Ecoshel Smart-Shingle System
I love the look of shingle siding on a house so I was attracted to the Ecoshel exhibit at the JLC Live show. I’d viewed their website before but seeing the high quality collated shingle panels up close was very telling.
The attractive finely milled and sanded red cedar shingles are collated into 48 in. panels with proper 1/8 in. to 1/4 in. spaces and held together with plastic clips reinforced with a fiber-mesh tape on the back. The quality of both the shingles and panel design is immediately obvious.
Shingle panels are a great way to improve shingle installation. Many installers don’t follow proper joint offset (1-1/2 in.) between shingles in successive courses; nor do they space shingles apart properly. Ecoshel panels take care of both issues. Following the panel installation guide, an installer only has to align the end shingle of the first panel in each course to the registration mark on a panel in the course below. Once the end is set on the mark, all the shingles joints will automatically be offset by 1-1/2 in. from the joints in the entire course of panels. The idea isn’t new but the execution is great. Each panel has joints in different locations and shingles of differing sizes so you don’t have to worry about patterns emerging in the field of shingles.
I haven’t installed Ecoshel shingle panels yet but I’ve installed a couple other systems and found the labor savings to be tremendous. A single worker installing shingle panels can out-side a crew of 4 or 5 installers applying individual shingles.
The best feature of the Ecoshel panels is what’s on the back. Each shingle has 3 to 5 vertical stripes of thermoplastic that space the shingles off the wall and off one-another. The space is between 1/16 in. and 1/8 in., enough to let water drain more freely and aid in drying. You can get the same gap between the wall and regular shingles by using a ‘small gap’ drainable housewrap but the shingle layers are still in direct contact. Ecoshel doesn’t have any long-term performance testing but my guess is that the gap between the shingles is a good thing and will improve shingle life and the lifespan of any paint or stain finish.
Ecoshel panels can be used for sidewall shingling and on roofs. The shingle joint offset meets the 3 course offset code requirement of 1-1/2 in. There’s a small premium for the price of the panels compared to individual boxed cedar shingles but that is made up for 5+ times over in labor savings; plus you’re getting a drainage gap between layers.
The shingles and panels are processed in Maine at a new automated facility that was designed in partnership with the University of Maine. The current line produces a shingle every second. A short video gives you a sense of the how the line operates.
Ecoshel red cedar shingles are finely milled, sanded and collated into panels.
Ecoshel shingles are spaced off the course beneath about 1/8 in. by filaments adhered to the backside.
The shingles in the Ecoshel panels are attached together and spaced apart by plastic clips. Mesh strips reinforce the panels.
Thermoplastic filaments bonded to the back of the Ecoshel shingles provide a drainage and air space between shingles in successive courses.
Thermoplastic filaments bonded to the back of the Ecoshel shingles provide a drainage and air space between shingles in successive courses