EPDs Provide a New Level of Environmental Transparency to Building Products

The sustainability movement has impacted the building industry in many ways. Today’s architects, owners and occupants have much greater expectations for the environmental performance of the buildings they design, operate and dwell in. Part of this expectation is focused on the components that make up the building. For example, did the wood come from responsibly harvested forests? Is the metal made of recycled material? Do the paint and interior finishes contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?

An Environmental Product Declaration, or EPD, is developed by applying a Product Category Rule, or PCR. PCRs are developed, maintained and warehoused by program operators. Examples of program operators include ASTM, CSA, ICC-ES, Environdec and UL Environment. Program operators also verify that an EPD and its associated life-cycle assessment conform with ISO 14025 and the ISO 14040 series. PCR development is commonly a collaborative effort between industry associations, manufacturers, and/or others.

An EPD is developed by applying a Product Category Rule. PCRs are developed, maintained and warehoused by program operators. Examples of program operators include ASTM, CSA, ICC-ES, Environdec and UL Environment. Program operators also verify that an EPD and its associated life-cycle assessment conform with ISO 14025 and the ISO 14040 series. PCR development is commonly a collaborative effort between industry associations, manufacturers, and/or others. IMAGE: Quantis US

Information technology has encouraged and facilitated this increased demand for in-depth data about building components and systems. People have become accustomed to being able to gather exhaustive information about the products they buy through extensive labeling or online research.

In response to the growing demand for environmental product information, building component manufacturers have begun rolling out environmental product declarations, or EPDs.

It’s a term now commonly heard, but what are they? EPDs are often spoken in the same breath as things like LCA (life-cycle assessment), PCRs (product category rules) and many other TLAs (three-letter acronyms). The fact is they are all related and are part of an ongoing effort to provide as much transparency as possible about what goes into the products that go in and on a building.

“An EPD is a specific document that informs the reader about the environmental performance of a product,” explains Sarah Mandlebaum, life-cycle analyst with Quantis US, the Boston-based branch of the global sustainability consulting firm Quantis. “It balances the need for credible and thorough information with the need to make such information reasonably understandable. The information provided in the document is based on a life-cycle assessment, or LCA, of the product, which documents the environmental impacts of that product from ‘cradle to grave.’ This includes impacts from material production, manufacturing, transportation, use and disposal of the product. An EPD is simply a standardized way of communicating the outcomes of such an assessment.”

The concept of product LCAs has been around for some time and has often been looked at as a way of determining the sustainability of a particular product by establishing the full scope of its environmental footprint. The basic idea is to closely catalog everything that goes into a product throughout its entire life. That means the energy, raw materials, and emissions associated with sourcing its materials, manufacturing it, transporting it, installing it and, ultimately, removing and disposing of it. In the end, an LCA results in a dizzying amount of data that can be difficult to translate or put in any context. EPDs are one way to help provide context and help put LCA data to use.

“The summary of environmental impact data in the form of an EPD can be analogous to a nutrition label on food,” says Scott Kriner, LEED AP, technical director of the Metal Construction Association (MCA), Chicago. “There is plenty of information on the label, but the information itself is meaningless unless one is focused on one area. An LCA determines the water, energy and waste involved in the extraction of raw materials, the manufacturing process, the transportation to a job site and the reclamation of waste at the end of the useful life of a product. With that data in hand, the various environmental impact categories can be determined and an EPD can be developed to summarize the environmental impact information.”

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ARMA Converts Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual into eBook

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association has converted its popular <em>Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual</em> into an eBook that is available in all major online retail bookstores.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association has converted its popular Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual into an eBook that is available in all major online retail bookstores.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association has converted its popular Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual into an eBook that is available in all major online retail bookstores. It can be accessed on smartphones, tablets, the Kindle from Amazon and Nook eReader from Barnes and Noble. An eBook format allows users to bookmark key pages or diagrams, take notes and change the font size for better viewing. In addition, the print-on-demand version of the Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual, which was updated earlier this year, allows the publication to ship straight from the printing press to the customer at a reduced cost. ARMA also is offering discounts for bulk purchases. Purchase ARMA publications.

2015 QARC Winners Highlight Asphalt Roofing’s Durability

The winners of the 2015 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study (QARC) Awards have been announced, and it’s no beauty contest. Although the winning projects all feature aesthetic and innovative design, none were chosen for their looks alone. The top three winners this year—a high school, luxury condominium complex and an upscale home—were chosen because of the vital way asphalt roofing was used to solve a key issue and protect valuable assets.

D&D Roofing, Commerce City, Colo., won the QARC Gold Award for the new roof system installed at Thomas Jefferson High School, Denver.

D&D Roofing, Commerce City, Colo., won the QARC Gold Award for the new roof system installed at Thomas Jefferson High School, Denver.

The Washington, D.C.-based Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association honored D&D Roofing, Commerce City, Colo., with the Gold Award for the new roof system installed at Thomas Jefferson High School, Denver. The school selected a redundant BUR system to protect the school’s staff, students and equipment from a variety of different weather conditions, including heavy snowstorms, hail and high winds, as well as the effects of the blazing sun.

The Silver Award was given to IronClad Exteriors Inc., Sandy, Utah, for its work on The Grand Lodge at Deer Valley, Park City, Utah. This luxury condominium complex located at a ski resort required a new asphalt roof that would prevent heat from escaping through the attic and causing ice damming when snow melts and refreezes at the eaves.

Tom Goldston Roofing, Gardnerville, Nev., received the Bronze Award for the Rosenthal Residence, Glennbrook, Nev. This beautiful home in South Lake Tahoe required fire-resistant asphalt shingles because it’s situated in a heavily wooded area. The homeowners also wanted the shingles to resemble the look of the original wood shake roof.

“Whether through protection from the elements, reliable insulation or fire-resistance, asphalt roofing solved a problem for each building while meeting the aesthetic requirements of the job,” says Reed Hitchcock, executive vice president of ARMA.

The annual QARC Awards program honors North America’s best architects, contractors and specifiers who use asphaltic roofing materials on low- and steep-slope building projects. The program honors the residential and commercial roofing projects that demonstrate the beauty, affordability and reliability of asphalt roofing.

The 2015 QARC judges represented experts from the trade media, roofing industry, and building and construction. For the low-slope commercial systems, judging focused on the project’s reliability, performance and affordability while also considering overall aesthetics. The steep-slope projects were evaluated on how asphalt shingles solved the homeowner’s problem and provided the look he or she desired through different asphalt shingle colors, textures and the overall curb appeal.

The top three winners will receive a check from ARMA in the amounts of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 and will have their roofing projects featured on the ARMA website. For a complete list of winners and to submit your project for the 2016 QARC Awards, visit ARMA’s website.

PHOTO: DAVID PAHL, STACK

Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association Celebrates 100 Years of Commitment to the Roofing Industry

Since its early days in 1915—a year when women couldn’t vote, President Woodrow Wilson was in office and Babe Ruth hit his first career home run—the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has had a momentous impact on the roofing industry.

The trade association has brought the majority of North American manufacturers together under the common goal of championing asphalt roofing and promoting the industry. This year, the association celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new logo and looks back on a century of commitment to asphalt roofing excellence.

ARMA celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new logo and looks back on a century of commitment to asphalt roofing excellence.

ARMA celebrates its 100th anniversary with a new logo and looks back on a century of commitment to asphalt roofing excellence.

Asphalt has been used as a roofing product since roll roofing hit the market in 1893—three years before Henry Ford built his first automobile engine. Since then, it has become the standard in roofing, with four out of five homes in the U.S. choosing asphalt for its beauty, affordability and reliability. Through continuous innovation, asphalt roofing manufacturers have developed high-quality, high-value products.

Since its humble beginnings in New York City as the Asphalt Roofing Industry Bureau 100 years ago, ARMA has served as an industry leader for asphalt roofing and has dedicated its services to the long-term vibrancy and sustainability of the roofing community. Over the years, ARMA’s location has changed from New York City, to Garland, Texas, to its current headquarters in the nation’s capital, but its purpose has remained the same. ARMA represents the majority of North America’s asphalt roofing manufacturing companies and their raw material suppliers and includes almost 95 percent of U.S. manufacturers of bituminous-based roofing products.

When first introduced, all asphalt shingles were organic, with mica, dolomite and even oyster shell granules added to the shingle surface to make it more durable. Now there are many different asphalt roofing systems available, from traditional residential roofing shingles to Built-Up Roofing (BUR), Atactic Polyproylene (APP) and Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS) modified systems. Asphalt roofing comes in a variety of colors, styles and textures and continues to be the preferred roofing material based on its durability, long-life expectancy and low maintenance.

ARMA is kicking off its 100th year by unveiling a new association logo with a sleek, modern design that represents steep- and low-slope roofing systems. Throughout 2015, ARMA will promote its centennial celebration with an anniversary banner that reads “ARMA: Celebrating a Century of Roofing Excellence.”

The new ARMA logo reflects the association’s commitment to innovation and advancements in the roofing industry. In recent years, ARMA has redesigned its website to improve the user experience and enhance the mobile application of its industry news, technical information and educational resources. The association is also streamlining its bookstore by offering technical manuals and other important publications as eBooks this year.

As ARMA positions itself as a technologically savvy and contemporary organization, it will look back at its century-long history throughout 2015. Check ARMA’s website for historical asphalt roofing information, vintage collateral and fun facts.

ARMA, ERA and PIMA Research Advanced Roof Systems in Northern Climates

A coalition of trade groups is funding a research project about advanced roofing systems that were installed on an upstate New York correctional facility to evaluate the benefits of thermal insulation and cool roofing in Northern climates.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), Washington, D.C.; EPDM Roofing Association (ERA), Washington; and the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA), Bethesda, Md., are sponsoring continued analysis of a reroofing project at the Onondaga County Correctional Facility, Jamesville, N.Y. The Onondaga County Department of Facilities Management identified a need to study building energy use and stormwater runoff from roof systems. Temperature and rain data from the project, which includes vegetative roofing, increased insulation levels and “cool” roofs, will provide information about building performance and roof covering selection.

“ARMA members promote a balanced approach to roofing performance, especially when it comes to saving building energy,” says Reed Hitchcock, ARMA’s executive vice president. “Using a whole-building approach, where roofing reflectivity, insulation levels and other design elements are considered in the decision-making process, will help ensure the right system is selected; this project can only help with that decision.”

When the correctional facility was due for a major reroofing project in 2009, Onondaga County saw a unique opportunity to evaluate the water-retention and energy-efficiency performance for a variety of different roof covering assemblies. The project also offered valuable information that could be used to identify the best options for future reroof projects across the county’s entire building inventory.

The county worked with Ashley-McGraw Architects, Syracuse, N.Y., and CDH Energy, Cazenovia, N.Y., to design and install a field monitoring system to collect data on thermal performance, weather conditions and roof runoff from four buildings at the Jamesville facility. CDH Energy released a report in October 2011 that made recommendations on roof covering selection.

Hugh Henderson, P.E., CDH Energy, remarked the original report laid the groundwork for future roofing projects in Onondaga County. “The use of vegetative roof systems as a stormwater control mechanism was the most important takeaway from the first years of the project,” he explains. “Continuing the project will provide a better evaluation of cool roof and insulation products as part of roof designs in colder climates.”

With the instrumentation still in place, it was a simple decision to continue evaluating the roof coverings over a longer time period to better see how roof coverings interact with weather conditions. Of particular interest is the effect of accumulated snow on roofs that may affect the buildings’ thermal performance.

“Roof insulation is an integral part of the design strategy for a building’s energy-efficiency footprint, and this study will help building owners, contractors and architects assess a roof’s performance from a broader basis and ensure the best energy efficient components are used,” adds Jared Blum, PIMA president.

The Onondaga County reroofing project includes an analysis of the comparison of cool roof technologies, consisting of reflective roof surfaces and high-performing well-insulated roof covering assemblies. “Our members produce reflective and absorptive roof coverings; this study will provide meaningful data that can help designers select the right products for their particular project, regardless of where in the country the roof will be installed,” notes Ellen Thorp, ERA’s associate executive director.

The project is expected to run through 2015.

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.

ARMA Seeks Projects that Demonstrate Beauty, Affordability and Reliability of Asphalt Roofing

Does your asphalt roofing project have what it takes to win one of the top awards in the industry? The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is again looking for the top commercial and residential asphalt roofing projects for its 2015 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study (QARC) Awards Program.

QARC is open to roofing contractors, consultants and architects working with asphalt roofing products. The awards program will honor the top three projects that demonstrate the beauty, affordability and reliability of asphalt roofing.

The submission period for the QARC Awards Program is coming to an end. Roofing professionals have until Wednesday, Dec. 31 to submit their best asphalt roofing projects. ARMA wants to see your most outstanding work from 2014, so submit your entry today before time runs out!

Submitting a project is easy. Industry professionals can enter their project online on the QARC Awards page of ARMA’s website by providing a description of the project and explaining why and how asphalt products were used. Entrants are also required to upload a few hi-resolution photos of the completed project. Both new construction and renovation projects are eligible for the program.

“The QARC Awards Program highlights top industry professionals and their work with asphaltic roofing products,” said Reed Hitchcock, executive vice president of ARMA. “Previous winners have been chosen for their innovative design, sustainable building methods and successful renovation techniques. We aim to document outstanding projects that demonstrate the benefits of asphalt roofing systems and help home and building owners find the best value in roofing.”

There is no limit to the number of entries a contestant can submit, and there is no fee to enter. ARMA awards cash prizes to the top three roofing projects, and the winners are featured in national roofing trade publications.

ARMA’s Website Now Is More Interactive

With technology changing the way the roofing industry communicates, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has made its website more interactive in an effort to keep users better connected in today’s fast-paced world.

The website’s new capabilities will mean convenient access to information for roofing professionals working on job sites and more content on asphalt shingles in the hands of consumers where they are increasingly demanding it—on their smartphones and tablets.

“ARMA makes available industry-leading roofing information to the public through our website,” says Reed Hitchcock, executive vice-president, ARMA. “Now that the site features mobile responsive functionality, roofing professionals and consumers alike will be able to easily access the same resources from their phone or tablet as they do from their desktop or laptop.”

All of the features available on the ARMA website are now optimized for viewing on Apple or Android mobile and tablet devices. ARMA’s popular resources, including Technical Bulletins, Fast Facts, commercial and residential photo galleries, FAQs and videos, have been formatted to fit on the screen of the device with which they are being viewed.

“Whether you are a roofing contractor who’s looking for shingle installation tips while working on a home or a homeowner who wants to see different design options while shopping at the store, visitors to the site will benefit greatly from the more easily accessed information that ARMA’s upgraded website will offer,” adds Hitchcock.

ARMA redesigned its website a year ago to provide visitors with both enhanced user-friendly features which improved navigation and online shopping for roofing publications. ARMA offers a wide variety of general, educational and specialized design and installation guides for both residential and commercial asphalt roofing systems.

GAF Roofs Recognized in ARMA’s 2014 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study Program

Three GAF roofs were recognized in ARMA’s (the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association’s) 2014 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study (QARC) program. The QARC program seeks to recognize industry professionals who use asphaltic roofing and to document successful projects that illustrate the benefits of asphalt roofing systems.

Winning the Gold award was Doral City Hall, submitted by Precision Roofing Corp. of Miami. The built-up roofing project tasked the contractor with performing a complex roofing job under tight government scrutiny while protecting the building’s assets, reducing costs, and assuring roof longevity. In addition, Precision Roofing was mandated to install an energy-efficient roof system using a cap sheet that exceeds the reflectance requirements of ENERGY STAR, Title 24 and the Miami 21 Initiative. The project featured multiple roof areas, including a portion over lightweight insulating concrete using the GAFGLAS Stratavent Eliminator Nailable Venting Base Sheet, three plies of premium glass ply, and the hot-mopped EnergyCap BUR cap sheet. This premium roof system features high reflectivity, meets the latest building code standards, and offers reliable and redundant protection for this important government facility.

This year’s Silver award-winning project was completed by Advanced Roofing Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on a high-profile Publix grocery store. As a Publix Corporate preferred roofing contractor, Advanced Roofing was chosen from more than 200 other bidders for this new construction roofing project. The 60,000-square-foot roof consists of three plies of Type 6 hot-mopped roofing felt followed by one ply of Ruberoid PRF modified bitumen fire-rated cap sheet, and then coated with a white/gray striped design. The coating added reflective performance and an aesthetic design, offering Publix the extra protection of a four-ply asphalt roofing system that features both durability and sustainability. In fact, Publix Corporate uses asphalt-based roofing for 90 percent of its properties, and this roof was the 70th new roof installed by Advanced Roofing Inc. for the grocery store chain since 1996.

Achieving Honorable Mention in the 2014 ARMA QARC contest was The Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., submitted by Mark J. Sobeck Roof Consulting Inc. The decision to go with GAF’s Monaco roofing shingles in Venetian Coral was based on the County’s desire to re-create the look of the original building’s European clay tile while saving up to 70 percent of the cost of the original roof. The asphalt roofing shingles were also chosen for their durability, impact resistance, and ability to hold up to roof traffic compared with the original barrel-shaped Spanish tile. Not only has this roof become the talk of the town of Wilkes-Barre, it also met the four key criteria specified by the County and the roof consultant: durability, aesthetics, reliability, and cost.

“These three award-winning projects are great examples of how asphalt-based roofing can do it all—on low- and steep-slope roofs for a variety of clients,” says Lynn Picone, director of inside sales at GAF. “The roofing industry is indebted to ARMA and its leadership for following through on yet another successful QARC program. This case study program provides all industry professionals the opportunity to share good roofing practices and have their efforts recognized by ARMA’s panel of judges.”

Asphalt Roofing Projects Awarded for Sustainable Use and Beautiful Design

What do one of the largest independent supermarket chains, a local government city hall and historic mansion all have in common? An understanding and appreciation of the value provided by asphaltic roofing. From shingles to BUR to modified bitumen, these systems provided beautiful, affordable and reliable performance to the winners of the 2014 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study Awards (QARC) program.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) bestowed the Gold Award to Precision Roofing Corp. for Doral City Hall, located in a city that was incorporated just a decade ago; the Silver Award to Advanced Roofing Inc. for a newly constructed Publix supermarket in Miami; and the Bronze Award to Certified Inc. for the Phelps Mansion, which was built in 1888 and was home to Mayor Edward Phelps, best known for bringing electric street lights, a telephone system and a Washington, D.C., railroad connection to his hometown of Laurel, Md. In addition to the three QARC winners, a series of projects were also recognized with honorable mentions.

For each of the winning projects, the asphalt roofing system played an important role; whether it was to add multiply redundancy to ensure the safety of employees and shoppers alike, meet requirements set by a historic commission that requested a product that imitated slate, or to surpass energy-efficiency standards established by the local building code.

“Asphalt roofing’s beauty and reliability contributed to making each of these distinct projects a success,” says Reed Hitchcock, executive vice-president for ARMA. “Property owners look to asphalt roofing for aesthetic designs and durable, long-lasting protection. Asphalt roofing provides the adaptability they need, evident by its use in the QARC award-winning projects.”

The annual QARC Awards program honors the architects, contractors and specifiers who use asphaltic roofing materials on low-slope and steep-slope building projects. Each year, the program reveals the most exceptional residential and commercial roofing projects from across North America. The 2014 award recipients are:

    Gold
    Project Name: Doral City Hall
    Doral, Fla.
    Company: Precision Roofing Corp.
    Project description: The roofing system consisted of multiple roof areas, including three plies of premium glass ply and an energy-efficient cap sheet that exceeded the reflectance requirements of ENERGY STAR®, Title 24 and the Miami 21 Initiative.

    Silver
    Project Name: Publix
    Miami
    Company: Advanced Roofing Inc.
    Project description: Due to the high-rise buildings adjacent to the new store, Publix’s specification required the roofing contractor top-coat the roof with a white and gray striped design consisting of a 2.5-inch Polyiso, a Stratavent Eliminator Base Sheet, three plies of Type IV and a 190 FR Modified Bitumen Cap Sheet.

    Bronze
    Project Name: Everett Victorian
    Laurel, Md.
    Company: Certified Inc.
    Project description: The asphalt roofing shingle on this home was chosen because it imitated natural slate, one of the products that had been approved by the local historic commission. The product was also easy to work with, providing a safe environment for the contractors onsite.

    Honorable Mentions
    Watts
    Mill Creek, Wash.
    Chris Howard Roofing LLC

    Dufrene Ranch
    Sloughhouse, Calif.
    Lucero’s Roofing

    Waid
    Marietta, Ga.
    Atlanta Re-Roof Specialists Inc.

    Luzerne County Courthouse
    Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
    Mark J. Sobeck Roof Consulting Inc.

The 2014 QARC judges represented experts in the roofing and home design industry, as well as the building and construction trade media. For the low-slope commercial systems, the judging criteria focused on the project’s unique aesthetics, performance and adaptability; while the steep-slope residential projects were evaluated based on the different asphalt shingle textures, styles and colors which can transform a home.

One of the judges stated that the gold winner best exemplified “how asphalt-based roofing products meet the key needs of commercial buildings – energy-efficiency, reliability and affordability—in ways that other roofing products are simply unable to.”

Another judge stated about the silver winner: “Miami presents roofing challenges with wind, hot temperatures, humidity and hurricanes. I was impressed with the use of four plies and Publix’s commitment to excellence. The cool roof is an added bonus which will save the owner in energy costs.”

The top three winners will receive a check from ARMA in the amounts of $2,000, $1,000 and $500, and will have their roofing projects featured on the ARMA website.

ARMA is now accepting submissions for the 2015 QARC awards campaign. For more information about the QARC Awards or to submit a project, please visit the association’s website.