Roofing Industry Unites to Form ‘Back to Work’ Coalition

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the buzzwords we keep hearing seem to be “unprecedented” and “uncertain.” However, some things are still certain even during the current calamity: every building needs a strong, reliable roof, and the work that the roofing industry does is essential.

These facts are the essence of the Back to Work on America’s Roofs coalition, which formed in March in response to the pandemic’s impact on the roofing industry and is comprised of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), Chemical Fabrics & Film Association (CFFA), EPDM Roofing Association (ERA), International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants (IIBEC), Metal Construction Association (MCA), National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), National Women in Roofing (NWiR), Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA), Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA), Single Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI), Slate Roofing Contractors Association (SRCA), Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) and the Tile Roofing Industry Alliance (TRI).

Most construction was brought to a halt by state orders enacted early in the pandemic that closed or restricted all non-essential businesses. Recognizing the long-term harm this would cause, these 13 associations came together to advocate that the roofing industry be recognized for its essential role in ensuring home and business safety. The coalition sent letters to the White House, Congressional leaders and the National Governors Association that detailed why the roofing industry was crucial during this public health crisis and asked that any updates to state orders allow roofing work to resume.

As states began allowing construction to resume, our priorities shifted to focus on recovery. The roofing industry was already struggling with a backlog of work due to the ongoing labor shortage, which now has been exacerbated by the pandemic. As the unemployment rate hovers in the double digits, the Back to Work on America’s Roofs coalition is promoting four key policies to create jobs, support homeowner investments and encourage business owners to invest in capital improvement projects.

1. Recognize the importance of roofs for protecting homes and businesses.

Physical infrastructure investments made by Congress as part of COVID-19 response and recovery should reflect the protections that roofs offer to new and existing buildings.

2. Address skills gaps and provide opportunities to expand hiring.

The federal government should support efforts to expand career and technical education and address skills gaps in the roofing industry. Congress should provide incentives to businesses that increase their workforce above where it was before the pandemic by hiring unemployed individuals.

3. Provide short-term relief in order to enable long-term success.

Provide additional funding for programs created under the CARES Act, which have been a lifeline for small businesses in many industries, including roofing. Enable entrepreneurs to serve as the economic engine of the recovery by improving access to critical programs.

4. Adopt tax policies that incentivize improvements to existing homes and buildings.

Expand small business tax credits to allow for immediate expensing of capital improvement projects and accelerated depreciation for resilient, energy-efficient roof replacements. Provide targeted tax relief to homeowners to make home improvement projects more affordable, similar to what was successfully implemented after the 2008 financial crisis.

To advance these policies, the coalition has distributed a press release to publications in the broader building and construction industries and developed a media kit for all roofing industry professionals to participate in this advocacy. We encourage you to download the media kit and get involved in our outreach efforts by utilizing these resources, including social media collateral, the coalition’s position paper, a copy of the press release and an infographic that provides a visual overview of our policies.

A common rallying cry has emerged since the pandemic began: we are “all in this together.” The coalition is the embodiment of this statement. We are working together to navigate these unprecedented, uncertain times and overcome the challenges that lie ahead, starting by helping the individuals employed in our industry — more than 1.1 million Americans — get back to work on America’s roofs.

The coalition’s advocacy efforts are only part of the work that is currently being done. Keep reading to learn how these associations are supporting their members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA)

When states and local jurisdictions started issuing “stay at home” orders and other mandates in response to COVID-19, ARMA began providing members with regular comprehensive updates on local, state and federal regulations and initiatives regarding roofing as an essential industry, sometimes multiple times in a single day. ARMA’s Spring Committee Meetings shifted from an in-person event to a virtual format, ensuring that members were able to participate in key meetings from the comfort and safety of their homes.

Reed Hitchcock

ARMA also held two town hall meetings for members to share practices for keeping asphalt roofing plant employees healthy and safe during the pandemic. Members discussed their experiences on a variety of topics, including increasing personal and professional sanitizing, ensuring social distancing, implementing procedures for bringing employees safely back to work and developing enhanced measures for maintaining cleanliness. During both events, tools and resources were shared to help members comply with local, state and federal guidelines related to COVID-19.

– Reed Hitchcock, Executive Vice President

EPDM Roofing Association (ERA)

ERA dedicated a prominent portion of its website to information about the pandemic, focusing on the impact of COVID-19 on the roofing industry and potential legislative and regulatory sources of help for our members and their customers. Additionally, ERA joined other industry leaders to send a letter to the White House urging the Trump administration to “issue guidance that clarifies essential businesses, services and workers, and that this guidance recognize the role of the roofing industry in protecting U.S. families and employers.”

Ellen Thorp

ERA closely followed the status of the construction industry as an essential business and urged the passage of federal legislation to provide financial relief to families and businesses. Further, we worked through a range of industry outlets to publicize our efforts and linked our website to other industry sites to provide a broad spectrum of information about the pandemic and its impact on our industry.

– Ellen Thorp, CAE, Executive Director

International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants (IIBEC)

IIBEC’s primary focus has been pivoting our International Convention and Trade Show to a virtual format. Our virtual meeting was held June 12-14, and featured 24 education sessions, a trade show with 65 exhibitors, and two live general sessions, including a roundtable of building industry association CEOs that is available for viewing on our website. We have also been adding new educational offerings to our online learning portal, including an eight-week course, Exterior Wall and Technology Science.

Brian Pallasch

IIBEC has joined with other roofing industry associations to advocate on a variety of COVID-19 public policy issues. Letters were delivered to governors in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Washington underscoring the ability of the industry to operate safely in the face of the pandemic and the significant role the construction industry will play in leading the nation’s economic recovery.

– Brian Pallasch, CAE, CEO/EVP

Metal Construction Association (MCA)

Jeff Henry

MCA is committed to providing updated and relevant information to its members and the public via our COVID-19 resource hub. We also transformed the 2020 MCA Summer Meeting (June 15-18) into a virtual learning experience. This was a unique and cost-free opportunity for everyone in the metal construction industry to hear the latest industry updates and connect with association leaders.

– Jeff Henry, Executive Director

National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)

NRCA has offered valuable information and resources to members and the overall roofing industry during the COVID-19 crisis via our website, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), legal and insurance guidance. We are actively lobbying for federal legislation to help small business owners survive the crisis and also sent a letter to President Trump urging the administration to recognize roofing as an essential business.

Reid Ribble

NRCA issued surveys to gauge the experiences of roofing contractors during the pandemic to provide better assistance to members and the industry. We also hosted informative webinars, including “How to navigate crisis management in an ever-changing world,” which featured NRCA General Counsel Trent Cotney sharing steps employers can take to prepare and help their businesses thrive during and after modern crises. NRCA is committed to carrying on its mission to support and advocate for roofing professionals, address member questions and concerns, and keep the industry moving forward.

– Reid Ribble, CEO

National Women in Roofing (NWiR)

Renae Bales

While several industries have slowed down, resulting in unemployment for many American workers, the roofing industry is looking for employees. NWiR has partnered with RoofersCoffeeShop to launch a recruiting website for the roofing industry that will attract new talent and offer opportunities for companies to increase visibility for their job postings. NWiR also launched a series of online-based meetings focused on providing knowledge and supporting other women in roofing as we navigate this new normal. There are 1-2 webinars/virtual meetups each week, which alternate between substantive educational content and light-hearted chatting about common issues. Topics range from transitioning to working from home, to building your business through self-empowerment, to understanding federal legislation designed to help small and medium-sized contractors. These webinars and meetups are publicized on the NWiR calendar, sent to members via email and shared on social media.

– Renae Bales, Chair and Ellen Thorp, CAE, Executive Director

Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA)

PIMA plays a critical role in the ongoing monitoring, analysis, and dissemination of key information about the responses to the COIVID-19 pandemic at the local, state, and federal levels. Since March, PIMA’s Board of Directors has been holding weekly meetings to track the impacts of the pandemic on manufacturing operations and construction activities across Canada and the United States. Board members are sent daily updates about pertinent stay-at-home orders and provided with health and safety resources to help evolve existing practices to address the potential risk of COVID-19 infections.

Justin Koscher

PIMA is collaborating with allied roofing and insulation industry organizations while also transforming planned in-person association gatherings, such as its annual Mid-Year Meeting, into virtual events that are designed to deliver critical updates and offer valuable perspectives about the impact of current events on the building industry.

– Justin Koscher, President

Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA)

At the start of the pandemic, RCMA staff was on the front lines of an ever-changing landscape of policies designed to slow the spread of COVID-19. As the pandemic continued, we remain committed to mitigating the impact these policies had on the roofing industry and providing continued, uninterrupted support for our members. Staff provided remote support for advocacy initiatives that were unaffected by the pandemic and provided updates related to decision making at local, state, and federal levels.

Dan Quinonez

Our membership in the Back to Work on America’s Roofs coalition is an opportunity to foster consumer confidence in the roofing industry and advance our goal of safely providing uninterrupted service to roofs, the first line of defense against the elements. We will continue to serve the needs of our members as we move forward in the economic restart of the United States.

– Dan Quinonez, Executive Director

Single Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI)

Linda King

The SPRI office has remained open to support our members. Quarterly meetings were changed to WebEx meetings that membership felt were very effective, and committees have continued to have conference calls and online meetings to advance the association’s work. SPRI hosted a conference call for members where Tom Saeli, CEO of Duro-Last, shared how his company pivoted a manufacturing facility to produce PPE gowns and masks, which provided ideas and inspiration for other manufacturers to explore how they may also be able to assist in the ongoing COVID-19 relief efforts. Through the SPRI website and its e-newsletter, we continue to share information as our members head back to work under drastically different conditions then what they left a few months ago.

– Linda King, Managing Director

Tile Roofing Industry Alliance (TRI)

In addition to collaborating with the Back to Work on America’s Roofs coalition, TRI has provided real-time information on COVID-19 legislation and administrative actions to our members. This has been done through special reports on new paid leave requirements, Paycheck Protection Program loans, tax breaks, federal augmentation of state unemployment insurance program benefits, and guidelines and enforcement memos from OSHA on dealing with COVID-19 in construction.

Rick Olson

In addition, TRI belongs to the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC), which produced a COVID-19 Exposure Preparedness and Response Plan. TRI also voiced concerns to Congress with other CISC members that forcing OSHA to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19 would not help workers and would hurt the economic recovery. TRI continues to develop best practices for installation that prioritize worker safety.

– Rick Olson, President

SPRI Announces Updated ANSI/SPRI RP-4, ‘Wind Design Standard for Ballasted Single-Ply Roofing Systems’

SPRI, the association representing sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry, announced that ANSI/SPRI RP-4 “Wind Design Standard for Ballasted Single-Ply Roofing Systems” has been revised and reapproved as an American National Standard.

This standard was developed as a reference for the design, specification and installation of ballasted single-ply roofing systems. Effective with the 2021 edition of the International Building Code it will be the sole reference for the design of ballasted single ply roof systems. Before 2019, the standard was last revised and reaffirmed in 2013.

The standard was revised to comply with the current American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) document, ASCE 7-16 “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.” The standard includes information on performance of pavers when exposed to wind loads; guidance on the impact of the air space under the paver when using paver/pedestal systems; and, guidance on design of ballasted systems for buildings over 150 feet in height.

The new standard is available for download free of charge at https://www.spri.org

SPRI Honors Volunteers

Each year, SPRI, the trade association representing sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry, honors those volunteers who have gone above and beyond in devoting their time and talents to the association. Nominations for these honorees are solicited from the membership, and the Member Services Chair and the President of SPRI make the selections.

The 2020 honoree, Brian Chamberlain of Carlisle Construction Materials. LLC., was instrumental in the updating of the SPRI Wind Design Seminar and has taken on a role as presenter of SPRI programing in multiple venues. His technical knowledge presentation skills are instrumental in his success in this role.

Retiring SPRI technical director Mike Ennis, was presented with SPRI’s President’s Award and Honorary Lifetime SPRI membership. With 14 years at SPRI, Ennis became the face of SPRI, known throughout the industry for his technical expertise, fairness, and welcoming nature. 

For more information, visit www.spri.org.

SPRI Announces New Officers and Directors

SPRI, the trade association representing sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry, has selected Michael Hubbard as President for the 2020-2022 term. SPRI’s members elected Hubbard at the association’s 38th Annual Conference and Business Meeting in Clearwater Beach, FL. 

Hubbard currently serves Director of Global Product Development at Firestone Building Products Co., LLC in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I am honored and excited to enter such a role at SPRI and I look forward to working with all of our members to continue SPRI’s work of developing industry standards and expanding our technical reach,” said Hubbard.
During the meeting, SPRI’s membership also elected the following slate of officers and directors for the association’s 2020-2022 membership years:

  • President: Michael Hubbard, Firestone Building Products Co., LLC 
  • President-elect: Brad Van Dam, Metal-Era Inc.
    Treasurer: Scott Carpenter, SFS intec

Associate Directors include: 

  • Chris Mader, OMG Roofing Products
  • Zach Priest, PRI-Construction Materials Technologies, LLC 
  • CJ Sharp, ICP Buildings Solutions Group
  • Brad Van Dam, Metal-Era, Inc.

For more information, visit www.spri.org.

SPRI Releases Retrofit Drain Standard and Plans to Canvass ANSI/SPRI IA-1

SPRI, the association representing sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry, announced that its ANSI/SPRI RD-1 “Performance Standard for Retrofit Drains” document has been revised and reaffirmed as an American National Standard. 

ANSI/SPRI RD-1 is a reference for those who design, specify or install retrofit roof drains, which are designed for installation in existing drain plumbing on existing roofs. This standard does not include consideration of all roof storm water drainage code requirements for specific building sites. 

SPRI developed the ANSI/SPRI RD-1 standard for use by architects, engineers, consultants, roofing contractors and property owners of low-slope roofing systems in 2004, and it was last revised and re-approved as an ANSI standard in 2014. The standard is now available for download at no cost at www.spri.org

In addition, SPRI announced that it is reviewing ANSI/SPRI IA-1 “Standard Field Test Procedure for Determining the Mechanical Uplift Resistance of Insulation Adhesives over Various Substrates” and plans to canvass the document for re-affirmation as an American National Standard in the coming months. 

This standard specifies a field-testing procedure to determine the mechanical uplift resistance of specific roof insulation/adhesive combinations. The testing procedure, which encompasses 

various types of adhesives, substrates and insulations, was first approved as a national standard in 2005 and again in 2010 and 2014. 

IA-1 is being re-canvassed as required by the American National Standards Institute’s policy that all National Standards must be re-evaluated every five years. Interested party may participate in the canvass process by e-mailing SPRI’s headquarters at info@spri.org or by calling 781-647-7026.

SPRI Appoints New Technical Director

SPRI, the association representing sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry, has announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Randall E. Ober as Technical Director. Ober brings more than 35 years of commercial roofing experience to SPRI, and he possesses a wide range of expertise in single-ply materials, the development of new roofing systems, acquisition of code approvals, and promotion of products.

Ober opened his own consulting company, Mr. HeatWeld Consulting Services LLC, in 2016. For the 33 years prior, he held a number of senior positions at Carlisle SynTec Incorporated, including many facets of project management and project engineering. In addition to years of corporate experience, Ober possesses a history of distinguished volunteer work. He currently serves in a number of leadership roles within the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM) and is a past recipient of the ASTM Award of Merit and Distinguished Leadership Award.

“I am thrilled to serve as Technical Director of SPRI,” Ober said. “I know I have big shoes to fill in taking the reins from Mike Ennis, but my 35-plus years in the commercial roofing industry has prepared me to be an effective advocate for the SPRI membership.”

Ober replaces Ennis, who has served as SPRI Technical Director for the past 13 years. Ennis began his association with SPRI as an employee of Dow Chemical. He served on a number of committees and task forces, as well as President for the 2004/2005 membership year. After becoming active in SPRI’s Board of Directors and Technical Committees, Ennis became Technical Director in 2007.

“Randy will do an outstanding job as Technical Director of SPRI,” said Ennis. “He is well known for his ability to work as part of a collaborative team and lead that team to consensus. This ability will greatly serve the members of SPRI.”

According to the organization, Ennis will work closely with incoming Technical Director Ober to ensure a smooth transition upon his retirement.

For more information, visit www.spri.org.

SPRI Reports Six Years of Steady Single-Ply Roofing Growth

The Single-Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI) announced that the U.S. Single Ply roofing industry grew a steady 1.1 percent in 2018, as reported by SPRI’s membership. The 2018 gains follow a six-year trend of continued expansion in the commercial roofing market, according to statistics compiled by SPRI. Since 2012, the total commercial roofing market has grown in excess of 40 percent.

SPRI membership comprises 70 companies in the commercial roofing industry, including 19 commercial membrane manufacturers that participate in volume reporting. SPRI member companies report shipments for several classifications of flexible roof membranes: thermoset, thermoplastic, APP modified bitumen, and SBS modified bitumen. Regular & Associate SPRI members enjoy access to this invaluable, proprietary report tracking these key industry product shipments.

In 2018, the fastest growing segment of the market was thermoplastic roof membranes, which grew 3.8 percent.

“With the growth in single-ply membranes, SPRI’s commitment to delivering education, research and standards through its collection of commercial roofing industry experts, plays an important part in ensuring long-term sustainable growth.”said Zebonie Sukle, SPRI President,“Being a part of SPRI is being a part of helping to shape this fantastic industry.”

Regionally, year-to-year shipments decreased -0.4 percent in the Western U.S. The North Central region declined -2.8 percent. Shipments in the South grew 1.2 percent, and Northeast volume grew +9.2 percent

The single-ply roofing industry saw its largest localized growth in Vermontand West Virginia; SPRI members report shipments at both the national and state level in the United States, and Canadian volume nationally. 

Together, SPRI members develop industry standards, sponsor research, publish informative guidelines and publications for the commercial roofing industry, and continue to advance roofing technology. Technical and educational efforts have branded SPRI as a leading force in the commercial roofing market. 

For more information visit www.SPRI.org

SPRI Elects New Directors and Honors Members for Service

SPRI, the trade association representing sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry, elected four directors to its board and honored members at the association’s 37th Annual Conference and Business Meeting, held in Tucson, Arizona.

During the meeting, SPRI’s membership elected the following slate of officers and Directors for the association’s 2019-2021 membership years:

Associate Directors include Scott Carpenter, SFS intec; Stan Choiniere, StanCConsulting; Bob LeClare, ATAS International; and Ron Reed, Intertek.

The following officers will continue to serve SPRI for a second year: Zebonie Sukle, Johns Manville, President; Brad Van Dam, Metal-Era Inc., Treasurer; Mike Hubbard, Firestone Building Products Co., LLC, President-elect; and Jim Rubenaker, Sika Sarnafil, Immediate Past President.

Each year, SPRI honors those volunteers who have gone above-and-beyond in devoting their time and talents to the association. Nominations for these honorees are solicited from the membership, and the Member Services Chair and the President of SPRI make the selections.

The first honoree is Mike Darsch of Sika Sarnafil. Darsch, a new participant in SPRI, took on a leadership role chairing a Task Force responsible for the updating and canvassing of SPRI ANSI Standard VR-1, Procedure for Investigating Resistance to Root Penetration on Vegetative Roofs. Working on a canvass requires meticulous attention to detail and significant patience, qualities in which Darsch excels.

The second honoree is David R. Hawn of Dedicated Roof & Hydro Solutions. Hawn was honored for his work on behalf of SPRI in starting the Wetting Curves: Acceptable Roof Material Performance at Elevated Moisture Content Task Forcein 2013This Task Force is in the testing phase of the project. Hawn’s participation on this project and his input on so many others have represented a significant contribution of his time and knowledge.

SPRI veteran Al Janni of Duro-Last Roofing Inc. was presented with SPRI’s President’s Award this year. This award was created to recognize the exemplary service of a volunteer. During more than 15 years at SPRI, Janni chaired many technical task forces, served as chair of the Member Services committee, as a Director, and President. Janni has supported SPRI through his exceptional volunteer efforts, representing the values and priorities of the organization, while fostering the cooperative spirit that helps SPRI achieve its goals.

For more information, visit www.spri.org.

SPRI President Zebonie Sukle of Johns Manville presents Al Janni of Duro-Last Roofing Inc. with SPRI’s President’s Award at its 37th Annual Conference and Business Meeting. (Photo courtesy of SPRI.)

SPRI Elects Sukle as President for 2018-2020 Term

SPRI has selected Zebonie Sukle as President for the 2018-2020 term. SPRI’s members elected Sukle at the association’s 36th Annual Conference and Business Meeting, held Jan. 13-15 in Clearwater Beach, FL.

Sukle currently serves as Director of Technology Roofing Systems Group at Johns Manville, a Berkshire Hathaway Company in Denver, CO.

“I am honored and excited to enter such a role at SPRI and I look forward to working with all of our members to continue SPRI’s work of developing industry standards and expanding our technical reach.” says Sukle.

During the meeting, SPRI’s membership also elected the following slate of officers and directors for the association’s 2018-2020 membership years:

  • President, Zebonie Sukle, Johns Manville
  • President-elect, Michael Hubbard, Firestone Building Products Co, LLC
  • Treasurer, Brad Van Dam, Metal-Era Inc.

Associate Directors

  • Bob Reel, Royal Adhesives (third term)
  • CJ Sharp, Georgia-Pacific (second term)
  • Brad Van Dam (second term)
  • Chris Mader, OMG Roofing Products

SPRI also recognized two of its members for outstanding contributions to the industry. Peter C. Garrigus, Vice President Engineering at Altenloh Brink & Co., Inc., was recognized for his thought-leadership and dedication in facilitating the development of an industry coalition charged with determining the impact on wind loads on flexible roofs systems and to develop appropriate load factors to apply to wind loads calculated by ASCE7. Garrigus was also recognized for his service on the SPRI Board of Directors.

Also recognized was Michelle Miller, Marketing Manager at FiberTite Roofing Solutions, for the guidance she provided in development of SPRI’s new website with an eye toward content relevance and the next generation of users. Michelle started from the design base and applied her marketing skills to shape the site into a vehicle to educate and promote our industry partners

For more information, visit www.spri.org.

SPRI Updates and Improves Roof Edge Standards

Low-slope metal perimeter edge details, including fascia, coping and gutters, are critical systems that can strongly impact the long-term performance of single-ply roofs. Photo: Johns Manville

The effect of high winds on roofs is a complex phenomenon, and inadequate wind uplift design is a common factor in roofing failures. Damage from wind events has historically been dramatic, and wind-induced roof failure is one of the major contributors to insurance claims.

Roofing professionals have long recognized the importance of proper low-slope roof edge and gutter designs, particularly in high-wind conditions. For this reason, SPRI, the association representing sheet membrane and component suppliers to the commercial roofing industry, has spent more than a decade enhancing testing and design standards for these roofing details.

SPRI introduced the first version of its landmark standard, ANSI/SPRI/ES-1 “Wind Design Standard for Edge Systems Used with Low Slope Roofing Systems” in 1998. Since then, the association has continually revised, re-designated and re-approved the document as an ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard.

Testing of edge securement per ANSI/SPRI ES-1 is required per the International Building Code (IBC), which has been adopted by every state in the country.

This standard provides the basic requirements for wind-load resistance design and testing for roof-edge securement, perimeter edge systems, and nailers. It also provides minimum edge system material thicknesses that lead to satisfactory flatness, and designs to minimize corrosion.

Construction professionals have been successfully using the standard, along with the specifications and requirements of roofing membrane and edge system manufacturers to strengthen their wind designs.

Until recently, the biggest news on the wind design front was the approval of ANSI/SPRI/FM 4435/ES-1, “Wind Design Standard for Edge Systems Used with Low-slope Roofing Systems.” Let’s call it “4435/ES-1” for short. SPRI knew recent post-hurricane investigations by the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues (RICOWI) and investigations of losses by FM Global consistently showed that, in many cases, damage to a low-slope roof system during high-wind events begins when the edge of the assembly becomes disengaged from the building. Once this occurs, the components of the roof system (membrane, insulation, etc.) are exposed. Damage then propagates across the entire roof system by peeling of the roof membrane, insulation, or a combination of the two.

Recognizing that edge metal is a leading cause of roof failures, SPRI has redoubled its efforts to create a series of new and revised documents for ANSI approval. As has always been the case, ANSI endorsement is a critical step toward the ultimate goal of getting these design criteria included in the IBC.

A Systems Approach to Enhancing Roof Edge Design

Roofing professionals understand that successful roof design requires the proper integration of a wide variety of roofing materials and components. For years, leading roofing manufacturers have taken a “systems” approach to their product lines. Recently, SPRI has zeroed in on the roof edge. Low-slope, metal perimeter edge details include fascia, coping and gutters, are critical systems that can strongly impact the long-term performance of single-ply roofs.

As part of the ES-1 testing protocol, RE-3 tests upward and outward simultaneous pull of a horizontal and vertical flanges of a parapet coping cap. Photo: OMG Edge Systems

SPRI first addressed roof gutters in 2010 with the development of ANSI/SPRI GD-1. The testing component of this document was recently separated out to create a test standard and a design standard. The test standard, GT-1, “Test Standard for Gutter Systems,” which was approved as an American National Standard on May 25, 2016.

Similarly, SPRI has revised 4435/ES-1 to only be a test standard.

Making both edge standards (4435/ES-1 and GT-1) into standalone testing documents makes it easier for designers, contractors and building code officials to reference the testing requirements needed for metal roof edge systems.

IBC requires that perimeter edge metal fascia and coping (excluding gutters), be tested per the three test methods, referred to as RE-1, RE-2 and RE-3 in the ES-1 standard. The design elements of ES-1 were never referenced in code, which caused some confusion as to how ES-1 was to be applied. The latest version of 4435/ES-1 (2017) only includes the tests referenced in code to eliminate that confusion.

Test methods in 4435/ES-1 2017 have the same names (RE-1, RE-2, and RE-3), and use the same test method as 4435/ES-1 2011. Because there are no changes to the test methods, any edge system tested to the 2011 version would not need to be retested using the 2017 version.

FM Global’s input was instrumental in the changes in 2011 when ANSI/SPRI ES-1 incorporated components of FM 4435 to become 4435/ES-1. However, there are no additional FM related changes in the latest 4435/ES-1 standard.

This gravel stop is being tested according to the ANSI/SPRI ES-1 standard using the RE-2 test for fascia systems. Photo: OMG Edge Systems

Per ANSI requirements, 4435/ES-1 2011 needed to be re-balloted, which is required by ANSI every five years. SPRI took this opportunity to have it approved as a test standard only to eliminate the confusion referenced above. FM Global was consulted and indicated it wanted to keep “FM” in the title. (FM was on the canvas list for the test standard and actually uses it as its own test standard.)

With 4435/ES-1 becoming a test standard for coping and fascia only, and GT-1 being a test standard for gutters, SPRI determined that a separate edge design standard was needed. Meet ED-1, a design standard for metal perimeter edge systems.

The design portions of the ES-1 edge and the GD-1 gutter standards have been combined and are now referenced by SPRI as ED-1. It has been developed and is currently being canvassed as an ANSI standard that will provide guidance for designing all perimeter edge metal including fascia, coping, and gutters.

ED-1 will be canvassed per the ANSI process later this year. However, SPRI is not planning to submit ED-1 for code approval.

SPRI ED-1 will include:

Material Design

  • Nailer attachment
  • Proper coverage
  • Recommended material thicknesses
  • Galvanic compatibility
  • Thermal movement
  • Testing requirements
  • “Appliance” attachment to edge systems

Limited Wind Design

  • Load to be required by the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).
  • Tables similar to those included in 4435/ES-1 will be included for reference.

If this sounds a tad complex, imagine the design work required by the dedicated members of SPRI’s various subcommittees.

The Test Methods in Detail

The GT-1 standard is the newest, so let’s tackle this one first. As noted above, the ANSI/SPRI GT-1 test standard was developed by SPRI and received ANSI Approval in May of 2016. Testing of roof gutters is not currently required by IBC; however, field observations of numerous gutter failures in moderate to high winds, along with investigations by RICOWI following hurricanes have shown that improperly designed or installed gutters frequently fail in high wind events. GT-1 provides a test method that can be used by manufacturers of gutters, including contractors that brake or roll-form gutters, to determine if the gutter will resist wind design loads. Installing gutters tested to resist anticipated wind forces can give contractors peace of mind, and may provide a competitive advantage when presented to the building owner.

This gutter is being tested using the test method specified in ANSI/SPRI GD-1, “Design Standard for Gutter Systems Used with Low-Slope Roofs.” Photo: OMG Edge Systems

GT-1 tests full size and length samples (maximum 12 feet 0 inches) of gutter with brackets, straps, and fasteners installed per the gutter design. It is critical that the gutter be installed with the same brackets, straps, and fasteners, at the same spacing and locations as per the tested design to assure the gutter will perform in the field as tested. The fabricator should also label the gutter and/or provide documentation that the gutter system has been tested per GT-1 to resist the design loads required.

GT-1 consists primarily of three test methods (G-1, G-2, and G-3). Test method G-1 tests the resistance to wind loads acting outwardly on the face of the gutter, and G-2 tests the resistance to wind loads acting upwardly on the bottom of the gutter. G-3 tests resistance to the loads of ice and water acting downwardly on the bottom of the gutter.

Tests G-1 and G-2 are cycled (load, relax, increase load) tests to failure in both the original GD-1 standard and the new GT-1. The only change being that in GD-1 the loads are increased in increments of 10 lbf/ft2 (pound force per square foot) from 0 to failure, and in GT-1 they are increased in increments of 15 lbs/lf (pounds per linear foot) from 0 to 60 lbs/lf, then in 5 lbs/lf increments from above 60 lbs/lf to failure.

Note also that the units changed from lbf/ft2 (pound force per square foot) to lbs/lf (pounds per linear foot), which was done so that the tests could be run using the test apparatus loads without having to convert to pressures.

The GT-1 standard specifies a laboratory method for static testing external gutters. However, testing of gutters with a circular cross-section is not addressed in the standard, nor does the standard address water removal or the water-carrying capability of the gutter. In addition, downspouts and leaders are not included in the scope of the standard.

SPRI intends to submit ANSI/SPRI GT-1 for adoption in the next IBC code cycle.

As referenced above, IBC requires that perimeter edge metal (fascia and coping), excluding gutters, be tested per three test methods, referred to as RE-1, RE-2 and RE-3 in the ES-1 standard.

RE-1 tests the ability of the edge to secure a billowing membrane, and is only required for mechanically attached or ballasted membrane roof systems when there is no peel stop (seam plate or fasteners within 12 inches of the roof edge). RE-2 tests the outward pull for the horizontal face of an edge device. RE-3 tests upward and outward simultaneous pull on the horizontal and vertical sides of a parapet coping cap.

Calculating Roof Edge Design Pressures

All versions of ANSI/SPRI ES-1 and ANSI/SPRI GD-1, the 2011 version of ANSI/SPRI 4435/ES-1, and the new ED-1 standard all provide design information for calculating roof edge design pressures. These design calculations are based on ASCE7 (2005 and earlier), and consider the wind speed, building height, building exposure (terrain), and building use.

A gravel stop failure observed during roof inspections after Hurricane Ike in Sept. 2008. Photo: OMG Edge Systems

However, as stated above, IBC requires that the load calculation be per Chapter 16 of code, so the SPRI design standards are intended only as a reference for designers, fabricators, and installers of metal roof edge systems.

ES-1-tested edge metal is currently available from pre-manufactured suppliers, membrane manufacturers and metal fabricators that have tested their products at an approved laboratory.

The roofing contractor can also shop-fabricate edge metal, as long as the final product is tested by an approved testing service. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has performed lab testing and maintains a certification listing for specific edge metal flashings using Intertek Testing Services, N.A. Visit www. nrca.net/rp/technical/details/files/its details.pdf for further details.

A list of shop fabricators that have obtained a sub-listing from NRCA to fabricate the tested edge metal products are also available at www. nrca.net/rp/technical/details/files/its details/authfab.aspx.

SPRI Continues to Take Lead Role in Wind Testing

As far back as 1998, SPRI broke ground with its ANSI/SPRI/ES-1 document addressing design and testing of low-slope perimeter edge metal. Today, the trade association has a variety of design documents at the roofing professional’s disposal, and is working to get ED-1 approved as an Edge Design Standard to be used for low-slope metal perimeter edge components that include fascia, coping and gutters.

All current and previously approved ANSI/SPRI standards can be accessed directly by visiting https://www.spri.org/publications/policy.htm.

For more information about SPRI and its activities, visit www.spri.org or contact the association at info@spri.org.