Metal Construction Industry Exhibitors Showcase Products

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

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

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

3-D Printing Technology Project Will Be Presented at METALCON

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

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

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

Research Helps Industry Organizations Conclude Ballasted Roofs Provide Energy Savings

During the last decade, the roofing industry has been increasingly impacted by two strong forces: first, rising energy prices with no real end in sight, and, second, increasingly stringent building codes and regulations, designed to limit emissions, reduce energy use and mitigate the impact of urban heat islands.

The first definitive study to measure the energy-saving potential of ballasted roofs was done at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., in 2007.

The first definitive study to measure the energy-saving potential of ballasted roofs was done at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., in 2007. PHOTO: EPDM Roofing Association

The industry response has also been two-fold: In some instances, new products have been created, such as lower VOC adhesives, primers and sealants, self-adhering membranes and a wider variety of reflective membranes. At the same time, roofing professionals have taken a close look at some of the products that have been in use for a generation. Using rigorous science, they have tested these tried-and-true products to see how they measure up against the new standards. And in many cases, they’ve found that products that have been in use for decades are delivering great results in this new, energy-sensitive environment. Case in point: ballasted roofing, which has been available since the early 1970s, is turning out to be a great choice to meet 21st century needs.

2007 Study

The first definitive study to measure the energy-saving potential of ballasted roofs was done at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., in 2007. Andre Desjarlais, ORNL’s group leader of Building Envelope Research, and his colleagues had just completed work in which “we had done a fairly substantial comparison of different cool roof technologies, both membrane types, as well as coatings,” Desjarlais says. At the request of EPDM manufacturers, working together at the newly founded EPDM Roofing Association (ERA), Bethesda, Md., as well as manufacturers within Waltham, Mass.-based SPRI, Desjarlais designed and implemented a second study to assess the performance of ballasted roofing. “We undertook a study to effectively expand what we had done earlier on coatings and membranes,” he says.

Other factors also encouraged ORNL to generate data about ballasted roofing. The California Energy Commission, Sacramento, had just revised its codes, essentially defining roofs with high reflectance and high emittance as the only choice of roofing membranes that would deliver high energy savings. Desjarlais believed this definition of a “cool roof” might be inaccurately limiting roofing choice by excluding other roofing materials, such as ballasted roofs, that would deliver comparable savings.

The California Energy Commission, Sacramento, had just revised its codes, essentially defining roofs with high reflectance and high emittance as the only choice of roofing membranes that would deliver high energy savings.

The California Energy Commission, Sacramento, had just revised its codes, essentially defining roofs with high reflectance and high emittance as the only choice of roofing membranes that would deliver high energy savings. PHOTO: EPDM Roofing Association

In addition, in Chicago, a new Chicago Energy Code was adopted as early as 2001 “with high reflectivity and emissivity requirements that limited severely building owners’ and managers’ roof system choices”, according to a paper presented in 2011 by Bill McHugh of the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association. At the roofing industry’s request, a reprieve was granted, giving the industry until 2009 to come up with products with a reflectivity of 0.25.

Faced with that 2009 deadline, the Chicagoland Roofing Council, Chicago Roofing Contractors Association and Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association began in 2001 to conduct research on products that would help to meet the city’s goal of creating a workable Urban Heat Island Effect Ordinance while giving building owners a wider choice of roofing products. As part of their effort, the industry coalition turned its attention to the energy-saving qualities of ballasted roofing and coordinated its work with the research at ORNL.

Desjarlais points out the concept of thermal mass having energy benefits has been accepted for years and has been a part of the early version of ASHRAE 90.1. “Thermally massive walls have a lower insulation requirement, so there was industry acceptance of the fact that using mass is a way of saving energy,” he says. “But we had a hard time translating that understanding from a wall to a roof. Whether you do that with a concrete block or a bunch of rocks doesn’t really matter. The metric is no different. Roofs or walls.”

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