Skechers Goes Solar

sketchers solarWhen Skechers USA needed to consolidate some of their west coast distribution operations, they looked to create a new facility in Moreno Valley, Calif. Original designs called for a built up roof specification. But considering that the roof had to comply with California Title 24 rules, that spec changed to a single-ply roofing system. Firestone was able to help with its UltraPly TPO roofing product.

“Beyond being an outstanding choice for a sustainable roofing system,” says Firestone sales representative John Fotopoulos, “TPO was a better choice for a solar roof, particularly from a reflectivity and roof temperature standpoint.” The distribution center houses a $300 million fully automated robotic system that sorts and sends the product to the package area and on to the warehouse. “Roof access for tenant improvements would be much easier with TPO membrane”, Fotopoulos says.

sketchers solar

Chris Larson, Owner of CRS Commercial and
Firestone Master Contractor

When the spec changed to a single-ply membrane, Chris Larson, roofing contractor and owner of CRS Commercial, was instrumental in the selection of a Firestone product for the roofing system. He explained the main steps and challenges for the installation of both the roofing and photovoltaic systems.

“We knew it was a big job, so we wanted to be sure we had appropriate manpower to staff the project.,” Larson says. “Our original plan was to install a minimum of 33,000 sq ft a day. With 15 people on the roof, we were actually able to install up to 65,000 sq ft day.”

Installation was broken into three phases and the project originally began as one building with no partition walls. The structure was later modified to include two 4-hour fire rated interior partition walls separating the building into three sections. The interior walls rose above the roof deck, creating parapet walls. A change order was issued to CRS for the installation of a 100-foot-wide ballast of 670 tons of 1½” river rock, from side to side at either wall for added fire protection. Even though it was all loaded by hand, that phase of the project only took an additional month.

“We had zero glitches,” says Larson. “The only issues were our wait for the roof deck to be done in front of us. We’ve learned that when you prepare and account for any contingency, things are generally easier. It went much smoother than I thought.” The entire roofing system, with change orders, was completed ahead of schedule.

Nearly a year after the roof was installed, the photovoltaic installation began. “We were asked to re-bid flexible thinfilm to a secondary ply of Firestone TPO membrane.” CRS installed over 5600 thinfilm panels in record time.

Larson is accustomed to large scale projects, but says, “This project was like a dream come true for us. How much more could a roofer ask for in a 1.8 million sq ft roof with no problems?” Larson’s office has about 10-12 full time staff and as many as is needed in the field, with at least 30-40 full time roofers.

Sketchers Solar


After a few years in roofing, Larson started CRS in 1997 and it has continued to grow since. “I have a reputation for delivering a quality roof, so I have many repeat customers.” CRS has worked almost exclusively with Firestone since 2005.