RCI Canadian Building Envelope Technology Symposium Call for Abstracts

RCI, Inc. is excited to announce the first ever RCI Canadian Building Envelope Technology Symposium. The symposium will take place September 13-14, 2018, at the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale, Mississauga, ON.

We are now accepting abstracts for papers to be presented at the Canadian Building Envelope Technology Symposium. Abstracts of each paper (200 words) should be received at RCI headquarters by April 13, 2018. The RCI Canadian Building Envelope Technology Symposium Committee will review abstracts, and authors will be notified regarding acceptance of abstracts by April 20, 2018. If accepted, papers should be received by May 25, 2018, for peer review.

Potential authors should contact Tina Hughes at RCI headquarters for a copy of the Abstract Submittal Form and RCI Guidelines for Presentations, complete directions on formatting, and acceptable formats for abstracts and papers. A topic description must be provided addressing the speaker’s subject knowledge and the level of knowledge that will be presented to the attendee (i.e., beginner, intermediate or advanced). Six RCI CEHs will be granted for an accepted paper. Additionally, presenters will earn triple credit for the length of the program (one presentation hour yields three CEHs).

Download the 2018 RCI CBES Call for Abstracts PDF for more details.
Suggested topics include:

  • Innovative Technologies & Practices
  • Façade Systems & Technologies
  • Unique Façade Design Solutions
  • The Building Envelope as a Design Statement
  • Energy Conservation Design
  • Designing Façades That Will Improve Indoor Air Quality
  • Economics & Life Cycle Analysis
  • Panelized Stone or Masonry Systems
  • Sealants – Design & Selection / Appropriate Specifications / Quality Assurance
  • Hygrothermal Analysis in Façade Designs
  • Façades Designed to Achieve Sustainability
  • Unique Detail Design Work
  • Curtainwalls
  • Double-Wall Façades
  • Roofing
  • Brick Masonry
  • Stone Masonry
  • Waterproofing
  • Stucco
  • EIFS
  • Metal Wall Panels
  • Air-Barrier Systems
  • Testing Wall Systems
  • Construction Processes

For more information, visit http://rci-online.org.

RCI Now Accepting Scholarship Applications

RCI has announced that applications for the RCI Foundations’ Robert W. Lyons and Lewis W. Newlan scholarships are now being accepted. The application window runs through February 28, 2018.

According to the organization, up to two scholarships of $5,000 each will be awarded in honor of Robert W. Lyons. As many as ten scholarships of $2,500 each will be given through The Lewis W. Newlan Award.

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for the scholarships:

  • Be a current undergraduate or graduate student who has completed a minimum of 24 credit hours and is planning to enroll full-time at an accredited college, university, or vocational/technical school for the entire 2018-19 academic year in an accredited program of architecture, engineering, construction, or building sciences leading to a career in the construction or building envelope industry.
  • Have a minimum grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent).
  • Be a citizen of the United States or Canada.

For more information and to apply, go to https://www.scholarsapply.org/rcif.

RCI Inc. Names New Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer

RCI Inc. announced the appointment of Lionel van der Walt as its new executive vice president and chief executive officer. Van der Walt succeeds James Birdsong, who will retire at the end of 2017 after nearly 17 years at the helm.

An organizational strategy and analysis expert, van der Walt brings to RCI more than 20 years of international executive leadership and association experience. He spent the early part of his career as an officer in the South African Air Force and, subsequently, over a decade with the International Air Transport Association (IATA). He was most recently President of the Cargo Network Services (CNS) and a member of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Board of Directors.

“Lionel’s management style and leadership skills really stood out among a great group of candidates,” said RCI President Michael L. Williams. “His ability to team with other organizations for the benefit of all will surely lead to RCI being recognized as the group leading the building envelope design and consulting industry.”

Van der Walt’s immediate task will be to enhance the recognition and influence of RCI in the industry. He will further strengthen RCI’s mission through continued improvement of the association’s ongoing education and accreditation programs and its publications, which include RCI Interface technical journal, textbooks, and reference guides. As CEO, he will lead the 2018 33rd RCI International Convention & Trade Show to be held March 22-27, 2018, in Houston.

“I will be doing a great deal of listening to employees, board members, committee heads, and members to better understand what works and where we might have opportunities to improve,” said van der Walt. “I look forward to some honest and frank feedback that will help us to shape the future direction of the organization, with a strong emphasis on helping our members to secure a healthy, profitable, and sustainable future for the building envelope consultants industry globally.”

Formed in 1983, RCI now boasts over 3,500 members across the United States, Canada, South America, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit http://rci-online.org.

RCI Elects Board of Directors at Annual Meeting

RCI has elected its 2017-2018 Board of Directors at the Annual Meeting of the Members during the RCI 32nd International Convention and Trade Show in Anaheim, Calif. Board contact information may be accessed online. The following are members of the board:


RCI Mourns the Death of Its Founder, Robert ‘Bob’ Lyons

RCI’s founder, Robert “Bob” Lyons passed away March 16, 2016. It was Lyons’ vision, dedication and drive that brought RCI into existence. RCI was founded in 1983 by Lyons after spending three years of forging his concept into reality. From that initial charter membership of 30, the association has grown to more than 3,000 members today.

We have been informed by his family that in keeping with Lyons’ wishes, there will be no funeral service. Lyons’ wife, Norma, shared that a memorial service will be held in the future, but currently no date has been set. Those members wishing to email Norma may contact RCI for additional information.

As those who attended the recent RCI convention are aware, RCI declared Sunday, March 13 to be Robert Lyons Day to honor Lyons. During the awards ceremony, several members recounted the influence that Lyons had over their careers. Following their comments, Lyons was awarded the RCI Lifetime Achievement Award. As Lyons was not in attendance, his son Jason accepted the award on his behalf and spoke a few words about his father. We understand that prior to his passing, Jason was able to convey what had transpired at the convention and shared that Lyons acknowledged his understanding with a smile.

Lyons’ family also suggested that those who would like to consider a gift of remembrance are encouraged to do so through the RCI Foundation. The foundation recently established the Robert Lyons Scholarship to aid college students in the engineering, architecture and construction science fields of study.

PIMA Names Chairman of the Organization

During its annual meeting, the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) announced that Helene Pierce, vice president of Technical Services, Codes and Industry Relations at GAF, assumed the chairmanship of the organization on Jan. 1, 2016. She succeeds Jim Whitton of Hunter Panels, who has served as the PIMA chairman for the last two years.

“Helene has extensive and deep technical understanding of the polyiso insulation industry and has served the association on numerous task groups and initiatives—she is the perfect choice to lead PIMA,” says Jared Blum, PIMA president. “We look forward to her leadership as the building, architecture and specifying communities continues to embrace and reiterate the value of building thermal performance.”

Pierce has spent more than 34 years in the roofing industry and has been very active in many of the industry’s organizations. She received the ASTM Award of Merit and title of Fellow from ASTM Committee D08, the James Q. McCawley award from the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association and the title of Fellow of the Institute from the Roof Consultants Institute.

Among the many groups in which she has been active include ARMA; ASTM International; CSI; the RCI Foundation; CEIR; SPRI; RCMA; PIMA; and the CRRC. Pierce has also authored and presented numerous papers for the roofing industry and is a frequent contributor to industry publications.

“PIMA represents North America’s insulation of choice and its diverse membership provides a truly collaborative environment for all of our members,” says Pierce. “Given the importance of energy efficiency in the building envelope, the demand for continuous high-performance insulation for the roof and walls continues to grow. As the voice for polyiso insulation used in the building envelope and through its many initiatives in education, building codes and standards, technical resources, and QualityMark, PIMA’s support of the polyiso industry will certainly continue to grow.”

Attended by more than 100 members—polyiso manufacturers and suppliers to the industry—PIMA’s two-day annual meeting featured an educational session, which presented perspectives on energy infrastructure issues impacting the industry. During the annual meeting, members heard from:

  • Lisa Jacobson, president, Business Counsel for Sustainable Energy
  • Brad Markell, executive director, AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council
  • Amy L. Duvall, senior director, Federal Affairs, American Chemistry Council
  • Sarah Brozena, senior director Regulatory and Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council

“Energy efficiency remains a critical issue as illustrated during the recent COP21 meeting, where there was a palpable shift in the attitude of the business community towards energy-efficiency practices and policies,” adds Blum. “Our industry stands ready to support any agreement stemming from the COP21 meeting and our role as a trade association is to ensure our members have access to the resources they need.”

With Today’s ‘New Age’ Roofs, Removing All System Components May Not Always Be Required or in the Clients’ Best Interest

Years ago, reroofing design involved removing all roof-system components down to the roof deck and rebuilding a new roof system up from there.

PHOTO 1: This EPDM roof’s service has been extended for nine years and counting, approaching 30 years in-situ performance. Here, the restoration of perimeter gravel- stop flashing and lap seams, as well as detailing of roof drains, penetrations and roof curbs, is nearing completion.

PHOTO 1: This EPDM roof’s service has been extended for nine years and counting, approaching 30 years in-situ performance. Here, the restoration of perimeter gravel- stop flashing and lap seams, as well as detailing of roof drains, penetrations and roof curbs, is nearing completion.

Although that is still a viable option and often performed, the coming of age of many single-membrane roofs has altered the method of installing a new reroof system. Options now include EPDM roof restoration; removal of the roof membrane and the addition of new insulation and roof membrane; using the existing roof membrane as a vapor retarder and adding new insulation and roof membrane; removal of the roof cover and installation of new, leaving all the existing insulation in place.

When I first moved into roof-system replacement design some 35 years ago, the dominant roof systems being removed were bituminous, specifically gravel-surfaced asphaltic and coal- tar-pitch built-up roofs. As they aged, their surfaces often started to blister, crack and undulate with ridges—surfaces often unsuitable for roof recover. The bitumen often was deteriorating because of ultraviolet-light exposure; when that occurred, the deterioration of the felts was not far behind. The insulation was mostly perlite or high-density wood fiber; the amount was minimal (low thermal value) and, more often than not, flat or with very minimal slope. Drains were erratically placed, tapered insulation was not often the case and roof edges were predominately gravel stops. In the Midwest, many roof decks were cementitious wood fiber. The roof covers were often patched again and again, even as water infiltrated the system.

PHOTO 2: The re-flashing of roof curbs is an integral part of the restoration of EPDM roof membranes.

PHOTO 2: The re-flashing of roof curbs is an integral part of the restoration of EPDM roof membranes.

When replacement was necessary, the roof-edge sheet metal was removed; the entire existing roof system was removed down to the roof deck; and a new roof system was designed, often incorporating vapor retarders/temporary roofs so the removal of multiple layers of roofing could be accomplished, roof curbs raised, and enhancements of roof drains, curbs and roof edge could occur prior to the installation of the new roof cover. Tapered insulation designs be- came common; this would often require realignment of the roof drains to simplify the tapered design and installation. To accommodate the new insulation thickness, the roof edge had to be raised as did roof curbs, RTU curbs, plumbing vents and roof drains via extensions. Roof membranes changed from bituminous to those classified as “single plies”: EPDM, PVC, CPE, CSPE.

These new roof-system replacement designs resulted in superior roofs—85 percent of all the reroofs I have designed are still in place, still performing, still saving the owner money. Life cycles have moved from eight to 12 years, up to 18 to 25 years and longer. They certainly were more expensive than the original installation and, if a roof designer didn’t have a handle on costs to provide the owner with estimated costs of construction, were often shocking. But these roof systems were good for the client, economy, environment and public.

PHOTO 3: When restoring EPDM roof membranes, the removal of roof penetration flashings and installation of new with target patches will provide another 20 years of watertight protection.

PHOTO 3: When restoring EPDM roof membranes, the removal of roof penetration flashings and installation of new with target patches will provide another 20 years of watertight protection.

Over the years, codes and standards have changed, especially in the past decade, requiring increased insulation values and roof-edge sheet-metal compliance with greater attention to wind-uplift resistance. As the new millennium arrived, these “new age” roofs came of age and owners started to look at their replacement—often with increased costs stifling their budgets.


A factor that increased the performance of many roof systems in the past 20 years was the emergence and growth of the professional roof consultant, often degreed in architecture or engineering, educated in roofing, tested and certified. These professionals brought a scientific approach to roof-system design. Raleigh, N.C.-based RCI Inc. (formerly Roof Consultants Institute) was the conduit for this increased level of knowledge, professionalism and the growth in quality roof-system design and installation.

PHOTO 4: On this roof, the existing loose-laid membrane was removed, open insulation joints filled with spray-foam insulation and new insulation added to meet current code requirements. A new 90-mil EPDM membrane was installed and existing ballast moved onto it to 10-pounds-per-square-foot coverage.

PHOTO 4: On this roof, the existing loose-laid membrane was removed, open insulation joints filled with spray-foam insulation and new insulation added to meet current code requirements. A new 90-mil EPDM membrane was installed and existing ballast moved onto it to 10-pounds-per-square-foot coverage.

As these professionals started to examine the older “new age” roofs, those whose first responsibility was doing what was best for the client saw greater opportunity than just a costly full-roof replacement. Although many roofs today still need to be fully removed, prudent professionals see other opportunities, such as the following:

EPDM membrane ages with little change in physical characteristics as opposed to its built-up roofing predecessor; therefore, EPDM membranes often can be “restored” in lieu of removing and replacing the roof. (Studies to support the lack of change in EPDM’s physical characteristics while it ages include Gish, 1992; Trial, 2004; and ERA, 2010.)

Pages: 1 2

RCI Recognizes Winners of Its Document Competition

RCI Inc., recognized the winners of its 2015 Document Competition at its annual awards luncheon during the 30th RCI International Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio.

The RCI Document Competition is an annual event organized to recognize members’ excellence in roofing, waterproofing, and exterior wall construction project documentation. All entries were on display at the RCI International Trade Show.

The following individuals received first-place honors:

  • For excellence in the Report writing category, Jeffrey Levine, for his entry on the Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda, Penn.
  • For excellence in the Small Roofing/Waterproofing/Exterior Wall Project Documents category for construction valued less than $750,000, Rocco Romero, for his entry on Lane County Administration, Eugene, Ore.
  • For excellence in the Large Roofing/Waterproofing/Exterior Wall Project Documents category for construction valued greater than $750,000, Jeffrey Levine, for his entry on the Cornell University McGraw Hall, Ithaca, N.Y.

All winning entries will be recognized in the June issue of Interface, RCI’s monthly technical journal.

RCI Elects Board of Directors

RCI elected its 2015-16 board of directors at the Annual Meeting of Members during the RCI 30th International Convention and Trade Show in San Antonio.

The following are members of the board:

  • President: Jean-Guy Levaque, RRC, RRO, Halsall Associates, Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  • First vice president: Robért Hinojosa, RRC, RWC, REWC, RBEC, RRO, PE, CDT; RJH and Associates Inc., Miramar Beach, Fla.
  • Second vice president: Michael L. Williams, RRC, RWC, RRO; Building Envelope Consulting LLC, Leesburg, Va.
  • Secretary/treasurer: Michael E. Clark, RRC, RWC, REWC, RBEC, RRO, PE, CSRP; Michael E. Clark & Associates Inc., Macon, Ga.
  • Immediate past president: Sidney I. Hankins, III, RRC, AIA, Roof Design and Consulting Services Inc., Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Executive vice president and CEO: James R. Birdsong, RCI, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Region I director: Markian Duma, Mtn View Corp., Pine Island, N.Y.
  • Region II director: Scott M. Hinesley, RRC, PE; REI Engineers, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Region III director: Raymond A. Makiejus, RRC, RRO, Flood Testing Laboratories Inc., Chicago, Ill.
  • Region IV director: Steven C. Drennan, Conley Group Inc., Irving, Texas
  • Region V director: Michael Gardner, RRC, RRO; Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., Lakewood, Colo.
  • Region VI director: Paul Kompauer, PEng, Calysta Consulting, Abbotsford, BC, Canada
  • Region VII director: Edward A. Sheridan, RRC, REWC, RWC, RBEC, PEng; Fishburn/Sheridan & Associates Ltd., Ottawa, ON, Canada

Single Insurance Policies that Insure All Parties on a Specific Construction Project Offer Benefits and Risks

With the use of wrap-up insurance policies on the rise for commercial construction projects, many contractors and subcontractors have questions about how these policies work and what unique concerns and questions they present.

Generally, wrap-up insurance refers to single insurance policies written to insure all parties involved in a specific construction project—providing coverage for the job-site risks of the owner, construction manager, general contractor, contractors, subcontractors and design firms—instead of the individual parties each purchasing and carrying their own insurance policies. Wrap-up insurance policies are most commonly used on very large commercial or public projects. Many project owners and general contractors have found that using these policies is an effective risk-management technique for handling loss exposures related to single and multiple-site construction activities.

With wrap-up insurance, the cost and extent of coverage are generally within the owner’s control.

With wrap-up insurance, the cost and extent of coverage are generally within the owner’s control.


There are two primary types of wrap-up insurance policies: Owner Controlled Insurance Policies (OCIPs), in which the project owner is the primary sponsor, and Contractor Controlled Insurance Policies (CCIPs), which are controlled by the general contractor. Additionally, owners and general contractors can cover multiple projects under a single program in Rolling Controlled Insurance Policies (RCIPs). Typically, wrap-up insurance policies include general liability, workers’ compensation/employer liability, excess liability and builder’s risk as standard coverages, but many owners also add coverage for project environmental liability and project design team errors and omissions.

The benefits of using wrap-up insurance are numerous, especially for the owners or contractors who sponsor them. A successful wrap-up insurance program can significantly reduce risk for owners or contractors, giving them more control over insurance coverage for all the parties and avoiding unpleasant surprises about the extent of coverage parties have. Under the traditional model, owners or general contractors establish minimum insurance requirements for subcontractors and require them to furnish a certificate of insurance specifying coverage areas and limits. However, because all insurance policy terms differ slightly, there is no guarantee that a given subcontractor’s insurance will be adequate, or still in force, at the time of a loss. Furthermore, contractors and subcontractors normally have to build their insurance costs into their contract costs, and this increases bid amounts.

With wrap-up insurance, the cost and extent of coverage are generally within the owner’s control. When sub-contractors no longer have to increase their bids to factor in insurance costs, owners claim they can utilize the cost savings to fund the costs of the wrap-up insurance. And the potentially more streamlined process for handling claims can make prospective litigation less time-consuming and costly.


OCIPs and CCIPs, of course, come with their own set of risks and drawbacks for owners, contractors and subcontractors, and the parties who are asked to enroll in these policies do not always look upon them favorably. Some subcontractors and contractors have found that enrolling in wrap-up insurance policies is administratively burdensome and that the resulting decrease in volume of insurance purchases for their companies can increase the costs of other insurance they must purchase. Additionally, subcontractors should make an effort to understand the limits of coverage; it may differ from the coverage in the policies they have been accustomed to using. This should be done at the procurement stage, before a project begins, and not later, after project contracts have been signed.

Those investigating the level and limits of coverage will want to determine how responsibility for any injuries, losses or damage will be addressed and confirm that the responsibility is outlined in the building contract or the written wrap-up policy. One potential source of misunderstanding is builder’s risk coverage. Often, builder’s risk insurance is carried by the builder. With wrap-up policies, owners and general contractors may be particularly concerned with the scope of the builder’s risk coverage. For example, if a wrap-up policy excludes property damage occurring during construction but the builder’s risk policy excludes faulty workmanship, a potential gap in coverage would exist. The wrap-up insurer might take the position that it won’t pay for what is essentially a builder’s risk claim. To prevent such an outcome, owners may find they need to add coverage to the builder’s risk policy to cover faulty work or at least repairs.

Pages: 1 2