Highland Roofing Company Names Raleigh Account Manager

Highland Roofing Company has named Gary Awroski Raleigh Account Manager. Awroski will manage Highland’s repair, maintenance and re-roof services to industrial, corporate campus, multi-tenant retail, education, government, healthcare and multi-family clients in Raleigh and surrounding markets.

Awroski brings to Highland 30 years of commercial roofing experience, having worked for Centimark, Tecta America and Benton Roofing.

“Gary comes to us with decades of strong commercial roofing service work, including both sales and management,” said Iain Fergusson, President and Owner of Highland Roofing Company. “Adding him to our Raleigh team further solidifies our commitment to providing our customers with exceptional service.”

Prior to joining Highland, Awroski served as Field Supervisor for Benton Roofing in Flat Rock, North Carolina and as an Account Manager for TECTA America in Indian Land, North Carolina. Prior to that, he worked for over eight years as a Service Manager/Service Sales Associate for Centimark Roofing in Charlotte, North Carolina, and for over 10 years as Territory Manager for Pegnato & Pegnato Building Maintenance in North Ridgeville, Ohio.

 “I am pleased to join the Highland team and provide our clients with an exceptional experience,” said Gary Awroski.  “I look forward to enhancing Highland’s efforts in the Triangle region.”

For more information, visit highlandroofingcompany.com.

The First-Ever IRE Virtual Edition Connected Industry Professionals and Leaders from Across the Globe

The International Roofing Expo’s (IRE) first virtual event was held March 2-4, 2021 and brought together professionals from the roofing and exterior construction industries. The event connected contractors, remodelers, and builders with manufacturers and suppliers to discover the latest products, technologies, and services while further developing their professional and technical skills.

The live portion of the event took place March 2-4, and then the platform remained open for on-demand viewing through April 2. During the event, attendees participated in educational sessions, special events, supplier meetings, and were able to browse a directory of the latest products and services on the market.

The IRE Virtual Edition hosted 63 suppliers and had 2,447 participants from 32 countries. Over the course of the event, there were 321 confirmed meetings, 15,432 product category views, and 1,975 hours of content watched.

“With the IRE in-person show being rescheduled to August, we felt it was important to help the industry connect during the first part of the year,” said Ray Giovine, group director for the International Roofing Expo and Informa Markets. “We are pleased with how the industry came together during the virtual event and we’re glad we could provide them with more of the education and content they want each year.”

“IRE Virtual Edition 2021 was an overall great experience. I thought the content and options were well thought out and offered a wide variety of options for everyone,” said Maureen Greeves with Tremco.

The virtual event highlights included: 

  • Three Ask the Experts Live Sessions: Each day of the event started with a live session covering trending topics followed by a Q&A with industry experts.

Mark DeFreitas of Soprema said “One of the best opening talks I have ever heard. I have been in this industry for over 30 years, so I have heard a few! So many life/business lessons and great guidance. It came across as sincere and from a personal level.  It will resonate with a lot of people.  Reid (Ribble) never disappoints and I just want to thank all that were responsible to make this happen.  A great way to start the IRE virtual conference.”

  • 25+ Educational Sessions: Sessions covered a variety of topics that were organized by tracks that included Business, Technical, Legal/HR, Workplace Safety, Windows & Siding and Exhibitor Presented Seminars.

“I really enjoyed the IRE Virtual Edition 2021.  The sessions were very informative and educational,” said Jeremy Ball of Lobo Construction

  • Virtual Exhibitor Directory: Attendees were able to connect with manufacturers, suppliers and technology vendors via pre-scheduled meetings, drop-in meetings, or they could drop their virtual business card off.
  • Product Directory: Attendees were able to browse hundreds of the latest products and services for the roofing, window, and siding industries.
  • Windows & Siding Community: This dedicated community page featured education, exhibitors, and products specific for the windows and siding categories located all in one place on the platform.
  • Special Events: During the virtual event there were a number of fun sessions participants could attend including a whiskey and cigar tasting presented by SRS Distribution and Versico, a virtual poker night sponsored by National Women in Roofing, and a Cirque du Soleil presentation courtesy of Visit Las Vegas.

Renae Bales of NWiR, and vice president of KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, said “The NWIR poker event was GREAT.  Our players were across the board on skills from beginners and to experienced, yet we all came together and shared laughs and learn from our dealers. Congrats to our winners! We will definitely be going this again, so get ready card sharks.”

“Now that the virtual event has closed, we are thrilled to be in full planning mode for the IRE live event taking place August 10-12, 2021,” said Giovine. “We are looking forward to reconnecting with everyone in person in Las Vegas.”

The live, in-person version of IRE will adapt Informa AllSecure, an approach to ensuring the highest standards of safety, hygiene, cleanliness and quality for operating events. In addition to AllSecure, the show will follow all local government guidelines, as well as the Mandalay Bay Convention Center guidelines.

Registration for the live event will open in April, however the hotel block is now open.

The International Roofing Expo is sponsored by NRCA, and Roofing Contractor is the official show publication. GAF is the title sponsor of the IRE Virtual Edition.

For more information about the International Roofing Expo and the events, visit www.theroofingexpo.com

To book your hotel for the IRE live event, visit https://www.theroofingexpo.com/en/travel/housing.html.

For more information about exhibiting with International Roofing Expo, visit  www.theroofingexpo.com/exhibit.

Roofing Alliance Invites Industry to the 2021 Student Competition Award Ceremony

The Roofing Alliance, celebrating 25 years as the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), is proud to invite the roofing industry and all interested to the 7th annual Roofing Alliance construction management student competition virtual awards ceremony on April 16, 2021. The oral presentations for this well-known event will be available before the awards ceremony beginning April 12 on the Roofing Alliance YouTube channel

During the virtual ceremony, awards will be presented for first and second place best overall team presentations along with first- and second-best individual presenter awards. This first-time virtual award ceremony allows the entire roofing industry to celebrate these very talented university-level construction management teams as they focus on the roofing trade.

The four finalist teams are:

  • Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
  • University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

This year’s competition challenges the four finalist teams through written and oral presentations testing their roofing knowledge, project management capabilities and presentation skills. The teams had to research the project, review the plans and specifications, and assemble a full estimate and qualified bid package proposal that was submitted to the Roofing Alliance judges.

This year, the teams were tasked with submitting a qualified bid package for a new roof system on the Las Vegas Raiders’ practice facility, part of the new Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center in Henderson, Nevada.  Working with Dennis Conway, owner of Commercial Roofers Inc. of Las Vegas and the founder of the student competition, the Roofing Alliance student competition committee has prepared the following timeline:

  • Oral presentations of the four finalist teams presenting virtually to the panel of judges will be on the Roofing Alliance YouTube channel starting April 12.
  • Virtual award presentations will be April 16 at 3 p.m. Eastern to announce the winning teams and the Best Individual Presenters. 

Below are the instructions to join the April 16 Zoom event:

https://nrca.zoom.us/j/96417970809?pwd=WXhYNE9ydkZVa3dHaHA1Q1JGMnA1QT09

Meeting ID: 964 1797 0809

Passcode: 616946

888 475 4499 US Toll-free

“We know that many schools are not allowing faculty or students to travel – so we have created a fully virtual competition.  The finalist teams will present oral presentations virtually,” stated Allen Lancaster, current student competition chair and vice president of Metalcrafts A Tecta America Co., Savannah, Georgia. “We are excited about the caliber of the teams competing.  We want this competition to continue to be a favorite amongst construction management programs.”

For more information about the Roofing Alliance student competition, the April 16 virtual awards event, and overall information about the Roofing Alliance, contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director, at bjudson@roofingalliance.net or visit www.roofingalliance.net.

PIMA Applauds Introduction of E-QUIP Act

The Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) welcomes the reintroduction of the Energy Efficient Qualified Improvement Property Act (the “E-QUIP Act”) by Representatives Schneider (D-IL) and Rice (R-SC). 

The E-QUIP Act proposes to simplify the tax code’s complex cost-recovery schedule for energy-efficient building improvements that meet stringent performance standards for energy savings. This bipartisan legislation would remove barriers that discourage businesses from making investments in existing buildings to improve energy efficiency. According to estimates provided by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the E-QUIP Act would reduce energy costs by $15 billion, reduce COemissions by 100 million tons and increase employment by 130,000 job-years over a five-year period.

“By including energy-efficient roof replacements as qualifying improvements, the E-QUIP Act offers building owners the opportunity to depreciate that investment over a 10-year period versus the traditional 39-year period that applies under today’s tax code,” said PIMA President Justin Koscher. “We know that replacing an outdated commercial roof to current standards can reduce whole building energy use by an average 5.7% and the E-QUIP Act provides a strong incentive for building owners to act.”

For more information, visit www.polyiso.org.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Index Shows Contractors Are More Optimistic

Data from the first quarter U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index reveals contractors are growing more optimistic, mostly driven by a rise in revenue expectations. They also have better outlooks on hiring and equipment spending plans as business concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic lessen.

In the first quarter of this year, 36% of contractors expect their revenue to increase over the next year, a jump of 11 percentage points from 25% in Q4 2020. Eighty-seven percent expect their revenue to either stay the same or increase, up from 86% last quarter. Most (86%) contractors also report a moderate to high level of confidence that the U.S. market will provide enough new business in the next year. Nearly a quarter (24%) report a high level of confidence, up from 19% in Q4 2020.

Hiring plans are also positive as close to half (46%) of contractors say they will employ more people in the next six months, up from 37% in Q4 2020. The same percentage (46%) expect to keep the same number of workers, and just 3% expect to reduce their staffing, down from 12% in Q4 2020.

“As vaccines continue to roll out, contractors are expecting to hire more workers and anticipating good times ahead. The industry still has a way to go to return to pre-pandemic levels, but rising optimism in the commercial construction industry is a positive sign for the broader economy,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley. “However, finding skilled workers was a critical issue before the pandemic, and while it has remained a chronic problem over the last year, heightened concern may be emerging again as contractors look to hire. The U.S. Chamber is committed to supporting businesses in retraining and making sure the economy has the skilled workforce it needs.”

The boost in revenue expectations drove a three-point rise in this quarter’s overall Index score to 62 from 59 in Q4 2020. The score for revenue expectations, one the Index’s three leading indicators, jumped five points to 57, while contractors’ confidence in new business opportunities rose two points to 59. Despite the gains, the Index remains 12 points below its score of 74 from Q1 2020 before the pandemic.

Alongside the positive signs of recovery come workforce challenges. This quarter, 85% of contractors report moderate to high levels of difficulty finding skilled workers, up from 83% in Q4 2020. Of those, 45% report a high level of difficulty, up from 42% last quarter, but still down 10 percentage points year-over-year from 55% in Q1 2020 before the pandemic.

Meanwhile, 88% report a moderate to high degree of concern about their workers having adequate skill levels. Forty-six percent report a high degree of concern, up from 36% in Q4 2020. Almost all (94%) contractors who reported a moderate to high degree of concern expect the problem with workers having adequate skill levels will stay the same or get worse in the next six months.

Similar to last quarter, 71% of contractors say they face at least one material shortage. Of those, 22% are experiencing a shortage of wood/lumber (down from 31% in Q4 2020), followed by steel (14%), and pipe/PVC (10%).

This quarter, more (82%) contractors say cost fluctuations have a moderate to high impact on their business, up eight percentage points from Q4 2020, and up 17 percentage points year-over-year. Of those experiencing the impact of cost fluctuations, 43% said wood/ lumber is the product of most concern (down from 61% in Q4 2020), followed by steel (35%), and copper (27%).

Additional findings:

  • Tariff and trade concerns are up. More (35%) contractors say steel and aluminum tariffs will have a high to very high degree of impact on their business in the next three years, up from 24% saying the same in Q4 2020.
  • 37% of contractors plan to increase spending on tools and equipment, increasing from 28% in Q2 2020. Before the pandemic (Q1 2020), 54% said they planned to increase spending.  
  • 80% of contractors are still experiencing delays due to COVID-19, with an average share of 23% of their projects delayed, but that share is expected to drop to 15% looking ahead six months.
  • 58% say worker health and safety remains a top concern for their business, followed by more project shutdowns/delays (50%), fewer projects (35%), and less availability of building products (33%).

The Index comprises three leading indicators to gauge confidence in the commercial construction industry, generating a composite Index on the scale of 0 to 100 that serves as an indicator of health of the contractor segment on a quarterly basis.  

The Q1 2021 results from the three key drivers are: 

  • Revenue: Contractors’ revenue expectations over the next 12 months increased to 57 (up five points from Q4 2020).
  • New Business Confidence: The overall level of contractor confidence increased to 59 (up two points from Q4 2020).
  • Backlog: This indicator remained steady from Q4 2020 at 69.
  • The research was developed with Dodge Data & Analytics (DD&A), the leading provider of insights and data for the construction industry, by surveying commercial and institutional contractors. 

Note: In last quarter’s report, released on December 10, 2020, the overall index score and backlog component score were incorrectly reported due to a data tallying error. The correct overall index score for Q4 2020 was 59 (originally reported as 60). The correct score for backlog was 69 (originally reported as 70).

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Commercial Construction Index is a quarterly economic index designed to gauge the outlook for, and resulting confidence in, the commercial construction industry. The U.S. Chamber produces this Index, along with Dodge Data & Analytics (DD&A). Each quarter, researchers from DD&A source responses from their Contractor Panel of more than 2,700 commercial construction decision-makers in order to better understand their levels of confidence in the industry and other key trends. This panel allows DD&A to provide findings that are representative of the entire U.S. construction industry by geography, size, and type of company. 

For more information, visit www.CommercialConstructionIndex.com.

National Women in Roofing Announces Changes to Board of Directors

National Women in Roofing (NWiR) announced several changes to the association’s leadership on the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors is the governing body of the organization and is responsible for overseeing the implementation of NWiR’s mission, strategy, and goals. 

Anna Anderson of Art Unlimited (Minnesota) will be joining the Executive Committee, with several other members completing their terms on the Board of Directors and some new members coming onto the Board into new leadership positions. Other officers of the association and current members of the Executive Committee include: 

  • Renae Bales, KPost Roofing & Waterproofing (Texas) 
  • Michelle Boykin, Rackley Roofing (Tennessee) 
  • Jennifer Keegan, GAF Materials Corporation (New Jersey) 
  • Jennifer Stone, Johns Manville (California), immediate past chair 

Past chairs Shari Carlozzi and Heidi Ellsworth remain engaged in the association, chairing special committees and providing advice and counsel regularly to the association and to women throughout the industry. 

“We normally make these transitions in February at NWiR Day,” said Ellen Thorp, Executive Director. “Everything is a little bit different living through the pandemic and pivoting to virtual meetings, but NWiR has continued to grow and even flourish during this time.”

NWiR expressed a sincere note of gratitude to the following members of the Board who have completed their terms: 

  • Melissa Mulligan Chapman, The GLO Group 
  • Melissa Walker, Johns Manville 
  • Chelsea Steinbock, BlueRidge Roofing & Construction 

The organization also offered a warm welcome to the members who have been nominated to serve a term on the Board of Directors: 

  • Brittany Wimbish, Fields Roof Service (Washington State) 
  • Kelley Caron, OMG Roofing Products (Massachusetts) 
  • Kyrah Coker, National Roofing Partners (Texas) 

Renae Bales, on behalf of the Executive Committee also has a special commendation. “A special thank you to Jennifer Stone our immediate past chair. Your leadership and mentorship at NWIR have been truly amazing. Thank you to our board members who have completed their term and those joining us. We have an amazing group of volunteers that continue to grow and promote NWIR within our industry to provide networking, mentoring, education and recruitment for all members.” 

A full listing of new Board of Directors can be found at https://nationalwomeninroofing.org/board-of-directors/.

For more information, visit www.nationalwomeninroofing.org.

The Roofing Industry Meets with Lawmakers Virtually for Roofing Day in D.C. 2021

Roofing industry stakeholders from throughout the U.S. participated virtually in Roofing Day in D.C. 2021 March 23-24. Led by the National Roofing Contractors Association and partner organizations, the annual event is an unprecedented effort to share the industry’s message with members of Congress. Traditionally held as a fly-in event in Washington, D.C., Roofing Day in D.C. 2021 was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
“As it has done since 2018, NRCA partnered with a wide coalition of roofing industry stakeholders in conducting Roofing Day in D.C. 2021. Although this event was held virtually, more than 300 participants communicated the issues most important to all of us directly to members of Congress and congressional staff,” said Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “Roofing Day in D.C. has become a hallmark event for the roofing industry and continues to put wins on the board for our members. We look forward to continued interaction with legislators throughout the year as we build long-lasting relationships with them.”

Roofing Day in D.C. is the largest advocacy event dedicated solely to the roofing industry and brings together roofing contractors, distributors, manufacturers and other industry professionals. This year’s participants met virtually with members of Congress to advocate for the industry regarding key issues, including increased funding for career and technical education to address workforce shortages; inclusion of a strong buildings component in federal legislation; and immigration reform that meets the roofing industry’s current and future workforce needs. 

For information about NRCA, visit nrca.net

Roofing Day 2021: Rebuilding American Resilience

Justin Koscher, President of the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturer’s Association, issued the following message for roofing professionals regarding Virtual Roofing Day in D.C. 2021, which was held March 23-24:

As the country continues to cautiously move toward a familiar sense of normalcy, individually and collectively we are looking to rebuild after a year of loss for a brighter, more prosperous future. This March brings a sense of normalcy to the roofing industry as we once again gather as a collective of contractors, manufacturers, design professionals and associations to come together on Capitol Hill as part of the annual Roofing Day in D.C. 2021. While this year’s event will be virtual, the collaborative spirit of coming together for conversations about our role in rebuilding American prosperity is high.

The roofing industry is uniquely placed to make important contributions toward some of the most pressing policy goals of our time, including the creation of reliable employment opportunities, support for critical infrastructure upgrades, and promotion of energy efficient and resilient buildings. There is broad support for these initiatives from both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. There is a shared vision that the daunting challenge of rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and making our built environment more resilient in the face of adverse climate impacts present an opportunity to provide workforce training and meaningful employment to many workers impacted by recent job losses.

Quality Roofing Jobs

Even before the pandemic, workforce shortages topped the list of constraints on the growth of roofing and construction companies. Today, many Americans have been displaced from the workforce as a result of the pandemic and fundamental shifts in our economy. Many workers eager for employment face a skills gap in order to pursue careers in new industries. Expanded investment in career and technical education can open opportunities for displaced workers in the roofing and other construction trades.

Professional careers in roofing, construction or manufacturing offer an attractive option for out of work Americans as well as younger generations just entering the workforce. For many years, our national educational policy has focused on sending people to college as the primary path to employment success. This one-size-fits-all approach to post-secondary education overlooks the value of investing in vocational training and careers in skilled trades. Increased federal investments in career and technical education will train the workforce required to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow, and will provide critical support to the many small businesses in the construction and manufacturers sectors that are the entrepreneurial engine that drives the U.S. economy.

Infrastructure Initiatives

This infusion of workers into trades like roofing is especially important at a time when critical upgrades to our national infrastructure are desperately needed. Children in many parts of the country are finally heading back to school, but part of what has delayed their return is the substandard ventilation in their school buildings. The average public school building in the U.S. is more than 40 years old and the current backlog of maintenance and capital projects represents a $380 billion funding gap.

Schools are only a small part of the nation’s infrastructure needs. The American Society of Civil Engineers released a report this month estimating that the country faces a $2.59 trillion shortfall in spending and labeled the current state of our infrastructure as being in “mediocre condition.” The Biden Administration has signaled interest in ambitious plans to address these deficits and the success of these plans depends on the strength of the construction related industries who will be called on to complete these projects.

Building Resilience

Coupled with the infrastructure investment plans is the pressing need to consider how projects will be structured to address energy-efficiency and resiliency requirements demanded by our changing climate. As recent ice storms in Texas so painfully illustrated, sacrificing on energy efficiency and resiliency can have costly implications that outstrip the short-term savings of building to lesser standards. The same lessons apply to other projects as well. 

Since most of our lives take place in and around the built environment, raising standards for new residential, commercial, and industrial buildings and retrofitting older ones can lead to substantial long-term savings through improved building performance. Boosting energy efficiency alone can provide 40 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions necessary to meet global targets. The work to implement these standards will lead to jobs in manufacturing, distribution, and construction trades. Energy improvements will save consumers billions of dollars in utility costs annually – money that can be invested back into the U.S. economy.

But these policies would do more than save energy; they’d also provide buildings and the people who use them with added protection from severe weather events. In 2019 alone, there were $232 billion in losses from U.S. natural disasters. As an example, optimizing the building envelope or shell to meet today’s requirements for insulation can improve performance post-disaster or during prolonged events like heat waves or extreme cold. And the investment pays off – it’s estimated that constructing and renovating buildings to the 2018 model building codes would deliver a national benefit of $11 for every $1 invested.  

As a country, we are in a period of unprecedented stress as we recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Important discussions are underway to determine how we approach the challenges of getting Americans back to work and rebuilding our national prosperity. There is broad public support for infrastructure investments and considerable opportunity for bipartisan agreement. The roofing industry stands ready to harness our strengths in support of this national effort at creating jobs, improving our infrastructure, and building a more resilient and energy-efficient future.

About the author: Justin Koscher is President of the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturer’s Association. 

Photo: PIMA

MCA Publishes New White Paper on Material Properties That Affect Steel Cladding Performance

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) has published a new white paper available for download on its website, metalconstruction.org. The paper, “Material Properties that Affect Steel Cladding Performance,” details important material parameters that affect the performance and qualities of steel cladding and the ability to fabricate the steel, paying particular attention to the often-misunderstood concept of gauge.

Steel cladding is often a key element in the overall building design. But not all steel cladding systems are made or perform the same. Steel used in roof and wall applications is the product of a highly engineered process. A variety of factors, including the metal thickness, yield strength, metal coatings and finish systems determine the performance of a cladding system. This paper provides recommendations on what cladding would perform best based on building specifications including location and purpose.

Sections include Carbon Content, Yield and Tensile Strength, Steel Designations, Coating Systems, and Steel Thickness/Gauge. Gauge is a particularly important discussion because thickness is a critical parameter in the performance of steel sheet and coil. Charts, examples, and tables provide results of rigorous testing to meet performance requirements for the thickness used.

The white paper is free for download on the MCA website in MCA Metal University:
https://www.metalconstruction.org/material-properties  

The Roofing Alliance Announces Gold Circle Award Winners

The Roofing Alliance, celebrating 25 years as the foundation of the NRCA, announced the winners of the Gold Circle Awards at NRCA’s Virtual Awards Ceremony held March 5, 2021. The Roofing Alliance’s Gold Circle Program recognizes excellence in the roofing industry. Each year Roofing Alliance and NRCA members are encouraged to submit their best work to be eligible to win a Gold Circle award in the following two categories: Outstanding Workmanship and Innovative Solutions; and Safety Preparedness and Performance. More than 100 winning companies have been recognized for their achievements since the award’s inception. This year’s Gold Circle Award winners for outstanding contributions and unique roofing-related jobs and services are:

Outstanding Workmanship and Innovative Solutions – Low Slope: Douglass Colony Group Inc., Commerce City, Colorado, for Sie Welcome Center at Denver Art Museum

Outstanding Workmanship and Innovative Solutions – Steep Slope: F.J.A Christiansen Roofing Co. Inc., a Tecta America Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for St. Stanislaus Bell Tower, Milwaukee

Safety Preparedness and Performance: CFE, Inc., Elmira, N.Y., for International Paper Power Plant, Augusta, Ga.

For more information, visit www.roofingalliance.net