Tag Archives: Metal Buildings

Take the Long View with Metal Roof Retrofit

By Mark James, RetroSpec, LLC.

St. Louis, MO steel roof systemsIf anyone understands long-term life cycles, it’s a cemetery owner. I know one in St. Louis, MO, who owns two large, old mausoleums that stand side by side. One mausoleum has steel and copper roof systems that have remained relatively maintenance- and repair-free—and beautiful—for as long as 80 years. The other mausoleum has a flat-roof addition, built in 1986, which has a conventional roofing system that has been plagued by leaks for decades.

After determining the life-cycle costing and return on investment on the two roofs, it’s not surprising that the owner decided to retrofit the flat-roof addition with a metal roof. He anticipates far fewer worries with a metal roof, given its ability to shed rainwater and its 40- to 60-year service life.Retrofitting 40 year old roof with steel and copper

In addition to its longevity and durability, metal retrofit also offers long-term cost-savings in the form of appreciable value of the building, better insurance rates, and energy-efficiency. Adding insulation to a metal retrofit can provide R30 thermal resistance—one reason why you increasingly see them on military and municipal buildings, including schools. Many building owners choose to add renewable solar energy technologies to these roofs, such as photovoltaics or solar hot-water systems, which can reap huge tax benefits.

For designers and architects, metal retrofits add generous curb appeal to buildings. Architectural metal roofs are meant to be seen, and a stunning sloped metal retrofit is seen far and wide—and well into the future.

Mark James is president of RetroSpec, LLC, Dallas, TX. He can be reached at mark@retrospecllc.com.

Metal Construction Association Unveils Interactive Heritage Site

The Metal Construction Association  (MCA) is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2013, and to celebrate its rich history MCA has launched a new Heritage section on its website.

Since 1983, MCA has been privileged to represent the metal construction industry, and to help expand the amount of metal used in building envelopes. The association has guided its efforts with three distinct purposes:

• Universally promoting metal’s identity
• Unifying our industry
• And educating about metal’s benefits in construction.

The Heritage section is a media-rich, interactive timeline that features significant milestones from MCA’s history. Take a look at the site, enjoy a trip down memory lane, and learn more about the value that MCA has brought to the metal construction industry.

The Metal Initiative–MCA’s market development initiative launched in 2005–is proud to play a key role in strengthening MCA’s mission: To expand the use of metal in construction through marketing, technology and education.

MCA is excited and looking forward to the next 30 years!

Billings for Design Projects Rise

Improvements to the metal construction industry2013 is looking promising for architects. A recent Wall Street Journal article, Demand for Architects Builds Momentum, reports that billings of design projects at architecture firms rose 4 consecutive months after having been depressed for 4 years in a languishing housing and real-estate market. The American Institute for Architects’—Architecture Billings Index—rose to 53.2 in November, up two points from the previous year and the highest reading since November 2007. A reading above 50 indicates that billings are increasing.

According to the article, if the trend continues, architecture firms will need to hire new design teams—welcome news for working architects, whose numbers declined to 153,000 in 2011 from 214,000 in 2007. “Rising billings also are viewed as a gauge of future construction activity because real-estate developers tend to break ground on new projects 9–12 months after they hire design firms,” it reads. And with that, 2013 is looking promising for metal construction as well.

School Construction Trending Towards Metal

By: John Ryan, Metal Construction Association

My daughter just started kindergarten this fall, and picking her up from school each day often reminds me of my days in grammar school. The brick-walled schools that I attended years ago are still in use today (they seemed so much bigger back then), and still providing students with a great environment in which to learn.

But just as I am reminded that every year I am getting older, there are reminders that the country’s thousands of school buildings are aging, too. Many are being replaced with new, state-of-the-art schools, and many more are being retrofitted to make them current with the latest education, technology and energy standards.

Retrofitted High School
William Allen High School, Allentown, PA

And with more frequency than in the past, those familiar brick walls are being upgraded and replaced with new, energy-efficient metal walls and roofs. Take, for instance, the Metal Construction Association’s newest case study on the William Allen High School in Allentown, PA. The school—originally constructed with brick masonry—had outgrown its existing space, so they built a new addition on an adjacent lot. The exterior of the new building is a combination of brick and metal panels, with the majority of wall surfaces being insulated metal panels (IMPs).

The metal complements the brick aesthetically—a trend that we are seeing more and more of—and it helped the new building attain LEED gold certification. Not only are the IMPs energy-efficient, but the added benefit of quick installation (IMPs allowed the building to be enclosed with insulation and the finished panel in one shot) made them an ideal choice for this project.

Check out our case study library for additional examples of how schools—new and old—are making use of metal walls and roofs.

Retro Metal Is Always “In”

No, we’re not referring to retro metal music like Kiss or Quiet Riot. We’re talking about retrofitting buildings with metal roofs and metal walls.

Retro metal roof on a elementary school   Elementary school with retrofit metal roofing

No matter the age or style of building, retrofitting with metal can offer many benefits, including potential long-term savings, design flexibility, sustainability and energy efficiency. Building Operating Management magazine recently published a four-part feature article focusing on the many benefits of retrofitting with metal. The article offers a wealth of information and features insights from several Metal Construction Association member companies.

Interested in learning more about retrofitting with metal walls and roofs? Register for the free “Retrofitting with Metal Roof and Wall Systems” webinar on November 6.

Visit our Retrofit page for additional resources about retrofitting with metal. Or visit our Case Study library, and search for “Retrofit” to learn more about inspiring retrofit projects.

Learn More about Retrofitting with Metal – and Earn Continuing Education Credits

Do you need AIA or GBCI credits? Or are you interested in how you can bring new life to old buildings with energy-efficient and sustainable metal roofs and walls?

Please join us on November 6th for a live webinar on “Retrofitting with Metal Roof and Wall Systems”.

Sign up and registration for the webinar is free.

In this one-hour session we will:
Familiarize you with metal roof and wall systems
Identify different metal system applications
Apprise issues retrofit metal can satisfy
Examine the benefits of retrofitting existing buildings
Showcase the opportunities to save energy

Visit our Retrofit page for more information and resources about retrofitting with metal walls and roofs. Or visit our Case Study library, and search for “Retrofit” in the Project Type menu to learn more about inspiring retrofit projects.

And stay tuned for more information about monthly webinars.

Be Inspired By the 2012 Chairman’s Award Recipients

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) and The Metal Initiative had a productive week last week at METALCON International in Rosemont, IL. METALCON is the premier event for the metal design and construction industry, and MCA is proud to sponsor this event each year.

Each year at METALCON MCA unveils the Chairman’s Awards, which are given to some of the most innovative and creative projects involving MCA member companies. Want to be inspired by some amazing designs featuring metal walls and roofs? Take a few minutes to read more about the winners and view the video featuring the nine winners from 2012.

And keep coming back to the blog or to the metal building case studies over the coming weeks and months for more inspiring information about each of the 2012 Chairman’s Award recipients.

Which Property Owners Choose Metal?

By: Todd Miller, Isaiah Industries, Inc.

In my metal roofing and construction work, I am frequently asked about what types of property owners choose metal to protect and enhance their buildings. This is a great question but, to be honest, I believe matchmaking is best left to the personal dealings of online dating services. However, there are certain hallmark characteristics of property owners who gravitate toward metal, including having:

  • An appreciation of aesthetics. Those who choose metal usually care deeply about the design and beauty of their buildings. They understand that individual products are integral to the overall design and function of a building. This usually extends beyond the building envelope to include landscaping and the building interior.
  • Concern for operational costs. Property owners who want to reduce their costs for energy and maintenance, both now and well into the future, gravitate toward metal because of its durability and energy efficiency.
  • A long-term view. Metal is perfect for those buildings that owners plan to own for a long time. The real dollar value of metal products tends to kick in during a building’s second decade, when energy savings start to mount. It’s also at this time that less durable building materials need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Concern for the environment. Metal products offer many green benefits. They are sustainable, contain large amounts of recycled content, and are completely recyclable at the end of their long lives.

To find out whether building owners are compatible with the use of metal, I suggest asking them what they wish to accomplish and then having them prioritize their goals. For example, do they seek durability? Energy efficiency? Fire safety? Beauty? As they work through this process, metal will likely appear the logical choice for their building material.

Todd Miller is president of Isaiah Industries, Inc., Piqua, OH.

Building Design and Performance: The Stakes Are High

By: Todd Miller, Isaiah Industries, Inc.

Today, it doesn’t make any difference whether you’re planning to build or remodel a tall skyscraper in Manhattan or a rustic vacation getaway outside of Albuquerque, the stakes are high when it comes to product selection.

The first step to specifying products that will lead to a successful project is to determine your criteria. What are the key things you’d like to achieve? Once you determine your criteria, you have benchmarks to weigh competing products against and determine what it will take to create the building of your dreams.

In determining your criteria, there are several keys areas to consider. Let’s take a look at them.

Continue reading Building Design and Performance: The Stakes Are High