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.

ARMA and ASTM to Develop Product Category Rules for Asphalt Roofing in North America

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has partnered with ASTM International to develop Product Category Rules (PCR) for asphalt roofing in North America. The new PCR will provide consistent methodologies for asphalt roofing manufacturers to measure and report the expected environmental impact of their products. This new document can be accessed for free on ASTM International’s website (www.astm.org/certification).

PCRs provide guidelines for the development of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for a specific product group. PCRs are valuable to any industry because they streamline the process through which products are measured and their environmental impacts communicated, creating globally consistent documentation. Asphalt roofing manufacturers can use these guidelines to review their own products and develop an EPD, which is a verified document that reports the expected environmental performance of a product based on its expected life cycle. An EPD uses the data collected through PCR guidelines to provide comparable environmental impact data for similar products.

“This PCR is a significant, universal resource for the asphalt roofing industry,” said ARMA executive vice president Reed Hitchcock. “It provides asphalt roofing manufacturers with a way to collect, measure, and communicate data pertaining to expected product environmental impacts through an Environmental Product Declaration, and will give consumers and industry professionals new insight into asphalt roofing materials. Developing these guidelines helps further ARMA’s commitment to transparency and environmental sustainability.”

ARMA and several of its member companies participated in the development of this PCR, titled “Asphalt Shingles, Built-Up Asphalt Membrane Roofing, and Modified Bituminous Membrane Roofing.” The guidelines cover asphalt shingles applied over underlayment, and low-slope roofing assemblies consisting of various combinations of factory-produced asphalt-saturated or coated base sheets, ply sheets and cap sheets together with specified viscous asphalt coatings, adhesives and surfacings.

ASTM began its PCR and EPD program in 2012 to provide an infrastructure that can be used for the evaluation and communication of a product’s full-lifecycle environmental impacts. ASTM develops PCRs in partnership with various segments of the building construction industry and in accordance with international standards. ARMA’s partnership with ASTM was an efficient way to provide a PCR to asphalt roofing manufacturers that is standard among researchers, developers, consumers and businesses.

NRCA Issues Statement about President Obama’s Executive Action on Immigration

The following statement is attributable to William Good, executive vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association:

For many years, NRCA has consistently supported immigration reform that increases border security, improves workplace enforcement without burdening employers, provides an avenue for workers to enter the U.S. legally when our economy needs them, and addresses the problem of the existing illegal workforce in a balanced manner. NRCA believes immigration reform that addresses all these components is needed to fix our broken immigration system, end illegal immigration, protect U.S. workers and meet the economic needs of employers in the 21st century.

NRCA believes that for immigration reform to be successful in meeting the needs of the roofing industry, it is imperative Congress be the deliberative body that addresses this issue. NRCA is disappointed the House did not take up immigration reform legislation in the 113th Congress and urges the new 114th Congress to move expeditiously on immigration reform measures in 2015.

NRCA also is disappointed President Obama decided to move forward with unilateral executive action which can, at best, provide only a temporary and partial solution to fixing our broken immigration system. NRCA is further concerned the president’s executive action could cause significant difficulties for employers with respect to employment eligibility verification compliance and will be reviewing the executive order to determine potential effects on employers.

NRCA urges Congress and the Obama administration to work together to pass immigration reform legislation that meets the needs of employers and workers in the roofing industry as soon as possible.

Research Study Shows Certain Metal Roofs Can Last at Least 60 Years

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) has released new research findings that conclude that certain metal roof systems can last at least 60 years, meaning they do not require replacement during a commercial building’s service life.

“This study is a breakthrough for the metal construction industry because it finally provides third-party, scientific data that backs up the long held stance that 55 percent Al-Zn coated steel standing seam roofing systems are very durable, economic, and can be better for the environment,” said Scott Kriner, Technical Director, Metal Construction Association. Most non-metal roofing systems require one or more full replacements within a typical building’s 60-year service life, which is costly and often adds to the solid waste stream in landfills.

The study, sponsored by MCA and the ZAC Association, was conducted with oversight of three independent consulting firms which analyzed low-slope, unpainted 55% Al-Zn coated steel standing seam roofing, in a wide range of environments across the U.S.

This type of roof material is known by many trade names throughout the world, principally GALVALUME and Zincalume in the United States. It is very common on low rise commercial buildings such as warehouses, schools, distribution centers, shopping centers, exposition halls and other facilities. Experts estimate that the market size for this type of low slope roofing in the U.S. is over 350 million square feet.

The study incorporates the results of multiple field inspections, independent laboratory analyses of metallic corrosion of the roof panels, components and sealants, and includes assessment of all integral ancillary components that impact the end of roof service life.

The research team selected 14 building sites in five climate regions of various geographies in the continental United States, exhibiting a spectrum of climates related to heat and humidity including Hot-Dry, Hot-Humid, Cold-Dry, Cold-Humid, and Moderate-Acid. The precipitation acidity also varies considerably from one site to the next over this broad geography.

The research study concluded that the expected service life of an unpainted 55 percent Al-Zn coated steel standing seam roof constructed today in a wide range of environments using best practices can be expected to be in excess of 60 years, a value that equals the assumed building service life as described in the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design building rating program, version 4.

In the study, the steel panel roofs experienced corrosion rates that conservatively project service lives well beyond the service life of most buildings. The range depends on the climate and the local precipitation pH.

The study also confirmed that these types of metal roofs resist corrosion even in “weak” spots, such as sheared edges and panel profile bends. Inspections showed an absence of significant red rust after up to 35 years, indicating exceptional corrosion resistance in areas susceptible to exhibiting the first signs of corrosion.

The study acknowledges that all roof systems require a regular maintenance program (at least annually) to clean off debris and to inspect the condition of the roof in order to achieve the kind of service lives shown in this study. While low-slope steel standing seam roof systems were projected to last up to 60 years, ancillary components (such as fasteners) may need to be replaced during the roof life, but this represents significantly less than 20% of a total roof replacement cost.

“We are planning to conduct more studies on different types of metal roofing, and in some cases we expect similar or even better results in terms of roof service life,” adds Kriner. “We think these studies will help to motivate building owners and architects to specify metal roofing more often.”

The report was authored by Ron Dutton, Ron Dutton Consulting Services LLC; Rob Haddock, Metal Roof Advisory Group; Chuck Howard, Metal Roof Consultants and Scott Kriner, Metal Construction Association. The report was also peer reviewed by Morrison Hershfield laboratory in Canada.

U.S. Construction Starts Will Improve in 2015

Dodge Data & Analytics has released its 2015 Dodge Construction Outlook, a mainstay in construction industry forecasting and business planning. The report predicts that total U.S. construction starts for 2015 will rise 9 percent to $612 billion, a larger gain than the 5 percent increase to $564 billion estimated for 2014.

“The construction expansion should become more broad-based in 2015, with support coming from more sectors than was often the case in recent years,” said Robert Murray, Chief Economist and Vice President for Dodge Data & Analytics. “The economic environment going forward carries several positives that will help to further lift total construction starts. Financing for construction projects is becoming more available, reflecting some easing of bank lending standards, a greater focus on real estate development by the investment community, and more construction bond measures getting passed. While federal funding for construction programs is still constrained, states are now picking up some of the slack. Interest rates for the near term should stay low, and market fundamentals (occupancies and rents) for commercial building and multifamily housing continue to strengthen.”

Based on research of specific construction market sectors, the 2015 Dodge Construction Outlook details the forecast as follows.

Commercial building will increase 15 percent, slightly faster than the 14% gain estimated for 2014. Office construction has assumed a leading role in the commercial building upturn, aided by expanding private development as well as healthy construction activity related to technology and finance firms. Hotel and warehouse construction should also strengthen, although the pickup for stores is more tenuous.

Institutional building will advance 9 percent, continuing the moderate upward trend that’s been established during 2014. The educational building category is now seeing an increasing amount of K-12 school construction, aided by the financing made available by the passage of recent construction bond measures. Healthcare facilities are expected to show some improvement relative to diminished activity in 2014.

Single-family housing will rise 15 percent in dollars, corresponding to an 11% increase in units to 700,000 (Dodge basis). It’s expected that access to home mortgage loans will be expanded, lifting housing demand. However, the millennial generation is only gradually making the shift towards homeownership, limiting the potential number of new homebuyers in the near term.

Multifamily housing will increase 9 percent in dollars and 7% in units to 405,000 (Dodge basis). Occupancies and rent growth continue to be supportive, although the rate of increase for construction is now decelerating as the multifamily market matures.

Public works construction will improve 5 percent, a partial rebound following the 9% decline estimated for 2014. Highway and bridge construction should stabilize, and modest gains are anticipated for environmental public works. Federal spending restraint will be offset by a greater financing role played by the states, involving higher user fees and the increased use of public-private partnerships.

Electric utilities will slide 9 percent, continuing the downward trend that’s followed the exceptional volume of construction starts that was reported during 2011-2012. With more projects now coming on line, capacity utilization rates will stay low, limiting the need for new construction.

Manufacturing plant construction will settle back 16 percent, following the huge increases reported during both 2013 (up 42 percent) and 2014 (up 57 percent) that reflected the start of massive chemical and energy-related projects. Next year’s volume remains quite high by recent historical standards.

The 2015 Dodge Construction Outlook was presented at the 76th annual Outlook Executive Conference held by Dodge Data & Analytics in Washington, D.C. Order copies of the report with additional details by building sector. Additional reports and projections are available from Dodge Data & Analytics.

NRCA Releases Statement on 2014 Midterm Elections, Calls for Breakthrough of Partisan Gridlock

The following statement is attributable to William Good, executive vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association

“We are pleased a vast majority of candidates supported by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and ROOFPAC, our political action committee, prevailed in the 2014 midterm congressional elections on Tuesday. In particular, we are pleased to see a pro-business majority has been elected in the U.S. Senate. We look forward to working with returning and new lawmakers in both parties to break through partisan gridlock and advance the policy agenda NRCA has been supporting for years. This includes pro-growth tax policies, relief from burdensome regulations, legislation that addresses the workforce development needs of our industry, and replacement of the so-called Affordable Care Act with market-based reforms to our health care system.

ROOFPAC, the voice of the roofing industry in Washington, D.C., was very active in the 2014 congressional elections, investing more than $300,000 in support of nearly 75 pro-business candidates during the 2013-14 election cycle. NRCA and ROOFPAC will continue to support members of Congress and other candidates who support government policies that enable roofing industry entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses.”