MBMA Releases EPDs for Primary Rigid Framing, Secondary Framing and Metal Cladding

In order to meet the increasing demand for unbiased data about the environmental impacts of commercial construction, the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) has released Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for three metal building product categories: primary rigid framing, secondary framing, and metal cladding for roofs and walls.

MBMA partnered with UL Environment (ULE) to develop and certify these EPDs, which summarize the cradle-to-gate environmental impacts of a metal building system. The cradle-to-gate method is used to describe the impact of producing products, from raw material extraction, through processing, fabrication and up to the finished product leaving the manufacturing facility.

EPDs provide specifiers, builders and other industry professionals with transparent third-party documentation of the environmental impacts of products, including global warming potential, ozone depletion, acidification and other factors. The LEED V4 green building rating system encourages the use of EPDs, which are important for earning credits in the program.

MBMA has been studying the sustainable attributes of metal buildings for several years, starting with the collection of the industry’s LCI data, and using it to perform whole-building LCA analysis to compare its products to other forms of construction. Through these studies, MBMA has shown that the structural efficiency of metal building systems is a key contributor to their sustainable performance when compared to conventional construction.

“There is a growing need to simplify and harmonize the decision-making processes for architects and specifiers that must choose building materials for construction,” says Dan Walker, associate general manager of MBMA. “MBMA members are dedicated to educating others about the sustainable performance of metal building systems, and these EPDs will effectively do that for the design community.”

Metal building systems are custom-engineered and fabricated in accordance with strict quality assurance standards, and with almost no scrap generated. Designers are beginning to realize that the structural efficiency of this approach brings tangible benefits, from a sustainability and cost-savings perspective. The completion of these EPDs gives designers the confidence that they are making a wise choice from financial and environmental aspects.

MBMA’s EPDs can now be found on the UL Environment website.

RCMA Updates Reflective Roof Coatings and LEED White Paper

The Washington, D.C.-based Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association has updated its reflective roof coatings and LEED white paper, originally issued by the Reflective Roof Coatings Institute (RRCI) in 2012. (RCMA and RRCI announced their merger in early 2015.)

The white paper explores the role of reflective roof coatings in the Washington-based U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Version 4 green-building program with emphasis on new building structure, existing building operation and maintenance, and LEED v4 prerequisites and credit requirements.

The white paper intends to provide understanding for stakeholders about the cost-effective contributions of roof coatings and the environmentally sound new building and renovation projects that use LEED v4. The white paper also serves as a resource, which outlines the benefits that reflective roof coatings provide to buildings, businesses and the environment. The findings in the LEED white paper apply to any reflective roof coatings that are LEED-compliant.

Bob Kobet of The Kobet Collaborative, Pittsburgh, is the author of the LEED white paper updates, as well as RRCI’s original white paper. Members of the RCMA Reflective Roof Coatings Institute, RCMA Technical Affairs Committee, and RCMA Codes and Standards Task Force collaborated on the project to update and revise the white paper to incorporate LEED’s new version.

The COP21 agreement presents a major opportunity for architects around the globe to provide leadership in designing buildings and communities that help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Its call for capacity building for adaptation and mitigation of climate change represents exactly what the architecture profession excels at providing,” says Russell Davidson, FAIA, AIA president, as the COP21 meeting of the United Nations Climate Change conference concluded.

The new “Reflective Roof Coatings and LEED v4” white paper is published online on RCMA’s website.

ICC and ASHRAE Outline Roles for Development of International Green Construction Code

In a deal nearly two years in the making, the International Code Council (ICC) and ASHRAE have signed the final agreement that outlines each organization’s role in the development and maintenance of the new version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASHRAE, ICC, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The code, scheduled to be released in 2018, will be powered by ANSI/ASHRAE/ICC/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings developed using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved ASHRAE consensus process. The joint Standing Standards Project Committee 189.1 (SSPC) will serve as the consensus body that will work to ensure the standard is consistent and coordinated with the ICC Family of Codes.

The ICC will be responsible for Chapter 1, Scope and Administration. For the 2018 IgCC, ICC will coordinate the technical provisions developed by ASHRAE with the provisions in Chapter 1 of the 2015 IgCC. As a result, the 2016 Group B Cycle will not include Chapter 1 of the IgCC for code changes. With ASHRAE developing technical provisions, ICC’s 2017 Group C cycle to develop the 2018 IgCC has been cancelled. Part of the development process for the 2018 technical provisions will include the SSPC review of the 2015 IgCC and consideration of content for inclusion in 189.1-2017 along with changes generated by the committee and proposals submitted by stakeholders. Following the completion of the 2018 IgCC, Chapter 1 of the IgCC will be developed by ICC using its consensus code development process.

“Our goal in this partnership all along has been to share resources to increase use of the IgCC and make it simpler for code officials, designers and contractors to build environmentally efficient structures that will lessen energy and water consumption and reduce the carbon footprint,” said ICC Board President Guy Tomberlin, CBO. “We are now situated to do just that. We thank our partners, ICC Members and all who will contribute to the development of the IgCC powered by 189.1.”

The Executive Steering Committee for the effort to align 189.1, the IgCC and LEED consists of representatives of ICC, ASHRAE, USGBC, AIA and IES, and the SSPC Chair.

“The full integration of Standard 189.1 to serve as the technical content of the IgCC will leverage ASHRAE’s technical expertise and increase the standard’s influence on sustainable buildings,” notes ASHRAE President David Underwood. “We look forward to continuing to engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders in development of Standard 189.1 following the ANSI consensus standards development process. The result will be a comprehensive compliance tool that can be used by jurisdictions worldwide that are committed to a more sustainable built environment.”

The new publication also will align the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system program to ensure a streamlined, effective set of regulatory and above-code options. The green building certification program recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification

“This joint initiative will forge the fundamental regulatory building blocks of green construction on which future green building leadership initiatives can grow,” says Brendan Owens, chief of engineering at USGBC. “It takes courage to think differently and to commit to a new model, and for that we thank the leadership of the partner organizations behind the IgCC powered by 189.1.”

“Our combined membership, consisting of practicing design professionals, code officials, and the building industry representatives, supports the development of codes and standards that protect the health, safety and welfare of the public at large,” says AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “Through this significant agreement, both the AIA and the ICC agree to work more closely to achieve our common goals.”

In 2010, ASHRAE and ICC joined forces by making 189.1 an alternative compliance path for the IgCC. The new agreement between ASHRAE and ICC furthers the effort these organizations initiated in 2010 by providing the market with a single code that is coordinated with the International Family of Codes.

“IES looks forward to continuing to partner with ASHRAE in developing technical content for Standard 189.1,” according to Rita Harrold, IES representative. “And to participating with the other organizations in this unique collaborative opportunity to satisfy the goals for the new version of IgCC.”

The agreement creates a comprehensive framework for jurisdictions looking to implement and adopt green building regulations and codes. The unprecedented collaboration leverages the unique organizational expertise of the partners participating in this evolution of green building codes and brings AIA, ASHRAE, ICC, IES and USGBC into strategic and tactical alignment on the relationship between 189.1 and the IgCC. Other organizations that support this vision and would like to join the effort are invited to contact Dominic Sims or Jeff Littleton.

The BTI-Greensburg John Deere Dealership Installs Tornado-Resistant Daylighting Systems and Other Sustainable Materials

On the night of May 4, 2007, brothers Kelly and Mike Estes saw their BTI-Greensburg John Deere Dealership obliterated by an EF5 tornado nearly 2-miles wide (according to the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which rates the strength of tornados by the damage caused; view the scale on page 3). Astoundingly, 95 percent of their town—Greensburg, Kan.—was also destroyed that day. The tornado did much more than rip roofs off buildings and toss things around; it turned the entire community into what looked like kindling.

Rarely do communities get hit by an EF5 tornado, which can come about when air masses collide. Sometimes warm, humid air from the Gulf of Mexico rises above drier air from the Southwest deserts in the U.S. This can create unstable conditions resulting in thunderstorms and worse. A strong collision of air masses creates a strong storm. Additionally, wind patterns and the jet stream can magnify the storm, resulting in what people refer to as “the perfect storm”.

After being completely destroyed by an EF5 tornado, the BTI-Greensburg John Deere Dealership has been rebuilt in Greensburg, Kan., in a better, greener way.

After being completely destroyed by an EF5 tornado, the BTI-Greensburg John Deere Dealership has been rebuilt in Greensburg, Kan., in a better, greener way.

Despite the large-scale losses incurred by the entire town, 100 customers and friends of the Estes family showed up the morning of May 5 to help them salvage what remained of their business. Shortly after the tornado disaster, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius stated her wish that Greensburg become the “the greenest city in the state”.

As part of their commitment to their community, Kelly, Mike and their family decided to rebuild their business in a better, greener way. They wanted the new 28,000-square-foot prefabricated metal building to be the world’s greenest farm-machinery facility; attain a LEED Platinum rating from the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council; and use the least energy possible. One of the most important considerations was using building materials that could withstand future tornados.

DAYLIGHTING

To help achieve LEED Platinum and outlast any future high-velocity winds, they incorporated 12 Daylighting Systems in their retail area’s roof to showcase their merchandise; reduce lighting energy costs; and flood the area with natural light, a benefit for customers and employees.

The Daylighting Systems capture light through a dome on the roof and channel it down through a highly reflective tube. This tubing is more efficient than a traditional drywall skylight shaft, which can lose over half of the potential light. The tubing fits between rafters and installs with no structural modification. At the ceiling level, a diffuser that resembles a recessed light fixture spreads the light evenly throughout the room.

The dome is made from high-quality acrylic resin that is specifically formulated for increased impact strength, chemical- and weather-resistance, and high clarity (a polycarbonate inner dome is used for high-velocity hurricane zones). Domes are engineered to deflect midday heat and maximize low-angle light capture. The tubing is made from puncture-proof aluminum sheet coated with the highly reflective material for maximum light transfer. The units (independently tested by Architectural Testing in Fresno, Calif.) comply with various building codes including the 2009 International Building Code and 2010 Florida Building Code, including high-velocity hurricane zones.

“When our power went out one time for four hours, we were able to keep the shop open and operating due to daylight strategies, which includes the Daylighting Systems,” notes Mike Estes. “We didn’t anticipate this benefit but we’re really happy to have this bonus.”
PHOTO: SOLATUBE INTERNATIONAL INC.

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300,000 Pounds of Polymer Roofing Tile Scraps Are Recycled Annually at DaVinci Roofscapes

The 45th anniversary of Earth Day in 2015 puts a shining spotlight on recycling efforts around the country—including at DaVinci Roofscapes in Kansas. That’s where more than 300,000 pounds of polymer roofing tile scraps are recycled each year.

“Most manufacturing operations have scrap materials,” says Bryan Ward, vice president of operations at DaVinci Roofscapes in Lenexa, Kan. “The difference here is that every roofing tile we create is 100 percent recyclable, so we are able to reuse every pound of scrap that comes off our production line into our roofing material’s starter shingles. This saves a significant amount of material from going to the landfill, along with making us an efficient, environmentally friendly operation.”

With more than 300,000 pounds of scrap recycled annually, DaVinci doesn’t stop there. The polymer slate and shake roofing manufacturer offers two recycling programs that provide a way for roofers to return scraps, cuttings and unused synthetic roofing material to the company’s facility for recycling.

Waste products from a job site can be returned to DaVinci’s Kansas plant for recycling (with shipping paid for by DaVinci within a 500-mile radius of the plant) and expired tiles (those older than 50 years old) can also be returned for recycling. Ward estimates that almost 5,000 pounds of product are returned from field projects each year for recycling.

Selecting polymer roofing tiles also helps save trees and energy. “Every time someone chooses a DaVinci roof instead of wood shakes, trees are saved—often young growth cedars that are difficult to harvest, produce low-quality shingles and further deplete our limited resources,” says Ward. “Natural slate roofs present other problems. The quarrying process consumes large amounts of labor and fuel and can be harmful to the local ecosystem. Up to 15 percent of natural slate tiles crack or break up during installation, so waste is significant. Because DaVinci tiles weigh one-third as much as natural slate of comparable thickness, transportation energy costs and carbon emissions are lower.

“Just as it’s important to us that all our sustainable roofing products are Made in America, it’s also vital that we keep our earth as clean and healthy as possible for future generations,” says Ward. “We’re a company that celebrates Earth Day every day of the year. By creating roofing products that meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process standards, we’re taking a step toward saving valuable resources.”

Green Roof Provides Learning Opportunities at the University of Iowa’s Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building

Established just 59 days after Iowa became a state in 1847, the University of Iowa, Iowa City, boasts a number of firsts. In 1855, it became the first U.S. public university to admit men and women; at that time, its enrollment consisted of 124 students—41 of which were women. In 1873, it was the first school to grant a law degree to a woman. In 1895, it became the first university to place an African American on a varsity sports team.

As such, the university’s new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building was designed and built with sustainability in mind. PHOTO: Roof Top Sedums LLC

The university’s new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building was designed and built with sustainability in mind. PHOTO: Roof Top Sedums LLC


In more recent years, the university has strived to lead via its environmental efforts. As a Green Power Partner of the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the university pledges to reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation through the use of renewables. In 2010, it established its first sustainability plan—2020 Vision UIowa Sustainability Targets, which contains the following goals:

  • Become a Net-negative Energy Consumer
  • Green Our Energy Portfolio
  • Decrease Our Production of Waste
  • Reduce the Carbon Impact of Transportation
  • Increase Student Opportunities to Learn and Practice Principles of Sustainability
  • Support and Grow Interdisciplinary Research in Sustainability-focused and Related Areas
  • Develop Partnerships and Advance Collaborative Initiatives, both Academic and Operational

Among the University of Iowa’s strategies to achieve its sustainability goals is ensuring all new construction and major renovations on campus achieve a minimum LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington.

The 200,000-square-foot, 6-story building, which officially opened in October 2014, boasts many environmentally friendly attributes.

The 200,000-square-foot, 6-story building, which officially opened in October 2014, boasts many environmentally friendly attributes. PHOTO: Scott Nagel


As such, the university’s new Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building was designed and built with sustainability in mind. The 200,000-square-foot, 6-story building, which officially opened in October 2014, boasts many environmentally friendly attributes, including glow-emitting sealants, paints, carpet and other materials; water-efficient landscaping; and recycled content and regional materials. It also achieves an-other university first: three green roofs, one of which provides students the opportunity to grow medicinal plants.

Opting for Trays

Des Moines, Iowa-based landscape architecture firm Confluence has been completing projects at the University of Iowa for many years through its Iowa offices—Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Confluence was hired by the project’s architect of record, Rohrbach Associates PC Architects, Iowa City, to complete landscaping around and on top of the Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building in the form of three green roofs that total approximately 6,440 square feet. Despite the building’s consider-able roof area, the design team opted to install the green roofs on lower roof areas upon which building occupants would be looking. The rest of the roof cover is a reflective membrane system.

Confluence provided the layout for a modular green roof on the three distinctive roof areas. Patrick Alvord, PLA, RA, LEED AP, a principal in Confluence’s Cedar Rapids office, notes the chosen tray system was off-the-rack, which is what made it appealing to him and his colleagues. “We spent a lot of time talking to the manufacturer and they were just great to work with,” Alvord says. “We had a number of case studies of work they had done in the Chicagoland area that had proven very successful, so we had a very high level of comfort right out of the gate.”

Alvord opted to use the 6-inch-deep tray model because it would provide some flexibility in the plant materials that could be specified. “We were able to specify different plant materials in the plan of the roof to coordinate with shade, densities and location,” he says. “In areas where the roof would be highly visible from floors above, we did some patterning with the plants. In areas where we had the opportunity to go deep, we planted deeper-rooting plants that will grow taller and provide a denser plant palette.”

The plants are a mix of native and adaptive Iowa plants, as well as recommendations from the green-roof supplier. “It’s a mix of perennials, grasses and forbs, ranging from sedums to liatris to a number of different things,” Alvord notes.

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Projects: Office

DPR Construction, Phoenix

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building.

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building.

Team

Roofing contractor: Arithane Foam, Corona, Calif.
Architect/engineer: SmithGroupJJR, Phoenix
Daylighting systems distributor: Norcon Industries, Guadalupe, Ariz.

Roof Materials

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building, formerly an abandoned retail boutique at the corner of 44th Street and Van Buren in Phoenix.

“The use of the Daylighting Systems was an integral part of our sustainability and lighting energy savings plans for the renovated space,” says Dave Elrod, regional manager of DPR Construction, Phoenix. “The products are a cost-efficient solution to provide lighting since they nearly eliminate the need for artificial daytime lighting.”

In addition, the roof is composed of foam with an R-25 insulation value (approximately 4-inches thick) over plywood sheathing.

Daylighting systems manufacturer: Solatube International Inc.
Foam roofing manufacturer: Quik-Shield from SWD Urethane

Roof Report

DPR Construction is a national technical builder specializing in highly complex and sustainable projects. In less than 10 months, the design-build team researched, designed, permit-ted, and built a highly efficient and modern workplace with numerous innovative sustainability features.

In addition to natural daylighting, the office features an 87-foot zinc-clad solar chimney, which releases hot air from the building while drawing cooler air in; shower towers that act as evaporative coolers to regulate building temperatures; 87 operable windows designed to open and close automatically (based on indoor/outdoor temperatures); and two “vampire” shut-off switches to keep electrical devices (radios, cell-phone chargers, microwaves) from using plug energy when no one is in the office.

Access to the building was limited during construction. Spray foam roofing, which took about seven days to complete, had to be done in small quadrants because of the tight schedule as work was progressing in the other sections. The roofing workers were challenged by the barrel-shaped roof, which created footing difficulties, and the many penetrations that had to be flashed, including all PV support legs, Solatubes, skylights and HVAC penetrations. Work was completed in the middle of winter, so additional protections and efficiencies were required.

The circa-1972 building has been officially certified as a Net-Zero Energy Building by the Seattle-based International Living Future Institute through its Living Building Challenge program. It also has received LEED-NC Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, D.C.

PHOTOS: Ted Van Der Linden, DPR Construction

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Sustainable Home Features a Metal Roof for Durability and Energy Efficiency

A Metal Sales roof system has been chosen to top an ambitious Net-Zero building. Ronda and Nigel Farrar chose to work with Metal Sales on their 3,000-square-foot home in Escondido, Calif. The home overlooks Lake Hodges and was designed to be a model for green design by utilizing commercially available green building products.

The Farrar's dream of achieving a Net-Zero energy design was realized with help from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp.

The Farrar’s dream of achieving a Net-Zero energy design was realized with help from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp.

The Farrars are the owners of the new home and its surrounding sustainable farm. The home is one of San Diego County’s first LEED Platinum homes and is ENERGY STAR qualified. Their dream of achieving a Net-Zero energy design was realized with help from Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp.

“We chose a metal roof for our home because it was a sustainable material with a long life expectancy,” explains homeowner Rhonda Farrar. “Compared to other non-metal roofing materials, a metal roof is more durable and lighter, resulting in structural savings when building. Metal roofing also makes our home safer in the event of an earthquake or fire. Due to the reflectivity and energy efficiency of the metal, the roof contributes to a comfortable, energy-efficient living space.”

The home features 5,000 square feet of 24 gauge Magna-Loc standing seam roof panels in Antique Patina from Metal Sales. More than 100 panel colors from Metal Sales are listed with ENERGY STAR and improve energy efficiency by reflecting sunlight. This provides an energy savings by reducing the amount of energy needed for cooling the home. The steel panels are also 100 percent recyclable and contain a high percentage of recycled material. Each of these factors contributes to the home’s LEED Platinum certification.

"We chose a metal roof for our home because it was a sustainable material with a long life expectancy," explains homeowner Rhonda Farrar. "Compared to other non-metal roofing materials, a metal roof is more durable and lighter, resulting in structural savings when building."

“We chose a metal roof for our home because it was a sustainable material with a long life expectancy,” explains homeowner Rhonda Farrar. “Compared to other non-metal roofing materials, a metal roof is more durable and lighter, resulting in structural savings when building.”

“The longevity, reflectivity and energy-efficient qualities of a metal roof make it an ideal choice for a sustainable home,” says Drew Hubbell, owner of Hubbell & Hubbell Architects. “The cool metal roof reflects heat, reducing cooling needs and allowed for easy installation of the photovoltaic panels without penetrating the roof. The standing seam roof also fit the architectural style of the home with an antique patina finish. The simple lines of the roof fit in with the modern design of the home and complements the home’s exterior.”

The project team consisted of homeowners Rhonda and Nigel Farrar; architect Hubbell & Hubbell Architects, San Diego; general contractor Gaitaud Construction, San Diego; and roofing contractor Victor Contracting & Roofing, Escondido. For more information about the Farrar Green Home and Sustainable Farm, visit the Farrar Green Home website.

Petersen Aluminum Celebrates 50 Years of Serving the Construction Industry

Petersen Aluminum Corp. is celebrating its 50th anniversary by honoring the first five decades of company history as it prepares for a bright future. Maurice “Maury” Petersen founded the company on Feb. 15, 1965 as an aluminum distributor in Chicago, then worked with his son Mike as the company grew to become one of the construction industry’s architectural metals manufacturers.

“Fifty years in business is a noteworthy milestone, and we’re thrilled to not only still be in business, but to be thriving,” says Mike Petersen, CEO. “Our ability to identify, plan for and adapt to a myriad of market opportunities has been a big reason for our success. I am proud to have taken the reins from my father and help build on the foundation he laid 50 years ago. This is an exciting time for Petersen Aluminum, and I think we’re in good position to tackle the next 50 years.”

The main key to the company’s success is the hard work of dedicated employees in every position at Petersen Aluminum. Petersen notes the importance of the company’s vast supply of institutional knowledge, with a management team that averages 34 years of employment and includes many who worked with Maury, who passed away in 1996.

Dedication and longevity can be found at the company’s five locations, too, where it is common to meet people who have worked for the company for 15, 20 and 30 years or more. Providing employees with a corporate culture that fosters professional development, personal accountability and an enjoyable environment is important at Petersen Aluminum. “We take pride in giving our personnel a chance to develop their skills in an entrepreneurial environment. I am proud of how many people have chosen to devote their careers to PAC,” he adds.

Customers, partners and industry friends wanting to acknowledge Petersen Aluminum’s 50th anniversary are encouraged to leave a message on Petersen Aluminum’s Facebook page.

Management’s Perspective

Members of Petersen Aluminum’s executive management team average more than 30 years working at the company, and all are deeply invested in its success. President John Palesny has the longest tenure at 45 years, and cites several reasons for the company’s endurance.

“The financial strength of the company is a prime reason for our longevity,” says Palesny. “Maury Petersen, the founder of our company, had a mantra that he repeated often: pay down your debt. Maury grew up during the Depression and it had a life-long impact on his thinking about financial responsibility. While he was a risk taker when it came to business opportunities, he also believed in paying down debt whenever the opportunity arose. That attitude has been a part of PAC’s culture throughout the years.

“PAC has always given its people wide latitude in pursuing their objectives. We believe in local initiative and give managers free rein as to how they meet their goals,” Palesny continues. “We have excellent internal communications that are focused on how we can better serve our customers. Our people are confident in their abilities while keeping their egos well in check. Among my colleagues at Petersen Aluminum there is a closeness that few other organizations can match. Most of us have been here for a number of years and wouldn’t dream of working anywhere else. I think that says a lot about the management philosophy of Maury and Mike Petersen.”

Jon Snyder, vice president, also believes in the value of good people and their contribution to the success of Petersen Aluminum. “Maury believed that every employee is a salesperson for the company, and to keep your employees and customers happy. Maury always preached, ‘have fun, work hard and no politics,’” Snyder remembers. “Our company was built on a strong, professional sales-minded approach. We have found our niches along the way and worked hard to succeed within them, but have always been willing to change when necessary.”

Snyder adds that while Petersen Aluminum can be conservative and strives to operate without debt, the company isn’t afraid to take necessary risks, and when those efforts are financially rewarded, “We pour the rewards back into our business and our people.”

Vice President Mike Palesny recalls the company’s respect for and attention to the customer. “We may not be the lowest price in the marketplace, but we are always competitive in terms of customer service levels. And we pay attention to what the market wants. For example, at our early stages in the architectural marketplace, our focus was on anodized finishes. We recognized in the late ’70s that Kynar was the future and successfully made that tack. In the late ’80s and early ’90s we recognized the call for factory-formed roofing panels and dove in. Now we’re seeing the company focus on the entire building envelope, and of particular interest the exterior walls. I think our wall panel business will be a source of real growth for the company in the next 10 years,” Palesny says.

Mike Palesny hopes to see the business continue to grow and diversify both geographically and possibly through additional product lines. “We are a conservatively managed company and I think our future is bright. We’ve adapted to market shifts by paying attention to our balance sheet, paying off our debts and listening to our customers, which we will continue to do,” he notes.

Tom Bell, vice president, adds, “Of all the things that make Petersen Aluminum such a great company, none is more important than the talent and dedication of our employees day after day, for after all this is the only truly sustainable competitive advantage any company can process in this marketplace.”

Adapting, Investing in Quality

Adaptation is a critical skill for any business to possess, as Petersen Aluminum has demonstrated for 50 years. As technology changes the way construction professionals communicate and process information to meet critical project timelines, Petersen Aluminum continues to adapt to meet the needs of those professionals. For example, the company’s website provides e-tools that include everything required to shop for, specify, bid, purchase and install its metal products, as well as apps for tablets and smartphones that accomplish the same goals on whichever operating platform a professional might need.

Petersen Aluminum also is committed to quality products and service, and can prove it. In 2006, along with its corporate partners Valspar and Precoat Metals, a formal quality control program was initiated. The QC program that was developed has greatly enhanced the quality and consistency of the product Petersen Aluminum brings to market. “As a result of this ongoing program, the product that goes out the door is as good or better than anything available in the commercial market, and field issues with our product have become practically nonexistent,” Mike Petersen says.

Petersen Aluminum keeps its focus on the future, including how to address external market forces that are sure to include sustainable construction, material supplies and prices, competition for materials, construction workforce shifts, regulation, consolidation and others. “We’ve been successfully navigating market shifts and challenges through our history and we will continue to do so,” Petersen says.

Company History

In February 1965, Maurice Petersen began operation of Petersen Aluminum as an aluminum distributor in Chicago. The concept was to distribute aluminum mill products for aluminum producers not having a distributor organization or outlets for their products. Two manufacturers of truck cabs and printing plates promised support in the new venture.

Business began in a pie-shaped office rented for $75 a month. The lists of partners and customers grew as did revenue. Early on, the company moved frequently as business grew. By 1967, the company owned a truck, a 60-inch cut-to-length line, a shear and a saw. An unofficial company motto evolved: work hard, have fun, no politics.

In July 1972, Petersen Aluminum relocated to Schiller Park, Ill., and acquired an aluminum anodizing line, a decision that launched the company into the architectural metals arena. The company continues to maintain an anodizing line today. During that period, the company developed its PAC-CLAD product line beginning with prefinished Kynar 500 aluminum and later adding prefinished PAC-CLAD steel. During the next two and a half decades, Petersen Aluminum grew its revenue and product line while expanding geographically, until 1994 when the company constructed and moved into its headquarters in Elk Grove Village, Ill., where it remains today. The architectural metals manufacturer also operates facilities in four branch locations including Acworth, Ga.; Tyler, Texas; Annapolis Junction, Md.; and Fridley, Minn.

Petersen Aluminum strives to provide high-quality products within reliable, dependable lead times. Its strong national sales base allows it to maintain large inventories and provide cost economies to its customers. The product line now includes architectural and structural roofing, metal wall panels, soffit, composite panels, edge metals, aluminum and steel coil, and flat sheet in painted, anodized and mill finish.

Long-recognized as an industry manufacturer of metal standing seam roofing products, Petersen also offers exposed fastener panels, flush panels, composite wall panels and column covers. All provide the well-known Petersen quality and are available in PAC-CLAD Kynar 500 finish in 38 standard colors on steel and 37 aluminum. Most colors meet LEED, ENERGY STAR and Cool Roof Rating Council certification requirements.

PIMA Announces Environmental Product Declarations for Polyiso Roof and Wall Insulations

Consistent with its delivery of energy-efficient and sustainable building insulation solutions, the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) announced the receipt of third party-verified ISO-compliant Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for polyisocyanurate (polyiso) roof and wall insulations as manufactured by PIMA members across North America. An EPD is an internationally recognized and standardized tool that reports the environmental impacts of products.

These EPDs document that the energy-savings potential of polyiso roof and wall insulation during a typical 60-year building life span is equal to up to 47 times the initial energy required to produce, transport, install, maintain, and eventually remove and dispose of the insulation. In addition to a high return on embodied energy, the EPDs document that polyiso roof and wall insulation offer high unit R-value per inch, zero ozone depletion potential, recycled content, opportunity for reuse and outstanding fire performance.

Beyond providing consistent and comparable environmental impact data, the PIMA polyiso EPDs also present information about additional environmental and energy characteristics, including the high net return on energy provided by polyiso roof and wall insulation.

Specifically, the polyiso EPDs describe the environmental impacts of the combined weighted average production for PIMA member manufacturing locations located across the United States and Canada, based on an established set of product category rules applicable to all types of building thermal insulation. The environmental impacts reported in the PIMA polyiso EPDs are derived from independently verified cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA) process, including all critical elements related to the resourcing, production, transport, installation, maintenance, and eventual removal and replacement of polyiso roof and wall insulation.

Using the LCA process, the PIMA polyiso roof and wall insulation products are evaluated on a number of impact categories including global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, eutrophication potential, acidification potential, and smog creation potential, as well as other environmental indicators including primary energy demand, resource depletion, waste to disposal, waste to energy, and water use.

PIMA polyiso roof and wall insulation EPDs also meet the requirements of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED v4 Green Building Rating System under Credit MRC-2 Building Product Disclosure and Optimization: Environmental Product Declarations as industry-wide or generic declarations that may be valued as one-half of an eligible product for the purposes of credit calculation.

“These third party-verified EPDs for polyiso roof and wall insulation products produced by PIMA manufacturers reflect our industry’s commitment to sustainability and transparency in reporting environmental performance,” says Jared Blum, president of PIMA. “These EPDs will be a valuable tool to provide environmental information to all building and design professionals, and they should be especially helpful in meeting emerging criteria for green building design.”