Nashville Roofing & Sheet Metal Contractors
  Home   >   R.D. Herbert, III (Bobby Herbert)

Although the roofing and sheet metal division detached from the original materials company three generations prior, most of the success enjoyed by the current business is attributed to Houston’s father, R.D. Herbert, III. While he began his career as an MIT Graduate, professional engineer, and sixth generation of his family in the business, he had other ambitions outside of the company. He headed half way around the world to write a novel. He returned to Nashville a year later, without his novel, and begrudgingly started driving a truck for the family firm. Always a gambler, he wagered his future on the family business and risked it all doing roofing estimates.

Bobby worked his way to President and developed one of the state’s largest roofing companies. His goal was to “offer the best product at a reasonable price with special emphasis on service.” These values helped stabilize the company during downturns in the economy.

When new construction slowed in the 1960’s and ‘70’s, Bobby recognized the importance of re-roofing and historical renovations and took his company values directly to building owners. This relationship allowed our estimators the chance to use their experience, knowledge and expertise to influence the design of the roof.

Many new roofing changes evolved during the time of the oil energy crisis of the mid-to-late 1970’s including single-ply, elastomeric membranes which reduce labor cost. Bobby embraced the new products and a relationship between RD Herbert & Sons and Carlisle-Syntec Systems was born.

Carlisle Roofing Presentation
50 Perfect 10 Carlisle Roofs

Bobby Herbert was an innovator and environmentalist well before his time. In 1976 he had our sheet metal shop fabricate and install a solar energy collector on the roof of his home. The entire system was built around the idea of energy being stored in the basement and controlled by a computer. A few years later, he concluded that the technology had not yet advanced far enough to make it an efficient system. His interest in sustainable energy never waned and he shared this awareness with his son, Houston, who continues to delve into the prospects of green roofing innovations.

Bobby Herbert (R.D. Herbert III)
R.D. Herbert, III (Bobby Herbert) 

A desire to give back to the community led Bobby to join numerous organizations and charities. He held a prominent role with the NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) on both the Publications Committee and Board of Directors. He also served on the Board of Directors for several other trade organizations, including the National Roofing Legal Resource Center, Tennessee Society of Roofing Contractors, and as Chairman of the Board for the Nashville Contractors Association.

He presided over the Board of Governors of the local chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers. Using his knowledge and position, Bobby worked to spread understanding of roofing to others through speaking engagements, writing articles and charitable contributions. Community activities he was involved in include: Sons of the American Revolution, Nashville Chamber of Commerce, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Belle Meade Mansion and Country Club, and St. George’s Episcopal Church. He was a contributor and activist within the Nashville Arts community.

Roofing Book by R.D. Herbert, III
Roofing: Design Criteria, Options,
and Selections

His youthful ambitions realized, Bobby Herbert finally wrote his book, “Roofing: Design Criteria, Options and Selections”, published in 1989. The irony of it all was that the first book he had published was on the topic he had once tried to leave behind. Over the years, he was also published in roofing and sheet metal magazines and contributed his expertise and experience as a speaker in educational seminars.

Although out-of-print, “Roofing: Design Criteria, Options and Selections" can be found online at