Forecasters Predict Healthy Outlook for Construction Industry

After a strong 2015, there is a growing sense that the construction industry expansion will be more tempered over the next eighteen months. However, continued demand for hotels, office space, and amusement and recreation spaces will ensure continued growth in the overall construction spending market over this time period.
The American Institute of Architects’ (AIA) semi-annual Consensus Construction Forecast, a survey of the nation’s construction forecasters, is projecting that spending will increase less than six percent for 2016, with next year’s projection being an additional 5.6% gain.

INFOGRAPHIC: To see each of the panelist’s projections, click here.

“Healthy job growth, consumer confidence and low interest rates are several positive factors in the economy, which will allow some of the pent-up demand from the last downturn to go forward,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, hon. AIA. “But at the same time, the slowing in the overall economy could extend to the construction industry a bit – with the biggest drop off expected in the industrial facility sector over the next year and a half.”

Market Segment Consensus Growth Forecasts 2016 2017

Overall nonresidential building 5.8% 5.6%
Commercial / industrial 11.7% 6.5%
Hotels 17.9% 7.6%
Office space 14.7% 7.5%
Retail 7.4% 5.2%
Industrial facilities -2.1% 2.9%
Institutional 4.5% 5.8%
Amusement / recreation 10.0% 5.7%
Education 6.5% 6.3%
Healthcare facilities 2.3% 5.0%
Religious -0.4% 1.9%
Public safety -3.7% 3.3%

Baker added, “The issues that could derail continued expansion in the construction sector include: weak U.S. manufacturing output, struggling economies in key international markets, the ripple effect from the Brexit decision, and the typical uncertainty leading up to a U.S. presidential election that results in reluctant investors.”

Malarkey Roofing Products Expands #KnowYourRoof Education Series

Malarkey Roofing Products continues to expand its website and social media channels #KnowYourRoof video library to educate customers. Ten educational videos were introduced in the first quarter of 2016 with additional videos being released later this year.

The videos are part of the #KnowYourRoof education series from Malarkey that can be found on their website and social media channels. Recent video topics include the importance of roofing granules, polymer modified asphalt, solar reflective roofing, underlayment, multi-ply built-up roofing, and available product lines. The educational videos range from approximately one to three minutes in length and can be accessed through low slope education and steep slope education video playlists on the Malarkey Roofing Products YouTube channel.

McElroy Metal Announces Website Relaunch

McElroy Metal, a metal roof and wall systems manufacturer serving the construction industry, announces its website relaunch at www.McElroyMetal.com.

McElroy Metal has dedicated sections of the new site to the specific markets it serves: residential, architectural/commercial, post frame, retrofit/recover, green building/solar and insulated metal panels. The site also contains animations highlighting installation sequences and a color visualizer enabling visitors to view their personal homes or businesses with McElroy Metal products and colors. The McElroy University portion of the site has been expanded to feature information on Hands-On Installation Classes, Substrate and Coating Facts, Finish and Substrate Warranty Education and Educational Videos.

NRCA Offers New Weekly Webinars, Proforeman Certificate Program

In an effort to provide its members with more educational opportunities that enhance business operations, NRCA University is now offering weekly webinars on a wide variety of subject matter.

The webinars, which are offered free as a benefit of NRCA membership, will include health and safety, legal, technical, business management and professional-development topics.

In addition, NRCA will be accepting new candidates for its ProForeman Certificate Program, which provides essential leadership skills for roofing foremen to apply toward their important roles at their companies.

The ProForeman program helps roofing foremen shift their perspectives from being roof system installation managers to company leaders by focusing on six main topics: general education, roofing technology, construction/business practices, leadership, safety and training others.

“Foremen drive a roofing contractor’s trucks, use their equipment, manage their labor, direct quality control, affect insurance rates and often are the face of their company for customers,” says Amy Staska, NRCA University’s vice president. “Because of this, contractors should ensure their foremen perform at their best.

For additional information about NRCA’s 2016 educational offerings, visit NRCA’s Education page.

SOPREMA to Host Building Envelope Clinic in San Francisco

SOPREMA Inc. will be hosting a Building Envelope Clinic in San Francisco on Oct. 16, 2015, for architects and consultants looking to further their knowledge, network and earn continuing education units. The clinic will be held at The Bentley Reserve, located at 301 Battery Street, San Francisco.

The Building Envelope Clinic will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:15 p.m. with a cocktail reception and prize raffle.

“We’re proud to be offering these clinics regionally to help support our consultants and architects,” says Sara Jonas, SOPREMA. “These courses continue to bring education to the forefront for our current partners, as well as those new to SOPREMA, while helping them to achieve credits to keep their accreditations.”

Courses offered during the Building Envelope Clinic include:

  • Proven and Durable: An Overview of SBS-Modified Bitumen
  • Wall Systems & Design (RCI/AIA Accredited Course)
  • Introduction to SENTINEL PVC
  • Below Grade Waterproofing (RCI/AIA Accredited Course)
  • PMMA/PMA Liquid Applied Roofing & Waterproofing Systems (RCI/AIA Accredited Course)

To RSVP, email jkendrick@soprema.us.

Project Profiles: Education Facilities

Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences, Campbell University, Buies Creek, N.C.

TEAM

ZINC INSTALLER: Baker Roofing, Raleigh, N.C.
ARCHITECT: Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, Charlotte, N.C.

A total of 40,000 square feet of interlocking zinc panels are used on the walls and standing-seam zinc panels are installed on the roof of the building to provide long-lasting durability and an impressive visual aesthetic.

A total of 40,000 square feet of interlocking zinc panels are used on the walls and standing-seam zinc panels are installed on the roof of the building to provide long-lasting durability and an impressive visual aesthetic.

ROOF MATERIALS

A total of 40,000 square feet of interlocking zinc panels are used on the walls and standing-seam zinc panels are installed on the roof of the building to provide long-lasting durability and an impressive visual aesthetic. As North Carolina’s first new medical school in 35 years, Campbell University regards this building as an investment in the state’s future needs for health-care professionals and a modern educational space. Campbell wanted a building with permanence to show its commitment to health sciences in the long term, and zinc provides it with a durable metal that can survive decades of internal and external activities.

ZINC MANUFACTURER: VMZ Interlocking panel in 1-millimeter QUARTZ-ZINC and VMZ Standing Seam panel 1-millimeter in QUARTZ-ZINC from VMZINC

ROOF REPORT

The Leon Levine Hall of Medical Sciences, which was completed in June 2013, consists of approximately 96,500 square feet on four floors. The building is designed to create a modern learning environment with simulation laboratories, traditional laboratories, an osteopathic manipulative medicine lab, student group-study rooms, student interaction areas, a resource library and small café. It hosts the School of Osteopathic Medicine and is designed to provide hands-on education for medical students.

PHOTO: VMZINC

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National Institute of Building Sciences to Conduct Hearing on Productivity and the Workforce

The U.S. building industry is under increasing pressure to deliver high-performance buildings to meet the needs of owners, occupants and government. Owners and contractors are looking for opportunities to improve certainty in schedule, performance and cost while managing risks. At the same time, there is an increasing concern from multiple segments of the industry on the availability of a skilled workforce, as well as the productivity of the buildings workforce today and into the future. In recognition of the impact the productivity and availability of a strong workforce has on all aspects of the building industry, the National Institute of Building Sciences will conduct a representative hearing on productivity and the workforce on Sept. 25, 2015, at the organization’s headquarters at 1090 Vermont Ave., NW, Suite 700, in Washington, D.C.

Efforts are underway on a variety of fronts to address productivity challenges, including the expansion of off-site construction techniques; development of enhanced tools and processes, such as building information modeling (BIM); enhancing mid- to long-term forecasts of workforce needs; and attracting new, technology-savvy entrants to the workforce through development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs.

The hearing, which is open to anyone interested in attending, will provide an opportunity for representatives from the planning, design, construction, operations, ownership, finance, insurance, regulatory, manufacturing, academia and other segments of the U.S. building industry to speak about the challenges they face and offer potential solutions. The institute is particularly interested in receiving testimony from organizations that have moved beyond traditional approaches to address needs related to advancements in productivity, safety and project certainty. Case studies, best practices and data on the benefits of such approaches are encouraged.

Presiding over the hearing will be Dorothy Robyn, Past Commissioner, Public Buildings Service, U.S. General Services Administration; Institute president Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA; and Charles L. Greco, president of the Associated General Contractors of America and chairman of Linbeck. Sue Klawans, past Institute board member and director of Operational Excellence and Planning at Gilbane Building Co., is serving as an industry advisor for development of the hearing and resultant outputs.

Written and oral testimony will be accepted from all interested parties. The testimony the Institute receives will inform the development of a strategic vision to help the industry overcome the challenges posed by business as usual. The vision and accompanying principles and practices are intended to provide the industry as a whole, and individual participants, with a path forward to advance productivity and address workforce challenges. Results will inform activities within the Institute, including discussions during the Institute’s Annual Conference, Building Innovation 2016; development of the 2015 Consultative Council’s Moving Forward Report; and activities of the various Institute councils and committees.

Parties interested in providing oral testimony must notify the Institute of their intent by Sept. 1, 2015, at 5 p.m. EDT. To view the procedures for submitting oral and written testimony, download the Guidelines and Procedures for Submitting Comments to the Representative Hearing on Productivity and the Workforce.

GAF Provides Programs and Training in Support of Military Members and Veterans

GAF announced that it has signed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support. The document recognizes the pivotal role played by the National Guard and Reserve in strengthening our nation and our communities. The signing sends a strong message of support to GAF employees (and non-employees) who have served our nation.

The ESGR Statement of Support complements other key initiatives GAF has undertaken to benefit military veterans, servicemen and servicewomen. They include:

  • The Roofs for Troops military rebate program, launched in 2012, provides active military members, veterans and retirees a $250 rebate on a Lifetime Roofing System installed on their roof by a GAF Factory-Certified Contractor. GAF is now approaching 20,000 homes successfully helped by this program.
  • Last year, GAF went live with its Hire-A-Hero military job board. The job board provides a platform for employers in the roofing industry to connect with transitioning troops and veterans as they seek to fill key positions within their companies. GAF contractors and distributor partners are posting jobs, viewing applicants and connecting with ex-military job seekers.
  • GAF is rolling out GAF Roofing Academy, a roofing installation training program to help veterans transition to a career in the roofing industry. Pilot classes have been successful as nearly 80 percent of class attendants were placed in roofing jobs. We are currently planning classes in various regions over the next year, including a class this month at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. The course includes access to a professional and comprehensive steep-slope roofing primer and a high-level commercial roofing introduction. Veterans win by learning a valuable trade with solid earnings potential. The knowledge that they acquire from this course could possibly lead to other careers including sales, estimating, installation supervision, maintenance and project management.
  • GAF regularly reaches out to veterans’ organizations to assist with fulfilling recruiting needs. For example, GAF has worked with employment agencies such as the Lucas Group, which have a focus on connecting those who have served in the U.S. military with jobs upon their return from service.

“The men and women who have served in America’s armed forces have demonstrated remarkable character, work ethic and dedication in their service,” says Bob Tafaro, president and CEO. “They represent a tremendous opportunity for GAF, for the roofing industry and for the broader private sector. We want to help veterans leverage the talents and leadership skills they have acquired through their service to transition into civilian careers.”

RCMA Offers an Educational Presentation on Reflective Roof Coatings

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) has launched its Speakers Bureau program to offer an educational presentation on reflective roof coatings. RCMA’s Speakers Bureau consists of several RCMA members with expertise on the topic who have volunteered to deliver presentations throughout the country.

This presentation, titled “Reflective Roof Coatings: Cool Stories,” is approximately one hour in length, and discusses the key benefits and the environmental importance of reflective roof coatings used on low-slope roof systems. The science behind reflective roof coatings is presented in an easy-to-understand format and real-world case studies are presented to illustrate the information presented. The presentation content is intended to enable attendees to:

  • Understand the benefits that reflective roof coatings impart on low-slope roof systems.
  • Recognize why reflective roofs are environmentally important and comprehend the science behind how reflective roofs save energy.
  • Determine best practices for preparing a roof membrane and application methods for reflective roof coatings on low-slope roof systems.
  • Identify payback, energy savings, and other non-quantifiable benefits by evaluating several real-world roof-reflectivity case studies.

RCMA is an approved continuing education provider with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and RCI Inc. By attending the course, attendees qualify to earn 1 AIA General Learning Unit Hour (1 LU Hour) as part of AIA’s Continuing Education System or 1 RCI Continuing Education Hour (CEH).

Groups interested in offering this presentation at an upcoming meeting or event should contact RCMA Staff Associate Cecily Alfonsi to participate.

METALCON Offers Education Sessions to Improve Techniques and Skills

For construction professionals in the field and those in the front office, METALCON 2015 has education sessions to improve their field techniques, management skills and business success. Each year METALCON attracts metal building, residential and roofing contractors, architects, engineers, developers, facility managers, fabricators and building owners from more than 52 countries who want to learn more about metal.

An impressive lineup of experts in metal, construction, leadership and business development will share their knowledge with these attendees at the 25th annual METALCON. This conference and exhibition takes place at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla., from Wednesday, Oct. 14 through Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. It is the only event focused on the application of metal in residential, commercial, industrial, institutional and municipal construction.

Leading the group of experts at the 2015 METALCON is keynoter Clyde Fessler, retired vice president of business development for Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Fessler led the turnaround that brought the company back from the brink of disaster to its place as the leading motorcycle brand in the world. He will take attendees on an exciting journey of how he achieved this feat. He’ll share how the five P’s: People, Passion, Product, Price and Promotion can bring success to anyone in a competitive environment. His fascinating session takes place Wednesday, Oct. 14, from 10:15 to 11:45 a.m.

“We’re thrilled to have Clyde Fessler at METALCON. He has an amazing story to tell and his forward thinking philosophies fit perfectly with companies involved in our event. Since METALCON began in 1991, we have seen a continuous stream of product innovation and manufacturing development at this event. And the industry experts in the full conference program will add ideas about business development and field techniques to complete the cycle of knowledge,” notes Claire Kilcoyne, METALCON show manager.

Learning begins early at METALCON with special sessions on Tuesday, Oct. 13. General education programs run Wednesday through Friday mornings. The exhibit hall is open Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 14 and 15, from noon to 6 p.m., and Friday, Oct. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The round-up of programs on field techniques starts with the popular STUD University on Tuesday and Wednesday. This combines classroom and hands-on workshops that offer an easy-to-understand, yet comprehensive exploration of framing with cold-formed steel.

Returning popular programs include: Understanding Metal Roofing, the Devil is in the Details, and Successful Flashings for Standing Seam Roofs. New offerings give attendees insight on the newest benefits of retrofit roofing; what chemicals in metal construction products might be dangerous; and how recent research findings prove metal roofing’s long-term value.

This year’s schedule has an extensive offering of business topics, such as dealing with emerging trends, legal issues, leadership techniques, and business succession strategies. Some specific management topics are:

  • Learn How to Think Like Your Clients
  • How to Win More Customers and Contracts
  • How to Compete on Value in Any Marketplace for Greater Profitability
  • Change Your Business Strategy to include Retrofit Metal Roofing
  • Get Your Business to Work for You! 7 Steps to Earning More, Work Less & Living the Life You Want
  • Developing Today’s Managers and Tomorrow’s Senior Executives.

A unique group of specialists come together in the comprehensive, two-part A/E/C Emerging Leaders Workshop: Developing the Best Project Managers into the Best Principals.

Residential roofing contractors will learn new strategies in the two-part program on the 12 Easy Steps to Closing More Sales of Residential Metal Roofing.

More specialty programs highlight the newest practices and equipment in roll forming for the metal construction industry; copper installation techniques and procedures; IAS accreditation and an AC478 workshop. For steel industry insiders the Focus on Steel Conference on Tuesday evening provides market intelligence and vital, targeted information that attendees can use in making thoughtful business decisions.

The education continues in the exhibit hall where attendees can learn about the latest products from the companies who make them. Attendees can also delve into a wide spectrum of topics at Learning Zones, mini-theaters located throughout the exhibit hall. These free 15-minute sessions focus on subjects such as roof details, field techniques and product applications.

Contractors can also apply their skills in the popular MCA Metal Roofing Championship Games. In this Battle by the Bay feature, contractors sign up each day to compete for $100 prizes in a number of different challenges. This year’s games will allow three individuals or teams of two people to compete in each of five games. The games will be held each of the three show days during exhibit hall hours. This year’s expanded game line up is:

  • Triangle Fastener’s Screw Gun Challenge (three individual competitors)
  • Roof Hugger’s Retrofit Challenge (three competing teams)
  • New Tech Machinery’s Standing Seam Install with DI Metal Works’ Panel Seaming Challenge (three competing teams)
  • The S-5 Snow Retention System Install Challenge (three competing teams)
  • Triangle Fastener’s “JJ’s Give it a Boot” Challenge (three individual competitors)

These games are great to watch and even better to participate in and win. Judges for the competition will be members of the local Florida chapter of the Metal Building Contractors and Erectors Association (MBCEA).

METALCON is sponsored by the Metal Construction Association and produced by PSMJ Resources Inc. It is supported by 60 participating associations and 20 media partners.