When Architectural Roofing & Waterproofing teamed up with national engineering firm Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) to offer ARW Live, our goal was to offer a day-long series of educational courses with an intense focus on building-envelope design — an enhanced “lunch and learn” event with not one but five educational courses on the topics of commercial roofing, insulation and waterproofing.

The inaugural ARW Live event, which was held May 14 at SGH’s state-of-the-art office and conference center in Waltham, Mass., offered a unique opportunity to learn from industry experts about the keys to designing a well-integrated, energy-efficient building envelope that will stand up to the elements. But the information did not just flow one way. The diverse gathering of 65 industry professionals included architects, contractors, engineers, consultants, manufacturers and building owners, and the array of perspectives made for some interesting questions and lively debate. But the tone was never adversarial. All of these stakeholders share the same goal: keeping water out of structures and making sure all buildings meet or exceed the requirements of the owner.

This theme of a collaborative approach to building design was central to the day’s first session on building enclosure commissioning, presented by Peter Babaian, associate principal at SGH. He detailed how a third-party commissioning agent can improve the lines of communication and ensure not only proper design but proper installation and testing of all phases of the building. “Repairs are disruptive and costly,” Babaian said. “We need to manage the risk.”

Reducing risk was really the underlying theme of every presentation at ARW Live. We’d like to thank SGH for hosting this event, as well as our speakers and sponsors — The Dow Chemical Company, Polyglass USA Inc., Sika Sarnafil and Georgia-Pacific Gypsum. We’d also like to thank our attendees for taking time out of their busy schedules to join us. Here’s hoping the collaborative effort continues to pay dividends into the future.