MBMA Releases 2016 Annual Report

The Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) has released its 2016 Annual Report. This resource highlights the technical research, sustainability innovations, industry advocacy, safety preparations and educational programs the association has undertaken over the past year. The report provides relevant information for anyone who works with metal building systems, or who is involved in the low-rise commercial building market. It can be downloaded here.
 
“This last year was filled with growth and opportunities for our association and we are proud of all that has been accomplished,” says Brad Curtis, MBMA chair. “We have made strides in the areas of structural research, education, sustainability and fire protection. The tools we develop in these areas help designers to use metal building systems in new and exciting ways. These tools are what differentiate metal buildings as a durable building construction approach that produces economy, speed to market and single-source control.”
 
“For more than 60 years, MBMA has raised the bar for the metal building systems industry,” says Dan Walker, MBMA’s associate general manager. “MBMA members and various committees spearhead research, create innovative tools and resources, and improve industry practices and standards.”
 
The 2016 Annual Report details recent accomplishments made by MBMA, some of which include:

  • developing college capstone courses on metal building design
  • producing several new technical manuals
  • influencing code changes
  • creating educational webinars, videos and podcasts
  • completing three industry-wide Environmental Product Declarations
  • adding a new membership category to include architects and engineers

 
Also, in 2016, MBMA played a role in instituting a new Founders category in the Metal Construction Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to early industry trailblazers.
 
“The leadership that our association provides is bar none. MBMA’s members work alongside other industry experts and organizations to improve the safety, quality and durability of low-rise construction for future generations,” Walker adds.
 
MBMA’s membership represents more than $2 billion in annual shipments and accounts for nearly half of the total non-residential, low-rise construction market in the United States.
 
MBMA also provides engineering leadership through the many research programs it sponsors annually, often in coordination with universities and engineering schools throughout North America. This research is used to improve the performance, efficiency and quality of metal building systems—and serves to elevate the technology used to produce them.

AIA Supports Legislation for Energy Efficiency Tax Incentive

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has voiced its support of bipartisan legislation that makes designers of hospitals, schools, tribal community facilities and other non-profits eligible for an energy efficiency tax incentive that is already saving tax-payers money across the country.

H.R. 6376, introduced by Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) and co-sponsored by Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), also modifies Section 179D of the tax code, the Energy-Efficient Commercial Building Deduction, to make small to midsized architect firms organized as subchapter S corporations eligible for the deduction.

“H.R. 6376 gives non-profits the ability to allocate this energy savings tax incentive to designers,” said AIA President Russell Davidson, FAIA. “It also provides an opportunity for schools and hospitals to save money when architects deploy technologies that make buildings more energy efficient.” 

The section 179D tax deduction was originally passed by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 in direct response to broader energy usage and independence concerns. According to data released by the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings are responsible for 73 percent of all electricity consumption in the U.S., with about half of that coming from commercial buildings.

In an effort to curb this trend and encourage broader energy efficiency, section 179D allows qualifying building owners and businesses to receive an up to $1.80 per square foot tax deduction for their energy efficient buildings placed into service during all open tax years.

Architects can also qualify for 179D under a special rule for public property, if they’ve enhanced the energy efficiency of a new government-owned building or made energy-saving renovations and retrofits to existing government-owned buildings. As government entities do not traditionally pay tax, the owners of these buildings can allocate the accrued tax savings to architects who have designed the energy-saving improvements.

New Course Instructs Architects About Wind Uplift on Metal Roofs

“Improving Wind Uplift on Metal Roofs” is a new AIA continuing education course, developed by S-5! and MBCI to help architects discover the art and science of wind control and wind uplift on metal roofs and metal structures.

This is a one hour AIA Health, Safety and Welfare (HSW) learning unit course. It offers architects the opportunity to learn about wind uplift requirements, testing and proper wind mitigation specification techniques as well as metal roof options and accessories to improve wind uplift characteristics.

Architects and firms requesting a presentation of this course will learn about:

  • Current wind uplift tests and how they are performed
  • Wind uplift ratings, wind zones and specific wind uplift requirements
  • Specific metal roof products, panel profiles and applications that perform best for wind uplift
  • Methods and accessories to improve wind uplift characteristics for metal roofs
  • Wind control value engineering techniques and refer to project specific examples
  • The proper selection and specification techniques of wind-rated roofs and accessories to meet uplift requirements

Keith Lipps, vice president of sales and marketing for S-5!, described the course as being critical for design professionals to understand how wind forces act on a structure. “This is a critical topic for projects being designed in high wind areas, especially those structures that are being built in tornado and hurricane prone regions,” Lipps says.

The course can be scheduled as a live presentation through S-5!. Call 1-888-825-3432 or email info@s-5.com for more information.

MBMA Releases Continuing Education Series

The Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), in cooperation with Architectural Record magazine, has released a continuing education series titled, “The Benefits of Metal Building Systems from a Whole Building Perspective.” Specifically targeting architects and building professionals, the course discusses the benefits of using metal building systems by highlighting their flexibility, economical and sustainability attributes.
 
Participants will receive one AIA LU/HSW credit for completing the online course. The course is available through Architectural Record’s Continuing Education Center website.

“Metal building systems are a part of today’s architecture because they can be used for many applications. The process of creating a successful structure starts with understanding the various elements and options available, including energy, sustainability and acoustical considerations,” says Dan Walker, PE, MBMA’s associate general manager. “This course was designed around a whole-building approach to educate industry professionals about the benefits of utilizing modern metal building solutions for almost any low-rise application.”
 
The continuing education series includes an overview of the AC472 quality assurance program developed by the International Accreditation Service (IAS); the use of Athena Impact Estimator software to perform a whole-building, cradle-to-grave life-cycle analysis; and framing systems illustrations. Learning outcomes include the participant’s ability to:

  • describe the advantages of metal building systems
  • examine the benefits of writing specifications that require the IAS AC472 quality assurance program
  • identify metal building structural components and their corresponding applications
  • explain how the Athena Impact Estimator can be used to determine the sustainable benefits of metal building designs
  • analyze current metal building design options and construction processes in terms of quality, versatility, sustainability and constructability

AIA Issues 2016 Election Results Statement

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has issued the following statement on the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, as well as the incoming 115th Congress.

“The AIA and its 89,000 members are committed to working with President-elect Trump to address the issues our country faces, particularly strengthening the nation’s aging infrastructure. During the campaign, President-elect Trump called for committing at least $500 billion to infrastructure spending over five years. We stand ready to work with him and with the incoming 115th Congress to ensure that investments in schools, hospitals and other public infrastructure continue to be a priority,” states AIA Chief Executive Officer Robert Ivy, FAIA.

“We also congratulate members of the new 115th Congress on their election. We urge both the incoming Trump administration and the new congress to work toward enhancing the design and construction sector’s role as a catalyst for job creation throughout the American economy.”

Robert Ivy concludes, “This has been a contentious election process. It is now time for all of us to work together to advance policies that help our country move forward.”

Firm Leaders Reinvest and Expand Businesses as Profitability Increases

U.S. architecture firms have experienced a near complete recovery from the Great Recession, which has allowed firm leaders to reinvest profits back into their businesses. These findings, along with an in depth look at topics such as firm billings, staffing, and international work, are covered in the “The Business of Architecture: 2016 Firm Survey Report”.  The report offers metrics that provide insights into how architecture firms are operating and is available for purchase here.

“More than at any point in recent memory, there has been rise in the amount of renovation projects that architects have led compared to new construction activity over the past decade plus,” said AIA chief economist, Kermit Baker, Hon. AIA, PhD.  “A lot this has to do with green building incentives towards renovations, improved construction methods and products that increase the longevity of buildings, and a slower growing population that reduces the need for new construction.”

Key highlights:

  • Net billings at architecture firms were $28.5 billion at the peak of the market in 2008 and had nearly recovered to $28.4 billion by 2015.
  • Percentage of firms reporting a financial loss declined sharply in recent years from more than 20 percent in 2011 to fewer than 10 percent by 2015.
  • Growing profitability has allowed firms to increase their marketing activities and expand into new geographical areas and building types to diversify their design portfolios.
  • Renovations made up a large portion of design work with 45 percent of building design billings coming from work on existing facilities, including 30 percent from additions to buildings, and the remaining from historic preservation projects.
  • Billings in the residential sector topped $7 billion, more than 30 percent over 2013 levels.
  • Modest gains in diversity of profession with women now comprising 31 percent of architecture staff (up from 28 percent in 2013) and minorities making up 21 percent of staff (up from 20 percent in 2013).
  • Use of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software has become standard at larger firms with 96 percent of firms with 50 or more employees report using it for billable work (compared to 72 percent of mid-sized firms and 28 percent of small firms).
  • Newer technologies including 3D printing and 4D/5D modeling are reported being used at only 11 percent and 8 percent of firms respectively.
  • Energy modeling currently has a low adoption rate with 13 percent of firms using it for billable work, although this share jumps to 59 percent for large firms.

“From a practice standpoint, digital modeling is firmly entrenched in the early phase of design work and expanding into subsequent phases, with the potential for more involvement for architects through the construction and facility management processes,” said AIA senior director of research, Michele Russo. “In the coming years we expect firms will be adding technological dimensions to their design work through more utilization of cloud computing, 3D printing and the use of virtual reality software. This should help further efficiencies, minimize waste and project delivery delays, and lead to increased bottom line outcomes for their clients.”

Survey Reports Health Impacts of Buildings Influence Design Decisions

Nearly three quarters of U.S. architects say the health impacts of buildings are influencing their design decisions. That finding parallels the market demand by building owners, with a solid two-thirds surveyed also reporting that health considerations affect how they design and construct buildings.

These findings and others were released in a ground-breaking report The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings 2016 by Dodge Data & Analytics, in partnership with Delos and the Canada Green Building Council, and with the participation of the American Institute of Architects as a critical research advisor and partner.

The report documents the value and need for more of the research, education, collaboration and outreach efforts that are hallmarks of the AIA’s Design and Health initiative. Since 2013, AIA has invested in expanding the body of knowledge on the connection between design and health, including professional continuing education and the 17-university Design & Health Research Consortium.

“As a society, we spend nearly 87 percent of our time indoors,” said AIA chief executive officer Robert Ivy, FAIA. “Designing and constructing ‘healthy buildings’ is important to our own well-being.”

“Working with architects, we can accelerate this need for healthier buildings and improve quality of life across the country,” Ivy said. “This report documents how architects can help clients have a positive effect on human health – through the built environment.”

That positive result includes increasing employee participation and fulfillment, the report found. Sixty-nine percent of owners who measure employee satisfaction and engagement reported improvement in both attributes due to their healthier building investments.

According to the report, the top five healthier building features implemented by architects are:

  • Better lighting/daylighting exposure.
  • Products that enhance thermal comfort.
  • Spaces that enhance social interaction.
  • Enhanced air quality.
  • Products that enhance acoustical comfort.

Use of nearly all of these is expected to grow considerably along with further pioneering approaches like the use of biophilic design features, spaces that enhance tenant mood and opportunities for physical activity, the report found.

“The increased attention to building health impacts is just beginning,” says Stephen A. Jones, senior director of industry insights at Dodge Data & Analytics. “In a similar way several years ago, companies engaged in green construction because of the demonstrable business and financial benefits they were able to achieve. The findings of this report demonstrate that the focus on buildings that enhance the health and well-being of their occupants is likely to follow a similar trajectory, boosted by those who have committed to sustainability in their organizations.”

Additional highlights from the report:

  • Most owners are not aware how healthy building investments result in business benefits like leasing rates (52 percent) and asset values (58 percent). However, among those that report an effect, 73 percent report faster rates and 62 percent report higher values.
  • According to architects and interior designers, the top driver for greater investment in healthier buildings is improved public awareness of the health impacts of buildings.
  • Public health professionals report that the most common policies currently in place to support healthier building practices are requirements to avoid the use of hazardous materials in buildings (65 percent). The key policy areas that are currently being considered include incentives that encourage physical activity (47 percent) and requirements for ongoing building air quality measurement (46 percent).
  • Ninety-two percent of public health professionals also report that their institutions are actively conducting research on the influence buildings have on occupant health and well-being.
  • Architects are most aligned with their clients (owners) when it comes to understanding the goals of healthy building investments, as compared to other industry players, recognizing that improved tenant/employee satisfaction and happier and healthier occupants is the primary focus for owners related to their investments.
  • The largest percentage of owners, at 42 percent, identify that they are very interested in partnering with architects to help increase their ability to implement healthy building practices. While low, it is notably more than the next two highest potential partners – facility managers and educational institutions, both at 31 percent.

Download the full study The Drive Toward Healthier Buildings 2016: Tactical Intelligence to Transform Building Design and Construction SmartMarket Report.

The report also received support from CBRE, Dewberry and the U.S. Green Building Council, with additional support from Armstrong Ceiling Solutions and the Regenerative Network. Other organizations that participated in the research process include the American Society of Interior Designers, the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers and the World Green Building Council.

CertainTeed Roofing Product Data is Available on ARCOM Software Platforms for Roofing Professionals

CertainTeed and ARCOM are pleased to announce that CertainTeed’s roofing product data and customized specifications are now available through ARCOM’s software platforms to architects, engineers and design professionals.
 
ARCOM and CertainTeed have worked together to create customized versions of the MasterSpec sections to accurately specify CertainTeed’s roofing product portfolio. Along with these specification sections, CertainTeed’s entire roofing product catalog and data sheets are accessible to specifiers when working on their projects.
 
“We are proud to partner with ARCOM in providing customized roofing specifications for both our Flintlastic Modified Bitumen roof systems and our complete collection of asphalt roofing shingle products,” said Tom Smith, president of CertainTeed Roofing. “These editable, 3-part specifications enable the roof designer to easily produce complete and accurate specifications for both low-slope and steep-slope roofing systems.”
 
ARCOM and CertainTeed believe this relationship will benefit design professionals as they select and specify roofing products.

McElroy Metal Roof Panels Receives Compliance Evaluation

McElroy Metal receives a Uniform Evaluation Service (UES) Evaluation Report declaring the company’s Mirage Panel, PBU Panel and U Panel have all been evaluated for use as metal roof panels in compliance with Section 1507.4 of the International Building Code and Section R905.10 of the International Residential Code.

The structural, weather resistance and fire performance properties of these metal roof panels are evaluated for compliance with the IBC and IRC, when installed to the manufacturer’s published installation guidelines.

“Our customers require that we have our products evaluated to make their submittal process go smoother,” says Tommy Johnson, director of engineering for McElroy Metal. “The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials Report (IAPMO) reports are trusted and depended upon by architects and building officials. They know when an IAPMO report has been issued on a product, that product has undergone the scrutiny of rigorous design and testing standards and is in compliance with the building code.”

The Evaluation Report is available on the McElroy Metal website at: http://www.mcelroymetal.com/news/uniform-evaluation-service-ues-report.html

Interactive Tablet App Provides Information to Strengthen Structures Against Natural Disasters

FORTIFIED Home On the Go interactive tablet app gives information to strengthen homes against natural disasters.

FORTIFIED Home On the Go interactive tablet app gives information to strengthen homes against natural disasters.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and Munich Re, US launches an interactive tablet app to help builders, contractors, architects and homeowners design and build structures in the face of increasing severe weather events.

FORTIFIED Home On the Go interactive tablet app is available for free download from the iTunes Store.  It walks homeowners, contractors and architects through the steps for strengthening homes. The information includes videos, animations and technical specifications for retrofitting or building single family homes.

Information in the app is taken from IBHS’ FORTIFIED Home program, which provides a set of building standards for homes in high-risk areas, such as in the plains and coastal states.