Having a roof over your head is a universal human need. In both literal and figurative ways, Scott Howard provided cover for UNLV students for more than two decades.
William Scott Howard, who passed away in December, headed Commercial Roofers, a company that had been under his family’s supervision since 1950. It remains one of the largest waterproofing and roofing services firms in the nation. A Las Vegas native, Howard was an avid Rebel athletics fan and a staunch supporter of UNLV’s School of Architecture.
“Supporting the students of UNLV was a passion of my father’s and is embedded within our company culture,” said his daughter, Lindsay Howard, project manager at the company. “Construction education is important for the future of not just our students, but our ever-evolving city of Las Vegas.”
Commercial Roofers’ partnership with the architecture school began with the creation of an annual scholarship that was started in 1997 and was just renewed through 2030. Senior Emmanuel Muñoz was the Commercial Roofers Scholarship recipient this year.
“My parents didn’t go to college, and unlike a lot of my classmates, I didn’t grow up playing with Legos,” Muñoz said. “But my interest in architecture has been there from the beginning.”
Muñoz learned that he had received the Commercial Roofers Scholarship in an email from Eric Weber, his professor and head of UNLV’s David G. Howryla Design+Build Studio. “I was honestly so surprised and grateful,” Muñoz recalled. “Without this scholarship, I wouldn’t have the finances, or the time, to handle the intense senior-year course load. It motivated me every day.”
Commercial Roofers has also been a key supporter of UNLV’s Solar Decathlon team. Students from across campus — aspiring architects, engineers, business leaders, communicators, and health providers — collaborate to design and build a sustainable home to compete in an international collegiate competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. This year's entry offers a home of healing for veterans and people recovering from PTSD.
“My younger brother, Alejandro, is a construction management major in the College of Engineering,” said Muñoz. “He spent last summer volunteering on the Solar Decathlon project. “We got to see the home as it was being constructed, to see its inner workings. It shows the practical side of architecture. It was truly eye-opening. ”
Commercial Roofers donated materials for the roof and metal panels for the home’s exterior.
“The Solar Decathlon couples concept with reality,” said Weber. “It gives students hands-on experience and makes them more aware of sustainability and social issues.
“We couldn’t get the project off the ground without the wholehearted support of community partners like the late Scott Howard and Commercial Roofers.”
“Commercial Roofers is privileged and proud to support UNLV and its students,” said Lindsay Howard. “With all of the opportunities these students have to become involved in designing and building an iconic city such as Las Vegas, the sky is the limit.”
The Solar Decathlon competition runs through April 2021. The public can support students by voting in the People's Choice award: