Website Provides Easier Navigation through Single-ply Roofing’s Metal Specialty Products

EXCEPTIONAL Metals has redesigned its website, exceptionalmetals.com, to help users experience the visual appeal and navigate through a user-friendly site. Featured products now have unique landing pages that contain corresponding literature and materials. Customers will benefit by the opportunity to learn about unique specialty products including the T-Edge, 2-Piece Snap-On Compression, skirted scupper and collector box.

The new website showcases EXCEPTIONAL Metals continuous drive to grow in the industry and create unique and innovative products that help contractors get on and off the roof faster. A true testament to this growth occurred in June as the company expanded manufacturing operations into Texas.

EXCEPTIONAL Metals, a division of Duro-Last Inc., manufactures high-quality metal products designed for use with any single-ply roofing system. Products include roof accessories, metal edge details, drainage systems, scuppers, collector boxes, pitch pans, custom-fabricated products, skirted vinyl-coated metal products, and standing seam roofing panels for architectural and structural applications. EXCEPTIONAL Metals is headquartered at its manufacturing facility in Saginaw, Mich., with additional fabrication locations in Carrollton, Texas; Grants Pass, Ore.; and Jackson, Miss. As a family-owned business, EXCEPTIONAL Metals is proud to be an American-made product.

Web-based Platform Allows Individuals and Organizations to Support Clean-energy Development

SolarCity is transforming energy delivery by making solar power more accessible and affordable than previously possible. Now the company wants to provide a new avenue for individuals and institutions from around the world to participate in and benefit from that transformation. SolarCity has announced plans to launch a new, Web-based investment platform through which it intends to allow a broad range of investors, including individuals and organizations of all sizes, to participate directly in solar investments that have previously only been available to large financial institutions.

“People want to support clean energy development. Customers are seeing the benefits of getting solar for their homes but they would like to participate in other ways as well,” says SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. “Previously, only institutional investors could participate in the financing of most solar assets. With our investment platform, we’re hoping to allow far more individuals and smaller organizations to participate in the transformation to a cleaner, more distributed infrastructure.”

SolarCity has acquired a privately held financial technology company, Common Assets LLC, which developed the investment platform SolarCity will use to distribute its investment products. Tim Newell, the president and chief executive officer of Common Assets, and John Witchel, Common Assets’ chief architect, have joined SolarCity as part of the transaction. Newell, who will serve as SolarCity’s vice president of financial products, brings more than 25 years of investment, technology and government experience, including roles as senior advisor to private equity firm US Renewables Group; managing director of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s clean technology affiliate fund; managing director and head of investment banking for E*Trade’s investment banking affiliate, E*Offering; and head of investment bank Robertson Stephen’s financial technology group.

Witchel, who will serve as SolarCity’s senior technology architect for financial products, is an experienced technology executive and successful entrepreneur with experience in large-scale financial innovation. Notably, Witchel was co-founder and chief technology officer of Prosper Marketplace, where he oversaw design and development of the first person-to-person online lending marketplace in the U.S. Common Assets was backed by U.S. Renewables Group (USRG), a private equity firm that specializes in renewable energy investments, and Jim McDermott, managing partner of USRG, served as chairman of Common Assets prior to the acquisition.

“SolarCity’s financial products will provide an exciting new opportunity for people to make an impact—both for their own financial future and our global future—by investing in the shift to solar energy,” says Newell. “Unlike crowdfunding and community solar approaches that typically aggregate investors to provide loans for individual projects, SolarCity plans to offer debt investments backed by diversified portfolios of solar assets.”

Extendable Light Mast Features Two 1,500-watt Metal Halide Lamps

Larson Electronics' 3000 watt extendable light mast

Larson Electronics’ 3000 watt extendable light mast

Larson Electronics has released a new 3000 watt extendable light mast. This mast is equipped with two 1,500 watt metal halide lamps that produce 300,000 lumens of light combined.

The LM-16-FM-2X1500W-EW Light Tower from Larson Electronics is a 16-foot extendable light tower equipped with an electric winch and two metal halide light fixtures that produce approximately 150,000 lumens each. The two 1,500 watt metal halide lamps produce a wide spread of intense white light, allowing this unit to effectively cover large work areas with high quality illumination. These lamps have 19 reflectors and are constructed of aluminum with a clear tempered glass lens which is secured into place with a heavy duty gasket and single ring lock. These floodlights produce a wide flood light pattern capable of illuminating approximately 3.5 acres. Each floodlight is securely fastened to the light boom and each lamp includes a support bracket to help maintain lamp stability within it housing.

This two section light boom can be extended to 16 feet for maximum area coverage and collapsed to 9 feet. The tower is constructed of square steel tubing. The mast is extended to its full height using an included 1,000 pound rated 120 volt Dutton Lainson electric winch with 3/16 inch aircraft cable. The electric winches are controlled by a programmable logic relay and reflective sensors as opposed to physical limit switches for ease of use and safety.

These light masts are typically mounted to trailers or other stable surfaces via a 15 inch by 13 inch, 1Ž2 inch thick mounting base plate which has been drilled to accept six 3Ž4 inch anchor bolts. A 24 inch wide and 1Ž4 inch thick mounting plate is attached to the upper section of the mast which provides a strong and stable platform for the metal halide fixtures. This light tower can withstand winds up to 125 mph when lowered to 9.6 feet.

Online Chat Available on Fastener E-commerce Site

E-commerce company Fasteners Plus has recently launched an interactive chat option on its website, allowing customers to ask a sales team member questions, request a price quote and more via instant messaging. The FastenersPlus.com website, which caters to contractors, business owners and consumers, features thousands of fasteners categorized by type and specialty.

Nikki Dudley, vice president of Operations, says the idea for the chat feature came about during the development of the site and categorization of the 20,000+ products. “With so many products across different categories, we knew we needed to implement a method for customers to be able to communicate instantaneously with our sales team if they had a question,” she says. “The interactive chat allows us to see what the customer is looking at online so we can answer questions and make recommendations quickly and easily, without having to search a part number.”

The option to open a chat conversation with a sales team member is enabled via a window when the customer first visits the site, and remains an option throughout the visit. Customers also always have the option of e-mailing or calling the sales team for assistance as well.

Dudley says the feature has also been extremely useful as the company continues to build out the site, such as uncovering common questions that may warrant an answer in an FAQ section on the site. Analytics have also revealed pages where customers are initiating a chat session, which in turn helps determine which content may need updating.

“While this is an excellent feature for our customers, it’s also proven to be very helpful for us,” Dudley adds. “The same informal back-and-forth flow of a traditional in-store conversation can be had via chat, so we’re utilizing that valuable feedback from our customers as we build out the site.”

RCMA Announces Presentations During the International Roof Coatings Conference

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA), in partnership with nine industry organizations, will host the International Roof Coatings Conference (IRCC) July 14-17, 2014, in Baltimore at the Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Hotel. In January, key leaders in the roof coatings industry who make up the IRCC Abstract Review Committee met to select the impressive lineup for this year’s IRCC presentations. The 2014 IRCC will include the following timely topics:

Dr. Karma Sawyer, United States Department of Energy
“The Building Envelope Emerging Technologies Portfolio in DOE’s Building Technologies Office”

Alice Kennedy, Baltimore Office of Sustainability
“Advancing Installation of Reflective Roofing Systems through Community-Based Social Marketing and the Baltimore Energy Challenge”

Dr. James L. Hoff, Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing
“Introducing the RoofPoint Energy and Carbon Calculator: Measuring the Energy and Environmental Contributions of Roofing Systems”

Jeffrey Steuben, Cool Roof Rating Council
“When the Going Gets Rough: The Impact of Substrate Texture on Solar Reflectance Ratings”

Dr. Hashem Akbari, Concordia University
“Advances in Developing Standards for Accelerated Aging of Cool Roofing Materials”

Michael D. Fischer, Kellen Company
“Energy Efficiency and Sustainability in Codes and Standards: Impact on the Roof Coatings Industry”

Dr. Justin Jitao Chen, Dr. Steven Jiguang Zhang, Dr. Joseph Rokowski and Loganathan Ravisanker, Dow Chemical Company
“Novel PUA Hybrid Chemistry for Elastomeric Roof Coatings”

Joe Mellott and Tom Diamond, The Garland Company
“Overcoming Vapor Drive Issues in Cool Roofing”

Kurt Shickman, Global Cool Cities Alliance
“Cool Surfaces: An International Opportunity”

Dr. Michael R. Van De Mark, Missouri S&T Coatings Institute
“Solvent Reduction Technology – What are the Rules?”

Dr. Kaushik Biswas, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
“Impact of Dynamic Insulation Technologies on Steep-Slope Roof Assemblies”

Steve Heinje, Quest Construction Products
“The Roots and Future of Sustainability”

The second biennial IRCC is back by popular demand following the well-received inaugural 2012 IRCC, which was attended by over 120 industry representatives. This year, RCMA has partnered with nine U.S. and international organizations to bring you the 2014 IRCC. These conference partners include:

  • · Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
    · Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)
    · National Research Council Canada (NRC)
    · Canadian Paint and Coatings Association (CPCA)
    · Liquid Roofing and Waterproofing Association (LRWA)
    · Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA)
    · European Cool Roofs Council (ECRC)
    · American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
    · Alliance to Save Energy (ASE)

The conference will begin with an opening reception on the evening of Monday, July 14, and will continue through noon on Wednesday, July 16. Following the IRCC programming, the RCMA Summer Meeting Series, open to RCMA members and guests, will continue through the morning of Thursday, July 17.

Discounted “early bird” registration opens on Monday, April 7, 2014, and will run through May 19. Please contact RCMA Staff Associate Laura Dwulet to be added to the mailing list for conference and registration updates.

Earn Points Toward Future Purchases on FastenersPlus.com

Earn points on FastenersPlus.com.

Earn points on FastenersPlus.com.

E-commerce company, Fasteners Plus, has launched a rewards program, PointsPlus, allowing customers to earn points that can be redeemed toward future purchases on the company’s website.

The internet retailer carries more than 20,000 products, ranging from basic nuts, bolts and washers to more specialized merchandise, such as rivets, wire clips and clamps. Points are earned with each purchase made on the website, and can also be awarded by:

  • Creating an account
    Subscribing to the Fasteners Plus newsletter
    Sending invitations to friends to register at FastenersPlus.com
    Converting invitations to customers
    Converting invitations to sales orders
    Submitting product reviews
    Adding tags to products on the website

Once points have been accumulated, customers can then redeem them at checkout and apply as payment on a future purchase. To kick off the new program, a special “Big Game” promotion running through Feb. 2 awards customers an additional 48 points on all purchases.

Nikki Dudley, vice president of Operations, says the Reward Points program was developed as a way to not only reward loyal customers who purchase from Fasteners Plus, but to also build awareness of the site and promote customer engagement. “While most rewards programs award points on purchases, we wanted to expand ours to include actions such as inviting friends to the site and converting those invitations to sale orders,” Dudley says. “We also hope this program encourages customers to become active on our site by submitting reviews, adding product tags and subscribing to our newsletter.”

FastenersPlus.com was developed in 2012 to target contractors, business owners and consumers planning anything from small home projects to large commercial projects. Flat rate shipping is standard on all orders, and bulk pricing is available on any item by calling the company’s friendly, knowledgeable sales team.

CertainTeed Launches First Webisode Featuring Home Makeover Winners

CertainTeed launched its first webisode and music video in the 2013 Living Spaces Facebook Home Makeover Video Contest featuring the Bielfelt family of Mentor, Ohio.

The Bielfelt family, the grand prize winner of the $75,000 exterior makeover, will be featured in a series of webisodes documenting the renovation of the 100-year-old home. The series follows the family, along with CertainTeed 5-Star Green, 5-Star Fence and Master Shingle Applicator contractors, as they tour the home to kick off the renovation. The homeowner selects multiple products to use, including Cedar Impressions and Monogram siding, Restoration Millwork trim, EverNew decking and railing, Bufftech fence and Landmark Pro roofing.

CertainTeed also released a new music video “Sleeping on My Porch” that was created in conjunction with the webisode series to showcase the homeowners’ excitement about the transformation of their home.

Check out the webisodes at the CertainTeed Living Spaces Facebook page or YouTube channel. Also, stay tuned for additional webisodes and for details on the 2014 $75,000 Exterior Living Spaces Home Makeover contest, which will be available soon on the CertainTeed Living Spaces Facebook page.

SPFA Professional Certification Program Enjoys Strong Participation in 2013

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), the educational and technical resource to the spray polyurethane foam industry, has announced that it saw more than 1,080 exams administered in its flagship Professional Certification Program during 2013, the first year of the program. An internationally recognized program for the professional certification of those active in the installation of spray foam for roofing and insulation applications, the program encourages best industry practices and safety in the installation of spray foam. With industry demand and first year adoption of the program strong, the SPFA projects a doubling of these numbers to occur during the 2014 calendar year.

“The SPFA Professional Certification Program is the only of its kind offered in our industry,” says Bob Duke, president of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance. “We have witnessed widespread interest and participation in this program during its first year and believe we are on course for it to become the industry’s standard installation certification.”

A certification offered domestically and internationally, the Professional Certification Program is a thorough, standards-driven program developed by the industry in collaboration with OSHA and NIOSH, EPA and other federal agencies, along with other external stakeholders. Designed to be accessible and affordable, the program aims to raise the bar of professionalism and safety in the installation of spray foam and is ISO 17024 compliant.

The 1,000th test of the program, a notable milestone, was administered to Roy Murphy, a professional spray foam installer from Cambridge, Mass. Spray Foam Nation, a national provider of spray foam training, spray foam rigs, equipment sales and service, and an online spray foam store, provided the test as a third-party testing administrator on behalf of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance.

“This is an important milestone, not only for the program, but for our industry at-large,” says Peter Cantone, of Spray Foam Nation. “In bringing this certification program offering to installers of spray foam, the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance has moved the industry further forward on a path to professionalism and we are excited to be part of it.”

Still in its inaugural year, the Professional Certification Program has drawn significant attention and participation. “We created this program because we understood it was time for our industry to have expectations established for professional standards in the installation of spray foam,” says Bonnie Strickler, chair of the SPFA Professional Certification Program. “While we expected it to be well received, we did not anticipate the current level of demand and are extremely pleased at the success and adoption of the program in our industry.”

The Professional Certification Program offers various levels of certification for the roofing and insulation categories. To become certified, participants must pass the exam and meet the criteria for the level and category of certification desired. The program is progressive, with each level obtained only after the candidate completes the requirements for the previous level and subsequently completes the requirements for the current level. All certified installers receive professional credentials to demonstrate their program completion and industry expertise.

GAF Will Be on ‘Ellen’ Today

GAF will participate in today’s (Jan. 30) episode of the popular NBC daytime television show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”.

The show and its host, Ellen DeGeneres, have collectively won 33 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Talk Show in 2013, and average 4 million viewers per episode. Combining comedy, celebrity, musical guests and human-interest stories, the show has been helping consumers make choices for 11 seasons—and the brands that Ellen names on the show have proven to become known and trusted by her viewers.

“Being a part of a segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show is an incredible opportunity,” explains Alyssa Hall, marketing communications manager at GAF. “She is so beloved by her viewers and they truly value any recommendations that she makes on products. And as a company that invests in our branding efforts, we know at GAF that aligning with a force like Ellen DeGeneres will only support our position as the industry’s premium brand, helping our contractors to create pull-through sales.”

After this initial airing, GAF will be featured in several follow-up episodes, which will each be mentioned on the GAF Facebook page.

2013 Solar Employment Grew 10 Times Faster than the National Average Employment Growth Rate

The Solar Foundation (TSF), an independent nonprofit solar research and education organization, has released its fourth annual National Solar Jobs Census, which found the U.S. solar industry employed 142,698 Americans in 2013. That figure includes the addition of 23,682 solar jobs over the previous year, representing 19.9 percent growth in employment since September 2012. Solar employment grew 10 times faster than the national average employment growth rate of 1.9 percent in the same period. Read the full report. State-by-state jobs numbers, including a more detailed analysis of the California, Arizona, and Minnesota solar markets, will be released in February.

“The solar industry’s job-creating power is clear,” says Andrea Luecke, executive director and president of The Solar Foundation. “The industry has grown an astounding 53 percent in the last four years alone, adding nearly 50,000 jobs. Our census findings show that for the fourth year running, solar jobs remain well-paid and attract highly skilled workers. That growth is putting people back to work and helping local economies.”

Solar employers are also optimistic about 2014, expecting to add another 22,000 jobs over the coming year. By comparison, over the same time period, the fossil-fuel electric generation sector shrank by more than 8,500 jobs (a decline of 8.7 percent) and jobs in coal mining grew by just 0.25 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics current Employment Survey (not seasonally adjusted), September 2012 – November 2013.

“The solar industry is a proven job-creator,” says Bill Ritter, former governor of Colorado and director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. “In Colorado and across the country, we have seen that when the right policies are in place to create long-term market certainty, this industry continues to add jobs to our economy.”

“SolarCity has added more than 2,000 jobs since the beginning of 2013; every single one in the United States. When you install a solar panel you create a local job that can’t be outsourced,” says Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. “More than 90 percent of Americans believe we should be using more solar, and fewer than 1 percent have it today. We’ve barely begun this transformation, but as it advances, the American solar industry has the potential to be one of the greatest job creators this country has ever seen.”

Solar companies are also reporting that cost savings are driving their clients’ decision making, as 51.4 percent of customers report going solar to save money and another 22.9 percent because costs are now competitive with utility rates.

“Tens of thousands of new living-wage jobs have been created over the past year thanks to plunging solar technology costs, increasing consumer demand, and supportive government policies,” says Amit Ronen, director of The George Washington University Solar Institute. “As the nation’s fastest growing energy source, we expect the solar industry will continue to generate robust job growth for at least the next decade.”

The National Solar Jobs Census 2013 was conducted by TSF and BW Research Partnership with support from the GW Solar Institute. The report, derived from data collected from more than 2,081 solar firms, measured employment growth in the solar industry between September 2012 and November 2013. The margin of error of this data set is +/- 1.3 percent, significantly lower than any similar national industry study.

“The study shows both aggressive hiring and clear optimism among US solar companies,” says Philip Jordan, vice president at BW Research Partnership. “Of particular interest was the continued high wages among solar installers, who earned an average of between $20 and $23.63 per hour. We also found higher than average employment of veterans in the solar industry, a sign that their high-tech skills are valued in this sector.”

“SunPower is proud to be a global leader in solar power technology and energy services, creating thousands of American jobs and injecting billions into the U.S. economy,” says SunPower CEO Tom Werner. “We employ about 1,000 people at facilities in 10 states and are actively hiring hundreds more. Our network of approximately 400 dealers employs more than 6,000 across the U.S., and two of our major solar power plants last year created 1,300 jobs at peak construction. Solar is a competitive, reliable resource, and an economic success story for America.”