Duro-Last Finalizing Plans For 2011 National Sales Seminar

Duro-Last Roofing, Inc. will hold its 2011 National Sales Seminar Sunday, January 30th through Tuesday, February 1st at Disney’s® Contemporary Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The theme of the upcoming Seminar is The Best Get Better. It’s one of the most dynamic business events in the roofing industry, where “the best” wisdom, problem solving, encouragement, networking – and fun – will come together over the course of a jam-packed three days.

This annual event honors authorized Duro-Last roofing contractors for their sales achievements during the previous year, and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas that can improve business operations, gain product proficiency, expand market opportunities, and drive sales success.

This year’s Seminar will feature General Session speakers Mike Hourigan and Ross Shafer. Breakout Sessions will include presentations from Duro-Last staff and guests Hillary Bressler, Mike Hourigan, and Steve Hackett.

Since our beginning, Duro-Last has recognized the value of community involvement. So once again we will be recognizing contractors who have been active in making the world healthier, safer, and stronger, in our “Partners in Goodwill” program. It will be our privilege to pay tribute to these exemplary citizens during our event.

The popular Roofers’ Challenge is back! Teams will have the opportunity to show off their installation skills and compete in this educational and fun event. Teams are judged on accuracy, aesthetics, speed, and workmanship.

Although ongoing economic challenges confront the construction industry, Duro-Last contractors continue to demonstrate a solid commitment to our business and to providing exceptional value and service to their customers. We take great pride in honoring them at this event.

?Up on the Rooftop…

Roofers pause

Out jumps good old foreman Claus

Down through the punch list that he’ll employ

To keep buildings dry

And bring owners joy!

As each year goes by, we are more appreciative of the great team that makes Duro-Last Roofing the industry leader that we are. This has been especially true in 2010, despite the economic challenges that everyone faced. We are proud of our team that has delivered exceptional results for 2010.

We want to wish you and yours the best of holidays. We sincerely believe that family comes first, and hope that you will have many opportunities to enjoy good times with your loved ones. As you celebrate, please keep in mind that there are many around us who are not as fortunate. We encourage you to help those in your community who may be in need.

All the best for a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!

Merry Christmas from the Duro-Last Board of Directors.

No Energy Savings From My Cool Roof – What Gives?

Okay, so you installed a cool roofing system, but since the building already had so much insulation you haven’t noticed any energy savings. What’s the point?

True. High reflectivity is a key characteristic that helps keep buildings cooler and can reduce energy usage. As much as 40% less cooling energy may be needed for buildings that have highly-reflective roofs. But even if a building is very well insulated, here are some other valuable benefits from cool roofing:

Insulation can be 25%-50% more effective

Studies have shown that extremely high temperatures reduce the effective R-value of the most widely used types of insulation (Leonard & Leonard, 2005). Cooler surfaces help preserve and keep rooftop insulation materials cooler.

HVAC equipment can operate more efficiently

Inlet air temperatures can be 5-15 degrees cooler 30 inches above a cool roofing surface compared to a black surface. Most rooftop HVAC units are designed with efficiency ratings evaluated at 95°F (York International, 2005); rooftop temperatures on a black surface can reach 160°F or higher, meaning that HVAC units will not operate at peak efficiency.

Substrate deterioration may be slowed by as much as 75%

Ultraviolet and infrared radiation and moisture penetration accelerate substrate deterioration. A cool roofing system will reflect this radiation and help protect the substrate (Kirn et. Al., 1994).

Ambient interior temperatures can be up to 20°F cooler than outside

Studies of worker performance with machine operation and high physical activity reveal that productivity drops 10% at 84°F and 38% at 95°F (Schweisheimer, W., 1962). So even if a building is not air conditioned occupants will still notice improved comfort on hot days.

Featured Project: Lindenwood University Commons

Installation by Duro-Last Elite Contractor Ed Rutherford Roofing Includes School Logo on Roof

Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, is putting the finishing touches on its new University Commons building, scheduled to open in 2011. The Duro-Last roofing system on the building was installed by Elite Duro-Last contractor Ed Rutherford Roofing of Palmyra, Missouri, which had previously installed roofs on other Lindenwood facilities.

The roof, totaling about 46,000 square feet, was installed with 60-mil white Duro-Last roofing membrane and was applied using both mechanically-attached and fully-adhered methods. The fully-adhered section was installed over the gymnasium – Rutherford wasn’t allowed to use any fasteners on that portion of the roof deck. Other roof system components included a sound barrier, tapered polyiso insulation, and DensDeck® roof board.

The most unique feature of the project was the application of the Lindenwood University logo to the rooftop. The school wanted the campus to be identified from the air, as it’s near the local airport. The architect on the project originally specified the logo to be painted on the Duro-Last membrane. But during construction, Rutherford approached Duro-Last with the idea of making letters out of Duro-Last material, which could be applied to the roof using standard single-ply membrane heat-welding equipment and methods.

After considering several color and material options for the letters, the project team decided to use the Duro-Last Rock-Ply™ membrane. It has a roofing ballast pattern printed onto it, and a special polymer coating to help protect the finish from marring, fading, and dirt accumulation.

Together, the Rock-Ply letters spelling “Lindenwood” are 200 feet long and 20½ feet wide. They were created by Duro-Last sister company, Tri-City Vinyl, in Saginaw, Michigan, using special CAD-driven design and membrane cutting equipment. The pattern was produced in sections to make it easy for the Rutherford installers to align it and weld the pieces to the deck membrane.

Ed Rutherford Roofing has been an authorized Duro-Last contractor since 1993. We’re proud to be able to provide them and all our customers “one-stop shopping” services for all their roofing needs, even in highly-unique situations such as the Lindenwood roofing project.

Lindenwood aerial
Aerial shot of the Lindenwood University Commons roof, installed by Ed Rutherford Roofing of Palmyra, Missouri.
lindenwood letter installation
An Ed Rutherford Roofing technician applies the Lindenwood University logo to the installed Duro-Last roofing system membrane.
roll of rock ply membrane
Duro-Last Rock-Ply membrane.

Notes from the NRCA Fall Conference

I had the opportunity to attend the NRCA’s fall conference in Washington DC the week of October 18. Here are some of my takeaways:

  • In general, the attendees were not positive on the short-term future. The overall feeling is that trucking, raw materials, and a decline in demand will make 2011 similar to 2010. Contrary to much of the industry, I’m pleased to report that Duro-Last is having a good year; we are showing solid growth over 2009.
  • NRCA Executive Vice President Bill Good said that some regions and markets are years away from any type of growth. He commended companies as “doing well” if they are seeing growth volume at all in their businesses.
  • An NRCA lobbyist discussed the activities they are working on with Congress and the “insiders” view on the upcoming elections. He feels that Republicans will get 39-45 seats in the House and seven seats in the Senate.
  • An OSHA representative from the Obama administration said that there will be changes with respect to fall protection next year, some prompted by NRCA lobbying. There will also be sweeping changes with respect to crane safety standards – a topic that is important to anyone with a crane of any size. Safety regulations concerning loading roofs will change and contractors with cranes will need to learn them.
  • There was a lot of talk about solar and renewable energy. Rhone Resch, President of the Solar Energy Industries Association, made several points, including:
    • There are 93,000 solar jobs in the US. Resch used Hemlock Semiconductor (based in Saginaw County, Michigan) as an example of solar growth.
    • Solar output in 2010 will grow 100% and another 100% in 2011.
    • Residential systems now comprise 50% of solar wattage installed. This is because incentives are now more favorable for residential installations in the United States and because a large portion of corporate America has lost its tax appetite the past two years.
    • Cumulative Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for solar is expected to be 24% through 2015.
    • The solar industry needs to be subsidy-free by 2016. This is dependent on scale; the volume needs to grow at the current pace or better.
    • Roofers that have included solar as an offering have seen revenues grow 36-50%.
    • Integrators, roofers, designers, raw material manufacturers and others are profitable, but panel providers are losing billions. However, the industry is too big to fail, and this will change the next three to four years.
    • Solar installation volumes are still concentrated in the states with the best incentives.

Duro-Last Exhibits at Solar Power International Expo

Duro-Last exhibited at the Solar Power International Expo held October 12-14 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We participated in this show because rooftop photovoltaic (PV) installations are growing exponentially, and these systems require a roofing membrane that is “Solar-Ready™.” Although the rooftop solar market is still in its infancy, Duro-Last’s custom-prefabricated roof system has been able to accommodate the roof penetrations typical to PV installation for more than 30 years.

The Duro-Last message was well received by the many solar integrators and installers who attended the Expo and who recognize that the watertight integrity of the roof system beneath the PV equipment plays a vital role in the success of solar installations. Duro-Last was represented by President Tom Hollingsworth, Western VP Tim Hart, California Regional Manager Curt Jaffe, and yours truly, along with California independent sales representatives Scott Franklin, Matt Stephens, and Chris Hemphill. In addition to working the booth, we were able to walk the show and interact with many of the 1,100 plus vendors and the estimated 27,000 attendees.

This show enabled us to get familiar with the rooftop mounting systems that PV systems use. It’s the largest B2B Expo for the solar power industry, and provided a wonderful opportunity to interact with manufacturers of these systems. In general there are two types of mounting systems: those that attach to the roof’s structural supports and those that sit atop the roof system and utilize ballast blocks to stay put when the wind blows. Both types of systems have pluses and minuses which will be the topic of future posts on this blog. One thing is certain: the demand is so great that many rack and roll-formed steel manufacturers are jumping on the solar bandwagon and introducing mounting systems in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

Many roofing contractors around the county are also getting involved by forming solar divisions within their companies. One such Duro-Last contractor is Competitive Commercial Roofing, of Hood River, Oregon, owned and operated by Steve Leslie. Steve’s solar company Competitive Solar provides solar-related services in addition to a roofing product that is ideally suited for use with solar. Steve, April Chen, and Chase Drum of Competitive Solar attended the Expo and provided valuable insights regarding the integration of the Duro-Last roof systems and PV to visitors of the booth. Many thanks to Competitive Solar for the valuable assistance!

Duro-Last staffers Scott Franklin, Tim Hart, Matt Stephens, and Curt Jaffe chatting it up with a couple of booth visitors.
A rack system that will mount to a roof's structural supports.
A rack system that will sit on a rooftop and be held down with ballast blocks.

Roofing Industry Magazines: Part 2

This is the conclusion from our blog post the week of October 4th. Although the list might appear to be endless between print and online media opportunities, I have compiled some of the publications that Duro-Last has been involved with to some degree in recent years because of their connection to the commercial roofing industry. Below is a small description of each – mostly taken from each magazine’s own materials – as well as a link to each website.

Maintenance Solutions

MS delivers essential information for maintenance and engineering managers, providing them with resources to coordinate the day-to-day activities of frontline technicians and supervisors, while also helping them develop and implement effective, long-term, big-picture strategies.

Metal Building Developer

Metal Building Developer helps builders, developers, building owners, and facility managers seek solutions for their construction projects through the use of metal. Featuring case studies, ownership perspectives, technical issues, and business insights, learn how metal construction can provide solutions for a cost-effective, efficient way to deliver high-quality projects on time.

Metal Roofing Magazine

Metal Roofing Magazine is devoted solely to metal roofing. It serves roofing contractors, general contractors/remodelers, architects, specifiers, building material dealers/distributors, gutter installers, consultants, engineers, manufacturers and their representatives. The magazine is published seven times per year, and includes the Metal Roofing Buyers’ Guide and The Idea Book, an architectural design resource.


Metalmag educates architects, building owners, and contractors about how metal is an attractive, functional, and environmentally friendly material. With essential product information and shining examples of metal in action, Metalmag covers every aspect of the industry so that subscribers get a true education in metal. Metalmag provides in-depth coverage of industry issues, news, and trends.

Professional Roofing Magazine

Published monthly, Professional Roofing provides information on the ever-evolving roofing profession. NRCA members enjoy free subscriptions and receive the latest information about roofing trends, business management from a roofing industry point of view, government regulation and legislation, new practices and trends, safety, insurance, technical research, and the NRCA.

Roofing Contractor

Roofing Contractor is written specifically for the contractor. An independent magazine, Roofing Contractor’s editorial addresses issues critical to contractors and provides the information and insights that help contractors succeed. Editorial coverage reaches a national audience and covers all aspects of residential, commercial, industrial, and institutional roofing.

Roofers Exchange

Roofers Exchange is published in four regional publications covering all 50 states, offering a source of advertising and communication specifically for the roofing industry. The format combines public relations announcements, classified advertising, display advertising, human interest and training information.

SNAP – McGraw-Hill

SNAP (Sweets News and Products), from McGraw-Hill Construction, provides readers with a quick and accessible way to learn about the latest product news, trends, statistics, events, and more in a compelling, thorough editorial presentation. Devoted entirely to covering building products, SNAP differentiates itself by utilizing the resources available only through McGraw-Hill Construction, including data and statistics unavailable anywhere else.

Sustainable Facility

SF is the information source for high-performance buildings and optimal energy and resource management in commercial, institutional and industrial facilities. SF supports the facility manager, owner, engineer and service provider to enhance, maintain, and measure the sustainability and conservation of new and existing buildings.

Today’s Facility Manager

TFM is a specialized trade publication written and edited for corporate facility executives in all industry and service sectors whose responsibilities include purchasing, planning and approving products, services and materials for facility operations.

Western Roofing Magazine

Western Roofing/Insulation/Siding magazine is published six times per year. Written for the building professional concerned with the design, specification and application of roofing, insulation, and siding in the West.

Customer Service Week 2010

Customer Service Week is an international event devoted to recognizing the importance of customer service and honoring the people who work on the frontlines serving and supporting customers. The International Customer Service Association began Customer Service Week in 1988. In 1992 the U.S. Congress proclaimed Customer Service Week a nationally recognized event, celebrated annually during the first full week in October.

At Duro-Last we pride ourselves on providing the World’s Best Customer Service. That claim applies to all employees, not just those who work directly with our external customers day-by-day and hour-by-hour.

All of our inside sales staff (CSRs) go through an intense process that includes two days of hands-on training on how to install a Duro-Last roof. It’s essentially the same training that new authorized Duro-Last contractors attend. This experience helps CSRs understand our products so that they are ready to assist customers in a timely and effective manner. The Duro-Last customer service team consists of Amanda Diedrich , Shannon Doerr, Kris Emerick, Katie Grantham, Adam Johnson, Peter Ouderkirk, Mike Pawlaczyk, Adam Scully, Aaron Snook, Stacey Wascher, and Eric Whelton, The have almost 30 years of combined customer service experience. Duro-Last’s Customer Service Manager is Wayne Ross. Our CSRs are available from 7:00am to 9:00pm Eastern Time Monday through Friday.

Christy Shorkey is the sales secretary for Duro-Last, assisting the entire sales department with their administrative needs. She’s involved in many other projects as well, such as handling the registrations for the Duro-Last Sales Seminar, attended annually by approximately 1000 individuals representing 200 of our contractors customers.

We also take care of our customers through our phone system. When you call Duro-Last during normal business hours you will always get a real person on the line – not a confusing automated system – to assist you with your call. Pam Histed is usually the voice you will hear on the other end, and she has been cheerfully getting customers connected to Duro-Last for over six years.

Need some literature or a product sample? No problem! Raphael Bassey is here to assist you with those requests. If you visit Duro-Last in Saginaw, Michigan, for a plant tour, he may even pick you up at the airport.

These are just a few of the ways that Duro-Last provides its customers with the Worlds Best Customer Service.

To show our appreciation for the hard work of our customer service staff, we celebrated National Customer Service Week with a kickoff breakfast on Monday, lunch on Tuesday, and a wrap-up lunch on Friday. Throughout the week there were team-building activities, and teams were entered into daily drawings for prizes.

The CSR staff is the starting point for assisting our customers with their sales needs. But this talented team also provides order advice, price quotes, and product details, and also expediently directs contractors to other appropriate resources at Duro-Last. Taking good care of our authorized contractors is their number one goal, and we were proud to honor them during Customer Service Week!

Duro-Last Inside Sales Team

Roofing Industry Magazines: Part 1

There are lots of building and construction industry publications out there, and seemingly more being introduced monthly. Although the list might appear to be endless between print and online media opportunities, I have compiled some of the publications that Duro-Last has been involved with to some degree in recent years because of their connection to the commercial roofing industry. Below is a small description of each – mostly taken from each magazine’s own materials – as well as a link to each website. We’ll include about half of the pubs in this post and the rest in a subsequent post.

Architectural West Magazine

The Magazine of the Western Architect and Specifier, is published six times per year. Written for the building professional concerned with design, specification, and application of building products in the West.

Building Design & Construction

“Inspiring the Building team,” BD&C is an advocate for the integrated building team: AEC professionals working together to meet the needs of their clients and the people who use their client’s buildings.

Building Operating Management

BOM is a magazine for the building owner/facility executive, providing coverage for building owners and facility executives who control the nation’s largest commercial and institutional properties.

Buildings Magazine

This monthly publication offers readers information on the development, construction, modernization, management and operation of buildings, as well as the products and services needed to support such facilities.

Commercial Buildings Products

CBP grounds its editorial content in new-product information that is delivered to decision makers who are involved in the brand selection and purchase of applicable products.


Eco-Structure magazine delivers practical information and real-world examples of green building to architects, builders, interior designers, and others interested in the green-building industry. By focusing on particular green residential and commercial projects, as well as gaining “perspectives” from industry leaders, the publication strives to improve the built industry through education and design.

Environmental Design + Construction

ED+C is dedicated to efficient and sustainable design and construction. Since 1997, ED+C has supported, and will continue to support, the progressive architect, designer, specifying engineer and building developer to enhance the sustainability of new and existing buildings.


Interface is a technical/trade publication of The Institute of Roofing, Waterproofing, and Building Envelope Professionals (RCI). It is published eleven times a year. Interface provides readers with technical articles and papers, and timely coverage of industry news and events. It is the intent of RCI that Interface educate and inform all segments of the roofing industry, establish a common ground for discussion, and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and technical knowledge.

National Franchisee Association Annual Franchisee Summit

Duro-Last was privileged to sponsor the Burger King Franchisee Association’s Annual Summit meeting September 13-15 in Washington, DC. It was exciting and truly an honor for me to go to Capitol Hill to lobby side-by-side with small businesses.

Restaurants and organizations such as the Burger King Franchisee Association are an important group of customers for Duro-Last. We sell a lot of roofing systems to these businesses, and it’s in our best interest to help them remain viable. These are challenging times for many, who are wrestling with tax and health care issues that could have a profound effect on their business operations.

We met early on Tuesday morning over breakfast in the Hyatt Regency ballroom. A group of 400 franchisees and vendors from all over the United States prepared for afternoon meetings with senators and representatives. Keynote speaker Newt Gingrich briefed us on the upcoming 2010 mid-term elections. The general session included speakers Katie Hays and Caroline Harris from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Susan Eckerly from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and Brendan Flanagan from the National Restaurant Association, all of whom are involved in lobbying and voicing the needs of small business. They briefed us on relevant bills in Congress and reviewed with us how to lobby effectively while on Capitol Hill.

Senator John McCain was a surprise guest, and his lunchtime presentation included a question and answer session. It was very exciting and we all were pumped to go.

I was teamed with eight Indiana business owners, and we had appointments to visit the offices of Senators Dick Lugar and Evan Bayh, and Representatives Dan Burton and Joe Donnelly. They were not available, but we were able to meet with their legislative assistants. The lobbying was fun and challenging to say the least, especially with those who did not see eye-to-eye with our positions on the bills.

Washington is full of surprises. After going through security and getting into the Capitol building, we were directed down the marble staircase to the basement, where there was a trolley system to take us to different parts of the Capitol complex. There were restaurants and little shops down there as well. We were escorted by rail from the Hart building to the Russell, then to the Rayburn, and ended up in the Longworth building. All we had to do was get on the right elevator and figure out which floor to choose. Who would have thought you could do all that from the basement! Can you tell I’m from the country?

Our evening back at the hotel included an extravagant dinner and remarks from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. What a live wire she is! Keep your eye on her over the next few years. The highlight of the evening was an appearance by Barack Obama – actually, impressionist and comedian Steve Bridges. He had the crowd roaring with laughter.

All in all, it was an incredibly rewarding experience and an honor, on behalf of Duro-Last, to stand up for the small businesses of America.

Account Development Coordinator, Lindy Beuthin, discussing the benefits of a Duro-Last roofing system.
Senator John McCain addressing the crowd.
Captiol Hill