SPRI Revises Wind Design Standard Practice for Roofing Assemblies for Inclusion in the International Building Code

SPRI has revised ANSI/SPRI WD-1, Wind Design Standard Practice for Roofing Assemblies, to prepare the document for submission to and inclusion into the International Building Code (IBC). SPRI represents sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry.

This Wind Design Standard Practice provides general building design considerations, as well as a methodology for selecting an appropriate roofing system assembly to meet the rooftop design wind uplift pressures calculated in accordance with ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.

“Revisions to ANSI/SPRI WD-1 include additional insulation fastening patterns, along with more detailed practical examples,” says Task Force Chairman Joe Malpezzi. “This Standard Practice is appropriate for non-ballasted Built-Up, Modified Bitumen, and Single-Ply roofing system assemblies installed over any type of roof deck.”

In addition, SPRI has revised and reaffirmed ANSI/SPRI RD-1, Performance Standard for Retrofit Drains, in compliance with ANSI’s five-year cycle requirements. This standard is a reference for those that design, specify or install retrofit roof drains designed for installation in existing drain plumbing on existing roofs.

“It is important to note that the RD-1 Standard addresses the design of retrofit primary drains,” says SPRI President Stan Choiniere. “Local codes may also require secondary or overflow drains. SPRI will also be revisiting this standard after upcoming code changes are released.”

For more information about these standards and to download a copy, visit SPRI’s Web site or contact the association.

Four NRCA Contractor Members Join The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress

AAA Roofing Co. Inc., Indianapolis; Blues Roofing Co., Milpitas, Calif.; Bone Dry Roofing Co., Bogart, Ga.; and Roofing Solutions LLC, Prairieville, La. have joined The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress at the Governor level.

Governor membership is reserved for those who commit $50,000 to the Alliance during a three-to-five year period. AAA Roofing, Blues Roofing, Bone Dry Roofing, and Roofing Solutions’ commitments entitle them to participate in the project task forces established to guide the Alliance’s agenda and to attend the semiannual meetings of the full Alliance.

For more information or to join the Alliance, visit the Alliance’s website or contact Bennett Judson, the Alliance’s executive director, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7513.

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress was established within the National Roofing Foundation (NRF) to create an endowment fund to serve as a highly focused resource for the roofing industry and its customers. The Alliance’s objectives are to conduct research and education projects that support high-quality programs for roofing contractors; ensure timely and forward-thinking industry responses to major economic and technological issues; and enhance the long-term viability and attractiveness of the industry to roofing workers. The Alliance also reaches out to the roofing community and its members and helps fund efforts dedicated to good works and charitable giving.

NRDC and EDC Sue EPA Over Stormwater Standards

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) have sued the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen standards to prevent pollution from stormwater, one of the nation’s most widespread forms of water pollution. More than a decade ago a federal appeals court ordered EPA to strengthen those protections, but the agency has failed to take action.

The dirty water that runs off roads, parking lots and other hard surfaces in cities and suburbs when it rains is the prime cause of beach closings around the country, and is responsible for fouling tens of thousands of miles of streams and hundreds of thousands of acres of lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. In addition, sediment-laden runoff from forest roads threatens drinking water supplies and kills fish and other aquatic life.

“This inexcusable delay in obeying a clear court order is, unfortunately, all too typical of EPA foot-dragging on the crucial stormwater pollution problem. The agency has repeatedly promised a much-needed update of all its stormwater protections, and repeatedly failed to come through,” said NRDC senior attorney Larry Levine.

The suit, filed late Thursday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, charges EPA has failed to implement that court’s 2003 ruling ordering the agency to correct and strengthen rules for urban runoff that flows through municipal sewer systems. EPA also ignored the same court’s order to decide whether it has an obligation under the Clean Water Act to regulate runoff from forest roads that wash damaging sediment into water bodies. The ruling in EDC v. EPA resulted from a successful challenge brought by EDC and NRDC against EPA’s 1999 stormwater regulations.

“EPA’s failure to act deprives the public—and the environment—of the important clean water victory that EDC and NRDC achieved over ten years ago. Our waterways continue to remain at risk from stormwater pollution, which threatens public health, wildlife, and recreation. ” said Maggie Hall, Staff Attorney at EDC.

In urbanized areas, according to the suit, stormwater “picks up contaminants, including suspended metals, algae-promoting nutrients, used motor oil, raw sewage, pesticides, and trash,” that flows untreated through municipal sewer pipes directly into streams, lakes and the ocean. It is, the suit says, “one of the most significant sources of water pollution in the nation, at times comparable to, if not greater than, contamination from industrial and sewage sources.”

The appeals court found that EPA’s urban runoff rules for communities with populations under 100,000 don’t comply with the Clean Water Act because they rely on self-regulation by local municipalities and don’t allow for public participation when local pollution controls are being set.

Unpaved forest roads throughout the West are a major threat to water quality, undermining the billions of dollars that is spent on the recovery of native runs of salmon and steelhead, and harming other valuable fisheries and drinking water supplies.

In 2003 the court said the agency had given no justification for its failure to regulate runoff from forest roads and ordered the agency to address this issue.

In 2009, EPA announced it would undertake a major overhaul and upgrading of its urban stormwater rules, which NRDC and EDC welcomed as an opportunity for the agency to obey the court order on urban runoff. NRDC also encouraged the agency to promote green infrastructure—roof gardens, permeable pavements and the like—that would allow more rainfall to soak directly into the ground, and sharply limit runoff volume.

However, EPA never completed the new rules and recently disclosed it was abandoning the effort. EPA had been under heavy pressure from developers not to act.

EPA announced in 2012 that it was considering options for regulating forest road runoff, and that regulation may be appropriate. However, the agency has offered no timeline for a decision.

In the lawsuit, EDC and NRDC seek a court order imposing clear deadlines for EPA to act. “We hope this suit spurs EPA to get back into the business of modernizing its whole stormwater program, which badly needs updating and could greatly benefit from new green technologies,” NRDC’s Levine said.

Read more about this issue and the lawsuit, and find the pdf of the lawsuit at Larry Levine’s blog.

Copper Development Association President and CEO Retires

The Copper Development Association (CDA) has announced the retirement of President and CEO Andrew Kireta Sr. after 36 years with the organization. Kireta will step down on January 2, 2015, leaving a legacy of strong industry relationships and innovative programs that have been created under his leadership.

Kireta began his career as a pipefitting apprentice for a large mechanical contracting firm in Harrisburg, Pa, and quickly rose to field superintendent.

Since joining CDA in 1979 as Northeast regional manager of piping applications, Kireta has been instrumental in furthering the association’s goals of market development, education and engineering services. In his early years at CDA, Kireta dedicated himself to connecting CDA and its members to the marketplace and successfully built his staff from two to nine people.

After being promoted to vice president of CDA in 1998, Kireta spearheaded the Builder Satisfaction Program, which significantly demonstrated the consumer benefits of copper plumbing to the home building industry. He also introduced a 50-year limited warranty on residential copper plumbing products.

Kireta went on to promote and expand copper plumbing and mechanical system markets by directing the North American Plumbing Tube Initiative for the U.S. and Canada, and helped to develop the successful UA Instructor Training Program. In 2000, Kireta took over for Robert Payne as President and CEO of CDA. In this role, he continued to identify new applications for copper, such as antimicrobial, and new domestic markets for copper and copper alloys.

“On behalf of the Copper Development Association, I wish to thank Andrew Kireta Sr. for his many years of service to the copper industry,” said Stephen Higgins, CDA chairman, at the association’s annual Winter Meeting. “Whether as a pipefitter, a teacher or a CEO, Kireta’s dedication and leadership have strengthened the industry. We will continue to see his mark on CDA for years to come.”

Confidence in Equipment Finance Sector Is Steady

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation (the Foundation) released the December 2014 Monthly Confidence Index for the Equipment Finance Industry (MCI-EFI). Designed to collect leadership data, the index reports a qualitative assessment of both the prevailing business conditions and expectations for the future as reported by key executives from the $903 billion equipment finance sector. Overall, confidence in the equipment finance market is 63.4, steady with the November index of 64.2.

When asked about the outlook for the future, MCI-EFI survey respondent David Schaefer, CEO, Mintaka Financial LLC, said, “We are very pleased with our year-over-year growth in application volume, originations, approval rates and access to capital. We think next year will be positive again but expect to see slight increases in delinquency and credit losses. We have seen extraordinary portfolio performance the past three years, but we’re planning for a more normal period in 2015.”

December 2014 Survey Results:
The overall MCI-EFI is 63.4, steady with the November index of 64.2.

    · When asked to assess their business conditions over the next four months, 28% of executives responding said they believe business conditions will improve over the next four months, up slightly from 27.3% in November. 72% of respondents believe business conditions will remain the same over the next four months, up from 69.7% in November. None believe business conditions will worsen, down from 3% the previous month.

    · 22% of survey respondents believe demand for leases and loans to fund capital expenditures (capex) will increase over the next four months, down from 30.3% in November. 72% believe demand will “remain the same” during the same four-month time period, up from 66.7% the previous month. 6.3% believe demand will decline, up from 3% in November.

    · 22% of executives expect more access to capital to fund equipment acquisitions over the next four months, up slightly from 21.2% in November. 78% of survey respondents indicate they expect the “same” access to capital to fund business, down slightly from 78.8% in November. None expect “less” access to capital, unchanged from the previous month.

    · When asked, 43.8% of the executives reported they expect to hire more employees over the next four months, a decrease from 45.4% in November. 50% expect no change in headcount over the next four months, up from 48.5% last month. 6.3% expect fewer employees, essentially unchanged from November.

    · 3% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “excellent,” unchanged from last month. 97% of the leadership evaluate the current U.S. economy as “fair,” and none rate it as “poor,” both also unchanged from November.

    · 47% of the survey respondents believe that U.S. economic conditions will get “better” over the next six months, an increase from 42.4% who believed so in November. 53% of survey respondents indicate they believe the U.S. economy will “stay the same” over the next six months, down from 54.6% in November. None believe economic conditions in the U.S. will worsen over the next six months, down from 3% last month.

    · In December, 37.5% of respondents indicate they believe their company will increase spending on business development activities during the next six months, a decrease from 42.4% in November. 62.5% believe there will be “no change” in business development spending, an increase from 54.6% last month. None believe there will be a decrease in spending, down from 3% last month.

December 2014 MCI-EFI Survey Comments from Industry Executive Leadership:

Bank, Small Ticket
“Lower energy costs will benefit consumers and small businesses. These are the segments of the economy that has been lagging compared to historical recoveries. I believe stronger spending will lift corporate revenues and, in reaction, business investment. Finally ?!” Paul Menzel, President & CEO, Financial Pacific Leasing, LLC

Bank, Middle Ticket
“Energy costs are the new looming uncertainty. In some sectors/industries this is a positive while in others it is a negative. How that balances out from a national as well as global standpoint remains to be seen, but it will give some pause to growth plans.” Harry Kaplun, President, Frost Equipment Leasing and Finance

Independent, Middle Ticket
“With gas prices declining truck and car sales continue to increase and the economy seems to continue to be slowly improving.” William Besgen, President and Chief Operating Officer, Hitachi Capital America Corp.

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:

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

How may I access the MCI-EFI?
Survey results are posted on the Foundation website included in the Foundation Forecast newsletter and included in press releases. Survey respondent demographics and additional information about the MCI are also available at the link above.

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.