179D and Other Expired Tax Deductions Are Extended

On Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (HR 5771). This officially extends the section 179D Tax Deduction along with over 50 other expired incentives for individuals and businesses retroactively through the end of 2014.

The Tax Increase and Prevention Act is simply a one-year extension to section 179D Tax Deduction and does not make any technical changes to the 179D Tax Deduction. The following is a clarification of the use of the 179D Tax Deduction and the applicability moving forward.

    In the private sector the 179D Tax Deduction will now be available for projects placed in service from Jan. 1, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2014.

    For public sector designers and contractors looking to have government/public buildings allocate the deduction to their companies, the 179D Tax Deduction will be available for open amendable tax years which for most companies will include projects placed in service from 2011 through Dec. 31, 2014.

    Baseline requirements for the qualification of 179D Tax Deduction will remain 2001 ASHRAE 90.1.

    The qualifying criteria and benefit will remain the same for the 179D Tax Deduction: Buildings will be able to qualify for a maximum of $1.80 per square foot if they achieve a 50 percent reduction in energy cost savings. Partial deductions are still available for lighting, HVAC and building envelope at $0.60 per square foot per category of qualification. The qualifying energy cost savings percentages remain at 25 percent for lighting, 15 percent for HVAC and 10 percent for building envelope.

    179D Tax Deductions under the interim lighting rule are still available for a maximum benefit of $0.60 per square foot and could range between $0.30-$0.60 per square foot for lighting power densities reduction between 25 to 40 percent respectively. Bi-Level switching will still be required when certifying lighting projects under the interim lighting rule.

    No changes were made to the type of building owners who can allocate the 179D Tax Deduction to designers and contractors. The 179D will still be able to be allocated by government owned buildings only. Private owners, non-profits, tribes, etc., will not be able to allocate the 179D Tax Deduction.

    An allocation letter is still required for government/ public agencies to allocate the 179D Tax Deduction to designers and contractors. No changes have been made to the structure or requirement of the 179D Tax Deduction allocation letter.

If you have any projects or a commercial building that you would like reviewed for feasibility of 179D Tax Deduction qualification, visit Walker Reid Strategies.

IRE Boasts Multi-track Educational Program

Roofing professionals seeking a multi-track educational conference program to enrich their business development should register to attend the 2015 International Roofing Expo, Feb. 24-26, 2015, at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

Taking place Tuesday through Thursday, 44 in-depth sessions will cover topics designed especially for contractors, owners, CEOs, general managers, building owners, facility managers, foremen, superintendents, architects, engineers, consultants, estimators, salesmen, manufacturers and suppliers.

“Education is an essential component of the International Roofing Expo experience,” said Tracy Garcia, CEM, Director of the IRE. “The conference program is specifically tailored to give roofing professionals the specialized knowledge and training to win more bids and work more profitably.”

With 90% new topics, sessions will cover code revisions, TPO membranes, OSHA updates, technology tools, sustainability requirements and ratings, successful leadership practices, marketing strategies, employee compensation plans, and much more. 40% of the sessions are applicable for spouses who help manage and grow their businesses.

Sessions are 90 minutes in length, allowing attendees to schedule their time to derive the most value from the event and ample time on the show floor to find new products, services, technologies and innovations.

Sessions cover eight educational tracks addressing key roofing segments including technical, workplace safety, leadership/management, green building, legal/HR, money matters, sales/service and general business.

All courses have been approved for RCI, Inc. [RCI] continuing education hours [CEHs] and 22 courses have been approved by Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Construction Industry Licensing Board [DBPR/CILB] [Education Provider No. 0003200].

“The International Roofing Expo’s idea-generating educational sessions cover all facets of the roofing construction and maintenance industry,” said Bill Good, Executive Vice President of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “I encourage all our members to register today to gain the knowledge that will help them advance their careers.”

All educational sessions are ticketed events and require registration. Advanced pricing of conference registration packages range from $370 to $410 for a Super Pass, $220 to $270 for a Day Pass and $270 for a Spouse Pass. All conference packages include free admission to the Expo, the Keynote by Ken Schmidt and the Welcome Party at Generations Hall. NRCA members receive a discount on all packages. Space in sessions is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Online registration is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

Equipment Investment Expected to Grow 6 Percent in 2015

Investment in equipment and software is expected to grow 6 percent in 2015, driven by a steadily improving economy, according to the Annual 2015 Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook released recently by the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation. Overall in 2015, the outlook for 12 individual equipment and software verticals tracked in the report is mixed, with some sectors outperforming others. The Foundation’s report, which is focused on the $903 billion equipment leasing and finance industry, forecasts 2015 equipment investment and capital spending in the United States and evaluates the effects of various industry and external factors likely to affect growth over the next 12 months. The report will be updated quarterly throughout 2015.

William G. Sutton, CAE, President of the Foundation and President and CEO of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, said, “The Association’s Monthly Leasing and Finance Index reports new business volume is up, the Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index shows industry confidence is solidly positive, and this Outlook for 2015 projects continued steady growth in equipment and software investment. Equipment investment has been relatively modest in recent years, but picked up in 2014 and now seems poised to maintain this momentum into 2015. Overall, these trends portend a positive result for the equipment finance industry and U.S. economy.”

Highlights from the study include:

    • The U.S. economy is poised to have a breakout year in 2015, with growth expected to top 3%. Key “bright spots” that bode well for above-average growth include a rapidly improving labor market, increased access to credit, lower oil prices and fiscal healing. Meanwhile “wild cards” that could hinder growth include potential political gridlock, weakness in the global economy and geopolitical risks.
    • The steadily improving economy will likely drive solid equipment and software investment growth in 2015. Continued improvement in the economy should gradually loosen credit constraints and increase credit demand as businesses and households gain more confidence in the economy.
    • Equipment and software investment increased 9.3% in Q3 of 2014 after expanding 9.6% in Q2. Although these growth rates are unlikely to be sustained in the coming months, growth is still expected to be 5.9% in 2014 and remain relatively strong at 6.0% in 2015.
    • The Foundation-Keybridge U.S. Equipment & Software Investment Momentum Monitor, which is included in the report and tracks 12 equipment and software investment verticals, forecasts the following equipment investment activity:

  • o Agriculture machinery investment could see continued moderate declines over the next three to six months.
  • o Construction machinery investment should moderate over the next two quarters.
  • o Materials handling equipment investment growth may experience some moderation over the next three to six months.
  • o All other industrial equipment investment will likely remain strong over the next three to six months.
  • o Medical equipment investment growth is expected to be little changed over the next two quarters.
  • o Mining and oilfield machinery will likely slow or potentially experience negative growth in investment over the next three to six months, given recent declines in oil prices.
  • o Aircraft investment growth is expected to remain relatively stable over the next three to six months.
  • o Ships and boats investment will likely see little change in the next two quarters.
  • o Railroad equipment investment should moderate over the next three to six months.
  • o Trucks investment is expected to be little changed over the next three to six months.
  • o Computers investment will likely experience relatively stable investment over the next three to six months.
  • o Software investment will likely see a slight moderation in growth over the next three to six months.

The Foundation produces the Equipment Leasing & Finance U.S. Economic Outlook report in partnership with economics and public policy consulting firm Keybridge Research. The annual economic forecast provides a three-to-six month outlook for industry investment with data, including a summary of investment trends in key equipment markets, credit market conditions, the U.S. macroeconomic outlook and key economic indicators. The report will be updated quarterly throughout 2015.

Download the full report.

‘Copper in Architecture’ Webinar Scheduled for Dec. 19

The Copper Development Association (CDA) is hosting a “Copper in Architecture” webinar for design professionals on Dec. 19. Attendees have the opportunity to gain continuing education credit through the American Institute of Architects (AIA) while learning how copper, brass and bronze are used in building and construction.

The webinar, conducted in conjunction with Green CE/RBA, examines copper design basics, architectural uses, finishes and service-life. Larry Peters, CDA Project Manager & Architectural Applications Specialist, will lead the hour-long discussion.

“Copper and copper alloys are popular materials for architectural applications,” said Peters. “The webinar teaches architects how to use copper in different ways, employing proven techniques to enhance their own designs.”

The course also covers copper sources, energy efficiency, architectural design practices, common mistakes and sustainability. Recent copper projects provide examples of how copper/copper alloys are used for roofing, wall cladding and ornamental systems. A questions and answer session concludes the program.

“We want the building and construction community to know that CDA serves as a resource for architects, contractors and engineers seeking technical information and assistance on the use of copper and copper alloys,” said Peters. “This webinar provides a timely and more cost-effective way to reach design professionals who may otherwise not be able to attend a seminar in-person.”

The webinar is scheduled from 12 to 1 p.m. on December 19. Attendees qualify for one Continuing Education Unit and one Health, Safety and Wellness learning unit. Register for the Webinar.

NRCA Outlines Roofing-related Provisions of LEED v4

In an effort to help the roofing industry become familiar with the roofing-related provisions of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Version 4, NRCA has released LEED v4: Roofing-Related Provisions. It is intended to provide roofing professionals a broad overview of the roofing-related credits and prerequisites for LEED’s Building Design and Construction and Building Operations and Maintenance categories. In addition, a listing of typical LEEDrelated submittals and what roofing related provisions have changed in LEED v4 versus previous LEED editions also are included. For more information, visit NRCA.net.

NRCA Awarded $137,000 OSHA Grant, Will Conduct Fall-protection Classes in Coming Year

The Rosemont, Ill.-based NATIONAL ROOFING CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION has been awarded a $137,000 grant through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Susan Harwood Training Grant program. The grant will enable NRCA to continue to conduct its successful Roofing Industry Fall Protection A to Z course free of charge for a year and will include classes taught in Spanish.

“NRCA is acutely concerned with preventing roof-related falls. This OSHA grant has been and continues to be vital to that pursuit,” says Tom Shanahan, NRCA’s associate executive director of risk management. “It allows for one-on-one hands-on fall protection and prevention training that is importantly roofing-specific.”

Roofing Industry Fall Protection A to Z is a one-day class that provides updates about fall-protection systems and includes current OSHA state-plan requirements. It also features hands-on equipment demonstrations and techniques for self-rescue and relief of suspension trauma.

NRCA will conduct 12 classes in eight cities, including four classes in Spanish. View dates and locations at RoofingMagazine.com/events.

The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program provides grants to fund education and training for workers and employers to help them recognize workplace safety and health hazards, implement injury and illness prevention measures, and inform them of their rights and responsibilities. This year, OSHA awarded $10,687,000 in grants to 78 non-profit organizations.

For information about NRCA and its services and offerings, visit NRCA.net.

RISE Announces an Additional CSRP Eligibility Track

ROOF INTEGRATED SOLAR ENERGY (RISE), Rosemont, Ill., has announced a new eligibility track for its Certified Solar Roofing Professional (CSRP) designation, which will enable a greater number of solar roofing professionals to qualify for the certification.

The new eligibility track allows those who have three years’ experience, involvement in a minimum of five projects installing commercial and residential roof-mounted PV systems, and 40 hours of recognized education and training eligibility to sit for the CSRP exam.

In the past, RISE had identified three eligibility tracks to qualify to take the exam. Candidates were required to demonstrate they met at least one of these tracks.

The new track has been added to the list of the previous three minimum entry tracks, which are:

    ▪▪ Three years’ experience installing roof systems as a roofing contractor or employee of a roofing contractor, in addition to completing 40 hours of recognized education or training.

    ▪▪ Three years’ experience providing technical roof system consulting services that include a minimum of five installed roof system projects, in addition to completing 40 hours of recognized training programs.

    ▪▪ Two- or four-year construction-related degree from a college or university accredited by an accrediting agency or state approved agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education or training.

“The RISE board of directors recognized that many rooftop solar professionals possess the unique roofing and PV system experience critical to the roles of a CSRP but who previously were not eligible to sit for the exam,” explains RISE Executive Director John Schehl. “The new eligibility track opens a door of opportunity for these professionals and provides greater choice to the public.”

RISE and the CSRP credential benefit roofing professionals by demanding a higher standard for all rooftop solar installations by providing a distinguished, nationally recognized professional credential that can enhance a career, satisfying consumers by protecting their roofing and solar investments; increasing the number of successful rooftop solar installations; providing the public with tools to identify skilled rooftop solar energy professionals; promoting a healthier roofing industry by differentiating between those who understand how to integrate those systems with the roof safely and effectively from those who simply understand PV systems; and ensuring roof-mounted PV systems work is overseen by individuals who are knowledgeable and experienced in roofing and PV system technologies, safety and construction processes.

For more information, visit RiseProfessional.org.

Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau Publishes 100th Anniversary History Book

The Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau (CSSB) is pleased to announce that its 100th Anniversary History Book will be published and available for purchase in December 2014. Covering a century of historical events, this book is an entertaining read, accompanied by a significant number of photos. Chapters include topics such as industry pioneers’ accomplishments, quality control initiatives, work conducted during World War I and II, plus extensive marketing campaigns. The book contains information about the CSSB’s lost Hollywood film starring two famous silent movie actors, Annabelle the Certigrade Cow, plus shows color reproductions of actual ads from the 1930s to today.

Chairman Len Taylor III stated: “… Extensive research has gone into the CSSB’s 100th Anniversary History Book. Numerous industry stakeholders gave generously of their time to be interviewed for this publication and their stories are shared in an easy-to-read, engaging manner. Many regional museums and archives were also consulted and the result is a comprehensive look back at our industry’s accomplishments, extensive archives and future plans.”

Written by CSSB Director of Operations Lynne Christensen, MBA, CAE, Celebrating 100 Years 1915-2015: A History of the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau is hardcover bound and runs 240 pages. This book would suit anyone interested in the shake and shingle industry, forest industry or history of the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia areas. The CSSB has copies available for sale to the public for $35 USD plus shipping and handling.

Founded in 1915, the CSSB represents top quality Certi-label cedar shakes and shingles, offering its manufacturer and affiliate members extensive quality control, technical and marketing services. Author Lynne Christensen is an award-winning writer with numerous published articles, scripts, newsletters and technical publications. She has worked in the cedar shake and shingle industry since 1994, serving as the CSSB’s Director of Operations since 2002 and starting as CSSB Marketing Manager in 1998.

Polyiso Insulation to Be Used in Innovative Apartment Complex for the Homeless

Polyiso roof insulation will be used in an innovative apartment building project that combines state-of-the-art environmental features with affordable rents for homeless families. The polyiso insulation, donated by the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Associations (PIMA), Hunter Panels and Atlas Roofing Co., will be used in the Transitional Housing Corp.’s Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Commons (Weinberg Commons).

The Washington, D.C., Weinberg Commons will reclaim three blighted buildings in Southeast D.C., using Passive House architectural principles that reduce the carbon footprint and the utility costs for low-income tenants.

When finished in mid-2015, the apartments will provide 36 low and moderate income families including 12 homeless or formerly homeless families with below-market rents, employment services and other support for youth and families. One-third of the units will be reserved for families with more intensive needs.

“Our goal is sustainability, not just in the environmental sense, but in an economic sense to keep these families in a stable, supportive situation,: said Polly Donaldson, executive director of the Transitional Housing Corporation, a D.C.-based nonprofit that functions as the co-developer, landlord and service provider on this project.

Generally considered the most stringent energy standard in the world, Passive House building is an innovative approach to net-zero building. Instead of relying on active energy reduction systems with high installation costs, Passive House buildings concentrate on energy use reduction. Passive House buildings work with natural systems to manage heat gain and loss, saving up to 90% of utility costs. In fact, the U.S. DOE recognizes the Passive House approach as the most efficient means of achieving net-zero building operations

“It is a privilege for our members to be part of a project that addresses both homelessness and sustainable housing,” said Jared Blum, President, PIMA. “Polyiso insulation is known for it high thermal performance and will be a key contributor for this net-zero building that is extremely insulated, heated by passive solar gains and requires ultra-low energy for space heating or cooling.”

The groundbreaking ceremony for Weinberg Commons was held in October and attended by Washington Mayor Vincent Gray.

2015 IRE Attendees and Exhibitors Can Plan Show Experience with Mobile App

Attendees and exhibitors of the 2015 International Roofing Expo (IRE) are able to efficiently devise their trade show plan and schedule using the new IRE mobile app, available now for iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry users.

Sponsored by SRS Distribution, the mobile app is available free of charge. The IRE mobile app can be found by searching “IRE” in the Apple App Store or Google Play. BlackBerry and all other web browser-enabled phone users should point your mobile browser here.

The IRE mobile app offers a variety of features to help users plan for the event, including registration and hotel reservations. The mobile app also allows users to easily navigate the show floor while attending the IRE, access exhibitor lists and profiles, the interactive show floor plan and conference level floor plan, the conference schedule, session details, and speaker profiles. It also offers a personalized planner that can help attendees organize their IRE schedule – all in a matter of minutes.

“By downloading the free mobile app, you can quickly view the IRE floor plan, exhibitor details, educational sessions and more from any web-enabled mobile device,” said Tracy Garcia, CEM, Director of the IRE. “The easy-to-use interactive capabilities and real-time event communications will make your IRE experience more enjoyable than ever, so download as soon as you can.”

Users can also explore exciting New Orleans sights and dining options, as well as connect with other roofing professionals on social media by following conversations on the IRE Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages.

Users who have last year’s app already downloaded on their phones should receive a notification on your app store icon that an update is available. All users are reminded to sync when they open the app to ensure they have the most up-to-date information.

“Accessing critical show information while you’re on the go has never been easier,” said Bill Good, Executive Vice President of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “I encourage all of our members to download the IRE mobile app today.”

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