Farmers Insurance® Unveils Innovative New Roof Farm in Olathe
Launched in collaboration with IBHS, research project will help better understand how building materials are impacted by aging

OLATHE, Kan., Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Farmers Insurance® today announced the grand opening of a new roof farm in Olathe, a research project designed to help determine how different roofing materials are impacted by weather and aging in real-world conditions.  Farmers® is collaborating with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) (, a nonprofit industry research and communications association on the local project, and will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, November 3 at 10 a.m. CDT in Olathe.

"This research project is a tremendous opportunity for Farmers® and IBHS to gather additional information about roofing materials that may help homeowners save money on roof repairs and replacements," said Tim Felks, head of property claims for Farmers Insurance.  "By investing in this innovative project, we hope to help our customers understand benefits of choosing upgraded construction materials by testing different materials exposed to real-world conditions."

The roof farm is comprised of five 15' x 15' roof structures. Four will be suited with multiple panels that will be evaluated over time to determine which roofing materials are better equipped to resist weather damage and how they are impacted by climate. The fifth roof will be used for various training and drone testing. Weather conditions are monitored by an on-site weather station which collects data on wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity and incoming solar radiation.

The roof-aging research will be conducted over the next few decades, with roof sets being analyzed at four, eight, 12 and 16 year intervals for wind, hail and wildfire performance. Roof farms in other geographic areas will allow for expanded climate exposure data collection.

The Farmers roof farm project is part of a larger initiative to study the performance of aging roofs when subjected to varying climates over extended periods of time. Farmers is the fourth organization to install a roof farm in collaboration with IBHS.

"We know that roofing is impacted by aging, but this is the first comprehensive multi-peril, research project that addresses the long-term effects of aging on roof performance," said Murray Morrison, Ph.D., vice president, Research for IBHS. "Many roofing products are known to degrade over time, depending on the local environment. Controlled aging of roofs in various climates along with systematic testing of wind and impact resistance at four-year intervals will provide us with the data needed to improve vulnerability assessments."

About Farmers Insurance
"Farmers Insurance®" and "Farmers®" are tradenames for a group of affiliated insurers providing insurance for automobiles, homes and small businesses and a wide range of other insurance and financial services and products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with over 19 million individual policies nationally through the efforts of more than 48,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 21,000 employees. Farmers Insurance Exchange, the largest of the three primary insurers that are part of the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, is recognized as one of the largest U.S. companies on the 2017 Fortune 500 list.

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