Category Archives: Education

METALCON 2014: Denver, Here We Come

Colorado Convention Center WEB
I See What You Mean; Sculptor:  Steve Largent

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

MCA staff is gearing up for METALCON 2014 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, from October 1-3, 2014. Be sure to stop by our booth (#1542) and say hello. We’ll have MCA technical directors Scott Kriner and Andy WIlliams in the booth to answer any technical questions you may have. And the 2014 MCA Chairman’s Award Winners will be announced at the end of the day on October 1st, and will be featured in our booth for the remainder of the show. Click here to view past winners.

We hope to see you there! And be sure to visit these MCA Members at METALCON 2014, or visit MCA’s Product Locator:

MCA Member Booth #
Metal Construction Association 1542
ABC Supply Co Inc 314
Akzo Nobel Coatings Inc 1621
Alcoa Architectural Products 214
Arkema Inc 729
ATAS International Inc 814
Atlas Bolt & Screw Company 1814
Bradbury Co Inc 615
Central States Mfg Inc 2010
CENTRIA 1524
DesignandBuildwithMetal.com 425
DI Roof Seamers 1339
Drexel Metals Inc 821
Dura Coat Products Inc 1400
Englert Inc 806
Fabral 1615
Firestone Building Products 602
Flexospan Inc 1446
Gerard Roofing Technologies 1729
GSSI Sealants Inc 424
Isaiah Industries Inc 711
MBCI 1406
McElroy Metal 621
Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp 1829
METALFORMING Inc 1006
Metl-Span 1417
Northclad Sheet Metal 2104
Petersen Aluminum Corp 1517
PPG Industries Inc 1712
Precoat Metals 1414
RHEINZINK America Inc 1738
Roof Hugger Inc 1739
S-5! 810
Sealtite Building Fasteners 817
SFS Intec Inc 1329
Sheffield Metals International 203
Solvay North America 1915
TAMKO Building Products Inc 1221
Umicore Building Products USA Inc 1821
Valspar Corp 1411
Wismarq Corporation 2014

Trade Associations with Ties to Metal Discuss Collaboration

By Jane Martinsons, Metal Construction Association

2014SummerMeeting-OpeningSession3 croppedLet’s assume that collaboration among trade associations whose members work with metal building materials, including wall and roof panels, will help them thrive in a construction industry marked by consolidation. The question is, where should collaborative efforts start?

The answer appears to be education, according to a panel discussion held at the MCA Summer Meeting on June 23–25, 2014, in Rosemont, IL.

Leaders from six trade associations met with MCA members and guests to discuss where best to pool their resources to help grow the metal construction market, and possibly their own memberships. Time and again, the discussion turned to education.

Panelists included leaders from the Door and Access Systems Manufacturers Association (DASMA), the Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association (MBCEA), the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), the National Coil Coating Association (NCCA), the National Frame Building Association (NFBA), and the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).

MCA Board Member Roger Sieja, director of market development for Wismarq Corporation, moderated the discussion.

During the discussion, several panelists and attendees pointed to the need to educate the building community—particularly architects, specifiers, engineers, and board members of local municipal commissions—on current codes, regulations, and design trends.

Some panelists pointed out that, currently, education is done on a project-by-project basis, so having readily available, widely accepted educational tools on these issues would be useful to their own association members and the entire industry.

“Once [city commissioners]learn what they can actual do [with metal], they are more agreeable and realize that they have been too strict” in limiting the use of metal  in building exteriors in their areas, said Lee Shoemaker, director, research and engineering,  MBMA. “If [the issue] came up more often, we would probably come up with a program to address it more directly, but it happens only occasionally. We give members tools to help address it locally, but it is hard to do from a national trade association vantage point.”

MBMA promotes the design and construction of metal building systems in the low-rise, non-residential building marketplace. According to Shoemaker, MBMA devotes half of its budget to addressing technical issues of building systems.

Ken Gieseke, chair-elect of NFBA, agreed that broader education on the local level is needed.  “We’ve done one-on-one education with [our own city commission], taking pictures of jobs that show that metal is attractive and pointing out [limits to] their codes,” he said. “Getting tools to help us as an industry would be huge.”

NFBA has more than 700 members, including contractors, suppliers, and design professionals. The association seeks to expand the use of post-frame construction, educate builders and decision makers on post-frame construction, provide technical research, and market the benefits of post-frame construction.

The panelists also stressed the need to promote the benefits of using metal on building exteriors to the entire industry, including consumers.

Tom Wadsworth of DASMA said that, “thanks to coil coaters,” highly durable steel and aluminum garage doors now resemble wood ones, but are less expensive and easier to maintain on the part of consumers. DASMA works to create a unified force among its memberships of manufacturers of door and access systems, develop standards, influence building codes, expand its market, and educate the door systems industry.

Likewise, MBMA’s Shoemaker noted that metal buildings with wide clear spans offer superior durability to other construction types, particularly in adverse weather conditions. Getting out messages like this to influencers of construction and consumers is key to growing the industry, he said.

2014SummerMeeting-OpeningSession4croppedThe groups represented at the meeting vary greatly in size and educational offerings, with the 128-year-old NRCA being by far the largest with 3,500 members in the U.S. and abroad   and a $12 million annual budget, a vast array of training and educational programs, and its own Political Action Committee.  NRCA helps its members contend with government regulations and is active in the codes arena.

However, all the groups represented on the panel promote professionalism and provide education and training to their members, and some provide accreditation.

The 52-year-old NCCA, which has about 100 members, promotes the growth of pre-painted metal.  It serves as the voice of the coil coating industry for technical, promotional, education, and regulatory matters.

The 46-year-old MBCEA provides, among other things, national standardized testing and apprenticeship and accreditation programs. It has seen a 30% jump in its membership of metal building contractors and erectors over the past year, according to MBCEA President Gary Smith.

As the panel concluded, it was clear that this discussion was, itself, only a start. Sieja said that MCA would welcome an opportunity to discuss collaboration further at meetings sponsored by these groups.

 

 

 

 

AIA Economist Bullish on Nonresidential Construction Activity

By: Jane Martinsons, Metal Construction Association

Kermit Baker, AIAKermit Baker, chief economist for the American Institute of Architects in Washington, DC, told attendees at the recent MCA Annual Meeting in Clearwater Beach, FL, that although nonresidential construction has been slow to recover from a steep downturn in 2013, several emerging signs point to increased activity throughout 2014.

As a guest speaker at the January meeting, Baker noted several leading economic indicators that point to an improving economy, including that housing starts have accelerated in recent months and that house prices, which continue to recover, have gained back more than 40% of their losses. He also said that net household growth has been dominated by renters in recent years, pushing down the rate of ownership.

“The housing recovery is well underway, but production levels are still below long-term potential,” Baker said, adding that a rate of 1.6–1.8 million housing starts per year is still years away.

Despite the positive market fundamentals, there have been modest gains in spending on nonresidential buildings, Baker said. He noted that the nonresidential construction sector faces several challenges and opportunities, including that recovery to date remains modest, with little improvement over past year; commercial property values are recovering “nicely”; and real estate market fundamentals, such as vacancies and rents, remain positive for most commercial market segments.

Meanwhile, architecture billings point to emerging upturn in nonresidential building activity. “Even with slowdown toward the end of last year architecture billings are in the midst of an upturn, with the strongest growth since the recession began,” Baker said.

Baker added that construction spending should see solid single-digit growth in 2014, with recovery continuing into 2015.

Plans for the MCA Summer Meeting, set for June 23–25 at the Westin O’Hare in Rosemont, IL, are underway. Online hotel reservations and a preliminary program schedule are now available. For more information, visit the Events page on the MCA website.

Visit MCA–and 44 MCA Member Companies–at METALCON

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

METALCON kicks off on Tuesday, October 1st. Be sure to stop by Metal Construction Association‘s (MCA) booth (#1553) to see a roofing assembly that illustrates a variety of sustainable technologies, and get the latest technical developments and case studies available. On display will also be MCA’s new website: www.metalconstruction.org.

And be sure to visit one of the 44 MCA member companies that are exhibiting at METALCON for the latest product developments in the metal construction industry.

Company Name                                                  Booth #

ABC Supply                                                            1730
Akzo Nobel Coatings, Inc.                                    621
Alcoa Architectural Products                              1232
Aluminum Association                                         512
Arkema, Inc.                                                           1436
ATAS International, Inc                                         1615
Atlas Bolt & Screw                                                 1439
The Bradbury Company                                       1121
Central States Manufacturing Inc.                       901
CENTRIA                                                                   1030
Classic Metal Roofing Systems                             1131
(Isaiah Industries)        
DesignandBuildwithMetal.com                            528
Drexel Metals                                                          1807
Dura Coat Products, Inc.                                       635
Englert, Inc.                                                              921
Everlast Metals                                                       1835
Fabral                                                                       1637
Firestone Building Products                                 1015
FLEXOSPAN Inc.                                                      1341
GSSI Sealants Inc.                                                   1933
ITW Buildex                                                             1731
MBCI                                                                         1221
McElroy Metal, Inc.                                                  827
Metal Construction News                                      702
Metal Roofing Magazine                                        2246
Metal Sales Manufacturing Corp.                        1332
METALFORMING, Inc.                                             1421
Metl-Span                                                                 1138
Petersen Aluminum Corp.                                     1033
PPG Industries Inc.                                                  1321
Precoat Metals                                                         1725
RHEINZINK America Inc.                                         943
Roof Hugger, Inc.                                                     1143
SFS Intec, Inc.                                                           1132
Sheffield Metals                                                       1609
Solvay                                                                         904
Steel Dynamics                                                         647
Steelscape                                                                 721
TAMKO Building Products Inc.                               833
Triangle Fastener Corp.                                           747
U.S. Steel Corp.                                                        1830
Umicore Building Products USA, Inc.                   1054
Valspar Corporation                                               1001
Vicwest                                                                      821

We hope to see you at METALCON!

MetalCon

Take a Tour of the New Metal Construction Association Website

New MCA Website HomePage
Visit http://www.metalconstruction.org

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) is proud to announce its new website: www.metalconstruction.org. If you’ve been following The Metal Initiative (the former name of this blog, and its home website) you’ll notice that we still have the same goal: to be the go-to resource for information and education about metal roofs and wall panels.

Visit the new site, and you’ll find:

  • Case Study Gallery – Be inspired by real-world case studies about how architects and building owners have used metal to solve design challenges and build high-performing buildings.New case studies are added every month.
  • Photo Gallery – MCA’s expanded photo gallery features dozens of projects, including commercial, municipal, education, healthcare, and more. Photos from hundreds more projects will be added in the coming weeks.
  • Technical Resources – MCA is the leading source of technical resources for the metal construction industry, including white papers, technical bulletins and technical manuals. The section will be updated regularly.

MCA is also working to re-launch its Ask the Experts forum in the coming weeks, and will be building out a new Members’ Only section for MCA members.

Be sure to visit MCA’s new website, and bookmark it to check back for more information and resources.

Editor’s Note: Change Is in the Air

Coming Soon: A New Metal Construction Association Website

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

Change is good. And you’ll soon see a lot of changes to The Metal Initiative’s blog and website.

We are excited to announce that The Metal Initiative (TMI) will be relocating to Metal Construction Association’s (MCA’s) new website, which is scheduled to launch later this month. You’ll start to see the look and feel of this blog change over the coming days, and it will be retitled as the Metal Construction Association blog. You’ll still find the same insights, news and information here, so we hope you’ll continue to follow us, and check out the new website later this month at http://www.metalconstruction.org, as well.

A little background: The Metal Initiative (TMI) was created in 2007 as the market development arm of the Metal Construction Association. Recently the association decided to discontinue the TMI brand, and fold all market development initiatives (including The Metal Initiative’s website and blog) underneath the MCA brand. As part of this initiative, earlier this year MCA introduced a new tagline–Build Legacies: Metal–that will be a focus of the association’s brand going forward.

In short, we’re not changing who we are or what we do, we’re just realigning and simplifying our brand in an effort to increase clarity and eliminate confusion. You can still count on the Metal Construction Association to be the leading source for innovation, information and education about metal walls and roofs.

We hope you’ll stay connected with MCA via this blog, Facebook, LinkedIn, and of course the new website. We are excited about this new beginning, and look forward to continuing to provide relevant and inspiring information about metal construction!

Know What to Look for When Inspecting MCM Panels

MCM PanelBy: Jane Martinsons, Metal Construction Association

Wondering about a possible defect in the Metal Composite Material (MCM) panels you’re installing, such as a deflection or bow, a surface imperfection, or a problem with the finish or color? While these instances may be rare, a new white paper by the Metal Construction Association  (MCA), available at no charge, can help you determine whether a MCM panel or system is not meeting current code and industry standards.

It’s vital that installers, architects and designers know acceptance criteria for painted metal surfaces. However, “questions concerning visual appearance often arise during the architectural walk-through on a project,” says Andy Williams, MCA’s director of codes and standards. “This white paper highlights many real-life situations so that architects and designers can understand what to expect. More knowledge at the beginning of a project prevents problems from developing later in the process.”

MCA brings together a diverse industry for the purpose of expanding the use of metal in construction through marketing, research, and technology and education. Please join us at MCA’s 2014 Annual Meeting on January 26–28, 2014, at the Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, FL.  For more information on the conference and the 3-page white paper, Visual Acceptance Parameters for Metal Composite Material (MCM) Panels and Panel Systems, visit www.metalconstruction.org.

Shipping Containers Find New Life in Metal Construction

Monterrey Technical University - Student Center
Student Center, Monterrey Technical University, Juarez, Mexico

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

Fortune Magazine recently featured a story about Starbucks’ use of shipping containers in the design of their new drive-through coffee shops. According to Fortune, a good portion of the 900 or so drive-through locations that Starbucks plans to build in the next five years will be made using retrofitted metal shipping containers.

The use and repurposing of metal shipping containers in construction is a growing trend, even though they are not always less expensive than other manufacturing methods.  And re-using a metal shipping container that would otherwise be destined for the scrap heap can make a statement about sustainability, especially when used with other “green” building efficiencies.

MCA’s 2012 Chairman’s Award Winner in the Education-Colleges & Universities category is a creative example of how shipping containers can be used in construction. The project, a student center for Monterrey Technical University in Juarez, Mexico, was designed by Ruben Escobar, a graduate of MTU and principle at the architecture firm Grupo ARKHOS.

Monterrey Technical University 1 WEBThe student center uses 14 metal shipping containers to make a 7,000 sq. ft. space for students to  interact socially. With exposed metal making up 80% of the new building’s structure, Escobar integrated a metal skin composed of Reynobond composite aluminum panels around the building’s entrance. The 4-mm panels from Alcoa Architectural Products proved to be a perfect complement to the shipping containers, and also were chosen for their durability.Monterrey Technical University 2 WEB

Not only is the new building constructed primarily of recycled materials, but it also is designed to keep cooling costs low. An outdoor paint scheme that uses automotive paint mixed with ceramic nanospheres helps repel the desert sun’s rays, and  a series of aluminum and glass garage doors open up to provide natural ventilation about 8 months out of the year.

It is estimated that there are more than 17 million shipping containers in the world today. Because the United States imports far more than it exports, there is a surplus of empty shipping containers in this country. Metal shipping container-inspired architecture is just one way to give new life and purpose to these resources.

Metal Construction in Denver: Denver Police Crime Lab

Denver Police Crime Lab

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

We’re heading to Denver tomorrow for the 2013 AIA National Convention, and we are excited to see all of the beautiful architecture that Denver has to offer, metal or otherwise. We’re sure we’ll be spending a lot of time the Denver International Airport and the recently expanded Colorado Convention Center, and we’ll be walking the city to take in sites like Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium and the Denver Art Museum.

Denver Police Crime Lab Building Uses Aluminum PanlesOne place we also want to see–though we hope that it is on our own timeframe and not for an extended visit–is the Denver Police Crime Lab. This 60,000 sq. ft. facility opened in 2012, and houses nine crime forensic units. While we are fans of the numerous iterations of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigators TV series, we’ll be checking it out to admire the 30,000 sq. feet of Reynobond® aluminum composite panels in six different colors.

We hope you’ll stop by to visit us at the 2013 AIA National Convention; MCA will be in booth 1303. If you aren’t able to participate in Scott Kriner’s seminar this week: “Metal Roofing: The Perfect Platform for Solar Technologies,” Scott and  MCA staff will be in the booth over the course of the show and will be happy to answer any metal construction questions. And of course you can take the course (and others) via MCA’s monthly webinar series.

Metal Construction in Denver: Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium

Sports Authority FieldBy: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

We promised to share some of our favorite examples of metal construction in Denver as we get closer to the AIA National Convention from June 20-22 at the Colorado Convention Center. Here’s our first:

Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium

Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium opened in September, 2001, and features insulated metal panels (IMP) from Centria, as well as Reynobond aluminum metal composite material panels (MCM) from Alcoa.

Best known as the home of the NFL’s Denver Broncos, Mile High Stadium has been home to the likes of Peyton Manning and Tim Tebow. The metal stadium also was the venue for the 2008 Democratic National Convention, as well as concerts from bands including U2 and the Eagles.

Formerly known as Invesco Field at Mile High Stadium, Sports Authority signed a 25-year agreement for the naming rights in 2011. That should be a safe investment because the metal wall panels on that stadium will be looking great and performing well for many years to come.