Skip to content

Council wades into Mooroof debate

Squamish's most controversial roofing system was the topic of a lengthy debate at the most recent regular meeting of council. The debate centred on the roof designed by Moore Enviro Systems. A handful of homes in Squamish have the roofing system.

Squamish's most controversial roofing system was the topic of a lengthy debate at the most recent regular meeting of council.

The debate centred on the roof designed by Moore Enviro Systems. A handful of homes in Squamish have the roofing system. The system uses worn tires instead of traditional materials like tiles, shakes or shingles.

The B.C. Building Code doesn't recognize the use of recycled tires on roofs. The district and Moore Enviro Systems are caught in a legal dispute that has gone before the Supreme Court of B.C.

The District of Squamish placed notices on the land titles of buildings with a tire roof.Mayor Ian Sutherland asked council to consider removing the notices. The mayor reported that a resident with the roofing system is interested in selling but the notice on title is making the sale difficult.

Coun. Corinne Lonsdale offered a historical perspective and told council that former Fire Chief Pat Hampson brought the issue to council's attention. She said that Hampson felt the tire roofs posed potential dangers to the to the community if a home with the roofing system ever caught fire. In addition to the safety issue, Hampson felt the district might be open to legal action if there was a fire because the roofing system is not certified.

Moore Enviro Systems contends the roofing system is certified. While not recognized in the building code, the company says an independent testing agency tested the Mooroof and determined that it is an acceptable roof covering with acceptable fire resistance.

Lonsdale noted that Squamish isn't the only place where structures have rubber tire coverings on the roof. She pointed out that other towns put notices on the titles of rubber roof buildings.

"We have a person in this town who is trying to sell their home with the Moore roof and they are having trouble selling," Sutherland said.

The mayor pointed out to council that while the tire roof system isn't recognized in the building code, the homes with the Mooroof are insured.

"I truly don't feel there's a fire issue," Sutherland said. "Insurance companies are willing to insure these homes. The Insurance Bureau of Canada and insurance companies don't believe fire is an issue."

Trudy Coates, the Manager of Administrative Services for the District of Squamish, encouraged council to allow staff to bring forward a report on the issue. She said weight and collapse issues are also a concern with the Mooroof.

By placing a notice on title, said Coates, the district protects itself and future owners of the homes from future legal action.

Council passed a motion that directed district staff to look at ways of removing the notices on the titles for the buildings with the rubber roof system.

Sutherland said the objective of the motion was not tell the staff what to do but to come up with something proactive for the homeowners.

One homeowner with the Mooroof system said on Wednesday (Feb. 25) that she is very pleased with the roof on her home.

The resident asked that her name not be revealed to protect her privacy.

She said her home needed a new roof and she was initially attracted to the roofing system because of the environmental benefits. The idea of keeping tires out of landfills and using them as a long lasting roof material made sense to the environmentally conscious resident. She added that the roof was installed six years ago and there are no issues for her around the effectiveness of the roof. Her insurance company does not know that the home has a roof made from tires.

The homeowner recommends that those who need to replace their roof consider used tires instead of more traditional materials.

Denis McDougall is another affected homeowner. McDougall attended the council meeting, as did Richard Moore of Moore Enviro Systems.

A home owned by McDougall on Sixth Avenue is currently half covered with aging cedar shingles. The other half of the home is covered with tires. The district issued a stop-work order on the project and Moore Enviro Systems responded by filing a lawsuit in B.C. Supreme Court asking the court to force the district to withdraw the stop work order.

The matter remains unresolved. The district argued that the matter does not belong in B.C. Supreme Court, but should be handled under the Judicial Practices Review Act, which allows residents to challenge municipal bylaws. Madame Justice Garson agreed with the district in a decision she handed down Mar. 3, 2003. In handing down her decision, Garson said she was not making any ruling on the status of the stop-work order.

Richard Moore said on Thursday (Feb. 26) that he has re-filed the action as specified by the court and wants the stop-work order removed so the project can be finished. He hopes an out-of-court agreement can be reached with the district so the work on the half-finished roof can be completed.

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks