Metal Construction Industry Exhibitors Showcase Products

Exhibitors at the international event for the metal construction industry tout success for this year’s METALCON tradeshow and conference in Baltimore. Donnie Snow, Southern Region account manager at Akzo Nobel says, “METALCON is the one place we like to be. In this business, you have to have a presence. You have to be here. Our competition is here, so you’ve got to be here. We network with existing and new customers, as well as introduce new products. Every year you need to try to keep it fresh and introduce new products, and Baltimore offers the right set up for us.” Ireland’s Gearoid Hogan, vice president of sales & marketing with Combilift, a specialist forklift & straddle carrier manufacturer, says, “This show provides the opportunity to meet with customers and showcase our machinery. It is one of the shows we attend each year. It attracts attendees who are here with a purpose.” Newcomer to METALCON this year was Accurate Perforating, a manufacturer of custom and standard perforated metals. Michael Beck of Accurate Perforating states, “The show has been good for us because it brings us closer to our customer, to the end-user. I really didn’t know what to expect. With other shows, the people are more generic. Here, the exhibitors are our customers. Baltimore is a nice venue, and it changed my opinion of the area. The location attracts the international attendance we are seeing.” Also new to the show this year was Acculign Framing. Company president Bridget Saladino says, “A lot of our target customers/partners are here, and we love the city. METALCON has exceeded our expectations, and we are impressed with the attendees and exhibitors. I think we’ll look back in a year and point a number of successes to the relationships made at METALCON, which we believe will really help to grow our business.”

The guys at D. I. Roof Seamers were fired up about this year’s show. Jonathan Rider, chief administrative officer, says, “This year was fantastic. Baltimore is a good location. We have more leads. People are coming to see the vendors all in one place at one time. The Metal Construction Association’s (MCA) metal roofing championship games are a big draw, as well as the MCA Triumph Awards.” Sales Manager, Kevin Thomas says, “From a builder’s standpoint, we could travel for half the year and still wouldn’t see more people than we would here. This year we doubled our booth size to a 20 x 20. We are seeing the value in it, and it is paying off. More people are ready to buy.” Speaking of the roofing games, this event awarded a total of $5,800 to its winners. Ten teams of two competed in five battles, inspired by this year’s theme “Battle Stars Over Baltimore” in honor of our Star-Spangled Banner birthplace. Top awards each day included a grand prize award and a best quality award. The winner on Wednesday for both categories was Joe Arnold and Paul Kulb of Thomas Phoenix Int., and on Thursday, the same was awarded to Dennis Duce and Gonzolo Tellez of Intermountain Roof Advisors. “It was an honor to be part of this event, and we look forward to competing next year,” says Duce. Next year’s teams will be able to pre-register for the Las Vegas games beginning in February 2017. Robyn Ommen, Marketing Representative with Valspar was happy to report her outcome. She says, “We’ve had a lot of traffic and conversations with customers. We are a global company so it’s great to connect with people from all over. Each year, we introduce new products and continue relationships with existing customers. We do a lot of networking before, during and after the show. We keep busy with breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings, sometimes doubling up on meetings.” Miguel Pena of GSSI Sealants, a family-owned manufacturer of sealant tapes, says, “I come every year. I think it’s a great show and the metal construction industry needs a show. My customers are exhibiting here also, so it is good to be able to see all of my customers in one place. I get to finally meet people I have been in contact with for years over the phone or by email. It is great to see things like AMIE. This technology really adds to the show.” As part of its focus on technology this year, METALCON featured a large scale 3-D printing technology project developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and industry partners known as the Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) project. AMIE demonstrated rapid innovation through additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, addressing electricity supply and reliability challenges via an integrated approach to power generation, storage and consumption. Dr. Roderick Jackson, the technical lead for AMIE and the building envelope systems research group leader at ORNL, drew a crowd as a keynote speaker on the “Future of Design and Technology Trends in Construction” followed by a guided tour of AMIE in the exhibit hall. “I enjoyed engaging in a dialogue on innovations in construction with industry professionals at METALCON,” said Jackson.

Other exhibitors including the folks at ACE Clamps, manufacturers of roof mounting innovations, were excited about the show this year too. Bob Mercier of ACE Clamps says, “Day one of METALCON started with a bang! We’re showcasing a new product, a video and have a good location. We’re using METALCON to launch our new product, which is drawing a lot of traffic to our booth. METALCON is key for networking with other industry leaders.” Tamas Kovacs, an engineer with ACE Clamps says, “We’re receiving some nice feedback on how to improve future products.” Brad Wasley, Ace Clamp sales manager states, “As far as attendance, this is the best attendance at our booth in the past five years. Our larger booth size, the position of our booth across from the roofing games and the advertising dollars spent all contribute to this year’s success.” Baltimore resident Bill Funk and coil business development manager of Duracoat Products says, “We’re generating leads. Being positioned right by the front, showcasing new products and our friend, NASCAR race car driver Jeff Gordon all contribute to our success. Also, we have our entire sales force here. We’re combining our presence at the show with our sales meeting. Sales meetings are a good idea to tag onto METALCON, and Baltimore is a good venue because there’s area to walk around, and you can stay for the weekend to explore.” “Baltimore was a great show with an upbeat vibe, and the location was good for us once again,” says Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON show director. “We saw an increase in international attendance, successfully raised $7,500 for the America’s Fund, enjoyed a packed ballroom for the MCA Triumph Awards, witnessed a sell-out for the roofing games, and kicked off a roofing certification program to repeat in 2017. We look forward to continuing and building upon this year’s success in Las Vegas next year.”

3-D Printing Technology Project Will Be Presented at METALCON

The international event for the metal construction industry showcases a 3-D printing technology project developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and industry partners at METALCON’s annual tradeshow and conference on Oct. 26 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
               
As part of its focus on technology this year, METALCON is featuring ORNL’s Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) project.  AMIE demonstrates innovation through additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, addressing electricity supply and reliability challenges via an integrated approach to power generation, storage and consumption.   
               
AMIE connects a natural gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle with a building, both printed a polymer 3-D printer.  Power flows between the vehicle and building using a bi-directional wireless power transfer technology developed by ORNL.  The structure’s 3.2-kilowatt solar panel system, paired with the electric vehicle’s batteries, generates and stores renewable power.   It is a model for systems that link buildings, vehicles and the grid, offsetting power supply disruptions.
                
In addition, AMIE exemplifies additive manufacturing’s prototyping potential in design, manufacturing and construction technologies, which will enable products to go-to-market quickly and reduce the amount of waste generated by traditional construction methods.  
               
Dr. Roderick Jackson, the technical lead for AMIE and the building envelope systems research group leader at ORNL, is a guest speaker at METALCON.  Jackson, who has a background in construction, will present the “Future of Design and Technology Trends in Construction” followed by a guided tour of AMIE in the exhibit hall.  He will explain multiple uses of this technology combined into one project and discuss the potential of integrated design, build and energy efforts.
            
“The folks at METALCON and the Metal Construction Association (MCA) understand the concept and recognize the innovation AMIE presents and how this technology could apply to the metal construction industry,” said Jackson.

“The idea behind this prototype is to introduce disruptive innovations to the construction industry.  Although AMIE is constructed from polymer composites, we can explore how to apply this technology to the metal construction industry.” 
               
“We brought together expertise from multiple research teams, along with 20 industry partners including 100 individuals, and the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Jackson.  “We took the risk to demonstrate how it can be done.  We went from a sketch on a restaurant receipt after a dinner meeting to a final product demo in nine months.  We will discuss not only how it was done, but also what prototyping means for the future of the construction industry.”
                 
“We want to know what innovations we can implement today to prepare the metal construction industry for the future,” said Jackson.  “Perhaps there is a challenge in the industry we can help overcome using additive manufacturing or integrated energy technologies.”

METALCON Show Director, Claire Kilcoyne, is excited to showcase AMIE in the exhibit hall.  “We have an opportunity to create an interactive learning experience for our attendees by connecting our educational program to the exhibit hall with this added attraction,” said Kilcoyne.  “This 3-D printing technology offers benefits to the metal construction industry.”

DOE Recognizes West Palm Beach for Improving Energy Efficiency

As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to cut energy waste in the nation’s buildings, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recognized the city of West Palm Beach for their leadership in improving energy efficiency across 1.4 million square feet of building space by 20 percent within 10 years. The city of West Palm Beach has met their Better Buildings Challenge goal of 20 percent energy reduction and yesterday Mayor Jeri Muoio announced a new 15 percent energy reduction goal for 2025.

“West Palm Beach’s constant drive toward energy efficiency demonstrates to other cities across the U.S. what is possible with energy efficiency,” says Maria T. Vargas, director of the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge. “When cities lead the way with essential and innovative energy efficiency upgrade projects, they are demonstrating the leadership that we need to carry this nation’s buildings into the 21st century.”

The city of West Palm Beach is planning on committing a number of new buildings to receive a variety of energy efficiency upgrades, adding on approximately 130,000 square feet of building space to the Better Buildings Challenge.

The department toured the city’s Evernia Garage, LED street light retrofits and the East Central Water Reclamation Facility. The East Central Regional Water Reclamation Facility receives wastewater from the cities of West Palm Beach, Lake Worth and Riviera Beach, as well as the town of Palm Beach and Palm Beach County. The new Biosolids Improvement Project is currently under construction, and city of West Palm Beach announced that the site will be added to its portfolio of Better Buildings Challenge projects, along with Fire Stations No. 4 and No. 8, which will be rebuilt to meet LEED Silver standards and the Banyan Garage, which will be transformed into an iconic, multipurpose building, targeting LEED Gold or Platinum.

“Energy efficiency projects accomplish so many of our goals. We can improve public safety, reduce maintenance costs, reduce our carbon footprint and save money on our energy bills, which provides more resources for other programs that serve the citizens of West Palm Beach,” says Jeri Muoio, mayor of West Palm Beach. “We are proud to set an even higher efficiency goal with the Better Buildings Challenge, which demonstrates our commitment to these types of collaborative initiatives into the future.”

In 2011 the city initiated a comprehensive upgrade of street lights to new LED technology, which represented 25 percent of the city’s energy expenditure in 2010. The resulting fixture replacements are credited for enhancing public safety, reducing energy consumption and a 54 percent energy savings on streetlights. Through a collaboration with the utility, Florida Power and Light, West Palm Beach is reporting $160,000 per year in energy savings, and is dedicated to funding $2.5 million over five years to retrofit more than 3,000 more streetlights.

As a cornerstone of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Better Buildings Challenge is aimed at achieving the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public-sector leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments. More than 250 organizations are partnering with the Energy Department to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. Across the country, partners have shared energy data for more than 32,000 properties and are reporting energy savings of 20 percent or more at 4,500 properties, and 10 percent or more at 12,000 properties. Learn more about Better Buildings Challenge partner results, showcase projects and innovative solutions being shared with others on the DOE’s Better Buildings page.

Roof Coatings Professionals Tour ORNL

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA), a national trade association representing manufacturers of cold applied protective roof coatings and cements and suppliers of products to the industry, held its Fall 2013 Meeting in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Oct. 8-10. The meeting commenced with a tour of Oak Ridge National Laboratory followed by two days of committee updates and discussions on technical subject matters, codes and standards, VOC regulations, industry research studies and RCMA’s lobbying efforts.

RCMA members were given the opportunity to tour the facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), a multi-program science and technology research laboratory managed for the U.S Department of Energy by UT-Battelle. Attendees learned about flexible research platforms, building envelope roofing research, and buildings supercomputing, and had the chance to tour the recently completed MAXLAB facility and view the X-10 graphite reactor. Tour participants learned about the ongoing initiatives of the Buildings Technology Research & Integration Center (BTRIC) User Facility, which is devoted to the development of technologies that improve the energy efficiency and environmental compatibility of residential and commercial buildings.

“The research being conducted on building envelopes at ORNL will help improve many types of building materials technologies, including roof coatings,” says John Ferraro, RCMA executive director. “The members were thrilled to have the opportunity to hear insight on the future of the industry and how their businesses might be affected going forward.”

The remaining two days of the RCMA Fall Meeting were filled with presentations on the activities of the association and networking opportunities for meeting attendees. More than 30 roof coating manufacturer and supplier companies were represented at the meeting, which featured updates on the activities of the Member Services Committee, Technical Affairs Committee, and Government Affairs Committee.

Topics of interest included discussions on the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s Rule 1168, which regulates volatile organic compound (VOC) content in adhesives and sealants, updates on RCMA research initiatives on solar reflectivity, a strategy session on RCMA government affairs initiatives, and planning discussions for the upcoming 2014 RCMA International Roof Coatings Conference (IRCC).