IRE and R&D

The conventional wisdom is that when the overall economy is strong, manufacturers feel more comfortable investing their resources in research and development of new products. I don’t have hard numbers to back that assertion up, but in my experience, at least anecdotally, it seems to be borne out. During the Great Recession years of the last decade, the number of new products coming to market seemed to decline. If the array of new products I saw at this year’s International Roofing Expo (IRE) in New Orleans is any indication, we could be in for a banner year.

The IRE makes it easy to keep tabs on new developments with its New Product Pavilion. The depth and breadth of offerings in that area was impressive, but I saw products being unveiled all over the show floor. Time will tell if they will turn out be a flash in the pan, a category-changing development, or something in between — but for the Roofing team, it was a very interesting show to cover, as there were a lot of excited responses when we asked, “What’s new?”

Innovative products on display included a pre-weathered fastener from Lakeside Construction Fasteners that matches aged Corten panels, so installation and repairs don’t leave bright silver dots on the rust-colored surface.

Carlisle showcased its Rapid Lock Technology, which uses a Velcro attachment system to secure the company’s EPDM and TPO membranes without using a bonding adhesive, doing away with temperature restrictions.

OMG Roofing Products unveiled its RhinoBond Hand Welder, which can be used to install the company’s induction welding fastening system in hard-to-reach areas, such as spaces below signs, pipes and rooftop equipment.

Georgia-Pacific showed off enhancements to DensDeck Prime that make the cover boards more resistant to water and increase their vertical pull strength.

Roof Sentry announced the launch of a solar-powered roof vent that provides moisture detection and data monitoring services. It can also remove moisture from low-slope roof systems.

On the residential side, new developments included GAF’s shingles with StainGuard Plus, which uses copper granules with time-release technology to fight algae growth.

Tie Down Engineering offered the Ergo Stripper, an ergonomically designed tool for removing shingles that improves leverage and eases strain on the back.

The Roof Umbrella rooftop canopy system is designed to be installed in less than 30 minutes on jobsites to prevent weather delays. It can be customized with the contractor’s logo.

These are just a few of the items that caught our eye at the IRE. We will be showcasing them in this issue and future issues of the magazine as part of our editorial mission to keep readers up to date on new products hitting the market. If you saw a new product you’d like us to be aware of, just email me at chris@roofingmagazine.com.

Attendance, Square Footage Figures Document Banner Year for 2018 IRE

The International Roofing Expo (IRE), sponsored by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), was held February 6-8, 2018, and the business-to-business expo and conference connected manufacturers and suppliers of roofing products, services, and technologies, with roofing contractors from across the United States and the globe. According to Informa Exhibitions, the 2018 IRE spanned 137,480 net square feet, the largest in the show’s history, and attracted 10,076 roofing professionals from 62 countries. There were 467 companies that exhibited at the event.

“The passion in the industry, our media partners, and show sponsor, the NRCA, really make the IRE a remarkable show,” said Tracy Garcia, CEM, Show Director. “It’s a truly collaborative industry and event, giving buyers the opportunity to see new innovations while taking part in a powerful educational program.”

“It was an incredibly successful week in New Orleans, and NRCA couldn’t be prouder to collaborate with such a wonderful group from Informa to produce such a compelling, informative and thriving convention and trade show,” noted Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “Roofing contractors are enthusiastic and optimistic about the upcoming 2018 roofing season, and it showed by their attendance at this year’s International Roofing Expo.”

At the forefront of the exposition is a conference program developed with insight from an Advisory Panel comprised of exhibitors, attendees, media, and other thought-leaders. The program goes beyond the technical skills contractors need by also including marketing and sales training that are necessary for their businesses. Legal, HR, and recruitment, a hot topic in the industry, were also recurring themes through the three days of education. “This year’s conference program was the most well-attended in the event’s history,” said Brandi McElhaney, Senior Conference Manager. “In comparison to last year, we saw a 7 percent increase.”

Complementing the show’s core conference program, IRE also hosted The Roofing Institute, sponsored by Johns Manville, and the GAF Education Center. Both included technical and business-related topics. Equipter, OMG Roofing Products, and Soprema offered product clinics on the show floor.

The National Women in Roofing (NWIR) held a full day of education, mentorship, and networking on February 4. The NWIR is a platform, through its membership and councils, for women and men, new and established, to find ongoing success working together in the roofing industry. The NWIR held a reception the following day.

Also prior to the show, the IRE worked with more than 65 attendees and sponsors to give back through their annual Community Service Day, held February 5. They adopted and repaired three homes for families unable to do so themselves.
The 2019 IRE will be held February 11-13 at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. Attendee registration will open in the fall. Those looking to exhibit can contact sales@theroofingexpo.com.

Four Finalist Teams Selected to Compete in The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ Construction Management Student Competition

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress has announced it will host four finalist teams to compete in the final part of its fourth annual Construction Management Student Competition at NRCA’s 131st Annual Convention and the 2018 International Roofing Expo (IRE) in New Orleans.

The four teams presenting in New Orleans are Auburn University — McWhorter School of Building Sciences, Auburn, Ala; Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.; and Bert S. Turner Department of Construction Management at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.; and M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.

The finalists were chosen from seven teams from undergraduate universities across the U.S. who submitted written proposals to competition judges, and will give their oral presentation to a panel of judges in New Orleans on Wednesday, Feb. 7 from 8:00 to 10:30 am at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

In addition to providing a significant learning opportunity, the Alliance’s 2018 Construction Management Student Competition fosters an environment that is meant to bring out the best in each team; encourage dialogue among the students; and foster team spirit as students rise to meet the challenge.

Teams were presented with a problem statement: Create a company to bid on installing a roof system on the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. Each team was required to research the project, review the plans and specifications, and assemble a full estimate and proposal to submit a qualified bid package. All teams must strive to find a competitive edge in their estimate to beat their competition while still maintaining a reasonable margin.

The winning teams will be announced during NRCA’s Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception Feb. 7. The first-place team will receive a team trophy, a $5,000 L.B. Conway scholarship for their school and individual awards.

The second-place team will receive a team trophy, a $2,500 scholarship for their school and individual awards.

The Best Individual Student Presenter will be selected from any of the finalist teams and will receive an iPad.

All winners will receive recognition in Professional Roofing magazine, among other promotions.

For more information about the Alliance student competition, contact Bennett Judson, the Alliance’s executive director, at bjudson@roofingindustryalliance.net.

NRCA Announces June 4-10 is National Roofing Week

The roof is an important component of every structure, yet it often is taken for granted until it falls to disrepair. To raise awareness of the significance of roofs to every home and business, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has announced National Roofing Week will take place June 4-10.

National Roofing Week also promotes the good deeds of the roofing industry and stresses the value of professional roofing contractors and the importance of making informed decisions about maintaining or replacing a roof system. During National Roofing Week, NRCA encourages its members to participate by engaging in their communities and informing the public about the role roofs and professional roofing contractors play in every community.

NRCA also will be sharing its members’ stories through its various social media outlets, its Roof Scoop blog and “Professional Roofing” magazine. Members throughout the U.S. are encouraged to share their stories of charitable giving, crew and staff appreciation, and roofing projects with NRCA.

“Professional roofing contractors play a role in every community, and National Roofing Week provides the roofing industry the opportunity to demonstrate the importance of the work we do,” says NRCA Chairman of the Board Dennis Conway. “I look forward to sharing the roofing industry’s stories of professional excellence and charitable giving during National Roofing Week.”

In addition, NRCA members are encouraged to promote the importance of what a roof does by encouraging children to participate in NRCA’s 2017 Children’s Art Contest sponsored by A.C.T. Metal Deck Supply and the International Roofing Expo (IRE). The contest is open to children in grades 1-8 whose relatives work for NRCA member companies (all NRCA member companies are eligible). Entries will be accepted until April 14.

International Roofing Expo Is Seeking Presentation Proposals

The 2018 International Roofing Expo [IRE] is seeking researchers, educators, consultants, technical experts and industry leaders to share their knowledge and business expertise as presenters for the educational conference program.
 
Taking place Feb. 6-8, 2018, at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, the educational program conference presents trends in the roofing industry designed to help attendees increase their bottom line and expand their technical knowledge. 
 
Seeking expert speakers with proven presentation skills and in-depth knowledge, sessions are 90 minutes in length and should contain information that can be immediately implemented in the workplace.  
 
“We are looking for presentations across a variety of roofing topics to fill the three-day program,” says Brandi McElhaney, senior conference manager. “We encourage industry experts to submit a proposal that offers material on relevant topics and issues facing roofing professionals today.”
 
Topic submissions should focus on applications-oriented, real world, problem-solving topics and be free of promotional materials to sell a product or service. 
 
The multi-track educational program includes technical and workplace safety classes, as well as business-related sessions including leadership/management, green building, legal/HR, money matters, sales/service and general business.  
 
The primary audience of the educational conference program includes commercial and residential roofing contractors, architects, designers, consultants, building owners, facility managers, manufacturers, suppliers, owners, CEOs, general managers, sales professionals, estimators, superintendents and foremen. 
 
“The IRE is an opportunity for experts from the roofing industry to share their knowledge of roofing industry trends with fellow roofing professionals,” says Reid Ribble, CEO of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “NRCA members and other roofing industry experts are urged to take advantage of this opportunity and submit their proposals as soon as possible.”
 
The deadline for submitting Call for Presentations proposals is April 3, 2017. Session proposals should be submitted via the automated submission form. Questions should be directed to Brandi McElhaney, senior conference manager, at Brandi.McElhaney@informa.com or (972) 536-6392.
 

IRE Seeks Volunteers for Community Service Day

The 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE) is seeking volunteers for Community Service Day, a home renovation and revitalization project being held Feb. 28 in Las Vegas. IRE will partner with Rebuilding Together Southern Nevada and NRCA’s Disaster Relief Committee to host the event.

Sponsored by Canton, Mass.-based Sika Sarnafil Inc., Community Service Day will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will involve renovating homes of families that include elderly individuals, disabled individuals or individuals who are financially unable to support the renovation.

Skilled volunteers are needed from various construction disciplines to help with the renovations, which include roofing, painting and flooring. All volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and will be asked to sign a waiver of liability form.

Attendees and exhibitors will be able to register for this event and/or make a monetary donation when they register to attend IRE. There is a $25 fee that includes transportation, beverages and snacks.

The 2017 IRE will be held March 1-3 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. For more information or to register, visit here or call (972)536-6415 or (800)684-5761.

2017 International Roofing Expo Announces Call for Presentations and Proposals

The 2017 International Roofing Expo (IRE) is seeking researchers, educators, consultants, technical experts and industry leaders to share their knowledge and business expertise as presenters for the educational conference program.

Taking place March 1-3, 2017, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the educational program conference presents the latest trends in the roofing industry designed to help attendees increase their bottom line and expand their technical knowledge.

Seeking expert speakers with proven, dynamic presentation skills and in-depth knowledge, sessions are 90 minutes in length and should contain timely, practical information that can be immediately implemented in the workplace.

“We are seeking innovative industry experts who are highly experienced in the most relevant topics and issues facing roofing professionals today,” says Brandi McElhaney, senior Conference Manager. “We encourage professionals who can offer challenging, substantive and original material, to submit a proposal.”

Topic submissions should focus on applications-oriented, real world, problem-solving topics and be free of promotional materials to sell a product or service.

The multi-track educational program includes technical and workplace safety classes, as well as business-related sessions, including leadership/management, green building, legal/HR, money matters, sales/service and general business.

The primary audience of the educational conference program includes commercial and residential roofing contractors, architects, designers, consultants, building owners, facility managers, manufacturers, suppliers, owners, CEOs, general managers, sales professionals, estimators, superintendents and foremen.

“The educational conference program offers industry experts the opportunity to share their knowledge with a broad range of roofing professionals,” says Bill Good, CEO of NRCA, the show’s official sponsor. “We encourage members, associate members and others involved with the industry to submit their proposals as soon as possible.”

Best New Products Named at IRE

Judges of the recent 2016 International Roofing Expo’s Product Showcase chose three winners out of a selection of 21 new products that were displayed in a 1,500-square-foot pavilion on the show floor.

D.I. Roof Seamers was awarded “Best New Product” for its Curver, a panel radius bender for snap-lock metal roof panels.

Capturing second place was Standing Seam Roof Anchor for its universal-fit fall-protection anchor for standing-seam roofs.

Third place was awarded to Tie Down Engineering for its Penetrator Mobile Fall Protection Cart, a lightweight, fully portable mobile fall-protection device.

“It is a huge honor to be recognized by your industry colleagues; our heartfelt congratulations go out to the three winners,” says Tracy Garcia, CEM, IRE show director. “We were very impressed by the creative and innovative level of the winning products.”’

John Gooding Receives Prestigious NRCA J.A. Piper Award

John Gooding accepts the 2016 J.A. Piper Award from 2015 J.A. Piper Award Winner Don McCrory during NRCA’s 129th Annual Convention.

John Gooding accepts the 2016 J.A. Piper Award from 2015 J.A. Piper Award Winner Don McCrory during NRCA’s 129th Annual Convention.

The National Roofing Contractors Association, Rosemont, Ill., has announced John Gooding, chairman of the board of GSM Roofing, Ephrata, Pa., as the 69th recipient of its annual J.A. Piper Award. The award was presented at the association’s 129th Annual Convention held Feb. 17-19 in Orlando, Fla. The J.A. Piper award is the industry’s most prestigious honor, recognizing roofing professionals who have devoted constant outstanding service to NRCA and the roofing industry.

Gooding, who served as NRCA’s chairman of the board in 2003-04, currently serves on the association’s National Roofing Council. Prior to serving as NRCA chairman of the board, Gooding served as NRCA chairman of the board- elect from 2002-03; vice president from 1997-99; and director from 1989-92, 1994-96 and 1999-2002. In addition, he has served on many committees, including as chairman of the Affiliate Relations, Budget and Finance, Health and Safety, PAC Advisory and Strategic Planning Committees. He also served on the Insurance Advisory Board and the Insurance Board of Governors. GSM Roofing also is a member of the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress.

“He had roofing in his blood,” says fellow former NRCA Chairman of the Board and 2015 J.A. Piper Award Winner Don McCrory, president of Kiker Corp., Mobile, Ala. “He’s transformed the business his father started into one of the largest and most successful roofing companies today.”

Gooding is surrounded by previous J.A. Piper Award winners.

Gooding is surrounded by previous J.A. Piper Award winners.

First presented in 1948, the J.A. Piper Award is named for former NRCA Chairman of the Board Joseph A. Piper, whose extraordinary efforts kept the association alive during the Great Depression.

PHOTOS: National Roofing Contractors Association

BlueWater to Showcase Solar-powered Warning Light at IRE

A provider of modular guardrail systems and passive fall protection systems, BlueWater Manufacturing Inc., a Safety Products Group company, will be exhibiting at the 2016 International Roofing Expo (IRE), taking place Feb. 17-19, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

The International Roofing Expo is an annual trade show and educational conference where all segments of the roofing construction and maintenance industry come together for three days of face-to-face interaction, product review, education and networking.

BlueWater will be one of 1,100 booths exhibiting products, services and equipment for the roofing industry, including gutters, coatings/adhesives, built up, fasteners, machinery, metal, modified bitumen, roof pavers, renewable energy, walkways/ballast, shingles, slate, solar, spray polyurethane foam, tile, ventilation, waterproofing and more.

BlueWater will showcase its LumiGuard Solar-Powered Warning Light at IRE for the first time and promises to be an innovative and easy-to-install roofing safety product. The LumiGuard is a solar-powered warning light that can be easily installed onto current rooftop railings, gates, hatches, skylights and surrounding mechanicals.

“Our team is excited to offer this new and innovative product to the marketplace. LumiGuard adds a new dimension to roof safety during nighttime hours that just hasn’t existed until now,” says BlueWater’s vice president of Operations, Greg Kenton. “LumiGuard is easy to use and install for the end-user, and we’re proud to unveil it at IRE.”

For more information about BlueWater Manufacturing Inc. visit the company at booth No. 2407 at the 2016 International Roofing Expo, Feb. 17-19, 2016, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.