Roofers involved with metal or wanting to know more about this busy market look to METALCON International as their primary source of new information and ideas about metal roofing.
METALCON is the only annual conference and exhibition dedicated to metal construction products, technologies and solutions. The 21st annual METALCON International takes place Oct. 11-13, 2011 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta. Themed “Constant Evolution,” the 2011 show marks 21 years of constant evolution of the industry and this event, which is sponsored by the Metal Construction Association and supported by more than 100 related industry groups.
Education From Experts
Education and ideas at METALCON come in all forms with an unbeatable blend of product exhibits, a comprehensive education conference, and several different live-action demos highlighting the latest field techniques and trends. Many of the industry experts in the education programs and the product exhibits at METALCON began their careers in the field and continually help strengthen field talent and expand business opportunities for roofing contractors by sharing their knowledge with contractors.
One of those, Rob Haddock, heads the Metal Roof Advisory Group Ltd., Colorado Springs, Colo., and teaches “Understanding Metal Roofing, Parts I and II,” which are two of METALCON’s most popular programs. “Frequently I get comments from contractors in the field that after attending my seminar they got into metal roofing. This session kind of demystifies metal roofing, so once they understand more about it they aren’t afraid anymore and are ready to take the plunge,” said Haddock.
So why is metal roofing growing in popularity? According to Haddock, the answer hinges on education and metal’s environmental benefits. “Market penetration for metal roofing continues to increase in commercial and more so in residential. This is due to the growing awareness of metal’s superior durability as a roofing material and its appeal to the market’s environmental influences. It particularly has appeal when solar is incorporated into the roof design because of the fact that metal is the only roof type that will outlast solar. There’s also an increased use of natural metals, primarily zinc. And the trend toward portable site forming continues to grow; the site forming suppliers are doing more and more to make those systems user friendly and code compliant.”
Roofing techniques and details are also covered by Jerry Iselin, Founder of Metal Roof Specialties, Inc., Tacoma, Wash., in “Penetration Flashings for Residential Standing Seam Roofing,” an interactive session with visual real-life examples of correct and incorrect installation of skylights, chimney, furnace vent, power mast and other flashings that generate problems for installers.
“This year’s session has a new format. It focuses more on the technical detail for roof penetrations. That’s where a lot of people unfamiliar with metal roofing get confused. They don’t know what to do because the techniques are so different for metal than for other types of roofing,” Iselin said.
This session is sponsored by the Metal Roofing Alliance, an organization that promotes the use of metal roofing for the residential market. “The residential re-roof market is picking up because people who have been waiting to make a decision are now deciding to do it,” Iselin added. “Metal is also becoming more desired in this market because more people recognize the environmental benefits, such as metal’s ability to help cool the home, provide water catchment and protect it from extreme conditions such as high winds, hurricanes, and fire. Also, about 10 years ago many people didn’t think of metal for a home. Now it’s more popular and we’re seeing more of it, especially on newer high-end homes because it’s also so attractive.”
Live Demonstrations: New Products in Action
The education continues in daily live demonstrations presented by members of the Metal Construction Association. These industry experts bring to life the latest product applications, field techniques and trends that construction professionals are looking for to hone their skills and expand their businesses.
These demonstrations offer detailed techniques for residential roof, commercial roof and wall panel systems along with commercial-grade tools for bending, cutting and fastening that attendees will actually be able to work with during the show. The entire demonstration area will be open for attendees to walk through during exhibit hall hours.
This year’s program has some new features. “We’re focusing more on the educational aspect of the demos. Now tools are part of each day’s session, rather than just part of one day. Every day we’ll have various experts showing the latest tools and techniques in a special area. We’re also putting more seating by the demos to allow the audience to stay and focus on the education aspect that is integral to all of METALCON activities,” said Dale Nelson, who chairs the MCA’s METALCON Liaison Committee and is President of Roof Hugger, Inc., Odessa, Fla. and a long-time METALCON exhibitor.
This year’s demo times were shortened to accommodate visitors’ busy schedules while still allowing attendees to ask questions and have one-on-one discussions with experts.
Residential metal roofing demos will focus on the basics with an emphasis on proper deck preparation and how to waterproof roof penetrations such as ventilation pipes, skylights and chimney openings. The differences of detailing with vertically applied panels versus horizontally applied shingle metal products will also be covered.
Commercial roofing demos will focus on retrofit opportunities with metal and the integration of new energy efficient technologies such as cool roofing, above sheathing ventilation and photovoltaic systems. Detailing used with natural metal materials such as copper and zinc will also be discussed.
The metal wall panel segment covers the latest in wall panel designs and systems such as metal composite materials, insulated metal panels, single skin systems, natural metals such as zinc and sun shading systems. Waterproofing techniques and rain screen principles will also be covered.
Metal’s many environmental benefits are highlighted in the conference program, the exhibits and two special exhibit areas — Solar Bay, a special pavilion featuring educational forums and demos about metal and solar technology, and Green Island, an exhibit area featuring metal-related products that meet green building standards.
A fantastic new session shows metal roofing contractors a unique opportunity to use existing technology to expand their business, improve energy efficiency, and tap into the solar market. Titled “Integrating Building Envelope Roof Technologies” and presented by Scott Kriner, President, Green Metal Consulting, Inc., and Mark James, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Roof Hugger, Inc., the program details how various technologies can be pooled into one system.
Kriner explains the system this way: “The concept starts with retrofitting an existing roof with a metal roof using sub-purlins. This introduces above sheathing ventilation, and allows the addition of a radiant barrier and insulation if needed. Before putting on the new roof, a solar water heating system can be placed on the existing roof to heat water for use inside the building. Laminated thin-film PVs or mechanically attached PVS can be placed on the new roof to produce electricity. Additionally, rainwater harvesting can be safely achieved since the new roof is metal.”
He also noted that although this may not be a turnkey operation for a single contractor, metal roofing contractors who are familiar with retrofit and interested in solar could easily hook up with a solar supplier or integrator to capture more business from two of the busiest market segments – retrofit and solar. A real-life, 20-month demonstration project using this technology is currently in progress at a U.S. Air Force base in Texas and a mock up of the system will be displayed at METALCON.
New Business Opportunities
Sessions also cover business topics that can help contractors gain more opportunities, think about adding more services, brush up on management techniques and take a new look at financial and banking relationships.
Two programs focus on capturing business in government and green markets and take place on opening day, Oct. 11. The keynote address, “Metal and High-Performance Green Buildings,” will be presented by Kevin Kampschroer, Director, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, U.S. Government Services Administration. Greg Goodwin, Founder and President of Goodwin Marketing Group LLC, discusses “A Sustainable Approach to Successfully Winning Work With the Federal Government.”
Although this may not seem like a prime time to seek government projects, this still represents a stable market particularly for sustainability and high-performance buildings.
METALCON Show Director Claire Kilcoyne noted metal’s role in these areas. “As metal’s place in sustainable projects continues to gain prominence, we recognize the need to educate our audience more about opportunities in this market and how to prepare to meet them. We also know that government work is increasingly focused on green, so we lined up experts to discuss these important topics. We’re looking forward to this interesting program and are confident it will set the stage for growth in the metal industry.”
These sessions provide attendees with a firm foundation on the overall federal marketplace and the growing importance of developing more high-performance buildings as well as specific strategies for entering the federal marketplace or expanding their market share with federal clients.
For more information about METALCON visit www.metalcon.com. To register call 800-537-7765.
Learn More About Metal Roofing
METALCON International offers a number of educational sessions that may be of particular interest to roofing contractors. The complete 33-session conference program is contained in the METALCON Ticket to the Show insert, which is tipped onto page 23 of this issue. It also contains an offer for free admission to the show. The full schedule and descriptions of each session are available online at www.metalcon.com.