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Roderick Costain - Roco Industries - WISE


2019 Winner
Wise 50 Over 50 Award™

Roderick Costain  – RoCo Industries

My father was a contractor and I enjoyed working with him to build homes while I was young. While I went on to University to study Chemistry I had always remained interested in buildings and construction.

My early experiences working in construction have shaped my current views. Over the next 25 years I developed my career, working on a wide variety of research and development projects, while remaining interested in building design and construction. In recent years the growing concerns with climate change had motivated me to investigate the sustainable energy options on buildings. I felt it was the time to turn my attention back to construction and building design. I thought there should be a better choice than roof-top solar panels for a home.

At the age of 51 RoCo Industries Inc. was launched to develop a better solar product.  I thought that a product that is easier to install would benefit builders and contractors making it easier to build and deliver energy self-sufficient homes. Also, a product that is integrated, one that can be combined with other building products, will allow architects to design more attractive solutions than simply attaching solar panels to the roof.

My goal was to develop a product that was more architecturally integrated, one that could be installed using common tools and techniques. 

The result of our work was the development of our Solar Siding panel. It is a 2 in 1 product that installs on the exterior of the home to replace siding, to protect the home, and a solar panel that generates electricity for energy self-sufficiency.

The most positive thing that I look forward to regarding our Solar Siding product is the impact that it can have in the creation of green jobs. The merging of solar systems and construction techniques to install our Solar Siding will create new skills and new technical skills. Our Solar Siding product will have a positive impact on this transition toward a green economy. These combined skills in the trades sector will be a growth area in the years to come. As our Solar Siding product gains traction, we expect more of these types of products to enter the market and we are looking forward to introducing additional product styles. I am proud to have a product that will help create opportunities to advance skills and build demand for skilled workers.