinum status and to supplement the energy consumption of the residence.

Additionally, to protect the home and homeowners from any potential damage or harm caused by a potential rooftop avalanche due to the steepness of the roof, a snow retention system was a must. The project required a product that complemented the aesthetic vision, in addition to a durable, maintenance-free system that would not penetrate the concealed-fastened roof.

What Worked?

The 1800-square-foot home and adjacent 500-square-foot accessory dwelling unit are (wall-)clad in glossy black fiber cement panels and topped with a 24-gauge matte black standing seam metal roof. The roof features a 16-panel solar array of Q-Cell Q.Peak Duo 400W modules secured in place with the S-5! PVKIT® and is expected to offset approximately 85% of the homeowner’s energy consumption. The roof also features the complete ColorGard® snow retention system.

Long Term Outlook

The S-5! attachments enabled Studio 804 to meet its sustainability goals, achieve the quality look they wanted, maintain the roof’s integrity and complement the roof, with a clean appearance and perfect color and finish-matching, designed and engineered to last the life of the roof.

S-5! Products Used

The pre-assembled PVKIT® used in rail-less solar PV mounting can save you in logistics and installation time. It is compatible with all S-5! clamps and most brackets. It fits all 30-46 mm module frames and offers multiple slots for wire management.]

ColorGard snow guards feature finish-matching that lasts the life of the roof because it is the same material as the roof. Easily install any time of the year; or retrofit the ColorGard system to an existing roof or incorporate it in the new roof design.

The S-5-S (“S” for snap-lock) is designed for most popular vertical snap-together profiles - typically with vertical dimensions of 1.5” (38 mm) and 1.75” (44 mm). Use the S for single-fold (angle-seam) horizontal profiles of 1” (25 mm) and 1.5” (38 mm) seam height dimensions and all similar seam types.

Learn More about ColorGard S-5-S Mini Clamp Discover the PVKIT
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