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CE513: Rooftop PV: What You Need to Know About Roof Systems

NABCEP CE Hours:  2 hours (click for details). This on-demand training provides an overview of how roofs function and will introduce considerations specific for roof-mounted PV systems. Designers and installers will learn how to integrate PV arrays with roof systems. Drainage, wind resistance, fire resistance, loads, thermal movement, maintenance, and safety will be discussed thoroughly. The goal of the on-demand training is to have designers and installers of PV systems understand specific roof system criteria to achieve long-term, durable roof systems as platforms for PV systems. Owners of rooftop PV systems should realize their expectations of energy production and long-term service life, and the roof is a large part of the solution.  Further NABCEP hours information found under Certification section below.

what you will learn

Rooftops represent the most available, sustainable and secure real estate, which is why low-slope and steep-slope roofs are increasingly being used as platforms for photovoltaic systems.  Low-slope roofs (commonly used for commercial buildings) and steep-slope roofs (commonly used for single-family residences) have separate challenges when integrating PV systems.

Information from the roofing industry and roofing manufacturer requirements will be provided as well as numerous photographs.


James R. Kirby, AIA, is Vice President of Sustainability for the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing, Washington, DC.  Kirby has expertise in roof system design and construction, weatherproofing and energy-efficiency of the building envelope, and rooftop PV systems.  His responsibilities include serving as liaison for the Center’s PV taskforce, representing the roofing industry at sustainability-focused events, and presenting sustainability-based technical information to roofing and other construction trades within the US and internationally.

Kirby holds a bachelor’s degree in architectural studies and a master’s degree in architecture (structures option) from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He recently received his Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Design and Construction from Boston Architectural College, and he also is an accredited Green Roofing Professional.  Before joining The Center in 2012, he worked for National Roofing Contractors Association, most recently as Associate Executive Director of Technical Communications.  Prior to his 16 years at NRCA, he worked for Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., Northbrook, Ill., an architectural and engineering consulting firm. He is a licensed architect in Illinois and a professional member of several industry organizations, including ASTM International, American Institute of Architects, Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, International Code Council and U.S. Green Building Council—Chicago Chapter.

Kirby is a frequent presenter and contributing author to the roofing, energy-efficiency and solar industries.  He has given numerous presentations, educational seminars and webinars to industry-related associations and construction-affiliated groups.  Kirby also is an annual guest lecturer at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago.

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helpful information

Join SEI for this two-hour on-demand training online solar training session. Online registration provides 60 days of access to the recording of this on-demand training.  Once you have viewed and completed the online on-demand training session, you can print a Record of Completion that reflects the NABCEP CE Hours.

nabcep certification information

SEI Contact Training Hours: 2 hours online

This course provides approved credit hours towards the following NABCEP Certifications and Recertifications:

  • PV Installation Professional
  • PV Design Specialist
  • PV Installation Specialist
  • PV Commissioning and Maintenance Specialist
  • PV Technical Sales Professional
  • PV Associate (Renewal only)
  • SH Associate (Renewal only)
  • Solar Heating Installer (Recertification only)

Please visit NABCEP’S online course catalog for credit hours breakdown.

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