Automatic Smoke Vents Receive UL Approval

The Bilco Co.’s Type SV Single Leaf Automatic Smoke Vents, available with a metal cover or a domed polycarbonate cover for natural daylighting, have received UL 793, “Automatically Operated Roof Vents for Smoke and Heat”, approval. The vents are designed to open automatically in the event of a fire to remove smoke, heat and gases from a burning building. This improves IAQ and visibility inside the building to allow occupants to escape and firefighters to do their job.

MBCI Partners with Roof Hugger to Offer Metal-over-metal Retrofit Roofing

MBCI is now offering Roof Hugger retrofit systems. Roof Hugger products can be installed over most existing metal roofs, including trapezoidal and vertical standing-seam roofs, as well as existing R panel roofs. Roof Hugger systems provide many benefits and advantages to building owners, design professionals and roofing contractors.

Metal-over-metal retrofit roofing is the installation of a new, long-life metal roof over an existing metal roof in a way that is structurally correct, non-disruptive and cost effective. The Roof Hugger systems also add strength, are environmentally friendly and help conserve energy. In addition to fitting over most any existing roof, the Roof Hugger system can support a wide variety of new metal roof systems. The cavity created between the old and new roofs can be vented or the heated air can be used to preheat the make-up air for the HVAC system. This cavity can also be filled with either fiberglass or rigid insulation to increase the roof R-value. Additionally, a solar water heating system can be installed in the cavity.

MBCI’s family of companies manufacture metal roof and wall systems and roll-up doors. Solutions include single skin and insulated metal panels, standing seam roof systems, retrofit roofing systems, roll-up doors and photovoltaic systems. MBCI has 33 facilities located strategically throughout the U.S., including retail outlets in select cities, serving the commercial, industrial, architectural, agricultural, institutional, residential and self-storage market.

Website Provides Easier Navigation through Single-ply Roofing’s Metal Specialty Products

EXCEPTIONAL Metals has redesigned its website, exceptionalmetals.com, to help users experience the visual appeal and navigate through a user-friendly site. Featured products now have unique landing pages that contain corresponding literature and materials. Customers will benefit by the opportunity to learn about unique specialty products including the T-Edge, 2-Piece Snap-On Compression, skirted scupper and collector box.

The new website showcases EXCEPTIONAL Metals continuous drive to grow in the industry and create unique and innovative products that help contractors get on and off the roof faster. A true testament to this growth occurred in June as the company expanded manufacturing operations into Texas.

EXCEPTIONAL Metals, a division of Duro-Last Inc., manufactures high-quality metal products designed for use with any single-ply roofing system. Products include roof accessories, metal edge details, drainage systems, scuppers, collector boxes, pitch pans, custom-fabricated products, skirted vinyl-coated metal products, and standing seam roofing panels for architectural and structural applications. EXCEPTIONAL Metals is headquartered at its manufacturing facility in Saginaw, Mich., with additional fabrication locations in Carrollton, Texas; Grants Pass, Ore.; and Jackson, Miss. As a family-owned business, EXCEPTIONAL Metals is proud to be an American-made product.

Online Chat Available on Fastener E-commerce Site

E-commerce company Fasteners Plus has recently launched an interactive chat option on its website, allowing customers to ask a sales team member questions, request a price quote and more via instant messaging. The FastenersPlus.com website, which caters to contractors, business owners and consumers, features thousands of fasteners categorized by type and specialty.

Nikki Dudley, vice president of Operations, says the idea for the chat feature came about during the development of the site and categorization of the 20,000+ products. “With so many products across different categories, we knew we needed to implement a method for customers to be able to communicate instantaneously with our sales team if they had a question,” she says. “The interactive chat allows us to see what the customer is looking at online so we can answer questions and make recommendations quickly and easily, without having to search a part number.”

The option to open a chat conversation with a sales team member is enabled via a window when the customer first visits the site, and remains an option throughout the visit. Customers also always have the option of e-mailing or calling the sales team for assistance as well.

Dudley says the feature has also been extremely useful as the company continues to build out the site, such as uncovering common questions that may warrant an answer in an FAQ section on the site. Analytics have also revealed pages where customers are initiating a chat session, which in turn helps determine which content may need updating.

“While this is an excellent feature for our customers, it’s also proven to be very helpful for us,” Dudley adds. “The same informal back-and-forth flow of a traditional in-store conversation can be had via chat, so we’re utilizing that valuable feedback from our customers as we build out the site.”

CertainTeed Launches First Webisode Featuring Home Makeover Winners

CertainTeed launched its first webisode and music video in the 2013 Living Spaces Facebook Home Makeover Video Contest featuring the Bielfelt family of Mentor, Ohio.

The Bielfelt family, the grand prize winner of the $75,000 exterior makeover, will be featured in a series of webisodes documenting the renovation of the 100-year-old home. The series follows the family, along with CertainTeed 5-Star Green, 5-Star Fence and Master Shingle Applicator contractors, as they tour the home to kick off the renovation. The homeowner selects multiple products to use, including Cedar Impressions and Monogram siding, Restoration Millwork trim, EverNew decking and railing, Bufftech fence and Landmark Pro roofing.

CertainTeed also released a new music video “Sleeping on My Porch” that was created in conjunction with the webisode series to showcase the homeowners’ excitement about the transformation of their home.

Check out the webisodes at the CertainTeed Living Spaces Facebook page or YouTube channel. Also, stay tuned for additional webisodes and for details on the 2014 $75,000 Exterior Living Spaces Home Makeover contest, which will be available soon on the CertainTeed Living Spaces Facebook page.

GAF Will Be on ‘Ellen’ Today

GAF will participate in today’s (Jan. 30) episode of the popular NBC daytime television show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show”.

The show and its host, Ellen DeGeneres, have collectively won 33 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Talk Show in 2013, and average 4 million viewers per episode. Combining comedy, celebrity, musical guests and human-interest stories, the show has been helping consumers make choices for 11 seasons—and the brands that Ellen names on the show have proven to become known and trusted by her viewers.

“Being a part of a segment on The Ellen DeGeneres Show is an incredible opportunity,” explains Alyssa Hall, marketing communications manager at GAF. “She is so beloved by her viewers and they truly value any recommendations that she makes on products. And as a company that invests in our branding efforts, we know at GAF that aligning with a force like Ellen DeGeneres will only support our position as the industry’s premium brand, helping our contractors to create pull-through sales.”

After this initial airing, GAF will be featured in several follow-up episodes, which will each be mentioned on the GAF Facebook page.

Financing Available for Renewable Energy Projects of 500 kW to 25 MW

Conergy, a solar photovoltaic service and solution provider, has launched its Conergy Fund I program. The program, which provides financing to large-scale construction projects in the United States, makes the use of and savings from solar power a possibility to businesses.

With an initial target volume of $100 million and backing by Conergy’s main investor, Kawa Capital Management, The Conergy Fund I provides financing for solar power plants and qualified commercial projects with renewable energy capabilities between 500 kilowatts and 25 megawatts of power. The fund streamlines the financing process by managing the financial analysis, credit rating, administration and finance, billing, and collection of power purchase agreements (PPAs) on behalf of the project.

“The Fund is ideal for mid-to-large size organizations such as municipalities, school districts, utility companies, and investment-grade corporations because the savings achieved last for decades,” says Anthony Fotopoulos, CEO of Conergy Americas. “Not only are these entities reducing energy consumption, but the fixed energy prices secured through the PPAs are significantly lower than market prices for conventional grid power, providing additional savings to the end-user.”

Access to competitive financing that can monetize local and federal incentives is a key barrier to the widespread adoption of solar photovolatics (PV) via PPAs – only about 40 percent of commercial buildings or power plants are able to secure this financing. The fund bridges this gap by removing the funding barrier that has historically hampered organizations from installing photovoltaic (PV) systems on their facilities.

Through The Fund, Conergy and its partners also provide project development and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, including engineering, design, and subsequent operations and maintenance management.

Kawa Capital Management acquired Conergy in August 2013 to create a globally unique player in the solar energy industry. Conergy’s expertise in providing complete solar energy solutions and Kawa’s established financial and management strategies were the groundwork for the Conergy Fund I program and will serve as the foundation for future financial solutions in the US electricity market.

“The Conergy Fund I program is the first step in a long relationship with Kawa. We already have five projects in the United States utilizing The Fund and expect to develop and acquire projects in other growth markets in 2014,” says Fotopoulos.

Verisk Analytics Expands Its Position in the Aerial Imagery Market through Acquisition of EagleView Technologies

Verisk Analytics Inc., a source of information about risk, has signed an agreement to acquire EagleView Technology (EVT) Corp., the parent company of Pictometry International Corp., and EagleView Technologies Inc. EVT is a provider in the United States of geo-referenced aerial image capture and visual-centric data analytics and solutions to insurers, contractors, government and commercial customers. The acquisition will accelerate Verisk’s position as a provider of data, analytics and decision support solutions based on aerial imagery.

Based in Rochester, N.Y., and Bothell, Wash., EVT was formed in January 2013 as a result of a combination of Pictometry International Corp., and EagleView Technologies Inc. The combined company maintains one of the most comprehensive image libraries, covering more than 85 percent of the U.S. population, more than 1 million square miles, and approximately 90 percent of total U.S. structures. EVT leverages this image library to provide proprietary solutions to property and casualty insurance, government, and a variety of other commercial markets. EVT has developed unique technology for image capture and processing, enabling understanding of physical property characteristics that can be used for valuation and risk management. With more than 24 petabytes of imagery-related data, EVT has established itself at the forefront of the market.

“The acquisition of EVT advances our position in the imagery analytics market, adding new municipal and commercial customers. The transaction supports the aerial imagery solution development that has been under way at our Xactware unit,” says Scott Stephenson, president and CEO of Verisk Analytics. “We believe we can build on the comprehensive coverage of EVT’s library to expand solutions to our customers, including underwriting and, over time, international solutions as well. We look forward to combining the strong business built by the EVT team with Verisk’s analytical capabilities and unparalleled customer relationships in the property/casualty insurance market.”

Jim Loveland, president and CEO of Verisk’s Xactware business, added, “We’re excited to welcome our new colleagues to the Verisk family and look forward to integrating their substantial knowledge and experience in imagery with our own. This acquisition will allow us to enhance our existing claims and underwriting software tools and expand the solutions we can offer to our existing property/casualty customers. We also intend to enhance solutions that EVT is currently providing to the municipal, government, and other commercial markets.”

“This combination is a natural culmination of the businesses we’ve built over the years and a win for our customers and employees,” said Chris Barrow, CEO of EVT. “Our teams stand ready to build on the strength of our existing solutions with the benefit of Verisk’s analytic expertise, customer relationships, and financial resources.”

The purchase price is $650 million to be paid in cash to stockholders of EVT. Verisk expects to receive approximately $25 million in tax benefits as part of the transaction. In addition, Verisk will reduce the cash payment by approximately $13 million to reflect an existing minority equity ownership in EVT. The transaction is expected to close by July 15, 2014, subject to the completion of customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory and shareholder approvals. Verisk expects to use cash on hand and available capacity under its revolving credit facility to fund the purchase. The transaction is expected to be neutral to adjusted EPS in 2014.

S-5 Announces Metal Plus as New Distributor

S-5!, a manufacturer of ancillary attachment technology for the metal roofing industry, has announced its most recent full-line distributor, Metal Plus LLC.

Metal Plus produces a line of standing-seam brackets designed to simplify temporary staging or scaffolding for metal roofing projects. Because the Metal Plus brackets allow contractors to get to work quickly and safely, they make an excellent platform for installing S-5! products. Pairing these two product lines, roofers, contractors and solar integrators can quickly and cost-effectively attach solar arrays, snow retention systems and other ancillaries to metal roofs without damaging the roof.

Rob Haddock, CEO at S-5!, feels confident the relationship is a good fit for both companies and states: “At S-5! we take innovation, development, thorough testing, and proper market introduction very seriously. We pride ourselves in providing only the best solutions in the metal roofing industry, and I have been impressed with Metal Plus’s commitment to the same.”

According to Mario Lallier, owner of Metal Plus: “We realize that becoming a distributor for S-5! marries two great products, destined to make life for metal roofing installers and contractors much easier. The synergy between metal roofs, S-5! clamps, and Metal Plus brackets equals cost and labor savings upwards of 15 to 25 percent.”

Englert Introduces Metal Roofing App

Englert Inc. has introduced its iRoofing app, which can be used on mobile devices to remotely order metal roofing plans. It also contains a roof visualizer that lets users photograph any structure with their mobile device and add an Englert metal roof with a wide choice of roofing profiles and colors. Brochures and catalogs can be reviewed; materials can be ordered; and technical information, like building approval forms and installation guides, can be accessed. In addition, the app includes other building materials that can assist in designing, specifying and pricing a project.