Graduates of NRCA University’s Future Executives Institute Are Announced

The NRCA University’s Future Executives Institute (FEI) has announced its graduates for 2017. Graduates were recognized during NRCA’s Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception held during NRCA’s 130th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

FEI is a three-year program taught by Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management professors, industry leaders and field experts. It offers a look at business theory and practice. Those who attend benefit from industry networking opportunities while developing their understanding of skills in leading, managing and communicating.

FEI’s 2017 graduates:

For more information about FEI or to apply for the program, visit here.

NRCA Announces First Partner Member

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has announced that FiberTite Roofing Systems Seaman Corp., Wooster, Ohio, has become the first manufacturer to upgrade its associate membership to partner member.

In February, NRCA launched its One Voice initiative aimed at collectively recognizing threats to the industry and the opportunities they may present. To do so, NRCA has undertaken a campaign to unite the roofing industry and speak with one voice on matters of industry importance. To ensure all industry sectors are given an opportunity to participate, NRCA amended its bylaws to allow manufacturers, distributors, architects, engineers and consultants that choose to participate to become full members of the association, meaning they will be granted voting rights and eligible for leadership roles within the association. Previously, such rights were reserved only for contractor members.

“Our chances for success in many areas improve when we row in the same direction, and I saw this firsthand during my time in Congress,” says NRCA CEO Reid Ribble. “Industries that spoke with a single voice in Washington were more effective at moving legislation in their direction, and I believe we can accomplish the same when we foster relationships that are more inclusive and collaborative.”

FiberTite is the first company to commit to NRCA’s One Voice initiative, which initially will focus on developing a national worker training and certification program, legislative efforts and advocacy.

“Clearly, it is important to stakeholders throughout the roofing industry that we align ourselves around the challenges affecting the growth of our business,” says FiberTite Vice President and General Manager Scott Gipson. “Channeling the breadth of NRCA members in speaking with one voice provides clarity to policy makers who may otherwise guide decisions critical to our success. It was an easy decision for us to get on board with this initiative.”

For more information about NRCA and its One Voice initiative, go to the website.

Prevent Roof Fires During Torch-Down Projects

Torch-Down Safety While driving to work recently, I heard a news story on the radio: An unlicensed roofer was charged with causing a fire at a local apartment complex. When I arrived at the office, I Googled “fires caused by roofers.” The results included stories from across the nation:

  • Roofing crew blamed for a Chicago strip-mall fire.
  • Roofer’s torch likely cause of huge Arizona construction-site blaze.
  • Roofer’s blowtorch sparks a six-alarm fire in Hamilton Township, N.J.
  • Obviously, using an open-flame torch to install torch-down roofing systems can pose a fire risk. Torch-down roofing is a type of roofing that consists of layers of modified bitumen adhered to layers of fiberglass with a flame torch. Torch-down roofing is used only for flat or low-slope roofs. This process is popular with many contractors, mainly because of its ease of installation and its adaptability. With this system, the modified bitumen can bond tightly to metal flashings while the rubbery additives in the asphalt allow the roofing to expand and contract when other roofing systems may crack. In addition, roofers like torch-down roofing because it is easy to apply. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous!

    It is easy to make a mistake with the torch that could result in disaster. Consider roofers that are torching down a roof and accidentally overheat something in the attic—insulation, for instance. They end their work for the day, not noticing the smoke coming out of soffit vents. Before long, that smoldering material in the attic heats up and starts a fire that quickly spreads throughout the dry, hot attic and, often, to the rest of the structure. 

    Regulations and Best Practices

    OSHA has developed standards that can help prevent these types of fires. Here are some of OSHA’s fire-protection and -prevention rules from the construction and general industry standards:

  • A fire extinguisher must be immediately accessible for all torch-down operations.
  • A fire extinguisher is needed within 50 feet of anywhere where more than 5 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids or 5 pounds of flammable gas are being used on the job site.
  • No one on a job site can be more than 100 feet from a fire extinguisher at all times.
  • There must be at least one fire extinguisher for 3,000 square feet of work area.
  • All flammable or combustible debris must be located well away from flammable liquids or gases.
  • Combustible scrap and debris must be removed regularly during the course of a job.
  • Piles of scrap and debris must be kept at least 10 feet from any building.
  • A fire watch person should be posted to immediately address any possible smolders or flare-ups.
  • The fire watch person should remain on post for 30 minutes after the torch-down job is finished for the day.
  • While the actions spelled out in these construction regulations are mandatory, roofing professionals should be aware that these are minimum requirements. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA) have developed a roofing torch applicator certification program designed to reduce fire hazards during torch application of modified bitumen products. According to Harry Dietz, Director of Risk Management for NRCA, the Certified Torch Applicator (CERTA) program teaches installers to minimize the exposure of combustible structural materials to the heat and flame of the roofing torch. The program also spells out a number of safe practices that go well beyond OSHA’s regulations in dealing with roofing torch use. Among other program elements, these include:

  • The requirement for two 4A60BC fire extinguishers during torch work (more than 10 times the firefighting capability required under the OSHA rules).
  • A two-hour fire watch performed after the last torch has been extinguished.
  • Following these guidelines for fire prevention can protect roofing professionals and the public. It can also save roofers money and time, as well as protect contractors from lawsuits and other legal charges. 

    “In 2002, a leading insurer of roofing contractors had over $7 million in torch related claims in 33 occurrences prior to requiring CERTA for its insureds,” said Dietz. “In 2015, that same insurance company reported only one torch-related claim with a loss of less than $10,000.”

    Visit this site to learn more about OSHA’s Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, Welding and Cutting, Fire Prevention. To learn more about the Certified Torch Applicator (CERTA) program, click here.

    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.

    Antis Roofing & Waterproofing Receives Community Involvement Award

    In recognition of its continuous efforts to help the people of Orange County by keeping roofs over their heads and helping dozens of local charitable organizations, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, Irvine, Calif., has been presented with the fifth annual CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award co-sponsored by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and CNA.

    The award honors charitable works performed by NRCA contractor members.

    Antis Roofing & Waterproofing was selected for its nonprofit organization The Antis Foundation. Founded in 2016, the Antis Foundation actively supports many local charities, including Habitat for Humanity, Orange County Ronald McDonald House, Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation and Alzheimer’s Orange County.

    The Antis Foundation helps these organizations through its employee volunteer program, charitable grants, corporate and nonprofit collaborations, and pro-bono roofing work.

    CNA awarded Antis Roofing & Waterproofing with $7,500 to be used in support of The Antis Foundation.

    Additionally, second-place winner Advanced Roofing Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will receive $5,000 for its ongoing support of the Sonrise Mission, a faith-based rehabilitation program for adults with life-controlling dependency issues.

    Third-place winner, Academy Roofing, Aurora, Colo., will receive $2,500 for its work with the Rose Andom Center, which assists victims of domestic violence.

    The awards were presented March 2 during NRCA’s Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception held during NRCA’s 130th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

    To view CNA’s video featuring Antis Roofing & Waterproofing and its work with its nonprofit organization The Antis Foundation, click here.

    Get Involved as the Alliance Celebrates 20 Years of Elevating the Roofing Industry

    As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress remains steadfast in its mission. Its goals include supporting high-quality education programs, ensuring forward-thinking responses to major economic and technological issues, and enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

    As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress remains steadfast in its mission. Its goals include supporting high-quality education programs, ensuring forward-thinking responses to major economic and technological issues, and enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

    “If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.” This simple statement by Steve Jobs reflects the sentiments of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ diverse and dedicated forum of members, who have united to carry out the Alliance’s vision to influence, shape and advance the future of the U.S. roofing industry.

    At 157 members strong, including 10 new members within the last year, the Rosemont, Ill.-based Alliance is in a unique position to unite roofing contractors, material manufacturers, distributors, service providers and industry professionals. To date, the group has committed more than $12.4 million to its endowment fund to help preserve and enhance the U.S. roofing industry’s success and performance.

    As it celebrates its 20th anniversary, the Alliance remains steadfast in its mission and vision to serve as a valuable, effective and influential organization focused on three primary objectives:
    1. Supporting high-quality education programs.
    2. Ensuring timely and forward-thinking industry responses to major economic and technological issues.
    3. Enhancing the long-term viability and attractiveness of the roofing industry to current and future workers.

    PARTNERING WITH SCHOOLS

    With a keen focus on enhancing college students’ experiences by exposing them academically and experientially to roofing as a career choice, the Alliance Board of Trustees approved ongoing project funding to continue advancing educational initiatives with three of the most well-known construction management schools in the United States: the Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University, Fort Collins; McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; and M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

    The Alliance is focused on fostering its relationships with construction management schools by developing a faculty research program that includes identifying topics of interest and direct benefit to the roofing industry, as well as a systematic approach for connecting member companies with construction management schools nationwide.

    “When a school needs a roofing expert to meet with students either in the classroom or on a job site, we want the Alliance to serve as that resource,” says Dennis Conway, NRCA chairman of the board and principal and vice president of Commercial Roofers Inc., Las Vegas. “Talking with students one-on-one about roofing fundamentals and career opportunities, in addition to exposing them to all the different roofing products, materials and systems, is invaluable.”

    Former Alliance President Jim MacKimm, president of Beacon Roofing Supply, Peabody, Mass., says such partnerships are invaluable. “These partnerships are crucial for the roofing industry,” he says. “We know we need to do a much better job telling students about career opportunities in roofing and making sure they understand the importance of roofing even if they pursue other construction-related careers.”

    During the International Roofing Expo in March, the Alliance also sponsored its third Construction Management Student Competition, a hallmark competition to promote careers in roofing industry management. In addition to providing a significant learning opportunity, the six-team competition fostered camaraderie, dialogue and team spirit among the students as they met the challenges of demonstrating their roofing knowledge of estimating, project management, safety and related areas for the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Teams represented were from the McWhorter School of Building Science at Auburn University; Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.; University of Cincinnati; and the M.E. Rinker Sr. School of Construction Management at the University of Florida.

    “As technology advances, government regulation grows, sustainability increases in importance and roof systems become more complex, it is imperative for us to attract professional, knowledgeable students to the roofing industry,” says Suzan Boyd, vice president of Academy Roofing, Colorado Springs, Colo. “The exposure our industry receives through our construction management school partnerships is invaluable because the future of our workforce is at stake.”

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    University of Florida Wins Student Construction Management Competition

    For the second consecutive year, a team from University of Florida, Gainesville, was selected as the winner of The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ third student construction management competition, which took place during the National Roofing Contractors Association’s (NRCA’s) 130th Annual Convention held in Las Vegas.

    Members of the winning team were Will Foster, Caleb Strauss (team captain), Schaffer Weeks, Forest Wilson and faculty advisor Jim Sullivan.

    Six schools of construction management participated in this year’s competition: McWhorter School of Building Sciences at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.; Department of Construction Management at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colo.; Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.; Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Ala.; the University of Cincinnati; and M.E. Ringer Sr. School of Building Construction at the University of Florida.

    The goal of the outreach to the construction management schools is to raise awareness of the roofing industry by developing roofing-related curriculum that can be incorporated into existing construction management undergraduate degree programs, exploring scholarship programs for both students and faculty members and developing an internship program with interested Alliance members.

    Teams participating in the competition were presented with a problem statement: Create a company to bid on installing a roof system on the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. 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 had to find a competitive edge in their estimate to beat their competition while still maintaining a reasonable margin. For this project, it was important to decide on the correct application methods, show overall roofing knowledge and illustrate a company team is prepared to undertake the project.

    Each team submitted written proposals and supporting documents in December 2016, and gave oral presentations at the convention.

    Orange County Construction, the University of Florida’s team company had the highest cumulative score. The team had a thorough understanding of the project; a safety plan which included planning, training and execution and a well-prepared presentation. In addition, they were well-prepared to answer judges’ questions.

    The University of Florida received a team trophy, a $5,000 L.B. Conway scholarship for their school and individual prizes that were presented during NRCA’s Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception.

    Plans are now underway for the 2017-18 Alliance student competition at NRCA’s 131st annual convention in New Orleans Feb. 6-8, 2018.

    For more information about the Alliance student competition, contact Bennett Judson, the Alliance’s executive director, at (800) 323-9545, ext. 7513 or bjudson@roofingindustryalliance.net.

    NRCA Supports Trump’s Focus on Reducing Regulatory Burdens

    Dennis Conway, chairman of NRCA’s board of directors, has issued the following statement:

    “NRCA welcomes the administration’s focus on reducing regulatory burdens on entrepreneurs, our nation’s job creators. The roofing industry has endured a wide array of regulations issued by federal agencies in recent years, and NRCA members consistently indicate regulatory reform is one of their top priorities.

    “The Executive Order issued on Jan. 30 requires each federal agency to identify two existing regulations that will be cut for every new rule proposed. For the remainder of fiscal year 2017, any additional regulations issued by the federal government must be completely offset by repealing existing rules. For fiscal year 2018 and beyond, the Executive Order establishes a reformed regulatory process for newly proposed regulations. It also contains exceptions for regulations related to the military, national security or foreign affairs and those related to agency organization, management or personnel.

    “The Executive Order appears to be consistent with NRCA’s longstanding support for regulatory reform that ensures regulations achieve public policy goals without imposing unreasonable burdens on businesses. We look forward to reviewing more details regarding how this Executive Order will be implemented, and we encourage the administration to work closely with Congress to develop sound regulatory policies in a manner consistent with American law and values.”

    Steep-Slope Roofing Manual Is Updated

    To provide the roofing industry with the most comprehensive information about the design, materials and installation techniques applicable to all materials used in steep-slope roof system applications, NRCA has released “The NRCA Roofing Manual: Steep-slope Roof Systems—2017”. The new volume updates the 2013 volume under the same title and serves as a reference for contractors, architects and roof consultants.

    The manual consists of five sections addressing materials used in steep-slope roof system applications:

    • Asphalt Shingle
    • Clay and Concrete
    • Metal Shingle
    • Wood Shingle
    • Slate and Wood Shake

    The 2017 volume and boxed set can be purchased in hardbound versions or downloaded for free by NRCA members at Shop.NRCA.net.

    NRCA Introduces 2017-18 Officers and Directors

    The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has announced its 2017-18 slate of officers and directors at its 130th Annual Convention held in Las Vegas.

    Jim Barr, president of Barr Roofing Co., Abilene, Texas, has been elected NRCA chairman of the board, and Kent Schwickert, senior vice president—national business unit, Schwickert’s Tecta America of Mankato LLC, Mankato, Minn., was elected chairman of the board-elect. David Hesse, vice president of Kalkreuth Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Wheeling, W. Va.; Nick Sabino, president of Deer Park Roofing Inc., Cincinnati; J.J. Smithey, president of Frost Roofing Inc., Wapakoneta, Ohio; and David Tilsen, president, Tilsen Roofing Co. Inc., Madison, Wis., were elected vice chairmen.

    Additionally, the following were elected NRCA directors:

    • Charles Antis, founder and chief executive officer of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, Irvine, Calif.
    • Chad Collins, president of Bone Dry Roofing Co., Bogart, Ga.
    • Luke Duffy, vice president of Elens and Maichin Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Joliet, Ill.
    • Alex Hernandez, president of Clark Roofing Inc., Broadview, Ill.
    • Erica Jackson, president of CYE Enterprises, Jacksonville, Fla.
    • Bryan Karel, project manager/supervisor at Garlock-French Corp., Minneapolis
    • Hunter Merrill, owner of Mountain Roofing Inc., Roanoke, Va.
    • Bob Morgan, chief executive officer of Upstate Roofing and Painting Inc., Rochester, N.Y.
    • Tim Stephens, service department manager at Ben Hill Roofing and Siding Co. Inc., Douglasville, Ga.

    All 2017-18 officers and directors will assume their roles June 1, 2017.