DaVinci Roofing Tiles Installed on N.J. Home for Injured Service Man

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Homes for Our Troops, the non-profit organization that constructs homes at no cost for severely injured service people, has selected DaVinci Slate gray roofing tiles and solar panels from Solar Living, Inc. for its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) qualified project. The 1,837 square-foot home is being constructed in Hillsdale, N.J. for Corporal Visnu Gonzalez, who is paralyzed from the upper chest down after being shot by snipers several times while serving in Iraq.


“Our mission every day is to help those service people who have selflessly given of themselves for our country,” says John Gonzalves, president and founder of Homes for Our Troops. “We’re very grateful that DaVinci Roofscapes, a member of the U. S. Green Building Council, has partnered with us to help make this a ‘green home’ for the Gonzalez family.

“The DaVinci synthetic roofing tiles allow us to incorporate a higher level of green building products and practices into the homes we construct for severely disabled service people. Combined with the solar panels, this roof will provide years of economic and environmental benefits to Corporate Gonzalez.”

The Hillsdale home is the first Homes for Our Troops LEED-H Platinum project house being constructed since the organization began a partnership in 2008 with The Sierra Club Foundation. A grant of up to $1,000,000 over a three-year timeframe has been awarded to Homes for Our Troops to explore new technologies and products designed with environmental and energy conservation in mind.

The DaVinci roofing tiles used in the Gonzalez home are 100 percent recyclable, have a 50-year warranty and are manufactured in Kansas. The tiles offer a smaller carbon footprint by reducing job site waste and weighing one-third as much as real slate, so transportation costs are reduced.

For this home, the DaVinci roofing tiles help the homeowner to harvest rainwater cleanly. For other project, DaVinci roofing tiles contribute to the LEED Certification Process (LEED-NC Standard 2.2) by:

  • WE 1.1 – 1.2 – Water Efficient Landscaping – DaVinci products work well with captured rain systems, preserving potable water. (1-2 points)
  • MR 2.1 – 2.2 – Construction Waste Management – DaVinci products divert 50% to 75% of roofing materials from landfills. (1-2 points)
  • MR 3.1 – 3.2 – Resource Re-Use – When carefully removed, 5% to 10% of DaVinci products can be re-used. (1-2 points)
  • MR 5.1 – 5.2 – Regional Materials – DaVinci products are manufactured in Kansas City, KS, for significant transportation savings within a 500-mile radius of the plant. (1-2 points)


Every Homes for Our Troops project relies heavily on volunteer labor. For the Hillsdale project home, coordinators didn’t have to look far for an eager volunteer to install the roofing and siding. Frank Gravina Jr., vice president of Frank Gravina Home Improvement in Hillsdale, stepped up to help.

“My dad is a Vietnam veteran, so this project has special meaning to all of us,” says Gravina. “Every man and woman serving our country deserves support and assistance. It’s the least we can do for their incredible dedication to protecting our freedom.”

The Gravina team of eight people installed the DaVinci roofing tiles in two days while another team of six workers installed the home’s siding. “The DaVinci tiles were easy to install and have a good, unique look to them,” says Gravina. “This is the first time we used this product and we were impressed. I can easily see installing these roofing tiles on other projects in our area in the future.

“I like the idea that these tiles contribute less to landfills and use less of the earth’s resources than traditional asphalt roof shingles. Taking steps today to use green building products will definitely contribute to a greener tomorrow for our children.”

DaVinci Roofscapes has manufactured award-winning synthetic slate and shake roofing since 1999. The polymer roofing tiles are virtually maintenance free and far more cost effective than the natural product. DaVinci leads the industry in tile thickness, the tile width variety and the greatest selection of subtle earth-toned colors. DaVinci proudly makes its products in America and is a member of the National Association of Home Builders, the Cool Roof Rating Council and the U.S. Green Building Council. For additional information call 1-800-328-4624 or visit our website.