The A Through Z Of Associations Part 3

There are many associations that roofing manufacturers, contractors and other industry professionals can be involved with. Some are technical and engineering-oriented; others are sales and networking associations; and some deal with each of these aspects in the roofing and construction industries.

This is the third in a series of posts that will discuss the various associations that benefit roofing manufacturers, contractors, and other industry professionals.


The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) was created in 1998 to develop accurate and credible methods for evaluating and labeling the solar reflectance and thermal emittance (radiative properties) of roofing products and to disseminate the information to all interested parties.

The CRRC is incorporated as a nonprofit educational organization to: implement and communicate fair, accurate, and credible radiative energy performance rating systems for roof surfaces; support research into energy-related radiative properties of roofing surfaces, including durability of those properties; and provide education and objective support to parties interested in understanding and comparing various roofing options.

At the core of the CRRC is its Product Rating Program, in which roofing manufacturers can label various roof surface products with radiative property values rated under a program administered by the CRRC.


The Construction Specifiers Institute (CSI) is a national association dedicated to creating standards and formats to improve construction documents and project delivery. Members include specifiers, architects, engineers, contractors, and building materials suppliers.

CSI is known in the industry for its strict certification programs for professionals seeking to improve their knowledge of accurate and concise construction documents.


The International Code Council (ICC) was established in 1994 as a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, and to developing the codes used in the residential and commercial construction industries. Most U.S. cities, counties, and states that adopt codes choose the International Codes developed by the International Code Council.

The following organizations founded the ICC: Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO), and Southern Building Code Congress International, Inc. (SBCCI), who had developed three separate sets of model codes used regionally throughout the United States. These groups then formed the International Code Council and a single set of codes was created without regional limitations.

Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Roofing System: Installation Disruptions

Precision-fabricated flashings can help speed up a roof installation.
Precision-fabricated flashings can help speed up a roof installation.

You must consider many factors when your roof needs to be replaced or when you are constructing a building that requires a new roof: Price. Quality of the product being installed. Prefabrication. Installation disruptions. Ease of maintenance. Performance. Environmental impact. Life-cycle costs, and so on. It is crucial to review all of these aspects in order to make the wisest roofing choice and get the best long-term value for your investment.

This is the fourth post in a series that will discuss the issues involved in purchasing a roofing system.

Installation disruptions

Time and disruptions cost you money. When your business needs a new roof, you cannot afford to close your doors for a roof installation. You need to ask – How long will this installation take to complete? Will I need to close or control traffic at my business? Will my customers be disturbed or inconvenienced? Will I lose revenue?

Some roofing systems are disruptive when installed, using smelly materials that are not only irritating, but messy as well. Some systems may take considerably longer to install than others because they are affected by the weather and temperature.

Example: Installing some systems in 20? F weather will take much longer than others due to welding or adhesive issues. Others can be installed very easily without any disruptions to normal building operations. Make sure you are informed on the timeframe of the installation and any factors that could possibly disrupt your business operations.

Prefabricated roofing systems save on installation time. A precision-fabricated membrane is much easier to install and does not require labor-intensive welding on the job site. Furthermore, such systems can usually be installed over existing substrates, reducing the need for a tear-off, which can be very time consuming, disruptive, and messy.

Additionally, some manufacturers prefabricate roofing accessories such as curbs, stacks, scuppers, and parapets that are included with the system, which helps to reduce the installation time as well as ensure high-quality products that are a perfect fit for each roof.

Single-ply roofing systems that are prefabricated and mechanically-attached provide a quiet and safe installation. No loud machinery or noxious fumes are used that could disrupt building activities or harm occupants. In most cases, building occupants don’t even realize a roof is being installed.

When it comes down to it, disruptions during a roofing installation can cost a building owner money and time, so make sure to research how the installation will take place and what types of materials are being used.

In our fifth installment of Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Roofing System, we will discuss roofing system features that provide easy maintenance.

Positive Responses to Negative Statements About PVC: Part 3

Statement: “The movie Blue Vinyl gives real life examples that prove that PVCs are bad and people have been harmed by working or living around PVC factories.”

The facts: Early versions of the movie highlighted the case of a woman who claimed to have angiosarcoma of the liver (ASL), contracted after working seven days in 1978 in a PVC pipe factory. Her lawsuit, brought in 2000, was dismissed by Delaware Superior Court in 2004 after the court found there to be no basis for the charges. It seems she did not have ASL, but rather a disease that’s only known medical link is to certain birth control pills. The woman has since been edited out of later versions of the movie.

Another misleading episode in the movie concerns a class-action lawsuit brought against Italian vinyl industry officials. The case was thrown out even before the movie aired in 2002, but that fact was buried in a brief statement during the movie’s credits.

The production of the vinyl monomer (VCM) and the PVC products that use it are controlled by strict regulations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 1975. In 1977, a study of more than 15,000 workers in vinyl fabrication plants found no evidence of VCM-related effects in that group. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been unable to establish a link between living near a PVC plant and incidence of angiosarcoma. The actual risk to individuals living within five miles of a production facility is calculated at less than 0.1 case of cancer in the next 70 years. The risk of being struck by lightning on a clear day is higher (13.3 occurrences in 70 years).

In our next installment, we’ll look at this statement: “Phthalate plasticizers used to keep PVC membranes flexible are dangerous to human health.”

Project of the Month: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) District Office, Bay City, Michigan


The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) District Office in Bay City, Michigan recently chose to install the Duro-Last® roofing system on its facility in order to meet high-quality sustainability standards and to qualify for LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

An environmentally-conscious organization, the DEQ had authorized contractor Buchinger Roofing, Inc. of Reese, Michigan install about 27,600 square feet of the Duro-Last membrane on its building.

The white roofing system helped the facility meet LEED requirements in several ways. Its high reflectivity and emissivity qualities can help reduce the energy required for cooling the building. The building’s roofing system was manufactured at the Duro-Last facility in Saginaw, Michigan, which lowers transportation mileage and costs. Duro-Last’s custom prefabrication reduces on-site waste produced during the installation; scrap that is produced may be returned to Duro-Last for recycling into other construction products.

The Duro-Last roofing system also complements many other sustainable building features that were incorporated into the training facility’s design such as low-water plumbing fixtures; skylights in 75% of the occupied space; recycled denim insulation; a state-of-the-art air filtration system; and a computerized lighting system to control electrical usage. Furthermore, much of the material from the previous building was recycled, and paving material was crushed and used as on-site fill.

The DEQ District Office implemented “green” features including more than 28 skylights on the rooftop; a ground-mounted solar panel (10-kilowatt) array; and a wind turbine. The solar panel array and wind turbine installations are expected to be installed later this year. Both are anticipated to produce 30% of the building’s electrical load.

With so many skylights, the DEQ needed a high-quality, leak-proof roofing system that could be easily installed around penetrations and provide worry-free protection. In addition to deck sheets, Duro-Last prefabricates curbs and flashings in a controlled factory environment to fit these rooftop penetrations precisely.

“The skylights bring in natural light to the building, which will help reduce our electricity costs,” said Tim Diebolt, Chief, Office of Business Services at the DEQ. “There are a lot of holes (penetrations) in that roof, so the fact that the Duro-Last roofing system is made to fit these areas gives me confidence that there will be no leaks.”

The ‘green’ benefits from the Duro-Last roofing system along with other sustainable initiatives for this building should prove very valuable to the DEQ. Plus, with acquired LEED certification, this organization can lower its operating costs and increase its asset values; conserve energy and water; provide a healthier and safer working environment for employees; possibly qualify for tax rebates and incentives; and demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Working With A Roofing Contractor: Part 1

First In A Series

Roles, Responsibilities, and Rapport

When it comes to installing a roofing system on a commercial building, several parties may be involved, including the building owner/facility manager, the roofing manufacturer’s representative, and the roofing contractor. So, who does what, and how do each of these individuals interact to get the project completed?

“The way that everyone works together is determined by the complexity or size of the roofing installation,” said Tom Allen, President of Allen Consulting Group, Inc. in Wilton, Iowa and an independent sales representative for Duro-Last® Roofing, Inc.

In Allen’s experience, the contractor and building owner/facility manager typically collaborate on projects that are fairly straightforward. Allen estimates that between 50-70 percent of roofing projects proceed this way.

“These are typically light commercial to simple industrial jobs,” noted Allen.

When the project becomes more complex or larger, the roofing manufacturer’s representative often steps in.

According to Allen, the sales representative can provide a variety of services to the contractor such as:

  • Giving sales presentations.
  • Answering technical questions.
  • Introducing third-party products such as insulation, skylights, or other roofing system components.
  • Facilitating the integration of photovoltaic or rooftop garden systems by bringing in those product vendors as necessary.
  • Providing other resources to the contractor and/or building owner that will help keep the roofing project moving forward smoothly.

When a particularly complicated project arises, some manufacturers bring in a technical representative to provide additional expertise and recommendations.

“A good example of a complex, multifaceted job might be replacing a restaurant roof that has multiple vents, exhaust fans, and/or air conditioning units,” said Allen.

Given that the primary parties in most roofing jobs will be the building owner and contractor, it’s critical that the two work well together and communicate effectively.

In our next posting, we will highlight how to properly screen a contractor to make sure they are the perfect fit for you and your roofing project.

What Is PVC Anyway?

Unless you’re a scientist, engineer, or deal with a product that is made from PVC, you may have no idea what these initials stand for.

Well…it’s polyvinyl chloride, also known as vinyl. PVC is the most widely used plastic in the world. It can be rigid like pipe and window frames or flexible when used in blood bags, toys, or the Duro-Last membrane.

Vinyl comes primarily from two simple ingredients: fossil fuel and salt. In the United States, the fossil fuel used to produce vinyl is typically natural gas. Natural gas goes through a refining process to make ethylene. Rock salt goes through electrolysis to separate the chlorine element for use. The entire process occurs in a closed-loop system that is tightly controlled and monitored.


Ethylene and chlorine are combined to produce ethylene dichloride which is further processed into a gas called vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). Through polymerization, the VCM molecule forms chains to become a white powder (vinyl resin) which is the basis for compounding with additives such as plasticizers for flexibility, stabilizers for durability, or pigments for color. Chlorine (Number 17 on the Periodic Table of Elements) is one of the most abundant naturally occurring elements on earth. The chlorine component gives vinyl some of its natural fire resistance.

The vinyl film used to make the Duro-Last roofing membrane is laminated to a weft-inserted polyester scrim. The proprietary blend of components in the film combined with the scrim impart the characteristics that make the Duro-Last membrane the “World’s Best Roof”®.

In our next blog posting, we will discuss more of the characteristics of PVC and how it is unfairly labeled “environmentally-harmful” by many environmentalists.