Challenging Times

We’ve clearly been seeing some challenging times for construction. While there have thankfully been recent signs of improvement for new construction, in both residential and non-residential markets, I’ve found that decreases in new constructionactivity often create growth opportunities in retrofit/renovation work as building owners sometimes focus on making improvements to their existing facilities while delaying new construction. Members of the Metal Construction Association (MCA) have now formed a Retrofit Task Force “aimed at promoting the value of retrofitting roofs and walls to building owners and managers, architects and contractors.” Along with educational and marketing activities, the MCA Retrofit Task Force plans to explore new retrofit technologies; foster the growth of rainwater harvesting and solar technology in conjunction with retrofit metal roof systems; establish relationships with industry associations aimed at sustainable and energy efficient goals; and establish industry guidelines for the proper analysis of existing building roof and wall systems. Armed with independent research from Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) showing the value of retrofit metal roofing, the Task Force is putting together information about government rebates and incentives available to building owners who retrofit their buildings. The Task Force also plans to work with government agencies to create additional incentives. Meanwhile, Chuck Howard, PE , a consultant to The Metal Initiative (TMI), told us that retrofitting flat roofs with sloped metal roofs is a concept that’s tailor made for these declining economic times. An expert on retrofit metal roofing, with more than 30 years of experience, Chuck confidently says that sloped metal roofs should last for decades. “If properly maintained, the exterior surface should last at least 30 to 50 years,” Chuck explains. “The exterior surface, whether painted or bare, can reflect up to approximately 80% of the solar energy that would normally penetrate the building. Adding un-faced fiberglass insulation in the newly created cavity can further increase the building’s ability to conserve energy used to control temperatures in interior spaces.” Chuck also points out that the many benefits of retrofit metal roofing make it a sound investment for building owners. Likewise, I’ve found that this marketplace is a tremendous growth opportunity for architects and roofing contractors. Be sure to keep in mind that metal construction products offer great value and aesthetics for new buildings…and also for retrofit/renovation projects. By Shawn Zuver, editorial/content director, Tags: ,

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