“The Magic We Live By” – S-5 Celebrates Legacy of Innovation in Metal Roof Industry

S-5! Metal Roof Innovations
Written by William Young

S-5! Metal Roof Innovations, Ltd. specializes in developing and selling metal roof attachments. Since its founding in 1992, S-5 has marketed internationally, and according to Founder and Chief Executive Officer Rob Haddock, the company has a brand presence and project histories on six continents and at least forty countries.

The S-5 brand has earned respect and endorsement from every major metal roof manufacturer in North America, and the company’s products have been used in various applications on many high-profile facilities.

S-5’s engineered snow retention systems are installed from IBM’s world headquarters in Armonk, New York to the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey and many structures in the French, Austrian, Swiss, and Bavarian Alps. The company’s clamps and brackets have been used for fall-protection applications on IKEA stores around the world as well as London’s Heathrow Airport, the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, and more.

The company’s wind clamps have been used on the Oslo Opera House and Walmart Distribution Centers. And S-5 products have anchored more than two gigawatts of solar photovoltaic arrays including at the world headquarters of Google and Apple, where its products anchor more than six miles of static lifelines and service walkways along with one of the largest roof-mounted solar arrays in the world. Its wind clamps also appear on many Fed-Ex distribution centers, Costco and Toys R Us stores, United States Department of Defense projects, airport terminals, and support facilities.

Additional core markets of the company are roof accessories for snow retention and fall-protection, both safety applications. Rooftop avalanches have claimed lives and destroyed many millions of dollars in property every year, but snow retention systems greatly reduce these risks.

Mountings for solar arrays must be highly engineered to resist forces of wind and snow. Solar power generation can represent investments of millions of dollars and have a service life of more than three decades, but the investment rests on the system’s ability to stay on the roof. S-5’s products keep roof additions where they need to be and have survived Category 5 hurricane forces.

The company’s products provide cost-effective solutions to solve everyday problems even when lives are not at risk, such as the mounting of a satellite dish or air-conditioning condenser. In the past, such mounting challenges resulted in permanent harm to the roof and repeated maintenance to prevent leaks and restore roof integrity. S-5 has invented numerous technologies that solve these common problems and cost less than previous methods. The company fully load tests, corrosion tests, and water tests all its products.

When it comes to the effectiveness of the company’s products, the ultimate test is that of time. “We have a track record of twenty-seven years on over two million roofs worldwide and never a single documented failure of any of our products or systems. This is not just lucky but a matter of knowing what we are doing. We have no competitor who comes even close to that kind of blemish-free reputation and real-world experience. While competitors do few if any of these things, we live by our mantra, doing it the right way.”

What started as a small shop with some handmade wooden prototypes now employs almost sixty people and manufactures everything that it sells in its forty-two-thousand-square-foot plant. However, it remains a family business with a very capable staff and executive team and “together we find creative solutions for any challenge. We are innovators, so we tend to think out-of-the-box.”

According to Haddock, there was no manufactured solution for non-penetrating attachments to standing seam metal roofing before 1992. S-5 invented the concept, and the company has been awarded more than fifty U.S. and foreign patents for its many further innovations. S-5’s workforce takes great pride in its history within the metal roofing community, and employees are trained to provide technical advice to our customers rather than mere sales hype.

The company assumes leading roles in at least ten trade organizations, establishing new standards of practice for more durable building envelopes that protect life and property. “At the same time, rather than trying to be everything to everyone, we stick to our core competence: attaching things to metal roofing.”

He affirms that S-5 has always believed in long-term relationships, claiming the same bank, accounting firm, staff members, key suppliers, and many of the same distribution partners since the beginning. Its vendors contribute to its success by delivering top quality goods on time and at the quoted price. Although certain raw materials fluctuate in cost and availability, vendors carefully monitor these variables and communicate regularly to keep bottlenecks and costs to a minimum.

Haddock feels that when a customer thinks of things that need to be mounted onto a metal roof, S-5 has a prudent, durable solution that is consistent with the technology and service life of the roof itself. These are applications that warrant a high degree of testing, engineering, quality assurances, and traceability, and when durability is required, it raises the challenge.

Metal roofs offer many decades of service life, so the components that attach rooftop additions should be serviceable and durable for the life of the roof. Accomplishing this with off-the-shelf products that are also very affordable and easy to use is “the magic we live by,” Haddock says.

He says that the company has two categories of customer. The first direct customer is the distributor, and the second is the distributor’s customer. Haddock feels that the company identifies with the customer making purchasing decisions like installers, erectors, or contractors. “We used to be in their shoes…We know what it means to resolve tough problems while the clock is ticking or installing something that is either poorly designed or impractical.”

Because of this, all the company’s products are designed with the installer in mind and made to be easy and quick to assemble with all installation procedures being simple and intuitive.

In its time, the company has been awarded more than fifty U.S. and foreign patents, along with several product awards within the industry. Its manufacturing facility has won many industry safety awards and a company of the year award from the city of Iowa Park, Texas and the 2017 innovation award from the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA). Founder Rob Haddock has also earned several industry awards as have sons Shawn and Dustin.

S-5 is now in its twenty-seventh year of business and showing strong double-digit growth over the last few years, with strategic objectives and implementation strategies that will assure this kind of growth continues into the foreseeable future. Haddock believes that the company will carry on creating new products following investments in research, development, and beta-testing instead of hastily launching a new product.

This is not the kind of company that “blows in, blows up, and blows out,” Haddock firmly states. “We are in it for the long haul and the only company in our space that has actually out-lived its warranties. We always have been and always will be a debt-free company and continue to reinvest retained earnings into our continuing growth and market expansion. We will continue to develop and offer tomorrow’s solutions for today’s metal roofing at surprisingly affordable costs. It is what we have always done, and if we continue, we will continue to grow our business.”



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