Category: <span>Construction</span>

RT3 member RoofersCoffeeShop® wins at 2019 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards

RT3 member RoofersCoffeeShop®, the award-winning place where the industry meets for technology, information and everyday business, announced that it is a winner of the 2019 Folio: Eddie Award for Website B2B Building & Construction.  They also received an honorable mention in the B2B Social Media/Online Community category.

As a 2019 winner, RoofersCoffeeShop (RCS) is recognized among the crème de la crème in the publishing industry. This year’s awards saw publishers, editors, content creators and designers competing from across all forms of print and digital publishing.  Winners were narrowed down from more than 2,500 entries. The Coffee Shop has been an industry staple for roofing professionals since 2002.  In 2017, RCS also received an honorable mention for B2B Website/Online Community in the Construction & Manufacturing category.

For more than 25 years, the Eddie & Ozzie Awards have recognized excellence in uncompromising journalism and gorgeous design across all sectors of the publishing industry—and 2019 was no different!  Over 300 magazine and digital media professionals from all over the country gathered in New York City on October 30, 2019 at the Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards to celebrate the B2B, consumer and regional brands who competed for the prestigious honor.

“We are incredibly proud,” stated Vickie Sharples, RoofersCoffeeShop Partner.  “We have worked very hard to create strong content and interesting information that helps roofing contractors every day run a better business.  We also think it is critical to celebrate the roofing industry, the professionalism and character of the men and women who make this trade strong.  To be recognized for that by Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Awards is a great honor.”

RCS continues to grow with its addition of the RLW – Read Listen Watch initiative, tri-lingual website, classified expansion into Canada and a full analytics dashboard.  The ongoing coverage of the roofing industry by the RCS team continues to inform, educate and entertain. For more information visit RCS at www.rooferscoffeeshop.com .

About RoofersCoffeeShop.com
As an award-winning website and online community, RoofersCoffeeShop is committed to being a roofing professional advocate by supplying consistent information, education and communication avenues for all roofing professionals, and especially contractors, while promoting the positive growth, education and success of the roofing industry overall. Visitors to the site continue to find excellent opportunities for sharing information while participating in important ongoing conversations concerning new technologies, safety and the overall roofing trade. From the rooftop to the board room, RoofersCoffeeShop.com is “Where the Industry Meets!” For more information, visit www.rooferscoffeeshop.com.

About Folio
Folio: is a multi-channel resource for the magazine and online media industry. Our primary mission is to help media companies generate revenue and increase audience engagement.  For more information, please visit www.FolioMag.com.

Streamlining estimating and leveraging technology on the roof

By Karen L. Edwards

After seeing a new technology at the International Roofing Expo, this company adapted it to fit their needs, improving estimating and eliminating errors.

Have you ever heard of a Technology Innovation Specialist at a roofing company? Meet Lisa Garcia. She is that specialist at Tremco Roofing and Weatherproofing Technologies, Inc. (WTI). Lisa recently completed the rollout of a unique technology application that has streamlined the company’s estimating, reporting and ordering processes and she did it nationwide in just two years’ time.

It began in 2017, when company Vice President Mardee Billingsley was attending the International Roofing Expo (IRE) where she met the team from RoofSnap. RoofSnap offers a mobile app designed to let contractors use aerial imagery of steep slope roofs and outline the roof area to obtain accurate measurements. While geared toward the residential contractor, Mardee recognized that there was an opportunity to use this on commercial roofs. After she returned from the IRE, she needed to find someone who could bring her vision to life. That person was Lisa.

Lisa wasn’t a stranger to technology or Tremco. She had been at the company for 12 years and spent time teaching contractors about technology. Developing an app for commercial estimating and determining the number of materials needed for a job was a natural next step. Lisa was able to meet with the RoofSnap team in person several times since their office was a few hours’ drive from hers.

“This was an app originally developed for shingle roofing, so we had to create our own system for commercial roofing,” explained Lisa. “They did a lot of development for us to make it work.”

Figuring out the coverage rates for the products and developing the formulas that the app would use also was Lisa’s responsibility. “I am not a big fan of math, but it was good to be able to accomplish this because I not only learned a lot, I proved to myself that even though I might not like math, I was still capable of doing it,” said Lisa. “I had to teach myself how to use Photoshop so I could get all the product photos into the app.”

In about four months, the app was ready for use. They selected 10 supervisors from each of their regions around the country for a pilot program. While feedback was good, it wasn’t long before they realized that the supervisors weren’t the best pilot group since they weren’t always the ones preparing estimates. A second pilot was conducted with those who do the most estimating and the results were great.

By using the app, estimators are able to use the aerial imagery of the building to obtain measurements, drop pins to indicate potential problem areas, select the products and automatically determine the amount of product needed for that building. “This app has really standardized all of our reports,” Lisa said. “Everything is consistent, branded, professional and the finished product is a very nice report.”

The company has rolled the use of the app out over the last year and Lisa said she just finished the last training in July. Feedback has been positive overall. “It’s really helped our estimators be more accurate and more efficient,” Lisa concluded. “It’s been convenient for those estimators who no longer have to put up with traffic in urban areas or who don’t have to make a 200-mile drive to see a building in our more remote areas.”

As the roofing industry advances, consider working for a company that is leading the way in terms of implementing technology not only in their product development but on the roof and in their processes as well.

Stay up to date on the latest roofing industry trends when you sign up for the RT3 Smart Brief e-newsletter. 

Source: RoofersCoffeeShop

RT3 Member John Kenney of Sutter Roofing presented at ENGAGE ’19

Sutter Roofing shared how technology is key driver of their success.

100 construction professionals recently gathered at the third annual ENGAGE global customer conference in Seattle, Washington to share best practices for driving greater operational effectiveness, competitive differentiation and employee safety through the use of technology, specifically the Smartsheet platform.

“Smartsheet is a popular choice in industries where technology adoption can make a tangible difference, and construction is a great example,” said Mike Arntz, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations at Smartsheet. “ENGAGE is the perfect opportunity to gather customers for a conversation on the future of the industry and the role technology will play in shaping it.”

The pressures facing construction companies continue to deepen. As business booms, so does the number, complexity, and duration of projects. Many are turning to technology to remain efficient, innovative and competitive.

One example is Florida-based Sutter Roofing, one of the oldest and largest roofing and sheet metal contractors in the United States. Sutter Roofing Chief Operating Officer and RT3 Member John Kenney headlined the event with a discussion of how Smartsheet is enabling the entire organization to run smoothly while driving customer satisfaction and retention.

“We take pride in being on the forefront of technology in an industry that hasn’t traditionally put a priority on that kind of approach,” said Kenney. “Smartsheet has transformed how our teams execute projects. The response we now get from customers, in a very competitive environment, tells us how central it has become to our continued success.”

Sutter Roofing originally implemented Smartsheet to schedule projects more efficiently. They quickly expanded its use across all business functions, from marketing to fleet management. They also developed a risk management system based on historical data of completed and estimated projects that estimates the chances of success on projects under consideration.

Kenney said the company plans to connect Smartsheet with other critical business applications in the months ahead to increase transparency and speed to insight.

If you weren’t at the event and want to learn more about Sutter Roofing’s success using technology, you can watch John’s webinar here. 

RT3 Members Explore the Innovative World of 3M

By Karen L. Edwards, RT3.

Words aren’t going to do this event justice. There were so many incredible things we learned about 3M while touring their World of Innovation Center and hearing presentations from Maureen Kavanagh, Laboratory Manager and Josh Orman, Strategy and Marketing Manager, both from the Industrial and Mineral Products Division.

From a roofing industry perspective, most of the RT3 members knew that 3M makes the granules that are used in asphalt roofing products. We were also aware that 3M had created some pretty cool granule technologies including algae-resistant and smog-reducing granules (recognized by Time Magazine in 2018 as a Best Invention). What we didn’t realize was how 3M innovations are everywhere. There is a saying that wherever you are, there is probably a 3M product within 10 feet of you.

The World of Innovation was where RT3 members learned about the many innovations and provided a hands-on experience to see many of the technologies and experience how the products worked. We learned a little bit about William L. McKnight, 3M president from 1929 – 1949 and Chairman of the Board from 1949-1966. He was known for the saying “hire good people and leave them alone.” McKnight created a culture of inclusiveness, diversity and innovation.

To this day, 3M employees are encouraged to spend 15 percent of their working hours developing new ideas and solutions. Our host, Maureen, explained in her overview of the company that 3M sees itself as a company that develops solutions to its customers problems. That got the attention of RT3 Members as they headed into breakout sessions to discuss some of the roofing industry issues that 3M might be able to help us solve. There were some creative ideas that came from the session that if possible, could really impact our industry.

The ideas included:

  • Robotic tearoffs
  • 3D manufacturing
  • Tarps that are like Post-it® notes

    Creating safer safety harnesses that predict energy absorption
  • Fastening applications using their adhesives
  • Safety strips for steep-slope roofs
  • Scaffolding in truck to eliminate ladders
  • Sensors in the roof system to eliminate need for core samples
  • Carfax for roof history to see past damage
  • Emergency temporary spray for repairs
  • Insulation that bleeds through membrane if there is a leak for easy identification
  • Pressure seals between layers of insulation to detect leaks
  • Storm kits
  • Full head gear systems for silica safety, fan-force air out and create cool air inside
  • Clothing that prevents heat exhaustion
  • Smog reduction into more materials than granules, i.e. tile
  • Carbon capture technology
  • Printed single ply to resemble shingles, shakes, etc. to increase SRI
  • Retractable lifelines that elevate above the roof
  • Leak detectors under the roof to alert before significant damage occurs
  • Solar integrated roofing systems
  • Ergonomic tape for tools
  • Non-stick, gripping material for work boot soles and roofing materials
  • Granules in spray format to extend roof life and reduce smog for existing roofs
  • Water recapture systems with sanitization
  • Film for over skylights that can support body weight
  • Safety gear that alerts employers if it is removed

After RT3 members shared their ideas for the 15-percent time, the group discussed ideas for future meetup locations and other initiatives, such as the development of a technology-focused podcast. The day concluded with a visit to the 3M Roofing Innovation Center with a tour of how color blends are created and how samples are run to visualize what the new blend would look like on a roof.

It is our hope that by learning about innovations in other industries, it might be possible to adapt those solutions for use in the roofing industry. By meeting with innovators and problem solvers like 3M, we provide insight into the challenges being faced in the roofing industry with the goal of developing new technology solutions that can change the industry and improve health, safety and material performance.

Stay up to date on the latest roofing technology news and happenings when you sign up for the RT3 SmartBrief e-newsletter.

App Aims to Reduce Injuries and Save Lives

By Karen L. Edwards, RT3

A Professor at Glasgow Caledonian University in the UK, Billy Hare, has developed an app geared toward architects and designers to help them improve the health and safety of construction workers, as well as those who will eventually occupy the building.

Using videos and images, the app notes health and safety issues related to a specific building’s design. Hare, a professor in Construction Management in GCU’s School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment, said in an article on the school’s website, “Academics in the past have attempted to create systems that tell architects and designers the ‘safest’ design option, but this approach is too simplistic and those who make design choices don’t work that way.”

“We wanted to create a knowledge database that recognizes there are many design options, and each has its own pros and cons when it comes to health and safety. Therefore, designers can make informed decisions.”

During the research phase of development, Hare worked with a sample of 40 designer, half were new to design and the other half were seasoned designers. They were all asked to review a set of CAD drawing to identify hazards and make design decisions.

The randomly selected half of the sample using the app identified hazards 599 times, or three times more than those who were not using the app.

The project was funded by a grant from grant from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH). According to IOSH up to half of the accident in the UK are related in some way to the building design.

Mary Ogungbeje, Research Manager at IOSH, said in the article, “In today’s age of technology, being able to utilize digital training resources to help designers do just that is great. Such tools can make a real difference in upskilling professionals, irrespective of their level of experience. Architects and civil engineers can identify hazards and come up with better controls when developing and reviewing designs. Ultimately, this will reduce injuries and save lives.”

Hare says that he is now looking for partners to develop the digital prototype so they can release the app for industry-wide use.

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Is it finally time for solar?

By Heidi J. Ellsworth, RCS Partner.

Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy, shares insights on the future of roofing and solar.

For most of my career in roofing, I have been the one who was excited about solar rooftops. But more often than not, I was a bit disappointed that the roofing industry did not out and out own the solar market and make every roof a power source. But it may have not been the right time for it even five years ago. The discussion of who owns the roof when it comes to solar has been debated by roofers, electricians and most of all the solar companies. But every roofing contractor I talk to knows that the roofing professional needs to own the whole roof, but how do we do it?

So, when I had the chance to interview the president of the newly formed GAF Energy, Martin DeBono, I have to say, I was really excited to hear what he had to say.  How was GAF going to make this change in the market?  I knew that GAF has had solar products for the last five years but how was the creation of GAF Energy with Martin DeBono at the helm going to change the market?

Starting out, I wanted to understand more about Martin DeBono.  I found out that he has been working and active in the solar market since 2013 with SunPower Corporation.  He brings a wealth of knowledge about the solar market and also shared that he has been working with one type of contractor or another for fifteen years.  A veteran of the Navy where he was a submarine officer, he has worked with resellers and contractors in several industries.  He believes that success is accomplished when you really understand how to work with partners in order to bring products to market.

In fact, that was one of the key motivations in the formation of GAF Energy.  Standard Industries who owns GAF and now GAF Energy company, saw a future where solar rooftop sales and installation is owned by the roofing contractor.  They knew they needed to take the steps to create a company that would focus on this mission, GAF Energy.  “These two companies are the confluence between roofing and solar,” stated DeBono.  “There is no doubt that in the future, all roofs will have the capability to produce energy.  GAF’s huge network of contractors opens up mass opportunity for roofing contractors to sell and install solar solutions.  The roofing industry is twenty times larger than today’s solar industry.  The opportunity to bring the GAF network and solar technology together is what drew me to GAF Energy.”

Sharing my past experiences of watching solar come and go in roofing, I asked how it might be different this time.  “The experience I had with SunPower of bringing products to market with the right channels is the key,” noted DeBono.  “If you want to sell solar you have to understand how roofing contractors operate.  Everyone who has worked on solar in the past focused on just the product.  We understand at GAF Energy that we need to focus on product and service.  Roofing contractors are great with roof installations but for the most part do not understand the solar elements, inverters, etc.  If the roofing company does not want to handle the electrical, GAF Energy will coordinate that with the contractor and the customer.  By having everyone do what they are good at GAF Energy provides the products and processes that work.  Customers get solar and lower electricity bills while the roofing contractors get to sell and install more roofs that include solar solutions.”

But really the big question that always needs to be answered is “What is in it for the roofing contractor?”  DeBono continued, “Homeowners want solar and the roofing contractors want to sell and install roofing.  We offer training for roofing contractors to not only install solar but sell it too.  That is really where we are focused, on the training.  We have training teams that work with the contractors to make them comfortable selling solar.  The best time to get solar on the roof is when you are reroofing but a large number of solar arrays are going on over existing roofs and often, they are installed incorrectly.  We believe that the solar array needs to be a part of the re-roofing sell, helping the contractor diversify their company, be more profitable and offer new skills and opportunities for their employees.”

“We also help the contractors with all the services around solar that have been confusing in the past including permitting and financing,” continued DeBono.  “We provide all the solar permitting in one package that can simply be dropped off with the local permit authority.  Once the contractor has the permit, GAF Energy trainers go with the roofing crew on the roof and train them on how to install the solar panels.  Then GAF Energy helps finish the installation by sending out an electrician to connect the array to the electrical panel.  No one in the past has taken the time to train the crews while explaining the benefits to ownership on how they can get more margin per roof.  We are finding that both the ownership and the crews are benefiting from this model.”

I also asked about the tax benefits.  It has always been a confusing aspect for both roofing contractors and homeowners.  “We are providing all the information on federal tax incentives and the training on how to actually get the tax credits,” noted DeBono.  “Many states have specific tax breaks for customers, GAF Energy works with the contractor so they can educate the homeowner.  In fact, we are also helping in the sales process with training for the roofing company’s sales team.  Our trainers go into the home with the salesperson and trains them through example.  The training includes how to talk about tax benefits, energy savings, lower electrical bills and how to make it an easy decision for the homeowner.  The trainers continue to work with roofing company’s sales team for however long it takes to close solar with the as part of the new roof installation.  We have developed sales kits to help contractors sell along with training in the classroom, at the home and in the office.  We are committed to offering the materials and training they need to make it happen to sell and install solar.”

And the most important question, how is it working so far and what are they seeing with solar adoption by the roofing contractors?  “Contractors are saying “Finally” and the adoption of the program by contractors is beyond what we expected,” confirmed DeBono.  “They love the services that enable them to sell and install solar without needing to be experts on solar design and connection.  They are seeing that they can rely on us for services or they can take it in house with their own estimators and electricians someday.  There does not need to be a conflict between solar and roofing because they can do both now.  It is right for the customer, the business and the environment.  It is just a good thing for them to do.”

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From military boots to Beacon Roofing Supply

By Karen L. Edwards,

RT3 member Beacon Roofing Supply developed a recruitment strategy that focuses on members of the military who are re-entering civilian life.

Beacon Roofing Supply Senior Recruiter Brian Link came to the roofing industry from his role as a recruiter for the National Guard. He was on active duty from 2003 – 2016 and is still active today but on a reserve basis. He spent his last few active years as a recruiter for the Guard so his transition into a recruiting position at Beacon was a natural fit for him. He interviewed for his position at Beacon with Dana Bamvakais who was a military spouse for many years.

Photo: Above and Beyond Award from ESGR. Left to right: Dana Bamvakais (Vice President of HR West Division), Governor Mike Parsons, SFC (Sergeant First Class) Brian Link (Military Program Manager), 2LT (Second Lieutenant) Brian Hughes (Market Dispatcher)

After Brian joined the Beacon team, he and Dana began planning a program that would focus on recruiting newly discharged members of the military. “The military in general is a blue-collar type industry where you form strong relationships with people of similar backgrounds and experiences; people who work hard and do what it takes to get the job done,” Brian said. “When you leave the military, you miss that camaraderie.”

He knew that Beacon was the kind of company that could deliver some of those things that those in the military were used to having: that strong team, a stable company with the option to have a long career, the ability to provide for their families and an environment that cared about them. He and Dana worked together to develop the outlines of a military recruiting program that would target those transitioning to the civilian life.

They put together flyers that targeted the Transitional Assistance Program (TAPS) that all branches offer to those leaving to let them know there was a place for them at Beacon. The programs help the military members create a LinkedIn program, develop a resume and teaches other skills that will help make the transition smoother.

Brain cited an example of a person he had met two years previously who was in the military in Florida. He wanted to move back near his family in Michigan and Brian was able to find him a position with the company in that area.

The military recruitment program has the full support of the company, from the Board of Directors to the leadership team and to the employees.  They are currently in the process of trying to get their Drive program approved as an apprenticeship so that employees can use their GI benefits toward earning their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). “If someone has experience driving large vehicles in the military, they will be able to complete a form detailing their experience, taking it to their state’s Department of Motor Vehicles and only have to take the written portion of the CDL exam,” explained Brian.

It’s evident that Beacon is committed to supporting the military by the recognitions that they have received. The Employer Support of Guard and Reserve, the lead U.S. Defense Department program promoting cooperation and understanding between civilian employers and their National Guard and Reserve employees, recognized Beacon with their Above and Beyond Award with the Governor of Missouri presenting them with the award. They also recently received the Military Times award for Best for Vets.

“We really support our guard and reserve troops when they are deployed,” said Brian. “We send them care packages and let them know that they will have a job when they return from deployment.”

If you are a recently discharged member of the military or even if you’ve been out for many years, Beacon wants to talk to you. See all of their career opportunities or contact Brian Link at blink@becn.com.

Source: RoofersCoffeeShop.

Construction industry uses simulations to help recruit young workers

By NRCA.

To appeal to the younger generation, some construction companies, unions and schools have turned to simulators that replicate jobs done by heavy equipment, such as pushing dirt or lifting steel.
As the construction industry works to build a younger workforce, it is trying to attract teenagers with realistic computer simulators of heavy machines such as bulldozers, cranes and excavators, according to www.sfgate.com.

As Baby Boomers retire, the construction industry continues to face a labor shortage as construction projects are booming. More than three-quarters of U.S. construction firms said they were having a hard time filling some of or all their positions, according to a survey released in January by the Associated General Contractors of America. Thirty percent said worker shortages were the biggest concern for their firms—by far the most pressing of 16 issues presented.

And the industry is facing another challenge as it tries to fill positions by recruiting younger workers—many are not interested. Many young people have been encouraged to consider college as the only option after high school, and others are wary after the industry was hit hard by the Great Recession.

To appeal to the younger generation, some construction companies, unions and schools have turned to simulators that replicate jobs done by heavy equipment, such as pushing dirt or lifting steel.

Simulators are made to offer immersive experiences. Most have real controls in the proper locations to help users develop muscle memory, and the sounds are reproduced accurately.

Trey Henry, a 17-year-old senior at the Academy for Career Education trade school in Reno, Nev., attends a simulator program at the Nevada chapter of Associated General Contractors that serves as training for him and scouting for his instructors, who work for area construction companies. Rather than simply pushing a button, to start an excavator simulator, Henry must turn a key, increase the throttle speed, engage the hydraulic lock and buckle his seat belt.

“I was on the excavator and digging a trench, and I got stuck a little bit, and it jerks you like you’re stuck,” Henry says. “You actually feel the chair moving when you pull the dirt.”

The excavator has three screens and also can be used with a virtual reality headset that produces a 360-degree view. Two pedals operate the tracks, and joysticks move the boom and open the bucket.

Henry has spent about seven hours on the simulators and says his experience has persuaded him to pursue a career working with heavy machinery.

Several students at the Fulton Schools College and Career Academy outside Atlanta said they determined the construction industry was not for them after challenging experiences using a crane simulator, which required precision, depth perception and hand-eye coordination.

“You had to understand people’s lives were in danger,” says Christopher Sparks, 17. “I felt like every time you hit something, it would move in a certain way so you would have to restart every time. It was like a video game on hard.”

Get more industry news and insight delivered right to your inbox when you sign up for the RT3 SmartBrief e-newsletter. 

Source: NRCA

RT3 member KPOST puts safety first at new Texas Rangers stadium

By Karen L. Edwards.

With more than 2,000 workers on the project, the general contractor is requiring monthly safety meetings with RT3 member KPost Roofing and Waterproofing hosting the March meeting.

Groundbreaking for the new Globe Life Field was September 28, 2017. According to the Texas Rangers’ website, “the roof at Globe Life Field will be the first of its kind in baseball. With portions made of a transparent material, Rangers fans will enjoy outdoor ambience in air-conditioned comfort. The roof will retract in a matter of minutes, bringing the great outdoors to the ballpark experience.”

Nick Post, marketing and brand assistant at KPost Roofing and Waterproofing, told us that Manhattan Construction Group, the general contractor on the project has done a great job enforcing safety procedures and hosts a mandatory monthly safety meeting. “KPost was allowed the opportunity to run the monthly safety meeting because we were nominated as the Safe Contractor of the Month for the month of March,” said Post.

KPost’s Safety Director, Luciano Perez, and Director of Special Projects, Thomas Williams, were the speakers and they discussed distractions in the workplace such as cell phones, side conversations, music.

The new stadium is set to open for the 2020 baseball season. You can get more fun facts about this project at the Rangers website.

KPost is no stranger to working on large, complex projects. They opened their doors in January 2004 with a core group of eleven roofing professionals that together had more than 250 years of combined construction experience. Today the team consists of over 400 employees, including more than 60 specialized crews, totaling over 5,000 years of experience.

Since inception, KPost has completed over 1200 projects, valued at over $525+ million including high profile contracts such as the Perot Museum of Science and Nature, The Statler Dallas, JP Morgan Chase Headquarters, Facebook Data Center – Fort Worth, and AT&T Stadium. They have added more high caliber projects to the list this year in Charles Schwab Campus, Pioneer Natural Resources, and the Texas Rangers Stadium – Globe Life Field.

They are also the official roofing contractor of the Dallas Cowboys. The stadium will be the featured project for the Roofing Alliance’s student competition that is taking place at the International Roofing Expo held February 4-6, 2020 in Dallas.

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Source: RoofersCoffeeShop