RSS Roofing Services and Solutions LLC
- Written by: Ivy Carter
- Produced by: Joe Atwood
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
The team at RSS Roofing Services and Solutions LLC (RSS) specializes in the challenging projects from which others in the building industry shy away. The St. Louis-based design-build contractor covers national ground performing a broad range of complex projects. From green vegetative roofs to single-ply installations, custom standing seams to metal structures, the RSS team is ready to tackle any challenge.
“We’re truly a specialty contractor,” shares Joe Lauberth, general manager at RSS. “We tackle high-profile projects with tough logistics, stuff any normal contactor couldn’t go in and do.”
RSS hails from a 117-year foundation its previous parent company, The Young Group, established in 1895. “In 2009 The Young Group became MHS Legacy Group when the owners purchased the assets from The Young Group,” explains Lauberth. Today, MHS Legacy Group oversees nine companies, including RSS. “RSS is a newer emblem we go by,” continues Lauberth. “I’ve been with the company for a little over seven years now.”
Lauberth, a St. Louis native, knows what it takes to manage a large, successful company after 20 years in the roofing industry, as his first job was at a roofing consultant company as a quality control inspector. “I actually didn’t grow up in the business,” he recalls. “I stumbled into it. I had a friend who said to look into commercial roofing and I discovered what I think is a hidden gem. It’s a great industry to work in.”
From Missouri to the Gulf Coast
Since 1895, RSS has established a strong, well-known presence in the St. Louis area. The company employs approximately 300 individuals across all of its locations, which include central Florida; Louisville, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; Columbia, Mo.; and a special operations unit on the Gulf Coast.
“Although St. Louis and Nashville are our largest operations, we’re pretty entrenched in each local market,” explains Lauberth. “We’re well-established, and have been in these locations for a long time.”
The company’s Columbia, Mo., location serves as a go-anywhere operation, but recently RSS has established another similar mobile sector. “About six or seven years ago, when hurricane season hit the Gulf Coast hard, we decided to establish a natural disaster relief crew,” recalls Lauberth. “Before, we had to mobilize people from all across the country to gather at one central location. The Gulf Coast division is set up to respond rapidly to dire situations.”
RSS has since performed hurricane relief efforts throughout New Orleans, Pensacola and Key West, Fla. The company also services the area naval stations offering emergency roof repair, debris removal, temporary shelters and general contracting of other emergency efforts. “We’ve delivered much-needed solutions in a timely manner to many hard-hit areas,” adds Lauberth proudly.
Repairs and reroofing are the company’s forte, whether it’s in the aftermath of a hurricane or regular maintenance. “We do very little new construction,” admits Lauberth. “We mainly work in sensitive, occupied environments, but it’s like we’re not even there. If we’re doing our job correctly, the customer shouldn’t be able to hear, smell or be disturbed by us at all.”
RSS tackles many health care and institutional projects, where the client is continuously present and on-site. Part of achieving success on such projects often includes the job being done in stages on a schedule that works for the owner, according to Lauberth.
“We’re currently performing a reroofing job on an existing 22-story data center in the heart of St. Louis,” details Lauberth. “We’re about 40 percent finished with this two-year project. It’s going to be one of the largest data centers in the central U.S. This site is interesting, because it’s a highly sensitive environment.”
Throughout the stages of the data center job, RSS worked with the owner and general contractor directly, coordinating phases of roof construction and enclosures. “We’re not there every single day,” adds Lauberth. “We come in for a week here and there when we’re requested.”
Working with owners, general contractors, engineers and architects directly places RSS in a unique design-build position. “We rarely bid on work,” explains Lauberth. “Most of our work is with the client one-on-one. This allows us to truly hear their needs and deliver.”
RSS also self-performs the majority of its work, with the exception of sheet metal. “Our Nashville office actually doesn’t subcontract much of anything because it’s a full roofing and sheet metal company,” adds Lauberth. “When we do need to use subcontractors we are highly selective of whom we work with.”
The company has also delved into a relatively new type of roofing. “We completed an award-winning project for the Great Rivers Research Education Center at the Lewis and Clark Community College,” shares Lauberth. “Working with solar panel integration in the design, we installed a vegetative green roof. This project earned LEED certification and RoofPoint’s Excellence in Design award.”
Situated on the banks of the Mississippi, the project is a nod to maintaining the region’s natural beauty through sustainable design, which is almost unheard of in the area. “There aren’t a lot of projects like this going on around here,” adds Lauberth.
In High Demand
Innovative roofing systems and exceptional customer commitment place RSS above others in the industry. In April 2012, after a giant softball-sized hailstorm tore through St. Louis, RSS spent the spring repairing hundreds of flat roofs.
“The weather is our friend and our enemy,” admits Lauberth. “It affects the jobs we do and our daily operations; it’s not business as usual every day around here. After the hailstorm we worked with insurance companies to help our clients to get them a fair return on their roof.”
Lauberth reveals that it was a challenging process to deal with insurance companies that continued to bring in outside roofers who didn’t know the clients personally. “At times it was discouraging and confusing to deal with out of town guys,” details Lauberth. “We actually ended up educating the insurance companies who were more used to dealing with residential repairs. The building owners fought for us to perform installations and repairs because they knew from prior experience that they could trust our quality work.”
Lauberth is confident in the company’s future prosperity. “We want to grow our service and maintenance entity, because more and more people are realizing their roofs are really an investment,” he says. “As technology and performance systems improve, we need to stay current, because our clients rely on us to be the go-to experts.”
RSS is in it for the long haul. “We don’t just put the roof on and disappear,” adds Lauberth. RSS Roofing Services and Solutions LLC continues take on the challenging jobs other companies won’t, putting more than a roof, but a trusted-commitment to service and excellence, over customers’ heads.
For more information about RSS Roofing Services and Solutions LLC, please visit: www.roofingsands.com.
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