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McElroy Metal roofing, siding a vital piece of Net Zero ‘tiny homes’

September 15, 2021

Dwayne Borkholder spends more time than most thinking of others. The president of Borkholder Building and Supply as well as New Energy Homes, of Nappanee, Ind., modestly has been a part of humanitarian projects all over the world.

“It’s always been a part of my philosophy to build a home with materials that won’t have to be replaced before the 30-year mortgage is paid off,” Borkholder says. “With (asphalt) shingles you get 10 or 15, maybe 20 years. Vinyl siding has to be replaced after 20-25 years. If you can use a product like metal, that has a proven record of lasting longer, why wouldn’t you use it?”

Borkholder says that South Bend, Ind., has, in the last few years, changed its ordinances to allow for the construction of an Auxiliary Dwelling Unit, or an ADU, on city lots. By erecting an ADU, there’s no need to purchase additional land or add infrastructure like electricity and water. It adds value to the property and creates a source for added revenue as a rental space.

The homes are 600 square feet, but have a spacious feel because of the way they are designed by Borkholder and his staff architect, Mike Blue. They have nine models available on the New Energy Homes website with plans for more. The homes were submitted for consideration in the 2021 Builders Showcase of the Home Builders Association of St. Joseph Valley and garnered several awards, including Best of Show. In addition to the metal panels from McElroy Metal, other sustainable products used on the project included metal panels from Quality Edge Vesta in Gilded Grain, entry doors from Therma-Tru, thin-film laminate solar panels from MiaSolé and balcony railing from Westbury Aluminum Railing’s Tuscany line.

Why metal? Borkholder sites three reasons: Aesthetics, longevity and energy efficiency.

When it comes to energy efficiency, Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF reflective paint colors help reduce heat transfer. McElroy Metal’s Multi-Rib roofing and wall panels on the tiny house are Matte Black.

“Steel has a lot more value than most people think,” Borkholder says. “People need to see and feel what it’s like, they need to ‘experience’ the Tiny Homes.”

Of the first two Tiny Homes, one was sold to an executive at Inovateus Solar, the MiaSolé solar panel supplier. The second remains available on Air BNB.

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