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HRES Presents a Virtual Workshop

Ice House Roofing Keeps You Cool
Presented by Orlo Stitt



Orlo Stitt will be presenting on Icehouse Roofs and how a properly designed and installed Icehouse roof will naturally exhaust excessive summer heat through convection.

In earlier days before mechanical refrigeration was invented, the only way to cool buildings and drinks was to preserve blocks of ice taken from nearby lakes or streams. In order to keep the ice cold for as long as possible was to stack these blocks in layers with straw between and around them. Multiple blocks of ice were stockpiled during the winter months for use during the following summer.

These blocks of ice were stored in a building insulated by straw that had a naturally ventilating roof design that helped keep the building cooler during the hottest days of summer. This roofing system was named an 'Icehouse' roof and many ice storage buildings located around the country utilized this passive design.

In today's world the Icehouse roof design still works to help keep buildings cooler during the hottest times of summer but the advent of mechanical cooling by air conditioners or heat pumps meant that older technologies like this were deemed to be unnecessary. Now that summers are predicted to get much hotter and that the loads on air conditioners and heat pumps will grow ever larger, now might be the time to take a new look at this old but viable technology.


Orlo Stitt - President, Stitt Energy Systems, Inc. 
•    Bachelor of Science - Iowa State University 
•    MBA – University of Iowa
•    NAHB Certified Green Professional
•    Certified Home Energy Rater by RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network) Inactive
•    Past member, Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), Board of Directors
•    Built first passive solar home in 1971 in Village du Soleil, Canada, a subdivision he developed. Their home was featured in a coast-to-coast TV broadcast in both the US and Canada during the 1973 Arab oil embargo.
•    Founded:  Stitt Energy Systems, Inc. in 1978, currently Board chairman (now The Stitt Group) with four divisions—Stitt Homes, Stitt Solar, Stitt Components and Stitt Education.
•    Founded:  Stitt Education, Holistically Green Living, LLC 
•    Past President of Northwest Arkansas Home Builders’ Association
•    Taught seminars on energy efficiency and published and presented technical papers locally and nationally 
•    Developed South Sun Estates, an energy planned and sustainable subdivision on Beaver Lake near Rogers, AR
•    Author, Holistically Green Homes, Eighteen Principles for Designing, Building and Retrofitting Your Energy Efficient Home 
•    Lives in a Net-Zero PLUS energy efficient home in South Sun Estates with his wife Mary
o    Renovated office certified LEED® Platinum under U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Green Building Rating System in 2009
o    Winner of 18 EnergyValue Housing Awards; Two People’s Choice Awards
o    EnergyValue Builder of the Year 1999
o    Sustainability Awards (3) City of Fayetteville AR
o    Honorary Fellow, American Solar Energy Society, 2021
o    American Solar Energy Society 2022 Conference, Leadership in Solar Architecture and Design Award

•    American Solar Energy Society (Honorary Fellow)
•    US Green Building Council
•    National Association of Home Builders
•    Rogers Chamber of Commerce
•    Better Business Bureau
•    RESNET (Residential Energy Services Network, past Board Member)

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