NRCA Recognizes National Roofing Week

To increase recognition of the significance of roofs to every home and business, promote the good deeds of the roofing industry and stress the value of professional roofing contractors, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is urging communities throughout the U.S. to recognize National Roofing Week taking place July 6-12.

The roof is one of the most important components of a structure, yet it is often taken for granted until it falls into disrepair. During National Roofing Week, NRCA encourages its members to participate by engaging in their communities and informing the public about the essential role roofs and professional roofing contractors play in every community.

In honor of National Roofing Week, NRCA will host a community service day during NRCA’s Midyear Meetings in Chicago, where members will volunteer their services to repair the roof of Chicago-based Lydia Home, an organization dedicated to helping troubled children and their families.

NRCA contractors participating in the Lydia Home repairs are Nations Roof, Rolling Meadows, Ill.; Ridgeworth Roofing, Frankfort, Ill.; and Waukegan Roofing, Waukegan, Ill. Karnak Corp., Clark, N.J., donated materials for the project.

NRCA also will be hosting a fundraising effort on behalf of Lydia Home during National Roofing Week.

Contractor members throughout the U.S. are encouraged to give back to their communities in a similar way during National Roofing Week.

In addition, NRCA will be recognizing the winners of the “Everybody Needs a Roof” Children’s Art Contest, which was open to children in grades 1-8 who are relatives of NRCA members or their employees.

Contest winners will have their artwork featured on all 2014 National Roofing Week material and additional promotional material to be displayed at industry events throughout the year, including the 2015 International Roofing Expo® and NRCA’s 128th Annual Convention in New Orleans.

Investment in Equipment and Software Expected to Grow

Investment in equipment and software is expected to grow 2.6 percent in 2014, according to the Q3 update to the 2014 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook released by the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation. The Foundation revised its 2014 equipment and software investment forecast to 2.6 percent, down from 4.2 percent growth forecast in its Q2 Update to the 2014 Annual Outlook released in April. The Q3 report expects equipment and software investment to have modest sector growth during the rest of the year after a weak start. The Foundation report, which is focused on the $827 billion equipment leasing and finance industry, forecasts 2014 equipment investment and capital spending in the United States and evaluates the effects of various related and external factors in play currently and into the foreseeable future.

William G. Sutton, CAE, President of the Foundation and President and CEO of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, said, “The Foundation’s Outlook report reflects a slowing in GDP and equipment investment growth due to a weak first quarter this year that resulted in part from the extremely cold winter. The rebound in Q2 is slower than anticipated, as recent data from the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s Monthly Leasing and Finance Index and the Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index reflect. We do, however, anticipate that equipment investment will rise in the second half of the year as economic conditions improve and business confidence continues to recover.”

Highlights from the study include:

· The U.S. economy is expected to grow 1.5 percent in 2014, revised from 2.8 percent.
· The downsides of the harsh winter, which included a 2.9 percent contraction in real GDP in the first quarter, should prove temporary, as the housing recovery, energy renaissance and accommodative credit markets support second-half growth.
· Equipment and software investment declined at an annualized rate of 1.8 percent in Q1 2014, following the 8.9 percent surge in Q4 2013.
· Credit supply continues to improve, and credit demand has held steady for all business sizes.
· Equipment and software investment is expected to steadily grow over the next 6 months across most verticals, according to the Foundation-Keybridge U.S. Equipment & Software Investment Momentum Monitor. The Momentum Monitor, which tracks 12 equipment and software investment verticals, forecasts the following equipment investment activity:
o Agriculture machinery investment will likely see slow growth, and potentially a contraction, through the rest of 2014, as both farm yields and commodity prices remain subdued.
o Construction machinery investment will continue to experience strong growth, and the year-over-year growth figures will begin to trend positive as multiple quarters of expansion take hold amidst the housing recovery.
o Materials handling equipment investment will experience stronger growth over the next 3 to 6 months.
o All other industrial equipment investment will likely see moderate growth over the next 3 to 6 months as the “re-shoring” of manufacturing continues to be a dominant economic story in 2014.
o Medical equipment investment will grow, but begin to level off near the end of the year.
o Mining and oilfield machinery will experience improving growth through the middle of the year but will begin to level off at the end of the year.
o Aircraft investment will likely experience about long-term average growth for the year.
o Ships and boats investment will likely rebound to an above-average pace through the end of this year.
o Railroad equipment investment will improve from its recent contraction toward modest growth.
o Investment in trucks will exhibit high-single digit growth over the next 3 to 6 months as economic activity improves and competitive diesel prices keep trucking transport competitive.
o Computers investment will remain muted in the short-term after strong replacement demand over the past few quarters.
o Software investment will be moderate in the next 3 to 6 months as companies continue to make investments in software and cloud technologies.

NRCA Applauds Supreme Court Ruling NLRB ‘Recess’ Appointments Were Unconstitutional

NRCA applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that President Obama’s “recess” appointments to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in 2012 were unconstitutional. The decision comes in response to litigation supported by NRCA and other employer groups that challenged the constitutionality of the appointments in court. In the case of NLRB v. Noel Canning, the court ruled unanimously that President Obama violated the Constitution’s Recess Appointment Clause when he made the recess appointments to the NLRB.

On Jan. 4, 2012, President Obama appointed three new members to the NLRB as recess appointments, bypassing the normal Senate confirmation process for president nominees to executive branch positions. The Constitution allows the president to make such appointments without a Senate vote of approval when Congress is in recess. However, Congress was in pro-forma session at the time of the appointments. In making the appointments, President Obama argued they were valid because Congress does little work during pro-forma sessions. However, the Supreme Court disagreed, ruling (9-0 on the judgment, 5-4 on the reasoning) that Constitution empowers the president to fill executive branch vacancies only during recesses of sufficient length, and affirmed that pro-forma sessions are valid sessions of Congress.

NRCA supported the litigation challenging the recess appointments because of concerns over the NLRB’s activist regulatory agenda that could adversely effects employers and workers. It is imperative NLRB appointments and appointments to other government agencies be subject to the normal Senate confirmation process whenever possible. NRCA represents union and open-shop contractors and supports policies that maintain an equitable balance in labor-management relations.

It is unclear what immediate impact this ruling will have on the NLRB’s operations and regulatory agenda. However, it likely calls into question the validity of past NLRB decisions that involved board members appointed via recess appointments, and such rulings could be overturned as a result. Additionally, the decision may significantly constrain the agency’s agenda moving forward given the legal confusion it will create concerning past recess appointments and related rulings.

NRCA is pleased with this major legal victory and will continue working to represent roofing industry employers from intrusive government regulation in the legislative, regulatory and legal arenas.

NRCA Launches Web Resource for Homeowners, Business Owners, Building Managers and Consumers

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has launched www.everybodyneedsaroof.com, a website that is a comprehensive resource for homeowners, business owners, building managers and consumers.

With a roof system being one of the most crucial components of every structure purchasing a new roof system or repairing an existing one is one of the most important investments a consumer can make.

www.everybodyneedsaroof.com, which launched June 23, provides the public with helpful information regarding roofing, common roof system maintenance, what to do following major weather events and natural disasters, and assistance finding an NRCA roofing professional to ensure the proper repair or replacement of a roof system.

“Buying a roof is one of the most important decisions a homeowner will make, and consumers have a lot of choices,” says NRCA Executive Vice President William Good. “NRCA wants to ensure homeowners are able to make the best, most informed decision possible and believe this new website will be an important and useful tool for finding the best roofing contractors and roof systems.”

Spanish Versions of NRCA Safety Compliance Programs Now Available

With workplace accidents always a concern for roofing contractors, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has released Spanish versions of three of its safety compliance programs: Serving Up Safety: A Recipe for Avoiding Falls on the Job, NRCA’s Material Handling Series: Overhead and Understood and NRCA’s Hazard Communications Program: Know the Signs.

Serving Up Safety: A Recipe for Avoiding Falls on the Job is a comprehensive tool for training new and seasoned roofing workers about all aspects of fall protection for roofing work.

The Spanish version provides everything contractors need to provide to their Spanish-speaking roofing workers so contractors comply with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) fall-protection requirements for roofing work. The program includes an interactive DVD program explaining all fall-protection rules pertaining to each of the 50 states with about one hour of content per state and printable PDFs of an instructors guide to assist trainers in conducting and delivering informational classroom sessions; a student workbook; and a student handout that summarizes key fall-protection rules and components.

The Spanish version of NRCA’s Material Handling Series: Overhead and Understood gives roofing contractors the tools to train workers so they are in compliance with OSHA’s requirements for crane and hoist operations, signal person qualifications, qualified riggers, forklift operations and working with rooftop powered equipment.

Each module includes a DVD, helmet decals and printable PDFs of an instructors guide, learners manual test and answer key, tailored assessment and training tools, customizable wallet card and certificate of completion.

NRCA’s Hazard Communication Program: Know the Signs helps roofing contractors provide their workers with training required by OSHA for its new Hazard Communications Program, including a DVD, instructors guide and student manual, PowerPoint® presentation for use in facilitating training sessions, written examinations to assess worker comprehension, sample hazard communication program, a chemical inventory list template and safety data sheet request letter for use in developing a company program.

NRCA Offers New and Updated Technical Publications

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has added several new and updated publications to its library of technical offerings, including a publication that provides guidelines for complying with building codes.

Guidelines for Complying with Building Codes Using ANSI/SPRI ES-1 is NRCA’s newest publication, addressing building code compliance with ANSI/SPRI ES-1, “Wind Design Standard for Edge Systems Used with Low Slope Roof Systems.” The document provides guidelines and technical information about the design, materials, fabrication and installation of edge-metal flashings for compliance with ANSI/SPRI ES-1 and applicable requirements of the International Building Code.

Also recently released is NRCA Guidelines for Architectural Metal Flashings, which includes comprehensive information about metal used in low- and steep-slope roof systems. It also gives design considerations such as joinery, protective coatings and galvanic action.

In addition, the updated version of NRCA Guidelines for Asphalt Shingle Roof Systems 2014 is a more comprehensive look at NRCA’s best practice guidelines and technical information regarding the materials, design and installation of asphalt shingle roof systems.

For more information about NRCA’s newest publications and other technical offerings, visit NRCA’s website.

North American Cities Are Implementing Urban Heat Reduction Strategies, Including Cool Roofing

A survey of North American cities by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA) finds that confronting the challenges of extreme weather, adapting to a changing climate, and improving the health and resiliency of urban populations are driving cities to develop and implement strategies to reduce excess urban heat.

Nearly two-thirds of the cities surveyed cited local extreme weather events as a key reason for initiating urban heat island mitigation strategies. “U.S. cities are waking up to the growing threat of urban heat and employing a number of innovative approaches suited to their location and priorities,” said ACEEE researcher and report author Virginia Hewitt. “Our report will help local planners adapt these practices to even more communities across the country.”

ACEEE and GCCA surveyed 26 cities in the U.S. and Canada representing all of the major climate zones, geographies, and city sizes. Despite the diversity of the respondents, several common themes emerged. Local governments are “leading by example” by requiring use of “cool” technologies, such as reflective roofs on municipal buildings, lining city streets with shade trees, and raising public awareness. Additionally, more than half of the cities have some kind of requirement in place for reflective and vegetated roofing for private sector buildings. Almost every city had policies to increase tree canopy and manage storm water.

“Our report finds that by addressing their urban heat islands, cities are more effectively delivering core public health and safety services, making them attractive places to live, work, and play,” said Kurt Shickman, executive director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance.

The report includes case studies on how several cities have responded to urban heat, demonstrating the variety of strategies employed. In response to a study that found that Houston’s roofs and pavements can reach 160 F, the city now requires most flat roofs in the city to be reflective. After an extreme heat wave in 2008, Cincinnati lost much of its urban canopy, and instituted an aggressive forestry plan. Washington D.C., has instituted a wide suite of programs such as Green Alleys, which helps residents manage excess stormwater by replacing pavement with grass and trees, and requiring reflective roofs on all new buildings.

The survey also found that most city governments are not acting alone to reduce excess heat. States, neighboring jurisdictions, utilities, developers, contractors, and local building owners are collaborating to create incentives for communities to reduce urban heat and mainstream these practices.

“We recognized a number of years ago that keeping New York cooler was an important part of protecting public health and becoming more resilient. We started with cool-roof volunteer programs that raised awareness and understanding, while coating 5 million square feet of rooftops. These voluntary efforts led to the cool roof ordinance requiring investments in reflective roofs on certain buildings,” said Wendy Dessy of NYC Service.

Cities surveyed in the report include: Albuquerque, N.M.; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Chula Vista, Calif.; Cincinnati; Dallas; Denver; Houston; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Louisville, Ky.; New Orleans; New York; Omaha, Neb.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; St. Louis, Mo.; Toronto; Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; and Washington, D.C.

View Cool Policies for Cool Cities: Best Practices for Mitigating Urban Heat Islands in North American Cities.

NRCA Updates Its Online Bookstore

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has updated its online NRCA Bookstore, designed to provide roofing professionals with quicker, easier access to all the association’s educational resources.

Launched in May, the NRCA Bookstore now has several new features including a Live Chat that will allow customers to obtain instant access with NRCA’s customer service team to get instant answer to questions about a product.

In addition, the bookstore offers:

  • Convenient search and sort functions
    New and useful product categories
    New releases and feature products
    A more user-friendly, intuitive design

For more information, visit the NRCA Bookstore.

IRE Early Space Draw Fills 82 Percent of 2015 Show Floor

Building off the buzz from the record-breaking show in February, the 2015 Int’l Roofing Expo (IRE) recently held its annual Early Space Draw, assigning 82 percent of the total show floor.

“Taking place three months prior to the general Space Draw, the Early Space Draw process allows exhibitors to secure the lowest possible booth rate and the best possible location on the show floor,” said Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE Show Director. “Covering more than 84,900 net square feet, a total of 257 companies were assigned.”

Participating companies were pleased with being part of the Early Space Draw process. “TRUFAST is looking forward to exhibiting at IRE in 2015,” said Kara Boots, TRUFAST Marketing Brand Manager. “The show is an ideal platform for showcasing our expanded offering of commercial roofing fasteners and accessories.”

“SOPREMA is glad to be back at the 2015 Int’l Roofing Expo,” said Jason Hazen, SOPREMA Marketing Director. “By exhibiting we are confident we will connect with many qualified leads.”

Exhibiting companies who were assigned booth space include Carlisle SynTec Systems, TAMKO Building Products, Firestone Building Products, Royal Adhesives & Sealants, ABC Supply Co., GAF, Polyglass USA, Owens Corning, Metalforming, New Tech Machinery, Air Vent, Garlock Equipment Company and Englert, with inquiries and booth reservations coming in daily.

Exhibitors returning to the show after an absence of a year or more include Van Mark, Boral Roofing, Furman Insurance, Henry Co., Isaiah Industries, Rillito River, Vermont Slate, Southeastern Metals, US Ply, and Union Corrugating.

Also participating in Early Space Draw were first-time exhibitors, including Nissan, ABS Safety and EVERROOF.

“Our members are really excited about the 2015 show,” said Bill Good, Executive Vice President of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “The number of companies committing to booth space this far in advance of the show is quite impressive.”

The 2015 International Roofing Expo will be held February 24-26, 2015, in Halls B-D at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Companies interested in exhibiting can still apply for booth space. The Booth Contract, Floor Plan, Sponsorships and the Exhibitor Flyer can be accessed by visiting the show’s website.

For more information, companies beginning with the letters A-H should contact Darrin Cayton at (972) 536-6360; I-Z should contact Stephanie Garcia at (972) 536-6381. General sales questions should be directed to Steve Schlange, Sales Manager, at (972) 536-6386.

Sen. Cardin Reintroduces Bill to Increase Employment and Improve the Energy-Efficiency of Commercial Building Roofs

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), has reintroduced the “Energy-Efficient Cool Roofs Jobs Act,” S. 2388, which would boost job creation in the construction industry and significantly increase the energy efficiency of buildings throughout the U.S., lowering energy costs and saving money. The bill would improve investment returns on building energy-efficiency improvements by shortening the tax depreciation period for the installation of new roofs on existing buildings that meet certain thermal performance and “cool roof” requirements.

“We don’t need to choose between good jobs and helping the environment; we can do both with the same policy,” said Senator Cardin. “Cool Roofs provides an opportunity to reduce energy consumption and add nearly 40,000 jobs to a sector of our economy that still has not felt the full effect of our emergent recovery. It’s no wonder this bill, which provides incentives to install energy efficient roofs and simplifies the tax code, has such broad support across industries and labor.”

S. 2388 is co-sponsored by Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.). Sen. Cardin also filed the Energy-Efficient Cool Roofs Jobs Act as an amendment (S. Admt 3186) to the EXPIRE Act (S. 2260). U.S. Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) have introduced a companion bill in the House (H.R. 4740).

The bill reduces the depreciation period for commercial roof retrofits, lowering the current 39-year depreciation period in the current tax code to a 20-year depreciation period for energy-efficient cool roof systems. To qualify, roofs must include systems with insulation that meets or exceeds the ASHRAE Standard 189.1-2011, a model green building standard, and have a cool roof surface in climate zones one through five.

“Congress recognizes the value of commercial building roofs in terms of both national energy policy and providing an incentive for owners to increase the thermal performance of their buildings,” said Jared O. Blum, president, Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA), a supporter of the bill. “Most buildings in this country were built before modern energy codes were in place, so upgrading the performance of those buildings with more energy efficient roofs can save lots of money.

“The legislation also offers a more fair treatment of roofs under the tax depreciation system. As currently structured, the tax code has created a disincentive for building owners to upgrade their roofs,” added Blum.

The Energy-Efficient Cool Roofs Jobs Act has attracted a wide range of supporters, including PIMA. The bill would create nearly 40,000 new jobs among roofing contractors and manufacturers; add $1 billion of taxable annual revenue in the construction sector; make the tax code simpler and more equitable for small businesses of all types; reduce U.S. energy consumption and save small businesses millions of dollars in energy costs; and reduce carbon emissions by 800,000 metric tons—an amount equal to the emissions of 153,000 cars. Additional supporters include:

Alliance to Save Energy
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association
Associated Builders and Contractors
Building Owners and Managers Association
Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing
Environmental and Energy Study Institute
Global Cool Cities Alliance
Institute for Market Transformation
Joint Roofing Industry Labor and Management Committee
National Roofing Contractors Association
NAIOP: The Commercial Real Estate Development Association
Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance
United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers

A significant opportunity to increase building energy efficiency lies within the commercial roofing sector. Waterproof membranes on commercial low-slope roofs (i.e., flat roofs) last, on average, 17 years. When these membranes are replaced, building owners could add a reasonable amount of insulation and substitute a white roof surface (i.e., a cool or reflective roof) for the traditional dark colored roof surface, a practice that would save $12.2 billion in energy costs in just the first ten years. The annual savings after ten years would be $2.4 billion. This activity would also avoid and offset 147 million tons of CO2 emissions, an amount that is equal to the annual emissions of 38 coal fired power plants.