NRA 2012

This year’s NRA (National Restaurant Association) Show was a success for Duro-Last®. With a 6% increase in attendees over 2011, the show was busy and Duro-Last had a very full booth all four days. Over 1,900 exhibitors and 61,000 attendees flocked to the McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois where new products and services of all kinds were introduced.

The entire Chicago-area sales team for Duro-Last was in attendance. Regional Sales Manager, Mark Van Dorn gave new independent sales reps Scott Gaviati, Troy Osbourne, and Jeff Deneberg the ins-and-outs of the restaurant industry and how the Duro-Last roofing system can benefit restaurant owners. Having our local independent reps at the show made a great impression as many attendees already knew Troy and Jeff.

Duro-Last Sales Coordinator Ken Claes and National Account Representative Jason Dark demonstrated the long term benefits and energy savings that can be realized with the Duro-Last system. This included our new line of Duro-Guard™ insulation products. With four full days of exhibit time, they saw attendees return numerous times to the booth with additional questions. This increased our exposure to decision makers throughout North America.

Duro-Last will be attending NRA 2013, scheduled for May 18-21 at the McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.

RFMA 2012

Duro-Last® Roofing, Inc. recently exhibited at the Restaurant Facility Management Association’s (RFMA) annual conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The conference was attended by over 1200 restaurant facility managers and vendors. The many educational sessions covered a diverse variety of informative topics. The trade show portion of the event provided Duro-Last the opportunity to meet and discuss with facility managers the latest approaches to maintaining and repairing restaurant roofs. This is always a great event to see many of our customers in one location.

Duro-Last has a well-established corporate accounts program that includes several features. Some of which are: a single Duro-Last point of contact, approved roof specifications, budget development, tapered insulation design, pre-construction document review, regional personnel coordination, contractor referrals, and job-site inspections. The program was discussed with every new contact and reviewed with our current customers. Duro-Last also introduced our new Duro-Guard™ insulation product line and re-vamped warranty program – both were introduced to our network of authorized Duro-Last installers at our National Sales Seminar in January.

To spice things up this year, Duro-Last held a drawing for an iPod 4G Touch for one lucky winner that visited the booth to learn more about Duro-Last and the new products we introduced for 2012. Peggy Fromholz, Senior Regional Facility Manager at Red Robin International was that lucky winner.

Congratulations Peggy!

Peggy Fromholz (pictured left) with Duro-Last Corporate Accounts Coordinator Anna Hernandez.

RFMA was formed in 2004 when a group of facility directors met and determined that an organization just for restaurant facility directors would help to guide their own individual chains in keeping overhead down as new restaurants were added. Today, RFMA has an active Board of Directors, an Executive Director, an Education & Membership Manager, a Member Services Coordinator, and three committees. In the fall of 2010, RFMA launched its own official publication, “The Facilitator.”

John Deal, National Sales Manager for Duro-Last is the Co-chairman of RFMA’s Education Committee. Duro-Last has found RFMA to be a great organization through which to meet and network with facility managers in the restaurant industry.

Thank you to all who attended RFMA this year and stopped by the Duro-Last booth. See you next year in Orlando!

IRE 2012

Another International Roofing Expo has come and gone and we are happy to report that it was another successful show for Duro-Last® and EXCEPTIONAL® Metals. Even though we haven’t heard official numbers on attendance, the show looked busy and Duro-Last had a very full booth all three days. We’re hoping that’s an indicator that the construction industry is continuing to find itself on surer footing.

The Roofer’s Challenge in our booth was a hit again this year, where the winning time to weld a 3” Duro-Last custom-fabricated stack was 39 seconds. Anyone who welded the stack in less than 90 seconds won a Duro-Last t-shirt. Looks like this challenge is becoming too easy and we may need to think of something different for next year!

Duro-Last once again had several new products to introduce and we presented them in a new booth display that was a hit with attendees. Several EXCEPTIONAL Metals products were also on display.


Duro-Guard™ Insulation Products

We showed eight different “hands-on” roof assemblies that incorporate our new Duro-Guard insulation product line. Duro-Guard ISO and EPS Insulation panels provide high Long-Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) values. Duro-Guard insulation panels contain no CFCs or HCFCs; have Zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP); are EPA compliant; and have virtually no Global Warming Potential (GWP).


Booth visitors appreciated the opportunity to handle many of the unique metal details of the EXCEPTIONAL Metals’ products that were on display as part of our exhibit. EXCEPTIONAL Metals manufactures high-quality metal components designed for use with any single-ply roof, including edge details, drainage systems, and vinyl-coated metal products. Standing seam roof panels are also available from EXCEPTIONAL Metals, and they were shown in the booth as well.


In addition to product displays, Duro-Last introduced our re-vamped warranty program. We now offer 16 warranties in all – a wide range of 15 and 20 year options that provide unparalleled security for virtually all commercial roofing applications, including those in high-wind and hail areas. Our standard comprehensive 15 Year No Dollar Limit (NDL) Warranty is still the best in the industry. It’s transferable, has no exclusions for ponding water, and provides coverage against consequential damages that result from defects in the Duro-Last material and/or installation workmanship.

Did you attend IRE 2012? What were some interesting products you saw or educational sessions you attended?

Solar on Life Support? Not So Fast…

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” So said Mark Twain more than a century ago. Despite the recent and well-publicized demise of Solyndra, the photovoltaic industry might echo Twain’s remark, given the rousing attendance at this year’s Solar Power International (SPI) show in Dallas. More than 1100 exhibitors displayed their wares to an estimated 20,000 attendees at the Dallas Convention Center, October 17-19.

The Duro-Last booth was busy, as we demonstrated to visitors how the Duro-Last roofing system is “solar-ready,” with prefabricated flashings that easily provide a watertight fit around PV mounting racks and other rooftop penetrations.

We were joined in the booth by Duro-Last independent sales reps Daniel and Leah Lakstins (West Texas) and Buddy Wilson (East Texas). Also dropping by on my watch were representatives from Duro-Last authorized contractors Jaco Roofing & Construction (Clute, Texas) and LaFerney, Inc. (Kingsport, Tennessee).

Kevin Kelley and Drew Ballensky warming up pre-show to greet the throngs of visitors to the Duro-Last booth at SPI!

Greenbuild 2011 Wrap Up

The 10th anniversary of U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo was held October 4th – 7th at the Metro Toronto Convention Center in Toronto, Canada. Greenbuild is the largest expo dedicated to green building with over 20,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors. Duro-Last® was one of those exhibitors and has been for the last eight years.

This year the show floor traffic felt a bit slower than in past years. It may be because it was in Canada, or that the two halls were a great distance apart. The last day did seem busier in the South hall where Duro-Last was, and our booth had good traffic most of the day with several promising opportunities.

We had a video running in the booth showcasing a 20-year-old Duro-Last roof that had been recycled into PROTECT-ALL® flooring (manufactured by sister company, Oscoda Plastics®, Inc.), which was very interesting to many attendees. You can watch the three-minute video by clicking on this link.

Ken Claes, Midwest Sales Coordinator, at the Duro-Last booth.

I had the opportunity to attend two educational sessions this year. The first was Green Schools that Teach: Whole-School Sustainability. This was a report on a case study conducted by Stephanie Barr and Brian Dunbar from the Institute for the Built Environment and Katharine Leigh from Colorado State University. They studied five LEED certified schools that they called “whole-school sustainable.” One interesting part of their study included an educational program where the students took part in understanding sustainable practices. For example, one school has a volatile organic compounds (VOC) monitor and every day at 10:30 am and 12:30pm students noticed the VOC indicator rose significantly. They wondered why this happened and found out that every day at that time all of the students were using anti-bacterial hand sanitizer. They are now conscious of this and are changing their habits to make their air quality better.

The second session I attended was, Are there any sustainable materials? Exploring the role of materials stewardship in sustainable built environments. This was an interactive session with speakers Lindsay James from Interface, Inc., Sarah Brooks from The Natural Step Canada, Gail Vittori from Center for Maximum Potential Building Systems, and Jennifer Atlee from BuildingGreen. I thought we were going to learn about specific sustainable products, but it was more of a general discussion about sustainable products, and whether there truly are any out there. “Biomimicry,” a new term to me, looks to nature and natural systems for inspiration, and in nature, there is no such thing as waste – anything left over from one animal or plant is food for another species. One of the oldest examples of biomimicry is Velcro which was invented by Swiss inventor George de Mestral in 1941 after he removed burrs from his dog. This got the group thinking about products used in the building industry that reflect biomimcry.

I have had the opportunity to attend Greenbuild three years now and it is still exciting to see what companies have come up with to contribute to green building practices. As always I will be looking forward to Greenbuild 2012 in San Francisco, California.

If you attended Greenbuild this year please leave your comments below in how the show was for you and your organization.

View from above the north hall.

International Roofing Expo – Best one Yet!

It looks as though things just might be finally turning around. The Duro-Last® booth at the 2011 International Roofing Expo was non-stop all three days. Attendance was up 18% compared to last year and we could really see a difference, primarily because of our hands-on welding contest for visitors and the comprehensive array of new products that were introduced.

About 50 people competed in the welding contest, and anyone who could weld a roof stack in less than 90 seconds was awarded a Duro-Last t-shirt. This was intended to demonstrate how Duro-Last’s pre-fabrication approach to producing roofing systems results in labor-savings for contractors. The winning time was 57 seconds to completely install a 3″ round stack.

Roofing contractor participating in the Roofers Challenge.

New products that were introduced included; standing seam roofing panels, Duro-Fleece™ System, new color terra cotta, Duro-Bond™ Inductive Weld Roofing System, and separation slip sheets.

Standing Seam Metal Roofing System

One of our biggest announcement was the addition of standing seam metal roofing panels, produced by EXCEPTIONAL® Metals. With five profiles and over 30 metal colors and finishes, Duro-Last’s standing seam roofing options will enhance the appearance of any sloped roof design. Profiles are available for architectural, structural, and flush wall/soffit panel standing seam applications.

Duro-Fleece™ System

The Duro-Fleece™ System combines Duro-Last’s proven thermoplastic membrane and five-and-a-half-ounce fleece material that’s bound to the underside of the membrane during manufacturing. The fleece offers enhanced adhesion characteristics between the membrane and the substrate. For some applications, it can also act as a separation barrier. The Duro-Fleece System can be applied using Duro-Last’s water-based WBII adhesive or a new product: the two-part bead-applied Duro-Fleece™ Adhesive.

New Color Terra Cotta

Duro-Last announced the addition of a new terra cotta color to our membrane offerings. Like the other standard Duro-Last membranes, the terra cotta material is a proprietary thermoplastic formulation that provides exceptional flexibility, resistance to U.V. radiation, and flame retardance.

Duro-Bond™ Inductive Weld Roofing System

This is a mechanically-attached installation option that uses non-penetrating technology. Induction welding bonds the Duro-Last membrane to a specially-coated fastening plate beneath the roof membrane, which also fastens insulation and recovery board materials to the roof deck. With the Duro-Bond system, contractors have the choice of using plates and welding tools made by OMG (the RhinoBond® Induction Fastening System) or FRS (the Centrix® Induction Bonding System).

Separation Slip Sheets

Duro-Last is offering two new separation slip sheets for use with the Duro-Last roofing system. Both sheets are chemical-resistant and have excellent weatherability. They are highly resistant to mildew and because they are made of inert organic materials, they do not provide nutritive value to plants, animals, or microorganisms. The Duro-Blue™ and Duro-Weave™ slip sheets may be used as a separation layer between the Duro-Last roof membrane and incompatible materials.

The 2012 International Roofing Expo will be held at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida, February 22-24.

Would you like to share your IRE experience? Send us a comment and we may post it on the blog!

Western Roofing Expo 2010

The 36th annual Western Roofing Expo was held at the Paris-Las Vegas Hotel & Casino from June 20th – June 23rd. The trade show had good attendance and the Duro-Last booth was manned by Tim Hart, Vice President of West Coast Operations, Marty Krolikowski, Rocky Mountain Regional Sales Manager, Alan Mullins, Rocky Mountain Sales Coordinator, Scott Franklin, Duro-Last Sales Representative for Los Angeles, and me. It was good to see all of the Duro-Last contractors and Independent Sales Representatives who attended.

With over 150 exhibitors and almost 3,000 attendees, the show is a great way to catch up with many of our existing contractors and see what our competitors are promoting. One topic of discussion on the show floor was the acquisition of Bradco Supply Corp. by ABC Supply Co. Inc. Although this does not affect Duro-Last directly, it is always good to know what is going on the building and construction industry.

Attendees were optimistic of the year to come and we heard a lot about roofing activity in the works. This is good news to everyone that has been affected by the economic downturn. Another buzz on the show floor was about solar. This continues to be a growing trend in commercial buildings and we were able to discuss the fact that our roofing system is Solar-Ready™ and ideal for any commercial rooftop solar application.

In addition to staffing the booth, the Duro-Last crew attended several informational sessions that were offered before the show room floors opened. One in particular was given by Mark Guy from Building Envelope Technology & Research, and Rick Olsen from Tile Roofing Institute, tiled; How the 2009 IBC Affects You and the Roofing Industry. This provided an overview of the roofing-related changes to the 2006 edition of the International Building Code, International Plumbing Code, and International Residential Code.

Next year’s expo will be at the Peppermill Resort & Casino in Reno, Nevada.

If you have any photos or stories you would like to share about your experiences at the Western Roofing Expo please post them here.