Colorado Coalition to Welcome METALCON International to Denver

Visitors to the 24th METALCON International, slated for Oct. 1-3 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, will get a royal welcome from local companies involved in the show. Denver-based New Tech Machinery and Colorado Springs-based S-5! Solutions have formed the Colorado Coalition as a way of encouraging visitors to learn about Colorado before they arrive and for Coloradans to experience METALCON.

METALCON Show Director Claire Kilcoyne agrees that METALCON and Colorado are a perfect match. “We’re so glad to be coming to Denver. Colorado is a great state for metal and for business. That’s why we always wanted to bring the show here, so the expansion of the convention center was a turning point in doing that. Our friends at S-5! and New Tech are making great plans to welcome METALCON to their state. It’s a great feeling and we’re looking forward to all the exciting things happening in October.”

METALCON is the only annual international event focused on metal construction products, technologies and solutions. It draws designers, builders, developers, contractors, fabricators and suppliers from more than 52 countries each year. Experts from nearly 300 companies exhibit the latest products and technology and share their knowledge with attendees while industry specialists present key topics in the education program and in live demonstrations of field techniques held daily in the exhibit hall.

New Tech Machinery and S-5! Solutions have spearheaded the welcoming effort by generating awareness about METALCON among area groups, such as the Colorado Roofing Association, the Colorado AIA, IFMA, BOMA and surrounding state associations.

Keith Lipps, vice president of S-5! Solutions, is eager to show off his state and his company. “The Colorado Coalition was formed as soon as we learned METALCON was coming to our home state. It’s exciting and gives us a chance to welcome the industry to Colorado. The roofing industry here supports metal and solar and Colorado has consistently been in the top five states using solar. When a trade association meeting is held elsewhere in the U.S., people from the Rocky Mountain states have less of a chance to go. So we’re reaching out to our industry in our own backyard and the associations we’ve met with are very excited about METALCON. Downtown Denver is quite historic and fun and the convention center is walking distance to a lot of great places. We’re also inviting our distributors from all over the world for an S-5! meeting in conjunction with METALCON. So there are a lot of fantastic activities already set in place.”

S-5! Solutions offers a line of non-penetrating clamps, attachment brackets, snow retention systems, and solar attachment solutions that offer strength and longevity.

Kristin Peregoy, marketing manager for New Tech Machinery, is equally involved in the Colorado Coalition. “We are so excited to have METALCON here in our hometown. We’re getting a great response from trade groups in our area and making plans for a big welcoming party at the show. Some of our staff have never been to METALCON so this will be their first time to see the show. Denver is a green and environmentally friendly city so metal roofing is a key part of the area especially in the foothills. Rollforming also has a rich history in Denver and our company has been a major part of the metal community here for more than 20 years. So we’re very proud to be part of this coalition.”

New Tech Machinery manufactures portable rollforming equipment for roofing contractors, gutter contractors and in-plant manufacturers worldwide. Its current product line includes three standing seam roof panel machines, four seamless gutter machines, specialty machines and accessories for existing machines.

The value of metal in sustainable design and green building is highlighted at METALCON in Green Island, an area on the exhibit floor dedicated to metal products used in building energy-saving structures, and in Solar Bay, a special pavilion that showcases the benefits of integrating solar technology with metal roof and wall systems.

During the three-day conference and exhibition, specialists from the Metal Construction Association and other industry related associations present the latest applications and field techniques in daily demonstrations in the Metal in Action area of the exhibit hall. This interactive program combines the best of Solar Bay Live, MCA’s Residential and Commercial Roofing Demos, and Tools Demos. Solar Bay Live offers presentations of techniques for installing solar and metal combinations. In the tool demos, participants can test the latest tools for use with metal.

METALCON is produced by Newton, Mass.-based PSMJ Resources Inc. and sponsored by the Metal Construction Association. MCA is an organization of leading manufacturers and suppliers headquartered in Chicago.

Value of New Construction Fell 13 Percent in January

The value of new construction starts fell 13% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $485.0 billion, according to McGraw Hill Construction, a division of McGraw Hill Financial. The downturn followed a healthy performance in December, which was the third highest month for total construction starts during 2013. January’s retreat encompassed all three main construction sectors, with moderate declines reported for nonresidential building and housing, as well as a more substantial loss of momentum for nonbuilding construction (public works and electric utilities) after a particularly robust December. On an unadjusted basis, total construction starts in January came in at $34.1 billion, down 5% from the same month a year ago.

The January statistics lowered the Dodge Index to 103 (2000=100), compared to a revised 118 for December and below the average Index reading of 110 for all of 2013. “The year 2014 began slowly, due to behavior specific to each of the three main construction sectors,” stated Robert A. Murray, chief economist for McGraw Hill Construction. “Nonresidential building in 2013 advanced 7%, but the progress was occasionally hesitant, including sluggish activity at the end of last year that carried over into January. At the same time, the prospects for continued growth for nonresidential building during 2014 are generally positive, helped by receding vacancies for commercial properties and some improvement in the fiscal health of state governments. Residential building in 2013 climbed 24%, but towards the end of last year growth began to decelerate as mortgage lending to first-time homebuyers remained stringent. The January slowdown for housing was due in part to tough winter weather conditions, yet the deceleration in recent months bears watching going forward. Nonbuilding construction in 2013 dropped 12%, as the steep pullback by electric utilities outweighed surprising growth for public works. Last year’s nonbuilding performance was also quite volatile on a month-to-month basis, including strong activity in December that’s now been followed by a sharp reduction in January. With 2014 not likely to see the same volume of very large public works projects reach the construction start stage, nonbuilding construction is expected to register another decline this year, and January’s downturn is part of that broader trend.”

Nonresidential building in January dropped 6% to $157.3 billion (annual rate), and was down 7% from last year’s average monthly pace. The commercial building sector in January fell 13%, with declines from the prior month shown by hotels, down 43%; and warehouses, down 3%. Hotels and warehouses posted strong percentage growth during 2013, with each rising 29%, and the sluggish activity in January is viewed as a pause in what’s expected to be continued growth for both structure types during 2014. Cushioning the January decline for the commercial building sector was a 21% increase for office construction, helped by groundbreaking for such projects as a $125 million corporate headquarters in Houston TX, a $66 million office park in Mountain View CA, and a $44 million office building in Raleigh NC. Store construction in January improved 4%, reflecting the start of a $30 million shopping mall in Lakeland FL and a $25 million department store in Las Vegas NV. The manufacturing plant category had a strong January, jumping 44%, due to the impact of two very large projects – a $1.2 billion propane dehydrogenation facility in Texas and a $450 million oil refinery expansion in North Dakota.

The institutional building sector in January decreased 12%, as the recent signs of stability after a lengthy five-year decline continue to be tenuous. The educational building category receded 3%, although the month did include the start of several large university-related projects – a $155 million renovation to an academic building at Princeton University in Princeton NJ, a $100 million business school at Baylor University in Waco TX, and a $92 million science and laboratory facility at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville TN. Healthcare facilities in January dropped 17%, as this structure type continues to show an up-and-down pattern on a monthly basis, keeping renewed growth in a sustained manner on hold. The smaller institutional categories in January were mixed, with reduced activity reported for transportation terminals (down 31%) and amusement-related work (down 20%), while public buildings (up 6%) and religious buildings (up 58%) showed improvement from depressed levels in December. The decline for the amusement category was relative to a very strong December, which included the start of the $763 million Vikings Multipurpose Stadium in Minneapolis MN. Large project support for the amusement category was also present in January, coming from $90 million estimated for a new facility at the Disney Animal Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista FL, as part of a larger $500 million project at that theme park.

Residential building, at $204.7 billion (annual rate), slipped 2% in January. The retreat came as the result of a 6% decline for single family housing, which has now settled back for three months in a row. The January single family decline was widespread geographically, with this pattern for the five major regions relative to December – the South Central, down 13%; the Northeast and West, each down 6%; the Midwest, down 3%; and the South Atlantic, down 2%. Murray noted, “Harsh weather conditions in January played some role in the sluggish single family performance, in combination with the recent pickup in mortgage rates and the tight lending environment as it relates to first-time homebuyers. Still, it’s expected that single family construction should soon regain upward momentum, given the very low inventory of new homes for sale and what’s anticipated to be a strengthening economy and jobs picture.”

Multifamily housing in January grew 12%, staying on the broad upward track that began back in 2010. Large projects that supported the January increase were led by a $400 million condominium and apartment building in New York NY, as this metropolitan area continues to see very large multifamily projects reach groundbreaking. Other large multifamily projects reported as January starts were located in Washington DC ($90 million), Miami FL ($69 million), Minneapolis MN ($54 million), and Dallas TX ($50 million).

Nonbuilding construction in January plunged 32% to $123.0 billion (annual rate), following its 40% surge in December. New electric utility work dropped 61% from the elevated pace witnessed in December, returning to the downward path that was present for much of last year. Although January did include the start of an $800 million natural gas-fired power plant in Pennsylvania, this was not enough to avert the category’s steep drop for the month. The public works sector overall in January was down 25%, with declines across most of the project types. While January did include the start of a $153 million highway paving project in Texas and the $126 million deck replacement of the Pulaski Skyway in New Jersey, highway and bridge construction for the month fell 35%. Other January declines were reported for river/harbor development, down 26%; miscellaneous public works (site work, mass transit, and pipelines) down 13%; and water supply systems, down 5%. Sewer construction was the one public works category to register an increase in January, rising 21%, with the lift coming from such projects as a $173 million sewer tunnel in Hawaii.

The 5% decline for total construction starts on an unadjusted basis for January 2014 relative to January 2013 was due to this performance by sector – nonresidential building, down 6%; residential building, up 8%; and nonbuilding construction, down 19%. By geography, total construction starts for January 2014 relative to January 2013 showed declines in four of the five major regions – the West, down 15%; the South Atlantic, down 9%; the South Central, down 5%; and the Midwest, down 3%. The Northeast was the only region to register a year-over-year gain for January 2014, advancing 15%.

Useful perspective can be obtained by looking at twelve-month moving totals, in this case the twelve months ending January 2014 versus the twelve months ending January 2013, which lessens the volatility present in one-month comparisons. For the twelve months ending January 2014, total construction starts were up 5%, due to this pattern by sector – nonresidential building, up 6%; residential building, up 22%; and nonbuilding construction, down 13%. By geography, the twelve months ending January 2014 showed the following behavior for total construction starts – the Northeast, up 16%; the Midwest and West, each up 9%; the South Central, up 2%; and the South Atlantic, down 5%.

CNA Recognizes Insurance Agencies with Commitment to Construction

CNA Financial Corp. has announced the members of its 2014 Construction Leader Board. The company selected 28 agencies from more than 1,000 construction-focused agencies throughout the United States.

“CNA is committed to growing profitably within the construction industry and to deepening relationships with our best producers,” says John Tatum, CNA’s senior vice president, Construction. “The idea behind Leader Board is to recognize those agencies that have also demonstrated their commitment to construction and provide them with the tools they need to continue to grow and succeed in the future.”

The 2014 Construction Leader Board members include:

    Anchor Insurance & Surety, Portland, Ore.

    Barmore Insurance Agency, Houston

    Bowen, Miclette & Britt Insurance Agency, Houston

    Brown & Brown, Lisle, Ill.

    Dawson Companies, Cleveland

    E.J. Wells Insurance Agency, Westford, Mass.

    Gans & Smith Insurance Agency, Longview, Texas

    Halcyon Underwriters, Maitland, Fla.

    HUB International, Metarie, La.

    IMA Inc., Denver, Colo.

    INSURICA, Oklahoma City, Okla.

    InterWest Insurance Services, Sacramento, Calif.

    Lawley Insurance, Buffalo, N.Y.

    Moody Insurance Agency, Denver

    Neace Lukens, Cincinnati

    PayneWest Insurance, Missoula, Mont.

    Sihle Insurance Group, Altamonte Springs, Fla.

    T.P. Daley Insurance Agency, West Springfield, Mass.

    The Cashion Co., Little Rock, Ark.

    The Charles L. Crane Agency, St. Louis

    The Manuel Lujan Agencies, Albuquerque, N.M.

    Thomas & Farr Agency, Monroe, La.

    TIBCO, Montgomery, Ala.

    Time Insurance Agency, Austin, Texas

    United Valley Insurance Services, Fresno, Calif.

    Wells Fargo, Louisville, Ky.

    Wells Fargo, Albuquerque, N.M.

    Wells Fargo, San Carlos, Calif.

    CNA’s Construction Leader Board was developed in 2012 to recognize and reward top-producing construction agencies who have demonstrated their commitment to the industry.

    Benefits of being a Construction Leader Board agency include enhanced access to services and resources offered by CNA.

Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation Releases February Confidence Index

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation has released the February 2014 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $827 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 63.3, the second highest index in two years and off slightly from last month’s two-year index high of 64.9.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI survey respondent Valerie Hayes Jester, President, Brandywine Capital Associates, Inc., said, “I am optimistic that there is increasing demand for equipment and therefore financing to acquire that equipment. The brutal winter experienced by a significant portion of this country has slowed down many projects that would have been in progress by now. I am hoping that the last third of this quarter will show the signs we had experienced at year end, as demand increased.”

February 2014 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 63.3, a decrease from the January index of 64.9.

    When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 21.2% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, down from 33% in January. 72.7% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 61% in January. 6.1% believe business conditions will worsen, up from 5.6% who believed so the previous month.

    24.2% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, down from 36% in January. 69.7% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 61% the previous month. 6.1% believe demand will decline, up from 2.8% who believed so in January.

    31.3% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up from 25% in January. 65.6% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, down from 75% in January. 3.1% expect “less” access to capital, up from no one who expected less access the previous month.

    When asked, 40.6% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, an increase from 33% in January. 53% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, down from 58.3% last month. 6.3% expect fewer employees, down from 8.3% who expected fewer employees in January.

    3% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” relatively unchanged from 2.8% last month. 93.8% of the leadership evaluates the current U.S. economy as “fair,” down slightly from 94.4% last month. 3% rate it as “poor,” also relatively unchanged from last month.

    34.4% of the of survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, a decrease from 41.7% who believed so in January. 59.4% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, an increase from 55.6% in January. 6.2% believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, an increase from 2.6% last month.

    In February, 56.3% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, an increase from 55.6% in January. 43.8% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, an increase from 39% last month. No one believes there will be a decrease in spending, a decrease from 5.6% who believed so last month.

February 2014 MCI Survey Comments from Industry Executive Leadership:

    Bank, Small Ticket
    “Weather has created some slow down in equipment deliveries and inventory which may slow first quarter growth.” Kenneth Collins, CEO, Susquehanna Commercial Finance, Inc.

    Independent, Middle Ticket
    “I’m conflicted about the near-term. All small to medium-size customers claim activity is sporadic and are not willing to commit capital for new equipment. Thus we see demand is off, but funding availability is strong.” George Booth, Managing Director, Black Rock Capital, LLC

    Bank, Middle Ticket
    “The economy and the equipment finance market continue to experience peaks and valleys. The good news is the valleys aren’t getting any deeper; the bad news is the peaks aren’t getting any higher. Hopefully, in 2014 the economy will gain enough confidence to break through the peaks.” Thomas Jaschik, President, BB&T Equipment Finance

Why an MCI-EFI?
Confidence in the U.S. economy and the capital markets is a critical driver to the equipment finance industry. Throughout history, when confidence increases, consumers and businesses are more apt to acquire more consumer goods, equipment and durables, and invest at prevailing prices. When confidence decreases, spending and risk-taking tend to fall. Investors are said to be confident when the news about the future is good and stock prices are rising.

Who participates in the MCI-EFI?
The respondents are comprised of a wide cross section of industry executives, including large-ticket, middle-market and small-ticket banks, independents and captive equipment finance companies. The MCI-EFI uses the same pool of 50 organization leaders to respond monthly to ensure the survey’s integrity. Since the same organizations provide the data from month to month, the results constitute a consistent barometer of the industry’s confidence.

How is the MCI-EFI designed?
The survey consists of seven questions and an area for comments, asking the respondents’ opinions about the following:

    Current business conditions
    Expected product demand over the next four months
    Access to capital over the next four months
    Future employment conditions
    Evaluation of the current U.S. economy
    U.S. economic conditions over the next six months
    Business development spending expectations
    Open-ended question for comment

OSHA Extends Comment Period on Proposed Workplace Safety Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that the comment period on the proposed rule to improve workplace safety and health through improved tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses will close on March 10, 2014. The comment period was originally scheduled to close March 8. However, this date falls on a Saturday. OSHA will accept comments submitted March 10 as timely submittals.

The proposed rule would amend OSHA’s record-keeping regulations to add requirements for the electronic submission of injury and illness information that employers are already required to keep.

Comments may be submitted electronically, the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by mail or facsimile. See the Federal Register notice for more details. (Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA’s Office of Communications at (202) 693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.)

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

YouthBuild Provides Life and Job Skills

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of approximately $73 million in YouthBuild grant funds to develop programs that will help out-of-school youth complete high school or General Educational Development programs, as well as learn critical occupational skills in construction, health care, information technology and other in-demand fields.

“Too many of our young men and women face challenges that prevent them from reaching their full potential,” says U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “The YouthBuild program helps them overcome these challenges by providing participants with the resources they need to develop the life and job skills that lead to a place in the middle class.”

The department will award approximately 75 grants with a maximum funding of up to $1.1 million each. The grants will be awarded to organizations that oversee education and employment services for disadvantaged youths in their communities. The department anticipates serving approximately 4,950 young people in this grant cycle.

YouthBuild serves as an alternative education program that provides classroom instruction, case managers and occupational skills training for 16- to 24-year-olds at risk of falling out of the labor force. Participants are often those who have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, dropped out of high school or are at risk of failing to reach key educational milestones.

Successful grantees have historically provided construction skills training to participating students and must continue to offer that training. However, new guidelines issued in February 2012 expanded the list of eligible industries that grantees are allowed to offer skills training opportunities for to include training in high-demand occupations, such as health care and information technology. Students in YouthBuild also receive leadership development training and access to community service activities to ensure that they maintain a connection to their communities through volunteerism.

The solicitation for grant applications, which includes information about how to apply for a grant, is available online.

Learn more about YouthBuild and other youth employment and training programs.

Free Metal Education and Technical Resources Available on MCA’s Website

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) offers several new technical bulletins and white papers on its website. MCA continues to update its Education/Technical Resources section on the website, addressing practical and educational topics related to the metal construction industry, including working with metal roofing, insulated metal panels, metal composite materials, fasteners, fabricating, machinery operation and many others. All technical resources are available for download as a pdf document at no charge.

New resources include:

    The technical bulletin “Roof Covering Repair Requirements and the International Code” offers input on what types of metal roof repair materials are required on an existing roof and what code supporting language exists. The two-page document briefly outlines the relevant portions of the 2012 International Existing Building Code for those who have questions about repairing a roof within code.

    “Choosing Between Fire Retardant and Standard Core Metal Composite Material” is a six-page white paper that clarifies the allowable uses for standard and fire retardant MCM in accordance with the 2006-2012 editions of the International Building Code. Developed by MCA’s MCM Fabricator Council, the paper includes detailed diagrams on several standard MCM core installation options.

    The six-page technical white paper “Insulated Metal Panels and NFPA 285” provides information on testing IMPs in accordance with NFPA 285. Specific IMPs have been tested and meet the conditions of acceptance of NFPA 285. This paper provides background on how when the “basic” IMP panel system meets NFPA 285, minor variations in items can be allowed without retesting or an analysis.

    “Proper Tools for Fastening Metal Panels” is a two-page technical bulletin that is intended to be a guide to proper fastening of metal panels to wood or metal frame buildings. Several illustrations indicate how to properly tighten fasteners and recommended tools are discussed.

Asphalt Roofing Projects Awarded for Sustainable Use and Beautiful Design

What do one of the largest independent supermarket chains, a local government city hall and historic mansion all have in common? An understanding and appreciation of the value provided by asphaltic roofing. From shingles to BUR to modified bitumen, these systems provided beautiful, affordable and reliable performance to the winners of the 2014 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study Awards (QARC) program.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) bestowed the Gold Award to Precision Roofing Corp. for Doral City Hall, located in a city that was incorporated just a decade ago; the Silver Award to Advanced Roofing Inc. for a newly constructed Publix supermarket in Miami; and the Bronze Award to Certified Inc. for the Phelps Mansion, which was built in 1888 and was home to Mayor Edward Phelps, best known for bringing electric street lights, a telephone system and a Washington, D.C., railroad connection to his hometown of Laurel, Md. In addition to the three QARC winners, a series of projects were also recognized with honorable mentions.

For each of the winning projects, the asphalt roofing system played an important role; whether it was to add multiply redundancy to ensure the safety of employees and shoppers alike, meet requirements set by a historic commission that requested a product that imitated slate, or to surpass energy-efficiency standards established by the local building code.

“Asphalt roofing’s beauty and reliability contributed to making each of these distinct projects a success,” says Reed Hitchcock, executive vice-president for ARMA. “Property owners look to asphalt roofing for aesthetic designs and durable, long-lasting protection. Asphalt roofing provides the adaptability they need, evident by its use in the QARC award-winning projects.”

The annual QARC Awards program honors the architects, contractors and specifiers who use asphaltic roofing materials on low-slope and steep-slope building projects. Each year, the program reveals the most exceptional residential and commercial roofing projects from across North America. The 2014 award recipients are:

    Gold
    Project Name: Doral City Hall
    Doral, Fla.
    Company: Precision Roofing Corp.
    Project description: The roofing system consisted of multiple roof areas, including three plies of premium glass ply and an energy-efficient cap sheet that exceeded the reflectance requirements of ENERGY STAR®, Title 24 and the Miami 21 Initiative.

    Silver
    Project Name: Publix
    Miami
    Company: Advanced Roofing Inc.
    Project description: Due to the high-rise buildings adjacent to the new store, Publix’s specification required the roofing contractor top-coat the roof with a white and gray striped design consisting of a 2.5-inch Polyiso, a Stratavent Eliminator Base Sheet, three plies of Type IV and a 190 FR Modified Bitumen Cap Sheet.

    Bronze
    Project Name: Everett Victorian
    Laurel, Md.
    Company: Certified Inc.
    Project description: The asphalt roofing shingle on this home was chosen because it imitated natural slate, one of the products that had been approved by the local historic commission. The product was also easy to work with, providing a safe environment for the contractors onsite.

    Honorable Mentions
    Watts
    Mill Creek, Wash.
    Chris Howard Roofing LLC

    Dufrene Ranch
    Sloughhouse, Calif.
    Lucero’s Roofing

    Waid
    Marietta, Ga.
    Atlanta Re-Roof Specialists Inc.

    Luzerne County Courthouse
    Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
    Mark J. Sobeck Roof Consulting Inc.

The 2014 QARC judges represented experts in the roofing and home design industry, as well as the building and construction trade media. For the low-slope commercial systems, the judging criteria focused on the project’s unique aesthetics, performance and adaptability; while the steep-slope residential projects were evaluated based on the different asphalt shingle textures, styles and colors which can transform a home.

One of the judges stated that the gold winner best exemplified “how asphalt-based roofing products meet the key needs of commercial buildings – energy-efficiency, reliability and affordability—in ways that other roofing products are simply unable to.”

Another judge stated about the silver winner: “Miami presents roofing challenges with wind, hot temperatures, humidity and hurricanes. I was impressed with the use of four plies and Publix’s commitment to excellence. The cool roof is an added bonus which will save the owner in energy costs.”

The top three winners will receive a check from ARMA in the amounts of $2,000, $1,000 and $500, and will have their roofing projects featured on the ARMA website.

ARMA is now accepting submissions for the 2015 QARC awards campaign. For more information about the QARC Awards or to submit a project, please visit the association’s website.

Roofing Supply Group Adds New Location in Plano, Texas

Roofing Supply Group LLC, a wholesale distributor of roofing supplies and related materials, has opened a new location in Plano, Texas. This new location, along with existing branches in Dallas and Fort Worth, will strategically position RSG to better serve the DFW market as a whole, including the counties of Collin, Denton and Hunt.

The Plano location will be led by Mark Holdorf, a 23-year veteran in the roofing industry, 15 of those years with RSG, who brings experience in both customer service and product knowledge. Holdorf will report directly to Frank Perella, Dallas/Fort Worth Roofing Supply branch manager, who will oversee this new location. The team is committed to continue the unsurpassed service and support to local roofing contractors and homebuilders. This location is the 13th branch in the Southwest Region under the direction of Geoff Craft, regional senior vice president.

Craft said: “We are extremely excited about our new branch in Plano, which expands our footprint in the DFW market. RSG Plano will provide contractors and builders from our northern counties of Collin, Denton and Hunt with exceptional service and products under the very capable hands of Mark and Frank. Between the two of them, we have 50 plus years of experience in the market.”

Jeff Clay, vice president Strategic Planning & Corporate Development, adds: “We are excited to continue RSG’s expansion and build off our momentum of 2013. We will continue to evaluate our existing markets, as well as those where RSG currently does not have a presence, to more thoroughly examine any opportunities that will move our expansion campaign forward via greenfields and acquisitions.”

The opening of this latest branch in Plano aligns strategically with RSG’s overall expansion initiative which includes organic growth, opening of new locations and potential acquisitions.

Beacon Roofing Supply Achieves Growth in Its First Quarter

Beacon Roofing Supply Inc. has announced results for its first quarter ended Dec. 31, 2014, of the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014.

Paul Isabella, the company’s president and CEO, states: “We again achieved solid top line growth for the quarter. We started the quarter exceptionally strong, but ended the month of December on a soft note as a result of some very challenging weather conditions in our Northern regions. We were very pleased to see a strong rebound in commercial roofing this quarter as we continue to focus on diversifying our lines of business. In addition, we are seeing success with our new branch opening process and believe we will exceed our initial targets and may open as many as 25 branches in Fiscal 2014. A challenging pricing environment continued to drive down gross margins again this quarter, although our long standing culture of cost control was able to mitigate some of the negative impact through leverage of our operating expenses. Despite the challenges with pricing, we continued to generate solid cash flows from operations and fully repaid our revolving credit facility during the quarter. We believe market pricing will improve in 2014 as demand increases as we exit the winter months, and we intend to continue to leverage our operating expenses as we grow our revenue base.”

Total sales increased 7.5 percent to $552.1 million in 2014 from $513.7 million in 2013. Existing market (organic) sales, which exclude branches acquired after the beginning of last year’s first quarter, increased 3.3 percent (the first quarter of 2013 and 2014 both had the same number of business days). In existing markets, residential roofing product sales increased 1.4 percent, non-residential roofing product sales increased 6.6 percent, and complementary product sales increased 1 percent.

Net income for the first quarter was $15.0 million compared to $18.2 million in 2013. First quarter diluted net income per share was $0.30 compared to $0.37 in 2013. Net income for the quarter was unfavorably impacted by lower gross margins driven primarily by lower average selling prices for our residential and non-residential products and a higher mix of non-residential roofing products. This was partially offset by a lower rate of operating expenses and lower effective tax rate.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, and stock-based compensation (Adjusted EBITDA), which are reconciled to the net income in this press release, were $37.5 million in 2014 compared to $41.8 million in 2013, a decrease of 10.4 percent driven primarily by the lower net income.

Cash-flow from operations was $54.2 million in 2014 compared to $47.3 million in 2013. This increase in operating cash flows was influenced mostly by a larger benefit from net working capital changes this year. Cash on hand increased by $22.4 million to $56.4 million at December 31, 2013, compared to $34.0 million at December 31, 2012. This increase was due primarily to a reduction in cash used for investing activities in 2014, compared to 2013. As of December 31, 2013, we had available borrowings under our revolving lines of credit of $332.1 million.