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

Green Globes® Is Now An ANSI Standard

In April, the Green Building Initiative received word that its Green Globes® green design guideline was approved as an American National Standard. The new standard is not yet part of Green Globes’ online system, but it will be in the future. It is set up as a tool to assess the designer’s plans rather than to instruct in green design. There are four achievement levels: Level 1 is 35%-54% of the total points, Level 2 is 55%-69%, Level 3 is 70%-84% and level 4 is 85-100%. Achievement levels are based on percentage rather than number of points to allow for a difference in the points total in the event there are “non-applicable” circumstances; e.g. there are no oil fired burners on site, or local codes override certain criterion.

As compared to LEED®, the credit categories are weighted based on importance as determined by the review committee and industry input. A certain percentage of points are required in each category in order to reduce/avoid “point chasing.” There are five categories where Duro-Last can directly influence points and several other areas where Duro-Last or one of our sister companies can have a somewhat indirect influence.

Section 7.2.2 Heat Island Effect

Points can be obtained for having vegetative roofing or a reflective surface with SRI of 78 or greater on various proportions of the roof deck.

Section 8 Energy

Points can be obtained using either a Performance Design path or a Prescriptive Design Path. Duro-Last can help with section 8.2.3 Power Demand Reduction. Above deck insulation can help with section 8.4.1 Thermal Resistance and Transmittance.

Section 10.1.2 Materials Content Assemblies

Points can be obtained when pre or post-consumer recycled content of an assembly accounts for 1% or more of building materials. Number of points achieved goes up with higher percentages.

Section 10.1.4 Transportation of Processed or Manufactured Materials

Points can be obtained when 1% or more of materials and products used in the building were processed or manufactured within 500 miles or if shipped by rail or water within 1500 miles. The number of points allowed goes up with greater percentages.

Section10.7.1.1 Roofing Membrane Assemblies and Systems (and) Section Flashings

Points can be obtained by installing according to manufacturer’s recommendations and inspecting according to:

  1. ARMA/NRCA Manual for Roof Inspection
  2. SPRI/NRCA Manual for Roof Inspection
  3. SMACNA’s Architectural Sheet Metal Manual

In most instances, by installing a white Duro-Last roof according to our standards and performing the approved inspections, we can help directly with obtaining as many as 16 points and indirectly with several more. When there are as many as 1000 total points, that doesn’t sound like a lot. But there are so many categories and options that no one action or product can have an overwhelming influence.

All in all, the standard was well done, is easy to use and in general is a much better product than LEED which is not a recognized green design standard. When GBI gets the standard consolidated with its online Green Globes it should be even more user-friendly.

Code of the West

In these challenging times, perhaps it may be helpful to turn back to what some might call a simpler time – the time of the Old West. James P. Owen, Wall Street veteran and author, laid out the “Code of the West,” which offers some interesting ideas that we can apply to our business and our careers.

Live each day with courage.

It takes courage to keep heading out into the unknown after rejections and failures. It’s risky, but you need to get up in the morning and keep getting back in the saddle.

Take pride in your work.

Don’t get sloppy. Put out the best service you can, provide the best product you can, and back it up.

Always finish what you start.

A job half done is a job undone.

Do what has to be done.

Sometimes what has to be done is difficult or uncomfortable for us. But if it has to be done to accomplish the goal, just do it.

Be tough, but fair.

Sometimes it’s difficult to come down hard on someone, or to not back down when faced with unreasonable expectations, or to put up with unethical competitors. Always take the high road and stick with sound principals.

When you make a promise, keep it.

There’s no better way to build and maintain credibility than by keeping promises. Trust adds value to what you are selling.

Ride for the brand.

Sit tall in the saddle when you are representing the company. Others will be more interested in what you’re selling if they sense your devotion to it.

Talk less and say more.

If you hear what they are saying you will be able to respond to their needs – for information, service, products.

Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

Don’t sacrifice integrity and honor for short-term gain.

Know where to draw the line.

Featured Project: A New Roof for Leaky SoCal School

In late 2009, during a time when Southern California had received more rain than over the previous four years, the roof on St. Mary’s and All Angels School in Aliso Viejo began to fail and the school was forced to deal with ongoing leaks into classrooms.

Joe Daniels, owner of D7 Consulting, Inc., in Newport Beach and who has a son attending St. Mary’s, was asked to advise the school on a course of action. The staff at D7 has over a hundred years of combined experience in the roofing and waterproofing industry.

D7 reviewed the condition of the roof and determined that a new roof system was in order. The original 2-ply and gravel built-up system had leaks in the flashings and field that persisted even after attempts at repairs were made.

In addition to the leaky roof itself, the St. Mary’s project presented other challenges that the roofing contractor would need to deal with.

One important issue was timing. The leak problem had reached this critical stage just a few weeks prior to the school’s Christmas break. The leadership at St. Mary’s would have to make a quick decision on a new roof that could be delivered prior to, then installed during the short break – a two-three-week window.

The roof would need to be installed quickly, and incorporate a number of flashings for HVAC curbs and other penetrations. The installation would take place during the rainy season and would need to be kept dry to prevent damage to the interior of the building.

Another issue was that most manufacturers would require a tear-off of the existing built-up roof. Not only would this disrupt normal building operations, but would also add to the cost of the project and possibly delay its completion.

Authorized Duro-Last contractor Bligh Pacific Roof Company of Sante Fe Springs, California, was able to install the roofing system during the school’s Christmas break. The roof for St. Mary’s was prefabricated in Duro-Last’s Grants Pass, Oregon, location and included not only the deck membrane sheets but flashings for several HVAC curbs and over 100 other penetrations. The potential installation time was reduced by several days.

“Other roofing products would have required us to do a lot of on-site workmanship to create all the flashings from rolled membrane materials,” Bligh Pacific owner Jay Bligh said. “Because the Duro-Last flashings were made to order at the factory, we could get through those job details really quickly and reduce the total number of construction days that would be necessary. The prefabricated deck sheets and flashings will also help ensure that those areas of the roof will remain watertight for years to come.”

Also, the Duro-Last solution did not involve a complete tear-off of the existing roof, as required by other systems, saving St. Mary’s on the overall cost of the project. The gravel surface was vacuumed off, and the Duro-Last system was installed over the old built-up roof.

Another benefit for St. Mary’s will be energy cost savings. The white Duro-Last membrane exceeds California’s Title 24 building code requirements for roofing system reflectivity and emissivity, which will help the school reduce its energy consumption.

Aerial shot of the completed Duro-Last roofing system for St. Mary's.
A Bligh Pacific technician completes the installation of a Duro-Last custom-fabricated flashing for a St. Mary's skylight.