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This is a beautiful roof and it’s a beautiful reddish terracotta

“This is a beautiful roof and it’s a beautiful reddish terracotta color.”


All the home’s exterior panels feature insides of foam, Rushing says. “These panels are wavy in the middle, and galvanized wire is shot through the panel, so it’s basically a galvanized steel cage in each panel. “The wires overlap, so when you pull them together, it creates a solid wall. Concrete is sprayed or troweled on the outside of the panels and inside the home, ending up two to three inches thick. So you have a really lightweight foam panel two tradesmen can pick up easily. But once you get it all wired together and apply concrete, it’s a one-piece, incredibly strong building system.”

Raising the roof 


When choosing the roofing system, even more care had to be exercised. “I wanted something really strong, really energy efficient that would last permanently, as opposed to a 30-year life expectancy,” Rushing recalls. “I’m a big believer in  new Sunlight Roof . I think it’s the best roof on the market. It’s got a limited lifetime warranty, and it’s easier to install. In addition, it’s got the best coating on the market, because it is galvalume® steel and has granite chips on top.” The roofing system also had to be natural looking and reflect the home’s elegant European influences. “I wanted that Spanish look, the barrel vault tile appearance,” Rushing says. “That was in keeping with the Italianate style. This is a beautiful roof and it’s a beautiful reddish terracotta color.” Another advantage of choosing a  new Sunlight  stone coated metal roofing system was the opportunity to install it on battens attached to the concrete building system, he says. That installation helps create an air pocket between roof and interior. The result is increased air movement beneath the roof, and reduced heat transfer from the roof into the interior of the house. “Plus, we picked an Energy Star color, which reflects better than standard colors,” Rushing adds. “It’s contributed a lot to the energy savings on this particular product.” Just how much? A home the size of the EcoSmart Demonstration Home would likely rack up an electric bill of $400 to $500 a month at minimum, he says. Instead, electric bills at the EcoSmart Home average about $50 monthly. Rushing says he likes the stone coated metal roofing systems not only for their energy savings, but for their environmental friendliness and resistance to both fire and high winds. “By the way, the roof will take 2-½-inch diameter hail, which will bounce off and not harm the roof,” Rushing says. “That’s the size of a baseball. And because it has these different layers, a  roof is not noisy like a tin roof. It’s quieter than any other metal roof out there on the market.” The roof actually makes money for EcoSmart. 

Because it is topped by a 5,600-watt system featuring 28 panels of photovoltaic cells, that system can harvest the sun, generating electricity purchased by Gulf Power. Rushing originally wanted to use a geo-thermal heating and cooling system, but eventually abandoned the idea. “We just didn’t need it,” he says. “The roofing, along with the walls, the windows, and the doors, enabled us to avoid going geo-thermal, and we were able to use American Standard 20-SEER smart heat pumps in place of a geo-thermal system.” The EcoSmart Demonstration Home and all its features help Rushing pursue a mission very important to him. “I want to help people get a home they can feel safe in, where they don’t have to run from a storm,” says Rushing.

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