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Reaching New Heights These roofing specialists are growing their business by focusing on the environment.

By Sara Wilson

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Competition placed some limits on Kelly Luckett and MikeCrowell's architectural sheet metal business, but they dreamedbig. In 2001, four years after founding Florissant, Missouri-basedSaintLouis Metalworks Co., they decided green roofing was thefuture.

Covering a roof with plants is environmentally friendly, but hastraditionally been expensive and difficult to do. So the paircreated Green Roof Blocks--aluminum trays containing soil andplants. Compartmentalized and mobile for easy installation, theblocks are designed to last 65 years with no maintenance, since theplants resist drought and require no irrigation. Better yet, theblocks increase roof life up to 200 percent and lower heating andcooling costs.

Luckett and Crowell, both 43, now have customers nationwide andan office in China. Says Luckett, who estimates 2006 sales of GreenRoof Blocks to exceed $1 million, "You calculate to minimizeyour risk, but at some point you have to jump off thatcliff."

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