See Also: Recent AEC Daily Newsletters

Celebrating 50 Years of Service

July 12, 2024

CEMCO® is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! Founded in 1974, CEMCO is recognized as one of the largest manufacturers of steel framing and metal lath systems in the United States. CEMCO has built its reputation on the finest in quality material, using mill certified hot-dipped galvanized steel. Equipped with state-of-the-art roll formers and four strategically located manufacturing facilities, CEMCO excels in supplying both small and large construction projects throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Pacific Rim.

All CEMCO products are manufactured right here in the USA. CEMCO is primarily a roll-former of cold-formed steel framing products, expanded metal lath products, drywall corners, control/expansion joints, plaster trims, screeds, weeps and several proprietary products and systems such as ProX Header®, SureBoard® for Shear for the commercial, institutional, mid-rise, multifamily and residential construction sectors. Through our 50 years of success, we have also ventured into the firestopping market.

In October 2022 CEMCO was purchased by JFE Shoji America Holdings, Inc., giving CEMCO a bright future for growth and expansion. Led by president and CEO Tom Porter, CEMCO continues to provide the highest quality products backed by the best customer service and support in the industry. Our team of customer service, sales and manufacturing experts is committed to maintaining our place as a leader in the construction products industry.

CEMCO’s core products include cold-formed steel framing products that are roll-formed using state-ofthe-art roll-forming equipment in each of our four facilities. Backed by decades of operational experience, customers of CEMCO continue to rely on products that are code-compliant with IBC, CBC and IRC standards. As an active member in the Steel Framing Industry Association (SFIA) as well as the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), the Cold-Formed Steel Engineering Institute (CFSEI) as well as many other regional and local entities, CEMCO’s leadership of and commitment to the steel framing market is unparalleled.

For 50 years, CEMCO has continued to provide the construction industry with quality products all manufactured in the USA. Through our research and development efforts, CEMCO provides innovative products that save both time and money for architects, engineers, developers and installers. Recent developments include RC1-XD™ for sound abatement in commercial, multifamily and residential structures in both steel and wood-framed assemblies. SureBoard for Shear products now include a non-combustible solution, Series 200S/F, for floor and roof applications. Designed to provide easier installation, the Sure-Board panels are a composite sheathing product available in 4-foot by 4-foot panels with 20 gauge thick hot-dipped galvanized steel sheet adhered to a magnesium oxide substrate for a one-step installation that not only acts as a subfloor but also provides a proven solution for shear.

CEMCO’s metal lath and plastering accessories offering is one of the broadest in the industry. Also manufactured from mill-certified hotdipped galvanized steel, these exterior applied lath products have been the support for cement plaster systems in hundreds of thousands of buildings, houses and institutions since way back in 1974. A complete line of plastering accessories for corners, foundations and doors/windows allows for one-stop shopping when it comes to popular three-coat plaster systems as well as newer exterior finish systems, all while meeting the most recent building code requirements. As the exterior finishes industry continued to grow and expand into more efficient systems, CEMCO developed a complete line of water management products like #7 Extended Sill Screed, M-Slide Expansion Joint™, and the popular #12 Soffit Drip Edge® for improved protection of structures from potential water intrusion and damage.

With all these products, CEMCO did not stop there. Through exhaustive research efforts, CEMCO responded to the industry’s need for firestopping solutions that would last the lifetime of a typical building. Back in 2009 the first of many firestopping solutions for head-of-wall assemblies was launched. Today, CEMCO offers a multitude of firestopping solutions such as Fire Bead®, Fire Gasket®, HOTROD® XL and FireRip™ providing fire protection that lasts the lifetime of the building.

CEMCO’s Fire Bead® is a fire-rated wall mount deflection bead that provides one- and two-hour fire-ratings for both dynamic and static joints according to UL-2079 5th edition (for both standard walls and shaft walls).

Fire Gasket® is a fire-rated composite vinyl intumescent accessory that provides fire-ratings for both dynamic and static joints with both concrete and fluted deck assemblies according to UL-2079 5th edition. Fire Gasket® also provides one- and two-hour fire-ratings, and an L-rating of less than 1 CFM in three versions provides 1/2", 1" and 1 1/2" of unencumbered movement and is sound tested according to ASTM E90.

HOTROD® XL is a composite fire-rated wall mount deflection bead that provides 1- and 2-hour fire-ratings in lieu of fire sealant for both dynamic (13/16" overall movement) and static joints. FireRip™ is a composite steel angle encased in fire-rated drywall that provides unencumbered dynamic movement per UL-2079 5th edition. FireRip comes in 8-foot lengths and three sizes to provide unencumbered fire-rated joint protection for 2", 3" and 4" wide joints. With the success of these firestopping innovations and many others in development, CEMCO continues to be a leader in this market as well.

How does CEMCO do it? Well, with an in-house IAS accredited testing laboratory (IAS TL-316), researchers are busy at work developing and testing possible labor-saving products and systems that meet or exceed ASTM, ICC and UL standards. Equipped with the latest in state-of-the-art instrumentation, CEMCO’s team of engineers, drafters and technicians continuously meet with CEMCO’s sales and marketing teams to devise solutions for all stakeholders in every sector of the construction industry. Strategic partnerships with other industry leaders provide guidance and expertise often resulting in paradigm-shifting advancements in construction technology as well as labor-saving products to end-users. We continue to look for future challenges in providing options that will expand the availability of safer, more productive and easier-to-use solutions to the construction industry at large.

Now that we have given you a complete view of CEMCO’s history, current capabilities, as well as our intentions to continue our leadership path, we humbly ask for your support for the next 50 years. Once a family-owned business working from a garage making Corner Aid, CEMCO has grown into four full-scale steel processing and manufacturing facilities strategically located in four major metropolitan centers (greater Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay, Denver and Dallas/Fort Worth). Known for our quality of product, service and support, CEMCO continues to seek opportunities to service you, the end-user.

For more information visit us at, or contact one of our local experienced sales professionals.

Here is to another 50 years of success!

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Kingspan Insulated Panels North America Releases Environmental Product Declaration for its K-Roc™ HF Series Metal Panels

June 12, 2024

This third-party certified EPD represents life cycle assessment data to help architects, contractors and building owners make informed choices on building materials

Kingspan Insulated Panels North America has released an environmental product declaration (EPD) for its K-Roc™ HF Series insulated metal panels (IMPs). EPDs have become the industry standard for identifying the best building materials to lower embodied carbon in the built environment.

Embodied carbon is the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with all stages of a product’s life – from cradle to grave. The built environment generates 42% of annual global CO2 emissions. Now more than ever, it is crucial to identify and manufacture materials with lower embodied carbon.

Similar to a food nutrition label, EPDs show raw material extraction, energy and water use, ozone depletion potential (ODP), smog creation, waste generation and total emissions to air, soil and water.

Industry-wide EPDs represent average environmental impacts for specific product types. While these serve as great benchmarks, product-specific EPDs like this offer more detailed, granular data for a specific manufacturer's products and can help architects, contractors and building owners make more informed building material choices.

The K-Roc™ HF Series EPD shows a global warming potential (GWP) of 4.22 KgCO2/ft2 for an 8-inch IMP thickness, 3.87 KgCO2/ft2 for a 6-inch IMP thickness, and 3.53 KgCO2/ft2 for a 4-inch IMP thickness.

Kingspan’s K-Roc HF series uses a mineral fiber insulation core to provide exceptional fire protection. Available in 4-, 6- and 8-inch thicknesses, the series delivers up to a three-hour fire rating in wall applications and a one-hour fire rating in ceiling applications. These products are available in five different profiles with external and internal skins in embossed or non-embossed finishes to fit an array of aesthetic styles. They are used in commercial, industrial, institutional and refrigerated buildings due to their thermal efficiency and ease of installation.

Kingspan created the first-of-its-kind cradle-to-grave UL Certified ISO compliant EPD in September 2011. Since then, the company has conducted many revisions to document its journey of continuous improvement.

Kingspan is committed to making a positive impact on three global challenges – climate change, circularity and the protection of the natural world – through Planet Passionate, its 10-year sustainability commitment. EPDs like this help the company identify areas where products and processes can be improved to lower GWP and accelerate participation in the circular economy.

“We have extremely ambitious goals for sustainability through Planet Passionate, and the panels we produce play a vital role in achieving these goals,” said Brent Trenga, director of sustainability for Kingspan Insulated Panels North America. “Product-specific EPDs like the K-Roc HF EPD help us understand where we can better our operations and help architects and contractors make informed decisions for their building materials.”

Kingspan’s K-Roc HF series is currently manufactured in its Langley facility in British Columbia, Canada. Kingspan recently announced it will open a new site in Mattoon, Illinois, where the K-Roc HF series will also be manufactured.

To view the full EPD, click here.

To learn more about Planet Passionate, click here.

For more information on Kingspan Insulated Panels North America, visit

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Leveraging the enhanced Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to reduce the cost of solar lighting

June 03, 2024

Whether you’re a developer looking for a fast and flexible way to light a new housing project or a municipality looking to reduce infrastructure costs and meet sustainability goals, there has never been a better time to invest in solar lighting.

That might sound like a ‘line’ coming as it is from a company with a vested interest in selling solar lighting products but hear us out. There’s a newly expanded federal tax incentive that can offset 30% (or more) of the cost of a solar lighting installation. Businesses, state and local governments, and tribal councils are all eligible, and virtually all expenses—equipment, labor, tax—can be claimed. New “direct pay” and “transferability” provisions make it easier than ever to access funding, without needing to involve third-party investors and ‘equity owners’.

So, what is this potent solar incentive? It’s called the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and it’s been called everything from an “underrated tool” to “one of the most important federal policy mechanisms to incentivize clean energy in the United States.” In this article, we’ll explain how it works, what and who is eligible, and some strategies for maximizing your pay-out.

What is the solar investment tax credit?

The ITC, technically called the Energy Investment Tax Credit, is a tax credit that reduces the federal income tax liability for a percentage of the cost of a solar system in the year it’s installed. Though not new—it was originally enacted under the Bush Administration in 2005 to encourage homeowners to adopt energy technologies—it was recently extended and expanded under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in some significant ways.

Most importantly, it opened the ITC to non-taxpaying entities (municipalities, non-profits, tribal councils, etc.) which have not historically benefited from tax credits. It also added a new “direct pay” provision that allows these organizations to receive a cash refund equal to the credit’s value (rather than subtract it from a tax balance they don’t have). And, for developers not eligible for direct pay, the IRA made the ITC “transferable,” meaning they can sell their tax credits to an unrelated party for cash. More on that below.

How much is the ITC?

We dropped a hint in the intro, but the answer is the most annoying of responses: It depends! In theory, up to 70% of qualifying product costs can be covered by the ITC and its bonus credit amounts. However, it can be as low as 30% (still pretty good!) if none of the bonus criteria are met. Here’s what you need to know to maximize your credit amount:

• Solar projects under 1 MW automatically qualify for both the base and labor credits, so you can disregard the 6% figure (unless your project is massive, in which case, give us a call!)
• You can unlock an additional 10% in credit for meeting certain domestic content requirements (our cue to mention Sol’s EverGen lights are made in the USA and BABA compliant).
• Projects located in an energy community (brownfield sites or fossil fuel communities) qualify for a 10% bonus.
• Projects located in low-income communities or on Tribal land qualify for a 10% bonus; 20% if it’s part of a low-income residential building project or low-income economic benefit project.

Note that these bonuses stack, so a project that meets all the bonus requirements could cover most of its costs using the ITC. To calculate your credit amount, you multiply the applicable tax credit percentage (say, 50% because you’ve purchased one of Sol’s American-made systems and your project is on Tribal land) by the amount spent on the asset. A $90k solar installation would qualify for a $45k credit/refund!

Also, note that the credit won’t be around forever. The IRA outlines a phased reduction in the ITC percentage over time, with systems placed in service in the next ten years eligible for the full 30% base credit before reducing to 22.5% in 2034, 15% in 2035, and ultimately zeroing out in 2036.

What’s eligible for the ITC?

While our focus is obviously on solar, a wide range of clean energy technologies are eligible for the ITC, including geothermal, fuel cell, microturbine, small wind, offshore wind, tidal, biogas… you get the idea. If it’s renewable, located in the U.S., installed between 2023 and 2034, and uses new (and limited previously used) equipment, chances are it’s eligible for the ITC.

The DOE has a comprehensive list if you’re wondering exactly which expenses can be claimed. For solar lighting projects, you can claim the entire asset value (including solar panels, batteries, mounting equipment, and wiring), installation costs, and sales tax.

What is direct pay and transferability?

Back to those IRA updates we introduced earlier. First, the IRA authorized tax-exempt entities to opt for cash payments instead of tax credits using a provision called “direct pay.” Although these entities were technically eligible for the ITC before the IRA, they were forced to partner with for-profit investors because they had no taxable income. Now, they can access the credit (or cash) directly, which the National League of Cities (NLC) says will “level the playing field between local governments and the private sector.”

Second, the IRA made the ITC “transferable,” allowing most taxpayers (i.e. those excluded from direct pay) to sell their credits to an unrelated party. If you’re wondering why (we were!), it’s because, pre-IRA, many developers didn’t have enough tax liability to use the credit fully. They, too, often ended up partnering with a third party (in this case, a tax equity investor) with sufficient liability to take advantage of the credit. There are a bunch of reasons this isn’t ideal, but the bottom line is it just got a lot simpler for developers with limited tax capacity to access the ITC, and we say that’s a win!

Can the ITC be combined with other government incentives?

Yes! We’ve written 1,200 words on the ITC because we think it’s the most compelling incentive available to prospective solar lighting customers, but it’s far from the only one. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) created and expanded a slew of federal funding programs, many of which can be applied to renewable energy infrastructure (check out the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program and Safe Streets and Roads for All).

Another great tool is the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE), which aggregates information on incentives and policies that support renewables at the federal, state, local, and utility levels. According to the DOE, “Most solar system rebates provided by a utility or state government are considered taxable income and do not change the tax basis when calculating the ITC.” So, if the qualifying cost of an asset is $90k and the applicable tax credit percentage is 50%, the credit is $45k whether you receive an additional $20k grant from the state or not.

Ready to save on your next solar lighting project?

Whether you’re a federal employee, city engineer, or private developer, there truly hasn’t ever been a better time to invest in solar lighting. The ITC is essentially free money for your next project—but as we’ve mentioned, it won’t be available forever. Many of our customers are already seeing the benefits of leveraging the credit to build solar projects that save energy, reduce costs, and increase safety.

Do you want to be next? Our team of solar experts would love to help. Contact us.

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The Power and Possibility of Adaptive Reuse

May 10, 2024


Ganahl Lumber, Pasadena, California


To bring natural daylight into a historical, adaptive reuse retail space, displaying building materials in an inviting and energy-efficient manner, while offering a cost-effective “high-end” presentation within a typically utilitarian retail environment.


The design objectives were met through a strategic daylighting design; the store’s revenues exceeded expectations and the project won an AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter Honor Design Award in the restoration/adaptive reuse category.


60 Solatube SolaMaster 330 DS-O Tubular Daylighting Devices


Onyx Architects, Pasadena, California
Dale W Brown, AIA, Principal in Charge
Douglas D Joyce III, AIA/FARA, Design Principal
Mary Wu, AIA, Project Manager


Established in 1884, Ganahl Lumber stands as one of Southern California’s oldest and most respected businesses, known for providing quality hardware, lumber and building materials. In 2010, the company had the opportunity to return to its roots in Pasadena, Calif., when a 4-acre General Motors dealership on the famed Colorado Boulevard became available for sale.

CHALLENGE: Navigating the Maze of Adaptive Reuse

Upon acquiring the parcel, the prospect of adaptive reuse, although exciting and promising, presented many complexities. The building also stands along the iconic Route 66. This meant that, alongside the challenge of converting the former automotive establishment into a lumberyard and accommodating its specific requirements, the architecture team at Onyx also had to adhere to the design standards set by the city and historical preservation society.

In addition to maneuvering through a labyrinth of codes and regulations, the architecture team grappled with the formidable challenge of reshaping the expansive interior into a space that exuded both comfort and aesthetic allure. Embracing a philosophy centered on human-centric design, the objective was to depart from the conventional utilitarian atmosphere often associated with such retail settings, opting instead to craft an environment that offered a 'high-end' experience, one that would delight customers and encourage them to linger.

SOLUTION: Illuminating the Space with Solatube

To achieve this vision, detailed attention was given to the daylighting design. This is because studies have shown that natural daylight in buildings results in improved occupant comfort, which can directly affect consumer behavior. A comfortable shopping environment can encourage customers to spend more time browsing and ultimately leads to higher sales.

A pivotal study by Heschong Mahone Group (HMG), titled "Daylight and Retail Sales," found that retail spaces lit with daylight experienced a sales increase of over 40% compared to similar spaces selling comparable products without natural light.

This is because not only does daylight provide psychological and physiological benefits to the occupants within the building, but it also accurately renders all wavelengths of light within the visible color spectrum, allowing merchandise to reflect its true colors with an even intensity, making it more attractive to the human eye.

With this knowledge, the architects at Onyx decided to use 60 Solatube SolaMaster 330 DS-O Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDD) to bring natural daylight into the deep center of the expansive retail space.

Unlike traditional skylights, TDDs harvest daylight on the roof and transfer it down a reflective tube, made of the world’s most reflective material called Spectralight® Infinity, and distributes it evenly into the interior space, without adding glare. Solatube TDDs work very well for high-bay applications like Ganahl Lumber as they can capture sunlight on both sunny and cloudy days.

In this application, the simple cylindrical shape of the TDD also seamlessly integrated perfectly with the other elements, including HVAC, electric lighting, fire-sprinklers and signage, resulting in a cohesive and harmonious design in the open ceiling. To ensure the emitted daylight would not be obstructed, the Solatube TDDs were strategically placed with the diffuser lens close to the roof deck. Meanwhile, other systems were layered below, with signage positioned at the bottom, floating elegantly over merchandise displays and racks. This purposeful positioning not only allows the facility to maximize the natural light coming from the TDDs, reducing the use of electric lighting during daylight hours and contributing to a more sustainable retail environment, but also ensures that specific merchandising is highlighted, drawing customer attention and enhancing the overall shopping experience.


The meticulous attention given to the daylighting design not only met the design objectives but yielded remarkable results for Ganahl Lumber. The store’s revenues exceeded expectations and the project won an AIA Pasadena & Foothill Chapter Honor Design Award in the restoration/adaptive reuse category.

“The Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices have helped this Ganahl Lumber become a building materials ‘destination’ in the community, known for being visually appealing and a great place to get help with building projects. This store has also inspired a number of other new and remodeled stores in the Ganahl chain.”
– Douglas D Joyce III, AIA/FARA, Design Principal, Onyx Architects

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Earth Day and Every Day

April 26, 2024

J P Specialties, Inc. strives to be a leader in environmental sustainability and believes that a successful future for our business and the customers we serve depends on the sustainability of the environment, communities, and economies in which we operate.

We here at J P Specialties, Inc. are dedicated to progressing in all facets. Our most recent undertaking was becoming a paperless office and manufacturing facility. Finding the right software where every department could collaborate and keep things organized was integral. After a bit of trial and error we finally found the perfect program in which we were able to fully customize to our needs. We bought tablets for each of our manufacturing and operations departments, and have eliminated more than 80% of our paper usage. Another benefit being our sales team can quickly and efficiently keep you, the customer, up to date on your orders and spot in the manufacturing process.

Keycup® is a reusable concrete accessory we designed to simultaneously center your waterstop and create a keyed construction joint. Instead of stripping 2x4s, you can simply peel Keycup® away with no form release. Not only does this save lumber and time, but it completely eliminates a risky step in forming keyed construction joints with embedded waterstop. Find more Information on or contact the Waterstop Experts.

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REGUPOL's Pioneering Solutions in Recycled Rubber

April 12, 2024

REGUPOL is a global frontrunner in recycled elastomer processing. Specializing in state-of-the-art sports flooring, versatile athletic training surfaces, premium acoustic underlayment, and commercial flooring, the company annually incorporates over 180 million pounds of recycled rubber into its manufacturing. Headquartered in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, the American arm of a venerable German industrial enterprise, established in 1954, remains a family-run business in the third generation. With a distribution network spanning over 100 countries, REGUPOL’s products, derived from 100% post-consumer tire rubber, post-industrial EPDM rubber, and other renewable sources, embody excellence and sustainability, driven by cutting-edge manufacturing techniques.

Drawing from this rich history of ingenuity, the company has recently unveiled a groundbreaking category of flooring: Luxury Rubber Tile (LRT) and Luxury Rubber Plank (LRP). REGUPOL upscale is a first-of-its-kind collection of recycled rubber tiles and planks for commercial installations. Crafted from a blend of post-consumer tire rubber, dynamic post-industrial EPDM chips, and a low VOC binder, REGUPOL upscale offers both standard sizes and customizable options in color and dimensions. These new products join the REGUPOL revolution line, which is crafted from the same material but presented in a sheet roll format. Offering a fresh perspective for commercial spaces, the flooring collections serve as compelling alternatives to more conventional materials such as terrazzo, ceramic tile, and luxury vinyl tile and plank.

In an exclusive discussion, Bill Neifert, REGUPOL America director of commercial flooring, provides insights into the company’s extensive history of innovation and its latest breakthrough launch.

Interior Design: REGUPOL has been around for over 60 years. What are some of the innovations that the company is most proud of?
Bill Neifert: REGUPOL is one of the world's leading processors of recycled elastomers. They are used to create our commercial flooring as well as high-performance sports and safety flooring, anti-slip mats for load securing, products for impact sound insulation and vibration isolation, as well as protective and separating layers for use in construction projects.

In many of these markets, REGUPOL is now one of the leading suppliers thanks to the know-how of the global team. Last year, REGUPOL recycled more than 90,000 tons of elastomers. REGUPOL is the winner of the NRW Environmental Economy Award, the NRW Energy Efficiency Award and received the Cradle to Cradle Certified® Bronze certificate for some products in the areas of acoustics, construction, and load securing. REGUPOL has set itself the task of continuously working on developing solutions to bolster a consistent circular economy.

ID: In what ways has rubber flooring evolved over the past couple of decades?
BN: Rubber flooring has long been used in commercial environments where performance is a critical requirement. As one of the most durable materials available on the market, rubber flooring is often used for areas that see a lot of use and abuse, such as gym floors or weight rooms. By combining these proven performance characteristics with intentional, enhanced aesthetics, rubber flooring now has a solid place in all areas of the commercial environment.

ID: What sets Upscale apart from other rubber tile options out there?
BN: Upscale is the only rubber product of its kind in plank and tile formats. Having the option of a beveled edge as well as its dimensional stability or squareness of the product and the ease of installation sets it apart from other rubber products. Our ability to customize sizes, colors and shapes allows us to meet the most challenging design requests in the industry. Our manufacturing flexibility gives us unlimited opportunities to meet the interior design industry's constant changes and immediate needs.

ID: How does Upscale balance aesthetics and practicality?
BN: This new line of flooring offers designers and architects an innovative alternative to terrazzo, ceramic tile, and luxury vinyl tile and plank. The beauty of a well-designed space comes from the materials and textures that combine in a cohesive design. Designers can mix and match REGUPOL upscale tiles and planks to create an impactful space. REGUPOL upscale is available in 12 standard color combinations and features either a square or micro-bevel edge. Square-edged floors fit together flush, resulting in a smooth, sleek and seamless-looking transition. In contrast, the micro-bevel edge brings subtle texture and dimension to an interior space in an elegantly refined way. The addition of a sealed finish strengthens the tile’s defense against dirt and spills. Upscale’s combination of design capability and performance benefits makes it uniquely suited for education, corporate, retail, hospitality, and healthcare environments.

From specialty flooring installations requiring anti-slip surfaces to general commercial spaces, REGUPOL upscale delivers comfort under foot, slip resistance, acoustic performance, and simpler maintenance regimens. Additionally, densely patterned tones effectively mask scuffs and soil in busy commercial spaces.

ID: Talk to us a bit about how Luxury Rubber Tile (LRT) and Luxury Rubber Plank (LRP) are sustainable choices.
BN: Specifying revolution and now upscale contributes to a healthier environment. Each year, we reclaim millions of tires from landfills to make environmentally sound solutions for a wide range of industries. Recycling just four tires reduces CO2 emissions by 323 pounds, equivalent to the emissions from 18 gallons of gasoline.

Upscale is made from post-consumer recycled truck and automobile tires. The tires come from reclamation facilities across the United States and are delivered to our recycling, shredding, and cleaning facility in an adjacent building to manufacturing. The proximity of our recycled material supply allows us to better control the supply chain and monitor the quality of material being used in Upscale and all REGUPOL America products.

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Daylighting Innovation: Transforming Climate Research at the SOARS Lab

April 05, 2024


Scripps Ocean-Atmosphere Research Simulator (SOARS) Lab
University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA


In an effort to complete a sophisticated new ocean simulator, scientists at the historic Hydraulics Laboratory faced the challenge of controlling sunlight to precisely replicate real outdoor ocean conditions indoors.


Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs) allowed for natural daylight to be introduced into the lab to have controllable sunlight to measure algae growth critical for various testing and scientific studies


Solatube M74DS SkyVault Series with Daylight Dimmers

Solatube Distributor/Installer:

Sun West Distributors, INC


CRB Architects & Engineers PC


Scripps Ocean-Atmosphere Research Simulator (SOARS) Lab at the University of California San Diego, has been at the forefront of climate change research, marking the beginning of the modern era in this field. Today, Scripps stands as a global leader in observing and comprehending the transformations occurring on our planet, assessing their impacts, seeking viable solutions and nurturing the next generation of scientific and environmental pioneers. Renowned as one of the oldest, largest and most influential centers for global earth science research and education worldwide, Scripps is dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of our oceans, earth and atmosphere, with a focus on addressing our most pressing environmental challenges.

To study the interconnected ocean and atmosphere, scientists at Scripps were awarded a National Science Foundation grant to build a first-of-its-kind ocean simulator. The simulator is the only one in the world that allows for the replication of ocean, atmosphere and biology in one instrument.


The pursuit of this groundbreaking innovation posed a formidable challenge for the scientists involved, as they needed to be able to control the sunlight that entered the laboratory to replicate the conditions of real oceans for the controlled growth of algae for various testing and scientific studies. Moreover, the laboratory's uniquely curved, copper fleece lined roof posed an additional challenge as they sought to find a daylighting system that could bring natural daylight into the space and integrate efficiently. The design team needed a solution that would complement the curved roof's architecture while ensuring optimal solar capturing efficiency.


To achieve optimal controlled daylighting to replicate real ocean conditions realistically, the architects at CRB Architects & Engineers PC turned to Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices (TDDs). Leveraging the power of the proprietary Solatube Design Calculator, which uses photometry combined with weather data to predict daylight distribution accurately, and in close collaboration with the scientists, the architecture team carefully determined the precise physical parameters of daylight required for successful algae growth and other crucial scientific experiments.

Sun West Distributors installed the Solatube M74 DS SkyVault Series with Daylight Dimmers, which granted the laboratory the ability to exercise control over the amount of natural daylight streaming into the space.

The design team crafted a custom curb that seamlessly integrated the Solatube TDDs into the facility's existing curvature. This custom curb not only supported the tubes but also ensured waterproofing for the existing copper roof.

The original copper fleece membrane was no longer available in a linear embossing, so a specially sourced cross-hatched embossed copper fleeced roof from Italy was used to match the historic materials. This careful selection ensured that the new roofing would patina to match the existing roof over time, making the modifications inconspicuous.

Additionally, the positioning of the Solatube TDDs and the wave simulator had to comply with California Coastal Commission regulations. The tubes were positioned strategically to avoid exceeding the curved roof's tallest part, maintaining regulatory compliance.


“Since the design intent and goal of the project was to penetrate the historic building skin in the most minimal way possible, it was rewarding to see the minimal impact the Solatube Tubular Daylighting Devices had on the building. This was especially true, and realized, when the new copper fleece roofing started its patina and blurred the line of what was new and existing. Similarly, from below, the tidy 2x4 ladder we created with the tubes centered in between looked as if it had been erected in the 1960s, when the building was constructed. Overall, the look and feel complimented the actual performance of the daylight for the science below in a way that we all felt was a success.”
– Vasilies Beseau, AIA, Architect, CRB Architects & Engineers PC

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Creating Outdoor Commercial Spaces That Are Beautiful in Winter & Summer

April 03, 2024

Commercial landscape design has been growing in popularity for years due to consumer demand for outdoor spaces at restaurants, office buildings and more. After 2020 and its lockdowns, outdoor design is even more important as people look for safer ways to gather, socialize and play.

Luckily, there are certain design elements you can incorporate to ensure your outdoor space is beautiful and usable all year long, no matter the temperature. From pergolas and cooling stations to outdoor heating and weather-proof hardscapes, it’s possible to create outdoor commercial spaces that visitors can enjoy in all four seasons.

Pergolas & Patios

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, designed outdoor spaces were drawing crowds. Especially in large, bustling cities, people crave green space and fresh air. Millennials and Gen Y are drawn to urban areas for the culture, social interactions and professional opportunities, but many times they want to quietly sit outdoors and enjoy them. Outdoor spaces at work have been proven to reduce stress, build teams, increase employee’s physical activity, reduce illness and foster better social interactions.

Even for projects that have limited square footage, designers and landscape architects are utilizing hardscaping elements to create outdoor areas for rest, reflection and reconnection. Include the use of an awning or pergola, and utilization of the space can be further increased.

Modern pergolas often have sliding fabric or rotating aluminum louvered roofs and sides to offer a durable and long-lasting solution. High-quality pergolas offer protection from heavy rain, wind and snow, and are especially effective when combined with heating units.

For summer, you can include ceiling fans to keep guests cool. Or invest in privacy screens or partial enclosures that offer protection from the elements and provide a sense of intimacy.

Heating Units

Including a heating option can be an important component for most commercial projects in North America. If you’re working on a new construction project, including built-in fire pits (that can be repurposed to table bases in the warmer months) are a great option. If space is a concern, many gas fireplaces can be built directly into walls or dividers within your project.

If you’re not working with a new build project, portable, propane-powered heat lamps can extend the life of your commercial space, warming whenever and wherever they’re needed. Additionally, portable fire pits can be included in existing projects or spaces that need more flexibility after, of course, taking safety and local codes into consideration.

Keeping your outdoor area cozy with weather-resistant furniture (increase the warmth by adding heating pads like these ones from Sit & Heat) and lots of blankets is a surefire way to make sure guests and customers are comfortable outside.

Adding ventilated domes for your outdoor space can also be an option. These private pods or domes can be fairly safe as long as they are properly ventilated and cleaned between guests. They keep people safe from outside germs and the elements while having heaters inside the domes offers increased ventilation as air will rise up when it’s heated, allowing fresh air to circulate.

Cooling Stations

There are three main things to consider when designing an outside space that’s cool in the summer: maximize your shade, use light-colored materials and increase airflow. Look at the entire landscape you are designing to understand where the hottest areas occur so you can create a plan that offers long-term cooling capabilities for future guests.

Misters or cooling stations are a great choice for areas with large amounts of foot traffic and tourists. They can become a welcome break from the stifling heat that many urban attractions content with. However, some guests won’t enjoy a thorough misting, so the traffic flow will need to accommodate an alternative for visitors who wish to avoid it.

For more “natural” cooling stations, think of adding trees. Trees that are able to provide a wide and dense shade will provide the greatest cooling effect. Tree species that have dense canopies and broad, spreading forms include basswoods (Tilia spp.), oaks (Quercus spp.) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia).

In recent years, splash pads have grown in popularity; they're clearly not just for theme parks anymore. Splash pad installations have been identified as highly-desired amenities for different types of recreational environments and they attract and encourage families to stay awhile. They’ve been implemented in municipal parks, family centers, malls and rec centers.

If you install a splash pad, however, it’s important to think of the surface substrate you use. While you want to have a small amount of water on the top, you don’t want big pools of water accumulating on the surface as they can cause slipping or germ growth if they can’t drain properly. Permeable pavements will ensure that water drains properly and can withstand decades of little feet jumping and running without ruining the splash pad’s aesthetics.

Not only are these areas welcoming, but they also offer architects the ability to create multi-purpose destinations. And of course, they are great for cooling down on a hot day.

Vegetation Protection

Your outdoor commercial space has a brand and your landscape design can speak to that. If you want to convey an image, whether that be healing, sustainable, fun, professional, edgy or soothing, there are landscape elements that can help you translate that.

Nothing ruins a meaningful brand message like looking at dead plants. Make sure you keep all your vegetation watered often in the summer and think about protecting your plants with cold-frame greenhouse coverings in the winter. Or, to save on time and effort, only grow seasonal plants in containers on your deck or patio.

Some ideas for plants that thrive in harsh winters are Coneflower, Lily of the Valley, Blue Spruce, Wintergreen Boxwood, Catmint, Pansies, Hostas, Winterberries and Primroses.

Spread compost throghout your plants to provide them with a blast of nutrients to last the winter, and before the first freeze, cover the base of your plants with mulch to protect them from harsh temperatures.

And in order to cut down on watering costs, install a subterranean rain harvesting system (which can be installed under permeable pavements). This system will collect rainwater and store it so it can be used to irrigate your plants, rather than driving up your water bill.

Seasonal Activities

With some upfront planning, you can make a space that can be used for different activities in the winter vs. the summer. For example, take Cherbourg Park. This family-friendly park has multiple playgrounds for all age groups to use in the summer, along with tennis courts, soccer fields, basketball courts, bicycle park, outdoor gym and baseball fields. In the winter, there’s a skating path that goes all around the park, along with firepits (that get used year-round). The best part, however, is the hockey fields: A permanent ice rink, it can be used for ice hockey in the winter and for floor hockey in the summer.

If you want your space to be used in both winter and summer, pre-planning is essential. It’s not just about the equipment you choose, but the pavement and pavers as well. Make sure to choose durable options that can handle ice and snow, especially if you want to take a page out of Cherbourg’s book and use part of your space for ice sports.

Durable Commercial Pavers

When designing commercial outdoor spaces, choosing pavers that can handle heavy rain in the spring and summer, and snow and ice in the fall and winter, is vitally important. The right pavers make all the difference in safety, aesthetics, maintenance and durability. Techo-Bloc’s commercial pavers hit all of those criteria.

All of Techo-Bloc pavers and paving stones are designed to withstand heavy foot traffic and vehicular traffic, resist freezing and thawing with deicing salt, are absent of heaving in cold climates and are color-consistent all the way through.

Techo-Bloc pavers have superior thickness and innovative interlocking characteristics to maintain their durability. We also have many permeable systems to help control stormwater runoff by promoting water retention and infiltration.

Pavements can shift over time as the ground moves, but our pavers are made with strict dimensional tolerances to optimize their interlock in order to form a solid, but flexible, surface that will perform throughout years of heavy traffic and freeze-thaw cycles. This sturdy structure limits settling, rutting and cracking of the pavement as well. Having interlocking paving stones helps ensure that the walkway or patio installed will last for many years to come.

Since lighter-colored materials have a lower SRI, or solar reflectance index (i.e. will not absorb as much heat as dark ones), paving is one of the most important materials to consider for color because it affects ambient air temperatures by either reflecting or retaining heat on the ground surface. So, consider using a lighter shade of Techo-Bloc’s paving solutions in areas with large amounts of direct sunlight.

When it comes to SRI, you want a higher number, as the lower the SRI, the hotter a material is likely to become in the sunlight. High SRI surfaces can help reduce the urban heat island that causes cities to stay warmer which contributes to increased energy consumption for air conditioning systems and air pollution.

Techo-Bloc is the only commercial solution with a 5-year warranty that covers deterioration caused by deicing salt. Our products are built to Canadian specifications and harsh conditions, so you can be sure they’ll last through any climate.

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SHARC Energy hits Pivotal Moment with Closed Business

April 02, 2024

SHARC International Systems Inc. (CSE: SHRC) (FSE: IWIA) (OTCQB: INTWF) (“SHARC Energy” or the “Company”) the leader in the Wastewater Energy Transfer (“WET”) industry, is proud to announce significant acceleration in its pipeline conversion, marking a pivotal moment in the Company’s growth trajectory.

SHARC Energy’s innovative PIRANHA and SHARC WET systems continue to gain momentum with several new projects in submittals. This business represents an increase of 120% in Sales Order Backlog1, or an additional $1.8 million CDN since the previous disclosure provided November 28, 2023. Moreover, with several additional projects nearing the submittal phase, it appears the pipeline has reached a critical juncture.

The Company expects the Sales Pipeline2 to convert to Sales Order Backlog at an accelerated rate throughout the remainder of 2024. Projects range in size and scale from small commercial & residential buildings to larger Thermal Energy Networks (TENs) all over North America. SHARC Energy would like to highlight that international sales interest is growing with regular inquiries from projects pre-submittal worldwide. Despite this accelerating conversion of Sales Pipeline to Sales Order Backlog, the Company continues to grow the overall pipeline.

Another noteworthy development is the substantial growth in PIRANHA sales within the increase in Sales Order Backlog, where the current units in submittals equates to nearly half of the twenty PIRANHA units sold to date. This surge is an indicator of the PIRANHA system’s gaining momentum which we expect to continue through 2024.

Submittals are the first stage of SHARC Energy’s progressive billing on a project which typically culminates with the shipping of equipment. The Company estimates a six-month timeline from an order being released for production to shipment, although project timelines may introduce variability.

SHARC Energy is also progressing in new sectors with promising opportunities developing with universities, water utilities, correctional facilities and the design & build/energy sectors. These sectors are increasingly receptive to SHARC Energy’s offerings which is promising as these sectors can provide fewer regulatory hurdles, long-term customer relationships, shorter sales cycles, and the potential for larger-scale projects. The Company anticipates the closing of new business in these adjacent sectors as early as this year.

As the market continues to recognize the efficiency and environmental benefits of WET technology, SHARC Energy anticipates further growth and opportunities, both in North America and Internationally. For more information about SHARC Energy’s innovative technologies and installations, please visit the Company’s website or its LinkedIn.

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Kingspan Insulated Panels North America Announces New Facility Coming to Mattoon, Illinois

April 01, 2024

Kingspan Insulated Panels North America today announces it will be opening a new facility in Mattoon, Illinois. The new facility will manufacture Kingspan’s K-Roc™ products to help meet growing demand.

Kingspan’s K-Roc insulated metal panel (IMP) series is known to provide superior fire protection due to its mineral fiber insulation core. One of the K-Roc products that will be manufactured at the Mattoon facility is the K-Roc HF Series. Announced just last year, the HF Series, available in 4-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch thicknesses, delivers up to a three-hour fire rating in wall applications and one-hour fire rating in ceiling applications. The HF Series is available in five different profiles with external and internal skins available in embossed or non-embossed finishes, fitting a wide range of aesthetic styles.

The K-Roc series is currently only manufactured in Kingspan’s Langley facility in British Columbia, Canada. With the new Mattoon site, Kingspan will have two strategic locations to take advantage of business growth across North America.

“As a result of continued growth and optimism for the future, the addition of this new facility complements our existing footprint in North America, giving us better access to our customer base,” said Alswinn Kieboom, president of Kingspan Insulated Panels North America. “We are looking forward to launching this new site and having a presence in the Midwest.”

The Mattoon facility will include sustainability upgrades to help Kingspan meet its global sustainability initiative, Planet Passionate. The 10-year sustainability program aims to have a positive impact on three global challenges: climate change, circularity and the protection of the natural world. The Mattoon facility will feature solar roof panels, a rainwater harvesting tank, energy-efficient LED lighting, electric vehicle charging stations and a recycling system to help reduce landfill waste.

The Mattoon facility is expected to open in early 2025, bringing approximately 50 new jobs to the area.

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U.S. DOE Selects Heidelberg Materials’ New Cement Plant in Mitchell, Indiana for Industrial Demonstrations Program Funding

March 26, 2024

Heidelberg Materials North America is pleased to announce it has been selected for award negotiation to receive up to $500 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) Industrial Demonstrations Program (IDP). The purpose of this project is to advance the integration of full-scale carbon capture, transport, and storage at the new state-of-the-art cement plant in Mitchell, Indiana. The funding will build on prior funding that has been awarded by the DOE toward successfully completing the Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) work necessary to verify the project’s technical feasibility.

The application was submitted in 2023, and Heidelberg Materials will participate in substantial cost share that will leverage up to $500M in DOE project funding. The selection is part of the DOE’s Industrial Demonstrations Program to provide up to a total of $6 billion in funding to demonstrate commercial-scale decarbonization solutions needed to move energy-intensive industries toward net-zero across the U.S. and is one of 33 projects selected across 20 states as part of this program.

The new Mitchell cement plant, recently modernized to produce more than triple its previous capacity, incorporates features to minimize energy consumption and enable the use of alternative fuels and raw materials to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed project for this funding award will capture, treat and prepare for storage or use approximately 2 million tons of CO2 each year from the cement plant.

“This substantial federal funding will help create the first full-scale deployment of carbon capture and storage on a cement plant in the U.S.,” said Chris Ward, President and CEO of Heidelberg Materials North America.

“Through this project at the Mitchell facility, Heidelberg Materials is investing in leading the development and application of CCUS in our industry, and successful implementation of this technology at scale will play a critical role in achieving our goal of decarbonization,” continued Ward.

“Spurring on the next generation of decarbonization technologies in key industries like steel, paper, concrete, and glass will keep America the most competitive nation on Earth,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Thanks to President Biden’s industrial strategy, DOE is making the largest investment in industrial decarbonization in the history of the United States. These investments will slash emissions from these difficult-to-decarbonize sectors and ensure American businesses and American workers remain at the forefront of the global economy.”

Heidelberg Materials is committed to leading the cement industry in developing viable carbon capture projects, which are essential to achieving the company’s ambitious sustainability goals.

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March 19, 2024

International Recycling and Waste Container brand Busch Systems launches partnership with Green Operations & Advanced Leadership (GOAL)

Busch Systems is proud to join the world’s leading venues on a journey of social impact, climate action and responsible change as an official Impact Partner and Solution Provider of GOAL. Founded by Oak View Group, Fenway Sports Group & State Farm Arena, GOAL provides venues with a tactical roadmap, easy-to-use tracking tools, a library of resources, and access to like-minded organizations across sport & entertainment collaborating in a unified sustainable mission.

As an official Solution Provider for Waste Reduction, Busch Systems will actively engage with GOAL members to help them achieve their objective of the highest waste diversion possible at their venue. Through GOAL’s state-of-the-art portal, members have access to Busch Systems’ industry-leading products, along with educational resources, case studies, and best practices that can be implemented both behind the scenes with staff and operators, and as engagement tools for fans and spectators.

At Busch Systems, our purpose is to lead, educate, and inspire people to maximize their environmental and social impact. We are excited to launch this partnership with GOAL and to have the opportunity to positively impact the world of sport & entertainment in such a large and impactful way.

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Four New Colors for our Commercial Products

March 19, 2024

Explore the latest additions to our commercial color palette - Salt & Pepper, Grey, Charcoal, and Pure White. These new colors enhance our range, providing versatile and sophisticated options for your projects. Upgrade your design possibilities with Techo-Bloc's newest hues!

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Urban Landscapes Get a Stroke of Inspiration with Techo-Bloc's New Studio Collection!

March 14, 2024

We're thrilled to announce the launch of our groundbreaking Studio Collection for public and commercial spaces, a transformative offering that brings a fresh wave of inspiration to the world of landscape architecture. This new collection allows designers to customize futuristic paving patterns, offering over 800 design possibilities through a diverse range of motifs and color options. The landscape design community is definitely in for a treat!

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McElroy Metal Releases New Product: Nostalgia Board & Batten

March 06, 2024

McElroy Metal recently announced the release of the Nostalgia Board & Batten panel, a durable and low-maintenance alternative to wood siding.

Made of 24-gauge Galvalume®, this panel mimics the classic wooden board and batten look without the hassle of continuous upkeep.

Covering 12 inches and the built-in batten feature standing 0.75 inches tall, the Nostalgia Board & Batten panel is a versatile choice for residential and light commercial applications. This panel is available in all of McElroy Metal’s architectural colors and three new woodgrain colors, allowing easy project customization.

Originating in Sweden and Norway, the traditional board and batten, also known as barn siding, was intended to be practical. Thin strips of wood were used to cover the gaps in the wide wood planks to better protect those gaps against the elements. Nostalgia Board & Batten is a throwback to the original design but offers resistance to fire, rot, and insects, ensuring longevity and peace of mind.

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W. R. MEADOWS Launches KNIGHTSHIELD Roof Coating Line for Efficient Roof Restoration

February 22, 2024

W. R. MEADOWS, a trusted name in the construction industry, is proud to announce the roll-out of its new KNIGHTSHIELD range of roof coatings as a solution-focused approach towards the challenges of roof restoration.

The KNIGHTSHIELD line aims at serving as a practical alternative for reviving different types of roof membranes, systems, and substrates, without resorting to the financial and logistical challenges of full roof replacements. The collection comprises an array of products, such as high solids silicone roof coatings, walk-pads, primers, cleaners, and more.

Jonathan Speaks, KNIGHTSHIELD Business Manager - Roofing at W. R. MEADOWS, states, “KNIGHTSHIELD is not merely a product line; it's a promise to our clients. By focusing on real-world challenges, we've engineered solutions that transform and extend the life of existing roofs. This line is a testament to W. R. MEADOWS’ enduring commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction. We’re not just restoring roofs; we’re building trust, one coating at a time.”

The distinctive feature of KNIGHTSHIELD is its fully integrated nature and holistic approach to roof restoration. The products within this line are designed to work in tandem with each other, establishing a full-fledged, warrantable system. This was designed specifically to help negate the high costs associated with completely tearing down and replacing existing roofs; as well as being able to restore a roof multiple times versus the 2-roof rule on any structure.

Moreover, W. R. MEADOWS believes that roofs treated with the KNIGHTSHIELD range tend to have a prolonged life and improved performance. W. R. MEADOWS has also set up a dedicated team of representatives and a network of certified applicators spanning the U.S. to ensure proper installation and customer support for this product line.

With nearly a century in the business, W. R. MEADOWS is no stranger to introducing innovative products in the construction domain. The introduction of KNIGHTSHIELD is seen as a reaffirmation of the company’s commitment to maintaining industry standards and being a reliable entity in the construction landscape.

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February 13, 2024

FIXFAST USA, a leading manufacturer in height access and fall protection solutions, is excited to announce a global rebrand. Just as we’ve made a name for ourselves by continuously providing safer, simpler height access and fall protection systems, we believe we must evolve as a business too. So today, we’re excited to announce that Fixfast USA, and our decade-long partner Sayfa in Australia, will now be known as one brand around the world – Kattsafe.

Bringing everything we do under one new name makes it easier than ever to work with us and use our products. The name itself shows our commitment to simplify all things height access and fall protection. But behind it all, we’re still the same team, quality products, and customer service that you’ve come to expect.

Kattsafe customers can now enjoy the benefits of:
– Simplified product naming for easy ordering.
– Easier system selection for specifying in building design – just think ‘Kattsafe’.
– Further innovation in new product developments to improve height access and fall protection.
– Service and expertise from the same team to the same standards.

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Prosper Wine House

February 06, 2024

Prosper Wine House is a two-story wine bar with a rooftop patio, and 1600 square foot event space located in Prosper, Texas. Wine storage was designed, built, and installed by Vineyard Wine Cellars. The wine bar features a temperature-controlled wine room as well as wine lockers for member wine storage.

Bottle Capacity: 1,654 +/-

Rack Configuration: Label-forward, angled display rows, bulk bin storage, stemware holder and pouring niche

Finishes: Black anodized aluminum posts and bottle roads with white oak elements

Features: 42 individual wood wine lockers with a capacity of 12 bottles each

Cooling System: Wine Guardian D088

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The Art of Hand Drying: Introducing the World’s Coolest Hand Dryers! - Designed by teens from Artist for Humanity

February 02, 2024

Artists For Humanity (AFH), whose 23,500-square-foot Epicenter is Boston’s first LEED Platinum certified building, has combined its commitment to sustainability with its dedication to art and design — and ensured neither stops outside the restroom doors. The organization provides Boston teens with opportunities for creative expression, mentorship, and paid work experience on an array of client art and design projects, all while they prepare for college and their careers. Now, thanks to a partnership with Excel Dryer, AFH has installed first-of-their-kind XLERATOR® Hand Dryers customized with artwork designed by local teens in its facility bathrooms.

“When we learned about the amazing work AFH was doing, we saw a unique opportunity to collaborate with the organization’s teen artists to create custom covers for the XLERATOR® Hand Dryers and XChanger® Combo Kits in the facility’s restrooms,” said Joshua Griffing, director of marketing and international sales at Excel Dryer.

This project is the first time Excel Dryer has customized its XLERATOR® Hand Dryer beyond logos and custom images. By putting high resolution artwork files into a template and using digital image technology, Excel Dryer was able to transform the hand dryers into an extension of the masterpieces exhibited throughout the rest of the AFH building.

“The hand dryers look amazing, and visitors' hands are dry before they’re done admiring the artwork,” said Rich Frank, director of business development at AFH. “They look almost like cool sculptural pieces, but you can still tell they are hand dryers—just the coolest hand dryers you’ve ever seen. Plus, the dryers’ 100 percent ADA-compliant recess kits make the user experience welcoming and friendly and easy; it’s probably the best bathroom experience in Boston.”

Since 1991 AFH has grown to become the largest employer of high schoolers in the city. More than 350 AFH teens work collaboratively with adult artists/mentors to deliver captivating solutions for business, civic and community organizations.

“This was such an awesome partnership, working together and contributing ideas,” said Jason Talbot, co-founder and managing director of programs at AFH. “We didn’t know how beautiful the hand dryers would be, but when they we saw them, our eyes were popping out of our heads. It was the talk of the building; everybody was super excited to have the works of art helping us dry our hands and keeping everybody healthy.”

The unique designs created by the nine student artists are available exclusively through Excel Dryer. A percentage of the proceeds from their sale will be donated to Artists for Humanity.

The high-speed, energy-efficient XLERATOR® Hand Dryer with electrostatic HEPA filtration dries hands in as little as eight seconds. Made in the United States, it uses 80 percent less energy than conventional hand dryers and offers up to a 75 percent carbon footprint reduction when compared to paper towels. It is Building Green approved and helps contribute toward WELL points and several LEED credits.

“A 2023 test by LMS Technologies determined the HEPA filtration systems on our XLERATOR® Hand Dryers remove 99.999 percent of viruses and 99.97 percent of bacteria from the airstream,” said Griffing. “And, by eliminating labor, maintenance and waste, the dryers offer a 95 percent cost savings over paper towels. For a space like AFH where artists are getting their hands dirty and washing up is an active part of their day, this is a great solution. It’s also exciting for the teens to see their artwork featured in such an unexpected and energetic way.”

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Kingspan Adds New Profile to its QuadCore® KS Series Insulated Metal Panel Lineup

January 26, 2024

Kingspan Insulated Panels North America today announces the addition of KS Vektra™ to its line of QuadCore® KS Series insulated metal wall panels.

The new KS Vektra panel provides a unique aesthetic profile and can be customized with trimless ends and pre-formed corners to provide a clean, finished appearance. KS Vektra can seamlessly integrate with other KS Series panels, providing distinct architectural flair while delivering high thermal performance.

The KS Series panels are popular in commercial and industrial applications and come in a variety of profile options that fit the design of any building.

Kingspan’s KS Series panels have thicknesses that range from 2”-6” to meet performance needs depending on the application, while its KS range of interior panels are available in up to 8” thick. Both ranges of panels are also GREENGUARD Gold Certified, which screens for more than 360 volatile organic compounds (VOC) and total chemical emissions to ensure that products are not harmful to building occupants and do not adversely impact indoor environment quality (IEQ).

“Unique profile options – like the KS Vektra – add an elevated design element to any commercial building without having to sacrifice performance or energy efficiency,” said Karim Muri, Vice President, Marketing Services and Strategy Developments. “The KS Series features some of our top selling panels company wide, so it’s important our customers have options to fit the needs of any project.”

The KS Series comes with Kingspan’s proprietary QuadCore® Technology, the next generation of self-blended hybrid insulation core. Kingspan’s QuadCore Technology delivers R-values 11% better than high-quality PIR and up to 60% better than PUR.

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The neglected clean heat we flush down the drains

January 25, 2024

In this part of Vancouver, innovative technology is harnessing heat from wastewater and using it as a renewable energy source to heat homes.

When the occasional snowfall dusts the streets of Vancouver in the midst of winter, the layer of white can quickly become punctuated by steaming openings where it has already melted. The access holes to the drains below ground are caused by the heat flowing through the city's sewers, warming up the pavements.

"There's enough heat in the sewerage system to literally heat up neighbourhoods," remarks Derek Pope, manager of neighbourhood energy for the city of Vancouver, Canada. "That's what we've been doing here in False Creek since 2010."

The residents of False Creek, a recently redeveloped neighbourhood of Vancouver, on the west coast of Canada, get their energy from a rather unusual renewable source – their sewage wastewater. Increasingly, municipalities around the globe are harnessing this underground form of excess heat as they decarbonise their energy networks.

Residents in the 6,210 apartments in the False Creek neighbourhood get their heat from renewable energy sources, with sewage heat being the largest contributor.

Everything that goes down our drains ends up as sewage water – from what we flush down the toilet, to what comes out of our baths and washing machines. Down the pipe it flows, eventually ending up in a wastewater treatment plant where it is chemically, biologically and mechanically cleaned and treated, ready to be recirculated back into our homes once again. But the heat that's generated from the dishwasher or a long, hot shower is generally forgotten about once it washes down the plughole, explains Pope. Instead it heads underground, and straight into the sewer systems – escaping out of vents and melting through winter snow.

Heat in water is relatively easy to harness once it's in the sewage system because it's contained – and no, any heat recovered isn't going to smell. By comparison, heat in the air quickly escapes out of windows, doors, and roofs. In addition, there's plenty of hot wastewater to work with. In 2020, experts at the London South Bank University estimated that energy from the UK's daily 16 billion litres of sewage wastewater could, in theory, provide more than 20TWh of heat energy annually – enough to provide space heating and hot water to 1.6 million homes. Over in the US, Americans flush an estimated 350TWh of energy down the drain each year – the equivalent of heating 30 million homes a year.

The biggest challenge is a lack of integrated, forward-thinking urban planning, argues Pope: "We need to start viewing waste heat as a resource and find ways to incorporate that into our city planning." While he acknowledges there's some upfront capital cost, Pope explains the neighbourhood energy unit in False Creek is set to recover its outgoings; residents pay utility rates and the cost of low-carbon energy is relatively low, plus the recent expansion has been part-funded by a grant that supports projects reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Next, he wants to see more municipal governments make that step to implementation.

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Dörken Systems Inc. launches innovative new drainboard system in North America

January 24, 2024

Dörken Systems Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-performance air and moisture barriers and building envelope products, introduces DELTA®-TERRAXX and DELTA®-TERRAXX PLUS, new drainboard systems for horizontal, vertical, and blindside drainage requirements.

“Conventional drainboards have been commoditized in North America,” says Dörken’s Product & Marketing Manager Peter Barrett. “That has led to cost-cutting efforts by manufacturers, which has resulted in cheaper geotextiles and limited performance. And we are seeing more incidents of clogging as a result.

“There have been no innovations or new solutions for architects to choose from for quite some time. We want to change that with our DELTA®-TERRAXX products.”

With DELTA®-TERRAXX products, building professionals no longer have to settle for run-of-the-mill drainboards they now have a high-performance option that can meet higher building code requirements and urban water management standards. Already the most popular drainboard in Europe, Dörken is bringing the cutting-edge drainboard technology to North America.

DELTA®-TERRAXX and DELTA®-TERRAXX PLUS are unlike any other drainage system available today, offering the perfect balance of compressive strength, drainage performance, handling, and installation ease.

The unique TYPAR® geotextile bonded to a dimple sheet allows for a higher drainage capacity than the average mineral-drainage layer. Most importantly, the quality geotextile withstands heavy structural loads, backfill, or soil overburden, meaning the drainage space won’t clog and drainage capacity stays steady.

Our DELTA®-TERRAXX PLUS is the first drainboard with a self-adhering edge tab, making installation fast and consistent. Installers can just roll out the sheets and stick them together, all in a couple of steps. DELTA®-TERRAXX PLUS also comes in large, optimally sized rolls that are easy to cut and detail; large spaces are covered faster and with less ballast, creating more useable working areas.

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January 16, 2024

Unilock is leading the way towards a greener era in hardscaping with the award-winning EcoTerra. This highly durable and remarkably colorfast product produces zero efflorescence, guaranteeing an eco-friendly, sustainable solution that not only elevates your projects, but also reduces your carbon footprint.

The first-of-its-kind in the hardscape market, EcoTerra is a proprietary technology that replaces traditional cement with a carbon-neutral geopolymer ingredient. This change enables us to produce a 100% cement-free face-mix product that boasts high compressive strength, low absorption with vibrant colors that stay true longer, all while contributing to a 15% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Products boasting EcoTerra technology are also manufactured with EnduraColor™, a two-step manufacturing process that ensures a more refined surface and brighter color, even longer. Additionally, EcoTerra is designed to be efflorescence-free, ensuring a highly durable and sustainable solution that is low maintenance, and gentle on the environment.

Choosing to install EcoTerra isn’t just a practical decision; it’s a statement of sustainability that adds a badge of honor to your portfolio, showcases your commitment to eco-friendly practices, and connects you with clients who value environmental responsibility.

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7 Commercial Design Trends Shaping Urban Landscapes

December 22, 2023

In the ever-evolving world of commercial and public landscape design, staying ahead of the curve is key to creating spaces that captivate, inspire, and leave a lasting impression. As we step into the future, there are several exciting trends on the horizon that are set to transform commercial landscapes across North America. From intricate patterns to captivating color schemes, these trends are sure to shape the way we view and experience outdoor spaces.

1. Play on Shapes

One of the most striking trends to watch out for is the innovative use of shapes. Commercial spaces are no longer confined to traditional square and rectangular designs. Landscapes architects and designers are embracing the versatility of geometric pavers and slabs, allowing them to craft unique and eye-catching patterns. Take our Industria Triangle Smooth for example. This intricately laid out paver introduces visual interest and creates a striking, large-scale impact. It plays tricks on the eye, making it an excellent choice for those looking to leave a lasting impression with their commercial landscape.

2. Artistry Unleashed

Color has the power to transform any environment, and in commercial landscapes, it's being used to elevate aesthetics to a whole new level. Contrasting colors and not just about making things look beautiful; they create a vibrant ambiance that turns the ordinary into the extraordinary. Thoughtfully designed floors become expressions of art, carefully curated to enhance the overall atmosphere of commercial settings.

3. Artful Outdoor Weaving

For those seeking to add both visual appeal and a tactile dimension to their commercial spaces, the trend of artful outdoor weaving is gaining ground. The project pictured above involves the use of smaller, rough-hewn valet pavers in combination with elegant Ocean Grande slabs. The rhythmic interplay of these pavers not only enhances the visual appeal but also invites touch, engaging visitors on multiple sensory levels.

4. Fade to Fabulous

Gradient shades within the same hue are making a mark in landscape design. Whether you prefer cooler tones of grey or the warmth of browns and reds, the use of stones in a dreamy gradient can turn your commercial space into a showstopper. This subtle transition of colors adds depth and character to the landscape.

5. Tapestry-Inspired Patterns

Immerse your surroundings in the elegance of woven beauty. Intricate lines and motifs seamlessly come together, creating a living tapestry beneath your feet. This trend brings an air of sophistication and artistry to commercial landscapes, making them truly unique.

6. Checkerboard Redefined

Classic meets contemporary design as the iconic checkerboard pattern gets a fresh twist. The tartan design, known for its timeless appeal, now makes a bold statement in landscape design. It adds an element of classic sophistication to any commercial space.

7. Deconstructed Color Play

Carefully deconstructed color play is a delight for the eye. By experimenting with light and dark shades from the same color palette, designers create a subtle sense of direction and continuity in the landscape. This approach adds depth and intrigue to outdoor spaces.

In conclusion, the world of commercial and public landscape design is evolving rapidly, and these trends are just a glimpse of what the future holds. As commercial landscape architects and designers, embracing these trends allows you to create spaces that not only meet your clients' needs but also provide a memorable and immersive experience for anyone who visits. By playing with shapes, colors, and patterns, you can shape the future of outdoor spaces and leave a lasting mark on the commercial landscape. For more inspiration, discover our FREE online Commercial Catalog today!

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Feeney Introduces ColorEasy™ Powder Coated Colors for DesignRail® Railing System and Awning Kits

December 18, 2023

Feeney Inc., a leading manufacturer of stainless steel and aluminum railing systems and related architectural products, has launched ColorEasy™, a new powder coating program for its DesignRail® Aluminum Railing System and Awning Kits. ColorEasy™ features 18 colors, including 15 on-trend and classic colors along with three realistic wood grain finishes, for optimal design versatility.

When developing ColorEasy™, Feeney’s product development team looked at the latest paint, siding, trim and hardware trends and then created an assortment of fashion forward colors that work effortlessly with the design themes most frequently used in today’s spaces.

“At Feeney, we understand how important it is for retailers to offer building products in colors that complement popular exterior and interior palettes,” said Katrina Ralston, president, Feeney Inc. “We designed ColorEasy™ to provide an expanded range of color options for our railings and awnings, making it easier for retail customers to achieve seamlessly coordinated spaces.”

ColorEasy™ powder coated colors include: Bright White, Modern White, Coffee Cream, Bronze, Oil-Rubbed Bronze, Silver, Sparkling Champagne, Dove Gray, Iron Gray, Blue Steel, Matte Black, Textured Black, Brickyard Red, Commodore Blue and Hartford Green along with Cherry, Walnut and Weathered Gray wood grain finishes.

Available for all powder coated aluminum products, including DesignRail® frames and Awning Kits, ColorEasy™ colors meet AAMA 2604 specifications for superior impact and weather resistance, and color adherence – while providing durable, low-maintenance performance.

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2024 ICF Builder People's Choice Award

December 15, 2023

Cast your votes for your favorite projects! Voting Ends 1/5/2024

STEPS TO SUBMITTING YOUR VOTE! Watch the Project Videos HERE and vote.










Vote HERE!

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Feeney® Introduces Enhanced LED Rail Lighting Kit for DesignRail®

December 13, 2023

Feeney Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-quality architectural products, has released the next generation of its DesignRail® LED Rail Lighting Kit. The updated lighting solution simplifies installation and delivers added versatility, while also offering a longer product warranty.

Developed to install easily into DesignRail® top or bottom rails without special tools, Feeney’s new DesignRail® LED Rail Lighting Kit now accommodates a single, continuous 55 foot run and is field trimmable for optimal flexibility, with four-inch cut lines for convenient reference. The lighting system is certified by UL and maintains its certification, even when cut in the field.

The durable 24V wet location strip lights attach to the railing surface using integrated high-performance, double-sided foam (VHB) tape for carefree installation. Waterproof crimp fittings provide protection from the elements while plug and play connectors facilitate quick linking of lights and components.

“At Feeney, we are constantly innovating and finding ways to improve our products to better meet the needs of our customers,” said Brad Adsit, director of product development, Feeney Inc. “With the newest version of our LED Rail Lighting, we’ve made our lighting solution even easier to install for a seamless user experience, and have designed longer runs for a more streamlined and visually appealing aesthetic.”

Feeney’s energy-efficient LED rail lighting is rated for 50,000 hours, providing long-lasting, high output lighting for both indoor and outdoor applications. The linear strip’s high lumen output creates distinctive railing lighting, and also provides efficient ambient light when installed with a compatible dimmer switch. A flexible, weatherproof housing resists moisture and dust, providing an extra layer of durability and safety in outdoor environments.

In addition, Feeney has increased the product warranty for its LED Rail Lighting Kit to seven (7) years for Light Strips and five (5) years for Power Supplies.

Stated Adsit, “Our enhanced warranty demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our customers to not only provide the highest quality products on the market, but also to ensure they receive the best return on their investment.”

Engineered to generate attractive, well-balanced lighting, the LEDs feature a high color rendering index (CRI 90+) for truer colors, and an exclusive polycarbonate lens that evenly distributes light throughout the railing. Fully dimmable 24V magnetic dimmable driver kits and compatible dimmer switch enable users to adjust the brightness level for desired ambience.

For more information, visit

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Finish Your Project Strong

December 12, 2023

We are excited to introduce three new door hardware designs, expertly crafted for barn doors. They are guaranteed to bring a blend of style and practicality to your projects.

Tailored for Barn Doors
The CRFT-FSP passage set series showcases a refined flush pull on the wall-facing side and a user-friendly door pull on the exterior, making these sets an excellent option for barn doors. Choose from Crowder Round or Flat Track for the door pull.

Designed With Installation in Mind
We understand the importance of ease and efficiency in your projects. These round and flat track sets fasten into each other effortlessly, simplifying the installation process. You'll save time and experience a hassle-free installation.

The Concealed Mount Flush Pull
If all you want to see is a seamless and polished flush pull, this is the pull, featuring concealed screws. At 2 1/4 inches [57.2 mm] by 15 inches [381.0 mm], it serves excellently as a single pull for one side of the door, or alternatively, using two can create a passage set.

Architectural Finishes
Aesthetics matter. That's why we provide these sets in both flat black and satin stainless steel finishes. This ensures a perfect match with our exposed barn door track systems, allowing you to achieve a sophisticated look. Of course, custom finishing is also always an option.

A Note on Cut Sheets
You can conveniently access the cut sheets for these new products online. Additionally, you'll find comprehensive cut sheets for all Catch 'N' Close products, weatherstrip, thresholds, automatic door bottoms, and stair nosing. Keep an eye out for upcoming cut sheets showcasing our full line of door locks and pulls.

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December 11, 2023

Other products, distributed by other building supply companies, claim to be Ultra NT Radiant Barriers. While the name might be similar, these products are not the same as our Covertech, rFOIL Ultra NT Radiant Barrier.

If it doesn’t say… “rFOIL® Ultra NT Radiant Barrier” and have the Covertech logo then it isn’t a Covertech product.

When in doubt, contact Covertech to ensure you have an rFOIL® product.

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Vinyl Institute Comments on EPA Avian Test Order

December 11, 2023

The Vinyl Institute (VI) presented its oral arguments regarding the U.S. EPA Avian Reproduction Test Order requirement for 1,1,2-Trichloroethane on Friday, December 1, 2023 (Vinyl Institute Inc. v. EPA, U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Case No. 22-1089). The statement below is attributed to Ned Monroe, President and CEO of the Vinyl Institute:

“The EPA did not adequately justify the need for this avian test order – and we object to this unnecessary animal testing. While we continue to comply with the EPA test order during this court challenge, we strongly object to the overreach, unjustified, and improper use of Agency resources on this particular testing. The EPA should be protecting birds, not running unnecessary tests on them.

“The vinyl industry is committed to protecting the safety of our workers, neighbors, and customers. Our industry’s OSHA safety record is outstanding. And we continue to be good faith partners with EPA on TSCA. We are trying to resolve differences and remain willing – active participants in providing the best possible data and technical information throughout these TSCA test order evaluations. We want to be part of the solution and ask the EPA to work collaboratively with industry experts as a resource much earlier in the test development process. This will help prevent the unnecessary animal testing and technical issues we identified through this TSCA test order.”

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Why Is Durkeesox Air Duct the Preferred Choice for Food Factory Air Distribution?

December 08, 2023

The food factory industry can be divided into three categories according to the types of food functions: fresh, liquid, and solid.

Due to excessive bacteria being a persistent problem for the food industry, there is a consistent requirement for the use of air conditioning systems: to ensure food quality, easy to clean and maintain, clean, able to effectively reduce the bacterial content in the air inside the workshop, and with low air conditioning delivery speeds.

Durkeesox duct system has been successfully applied in various food industries and has accumulated considerable design, installation and usage experience.

For fresh food, typical application cases include the brands: Shuanghui Meat, Yurun Meat and Siniang Quick-frozen Food

The requirements for these places

The processing area is kept at a low temperature between 10℃-18℃ and requires large cooling and air volume. At low temperatures, both workers and food need low wind speed. The traditional duct system delivers airflow in a pointwise manner through diffusers, which cannot maintain low wind speeds under high cooling rates. Traditional air systems are also difficult to clean and maintain, and fail to meet the requirements for hygiene and cleanliness.

Up to now, Durkeesox has successfully served Shuanghui for 5 projects, Yurun for 7 projects, and Siniang for 1 project. It has accumulated a certain amount of design, installation, and usage experience in low-temperature cold storage air conditioning systems.

For liquid industries, typical brands include Yili and Mengniu for dairy products, and Jiamenglang and Le Bao Shi for beverages

The demand characteristics of this type of place

Most of them are large-scale production areas with a majority being either fully ventilated or ventilated with part air conditioning, with a small part being 300,000 or 100,000-level clean areas (often filling areas), requiring cleanliness and the ability to effectively reduce the bacterial content in the air inside the workshop. Traditional air conditioning systems deliver airflow in a pointwise manner, with uneven airflow and easy air return, creating dead corners within the workshop and causing a large amount of harmful bacteria in the air to accumulate. To save costs, an increasing number of these places now use non-suspended ceilings, which adds higher requirements for the aesthetics of the ductwork.

However, Durkeesox duct system delivers uniform airflow at a precise and controllable speed and has a large airflow volume. Its installation is easy and quick, its weight is relatively light, and it is easy to clean and maintain.

The Durkeesox duct system is very convenient for disassembly and reassembly, and can be washed with water. Regular cleaning and maintenance can easily meet the hygiene requirements of the food industry. From 2006-2008, Yili Group successively established and renovated many liquid milk and cold drink factories in Heifei, Dingzhou, Shenyang, Zhaodong, Jinan, Henan, Foshan, Huanggang, Chengdu and Lanzhou. These factories have adopted the Durkeesox duct systems for their air conditioning and ventilation systems.

Solid food industries include typical brands such as Kraft Foods, Orion Foods and Danone Biscuits

Due to the presence of oxygen and humidity in the traditional air of food factories, bacteria tend to breed more easily. Therefore, these places have a high demand for large cooling capacity, low wind speeds, cleanliness and ease of maintenance.

The advantages of using Durkeesox duct systems

Its large delivery area coupled with low wind speeds, easy installation and disassembly, and easy daily cleaning and maintenance.

With the development of mass sports, Durkeesox duct systems have been increasingly applied in sports venues.

Durkeesox's current comprehensive service capabilities can fully meet the requirements of sports venues.

Durkeesox is the only specialized foreign-owned company in China's air distribution system field;

It has the largest and most robust sales team and institution in China's air distribution system industry;

It has nearly 40 dealers across most of China's provinces;

It provides the most comprehensive, considerate, and convenient technical and sales services.

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Mapes Industries Unifies Divisions Under New Leadership

December 07, 2023

Family owned and operated for 71 years, Mapes Industries ( has long been a staple of the Lincoln manufacturing community. Mapes manufactures their Canopy and Panel products for distribution to different segments of the commercial construction industry. The initial intent of the independent operation, separate management of teams and minimal synergy or contact between divisions was to ensure that each division was focused on serving their respective segments of the commercial construction industry. However, upon Marilyn Cintani stepping into the role of CEO, it came to be realized that the company could improve from corporate unity and a team-based approach. This required a reorganization of leadership and a cultural reset.

Sharing her vision of a unified Mapes Industries, a new management team was appointed in 2023: Marilyn Cintani, CEO/Chairperson; Matthew Parde, President; Ryan King, Vice President of Corporate Operations; Alex Roschewski, Vice President of Panel Operations; Spencer Sawtelle, Vice President of Canopy Operations; Kendall Frantz, Vice President of Sales and Business Development.

This new team has been working closely with one another over the past year and will oversee the next phase of growth and prosperity for Mapes Industries. Under Marilyn’s leadership, the company is stronger than ever with both divisions breaking or nearing sales records in 2023 and showing strength headed into 2024.

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Unlocking the Potential: How Easy Connect Hangers are Changing the Sliding Door Game in Commercial Construction

December 06, 2023

Our newly redesigned Easy Connect Hangers are truly a game-changer for the commercial construction industry. With their multitude of benefits and innovative features, these hangers are set to increase the use of sliding doors in the commercial sector.

Let's delve deeper into the remarkable attributes that make our Easy Connect Hangers stand out from the crowd. Firstly, one cannot overlook the significant time and money savings that these hangers bring to big projects with multiple openings. Saving time on installation means more efficient workflows and increased productivity. Additionally, the cost savings associated with reduced installation time can be substantial, making these hangers a worthy investment.

The simplicity of the installation process is one advantage that sets our hangers apart. Unlike most other hanger systems, our Easy Connect Hangers boast a straightforward set of steps, including leveling the door while it is up. With the top plate easily slipping onto the stud and leveling taking place using the adjustment rod, installation becomes a breeze. Once level, simply tighten the lock nut, and everything will lock perfectly into place. Such ease of installation not only saves time but also ensures that the final result is of the highest quality.

Another standout feature of our Easy Connect Hangers is their ability to hang doors after the drywall has been put up. This is particularly beneficial when dealing with multiple openings on a job site. By allowing doors to arrive later in the building process, this feature eliminates potential damage that can occur to the doors during construction. This added level of convenience ensures that doors remain in pristine condition, providing a polished finish to any project.

Safety, too, is a top priority when it comes to our Easy Connect Hangers. We have implemented a design that allows for quick door removal in emergency situations. In scenarios where swift access is crucial, the lock nuts are loosened allowing the door to be removed, providing an essential safety feature. This thoughtful inclusion makes our hangers ideally suited for healthcare facilities and any other environments where fast entry may be necessary.

We understand that strength and durability are paramount in commercial construction. Rest assured, our Easy Connect Hangers are built to withstand heavy doors, with a capacity to hang 300-pound doors without worry. To enhance their functionality, consider combining them with our patented Catch ‘N’ Close soft close system to create the ultimate door hardware solution for commercial use.

When exploring application possibilities, our hangers are versatile, with complete track and hardware systems for both top and side mount applications, as well as bypass and pocket door systems. This versatility allows for seamless integration into a variety of architectural designs, making them an attractive option for a wide range of projects.

The development of our Easy Connect Hangers stemmed from our unwavering commitment to producing high-quality door hardware. Our passion for innovation and our constant quest to redefine industry standards have led us to create a product that delivers outstanding performance and reliability.

In conclusion, the transformative benefits of our Easy Connect Hangers are undeniable. From saving time and money on installation to ensuring user safety and accommodating various application types, these hangers exemplify quality and ingenuity. As we continue to push boundaries and pioneer advancements in door hardware, our Easy Connect Hangers will remain at the forefront of the industry, revolutionizing the way we approach commercial construction.

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20 years since its founding, AltusGroup continues to spearhead precast concrete innovation

December 05, 2023

2024 officers and board members named

After two decades of embracing “precast innovation powered by collaboration,” AltusGroup and its member companies continue to develop advanced precast solutions that meet the needs of an evolving building and construction market.

“In the two decades since our founding, we’ve seen a deepened focus on energy savings, carbon footprint mitigation and on-site labor reductions, all amid an enhanced desire for aesthetic freedom and versatility,” said John Carson, AltusGroup executive director. “Through our novel co-opetition model, we’ve brought a variety of innovative technologies to the marketplace to make precast an even more competitive building enclosure option – with more product development on the way.

The organization celebrated 20 years of accomplishment and looked to the future at its annual general meeting this fall in Tampa, Fla. Among the noteworthy highlights of AltusGroup’s past two decades:

• Developing and commercializing the world’s first insulated precast concrete wall system that uses carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) grid as a wythe connector along with composite design action and introduction of the product – CarbonCast – as the country’s first nationally recognized brand of precast concrete wall systems.
• Recognition with several industry awards including the Product Innovation Award from Architectural Products, R+D Award from ARCHITECT magazine, Buildings magazine’s Top 100 Products and Architectural Record’s Product Reports.
• Growth of the AltusGroup organization from its original five members to today’s 14 members – a number that reached as high as 19 before industry consolidation. An additional nine companies support the group as Innovation Partners, while an International Affiliate supplies CarbonCast product in Europe.
• Educational outreach and continuing education with over 8,500 programs delivered in person and online since 2006.

AltusGroup’s flagship CarbonCast technology has been used on more than 2,500 successful projects representing 35 million square feet of wall surface since 2003. Projects with CarbonCast High Performance Insulated Wall Panels have won numerous PCI Design Awards since the technology was introduced.

Additional product and technology developments that will speed construction, reduce jobsite labor and lower precast’s carbon footprint are slated for introduction in 2024 into 2025.

Novel co-opetition model enables investments in innovation

Central to AltusGroup’s success has been adherence to its co-opetition model whereby members cooperate to develop precast advancements then compete with one another in their respective market areas.

To innovate, AltusGroup brings together the best and brightest engineering and manufacturing minds in the precast-prestressed industry. Members then pool financial resources for product development, testing and marketing, enabling them to share the costs for research and development. AltusGroup also scans the market for licensable precast technologies that could benefit from incremental innovation, broader distribution and more robust marketing.

“By cooperating, our members can reduce their investments in R&D while innovating breakthrough technologies with a team of the best technical minds and advisers in the business,” said Carson. “It’s the ultimate win-win situation, especially when the demands of the building industry are evolving more rapidly than ever. We are nimbler than a trade organization and have a deeper pool of knowledge than any one company. We are unbridled in our thinking and actions.”

Leadership named to drive group strategy and direction

AltusGroup’s board of directors guides the organization and provides strategic direction. Board members are selected from AltusGroup’s membership and direct tactical strategy and execution as needed.

Officers and board members elected at the Annual General Meeting will serve through October 2024. They are:

• Chairman: Joe Bunkers – Gage Brothers

• Past Chairman: Hagen Harker – Mid-States Concrete Industries

• Chair Elect: John Arehart – Enterprise Precast of Texas

• Treasurer: Dave Schneider – High Concrete Group

• Secretary (and Innovation Partner Representative): Jason Pitcole – Master Builders

Board members:

• Suzanne Aultman and Terri Ward – Metromont

• Lance Lorah – High Concrete Group

• Brian Laufenberg, John Leatham – Chomarat NA

• Peter Gay – Knife River

• Andrew LeVatte – Strescon Limited / Pre-Con

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McElroy Metal New Product: Trap-Tee

November 21, 2023

The Trap-Tee symmetrical metal roofing system is a site-formed, mechanically seamed system, measuring 2-3/4-inches tall. Trap-Tee is designed to resolve the three major shortcomings of trapezoidal standing seam roof systems: leaking end laps, low wind-uplift capability and difficult to repair. Site forming eliminates end laps vulnerable to leaking over time. The oversized seam and special clips dramatically increase wind uplift capacity and the symmetrical design allows for easy repair or alteration after the roof is installed. Standard clips are 16-gauge and 8 inches long, while Super Clips are 16 gauge and 16 inches long. Offered with Sherwin-Williams PVDF Fluropon coating, the Trap-Tee has a life expectancy approaching 60 years, allowing for the ability to add curbs, vents, single-panel replacement and even building additions. Rectangular metal buildings and tilt-up warehousing are the best candidates for the Trap-Tee panel, in both remove and replace as well as recover projects.

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Subterra Renewables places No. 1 on The Globe and Mail's fifth-annual ranking of Canada's Top Growing Companies.

November 20, 2023

Subterra Renewables is pleased to announce it placed No. 1 on the 2023 Report on Business ranking of Canada's Top Growing Companies.

Canada's Top Growing Companies ranks Canadian companies on three-year revenue growth. Subterra Renewables earned its spot with three-year growth of 42,676%.

Lucie Andlauer, Chief Executive Officer, Subterra Renewables said, "We are incredibly excited about our ranking on this prestigious list and our remarkable growth journey at Subterra Renewables. It's a testament to the dedication and hard work of our exceptional team of geothermal experts, engineers, drillers, and operators, who have been instrumental in propelling our company to the top. Their talent and commitment have been the driving force behind our success. Placing No. 1 on the 2023 ranking with so many other amazing companies, is truly an honor, and it inspires us to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation in the renewable energy sector."

Canada's Top Growing Companies is an editorial ranking that was launched in 2019. It aims to bring the accomplishments of innovative businesses in Canada to the forefront. In order to qualify for this voluntary program, companies had to complete an in-depth application process and fulfill requirements. In total, 425 companies earned a spot on this year's ranking.

The full list of 2023 winners along with editorial coverage is published in the October issue of Report on Business magazine. The list is out now and online here.

"Canada's Top Growing Companies acknowledges the drive and ingenuity displayed by Canadian business," says Dawn Calleja, Editor of Report on Business magazine. "This year's ranking serves as an inspiration for future business owners."

"This year's Report on Business magazine's list of Top Growing Companies shows how innovative ideas always rise to the top, perhaps even more so in times of uncertainty," says Andrew Saunders, CEO of The Globe and Mail. "The Globe and Mail congratulates this year's winners for meeting and surpassing those economic challenges."

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Kohler Co. to Establish Energy Division as Independent Business with Platinum Equity as Majority Investment Partner, Accelerating Long-Term Growth Strategies for Both Organizations

November 17, 2023

Kohler Co. today announced the strategic decision to set Kohler Energy up as a separate, independent business with Platinum Equity engaged as the majority investment partner. Kohler will continue to stay invested in the Energy business following the closing and remains committed to supporting its upward trajectory built on a proven track record of strong performance in the global energy resilience marketplace. The businesses included in the portfolio are Power Systems, Engines, Home Energy, Kohler Uninterruptible Power, Clarke Energy, Curtis Instruments, and Heila Technologies.

While Kohler Co. and Platinum Equity must complete several milestones and legal requirements, including consultations with employee works councils, the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2024. Until then, Kohler Co. will operate as one company.

“Today we took a bold and strategic move for the future of our company,” said David Kohler, Chair and CEO of Kohler Co. “Over the last 150 years, Kohler has embraced a relentless pursuit of providing exceptional products, services, and experiences for our customers. This important moment in our journey signifies our commitment to deepening the focus and investment in Kohler’s Kitchen & Bath and Hospitality businesses and continuing to drive growth within our respective industries. The timing is right due to the strength of the Energy business, which is driven by world-class products manufactured and sold by highly skilled associates. I look forward to supporting the Energy business through our continued investment along with my role on the board following the closing.”

Kohler Energy is a global leader in energy resilience, providing mission critical power solutions to homes, businesses, and equipment. Its market leading portfolio of backup and prime power equipment, traditional and electrified powertrain technologies, and home energy solutions are trusted around the world.

“Kohler has been an excellent steward of the business for more than 100 years. We will continue that vision with Platinum Equity, who shares the same values of quality, innovation, and operational excellence and is all-in on our growth journey. We expect to drive significant continued investment that increases value to our customers, team members, and shareholders,” said Brian Melka, Group President – Kohler Energy. “I’m proud of what the team has done to build an industry-leading business, and we look forward to working with Platinum Equity to embark on our next phase of growth. Our immediate priority is ensuring a smooth transition that delivers the best experience for our customers and team members around the world.”

Brian Melka will serve as CEO of the Energy business, with David Kohler serving on its board.

Platinum Equity is a global investment firm with approximately $47 billion of assets under management. Kohler selected Platinum Equity due to the firm’s deep operational expertise and successful track record with carve-out transactions.

“Kohler Energy has a well-deserved reputation for quality, innovation and engineering that dates back more than a century,” said Platinum Equity Co-President Jacob Kotzubei. “We appreciate Kohler’s confidence in our ability to build on that legacy and support the energy business’s continued growth and expansion as a standalone company. We have great respect for David and the Kohler leadership team and are proud to be their partners.”

Platinum Equity has 28 years of experience acquiring and operating global businesses that have been part of large corporate entities. In recent years the firm has acquired businesses from firms like Ball Corporation, Caterpillar, Emerson Electric, Ingersoll Rand and Johnson & Johnson, among others.

“The energy resilience business has outstanding leadership, strong technical capabilities and an opportunity to benefit from attractive tailwinds driving a sustained need for reliable power solutions in industrial, commercial, residential and equipment applications,” said Platinum Equity Managing Director Matthew Louie. “We look forward to working with Brian and the management team to continue investing in the business and maximizing its potential.”

BDT & MSD Partners and BofA Securities are serving as financial advisors to Kohler. White & Case LLP are acting as legal advisors to Kohler.

Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and William Blair & Company, LLC are serving as financial advisors to Platinum Equity on the Kohler Energy investment. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is serving as legal advisor and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP is serving as debt financing counsel to Platinum Equity.

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November 10, 2023

As much as providing a Pass / Fail determination, one of the most valuable benefits of the NFPA 285 test is the type and amount of data that is collected. This aspect of NFPA 285 makes it an extremely effective tool to conduct tests and analyze test data for assemblies configured to present “worst case” conditions for components, geometries, or combinations of both. When tested and found to meet the acceptance criteria, the data for these “worst case” configurations forms the basis for analysis and reasonable extension to other assemblies of similar composition and configuration to, but not exactly the same as, the tested assembly. From a more practical perspective, this ability to extend data is advantageous to all stakeholders because given the number of potential combinations and permutations of products in the control layers of modern exterior wall assemblies, it would be impossible to test each and every configuration and combination of components.

Experience with NFPA 285 has shown that certain test specimen design and configuration details may influence test results morethan others. Technical revisions to the 2019 Edition of NFPA 285 were made to ensure the test provides a more consistent and challenging test (e.g., prescribed locations for exterior veneer joints / seams and prescribed procedures for window closures [with an option for closures per the manufacturer’s instructions]) and to ensure that important configuration details are both recorded and clearly communicated in test reports (e.g., required drawings / details for the wall cross-section and window closure if the per-manufacturer option is used).

Experience with NFPA 285 has also shown that every NFPA 285 test is an opportunity to gain further insight into how products and wall assembly configurations perform in this important fire performance aspect of exterior walls of buildings. The 2023 Edition of NFPA 285 contains a new Annex B representing the collected experience and consensus of a Task Group of stakeholders, convened under the NFPA Committee on Fire Tests, that included experts in fire testing, fire science, and fire protection engineering representing testing and certification organizations, fire consultants, product manufacturers, and industry associations. The Annex provides important information and guidance for the analysis of specific subjects and changes to a tested assembly as well as very important limitations and when certain changes should not be permitted.

When it comes to the actual testing of wall assemblies, building product manufacturers will design test specimens and test programs, often with the advice of qualified consultants, that build in scenarios for extending successful test results. One result of this “worst case” approach to fire testing is that tested assemblies are not likely to reflect actual designs prepared by the designer, for example:

A “weak” window closure, from a fire performance perspective, will be tested to allow for analysis and extension of test results to more robust closures used in actual designs.

A greater amount of combustible componentry (e.g., insulation thickness, water-resistive barrier thickness, etc.) will be tested to allow analysis and extension of test results to actual designs using lesser amounts of those combustible components.

A less robust base wall, from a fire performance perspective (i.e., light-gage metal framing), will be tested to allow for extension of test results to more robust base walls (i.e., masonry, precast concrete, etc.) to be used in actual designs.

The value of NFPA 285 goes beyond its binary pass / fail test result and reference within the requirements of the International Building Code® (IBC). Visual and instrument data collected during these tests provides experts with information allowing experts insight about how each assembly layer behaved throughout the test, leading up to the final test result for the complete assembly. This dynamic performance information is objective evidence for expert analysis and extension to other similar wall assemblies based on experience, fire science principles, and guidance information within the NFPA 285 test standard, itself.

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November 01, 2023


It is beneficial to begin investigating NFPA 285 compliance requirements and exterior wall design information as soon as possible in a project. Is testing and compliance with NFPA 285 likely to be required? If so, then what code provision(s) or material(s) is prompting the requirement? Are there any limits or exceptions to the required testing?

When testing and compliance with NFPA 285 is required, requesting product manufacturers or suppliers to provide, “…a copy of the NFPA 285 test report…,” is not as simple of a request to fulfill as it might seem. A test report for an assembly that exactly matches the proposed design may not be available. Testing efforts usually include an assessment or consideration of what would present a “worst case” or benchmark test that may then be used as the basis for extending successful results to other assemblies that will perform at least as well as the benchmark. Depending on the specific design, extension of successful test results for a similar design may require significant time and additional information or data that is not readily available. Also, test reports may contain proprietary business information that may not be appropriate for distribution. Open and frank discussion between designers and manufacturers (and consultants) is essential to support good-faith communication of necessary and appropriate design information between the stakeholders.

With NFPA 285 tested “worst case” designs not likely to match up with actual to-be-constructed designs, how does a designer collect and interpret the necessary information to assure the project design will meet the acceptance criteria of NFPA 285? The answer is to do the necessary research, ask the right questions, be specific, and work collaboratively with building product manufacturers and consultants.

It is also important to understand that even if there is a successful NFPA 285 test exactly matching each exterior wall assembly for a given project, analysis and extension of successful NFPA 285 test data may become necessary to address situations where limited, but unique project conditions arise (e.g., transitioning between different exterior wall coverings, limited areas of constrained dimensions or complex geometries, etc.) that cannot be assembled in conformance with the assemblies provided for the majority of a project’s exterior wall area.


Today’s exterior wall assemblies have become complex systems. They are tasked with providing all the control functions (water, air, thermal, and vapor) of the building envelope, resisting certain structural or design loads, and meeting strict fire performance requirements for fire safety of the building. Satisfying all of these requirements has led to wall designs with multiple discrete and overlapping layers, often with multiple combustible components.

When it comes to NFPA 285, design and compliance information is spread among more sources and locations. In most cases, building product manufacturers will serve as the initial, if not primary, source of information.

The first resource to begin research is manufacturers’ respective websites for published NFPA 285 compliance information. Technical Data Sheets, Design and Installation Guides, and engineering judgement / analysis letters, among others, are typical documents where NFPA 285 design information is published. A second resource for researching NFPA 285 design and compliance information is online directories published by approved agencies. Third-party certification (i.e., listing or labeling) of wall assemblies for compliance with NFPA 285 is not required by the International Building Code® (IBC®)2, however, some manufacturers choose to have wall designs certified for compliance with NFPA 285. A third resource is building code compliance research reports, also published by approved agencies in online directories, whose scope of recognition includes both the International Building Code® (IBC®) and NFPA 285.

Bearing in mind that modern wall designs may contain multiple combustible components from different manufacturers, it may prove necessary to contact and collect information from multiple manufacturers, perhaps including fire testing or code consultants, to bring all the pieces together. Designers may find that manufacturers of foam plastic insulation tend to have more NFPA 285 information than other product manufacturers because the IBC requires NFPA 285 where foam plastic is used in or on exterior walls, of any height, in Type I, II, III, and IV construction.

Designers and manufacturers are encouraged to remember that NFPA 285 tests and extensions of successful NFPA 285 tests are evaluations of wall assemblies as a complete system; in other words, they focus on the assembly. It is equally important for all parties to remember that (a) any wall design must tie back to at least one tested assembly, and (b) sometimes testing a proposed wall design to NFPA 285 is the proper course of action.


Reasonable questions for discussion between stakeholders about NFPA 285 design and test information, the extension of results for assemblies meeting the requirements of NFPA 285, and their use in determining compliance of wall designs for specific projects include the following, but be sure to modify as needed for your own circumstance:

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November 01, 2023

W. R. MEADOWS introduces AIR-SHIELD BUTYL FLASHING, a self-adhering, flexible transition and detailing membrane that enhances the robust AIR-SHIELD product line. Known for its superior sealing capabilities, it is specially designed for demanding window and door details in building projects.

This butyl-based adhesive product offers exceptional adherence, providing an effective seal against air, liquid, and vapor infiltration. It is designed for easy installation and adapts seamlessly to diverse architectural details. Resistant to extreme temperatures, it is also free of harmful VOCs and compatible with a variety of construction materials, affirming its versatility and sustainable commitment.

"We are thrilled to introduce the AIR-SHIELD BUTYL FLASHING to our dynamic AIR-SHIELD lineup. It was our goal to design a robust yet malleable product that could seamlessly adapt to both straightforward and complex building geometries," stated Russ Snow, W. R. MEADOWS' Sales and Product Group Manager. "With its resilient butyl adhesive, this flashing product can be tailored to any shape or corner with just a simple utility knife, presenting an efficient and user-friendly solution within our air barrier product line.”

The AIR-SHIELD line, known for providing top-tier protection against uncontrolled air leakage, continues to reinforce the company's mission of ensuring uncompromised building materials' performance. The AIR-SHIELD line includes a variety of products, including fluid-applied air barriers, sheet membranes, and vapor-permeable formulations, to provide you with top-tier protection.

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October 24, 2023


Exterior wall assemblies have become increasingly complex and important elements of the building envelope. Advancements in our understanding of building science, coupled with the need to improve the energy efficiency and resilience of buildings, have led to innovative solutions in both building products and construction methods. Many of the innovative products available to the market today are subject to compliance with prescriptive fire testing and performance requirements as regulated under the International Building Code® (IBC). One of the critical prescribed fire tests for exterior wall assemblies is NFPA® 285.


The roots of today’s NFPA 285 test trace back to work undertaken in the late 1970’s by an Exterior Wall Task Group of the Society for the Plastics Industry (SPI) to develop a test method to evaluate the potential for flame spread of foam plastic insulation when it was installed on exterior walls. The test method was adopted by the Uniform Building Code© (UBC) in 1988 as UBC Standard 17-6, which was later renumbered as UBC 26-4. This original test was based on a very large test specimen (approx. 24-ft tall × 15-ft wide) installed over a two-story test apparatus and exposed to a fire from a 1,285-pound wood crib burning in the first floor room. Due to its sized and scale, this test could only be performed outdoors.

In the 1990s, additional work was performed under the SPI to develop a reduced-scale version (i.e., “intermediate-scale”) of the UBC 26-4 that retained the two-story configuration, used gas-fired burners to provide the same fire exposure as the original test, and could be performed indoors This reduced-scale test was adopted by the UBC in 1997 as UBC Standard 26-9. The following year, in 1998, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) promulgated the NFPA 285 test method based on the technical details of UBC 26-9 with some editorial changes.

In 2000, the three legacy model building codes2 consolidated under the International Code Council (ICC), resulting in the inaugural 2000 Edition of the International Building Code® (IBC). This first issuance of the IBC carried forward provisions requiring exterior wall assemblies of Types I through IV construction containing foam plastic insulation to be tested in accordance with, and meet the acceptance criteria of either, NFPA 285 (previously UBC 26-9) or UBC 26-4. Subsequent editions of the IBC reference only NFPA 285 and have extended its use to regulate other combustible materials and cladding systems (i.e., water-resistive barriers, Metal Composite Material, High-Pressure Decorative Exterior Grade Compact Laminate, fiber reinforced plastic veneers, etc.) in or on exterior walls of Type I through IV construction.


NFPA 285 is an assembly test, not a component test. It evaluates the performance of a complete exterior wall assembly as a system. This concept of system performance is very important to remember because it is not only the fire performance of each specific material, but also how they interact and are influenced by the configuration geometry, (e.g., air spaces between layers, window header configuration), that combine to produce the observed performance. Test results are Pass / Fail and specific to the tested assembly. The test is designed to evaluate an exterior wall assembly’s ability to resist fire propagation in the following ways:

Each tested wall assembly is highly instrumented. Test specimens are instrumented in a manner that breaks up the wall assembly into multiple layers; for example, exterior layer, air-gap layer, continuous insulation layer, and stud-cavity insulation layer. Each assembly layer contains approximately 20 thermocouples (TCs).

Depending on the specific composition and configuration, a test specimen may contain 66, 80, or even more TCs. Each TC records temperature data throughout the 30-minute test that, collectively, provides knowledgeable persons with information about the three-dimensional movement (vertically, horizontally, and through) of heat and flame in the assembly during the test. Acceptance criteria determining the Pass/Fail result are a combination of temperature limitations, temperature-rise limitations, and visual observations at certain locations in the specimen and the second-story room of the test apparatus.

Recent editions of NFPA 285 have seen several revisions to requirements for test specimen design and reporting as well as explanatory and guidance information. For example, the current 2023 Edition contains a new Annex B3 with guidance for extending successful test data to wall assemblies that are similar to the tested wall assembly. The 2019 Edition contained several technical revisions that included:
• Requirements for test specimens to have at least one horizontal and one vertical joint/seam of the exterior veneer within a defined area above the window opening.
• A new prescribed procedure and materials to generically close the window head, jambs and sill as well as the option to use a specific closure/construction detail(s) per the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Requirements for the test report to contain drawings and a description of the construction details around the window.

The next issue of this series will discuss how the results of NFPA 285 tests provide subject matter experts with a great deal of dynamic performance information for analysis toward extending test results to alternative assembly configurations.

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One Month Left! Register to Earn Your CSI Credential

October 18, 2023

Only One Month Left!

Register to Earn Your CSI Credential Before the End of the Year.

Registration for the Fall 2023 certification exam cycle closes on November 17.

Find out which certification is right for you and showcase your expertise.

Prove your project delivery authority. Construction Documents Technologist (CDT®) REGISTER NOW

Prove your specifications knowledge. Certified Construction Specifier (CCS®) REGISTER NOW

Prove your contracts expertise. Certified Construction Contract Administrator (CCCA®) REGISTER NOW

Prove you're a trusted product advisor. Certified Construction Product Representative (CCPR™) REGISTER NOW

Not a member? Join today and save! CSI members receive discounts on exam registration and other study materials.

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Innovative Acoustic Solutions in the Rubber Sports Flooring World

October 13, 2023

For nearly 70 years REGUPOL has been providing the industry with innovative acoustic flooring solutions for commercial flooring projects, sports and fitness facilities, and more.

The leading acoustics company has extensive experience in impact and airborne sound insulation and works closely with architects and building professionals to ensure comfortable, whisper-quiet spaces. The family-run business is now being led by the third and fourth generations of family members who know the presence of unwanted noise or vibration can be debilitating.

We recently talked with REGUPOL’s Wil Younger to learn more about the company’s sports and acoustic flooring expertise and how they produce a superior, sustainable result.

How are REGUPOL’s sports and acoustics divisions working to create the best flooring?

Fitness environments are often associated with noise. Dropped free weights, pounding cardio equipment, and energetic group training can all contribute to extensive impact sound and vibration. Combined with a growing movement to integrate fitness amenities within mixed-use buildings and multi-family dwellings, this noise isn’t just a problem for those within the facility. It becomes a concern for occupants throughout the building as well as those in close proximity.

This makes proper acoustical sports floor systems critical to occupant wellness and building performance. At REGUPOL we tailor sound insulation designs to each application based on its type, scope, intensity, and building structure. Our acoustical underlayments are then topped with our proven sports flooring to achieve safety and comfort underfoot while also enhancing athletic performance.

How do your sports floor solutions have acoustic benefits?

The REGUPOL sonusfit range was designed specifically to address combined sports and acoustic performance. The multi-layer system incorporates various densities of elastomers to achieve effective vibration isolation, sound dampening, and spring properties. This creates an optimal training surface when extreme sound proofing and shock absorption are necessary.

Can you share an example of this in action?

Gensler designed an office-friendly fitness center using REGUPOL flooring. The architecture firm ultimately chose the REGUPOL sonusfit m520 (formerly AkustiPro ML70) coupled with a floating floor system supported by the REGUPOL soundpanel.

The REGUPOL sonusfit m52 is a PUR bonded system consisting of a dense wear layer for enhanced stability and high damping components that reduce vibration, particularly in the low-frequency range. The REGUPOL soundpanel is a panelized free-floating subfloor system designed to absorb airborne sound and dissipate structure-borne vibration. When used together the system provides unmatched performance.

In the end the client was very pleased with their new wellness center. They’re able to use all of their equipment without the worry of disturbing their coworkers in nearby offices, as low-frequency noise and vibration created by heavy impacts have been reduced to minimal levels.

The finished product is aesthetically pleasing, too. The finish flooring features the REGUPOL Thunder Gray with custom solid light-gray inlays in the weight room and a beautiful hardwood finish in the multipurpose room.

How have acoustic solutions evolved in fitness facilities?

Requirements for noise reduction are particularly complex within fitness facilities for two reasons: the wide range of training methods and noise sources that are typical in a gym environment, and because there is currently not a standard test method for acoustical measurements under typical gym conditions.

When our team began engineering sonusfit, we knew we would need to replicate real-world conditions like the drop of dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells from various heights and angles, to establish efficacy. To ensure the reproducibility of measurements and comprehensively represent the most diverse noise sources, we first constructed a dropping machine that could lift various weights at a height of six-and-a-half feet. Using this application-oriented and reproducible measurement process we are now able to effectively conduct in-house product tests that replicate a variety of fitness applications.

How has the demand for acoustic solutions changed in general?

The demand for acoustic solutions has remained on a steady incline in recent years driven by urban densification, the rise of mass timber, and an increased awareness of the detrimental impacts mismanaged sound can have on human health.

The United Nations predicts that nearly 70% of the global population will live in urban cities by 2050. Because of this cities are becoming more densely populated and developers are expanding vertically and building above existing buildings to accommodate this influx of people. Proper acoustics are critical to reducing impact sound between adjoining units and to mitigate low-frequency structure borne-noise. Additionally, vibration from building amenities like gyms, pools, or parking structures must be addressed. Vibration from building equipment and nearby transportation infrastructure are also sources of sound that affect residents.

The rise of mass timber construction presents an excellent option to advance low-carbon building, however these structures often possess unique acoustic challenges—especially within the low frequency range.

Additionally, several organizations have begun to place a greater emphasis on acoustic standards driving awareness for the harmful effects of poorly managed building noise. WELL building standards cite sound management as a critical component in promoting occupant health and well-being. And the release of LEED v4.1 placed greater value on acoustic performance within data centers, warehouses, health care facilities, and schools with an emphasis on reducing sound transmission and mitigating HVAC vibration and background noise.

What should architects consider before specifying fitness flooring?

Functionality and usage of the space should always be the first consideration when designing a fitness center or weight room. When we know how the space will be used and can define the applications that will take place, we can make the right flooring recommendation for these types of spaces. This should include attention to impact sound, vibration, foot traffic, potential rolling loads, and comfort and safety underfoot. Aesthetics and maintenance are other factors that will also inform product selection as long-term performance and satisfaction.

Where might architects consider these solutions?

The product’s long life cycle, performance, and affordability make it an attractive option for virtually any gym environment—from weight training to cardio machine areas, group fitness, sports courts, and even climbing areas.

Our broad color range and ability to customize designs, patterns, and logos also make REGUPOL sports flooring ideal for enhancing reception and social areas.

What else do people need to understand about rubber sports flooring?

The misconception that we run into most frequently is that all rubber sports flooring is the same. That could not be further from the truth. As the inventor of recycled rubber flooring technology we’ve mastered the formulation, quality, and consistency necessary to provide long-term performance and resiliency. And we’re testing these products in the most extreme environments to ensure they can withstand the most challenging conditions with minimal maintenance.

It’s often alluring to focus on a solution that offers a cheaper upfront cost, but often those options will result in costs overtime and may not be the most environmentally conscious products.

What acoustic flooring solutions should be considered in retrofits?

The key to building sustainable cities is intelligent densification, efficient use of existing buildings, and the conservation of finite resources. Increasing the renovation rate rather than constructing new buildings is an important factor in the efforts of cities and municipalities to achieve ecological and economic goals.

Old buildings often do not provide energy-efficient structures or sufficient sound control. In contrast, more and more cities aim for increased sustainability and better living quality. This has led to a need for increased energy efficiency and acoustic insulation measures. At the same time architects, developers, and consultants are facing other challenges like limited floor heights and lightweight structures.

REGUPOL core or REGUPOL sonus curve floor underlayments take up minimal space and greatly contribute to noise reduction and the improvement of quality of life. Additionally, REGUPOL sonusclips efficiently reduce noise through wall and ceiling assemblies meeting even the most stringent acoustical requirements.

How is REGUPOL a sustainable company?

We are passionate about advancing sustainability through circularity. It’s the driving force behind our product development and what has enabled us to become one of the world’s leading processors of recycled elastomers.

How do recycled elastomers lead to better flooring?

The characteristics of recycled elastomers are highly resilient and can achieve a multitude of performance qualities, including vibration isolation, sound dampening, shock absorption, slip resistance, and comfort—elements necessary for successful fitness facility design.

How are REGUPOL’s products made?

Our products are comprised of up to 95% recycled content either from shredded and cleaned SBR tire rubber (100% post-consumer waste) or a combination of SBR tire rubber and vibrant EPDM color granules (post-industrial waste). The entire manufacturing process is environmentally responsible using minimal water, avoiding heat, and recycling waste.

Many of our products can be salvaged and returned to REGUPOL for recycling at the end of the building life cycle. In fact, many of our acoustic products have earned the Cradle to Cradle Certified Bronze Level certificate because of their circular product cycle.

These factors not only help protect the environment, they can help architects and facility managers achieve decarbonization goals and many products can contribute to LEED certification.

How has the company’s commitment to sustainability evolved?

Sustainability has been at our core since REGUPOL was founded in 1954. Each year we reclaim more than 9 million tires from landfills to make these environmentally sound solutions. This process is regularly monitored by our energy team to ensure continuous energy efficiency and responsible use of materials.

As the world moves toward aggressive and necessary sustainability goals, our team has taken leadership roles in working with business leaders, educational institutions, and legislation to emphasize the importance of a circular economy including advisory roles with AZuR, a forum for waste tire recycling and Initiative New Life, a leader in recycling end-of-life tires. Additional certifications include GreenCircle Certified, USGBC members, MindfulMaterials, and UL-listed/certified EPD.

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Leadership Changes Announced at Solatube International, a Kingspan Light + Air Company

October 10, 2023

Solatube International Inc., the world’s-leading manufacturer and marketer of tubular daylighting devices (TDDs), announces new leadership appointments as part of its ongoing growth and strategic development.

Robert E. Westfall, Jr., who has formally served as president of Solatube International Inc., has been appointed as the new chief executive officer (CEO). With an impressive 27-year tenure at the company, Westfall brings a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience to his new role. His deep commitment and infectious passion for Solatube have been pivotal to the company's success. While stepping into the CEO position, Westfall will continue to contribute to the company as an advisor, ensuring a smooth transition and providing a solid foundation for future business development.

Stepping into the role of president at Solatube International will be the company's newest addition, Francisco Lopez. Lopez joins the Solatube team with an impressive background and proven track record of leadership in various industries. Notably, he held pivotal positions at Jacuzzi, where he spearheaded channel and product marketing strategies, both domestically and internationally, in the hot tub and bath industry since 2012. Prior to his tenure at Jacuzzi, Lopez made significant contributions at JP Morgan Chase & Co, where he built and led retail teams, and at Grober León, where he played an instrumental role in opening new export markets for footwear fabrics. Lopez holds a master’s degree from Thunderbird, Global School of International Business.

“For the past 27 years, building the Solatube International brand across the world has been the thrill ride of a lifetime and I’m very proud of all we have achieved over the decades,” said Westfall. “We’re excited to have Francisco Lopez join as president, bringing his fresh perspective as we move into our next era with the support of our parent company, Kingspan Light + Air.”

"I'm honored to step into the role of president at Solatube International during this pivotal moment in the company's history," said Lopez. "Solatube's legacy of innovation and commitment to excellence is undeniable, and I look forward to helping ensure its future success.”

Marci Bonham, President, The Americas, Kingspan Light + Air, also expressed her enthusiasm, stating “With the Solatube International acquisition and leadership changes, Kingspan Light + Air is positioned to enter the next phase of growth, strengthening Kingspan’s position as the industry leader in daylighting solutions, executing ambitious business and customer strategies, driving new innovations and reaching our ambitious Planet Passionate sustainability goals."

For over 30 years, Solatube International has gained global recognition for its advanced tubular daylighting technology and ability to deliver broad spectrum daylight to spaces that were once unimaginable. Today, more than 2 million people have improved their homes with Solatube TDDs, and millions more have enjoyed the benefits at department stores, schools, hotels, hospitals, grocery stores, offices and athletic facilities. Well-known Fortune 500 brands have enhanced their customers’ experiences while reducing their corporate energy costs by incorporating Solatube products into their stores, offices and facilities.

With these leadership changes, Solatube International is primed for continued success, fortified by exceptional leadership and a team of dedicated professionals. The company remains unwavering in its commitment to delivering energy-efficient daylighting (as an interior source of lighting) to all, with the well-being of people and the planet at its heart.

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Multiple McElroy Metal profiles offer durability, aesthetics for new Wisconsin fire station

October 03, 2023

The Town of Pensaukee is a growing Wisconsin community, 30 minutes north of Green Bay. The town found itself in need of a larger fire station headquarters to meet the needs of the community. The town council decided the wide selection of metal roofing and wall panel profiles and colors from McElroy Metal would be the best long-term solution for this new facility.

“The major design goal of the project was to meet the space and equipment needs of the fire department while not exceeding budget,” says Kelly Kueper, AIA, with Integrity Engineering & Design in Green Bay. “With budget in mind, it was also a design goal to create a modern and aesthetically pleasing building. Metal was ultimately chosen because it is a low-maintenance and high-performance material to protect the building envelope.

“The manufacturer offered numerous profiles, gauges, and array of finishes to help achieve the color selection we were looking for as well as the modern look for the building.”

All panels installed on this project featured Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF coatings.

“The old building simply could not meet the needs of the community and updated firefighting technology,” says James Jones, Senior Project Manager at Muza Sheet Metal, Oshkosh, Wis. “After assessing budget and functionality, metal systems were selected for the new station’s walls and roofing. The durability and cost-effectiveness of metal panels made them the ideal choice.”

The Wisconsin winter made the installation a little more challenging, but everything was completed by January 2023, and everyone was pleased with the outcome.

“Our team faced the challenge of installing the systems during cold winter months, but through careful planning and coordination, we stayed on schedule and overcame the weather-related difficulties,” Jones says. “Of all the building’s excellent features, we were particularly proud of using multiple metal panel colors and profiles. The eye-catching red Mega-Rib panels paired with the grey Multi-Cor and natural Sandstone Max-Rib roofing create visual interest while meeting all performance requirements.

“The new Pensaukee Fire Station made smart use of architectural metals and provides an essential service for the community.”

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Excel Dryer Now Available With Electrostatic HEPA Filtration

September 27, 2023

New Electrostatic HEPA Filtration is now available for all hand dryers, including the expanded ThinAir product line, our surface mounted ADA Compliant hand dryers.

The upgraded HEPA filtration system uses electrostatically charged media, which allows for increased airflow and attracts particles—including bacteria and viruses—to the filter media, removing them from the air.

Watch video here.

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Kingspan Light + Air Unveils New Company and Product Branding for Streamlined Customer Experience

September 07, 2023

Kingspan Light + Air, a division of Kingspan Group PLC, and a leader in daylighting, ventilation and smoke management solutions for the sustainable built environment, today unveiled its new product branding, exemplifying its evolution as a company and focus on innovation, growth and the customer experience.

As part of its rebranding, the company is sunsetting the Major Industries, Inc. brand, and announcing new product divisions and names to simplify product understanding and facilitate a cohesive, seamless customer experience and specification process. The new branding represents a milestone for Kingspan Light + Air as it looks to strengthen its brand name and solidify its position as a leading supplier of comprehensive daylighting and ventilation solutions.

New daylighting product divisions include:
• Toplighting
• Sidelighting
• Canopies and Walkways

New daylighting product names include:
• GridSpan™ (Fiberglass Roof System): Formerly known as Guardian 275® Skylights (from Major Industries, Inc.)
• UniGrid™ (Fiberglass Wall System): Formerly known as Guardian 275® Wall Systems (from Major Industries, Inc.)
• Liteway™ (Fiberglass Canopies and Walkways): Formerly known as Guardian 275® (from Major Industries, Inc.)
• QuadSpan™ (Polycarbonate Roof System): Formerly known as Quadwall® (part of its existing toplighting product portfolio)
• PentaClad™ (Polycarbonate Cladding): Formerly referred to as a general "Cladding System," utilizing Pentaglas polycarbonate glazing (part of its existing sidelighting product portfolio)

“The strategic alignment of our acquired brands has been a key pillar driving our actions,” said Tom Larwa, vice president of customer experience for Kingspan Light + Air North America. "Aligned with our mission of being an industry leader for comprehensive, quality daylighting and ventilation solutions, we recognize that the first step lies in optimizing the experience for our customers, partners and sales teams. With today's announcement, Kingspan Light + Air embarks on a transformative path, shifting from a portfolio of distinct brands to a singular, cohesive brand identity.”

As part of this transition, the Major Industries, Inc. website will be shut down, and all relevant information will now be seamlessly integrated into the Kingspan Light + Air website. New product division landing pages have also been created to help guide users through system offerings, and the site will offer some new functionality as well. Customers can explore a new comprehensive product catalog, access informative resources, detailed specifications and case studies, engage with interactive design tools for seamless planning and easily connect with the Architectural Solutions Team for personalized assistance every step of the way.

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Founder of Girls Construction Camp Receives Industry Award

September 06, 2023

S-5! ’s Architectural & National Accounts Director has been awarded the Construction Specifier Institute (CSI) Great Lakes Region President’s Award in recognition of her dedication, hard work and mindfulness to the region.

S-5!’s Shelly Higgins is a member of the board of directors for the CSI Cleveland chapter. She helped plan, organize and run the Great Lakes Region Conference from ideas to implementation. She is also the founder and director of the “Let’s Build Construction Camp for Girls” in Northeast Ohio, a five-day summer camp for girls ages 12-16 to explore the world of construction and learn about the various career pathways in the skilled trades. The camp partners with unions and trade associations and is run through the generosity of volunteers, mentors and sponsors, allowing the girls to attend at no cost.

The camp’s mission is to encourage girls “to consider a career in architecture, engineering, manufacturing or construction trades through education, hands-on experiences, mentoring and field trips” to manufacturing facilities, architectural firms, and even local permitting offices.

Higgins is an active member of many associations and councils, including CSI, the Metal Construction Association and National Women in Roofing (NWIR) to name a few. She has a special place in her heart for the future of the construction industry, supporting trade schools and encouraging young women to consider a career in the trades.

“Shelly has made a significant impact on the young girls in Northeastern Ohio by organizing and promoting such an amazing event,” said Rob Haddock, CEO and founder of S-5! and camp sponsor. “We often speak about the labor shortage and how to bring the next generation into the trades. Thanks to Shelly’s hard work, these young girls have the chance to learn about the endless career opportunities that exist in the construction industry.”

Higgins spent her entire life working in various corners of the construction industry. Her love for it goes back to an early age. Her father “flipped” houses, and she did whatever she could do to help. It was the best way for her to spend time with her dad. She said, "I would help him, and being a young girl, I would end up threading pipe or doing whatever else I could. I really enjoyed that. I've always loved working with my hands."

That sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from working alongside her dad carried with her into adulthood and her career life. She spent time designing kitchens professionally, then exterior building products, and eventually, architectural sales all while trying to stay connected to the job sites, where that familiar and rewarding work happened.

Working in a primarily male-dominated industry and constantly hearing about the labor shortage, Higgins identified the need to introduce and educate young girls in the trades. “I want them to know, there are positions in the industry for them, and if they don’t want to go the traditional college route, there are opportunities to make a very good living in the construction trades,” said Higgins. “And if they don’t know the opportunities exist, how are they going to make a career out of it? We need to be proactive and encourage them.”

This is the second year Higgins has organized the girls’ camp. Plans are underway for 2024, and Higgins welcomes the support of other industry professionals to volunteer their time and/or take part as sponsors. For more information, visit

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S-5! Presents Education at METALCON & Launches its New Solar Attachment for Metal Roofs

August 31, 2023

With the metal construction industry’s largest tradeshow and conference fast approaching, S-5! announces a number of education sessions planned for METALCON in Las Vegas, providing opportunities for attendees to earn continuing education credits.

Beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 18, Shelly Higgins, S-5! Architectural & National Accounts Director will host a panel discussion on Why Design and Build with Metal – The Most Sustainable Construction Material Available. The panel includes industry leaders who encompass a variety of metal building design and construction specialties including METALCON founder and CEO of PSMJ Resources, Inc., Frank Stasiowski, FAIA; Dick Davis, vice president and senior engineering technical specialist, FM Global; Tom Smith, FEMA consultant, TLSMith Consulting, Inc.; Jeff Hock, technical director, Sheffield Metals; and Rob Haddock, CEO and founder of S-5!, the leading authority on metal roof attachment solutions. Together, they will provide insights on common myths and discuss trends in design, construction and sustainability using metal, including a discussion on the impact of extreme weather conditions on building material selection.

Then, on Thursday, Oct. 19 at 8.30 a.m., Haddock, also director of the Metal Roof Advisory Group, will present Metal Roofing From A (Aluminum) to Z (Zinc). Often billed as "Metal Roofing 101" and known as the best “crash course” available for all in-industry personnel, it includes technical information presented in a common-sense fashion that makes the art and science of metal roofing clear, concise and understandable. Contractors, salespeople, architects, specifiers, roof consultants, engineers, building owners and maintenance staff will all benefit from attending.

Later that same day at 12.45 p.m., David Stahler, Director of Sales, USA at S-5! will present Sales 101: Successful Sales Strategies from Cross-Selling to Up-Selling. Selling products or services has never been more challenging. It takes extensive knowledge, a deep understanding, a well-developed strategy, and the ability to build relationships. Stahler brings nearly 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development and change management, applying a results-driven, sales-oriented approach.

Finally, a panel of sustainability experts talk about Incorporating Metal in Your Company’s Sustainability Strategy at 2.15 p.m. Featuring S-5! solar expert, Mark Gies; Bob Zabcik, president, Z-Tech Consulting; and Marcos Corradin, director of marketing and strategy, U.S. Steel, the panel will discuss how companies are successfully implementing ESG strategies and how metal is the ultimate solution to aligning with certain aspects of ESG philosophies because of its extended service life, low consumption of natural resources for production, zero- petroleum by-products and recyclable properties.

Attendees are invited to stop by S-5!’s booth #4045 to see first-hand its new PVKIT HUR, the latest version of the PVKIT rail-less, direct-attach, solar mounting solution for metal roofs, providing a quick and simple method to install solar modules with tested, engineered, cost-saving, attachment. S-5!’s team will be on hand to explain the features and benefits of this technology.

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McElroy Metal roofing covers new home of Emmy Award winning TV host

August 28, 2023

As host, designer and executive producer of his Emmy Award winning series, Elbow Room, Chip Wade is available from concept through construction to show HGTV and DIY viewers how to customize their spaces and transform houses into homes that perfectly suit their lifestyles.

Wade is known for his unique ability to utilize cutting-edge materials, processes and authentic creativity to craft these large-scale, multi-faceted projects.

Nestled in North Georgia’s Blue Mountain Ridge, Pinhoti Peak is one such project. Wade teamed up with McElroy Metal to supply Maxima 2-inch rib standing seam metal panels for the 6,700-square-foot roof.

The Maxima family of products caters to the diverse requirements of architects and contractors. Each profile boasts distinctive performance attributes, allowing users to precisely align a Maxima panel with their desired aesthetic and performance specifications.

For the walls, Wade wanted a metal panel without visible fasteners and he specified the Wave panel from McElroy. Project aspirations include compelling visuals, nature-inspired restfulness, minimal maintenance, timeless selections and luxurious interactions.

Project specs:
• Located in Elijay, Ga., surrounded by 60,000 acres of national forest on three sides.
• 4,700 finished square footage
• 5 bedrooms, 4-1/2 bathrooms
• 3 individual complete suites with three individual kitchens and living areas
• Detached apartment called an ADU (accessory dwelling unit)
• Large outdoor living areas
• Wide open-air courtyard with outdoor kitchen, container pool, putting green, bocce court, wide fireplace and 4,000 square feet of hardscape
• Located on 100s of miles of off-road vehicle trails alongside a national hiking trail that ties into the Appalachian Trail
• Helicopter pad

“I always have full confidence working with McElroy Metal,” Wade says. “The product is always up to my standards and the ability to get the same material, color and finish in various forms – from standing seam panels to fastener-free siding panels – helps me execute projects at a higher standard.”

Who knew the backside of Pinhoti Peak would be the ultimate chill spot? This cozy nook, nestled between the house and the mountainside slope is where Wade unwinds.

“The dual grills let me sear and smoke like a boss, while entertainment options keep me on my toes,” he says. “The turf transforms into a bounce wonderland, the dining table doubles as a billiard arena and no Chip Wade play space would be complete without a killer ping-pong table. I can’t resist the allure of this mountain paradise!”

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Fire Trol Launches New Specification Tools

August 22, 2023

Fire Trol recently debuted game-changing partnerships with ARCAT and RIB SpecLink at A'23 in San Francisco. These collaborations mark a significant milestone in Fire Trol's mission to provide the most advanced and comprehensive fire protection solutions available.
• ARCAT and SpecLink offer an extensive library of architectural details and specifications, empowering you with a wealth of information to enhance project accuracy and efficiency.
• Fire Trol has launched yet another partnersehip with BIMObject®, which grants the precision and ease of visualizing our prefabricated fireproof steel columns in your project designs.

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Berner Offers BACnet and Digital Controls for Industrial Air Curtains

August 21, 2023

Berner International, New Castle, Pa., the leading manufacturer and innovator of air curtains, introduced the Industrial Intelliswitch™, North America’s first digital controller platform for the shipping dock and door industrial air curtain market. The Industrial Intelliswitch enables building managers to control and monitor air curtains individually or in groups via additional options such as the Berner AIR™ smart controller/app and BACnet.

The 12 (h) x 12 (w) x 6 (d)-inch (304 x 304 x 152-mm) Industrial Intelliswitch control panel is the newest accessory available on Berner’s Industrial Direct Drive (IDC) 12 through the Industrial Belt Drive (IB) 50 air curtains. The NEMA-4/12, UL and cUL-listed control panel can be installed remotely or factory-installed on the unit. The 3.18 (h) x 9.72 (w)-inch (80 x 246-mm) display can be located remotely from unit-mounted control panels.

The Intelliswitch, which is standard on all Berner Architectural air curtains, was adapted for industrial air curtains to offer building managers flexibility in operations with a built-in time delay, preset programs, 7-day scheduling, a temperature probe, low voltage circuit for unit activation via door switch or BMS.

The Intelliswitch also allows the option to add the Berner AIR smart controller and app, which includes BACnet capabilities. Facility managers can program, operate and monitor the air curtains through either a building management system using the BACnet-IP protocol, or a smartphone. The Berner AIR app also enables grouping, making it simpler and faster to program many air curtains across multiple locations.

The Intelliswitch and Berner AIR features allow one to program and adjust settings so that Berner industrial air curtains operate optimally for the application and conditions. Consequently, facilities are more efficient at saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions when the doors are open by protecting interior temperatures, in addition to providing thermal comfort. Air curtains also facilitate chemical-free flying insect control and enhance general indoor air quality (IAQ).

The Industrial Intelliswitch and Berner AIR package allows access to the new Berner AIR Console, which presents a dashboard style display from a Web browser for better overviews, especially with multiple air curtains and locations.

Other Industrial Intelliswitch and Berner AIR package features are:
• Remote troubleshooting for service diagnostics;
• Designed, assembled and factory-tested in Berner’s UL-listed panel shop that’s authorized to build motor control panels;
• Compatible with most voltages;
• Simplifies specification by eliminating a la carte control selection;
• Monitors air curtains with heating options (electric, hot water and steam), with the exception of direct gas heat;
• Simple to operate and maintain, the Berner AIR allows for over-the-air updates;
• Improvement of air curtain monitoring and control leads to increased sustainability and ESG commitment support;
• Employs best practices for cyber security protocols;

For more information on Berner International air curtain products, please call 724-658-3551, visit; or email:

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Next Generation Berner Air Curtain Fuses Classic Aesthetics with Performance

August 21, 2023

Berner International, New Castle, Pa., the leading manufacturer and innovator of air curtains, introduced the Architectural Icon 8 and Icon 10 to its Architectural Collection of air curtains. The two models make this collection the HVAC industry’s quietest high performance air curtains for protecting open doorways in hotels, retail, restaurants, healthcare and other market applications where thermal comfort, aesthetics, and energy savings are valued.

The Architectural Icon 8 and Icon 10 models, are redesigns of Berner’s renowned Architectural Low Profile 8 and Architectural High Performance 10 air curtains. In addition to quieter operation, the Icon’s redesign includes architectural quality aesthetical upgrades and AMCA-certified performance, while maintaining a similar price as their predecessors. The redesign utilizes the industry-leading, aerodynamic platform developed for Berner’s Architectural Contour air curtains.

The Icon 8 (1/5-hp) and Icon 10 (1/2-hp) PSC motors combine with other air movement components and a refreshed cabinet design to deliver the lowest operating sound and harmonic dB of any 10-speed air curtain on the market. The performance-to-noise ratio leads the air curtain industry when operating at AMCA 220-certified performance specifications that engineers depend upon for complete door protection. EC motors (1/5 and 1/2-hp) are optional and equally quiet.

The Architectural Icon 8 (8-1/4 (h) x 20 (d)-inches) and Icon 10 (12-3/4 (h) x 25-1/2 (d)-inches) air curtains are available from 3 to 10-feet and 3 to 12-feet lengths, respectively. Standard cabinet is clear satin anodized aluminum that complements today’s aluminum/glass commercial entrance and metal architecture trends. Stainless steel and powder coats in dozens of colors are options.

The Icon’s refreshed aesthetics offer an elegant new take on Berner’s classic streamlined architectural D-shape air curtains. The redesigned intake screen has been repositioned to reduce sight lines into interior components augmenting the versatile, low-key nature of this design. As with other air curtains introduced by Berner in the past three years, the Intelliswitch™ digital controller is treated as a design element and built-into a strip articulated alongside the air stream outlet. Taking a cue from furniture design, Berner’s minimalist mounting hardware has been simplified even further, allowing for a tighter fit to the wall with less effort.

The air curtain is programmed and operated through Berner’s industry-leading, factory-installed Intelliswitch digital control platform. The Intelliswitch features pre-set programs, a time clock, time delay, built-in thermostat, 10-speed fan control, and other integrated, end-user customizable features. The optional Berner AIR™ smart controller and app can be added to the platform, allowing operation and monitoring from a smartphone, tablet or personal computer. The Berner AIR includes true BACnet integration and a proactive adaptive setting based on the weather.

The Architectural Icon includes steam heating options, as well hot water and electric heat. A thermostatic probe monitors the coils and reports the temperature to the Intelliswitch. The electric heating option uses Berner’s proprietary Venturi electric heater system that heats supply air from a unique blower intake setup versus the industry standard of positioning electric coils in the airstream which makes the air flow less efficient.

Other Architectural Icon air curtain features are:
• Hidden fasteners, refined shape, less sight lines to internal components add to the contemporary appearance;
• Washable aluminum filters are removable and cleanable in less than five minutes;
• Berner’s Pro-V nozzle and new articulated vanes help direct air for higher performance and quieter air flow;
• Available in most voltages, including 277V;
• Top mounting inserts and wall mounting hardware is included. Glass transom mounting hardware is available.
• Comes in installation cost-saving single length construction up to 10 and 12 feet (3 and 3.6-meters), respectively, and can be combined for even wider doorways;
• Designed, manufactured, assembled, and factory-tested in U.S.A.;
• All Berner air curtains are simple to install, operate, and maintain;
• Five-year warranty on ambient, two-year warranty on heated models;
• UL/cUL-listing and AMCA 220 certification;
• Sustainability and ESG commitments – The Architectural Collection air curtains conserve energy when the door is open, and are included in Berner’s Energy Savings Calculator, which includes a GHG emissions reduction estimate;

With the launch of the Icon 8 and Icon 10, Berner’s entire Architectural Collection, which includes the Elite, the Contour, and the Recessed air curtains, is now AMCA 220-certified. This well-respected independent third-party certification allows specifiers and architects to meet the vestibule exception in ASHRAE 90.1, the IgCC, and the IECC building codes and standards.

“We are thrilled to introduce The Architectural Icon as part of our Architectural Collection," said Miranda Berner. "It signifies our commitment to promoting energy conservation when the doors are open by giving architects and designers in charge of the occupant experience beautifully designed, high performing air curtains to choose from.”

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Excel Dryer leads the charge with upgraded electrostatic HEPA filtration in all hand dryer models

August 10, 2023

Excel Dryer has upgraded to electrostatic HEPA filtration, which is an optional feature for their XLERATOR® hand dryer models and is now available in its newly expanded, surface-mounted, ADA-compliant ThinAir® Hand Dryer product line. ThinAir is a high-efficiency model that includes all the standard enhanced features—including adjustable sound, speed and heat controls—while also protruding less than four inches from the wall to adhere to ADA regulations. ThinAir dries hands in 14 seconds1, operates on 950 watts and helps facilities qualify for several LEED® Credits and WELL® Points.

The upgraded HEPA filtration system uses electrostatically charged media, which allows for increased airflow and attracts particles—including bacteria and viruses—to the filter media, removing them from the air.

“We have always promoted the importance of proper hand hygiene, including thoroughly washing and drying hands, and we will continue to do so. The COVID-19 pandemic emphasized and reminded the world of the importance of clean and dry hands,” said William Gagnon, executive vice president and COO at Excel Dryer. “We’re excited to now offer this improved system to all our touchless hand drying solutions.”

Post-pandemic, clean hands are a global focus and the filtration of bacteria and viruses from the air is paramount to help improve the indoor air quality and environment. Excel Dryer’s full line of hand drying solutions with electrostatic HEPA filtration helps facilities accomplish both.

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S-5! Partners with the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design for Its Student-Led Annual Design Build Project

August 09, 2023

S-5! announces its new partnership with the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design to provide a donation of snow retention and solar attachments for its annual student-led, design-build project.

The 432 Indiana Street House is the 16th consecutive LEED Platinum project completed by Studio 804, a hands-on learning program at the University of Kansas for graduate students in their final year of studies seeking a Master of Architecture degree. Founded in 1995 by Professor Dan Rockhill, each year students design, procure and execute a complete house in just nine months.

The 1800-square-foot home and adjacent 500-square-foot accessory dwelling unit is located in the historic Pinkney Neighborhood, one of the oldest in the city of Lawrence, Kansas. It is a short walk to parks, the Kansas (KAW) River and the cultural vibrancy of downtown Lawrence. It is a perfect location to appreciate the history of Lawrence while addressing the future of sustainable living.

“Each year, we complete a house or a university-related commercial building, alternating between standing seam roof and flat roof projects,” said Rockhill. “For each metal roof project, we incorporate S-5! Normally, we prefer a pitched roof form and a high gable roof to take advantage of the full interior height without interruption to the floor plan, so directly attaching the PVKIT to the standing seams makes our job quite easy in comparison to the alternative flat roof system, which requires a fairly expensive support system. Integrating into the standing seam saves us thousands of dollars, and S-5! is quick and easy to install.”

The students had clearly defined sustainability goals and set out to achieve LEED platinum status with a solar PV mounting system that provided a simple, economical and penetration-free method for attachment of modules to the roof. The students reached out to S-5! as they were familiar with the products utilized on previous Studio 804 metal roof projects.

S-5! donated its PVKIT® direct-attachTM solar mounting system to mount a 16-panel solar array of Q-Cell Q.Peak Duo 400W modules to the 24-gauge matte black standing seam metal roof. The system is expected to offset approximately 85% of the homeowner’s energy consumption.

After the solar system installation was completed, Studio 804 again turned to S-5! for a fully engineered snow retention system that would both match the roof and last the life of the roof. S-5! donated its ColorGard® snow retention system—custom-designed and engineered for this project to mitigate any potential rooftop avalanches which could cause harm to residents or property below.

“We are happy to support such an impressive program that provides significant educational value to students and teaches them early on in their careers about the importance of utilizing quality products and best practices for installation,” said Rob Haddock, CEO and founder of S-5! “The students will be able to take that knowledge with them when entering the workforce.”

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Wildfire Smoke and Maintaining Indoor Air Quality

August 09, 2023

Wildfires have emerged from a localized nuisance to an annual problem that affects millions. They generate a wide range of gas phase and particulate contaminants. The smoke composition varies based on the heat and relative completeness of the combustion and the great variety of material that can burn in the path of a wildfire. Wildfire smoke changes rapidly and significantly with time and distance, as most gas phase contaminants disperse and larger particulate settles. When not immediately near the fire, VOCs have not been found in high concentrations. Weather and wind patterns also play important roles in where and how long the smoke remains.

For example, smoke from the Camp Fire was trapped by a stagnant weather system even though the fire was 150 miles away from the source, in the San Francisco Bay Area, by a stagnant weather system. Additionally, fine and ultra-fine particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM1) will stay suspended indefinitely and are the primary component of the haze associated with proximity to a wildfire. This haze is both an annoyance and a health hazard.

High-efficiency particulate and gas phase filtration can effectively clean the outdoor air and keep indoor contaminants below acceptable levels. Because of the preponderance of ultra-fine particles, typically, some form of active filtration is employed when trying to mitigate smoke. The Dynamic V8 Air Cleaning System can reduce average outdoor air PM2.5 concentrations under the NAAQS 24-hour and Annual maximums. Further, the mechanisms of the V8 give it an enhanced ability to remove ultra-fine particles and the attached gas phase contaminants that make up the bulk of the wildfire contaminants. Dynamic EDGE Carbon Panels may also be desirable to capture gas-phase contaminants for those with specific IAQ needs.

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Christopher Lyon, President of Tournesol Siteworks scheduled to speak at the Bisnow Los Angeles Architecture & Design Summit

August 03, 2023

Christopher Lyon, President of Tournesol Siteworks, will be among the speakers and panelists at Bisnow Los Angeles Architecture & Design Summit. The summit, the largest gathering of real estate professionals, is scheduled for Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at the Omni Hotel and Resort in Downtown Los Angeles.

Tournesol’s Head of Marketing, Carla Dougher, will also be in attendance supporting the push for biophilic design, especially in the workspace. “People want to be in buildings that offer more outdoor greenery and usable exterior space, versus the ones that don’t or are outdated,” Carla shares. Christopher adds, “When we look at workspaces, we're dealing with this balance of work-from-home and the return to the office, and this is truly the new battle zone.”

Both Christopher and Carla understand the importance of architectural trends like biophilic design and have strengthened their position in the industry with Tournesol’s recent acquisition of Greenscreen, the leading manufacturer of living wall trellis systems. Projects like Hunters Point in San Francisco demonstrate the ease in which both manufacturers’ products work in harmony.

“Now that it's just one company, it will be that much easier for customers to work with us,” Christopher emphasizes.

For questions, please contact Carla Dougher, Head of Marketing at Tournesol at (408) 482-8664 or

Tournesol Siteworks develops and manufactures commercial landscape products of enduring beauty and quality, helping create commercial spaces that delight the user.

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RMP is now Lumabuilt!

July 19, 2023

We are excited to share our new company name and product names. Same Company...Same Products...Same Service. JUST A NEW LOOK!!

Visit our new website at

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Greenscreen, a trailblazer in green facades and commercial trellis systems, joins Tournesol, the leader in pots & planters.

July 10, 2023

We are delighted to announce that Greenscreen has joined Tournesol Siteworks effective July 1st, 2023. The acquisition allows Tournesol to continue to expand its product portfolio and offer more integrated solutions for green infrastructure and urban greening. The two companies share a common vision of enhancing the built environment with sustainable and beautiful landscape elements. Greenscreen is an innovative leader that has blazed the trail for green facades and has become synonymous with commercial trellis systems nationwide. This acquisition is an exciting growth opportunity for both companies, and we are fortunate to have them join the Tournesol Siteworks team.

Greenscreen will continue to operate as a division of Tournesol. The Los Angeles product management and CAD team will remain focused on trellis projects, and at the Fontana manufacturing location, it will be business as usual. You may notice some small changes as we integrate the two companies over the next six months, but we remain 100% dedicated to being the preferred partner of landscape architects and contractors.

What will this mean for customers and vendors? Business as usual, except for the payments and invoices. Please send all payments and invoices to our Union City headquarters at the following address:

Tournesol Siteworks, LLC

2930 Faber St, Union City, CA 94587

Terms & Conditions, both with our customers and vendors, will remain the same. Your contacts remain the same for the time being, as well as the same phone numbers and email addresses. You’ll be notified if there are any changes in the future.

We appreciate your continuing support of Greenscreen & Tournesol, and we look forward to a productive future with you all!

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Geberit Introduces Type 10 Touchless IR Button for Accessible Bathrooms

July 05, 2023

Geberit, the leader in global bathroom systems and technologies has enhanced its line of sleek Type 10 remote buttons with a touchless Infrared (IR) button to provide touchless activation and easy hand wave dual flush operation. Geberit’s accessible bathroom systems are popular in hotels, modular construction, residences and long-term care facilities.

With the growth of the over 50 population in the United States, architects and designers are incorporating more convenience features that meet the need for accessible or universal design. With touch free activation the Type 10 IR wireless button helps prevent the spread of germs, perfect for private or semi-public bathrooms where users are looking for the ultimate in comfort, convenience, and hygiene.

Easy-to-Install, Touch Free IR Button for Accessible Bathrooms

The slim Geberit Type10 IR button installs conveniently for user's hands-free operation while adding to the space’s design aesthetic. According, to Ronn Jefferson, Geberit Product Manager, “The innovative Type 10 IR touch free buttons allow the user to have full comfort and control over flush activation – they can be used as either touch free or as manual push in the case of power loss. By taking advantage of touchless technology, designers can deliver beautiful, functional, and accessible bathrooms to those clients who have special-needs family members or want to age-in-place.”

The hygienic Geberit Type 10 IR buttons pairs with most of the decorative Geberit Sigma and Omega series flush actuator plates. These plates serve as a design accent or manual flush override should a power outage occur and offer maintenance access to service the flush mechanism behind the wall. Additionally, simple maintenance covers in white, matte black and brushed stainless are available.

Save Water, Time and Money with Geberit BLE Connect Devices

The Type 10 IR flush button offers property owners a built-in wireless Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) communication for water management and maintenance. Combined with a mobile phone and the free Geberit Connect app, simple configuration, maintenance and reporting features are quickly available. The Geberit Connect app saves installers and facility managers time with storage of settings and profiles, as well as provide low battery warning and other error messages. It also extends product life with remote firmware updates. Geberit Connect is also part of a water management plan by delivering exports of water usage for tracking or savings calculations. To obtain more information on the Type 10 IR Flush Button, visit Type10 Remote or Pneumatic Flush Button visit

Geberit’s innovative products for bathrooms provide design inspiration and sustainable options to facility owners, architects, mechanical engineers, developers, interior designers, and plumbing contractors. Geberit products are found throughout the United States and Canada in residences, condominiums, hotels, universal and accessible design facilities, multi-unit apartment high-rises and modular buildings.

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Geberit Redesigns Sigma 70 Flush Actuator Plate With Sleek Body and Rich Finishes

July 05, 2023

Admired by designers, architects, and users for its pure, floating design, the Geberit Sigma70 actuator flush plates have evolved with a new slim look and luxurious finishes. The new finishes allow specifiers and owners to complete their modern spaces with contemporary materials. The design palette expands to include vogue black chrome, matte black and white, brushed brass, and red gold, in addition to the existing offering of brushed stainless and four rich solid glass colors.

The new Geberit Sigma70 actuator flush plates maintain the minimally obtrusive frameless, floating look, without any unnecessary edges from the same high value materials as its predecessor, but with a more modern shape - a thinner, less blocky aspect ratio in plain view, and with an eye-pleasing outward curvature.

Designed for Next Generation Living

The Geberit Sigma70 brings style and comfort to users – from the beautiful aesthetic constructed of high value materials, to the stress-free flush actuation, and to the time saving of simple cleaning. The original Sigma70 series has been installed in thousands of bathrooms over the past ten years in single- and multi-family residences, hotels, and light commercial retail bathrooms.

According, to Ronn Jefferson, Geberit Product Manager, “At Geberit, 'Design Meets Function' (DMF) is not just a clever catchphrase or advertising gimmick. DMF is our core philosophy that puts sustainable improvements to people’s lives ahead of tricks and gimmicks. We strive to supply innovative bathroom products that provide added value to every client, by combining design – timeless, simple aesthetics – with features that meet their needs. The restyled Geberit Sigma70 is no exception. It retains the qualities that have made it a ‘must have’ over the last ten years – frameless, floating look, from high value stainless steel and glass material, combined with a comfortable light touch and simple flushing, all with no fuss cleaning – but expands on them and adds a modern look, more choice, and even more simplicity. Less truly is more.”

Less is More for Installers and Users

Installers and specifiers can expect a less stressful experience, by consolidating the flush mechanism into a single family for Geberit Sigma 12cm (2x6) and Sigma 8cm (2x4) concealed tanks, and while utilizing its well-known mechanical linkage system. To relieve pressure during construction, a decorative cover frame is available to hide any missteps in cutting the tank inspection opening.

For users, the new Geberit Sigma70 flush plates provide easy intuitive operation with independent dual-flush buttons. Additionally, cleaning is less of a chore thanks to the smooth and even buttons. All brushed surfaces are coated with our easy-to-clean lacquer, minimizing fingerprints, and making wipe down easy.

The Finishing Touch for Geberit’s Sustainable In-Wall Bathroom Systems

The updated Geberit Sigma70 flush plates when combined with Geberit Sigma concealed tank systems and toilets from leading brands, provide a sustainable combination that saves water. Geberit Sigma concealed tanks have a built-in dual-flush function, flushing with 1.6 / 0.8 GPF (gallons per flush) or 1.28 / 0.8 GPF, that saves thousands of gallons every year and meets the EPA’s WaterSense criteria. Geberit’s innovative products for bathrooms enhance the lives of users, designers, architects, developers, facility owners, engineers, and contractors.

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Chicago Faucets ReStarts CFNow!, the Popular Quick-Ship Program  for Commercial Plumbing Fittings Delivered Fast for Construction, Renovation and Project Updates

June 29, 2023

Chicago Faucets is excited to announce the return of CFNow!, its innovative quick-ship program designed to streamline and expedite product availability and delivery. The renewal of the program includes durable faucets never before available in record time like the EVR faucet series (electronic vandal resistant) and electronic soap dispensers. It will assist building owners, schools, hoteliers, retail operators that need to keep running and maintain operations in a competitive environment.

Chicago Faucets understands that when it is time to install a commercial faucet in new construction or a replacement faucet in an existing facility minutes and days count. Missing a deadline could impact the whole project and entire team. The relaunch of the CFNow! quick ship program simplifies the ordering and shipping process, offering remarkable delivery speeds for the most popular products including make-to-order products. Customers now have the option to choose CFNow! 24-Hour or CFNow! Same Day shipment for commercial plumbing faucets and parts, ensuring to meet tight deadlines.

Many contractors, specifiers, plumbers, facility managers and maintenance personnel have also faced supply chain issues when it comes to plumbing fittings during the last few years. CFNow! allows them to receive their most sought-after products in record time, ensuring increased convenience and customer satisfaction.  From manual to touchless faucets and parts they can get the necessary plumbing products fast to continue business as normal.

Fittings on the CFNow! program include some of the favorites including: touchless hygienic faucets, faucets that include scald protection, WaterSense or LEED sustainable faucets, vandal resistant faucets, eye wash faucets, metered faucets for schools, wall and deck mounted for kitchens and restaurants, and assorted parts mixing valves, adapters, aerators, and more.

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Combination Eyewash Options Presented by Chicago Faucets

June 29, 2023

The newest additions to the Chicago Faucets safety and emergency fittings line combine an eyewash with either a touchless or manual faucet for laboratories. A new Combination Eyewash brochure is now available with the emergency eyewash and manual or touchless faucet options. They meet OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) 1910.151C regulations that require employers to equip facilities for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body within the work area.

According to OSHA, thousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection. The newest addition to the Chicago Faucets safety and emergency fittings line is the Combination Eyewash, it includes a touchless or manual faucet for safe eyewash stations in laboratories. A new brochure is now available with the compact emergency eyewash faucet combination options. They meet OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) 1910.151C regulations that require employers to equip facilities with eye wash stations for quick drenching or flushing of the eyes and body within the work area.

Chicago Faucets, has engineered space-saving Combination Eyewash to meet OSHA and ANSI regulations. Lab managers can select manual or touchless gooseneck faucets with safety dual aerated spray heads. Scald protection, remote monitoring and hygiene flush are available with the touchless faucets.

OSHA requires employers to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment. Eye and face protection must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological, or mechanical irritants and hazards. In laboratories protection and eye wash stations are required due to working with dangerous acids, infectious organisms or corrosive solvents. Anywhere ammonia, bleach and other dangerous liquids are used for cleaning are also places that need to protect housekeeping or janitorial employees. Chicago Faucets offers a complete laboratory and safety line of products.

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The Chicago Faucet Company Celebrates 15 Year Partnership with EPA WaterSense

June 29, 2023

The Chicago Faucet Company (CFC), a Geberit Group company, is proud to celebrate its 15-year partnership with WaterSense, a program sponsored by the EPA. Both company brands, Chicago Faucets and Geberit join WaterSense in promoting efficiency and enhancing the market for water efficient products, programs and practices while protecting the future of our nation's water supply. Both of the company’s brands: Chicago Faucets and Geberit offer products that are WaterSense listed.

Chicago Faucets Committed to Water Efficient Products

Chicago Faucets is dedicated to innovating for sustainability and offers a wide selection of independently certified WaterSense listed products that meet stringent criteria. The company manufactures the widest assortment of faucets with equivalent or superior performance commercial faucets that are 20 percent more water-efficient than conventional models, realize water savings on a national level, provide measurable results, achieve water efficiency through several technology options. These faucets are used in hospitals, universities, offices, laboratories, and other commercial and government facilities. Most recently, Chicago Faucets introduced the efficient and hygienic Auto-Drain Shower System for hospitals with 1.5 GPM showerheads that meet the California Title 20 water-efficiency standards.

Geberit Products Save Water and Space in Modern Bathrooms

Geberit in North America provides concealed systems for wall-hung and floor-mounted toilets and fixtures that improve the look of any bathroom by hiding unsightly plumbing hardware, resulting in more usable space, improved hygiene and better accessibility. Geberit's dual-flush plumbing products when used with the appropriate toilets can qualify for EPA WaterSense rebates or green building points. They accompany the Geberit in wall tank systems for wall-hung toilets and are easy to use while simply and effortlessly reinforce a behavior change to save water. Geberit in wall carrier systems with dual-flush are popular in hotels, condominiums, residences, commercial bathrooms and modular construction. Built-in 1.6/0.8 GPF (6/3 LPF) or 1.28/0.8 GPF (4.8/3 LPF) dual-flush lowers water bills. Designers, contractors and homeowners can utilize the EPA WaterSense Product Search to find the water saving compliant toilet combinations with Geberit tanks or see the Geberit Clean Design brochure.

Products Especially for California Energy Commission (CEC) and CalGreen

The CEC requires that manufacturers meet state and federal standards for energy and water efficiency. Both Chicago Faucets and Geberit products are listed in the California Energy Commission (CEC) Appliance Efficiency Database by Brand search. California has also created a state green building code (CalGreen) for non-residential buildings that requires a reduction in water consumption by at least 20%. Chicago Faucets offers over 200 CalGreen compliant products with low flow from 0.35 GPM to 1.5 GPM that are identified in its website. Geberit products also help meet CalGreen.

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Week-long camp in Canfield empowers young girls to become leaders in construction

June 29, 2023

For the second year in a row at the Mahoning County Career & Technical Center, Let's Build Construction Camp (LBCC) for girls is encouraging girls aged 12-17 to consider a career in the construction industry.

Camp founder and director Shelly Higgins, says her mission is to defy stereotypes and introduce girls to all aspects of construction trades.

"As a woman, we have a lot of skills to bring to the trade. The guys even say ' The girls are more detail oriented, more organized, they communicate better' and so they [girls] bring a whole new aspect to the construction industry," Higgins said.

Throughout the weeklong program, the girls work alongside experienced industry professionals who serve as mentors who guide them on various construction projects. Middle and high school campers learn about the basics of architecture and electrical engineering.

The young girls attending LBCC are introduced to a variety of construction systems such as plumbing, roofing, HVAC, and drywall.

All materials and tools are donations from local and national organizations, helping the camp remain cost free. Lunch is provided daily for all campers.

This years camp is taking place from June 26-30 at 7:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

Times and dates for next years camp are unavailable at this time, but applications for interested parties are available.

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Impact Security Attends Lubbock School Districts Demonstration of Bullet-Resistant Windows

June 28, 2023

On Mar. 27, Audrey Hale shot the entry glass door of a private Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee 11 times and gained entry into the building, killing three children and three adults.

“The entrance doors are always gonna be the first place that they attack.” Director of Security, Ian Bannister, said.

Faculty from school districts all over the county joined members of local law enforcement on Thursday morning to shoot out windows; to test which glass can withstand a bullet.

Ray Dunn, CEO of Guardian Security, says they created these designs to slow down the entry of an intruder or keep them out completely.

“What were trying to do is to stop the threat outside of the school, and show how window protection can keep the bad guy out.” Dunn said.

The first glass pane tested would delay entry for up to two minutes, but after that, the glass will shatter and the film will rip apart.

“The 16ml film is designed to delay entry into a building. It will not stop ballistic attacks and it will slow down a perpetrator trying to enter the building.” Bannister said.

The next system tested was the Defense Lite Pro, designed to keep intruders out, but bullets can still come in. The glass will shatter, but the film will never rip and allow the intruder a way in.

“It will stop any manner of weapons. It can be attacked ballistically and still survive and perform as intended, but the rounds will still pass through.” Bannister said.

The final system tested was called Bullet Shield. Made of layers of polycarbonate, this pane can stop all handgun bullets from passing through, although it is not made to withstand an assault rifle.

Handgun bullets will stop upon hitting the first layer. The glass will shatter eventually, but the film will not fail.

Guns were fired at the standard testing range of 16.4 feet.

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18-foot VERSATEX Building Products Canvas Series Woodgrain PVC Trimboards Called the Ideal Solution for Innovative Pinhoti Peak Showhouse

June 22, 2023

Chip Wade’s minimalist mountaintop home project needed an exceptional exterior-trim solution: One that would combine extreme weather resistance with the warm look of hardwood — plus the unique length, one-piece trimboard dimensions to cover an 18-ft. long, 29-ft. high wall in a single clean sweep.

That’s why, for Pinhoti Peak, his modernist North Georgia showhouse, he chose the Canvas Series, a premium PVC innovation from VERSATEX Building Products. Canvas offers builders and homeowners a range of durable, realistic woodgrain surfaces, permanently bonded to high-performance, maintenance-free WP4 or T&G trimboards.

“On the job, it was everything I’d hoped it would be,” Mr. Wade said recently. “The material’s consistency really is unrivaled, but what made it absolutely ideal was that VERSATEX was willing to deliver the WP4 in 18-foot lengths. That enabled me to install long, unbroken, seamless stretches of what looks just like hardwood with no interruptions or imperfections.”

Those continuous lines are essential to the home’s spare, modern aesthetic — just as Canvas’s indifference to rain, wind and sun is critical to Pinhoti Peak’s rugged wilderness setting. Thanks to the product’s light weight and ingenious proprietary fastening system, Mr. Wade said, a two-person crew was easily able to cover one side of the home in less than a day. “I also love VERSATEX’s VZClip hidden fastener system. It’s simple, accurate and secure, while allowing boards to ‘float’ just enough for normal expansion and contraction. And, if need be, you can replace a board without damaging any other part of the installation.”

He said he liked the product’s aesthetics and performance so much that he installed it on the walls of the home’s interior central hallway as well. “We’re an outdoor family, and a little of the outside can’t help getting tracked in. That makes easy maintenance a priority indoors, too.”

The house was completed in May 2023. Despite the year’s global supply-chain challenges, he said getting the made-in-USA Canvas components from the Western Pennsylvania plant to his remote construction site — right on time — was “no problem at all.” He praised the manufacturers for the personal attention they gave him and his project. “They showered me with technical support, and their trouble-free product availability meant we never had to worry about delivery-related downtime. “Overall, VERSATEX customer service, plus Canvas Series sizing and easy installation, and the beauty of the final result — that’s an incredible combination.”

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SHARC Energy and Subterra Renewables Partner to Deliver $200M in Thermal Energy Solutions

June 20, 2023

SHARC International Systems Inc. (CSE: SHRC) (FSE: IWIA) (OTCQB: INTWF) (“SHARC Energy” or the “Company“), a pioneer in wastewater energy transfer (“WET”) technology, and Subterra Capital Partners Inc. (“Subterra Renewables”), a leading full-service geothermal drilling provider with a proprietary Energy-as-a-Service (“EaaS”) model known as Aura™, announced today a strategic partnership to revolutionize the renewable thermal energy transfer landscape across North America. By combining SHARC Energy’s innovative WET technology with Subterra’s geothermal exchange systems (“Systems”), the partnership aims to bring unparalleled solutions to the market, capturing a greater share for both companies.

Aura’s proprietary EaaS model offers clients sustainable heating, cooling, and domestic hot water solutions, without the upfront capital investment. The model includes a pricing guarantee, ensuring that clients will experience cost savings in comparison to conventional systems while enjoying the benefits of renewable thermal energy over the 25 to 50 year term of their fixed price service contract. At the end of the term of the contract, ownership of the Systems will revert to the customer.

Under the five-year term of the agreement, SHARC Energy and Subterra Renewables will co-develop up to $200M of qualified projects that consist of either the acquisition of existing Systems active in the field today or the development of Systems requiring capital to design, build, own, operate and maintain (“Projects”). SHARC Energy will be responsible for business development, client engagement and securing letters of intent on a first right of refusal basis while Subterra, with over 25 years of experience and 60+ drills in its fleet, will provide support in project management, engineering, finance, accounting, legal, and asset management, leveraging their expertise in delivering turnkey solutions for heating, cooling, and domestic hot water. Upon completion of the deployment of $200M or expiration of the term, Subterra will receive a first right of refusal on any similar relationship for one year.

Lucie Andlauer, CEO, Subterra Renewables, states “This partnership signals a definitive moment in the transition to sustainable cities. SHARC and Subterra together represent joint innovation, shared expertise and a mutual resolve to further geothermal exchange across North America’s infrastructure. We have gone from strength to strength. A partnership that combines two unique technologies, to create a single, comprehensive solution.”

This partnership leverages the synergies between SHARC Energy’s WET technology and Subterra’s geothermal expertise, allowing both companies to capitalize on their unique strengths.

Key benefits of this collaboration include:
• Reduced costs for geothermal projects by integrating wastewater energy, resulting in fewer boreholes needed and a smaller project footprint.
• Optimized performance of geothermal loops through wastewater energy’s thermal buffering capabilities, stabilizing peak temperatures and enhancing energy efficiency & resiliency.
• Streamlined project execution by combining SHARC Energy’s WET technology and Subterra’s extensive geothermal experience, ensuring seamless integration of both systems.
• Both partners, although engineer agnostic, leverage Salas O’Brien for support creating design synergy for the Systems implemented

This collaboration will strengthen SHARC Energy’s and Subterra Renewables’ market position, making it a viable solution for developers, investors, and governments seeking to invest in sustainable energy infrastructure. The integration of wastewater and geothermal technologies will create a competitive advantage for both companies, driving market share growth and diversifying revenues for SHARC Energy and its shareholders.

Lynn Mueller, CEO of SHARC Energy, commented, “We are thrilled to join forces with Subterra, a leader in the geothermal space, to create innovative, sustainable energy solutions that will revolutionize the North American market. This partnership not only accelerates our growth but also reinforces our commitment to delivering the most efficient and environmentally friendly heating and cooling systems for our clients.”

Although SHARC Energy will not maintain an ownership interest in the Projects, the Company will receive fees on qualified Projects that range from 2.5% to 5.0% of the total acquisition or installed cost of the Systems based on certain milestones (“Business Development Fee”). Furthermore, the Company will receive 35% of any net cash flows from Subterra on a development Project, net of debt service payments and operating expenses for a period of five (5) years from beginning of commercial operation of the Systems (“Waterfall Cash Flows”). Additional revenue opportunities outside of typical supply and service of WET equipment, such as in relation to project management, will be available to the Company on a mutually agreed basis.

SHARC Energy will continue to distribute its WET products through its representative network while leveraging this network to support the Projects. Also, members of SHARC Energy’s representative network will have the ability to offer Aura to their respective customers if they need such a solution. Finally, this partnership does not affect ongoing relationships with EaaS providers utilizing SHARC WET Systems as SHARC Energy will continue to supply and support these providers and projects unencumbered.

In connection with the partnership, the Company will issue 3,773,585 Common Share Purchase Warrants (the “Warrants”) at $0.265 that will expire in 5 years upon issuance. The Warrants holder will have the right to exercise the Warrants proportionately in 20% increments as the Company uses the $200M Capital Commitment. For greater clarity, once the first 20% of $200M is used, the Warrant holder will have the right to exercise 20% of the outstanding Warrants.

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Earth Shield® Waterstops for Chemical, Industrial, & Environmental Applications

June 05, 2023

Since 1954, J P Specialties, Inc. has been manufacturing the Earth Shield® line of waterstops. We provide technical support for a complete range of waterstops and waterstop accessories. Our waterstop products (PVC, TPV, stainless steel, and strip-applied) have the industry's best physical properties; more importantly, we provide unmatched service and technical support.

Our technical leaders are officers in multiple ACI committees at the engineering level. We were the first waterstop company to get NSF 61 certification. Our owner has written the leading professional resource book used in the construction industry (The Little Book of Waterstop by David Poole). Our popular AIA-accredited seminar (worth one-hour CEU credit) was presented nationally, internationally, and online to engineering and owner offices with thousands of attendees.

We also provide contractors with aggressive pricing, extensive inventories, and factory fabrications for standard and custom waterstop fittings. J P Specialties also offers on-site and online waterstop welding schools and certifies attendees for properly welding waterstops.

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Architect@Work Newsletter

May 17, 2023

Diversity Is Wonderful

Cheerful curves that deliver a central message: it's great that people are all different. Read more.

Ecological Loam Construction

The Sauer winery in the Nußdorf district has now extended its existing buildings by adding a storage hall with a vinotheque. The building is largely made of clay, which naturally regulates the humidity in the interior. Read more.

Artistic Research to Transform Cities

The art world, through research projects in collaboration with experts, proposes alternatives to improve the cities we live in. Read more.

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Introducing Alleguard: the new identity of Amvic Building System

March 30, 2023

Amvic Building System, now comprising six organizations, will move forward into this year with a new name: Alleguard. This new brand captures the allegiance we and our customers share, as well as our commitment to providing protective foam solutions for any customer need across the industries we serve.

From block and fabrication to shape molding solutions, Alleguard’s breadth and depth of engineering expertise, our materials knowledge, and our geographic reach across the U.S., Mexico, and Canada allow us to meet any and all customer needs. Our relentless drive to contribute to your business’ success motivates our team to go the extra mile each day, that is the Alleguard way.What does the new name mean for you? There are some housekeeping updates to be made, but our high standards that you have grown to love will not change. Feel free to reach out with any questions, and your orders and service will continue uninterrupted.

You can visit our new temporary webpage for more information, and watch for our larger website coming later this year. Thank you for being one of our most valued customers, and we look forward to our continuing partnership and great collaborations ahead.

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McElroy Metal announces personnel moves

March 01, 2023

McElroy Metal announced that Mark Lawson, Vice President of Sales, is retiring after 38 years with the company. Scott Slone, the Midwest Regional Sales Manager, who has been with McElroy Metal five years, has been selected as the company’s new Senior Director of Sales.

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Tournesol Siteworks Launches New Paso Collection Planters and Benches, Designed with a Purpose

February 28, 2023

Tournesol Siteworks, the US leader in manufacturing commercial-sized outdoor pots and planters, is proud to introduce Paso, a new series of benches and planters with interconnecting profiles designed to create spaces that foster community.

Made for living, the Paso product line was developed to enable communal space-making with thoughtful shapes and sizes to maximize versatility while enhancing the landscape environment. Perfect for stylish promenades, plazas, parks, campuses, and rooftops, places where people and nature can connect. Paso makes your space the place to be.

Paso was designed as a family of interconnecting pieces. A group of round products: planters, platforms, circular planter benches, and stools nest together to create clusters. A group of linear products: benches and long planters with smooth, rounded ends fit together to allow for more flexible configurations, such as creating privacy and security in busy areas.

Paso is cast in lightweight GFRC concrete, paired with thermally modified wood bench tops, all handcrafted in North America. All Paso products have a beveled edge detail that creates a visual continuity, optically lifting planters and benches, so large-scale pieces appear lighter. In addition, bench tops have chamfered edges for comfort and a refined aesthetic.

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Fox Blocks - 19th Annual ICF Builder Awards

February 02, 2023

Fox Blocks projects were nominated for almost every category this year as finalists, and we are extremely grateful to all those who helped with making this a possibility. Thank you to all who were able to attend the awards ceremony in-person at World of Concrete. Check out the list of Fox Blocks projects that were top 3 finishers below!

Winner!- Multi-Family *People's Choice Winner*

Springhouse Village Senior Center

Winner!- Specialty Application *People's Choice Winner*

Condor Infinity-Edge Pool

Winner!- Large Residential

Mayura Manor

Winner!- Multi-Family Low-Rise

Zero Place

Multi-Family Low-Rise - 2nd Runner Up *People's Choice Winner*

Chatham Mixed-Use

Heavy Commercial - 2nd Runner Up *People's Choice Winner*

MHA Interpretive Center

Light Commercial - 1st Runner Up

Hudson Studios

Specialty Applications - 1st Runner Up

Kayden's Place

Unlimited Residential - 2nd Runner Up

Lake Powell/Crowther Home

Small Residential - 2nd Runner Up

PHNX/Palos Residence

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Tips for a watertight standing seam roof

January 31, 2023

Standing seam roof systems are often recognized as the best metal roofing system available. And without a doubt, they offer unparalleled protection when properly specified, manufactured, and installed. Unfortunately, as long as individuals are involved in the process, the potential for mistakes exists.

Over our 60-year history, we’ve seen a lot. Below we share our top tips to ensure a watertight seam for your next standing seam roofing project.

Follow Manufacturer’s Instructions

Adhere to Minimum Slopes: For architects and specifiers, following manufacturer instructions starts by adhering to minimum slope guidelines. While it may not make sense why a panel style that looks only slightly different allows lower slopes, there are reasons.

Recognize Panel Storage is Critical. Most standing seam panels arrive at the jobsite with in-seam sealant in the male and/or female legs. Exposure to extreme temperature swings and contamination from dirt and other foreign materials can cause problems during installation and the seaming operation.

Watch Roof Deck Tolerances. Ensure the roofing structure is within plane tolerances and debris-free before starting installation. While it seems obvious, we see this one often. It’s important to realize that just because you can’t “see” deck imperfections and tolerance issues after panel installation, they can still haunt you.

Follow Placement Guidelines. Most manufacturers also publish detailed installation manuals addressing each component of their system. From tape sealants to tube caulks and outside closure placement and installation, the weather integrity of the roof system relies upon following the manufacturer's instructions.

While it may not be the end of the world to have extra parts left over after assembling some things, a standing seam metal roof isn’t one of them. For example, many systems require structural plates at the eave and ridge. Since they aren’t visible after installation, some contractors find it tempting to skip their use. However, these parts reduce pressure from the crew member standing on the panel during installation. Without these parts, panel deformation and ponding water can occur.

Monitor Module Width. Based on the design, standing seam panels can grow or shrink during installation. Yet to function correctly, the finished install width must be correct. When panels are allowed to grow, it can be tricky (if not impossible) to get them properly sealed and seamed at the low and high sides of a roof, as shown in the photo below.

Respect Panel Style Specifics

In order to achieve a watertight seam, it’s essential to recognize the differences between standing seam styles.

Snap Style Panels: As the name implies, panels that snap together typically have a male/female leg that snaps together during installation. Installers often use a rubber mallet on the vertical leg to ensure the panel is fully engaged. It’s important to note that this family of panels should be engaged (or snapped) continuously from the eave up to the ridge. Skipping the middle portion of the panel and planning to come back to it later frequently causes panel engagement issues.

Mechanically Seamed Non-Symmetrical Hooked Panels. This panel style offers a male/female leg that hooks (or rolls into place) with the preceding panel during installation. The hook leg must be fully and consistently engaged during panel installation.

Seaming machine issues will likely occur if the hook leg isn’t engaged. Also, due to the panel design, these panels typically require left-to-right or right-to-left installation.

Mechanically Seamed Symmetrical T-Style Panels. Since T-Style panels are symmetrical, panel installation isn’t limited to a left-to-right format. Instead, installers can start anywhere on the roof, skip over sections and even come back to them later. This panel style also simply pushes together and attaches through the mechanical seaming of a batten cap.

The risk of installer error and seaming machine issues are significantly reduced with T-Style panels. And in rare cases when issues occur, T-Style panels allow for the easy replacement of single panels in the field of the roof. Their non-symmetrical counterparts can’t boast the same.

Regardless of the selected panel style, most manufacturers offer in-seam sealant, which is a critical element in creating a watertight seam.

Seaming Machine Issues

While not every style of standing seam panel requires a mechanical seaming machine, many of the systems used on lower slopes (think 2:12 and below) require mechanical seaming. While seaming machines preform a critical function, it's important to respect the basics below:

Ensure Seamer Maintenance. A seaming machine is a mini roll former and does tremendous work to fold the vertical standing seam panel legs together correctly. As a result, proper maintenance is critical. Most manufacturers send seamers out for maintenance and repair between uses; however, if you decide to purchase a seaming machine, just realize that responsibility falls to you. While maintenance might feel like a waste of time, seaming machine difficulties can wreak havoc on a perfectly well-installed metal roof.

Realize Seamers Aren’t Universal. We mentioned earlier that seaming machines are mini roll formers. As a result, specially designed roll forming wheels fit the male/female legs at specific points as they roll the seam. It’s essential to recognize that seamers are unique to each panel profile and typically cannot be interchanged.

Inspect Before Seaming. Before starting the seaming operation, clearing any dirt, debris, or excess sealant away that might interfere with the seaming operation is essential.

Seam in Proper Direction. Standing seam panels can be either symmetrical or non-symmetrical. As the name implies, non-symmetrical panels look different on each side of the panel, which forces them to install (and seam) in a pre-determined fashion. Always read and follow manufacturer directions to ensure you’re seaming the panels in the proper sequence.

The image below is an excerpt from our Maxima installation manual. Yet other systems, like our 238T can be seamed in either direction or even uphill and downhill. Always read and follow manufacturer instructions to ensure you’re seaming the panels as intended.

Recognize Power Supply is Critical. As mentioned, these machines do significant work in the seaming process, so an adequate power supply is essential. Bad things can happen quickly when a seaming machine doesn’t receive the required power. Always check the power level at the primary power source and the unit's junction to the extension cord before starting any seaming operation.

Pre-Crimping Tools Aren’t Optional. Some systems require a pre-crimping tool a few inches up from the eave and down from the ridge. Other systems also require pre-crimping at each clip location. Due to the different panel and seaming machine nuances, there is no hard and fast rule on pre-crimping. As a result, reading and following the manufacturer's published information is imperative.

Ensure Proper Machine Engagement. Once you’ve placed the seaming machine on the panel, see if the forming wheels and legs are correctly aligned. Once they are, lock the machine into place. Before powering up the machine, check again to ensure that nothing moved during the locking process.

Check The Seam Continuously. Seaming a standing seam roof is not a set it and forget it, autopilot-type operation. The machine may form a seam perfectly for a while only to suddenly stop due to mechanical failure or errors made during panel installation.

Seaming Problems? Stop Immediately. If you encounter issues with seaming - STOP SEAMING and contact the seamer company or the manufacturer. They can likely diagnose and provide a solution to the problem quickly. Seaming additional panels with an incorrectly tuned or broken machine can do irreparable damage to the panel system.

McElroy Metal contracts with Developmental Industries to handle all of the maintenance and troubleshooting for our seamers, so you’re always sure to reach an expert who can provide the best input!

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No more buts: your buildings need to be climate resilient now!

January 13, 2023

When talking about building resiliency, we often hear a lot of “buts” – “But is it in the budget? But how will it affect tenant operations? But, what about the lease? But, what about the market?"

Don’t we want to raise our families in a healthier space, in more efficient buildings and with ways of doing things that create less or no waste?

Let’s shed some light on the resilience of the built environment and what companies can do to future proof their assets.

The climate and nature’s interaction with the built environment creates a risk for all of us if the building structure, building services and management procedures are not built to withstand the forces of nature.

The risk to the built environment depends on how disposable, resilient or rebuildable the building is, what back-up plans are in place to minimise the risk and how you can maintain building operations after a disaster.

How about we do something to improve efficiency and save the planet at the same time.

Making your building climate resilient is a two step approach:
• first, make the building as efficient as possible so as not to further contribute to climate change
• second, make the building resilient to the forces of nature

Lately, the price of not acting and not being prepared far outweighs the cost of downtime, fixing and replacing buildings and infrastructure. People continue to build on flood plains and rebuild in the same place after being flooded. Housing and infrastructure are still being repaired eight months after the Brisbane floods in February 2022 – so how long can you sustain not being able to use your building?

Minimising risks starts with initial design. I am amazed to still see new high-rise buildings having high exposure to the sun with dark to black facades, poor orientation to the sun, large sun exposure on east and west facades, floor to ceiling glazing panels, no external shading and relying on high performance dark glass to achieve National Construction Code compliance.

Poor building design means bigger air conditioning plants taking up more building space, more energy consumed in construction and operation and services have higher initial and on-going costs.

Minimising risks for existing buildings include changing building facades, upgrading building services, relocating building services, reducing your impact on the environment through efficiencies and having an action plan in place when your building fails, is isolated or shut down.

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McElroy Metal, New Product: Modern-Rib

December 15, 2022

Modern-Rib from McElroy Metal combines the economics of an exposed fastener panel along with major ribs that simulate the aesthetics of standing seam panels. Modern-Rib adds beauty and sophisticated styling to residential roofs and post-frame structures with a 3/4-inch rib. Modern-Rib is available in Silicone Modified Polyester as well as Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF/Kynar 500® coatings. The 36-inch striated panel comes standard in 29-gauge Galvalume, but is also available in 26-gauge Galvalume and 29-gauge G-90 bare and G-100 painted, in lengths up to 48 feet.

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Fox Blocks - Insulated Concrete Forms Manufacturer Announces New Spanish Integrated Learning Center (ILC)

Fox Blocks - Fabricante formaletas aislantes para concreto anuncia nuevos Centro De Aprendizaje

December 14, 2022

Fox Blocks, an Insulated Concrete Form manufacturer, is excited to announce the much-anticipated Spanish Integrated Learning Center. The first fully online installer course in the industry. Learners will sign up for a FREE account at and register for the Primary Installer Course. Learners can complete the course at their own pace when they have time. The course includes 20 Modules and provides downloadable workbooks for each of the four sections. Those who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate and wallet card.

“An estimated 75% of construction workers in the U.S. speak Spanish, so we are thrilled and humbled to be able to offer a place for Spanish speakers to train and receive certification for installation of Fox Blocks Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs).” – Glen Klassen, Technical Advisor and Integrated Learning Center Co-Creator.

In addition, we have Spanish Resources available on our website Keyword: Spanish.

Fox Blocks, fabricante formaletas aislantes para concreto, se complace en anunciar el tan esperado Centro de Aprendizaje Integrado en Español. El primer curso de instalador totalmente en línea en la industria. Los estudiantes se registrarán para obtener una cuenta gratis en y se registrarán en el Curso de instalador principal. Los estudiantes pueden completar el curso a su propio ritmo cuando tengan tiempo. El curso incluye 20 módulos y libros de trabajo descargables para cada una de las cuatro secciones. Los que tengan éxito completando los cursos recibirán un certificado y una tarjeta de billetera.

“Se estima que el 75 % de los trabajadores de la construcción en los EE. UU. hablan español, por lo que estamos encantados y honrados de poder ofrecer un lugar para que los hispanohablantes se capaciten y reciban la certificación para la instalación de cimbras de concreto

aislado (ICF) de Fox Blocks”. – Glen Klassen, asesor técnico y cocreador del Centro de aprendizaje integrado

Además, tenemos recursos en español disponibles en nuestro sitio web Palabra clave: Española

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S-5! Gives Back to the Local Community

December 14, 2022

S-5!, the leading authority on metal roof attachment solutions, provides protective gear for first responders through a donation to SHIELD616 on behalf of the S-5! charitable family foundation.

As part of S-5!’s ongoing pledge to support first responders at Black Forest Fire Rescue, Rob Haddock, S-5! CEO and founder presented a $5,000 check to Jake Skifstad, founder and president of SHIELD616, headquartered in Black Forest near Colorado Springs, Colorado.

SHIELD616 outfits first responders with protective gear – police, firefighters and EMS – and to date has outfitted more than 5,000 first responders in 32 states due to generous community members and businesses.

Skifstad is a retired police officer and served on the force for 14 years before establishing his non-profit organization. He witnessed firsthand the impact of not having appropriate gear when he lost his comrade during an active shooting involving a rifle in Colorado. Typical body armor worn by first responders is not designed to protect against rifles. Skifstad saw a need and subsequently founded SHIELD616 to provide nationwide protection for first responders.

“Being in situations like that, which are happening more and more these days, and having to go in knowing you are not protected is extremely difficult,” said Skifstad. “At the end of the day, our goal is to go home from work and be with our families. Having these vests provides a much greater chance of survival.”

“The need is incalculable, and we move with a sense of urgency,” he continued. “It takes a community-wide effort to get this done, and S-5! stepped up to help in a big way. Just two years ago, S-5! donated as a corporate sponsor for our state-wide, 372-mile, 4-day, SHIELD616 Border-to-Border Ride beginning at the Wyoming/Colorado border and ending at the New Mexico/Colorado border. We are incredibly grateful for their support.”

Haddock first established his charitable foundation in 2014 and contributes approximately $100,000 annually to a variety of non-profit, charitable organizations both locally and globally.

“Whether it is our corporate staff in Colorado or the folks in Texas at our manufacturing facility, giving back is important to all of us,” said Haddock. “It is our duty; it’s who we are; it is what we stand for. We are grateful for all that our first responders do and are more than happy to support SHIELD616.”

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Architectural Precast Concrete, and the Endless Design Possibilities it offers

November 28, 2022

Princeton University did a series of “social sculptures,” entitled The Home We Share (2022). These sculptures have been permanently installed outside of the University’s new Residential Colleges. Consisting of a playfully oversized concrete couch, a huge picnic table, brightly colored metal flowers, and more, the three spaces are designed to encourage socialization and to erase the boundaries between art and life.

R&R Studios was commissioned for this project. R&R founders and designers, Rosario Behar and Rosario Marquardt selected Premier Precast of Delray Beach Florida as the precast manufacture of the couch sculpture. The design incorporated three sections of Cast Stone Concrete in a Keystone Texture, with an overall dimension of 376” x 72” x 56”. This couch design from R&R Studios, is an example of the endless architecture design possibilities when incorporating architectural precast concrete from Florida’s leading specialty precast concrete manufacture, Premier Precast of Delray Beach Florida.

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Fox Blocks ICF joins Well Made Here / Bien Fait ici

November 22, 2022

Fox Blocks by Airlite Plastics Co. is excited to announce our partnership with Bien fait ici / Well Made Here. Well Made Here is committed to “quality housing, from cellar to the attic our raison d’être is to encourage the purchase of quality building materials and other items manufactured in Canada and intended for the residential market.”

“We at Fox Blocks are delighted to be a part of “Well Made Here,” and look forward to continuing to supply quality Canadian-made building materials to the residential market.” Ron Funk, Business Development Advisor

Airlite Plastics, an American company headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska better known under its flagship brand Fox Blocks, operates four plants in Canada; Bruce, Alberta, Starbuck, Manitoba, Cap-Pélé, New Brunswick and Montreal, Quebec.

In 2006, after 20 years of producing all brands of ICFs, Airlite Plastics introduced the Fox Blocks ICF brand as the latest generation of Insulated Concrete Form available from the manufacturer to the market.

Fox Blocks has 18 manufacturing plants throughout the United States and Canada. Fox Blocks ICF builds are energy efficient because of the thermal mass of the wall assembly. A Fox Blocks ICF building envelope keeps heat in during the winter and cool air in during the summer. Fox Blocks ICF walls are insulated with a solid surface of continuous insulation on the inside and outside wall surfaces, eliminating air infiltration and heat transfer issues. A Fox Blocks design offers a quiet environment with reduced sound transmission between the outdoors and your indoor environment, providing a calm, quiet, healthy, safe, and comfortable setting.

Fox Blocks wall assemblies work with all exterior and interior finishes, including stucco, brick, stone, fiber cement coating, other sidings, and drywall.

Third-party testing confirms Fox Blocks and their assembly exceed the safety, resilience, and durability requirements for Division 03 Concrete, Section 031119 ICF; Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) and FEMA-ATFP Federal Military and DoD Standards FEMA-ATFP.

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Metl-Span IMPs installed as roofing, wall panels on community center

November 10, 2022

The new Derry Township Community Center in Hershey, Pa., provides much needed space for community recreational programs. Opened in June 2022, the 90,000 square foot community center features a gymnasium, fitness center, 25-yard indoor competitive lap pool, indoor warm water leisure pool, outdoor pool, senior center, teen room, and a variety of classroom and multi-use spaces.

Metl-Span insulated metal panels (IMPs) were specified and installed as a part of the walls and roofing on the Derry Community Center.

CHM Contracting LLC of Reading, Pa., installed approximately 56,000 square feet of 6-inch-thick CFR roof panel, 42 inches wide with a 22-gauge Slate Gray exterior and a 24-gauge Regal Gray interior. The project also included 24,000 square feet of 6-inch-thick CF wall panels, 42 inches wide with a 22-gauge Tahoe Blue exterior and a 24-gauge Regal Gray interior. A Metl-Span single-skin PBU panel was installed in some of the masonry areas, a 26-gauge Regal Gray panel.

The 42-inch Metl-Span panels allowed for a speedier building enclosure.

“The prominent feature of this facility is the roofing area,” says Steve Chando, Vice President at CHM Contracting LLC of Reading, Pa. “There’s a big part of the building where the roof pitch is 6:12. The roofing over the pool is 2:12, so you can see a lot of roofing as you pull up. It really looks impressive.”

Chando says CHM Contracting installed about 85 percent of the building enclosure on the project, including the insulated metal wall and roof panels, the single-skin metal wall panels, the composite metal panels and the TPO roofing.

“This is one of the largest Metl-Span projects we’ve been a part of,” Chando says. “It’s a great looking building. The Regal Gray, Slate Gray and Tahoe Blue panels, all look great.”

“As the architect for Derry Township’s new 90,000 square foot community recreation center, which includes two indoor pools, we had to balance the programmatic needs of the residents with the township’s budget,” says Jonathan Trump, RA, Senior Associate and Project Manager at Kimmel Bogrette Architecture + Site of Blue Bell, Pa., “Indoor pools are an interior environment challenge with the need to keep temperature and humidity in an intricate balance so that the spaces are comfortable in both the heat of summer and the cold of winter.

“When the mechanical systems don’t function properly, condensation and mold can quickly become a problem and cause serious damage to the structure. Using insulated metal wall and roof panels as part of the pool envelope help mitigate exterior temperature extremes, making it easier for the mechanical systems to function properly. They are also cost-effective and install quickly.”

Trump says insulated metal panels allow the dew point to happen within the rigid insulation, so the risk of condensation is greatly reduced. Plus, installing one panel, with interior and exterior faces, allows for substantial cost savings over other labor-intensive, built-up systems.

“Since the project design employs architectural features and forms that are characteristic of the building’s rural setting, the insulated roof panel joints provide a standing seam look,” Trump says. “The wall panels selected provide a board and batten aesthetic at no additional cost.”

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Jaguar Land Rover of Coral Gables new facility - Blending advances in technology into design

November 09, 2022

Jaguar Land Rover of Coral Gables, on the corner of Ponce de Leon and US 1 in Coral Gables. Has opened its new facility, this all-new eight story, 534,000 square foot facility is one of first construction projects in the USA that incorporated into its design, complex shapes made from Ultra High-Performance Concrete (UHPC). The UHPC subcontractor selected, was Premier Precast of Delray Beach, Florida. Premier Precast pioneered the use of UHPC into the manufacturing of complex agricultural shapes to be used in a buildings design. UHPC offers incredible strength, durability, and flexible properties with compressive strength of at least 17,500 pounds per square inch (PSI). When it comes to the range of building materials, UHPC has been one of the pioneering achievements of the last few decades. The performance difference between conventional concrete and ultra-high performance concrete isn’t just theory. There is data on key factors such as compressive strength available. The results are impressive and significantly higher than conventional concrete’s performance characteristics. To learn more about the benefits of incorporating UHPC into your next project design, feel free to contact Premier Precast of Delray Beach, Florida for more information. Let Premier Precast help you make the world a more beautiful place.

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Douglas Todd: B.C. surpasses the rest for mass-timber buildings

October 28, 2022

More mass-timber wooden buildings have been built in B.C. than in almost the entire United States. A total of 307 of the environmentally friendly, laminated wooden buildings have been constructed in B.C., compared to 356 in all of the U.S.

And many more mass-timber structures, some of them high-rises, are on the way for this province from its large forest industry, in part because of a three-year-old B.C. government initiative.

“For us in the government, it’s a triple-word score,” joked Ravi Kahlon, B.C.’s minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation.

The government’s 2019 mass-timber action plan, he said, “supports B.C. jobs. But it also supports B.C. innovation. And it supports a more sustainable, clean environment.”

Wooden structures made of cross-laminated timber — which produce less carbon emissions than conventional concrete-and-steel buildings — are increasingly cited by politicians and environmentalists as a key to combatting climate change.

But while the green hype about them often outweighs the reality on the ground, the province’s three-year-old effort has at least led to scores of unique wooden projects rising up through either direct public funding or private-sector incentives.

Some are wooden high-rises, like the 12-storey Tallwood in Langford and the under-construction Capstone in Kelowna (nine storeys), the office building set for 2015 Keith Dr. in Vancouver (10 storeys), and the B.C. Institute of Technology’s new student housing (12 storeys).

A medium-rise First Nations Health Authority building is also being erected out of mass timber, as well as a supermarket in Salmon Arm, a design centre in Prince George, and a firehall in Saanich, which Kahlon called “the first mass-timber post-disaster building in the world.”

Instead of continuing to watch a large proportion of B.C. lumber exported overseas, Kahlon said, “We’re trying to add more value and create more jobs in B.C.” by encouraging mass-timber innovation.

“Governments in the past have tried to support mass timber, but have kind of stalled. We’ve taken a different approach. We’re focusing on the demand side. We’re using government procurement to bring about the change we want to see,” said Kahlon, who is also MLA for Delta North.

“So that means all student housing that we’re building, including at BCIT and in Vernon and in Victoria. We’re also looking at care homes made of mass timber, and the brand new B.C. Museum warehouse in Langford.”

The NDP government has, in addition, been offering private and not-for-profit sector companies a grant of up $500,000 each to build mass-timber buildings, which do not require vast amounts of concrete and the highly polluting cement that is needed to manufacture it.

Chatham House, a British think-tank, says the annual production of four billion tonnes of cement causes eight per cent of the world’s carbon emissions, much more than the airline industry’s two per cent.

The government’s efforts, Kahlon said, are showing how mass-timber buildings can be sustainable, effective and fire safe, while encouraging B.C. “engineering talent, architects and companies” to export their expertise to the world.

Three large B.C. companies now produce mass timber, almost entirely from second-growth forest from the Interior. They are StructureCraft Builders in Abbotsford, Kallesnikoff in Nelson, and Structurelam Mass Timber Corp. in Penticton, the latter of which is now in partnership with the giant Walmart store chain to build a new headquarters in the U.S.

The carbon-sequestering properties of wood can confer a huge environmental benefit. The Journal of Sustainable Forestry estimated that substituting wood for current construction materials would annually save 14 to 31 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

And, as Kahlon said, wooden buildings are also lighter than those made mostly of concrete, which is proving valuable in places such as the wetlands of Richmond, where the foundations of mass-timber buildings are not as likely to threaten the underground flow of water.

In addition, B.C.’s mass-timber manufacturers are making pre-fabricated buildings “with pieces like Lego,” including with robots at Intelligent City’s factory in Delta. Cutting everything to size off-site, he said, means fewer trucks running through communities, reduced noise and less waste.

B.C. has also helped combat “the myth” that mass-timber buildings are more of a fire hazard, the minister said. The government recently organized demonstration burns in B.C. and Eastern Canada, inviting fire chiefs, architects, engineers and bylaw officials to witness how mass timber burns compares to buildings made of conventional materials.

Despite cross-laminated timber technology being around for a couple of decades, such wooden buildings are still niche. The existence of three towers of 18-storeys and higher in isolated spots around the world (including at UBC) must be set against hundreds of thousands of existing concrete and steel high-rises. With many more to come, especially in Vancouver.

But so far it’s hard to fault the B.C. government for trying to do its bit to stem the concrete juggernaut. It is now possible, Kahlon said, to build a wooden tower of up to 12 storeys in the province without special zoning. “And we have a division of building code experts that can work with local governments to get approvals” for higher.

They include a 17-storey “LGBTQ community centre and residential tower” planned at 1190 Burrard in Vancouver for 2024, the 16-storey Burrard Exchange Tower planned for 2025, plus a 21-storey “M5 Prototype” apartment high-rise at 2015 Main, scheduled for 2026.

It doesn’t quite add up to a mass-timber revolution. But it is a hopeful evolution.

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Oldcastle APG Acquires Barrette Outdoor Living

October 27, 2022

Oldcastle APG, a CRH Company, has acquired Barrette Outdoor Living, an industry-leading manufacturer of fencing, railing, outdoor accents and related products in North America. This acquisition will expand Oldcastle APG’s ability to offer retailers, dealers, contractors, and consumers a more diverse and comprehensive suite of durable and sustainable outdoor solutions.

Founded in 1975, Barrette Outdoor Living operates 10 manufacturing facilities and four distribution sites across the US and Canada. Over the past 45 years, Barrette has manufactured top-quality products with a reputation for exceptional flexibility, durability, and style. With its assorted range of offerings and established leadership in the outdoor living space, the acquisition of Barrette will bolster Oldcastle APG’s portfolio and expand opportunities for customers to access end-to-end architectural solutions.

“We are delighted to welcome Barrette Outdoor Living, along with its employees and loyal customer base, to Oldcastle APG,” said Tim Ortman, President, Oldcastle APG. “We are excited to see how the integration of our operations and product offerings, which are often installed alongside each other, will solidify APG’s position as the leading provider of building products for the complete outdoor living experience.”

Barrette’s extensive variety of features, such as decorative fencing, screens and railing, complement Oldcastle APG’s signature product lines which include Belgard hardscapes, Sakrete packaged products, Techniseal polymeric sand, and PebbleTec pool finishes.

“We are thrilled to join the Oldcastle APG family, whose commitment to delivering high-quality products to customers aligns with ours,” said Jean desAutels, CEO of Barrette Outdoor Living. “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved thus far, and I believe Oldcastle APG will continue to grow our business from here.”

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McElroy Metal metal roofing, wall panels provide desired aesthetic for visible self-storage facility

October 24, 2022

The focus of the Broad Street Self-Storage facility was the community. It was important to construct a modern, attractive and functional space.

Metal roofing and wall panels from McElroy Metal helped all concerned achieve the design goals for the Broad Street Self-Storage buildings, located on a busy street in San Luis Obispo, Calif. The owners wanted the facility to blend in with the attractive architectural surroundings.

“It was important to the owners, who live in the community, to erect a self-storage facility that was functional and enhanced the aesthetics of the San Luis Obispo community,” says Raul Gonzales, project manager for MakoRabco Steel of Carlsbad, Calif. “The main building, nearest the road, featured towers and pop-outs (awnings) to help with drainage and add an aesthetic element to the building.”

MakoRabco Steel erected three buildings during Phase 1 of this project, a total of 442 units. Phase 2, which will double the storage capacity, is in the drawing stage and calls for two more buildings. Phase 1’s three buildings accounted for 59,430 square feet and included metal panels from McElroy Metal for the roofing, end walls and side walls. The roofing was a 24-gauge Mirage concealed fastener panel, some in Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF Charcoal and some in Galvalume. A 26-gauge U-Panel was installed on the end walls and a 26-gauge Multi-Rib panel was used for the side walls, both in Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF Clay.

McElroy Metal also supplied Clay trim, Charcoal gutters and downspouts, Charcoal awnings and Charcoal soffits. Janus International manufactured the Cedar Red exterior roll-up doors and the Glossy White interior roll-up doors.

“The design was a collaboration between us, the architect and the county, and since it’s on such a heavily trafficked road, coming into San Luis Obispo, we did work with the county to make sure the façade of the property was designed in a way that was aesthetically pleasing,” says Chase Morgan of Morgan Enterprises, owners of Broad Street Self-Storage. “The county did push us, in a sense, to make it a little more aesthetically pleasing than normal. Eventually, we agreed with the county that we were OK with the design, the arches, the architectural details on the front. We figured this could be our flagship self-storage facility.”

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St. Cloud Window Welcomes Independent Sales Representatives Serving the Carolinas and southern Virginia

October 11, 2022

St. Cloud Window Inc., a leading manufacturer of high-performance commercial aluminum fenestration products, is pleased to announce that Window Reps of Raleigh, NC has joined the company’s sales team as independent sales representatives to architectural & building design professionals, construction developers & general contractors, along with glass & glazing contractors.

Cory Gensler leads a team of industry professionals with 50+ years of experience in the building industry that provides extensive technical and customer support on projects for new construction, retrofit, historic renovations, and custom applications. A couple of notable projects include The Dillion in Raleigh, NC and Summer House in Virginia Beach, VA.

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S-5! Presents Education Sessions at METALCON & Launches its New CanDuit Clamp at the Show

September 21, 2022

S-5!, the leading authority on metal roof attachment solutions, presents a number of education sessions at METALCON in Indianapolis, providing opportunities for attendees to earn continuing education credits.

On Wednesday, Oct. 12, featured co-presentation, The Total Solar Solution ― by Shelly Higgins, S-5! Architectural & National Accounts Director and ATAS International’s Director of Solar Technology, Christian Vachon ― covers the benefits of metal building construction incorporating roof-mounted solar panels and solar air-heating wall panels.

S-5!’s Founder and Director of the Metal Roof Advisory Group, Rob Haddock presents the fundamentals of Understanding Metal Roofing: Parts I and II on Oct. 12 and Oct. 13 beginning at 8:30 a.m. each day. Often billed as "Metal Roofing 101" and known as the best “crash course” available for all in-industry personnel, it includes technical information presented in a common-sense fashion that makes the art and science of metal roofing clear, concise and understandable. Contractors, salespeople, architects, specifiers, roof consultants, engineers, building owners and maintenance staff will all benefit from attending.

Then, on Thursday, Oct. 13, Dustin Haddock, S-5! Vice President of Research & Development presents Solar in High Wind & Snow Country: Design Considerations at 11:30 a.m., and Mark Gies, S-5! Director of Solar Business presents the ROI of Installing Solar PV on Metal Roofing at 2:30 p.m. Both sessions take place in the Sustainability Learning Center.

Attendees are invited to stop by S-5!’s booth #419 to see first-hand its new CanDuit™ Clamp, which secures and support gas piping, condensate lines, electrical conduit and other round-shape objects to metal roofs, in combination with any S-5! clamp or bracket, including the GripperFix® utility mounting system. S-5!’s team will be on-hand to explain the features and benefits of this technology.

“Indianapolis is a great hub for the metal construction and manufacturing industries,” says Rob Haddock. “Where else can you meet industry colleagues all in one place!”

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TREND News | What's Trending

September 20, 2022

TREND Group's Aureo Mosaic Makes Any Space a Sight to Behold

As the old saying goes, “everything that glitters isn’t gold”. But at TREND we beg to differ! Presented in Yellow Gold, White Gold and Platinum White options, our Aureo® mosaics truly are a sight to behold. Our authentic and unique 24K gold leaf is handmade using the same ancient goldbeating techniques we have for ages. The magical process of making 24K gold leaf evokes beauty like no other material can. Get Shades of Gold Catalog here.

The Heart of Our Orsoni Furnace

TREND Group is firmly rooted in the artistic integrity of its Venetian glass foundry, the Orsoni Venezia 1888 furnace. One of the most iconic items you will find at Orsoni is the crucible. Each crucible (or crogioli) is unique and tells the story of every new color created, which is then stored in our world famous Color Library.

The crucible is the heart of the furnace which forges glass with colorants at high temperatures, giving life to Orsoni’s smalti. Orsoni uses the same traits since 1888 to produce Venetian smalti. The indelible traces of this process are represented by the infinite shades and tones that translate into unique pieces of art. Discover More.

TREND Welcomes Fall

Perhaps you’ve noticed a slightly cooler breeze or better yet, you’ve seen some beautiful leaves starting to change their colors. That comes as no surprise since today marks the beginning of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere.

Also known as the Autumnal Equinox, at TREND we’re always inspired by nature and we particularly love Fall colors as inspiration. See the Full Glass Collection.

TREND Middle East at INDEX Saudi Arabia

What a great time we had at INDEX Saudi 2022! TREND Group Middle East proudly displayed several of our prominent mosaic collections and glass tiles. Visitors were able to see face to face the versatility and beauty of TREND products and talk about the endless possibilities they create. We look forward to participating again next year!

Discover TREND at Aire in Valencia, Spain

In celebration of Valencia as World Design Capital 2022, LAUFEN presents an ephemeral and unique space created in collaboration with interior designers from SINMAS ESTUDIO that brings forth the uniqueness, exclusivity, and design of the high-end Swiss bathroom firm to the streets of the city. A meeting point for architecture and design, open to citizens, where TREND Group features its very own 1 x 1 cm mosaic mural from our Artwalls "Watercolor" collection.

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Fox Blocks - ICF Manufacturer In Partnership With GreenBuilt Solutions Builds Net Zero Home With Record-Low HERS Index Score

September 14, 2022

Fox Blocks, an Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) manufacturer, in partnership with GreenBuilt Solutions, a sustainable design facility in Orlando, FL, has managed to build a Net Zero home that has an outstanding HERS Index Score of -22.

The Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index is the industry-wide standard energy-efficiency measurement of homes. It is also used to determine a home’s energy performance. The lower the HERS Index Score on a home, the more energy-efficient it is. The national average HERS rating posted by RESNET is 58.

“Turning Leaf Construction’s Parade Home in Winter Park is an extremely high performing home achieving a HERS rating of -22,” says Nate Ritter, Director of Sustainability for GreenBuilt Solutions. “It is beyond Net-Zero. One of the most important features in high-performance homes is starting with a well-insulated air-tight envelope like ICF’s. [Using Fox Blocks], ICFs helps provide stable indoor air temperatures, significantly reducing cooling and heating loads and cost.

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Fox Blocks - ICF Manufacturer passes ICC 500 Missile Impact Testing Requirements for Storm Shelters and Safe Rooms with Rebar Design at 16” O.C.

September 14, 2022

Fox Blocks, an Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) manufacturer, announces that their ICF wall assembly passed the ICC 500 required Missile Impact test used to determine compliance of storm shelter and safe room design and construction from flying debris in severe high-wind weather events.

This distinction allows owners, designers, structural engineers, and contractors who are currently designing and building these structures to reference Fox Blocks testing with an efficient rebar layout for superior constructability and schedule and cost savings. All the while enjoying peace of mind knowing that their builds will be FEMA P-361 and ICC 500-2020 compliant.

Safe rooms are defined as an interior room, a space within a building, or an entirely separate building, designed and constructed to provide near-absolute life-safety protection for its occupants from extreme wind events such as tornados and hurricanes. Safe rooms are designed and constructed to meet or exceed the criteria in ICC 500, for grants or funding per FEMA PC-361.

Storm shelters are structures that provide life-safety protection from extreme-wind events, as designed, and constructed to meet ICC 500 criteria, but do not have to meet the criteria of FEMA P-361 for funding. All safe rooms are storm shelters, but not all storm shelters are safe rooms.

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Fox Blocks - Insulated Concrete Forms Manufacturer Announces New Additional Resources Now Available in Spanish

Fox Blocks - Fabricante formaletas aislantes para concreto anuncia nuevos recursos adicionales ahora disponibles en español

September 14, 2022

Fox Blocks, an Insulated Concrete Forms manufacturer, with much anticipation has announced the availability of new resources in Spanish. This is an exciting development for the company, as we are now able to make everything more accessible to a large portion of our disproportionally underserved demographic. We’re proud to have these resources conveniently located in our Resource Library on our website. Please be on the lookout for more developments, as they are coming soon.

Fox Blocks, fabricante formaletas aislantes para concreto, con mucha anticipación anuncia que ahora tenemos recursos nuevos en español. Esto es un programa de desarrollo emocionante para la empresa, ya que ahora podemos hacer que la información sea más accesible para el grupo demográfico hispanoparlante. Estamos orgullosos de ofrecerles la información por medio de nuestra página web bajo “Biblioteca de Recursos”. Atentos a nueva información próximamente.

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Ortal Named Most Outstanding Supplier of Luxury Contemporary Fireplaces by BUILD Magazine

August 18, 2022

Ortal, the industry’s leader in luxury gas fireplaces, announced today that it has been awarded the title of "Most Outstanding Supplier of Luxury Contemporary Fireplaces" by BUILD magazine as part of the Design & Build Awards. This honor was awarded to Ortal for the company’s superior product quality, high-end design, and continued commitment to innovation over the past year.

BUILD is a quarterly digital publication dedicated to sharing need-to-know news and updates from the world of construction and engineering, property, architecture and design, sustainability insights, and infrastructure. Its Design & Build Awards are judged by a panel of five impartial individuals who select award recipients based on recent achievements and advancements contributed to their respective industries.

"The Ortal team continues to push the boundaries of luxury fireplaces with ongoing introductions of cutting-edge technology and daring designs," said Jon Bowsher, CEO, Ortal. "Innovations like Firelog Technology in our Wilderness Collection demonstrate our commitment to bringing world-class products and services to the market, and making the extensive Ortal line the most advanced, usable, and desirable collection of luxury gas fireplaces."

Ortal is continually expanding its popular Wilderness Collection with new fireplaces including the recent addition of the Wilderness Front Facing 31H (31x65), the tallest model in the collection yet. The Wilderness Collection comprises more than 50 stunning models featuring the industry’s first ultra-realistic gas fireplace flames made possible with patent-pending (U.S. patent number 62/797.279) Firelog Technology, which creates flames closely resembling the traditional look and feel of a campfire. To learn more about Ortal, visit

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How Improved Acoustics and Well-being Led Design Can Provide a Solution for Employers During The Great Resignation - Part 1

August 17, 2022

In April 2021 more than four million US people quit their jobs, according to a summary from the Department of Labor – the biggest spike on record. Employees, who’ve had time to reevaluate their lives during lockdowns, will vote with their feet and leave if they don’t feel listened to.

In November 2021, The Predictive Index surveyed 326 executives about The Great Resignation. The survey attempted to put a dollar amount on this mass work reshuffling. It found that the average cost of a single resignation is $11,372 per employee.

Though this may not seem like a lot, consider that the survey also found that 20% of employees have quit in the past six months. At a 500-person organization, if 100 people leave, this could cost a company nearly $1 million. Wouldn’t a portion of that money be better invested in well being focused workspace design; creating a space and culture in which staff can enjoy working productively, grow together and thrive?

Poppy Szkiler is CEO Founder of Quiet Mark, a global certification program providing consumers and specifiers around the world with a short-cut to find lowest-noise high-performance products and acoustic building materials to reduce unwanted noise. She was named “the Queen of Quiet” by The Sunday Times newspaper in 2021. She is a passionate campaigner about the impact of sound on well-being. The company is on a mission to help create peaceful living.

AEC Daily spoke with Poppy to learn more about the work that Quiet Mark does and explore the ways in which reduced noise and improved acoustics can benefit our health and wellbeing.

Has acoustic design become more of a focus since the pandemic and what advice would you offer to employers who want to future-proof their organizations?
According to the Leesman Index, which has measured the employee experience of almost 1M employees, at 6.2K companies, in 107 countries at the office and at home to build global benchmarks of the best work environments in the world, the biggest difference between new workplaces that succeed in providing the users an outstanding experience, and those that fail, is in support for activities that we know are generally well supported at home, e.g. thinking, having private or business confidential conversations. In other words, activities that rely on good acoustic privacy.

Leesman found that noise levels are important to 71% of the employees, yet only 33% find them satisfactory in their workplace. In Quiet Mark’s own January 2022, Employment & Work Acoustics US poll of 1,000 American adults, 22%, nearly a quarter, report they would seek a total career or work environment change to limit noise, even considering a complete change in industry to do so.

Before the pandemic, in 2018, roughly 70% of U.S. companies had some type of open office plan with 15-20% adopting a totally open plan. However, today, the wide-open office, popularized by tech industry titans like Google and Facebook, is fast becoming a thing of the past. The fad has become almost dangerous in the face of the virus — employees often sit packed in large, open rooms, with desks placed close enough to reach out and touch your coworker.

Our guest on Episode 30 of The Quiet Mark Podcast, was Adam Cossey, Partner at Hawkins\Brown, the UK’s 7th largest architectural practice, with offices globally, including Los Angeles, US. He spoke of tests that his company had carried out internally, which found that pre-pandemic, the average office needed to allocate 6 desks per 10 staff, whereas now, with hybrid models in effect, that ratio can be reduced to as low as 3 desks per 10.

This saved space has given rise to agile workplaces that incorporate activity-based working, which allows workers to pick and choose settings throughout the office that fit their needs at a given time. This means there may be some open areas within an office that are available to use when a worker feels that is the best fit, but there may also be more private spaces where someone can close a door to really sit and concentrate in silence, such as a Quiet Mark Certified Vetrospace Acoustic Office Pod, pictured above.

This has given rise to new types of acoustic office furniture that have recently achieved Quiet Mark certification and inclusion in our Acoustics Academy platform of verified acoustic solutions for every building type. Products such as Vetrospace’s modular meeting rooms, pods and phone booths, BlockO’s acoustic meeting pods and BuzziSpace’s range of acoustic lighting, and office furniture, pictured below.

Continue reading to Part 2.

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How Improved Acoustics and Well-being Led Design Can Provide a Solution for Employers During The Great Resignation - Part 2

August 17, 2022

To read Part 1 of this news article, click here.

What societal changes do you foresee as necessary to support a future of work that works for everyone?
I’d like to turn again to our podcast episode with Adam Cossey of Hawkins\Brown to answer this one.

“Over the past 30 years there have been several trends that have become embedded into our way of thinking and designing. Such examples would be sustainability, access and inclusivity, which at first were considered ‘nice to have bolt-on accessories’ but are now essential in the design of a building”, says Adam.

“The wellbeing trend is still in the accessory phase but is, without question, increasingly becoming an essential factor when it comes to building design”.

“Our current £100M Bristol University project perfectly embodies how wellbeing can be factored into a building's design concept. We are consulting with a number of stakeholders and speaking to members of the community, from students to staff and these conversations are informing the wellbeing requirements of the library. We have had very interesting conversations with first and second years who desire spaces where they can digitally disconnect. This constant intrusion of digital noise within their lives is a common theme we come across. We addressed this request by looking to design an environment which provides quiet digital spaces - perhaps to even disconnect from WiFi in certain spaces! We are looking into natural ventilation, collaborative spaces and quieter working spaces along the periphery of the building which will be accompanied by great views of Bristol.”

“Ten years ago, the focus for a library would have been for designing digital spaces and now it's about weaving the digital with the analogue. One requirement is to house as many books and collections as we can. This building thus encourages serendipity and a chance to discover. The smell of books needs to be factored in as well! The theme from now on will be addressing different qualities within a space. Acoustics is central to that thinking.”

In line with this growing trend in wellbeing led design, in December last year, Quiet Mark announced a groundbreaking, industry changing new partnership with NBS, a UK based leading construction data and specification platform, to empower architects to specify ‘acoustics first’, by providing a shortcut for specifiers to source responsible products.

Quiet Mark and NBS have joined forces to enable the 3,600+ practices that use NBS everyday, to create 13.6M specifications per month, to easily source Quiet Mark certified products and materials. The aim is to elevate the aural design of buildings, optimizing the overall level of acoustic comfort for occupants.

What innovative strategies do you see employers offering to help improve and optimize their employee’s mental health and wellbeing?

In the past year, up to Dec 2021, the building area applying WELL offerings has tripled from one billion square feet to more than three billion, so that today WELL strategies support the health and well-being of an estimated 13.6 million people in more than 33,000 locations in nearly 100 countries.

Having your company building achieve the WELL standard, provides businesses an attractive way to demonstrate to their teams that their workspace has been improved with their mental health and wellbeing in mind.

And thanks to the institute’s first national campaign, directed by Spike Lee and starring Lady Gaga, J-Lo, Michael B. Jordan, Robert DeNiro, Venus Williams, each encouraging the public to look for WELL’s seal at restaurants, retailers and offices, those employees are now more likely to know WELL and understand its benefits.

The WELL Building Standard (WELL), is a roadmap for creating and certifying spaces that advance human health and well-being. Developed over 10 years and backed by the latest scientific research, WELL sets pathways for accomplishing health-first factors that help every one of us to do our best work and be our best selves by supporting our physical and mental health across 10 core concepts, including air, water, light, thermal comfort, sound quality and acoustic comfort.

Quiet Mark’s CMO and Podcast Host, Simon Gosling is on the The WELL Homes & Sound Advisories, which advises on evidence-based design and performance strategies for advancing health in single-family homes and commercial buildings, across various typologies and regions.

Quiet Mark is now bringing the 1.2K+ Quiet Mark certified products to the global building industry, making a shortcut for architects and specifiers to source the quietest appliances and best performing acoustic building materials.

Continue reading to Part 3.

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How Improved Acoustics and Well-being Led Design Can Provide a Solution for Employers During The Great Resignation - Part 3

August 17, 2022

To read Part 1 of this news article, click here.

To read Part 2 of this news article, click here.

We’ve looked at Quiet Mark certified solutions, such as meeting rooms, lighting and furniture that can reduce unwanted noise in the workspace. Can you give us 3 other solutions that can increase acoustic comfort in the office and explain why this is important?
Research from the British Journal of Psychology found that background noise kills productivity levels, with studies showing that workers can be up to 66% less productive when exposed to just one nearby conversation.

This applies as much to work from home as it does within a commercial office space. Those noisy distractions which zap our productivity mean that we spend more time completing certain tasks. This can result in longer work hours, leading to increased stress levels. Feelings of anxiety can keep us awake at night, impacting our sleep health, preventing us from recuperating and feeling well.

Optimising acoustic comfort within our homes requires a two pronged approach. One needs to both choose appliances that have low noise levels and are proven to be the quietest of their category, such as air purifiers, hand dryers and extractor fans, and introduce more sound absorbing/ acoustic enhancing products and materials. So let’s look at those 3 examples:

Quiet Clean Air

Concerns over the quality of the air circulating through our homes and offices were rising prior to Covid, and the amount of time we spent indoors during lockdown only served to reinforce these concerns.

Blueair HealthProtect / Protect Air Purifiers, (pictured above), uses HEPASilent Ultra™, Blueair’s most advanced filtration technology to date. This technology combines electrostatic and mechanical filtration to remove up to 99.97% of airborne pollutants such as dust, pollen, dander and mould. The technology removes VOCs (including formaldehyde), odours and nanoparticles down to 0.03 micron and removes up to 99.99% of viruses and bacteria.

Quiet Office Washroom

Office bathroom design has also changed radically since the pandemic, with a contactless experience being a key goal. As door handles make way for touch-free chicane bathroom doors, sensor taps and quiet hand dryers are other areas of growth in testing and certification at Quiet Mark.

Acoustic ceilings
Rockfon® Mono® Acoustic is a seamless acoustic ceiling which delivers outstanding acoustic comfort. You can pair great acoustics with an artistic interior design. Flat or curved, bright white or coloured, ceilings or walls, it brings great seamless acoustic design to spaces of any size. The completely seamless system allows for easy integration of all services and the possibility to repair the surface.

It has been used in the new fit out of Kingsley Napley’s offices, by Architect, KKS Savills, pictured below.

As the law firm wanted to create an atmosphere of hushed self-assuredness with a hint of opulence, sound absorption was really important. Classic contemporary furnishings in muted tones, modern art, the use of deep blue and orange on the walls and plenty of natural daylight space completed the aesthetic.

“Mono Acoustic was chosen for its appearance but also for its ability to mitigate against the unwanted sound generated by hard surfaces. It delivered clean lines while successfully hiding the services above. We are so pleased to have discovered this beautiful, fabulous product!” exclaims KKS Savills Associate Director and Senior Designer, Paul Butterworth.

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AEC Daily Partners with METALCON, Bringing the Architect’s Experience to Indianapolis

August 16, 2022

The Architect’s Experience at METALCON ― in partnership with AEC Daily ― announces special programming for architects, designers, specifiers and engineers at this year’s annual conference and tradeshow, which takes place in Indianapolis from Wednesday, Oct. 12 to Friday, Oct. 14.

“We are excited to partner with AEC Daily, the leader in quality educational programming for the design community,” said Judy Geller, METALCON Show Director. “The Architect’s Experience, a unique show-within-a-show, offers a series of events over two days focused on the use of metal as a design and construction component.”

Attendees will take away practical knowledge and techniques to breathe new life into their projects and solve the toughest architectural, structural, environmental and building performance challenges―all through the use of metal.

Who Should Attend?
Architects, designers, specifiers and engineers of all experience levels, including associates, studio leads, specification writers, technology managers, project managers and principals.

What is the Experience?
Discover limitless applications for metal in design; see the latest metal products available for the building envelope and interior from insulated metal panels and metal roofing products to finishes and coatings; hear from the “Dean of North American Building Science” as he delves into the world of energy flow; and earn nearly a year’s worth of continuing education credits (CEUs)—all in one place.

Earn up to 19 AIA LUs and 12 HSWs – Hear from respected thought leaders, award-winning architects, and industry experts, including a featured special keynote presentation by Joe Lstiburek of Building Science Corporation in his keynote address, There’s No Such Thing as a Free Thermodynamic Lunch – How Changing Energy Flow Changes Everything. Lstiburek explores how to match current design and construction practices with the advances of the energy-efficient world, creating a complete symbiotic energy-efficient building.

Attend 25+ Education Sessions – Learn about metal’s inspiring versatility and exceptional performance, including a special track of courses exclusively for architects:
Clif Bar Headquarters Case Study – Incorporating Metal in Biophilic Design
Cladding Safety in Light of Global Fires
From Cooling to Color Changing: New Pigments Deliver Benefits Architects Appreciate
Embodied Carbon and EBLCA in Pre-Fab Construction

Special Architects-Only Guided Floor Tour – Led by architecture experts from PSMJ Resources, Inc., the leading A/E/C industry executive education and global advisory group, attendees can connect directly with metal construction innovators delivering new uses, new metal construction products and innovations in building performance, sustainability, resilience and environmental impact.

3-Day access to the exhibit hall – Connect with experts from the world’s leading manufacturers of metal components.

Exclusive networking opportunities – Located on the show floor, The Architect’s Experience pavilion provides a relaxing lounge area where you can recharge and network with colleagues.

“Metal is one of the most sustainable building materials on the planet, delivering a a wide array of benefits to design professionals,” said Geller. “Metal's beauty, versatility, durability and sustainability opens it up to virtually limitless applications and METALCON is the only one place to see, touch, and discuss all of them in-person.”

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Whitepaper: Bacterial Growth in Towels

August 12, 2022

At Amba, we strive to constantly challenge ourselves to maintain a high level of integrity in how we do business and pride ourselves on delivering quality products that enhance customers’ lives. The pursuit has driven our desire to learn more about the capabilities of our products. Recently, Amba participated in a scientific study conducted by EMSL Analytical Inc, testing the Efficacy of a Heated Towel Rack to Reduce Bacterial Growth on Towels Under Daily Wetting Conditions.

The seven-day study consisted of two wetted towel simulations. The first measured organic soiling (dirt) accumulation, and the second experiment measured organic soiling and bacteria from human skin buildup on used towels.

The test results concluded that the growth of bacteria is significantly reduced on heat-treated towels. The study found that after seven days, an unheated towel produced 890,000,000 colony-forming units (CFUs), while heated towels only produced 520,000 CFUs, representing a 99% decrease in bacteria growth. Additionally, the test revealed that heat-dried towels maintained a fresh or pleasant odor over seven days. Comparatively, the unheated sample produced a musty smell by day four.

While the results came as no surprise, it further legitimizes our claims over the years that heated towel racks inhibit the growth of bacteria – keeping towels fresh longer. Also, it shows that Amba heated towel racks help contribute to wellness and sustainability by design. Many see heated towel racks as luxury accessories, but the study results show they are much more!


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QMI Security Solutions Invests in Riot Glass, Inc and Campbell Corporation

August 11, 2022

QMI Security Solutions, in conjunction with Management and Prospect Partners, has closed on its investment of Riot Glass, Inc and Campbell Corporation.

With this strategic partnership, QMI - Riot Glass - Campbell are coming together to offer customers unmatched physical security protection. Uniting the QMI security shutter products with the Riot Glass security glass and framing systems creates a suite of highly engineered solutions to meet rising crime and threat levels across the United States.

"We are extremely excited to join forces with the Riot Glass - Campbell team. Together we will offer customers innovative, comprehensive solutions for their most challenging forced entry and ballistic security needs." said Kevin White, CEO of QMI Security Solutions.

Riot Glass is a leading manufacturer of retrofit security glass and door systems, and Campbell Corporation is a C-17 licensed glazing contractor and one of the largest dealers of Riot Glass®, 3M Window Films, and other retrofit products in California. QMI is the largest security shutter manufacturer in the US.

Brad Campbell, CEO of Riot Glass remarked, "This strategic partnership brings enormous benefits to our customers, our dealer base, and our employees. QMI's manufacturing and design prowess, commercial capabilities, and Chicagoland location brings added value to our companies. After having worked with Kevin and his team over the past year, we have been so impressed with their dedication to customers and relentless focus on product excellence."

"Brad and his team have built a fantastic business by listening to the customer and developing groundbreaking solutions to meet their needs. We are excited to help them build on their vision and extend the Riot Glass and Campbell brands," added Kevin White.

Brad Campbell will continue as Chief Executive Officer of both Riot Glass and Campbell Corporation and will become a member of QMI's Senior Executive Team.

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August 10, 2022

Canada Brick (formerly Meridian Brick), a leading brick manufacturer since the 1950s and sister company to Arriscraft (under parent company General Shale) has introduced four exciting new Architectural Series brick colours.

Canada Brick welcomes four on trend colours to its Architectural Series family, starting with Creekside, Shadow Ridge, and Spring Hill, each in matt and velour finishes. These sophisticated, neutral tones lend a subtle, modern elegance to commercial and residential projects. The new White Ash brick, featuring an iron spot finish, delivers a light brick with a hint of old-world character. Each of these new Architectural Series products are available in Metric Modular, Imperial Modular, Quebec, Ontario, CSR, MAX, Metric Norman, Engineer Norman, and Metric Jumbo sizes.

Creekside - A warm blend of grey tones, the perfect neutral for modern designs.

Shadow Ridge - Deep and dramatic, Shadow Ridge delivers a bold, modern black brick.

Spring Hill - A bright, neutral and calming grey tone for a refreshing and modern finish.

White Ash - A warm white with iron spot detailing for a crisp and charming aesthetic.

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CENTRIA panels give facelift to renovated school in New Jersey

August 09, 2022

The Essex County West Caldwell School of Technology had served its students for a half century and was in need of a serious renovation, inside and out. Since the original factory was converted into a school in 1976, the only major renovation was the addition of a multipurpose gymnasium in 2002. The district had done its best to reconfigure the facility into a school, yet the spaces had become inadequate and outdated.

The $30 million renovation in West Caldwell, N.J., included building a two-story addition to the front of the school, retrofitting existing space to accommodate current and new curriculum and creating an outdoor courtyard. In addition to updates for classrooms, laboratories and the cafeteria, the exterior received a facelift, which included metal panels from CENTRIA.

“The design goal of the project was to deliver a state-of-the-art facility that would enhance the Essex County School of Technology’s academic and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs to better serve the current and future needs of the students,” says Allison Sroka, AIA, NCARB, Principal at Di Cara | Rubino Architects of Wayne, New Jersey. “After a series of discussions and a feasibility study, it was determined that the most efficient and effective plan was to renovate the existing building with multiple building additions, including a new two-story addition along Passaic Avenue at the front of the building. This addition along the main road through West Caldwell was a significant opportunity for the school to make a statement to all that pass by. The elevation was a focal point that we wanted to take advantage of to bring attention to West Caldwell Tech.”

Sroka says the design team focused on using exterior finishes and materials that complemented the existing brick used along the Dodge Drive elevation. “This involved a combination of materials: brick, thin brick, cast stone, masonry, curtainwall, storefront, as well as metal panels, both flat and corrugated,” she says.

CENTRIA products installed were Formawall Dimension Series 3T in six modules 22/26 gauge in Duragard Plus Regal White; Formawall Dimension Series 3T in five modules 22/26 gauge in Duragard Plus Pewter (7,500 square feet); Formawall DS60 3T 22/26 gauge in Duragard Plus Arabian Blue (2,400 square feet) and Duragard Plus Pewter (1,000 square feet); and Formawall DS58 3T 22/26 gauge in Duragard Plus Arabian Blue (500 square feet).

“The CENTRIA metal panels allowed the Passaic Avenue façade to convey to the community that this is a technology school for the 21st century student,” Sroka says. “There is a special detail at the corners of the main two-story block where panel options CENTRIA offered allowed for the integration between the corrugated panels and the CS trim penetrations. We were also able to allow the transitions between the various sizes of corrugated panels, creating a seamless design.”

In addition to the CENTRIA panels, Pravco Inc. of Rahway, N.J., installed a LF Construction Specialties Model 200-4 Horizontal Sunshade System in Bone White.

“All of the panels and mitered corners were CENTRIA shop-fabricated,” says Craig Miller, Project Manager for installing company Pravco Inc. “Some modifications were completed in the field to accommodate field dimensional discrepancies. The challenges on this project were simply dealing with the many panel modules by the architectural design. Field crews had to pull panels from multiple packaging crates to assure the correct panel modules were installed in accordance with the CENTRIA shop drawings.

“The Sunshade installation detail with the DS60 and DS58 panels was a high-tech element for this project. It added a nice accent to the overall appearance of this structure.”

Sroka says the adaptive reuse of a former factory into a 21st century learning environment makes this project “specifically unique,” and the new and expanded CTE spaces highlight the design acumen. West Caldwell Tech offers a cosmetology lab, agricultural science lab, graphics arts studio, automotive shop, music production studio and classroom and business technology spaces. The Construction and Building Trades department features a common construction area, including carpentry, electrical and plumbing components, as well as building construction technology. The Culinary Sciences/Hospitality Management department includes spaces for culinary arts and chef training, such as a teaching kitchen and bakery lab. Various other traditional program spaces were provided, including general academic classrooms, science labs, computer labs, robotics lab, and a media center. A 3,600 square-foot Environmental Courtyard was created for the school’s Green Energy initiative and as a supplementary area to its Agricultural Science program. This area offers outdoor seating and teaching spaces, and is landscaped and enclosed in an aesthetically pleasing manner to ensure student safety.

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Metl-Span part of $100 million Rhode Island meat-packaging facility

July 20, 2022

Infinity Meat Solutions LLC recently opened a 200,000 square foot meat-packaging facility, developed with an estimated investment of $100 million. With the majority of the facility being earmarked for cold storage, Metl-Span’s insulated metal panels served as a major component of the project.

The new facility, located in North Kingstown, R.I., began operations in February 2021 and generated more than 700 new jobs in Rhode Island’s food manufacturing, supply chain and distribution sectors. More than 303,000 square feet of Metl-Span insulated metal panels (IMPs) were required to complete the project.

“Insulated metal panels provided an economical and schedule friendly method for achieving the structural building envelope, thermal breaks and washdown finishes,” says Tony Graves, project manager at Dennis Group of Springfield, Mass. “The exterior color pattern selection and use of vertical and horizontal panels created a unique appearance for the building; the look of the final design and color of the main office area and entrance created excitement with our client and was a change from the industrial box deign so common in the food industry.”

It's not easy to design a large cold-storage facility that is cost-effective, energy efficient and aesthetically pleasing. However, over 303,866 square feet of Metl-Span insulated metal panels helped achieve those goals.

Four distinct panels were used in the design. Metl-Span panels specified and installed included the CF45 with a 26-gauge exterior panel with a Light Mesa finish (187,2276 square feet); the CF42 with a 26-gauge exterior panel with a Light Mesa finish (72,424 square feet); and the CF45 with a 26-gauge exterior panel with a Mesa finish (23,665 square feet). Those panels all had a 4-inch urethane core and a 26-gauge interior panel in Igloo White. The façade of the office entrance was the CF24A, with a 22-gauge exterior panel in a Custom Green and an Architectural Flat finish. The interior of the 3-inch-thick panel was a 26-gauge panel in Igloo White.

“It was our goal to create a simple, but eye-catching design that supported our client’s brand identity,” Graves says. “We wanted a practical building envelope that would work seamlessly with our established food production facility design practices and still give us the freedom to be creative with the pattern and custom colors. At large production facilities like this, it’s easy for visitors to lose a sense of direction when on site and the colors and geometry of the main office help guide them into the building. The façade design creates a unique sense of place that visitors and employees alike can associate with our client’s brand and product.”

Controlled Environment Systems LLC, of Mansfield, Mass., installed the insulated metal panels.

“Insulated metal panels made sense because a large portion of the project was cold storage,” says Mark Busharis, Project Sales Engineer at Controlled Environment Systems. “Metl-Span was the panel of choice because of our relationship with Metl-Span and the architects had Metl-Span as one of their specified manufacturers.

“I think the office area was the most unique detail, as three different bright green colors were used in a horizontal alternating pattern.”

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New bylaw aims to save wood from the landfill during home demolitions in North Vancouver

June 27, 2022

Anyone knocking down a home built before 1950 in the District of North Vancouver will soon need to salvage tonnes of wood in the process, after council passed a bylaw to divert heaps of demolition waste from the landfill.

The new rules, taking effect at the start of 2023, will require 3.5 kilograms of wood to be salvaged for each square foot torn down.

If a house measures about 3,000 square feet, for example, that means more than 10 tonnes will have to be saved.

"It's going to create a secondary market for those products to be resold and reused, and they'll have a new life," said Mayor Mike Little.

"It may have been a tree for hundreds of years, then it will be a house for 100 years, then it will be furniture for another 50 years. It's trying to create second lives so we don't have as much waste entering our waste stream," said Little.

The bylaw is focused on homes built before 1950, matching a similar bylaw in Vancouver, because the materials are easier to deconstruct.

According to Little, newer construction techniques, which often lead to more efficient homes, also result in more waste, since the parts are challenging to separate and reuse. Older homes in the district, in contrast, are often built with solid old growth wood which can be cleaned up, de-nailed and put back into a new home, furniture or other projects.

"We want to upcycle, recycle, divert as much as we possibly can from these buildings," said Little, who said that of the roughly 100 homes demolished in the district each year, between 20 and 40 are built before 1950.

The district will begin charging a $250 administrative fee for demolitions, along with a $15,000 deposit, which is entirely refundable if the required amount of wood is set aside for reuse.

Little said it's possible some developers will see the $15,000 as "the cost of doing business" and choose not to salvage the required wood, but his hope is everyone will comply and the district won't keep any of the deposits.

He said the deposit was originally going to be $10,000, but it was increased to encourage more compliance.

Although the district's new bylaw is most similar to that of the City of Vancouver, there are other salvage requirements for demolitions in Port Moody, Surrey, New Westminster, Richmond and Victoria.

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McElroy Metal provides 82,000 square feet of Medallion-Lok for new elementary school in growing district

June 24, 2022

The Wentzville School District has been the fastest-growing school district in Missouri for the past decade, averaging more than 600 new students a year. Demographic data indicates that the number of pre-kindergarten children is expected to increase in the district for at least the next 10 years. It’s fair to say New Journey Elementary School was born out of necessity.

“This elementary school is a prototype that started back in 2004 to accommodate the growth in the district,” says Matt McDermott, Project Manager at Hoener Associates Inc. of St. Louis. “Journey Elementary School is the eighth prototype school to be built for the Wentzville School District. As with the original prototype, this building plan has been fine-tuned each time it is built to accommodate the teaching and learning environment of the district.

“Everyone involved is extremely pleased with the facility. This building will stand the test of time for the school district.”

McDermott says the building plan is efficient, with a gymnasium, cafeteria, food service area, general classrooms, kindergarten rooms, media center and appropriate support spaces.

“Standing seam metal roofing was used to allow the district to have a long-lasting roof and minimize maintenance for their team,” says Mark Reuther, Project Principal at Hoener Associates. "The metal roofing allows for various colors to be chosen for each of their schools for identity and longevity. This roof will last well over 50 years.”

Reuther says the school’s main entry colonnade is the eye-catching feature, with its brick columns and metal roof. “It identifies the main entrance, provides a stacking place for students during drop-off and pick-up. The lower metal roof over the colonnade clearly identifies the entry point of the school for parents, students and visitors.”

Joiner Sheet Metal & Roofing of Highland, Ill., had a crew of 8-10 working on the Journey Elementary project for several months, installing 82,000 square feet of McElroy Metal’s 24-gauge Medallion-Lok 16-inch standing seam metal roofing. Medallion-Lok features hidden clips and a 1-3/4-inch snap-together seam which eliminates the need for jobsite seaming. The color chosen for this project was Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF Regal Blue, stucco embossed. Joiner also installed 6,500 square feet of 24-gauge FW Series in Regal Blue for the fascia and 19,600 square feet of McElroy’s Matrix panel for the soffits (13,400 in 24-gauge Bone White and 6,200 square feet of 29-gauge Brite White). McElroy Metal also supplied 700 24-gauge flat sheets, 650 in Regal Blue and 50 in Bone White.

“We got to work on the decking and underlayment as soon as the masons were finished in late fall 2019,” says Joe Hamel, project manager for Joiner Sheet Metal & Roofing. “McElroy Metal delivered the roofing in phases starting in early March 2020. It wasn’t a difficult job, but it was a big job. The worst part was getting through the knee-deep springtime mud. We were able to stay on schedule and get it done on time.”

The slope at the main entrance was 4:12 and the rest of the roof was 3:12, with the longest panels measuring 44 feet, 8 inches.

Joiner also installed the soffits and fascia in Regal Blue as well as 2,300 square linear feet of Regal Blue 7-inch box gutters, formed with the company’s own New Tech Machinery gutter machine.

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What's TRENDing?

June 23, 2022

TREND Group's Global CEO sits down with Dubai Italia Experiences magazine
Our Global CEO Andrea Di Giuseppe is making moves in the world of mosaic. With numerous high-profile projects already completed in Dubai and many more to come, Mr. Di Giuseppe recently took some time to speak with Dubai Italia Experiences magazine.
Read the full interview

World Environment Day 2022
June 5th was dedicated to celebrating World Environment Day, a moment to remind ourselves of the fragility of our ecosystem and the importance of promoting bold action to restore our relation with nature.
We cannot turn back time, but we can make a difference today. Let's work together to ensure we are the generation that can make peace with nature.
We have #OnlyOneEarth. Let's take care of it.
Discover why green is much more than a color TREND

Aquatica Collection: the ultimate in pool and spa mosaics

Effortlessly reflecting the sky and water, the Aquatica Collection is the ideal solution for easy-to-install mosaics in pools, spas, saunas and more.
Download the new Aquatica Pools & Spas brochure

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CENTRIA® perforated panels complete Whole Foods Market project in Midtown Tampa

June 21, 2022

Celebrated as “the future of urban living,” Midtown Tampa is the hottest new social hub in Tampa Bay. Midtown Tampa features a contemporary and energetic vibe, bringing the best of living, working, shopping, dining, entertainment, health and hospitality together in this new area.

Midtown Tampa includes a new 48,000-square-foot Whole Foods Market, the ground-floor home to Novel Midtown apartments. The Whole Foods Market project includes 7,000 square feet of CENTRIA’s EcoScreen, perforated 0.040-inch painted aluminum panels in Sherwin-Williams’ 6748 Green.

“The goal of the project is to anchor the western half of the whole project as a walkable, mixed-use environment,” says Alex Call, AIA, Senior Designer at WDG Architecture of Dallas. “Contemporary exterior materials highlight an exterior palette focused on a clean, coastal aesthetic with accents of modern elements throughout, celebrating Tampa’s local vernacular.”

The store features everything from traditional grocery shopping to a full-service butcher and coffee bar. More than 800 local products from Florida can be found through the store from more than 160 vendors. The Whole Foods Market is just a part of the growing development at Midtown Tampa.

For installing company M.G. McGrath of Becker, Minn., it was a straightforward project. The EcoScreen perforated screen walls are created through the use of a unique fabrication process, with 20-gauge steel or 0.040-inch aluminum. They combine an airy aesthetic with outstanding performance, blending industrial and other applications with their surroundings.

“This was an easy install on this project,” says Jono Semlak, Director of Project Management at M.G. McGrath. “There was one little eyebrow that we had to deal with so we used the correct PPE and a boom lift to access that small area. Otherwise, it was an open wall with easy access.

“It was very simple to see the attachment points, seeing that the panels were perforated. There really was nothing tricky about the install on this one. Everyone is happy with the completed project. The owner, the architect and general contractor were all very satisfied with the finished building.”

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Future Leaders of METALCON (New Program for 40 and Under)

June 20, 2022

METALCON, the only global event dedicated exclusively to the application of metal in design and construction, announces its new Future Leaders of METALCON (FLMC) program for rising stars, up-and-comers, management trainees, apprentices and others, roughly ages 40 and under, ready to take their career to the next level.

Future leaders can gain the knowledge, insights and tools needed to advance through dedicated content and activities available virtually through METALCONLive! and in-person, on-site at METALCON 2022 in Indianapolis this October.

FLMC Kicks-Off (virtually) on METALCONLive!
Wednesday, June 22, 1:00 pm EST
Personal Branding: An Important Skill for Professional Success

Dr. Melissa Furman of Career Potential, a consulting, training, and coaching organization will facilitate this highly engaging 60-minute virtual presentation, explaining the importance of establishing a personal brand and providing strategies and practical recommendations for creating positive exposure.

Wednesday, October 12, 10:00 am
METALCON Keynote Address: Leading for Today and Tomorrow

The dynamic Dr. Furman continues to provide education, this time for all ages, including strategies for navigating ongoing challenges such as generational preferences, innovation, diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), and workforce development in an interactive format. Learn more here.

FLMC Exclusive Education
Wednesday, October 12, 3:00 pm
From Employee to Manager: Transitioning to a Management Role

This workshop, conveniently located in the METALCON Main Theater inside the exhibit hall, is exclusive to future leaders and designed to provide tools, strategies, and recommendations to help new (and existing) managers maximize their management and leadership success. Learn more here.

FLMC Exclusive Happy Hour & Networking
Wednesday, October 12, 4:00 pm

Join your peers and contribute to the conversation at this FLMC Happy Hour in the theater immediately following Dr. Furman’s Transitioning to Management session—sponsored by CIDAN.

“We are excited to announce this new program for our future leaders” says Judy Geller, METALCON Show Director. “The FLMC will enable us to help the next generation of metal construction industry professionals and their managers prepare to step into greater leadership roles, thereby leading the way for the future of the industry.”

METALCON takes place at the Indiana Convention Center, Wednesday, Oct. 12 – Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, with pre-show workshops beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 11. Registration is now open!

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Understanding Electromagnetic Interference

June 10, 2022

If you’ve ever listened to the radio, and have heard the sound become distorted, then you’ve likely just experienced electromagnetic interference, or EMI. Also sometimes referred to as radio frequency interference (RFI), this occurs when one electromagnetic field interferes with another, which, or basically radio frequency congestion.

Another problem that is becoming increasing more common is the EMI experienced with Wi-Fi. If you’ve ever had a weak Wi-Fi signal around your home, chances are one of the first steps in your troubleshooting was to move your device closer to the router or relocating the router altogether. Reducing the distance between your router and device reduces the chance for it to encounter EMI from your other electronics such as microwaves, Bluetooth connections, and even your neighbor’s wireless devices.

Now scale this issue into the commercial space, and especially urban environments. One cannot go up a few floors and look out of the windows in a major city without staring at broadcast antenna mounted to the tops and sides of nearly every building. While this indicates the wireless provider’s proactive approach to ensuring service, the levels of RF energy being generated are now interfering with in-building control systems, smart devices, cell service, and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth. As our world becomes more connected, the risk of RF signal conflict will continue to increase. Outside of eliminating RF communications from our daily lives, more and more property owners and their occupants are looking to separate their workspaces from that busy RF space on the outside.

There are various means and methods to isolate or separate one space from another, depending on site-specific conditions, but there are some that can provide immediate benefit in a short amount of time. RF shielding films can be implemented onto existing windows to plug this ‘hole-in-the bucket’, and significantly shield or attenuate those unwanted signals. Thus, creating a more RF-predictable environment for your equipment, systems, and people.

The passionate professionals at Signals Defense can help you and your office determine where and how RFI is causing network issues for your employees. Click the image below to get started.

Help Me with RF Shielding Today

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June 08, 2022

Madison Square Garden Sports announced on September 24, 2021 at a marketing partnership with Benjamin Moore, naming North America’s favorite paint, color and coatings brand, the Official Paint Partner of the New York Rangers. As part of the partnership, Benjamin Moore becomes the Rangers helmet sponsor with logo position during all Rangers games at Madison Square Garden. Additionally, four colors representing the Rangers palette will be added to the Benjamin Moore Sports Collection.

To kick off the partnership during the week of October 6th, the Rangers and Benjamin Moore will unveil a "Hockey Week in NY" themed mural at 213 Bowery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. This mural, to be designed and created by artist Key Detail, pays homage to the incredible sport of hockey, and will help kick off the Rangers 2021-22 season, which begins on Wednesday, Oct. 13. Fans can create their own interpretation at home with Rangers hues including Rangers Blue SC-94, Rangers Red SC-95, Rangers White SC-96, and Rangers Navy SC-97. Please note that these paint colors are only available at select independently owned New York retailers, and not available on the Benjamin Moore Online Store.

"We are beyond excited about this partnership as Benjamin Moore isn’t just coming on as the Rangers in-game helmet sponsor, they are going to be deeply involved throughout programs the organization contributes to in the community, across our digital channels and at The Garden," said Ron Skotarczak, Executive Vice President, marketing partnerships, Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. "Benjamin Moore, a company that started in Brooklyn, aligns so well with our values, and we look forward to all that we can accomplish together."

"With a long history in the New York Metropolitan area, it’s a privilege for Benjamin Moore to team up with an iconic and storied franchise like the New York Rangers," said Steve O’Neill, Chief Marketing Officer of Benjamin Moore. "We are thrilled to not only support the team on the ice, but also offer fans the opportunity to showcase their team spirit at home using Benjamin Moore paint products."

Benjamin Moore will be the presenting partner for the Jr. Rangers Street Ball/Ball Hockey community program which impacts thousands of kids across the tri-state as they learn to play the game under the tutelage of the Rangers Social Impact & Fan Engagement team. In addition, Benjamin Moore will partner with the Rangers digital team on an original content series that will be shown across all of the Rangers digital channels and enjoy significant brand exposure on static and digital signage inside and outside of Madison Square Garden.

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AEC Daily and NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards)

June 02, 2022

AEC Daily and NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) will be sharing educational content as the two organizations look to expand their almost decade-long relationship. A selection of courses from NCARB’s extensive Continuum Education Program will now be offered on AEC Daily. These courses have been developed to meet AIA HSW requirements and are authored by a slate of industry experts. The first 5 courses are live on AEC Daily and can be found within the NCARB Continuum Education collection. These courses cover topics ranging from professional ethics to housing equity.

In turn, selected AEC Daily courses will be available on NCARB’s Continuum Education website to complement their current course catalog.

All NCARB courses are free for NCARB Certificate holders and accessed with a fee of $25 USD per course for those who do not hold Certificates.

NCARB is a global leader in architectural regulation and is dedicated to helping professionals reach their career goals, providing key data about the path to licensure, and protecting the public’s health, safety, and welfare. NCARB’s exclusive Continuum Education Program provides learning unit (LU) credits to update professional skills and support license maintenance.

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Tonewood Brewing Company in Barrington, New Jersey

June 01, 2022

Tonewood Brewing is a destination style micro-brewery in Barrington, NJ, just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. Designed by Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Architects, the structure includes a renovated 20,000 sq. ft. lumber yard built in the 1800s, and a small addition to create a state-of-the-art brewery that features 30’ tall grain silos. While the facility gives them the capacity to significantly increase output, the 5,000 sq. ft. of retail space – split among an outdoor beer garden, takeaway counter, elevated observation mezzanine, and a sprawling tasting room – has been designed to immerse customers in the production process.

Roofing Panels: Everlast Metals, 24 ga

Coating: ASL150 Striations in Dark Gray Fluropon finish

Solar Mounting: S-5! PVKIT

Architect: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Structural Engineer: Mulhern & Kulp, Ambler, Pennsylvania

Installer: Topline Construction, Conshohocken, Pennsylvania

Fasteners: Triangle Fastener Concealer Ultra Low Profile Screws; ST Fastening Systems ST Rivet, Dark Charcoal

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Captivating Cadence: New to our CastGlass Line

May 31, 2022

As the newest addition to our CastGlass line, Cadence Levels designs celebrate glass in its purest form. Fluid textures accentuated by laminated solid color interlayers capture light and create softly shifting rhythms that define each dimensional surface.

Cadence Levels designs are the latest example of F+S production innovations pushed in new directions to achieve intriguing optical effects in architectural glass. Textures are precisely cast and laminated in a way that creates a smooth outward-facing glass surface with a water-like appearance.

Cadence surfaces have a subtle relief that catch light, play with shadows, and appear to flow and change as viewing angles shift. The combination of glass and interlayer results in a captivating collection of designs.

Four Cadence Levels textures are standard. All are accentuated by a solid color interlayer that adds visual richness and enhances the perceptual depth of each design. The glass itself is inherently clear.

Interlayers are standard in Taupe or in six metallic colors that coordinate with our stainless steel and Fused Metal.

In addition, we can color match any Pantone, Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams color.

Cadence Levels glass is available exclusively in our LEVELe Wall Cladding and Column Systems and in LEVELe and LEVELc Elevator Interiors. Each system is designed to address typical mechanical details like trim and attachment systems so designers don’t need to worry about resolving these aspects; they can simply focus on the creative process and bringing their Cadence Levels projects to life.

Used with our Systems, Cadence Levels glass gives designers new ways to incorporate light play and dimension into projects and bring statement-making, low-maintenance glass into and across a property.

In addition, the ability to coordinate Cadence glass colors with other F+S metals makes it easier than ever to achieve cohesive end results. And, the option for custom colors invites effortless alignment with project-specific design, branding and wayfinding themes.

Whatever the color, whatever the application, the fluid rhythms of Cadence Levels glass offer an unparalleled optical experience.

Captivated by the possibilities? Explore the Cadence Levels glass product page to learn more.

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Meet Float: Effortless Style + Impressive Versatility

May 31, 2022

The Float Bench is a simple, timeless design that adapts to many seating scenarios, from streetscapes to university and corporate campuses to healthcare settings and more.

Float Benches are 72" long and available backed or backless, with integral end armrests and an optional center seat divider. Vertical slats running perpendicular to the length of the seat create a clean, crisp look.

Float’s uncluttered style is matched by high-performance materials and versatile configuration options.

Bench frames are corrosion-resistant aluminum with a durable powdercoat finish.

A wide range of powdercoat colors makes it easy to tailor Float to site-specific needs, whether it’s aligning with branding or wayfinding themes, reflecting the personality of a space, or quietly blending into a setting.

Float’s design options expand with a choice of high-performance hardwood slats: either FSC® 100% Cumaru or domestically sourced Thermally Modified Red Oak.

Thermally Modified Red Oak is new to the F+S line and a standard option for Float. Harvested and processed in Pennsylvania, home to our Pittsburgh-based headquarters and Float manufacturing facility, it offers a sustainable, durable solution for projects interested in domestically grown hardwoods.

The thermal modification process uses heat, steam and time to transform the wood on a molecular level into a highly durable outdoor material that resists insects, moisture, and other environmental impacts. The wood’s overall durability and lifespan are multiplied many times, without the use of chemicals or anything else manmade. The thermal modification process turns the wood a deep brown.

Float’s Thermally Modified Red Oak slats are unfinished, which allows the wood’s color to stand out. Over time, the wood will weather to a pewter grey and can be oiled if desired to maintain the deeper brown appearance.

FSC® 100% Cumaru hardwood has long held a prominent spot in our materials mix and we use it across our Site Furniture line. Offering outstanding weatherability, it’s inherent hardness and strength make it incredibly durable. It’s naturally resistant to moisture, fire, insects and decay and performs exceptionally well over time, even in the most demanding outdoor environments.

Float’s FSC® 100% Cumaru hardwood slats have a natural oiled finish that enhances the wood’s rich color. The wood will weather to a silver grey. Re-oiling at regular intervals, if desired, can help retain the inherent color.

With either wood, in any color or configuration, Float is a versatile, durable match for public settings of all kinds. To learn more about Float, pull up a seat and explore the Float Bench product page.

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Announcing SOC2 Type 1 certification: Continuing our commitment to securing customer data

May 30, 2022

Our customers and users trust us with their data and content. To continue being a leading provider of continuing education for architects, engineers, and other design and construction professionals, we recognized the need to illustrate our commitment to security by undergoing the rigors of SOC 2 compliance. Today, we are thrilled to announce that AEC Daily has successfully attained the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 1 compliance through an audit performed by an independent CPA firm.

The audit conducted by Prescient Assurance, a leader in security and compliance attestation for B2B, SAAS companies worldwide, affirms that AEC Daily’s information security practices, policies, procedures, and operations meet the SOC 2 gold standard of data protection.

This compliance underscores that AEC Daily has built a culture dedicated to safeguarding customer data with extensive processes and security controls that includes strict endpoint management, extensive employee security awareness training, and comprehensive vulnerability management.

Obtaining the SOC 2 Type 1 attestation reinforces AEC Daily’s ongoing commitment to the security of the AEC Daily platform. Our customers can feel confident that we are making every investment to establish and maintain the highest level of security and compliance.

If you are an existing AEC Daily customer, you can reach out to us to share our SOC 2 audit report. If you are not yet a customer but are considering AEC Daily, we can provide you our SOC 2 audit report under NDA.

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Designing the Ultimate Outdoor Space with Western Red Cedar

May 30, 2022

A modernist reinterpretation of northern California ranch style, a farmhouse in wine country, student residences at Frank Lloyd Wright’s renowned Fallingwater—these and many Bohlin Cywinski Jackson (BCJ) residential projects are dominated by western red cedar (WRC).

“We use cedar a lot in our residential projects in particular,” says Greg Mottola, BCJ’s lead principal on both a Los Altos modern ranch project and a beautiful farmhouse in Calistoga. “We like cedar because it brings a warmth, a softness to what are otherwise pretty modern buildings, and we like making these homes more livable and comfortable to be in.”

We talked to BCJ and other experts about why they design western red cedar spaces for beautiful outdoor escapes.


Mottola says using WRC outdoors is helpful because it’s not just beautiful; it’s naturally rot-resistant.

WRC can be finished in a variety of ways, and you can add pigment if you want, which Mottola loves. “In some ways it’s almost like you’re pre-weathering it. But the other thing we really love about it is that when you leave it to weather naturally, it turns to a beautiful silver color.”


Ostensen says the species’ growth rates are likely to thrive as accelerated climate change occurs. Reports from the US Forest Service indicate that it tolerates shade very well, too, and is less susceptible to diseases than many other conifers. The trees can live for more than 1,000 years.

Lightweight & Versatile

WRC’s large, open cell structure makes the wood less dense than most other softwoods, so it’s also easier to move from place to place on the job. The versatility of WRC is one of the primary reasons it has been used for appearance and outdoor living applications for centuries.


Its open cell structure also helps to block noise. As an interior paneling or exterior siding, WRC’s low density makes it an acoustical barrier of much greater quality than many products marketed for those applications.


The sustainability benefits of using WRC are many, whether it’s the durability of siding or environmental impact of decking. WRC decking had the least environmental impact when compared with both virgin and recycled wood-plastic composite decking products, Ostensen says.


The Philadelphia area architecture firm works on projects all over North America and aims to bring a bit of the outside in across residential designs. Mottola says they’re pleased with the quality of cedar they get for projects like these, as it makes their jobs easier.


But there’s also something special about WRC’s color. BCJ loves it so much they use it inside and out on their residential projects.

“It’s just really versatile,” Mottola says. Because of its rich color and the fact that it takes stain really well, Mottola says it’s a great solution for exterior siding.


WRC bevel siding is the most widely used cedar siding type across projects. It is produced by resawing lumber at an angle to produce two pieces thicker on one edge than the other. The manufacturing process results in pieces with one smooth face. The other face is saw textured or smooth depending on the grade and customer preference.


Mottola says BCJ comes back to WRC again and again for its durability. Western red cedar heartwood is also highly impermeable to water, making it even more durable.

While WRC is prevalent on BCJ’s West Coast projects, Mottola says they are seeing it used more all over the US, including the East Coast, too. “We do projects all over the country and a lot of second homes for people in beautiful, remote locations. Cedar is a nice choice.”


Using WRC can also minimize heating and cooling needs. Wood has very good insulating value compared to other materials. Lab tests at the National Research Council of Canada and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory show that light metal framing significantly reduces the effective thermal resistance, or R-value, of a wall assembly, resulting in increased energy use. Wood-frame construction is easy to insulate to high standards, Ostensen says, and several wood-frame assemblies have been designed for the Arctic.

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Metl-Span insulated metal panels for wall, roof, part of award-winning county project

May 27, 2022

Like most projects, expectations were high for the Northampton Forensic Center building. Thanks in large part to the choice of insulated metal panels from Metl-Span, the project turned out to be an award winner and it was completed on time and on budget.

The Northampton Forensic Center in Nazareth, Pa., earned the 2021 Commercial Real Estate Development (CRED) Award from Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“As with most municipal buildings, the county wanted something that would be long lasting and cost effective,” says Glenn Lichtenwalner, AIA, NCARB, at W2A Architects of Allentown, Pa. “Their goals are our goals. The insulated metal panels installed quickly and they are aesthetically pleasing, as well as energy efficient. It was important to deliver the whole package and Metl-Span helped make that happen.”

The new 27,847-square-foot building contains autopsy rooms with viewing areas to accommodate medical students and law officers; a digital forensic lab; lockers to secure evidence; a five-bay garage; and offices for the coroner staff.

The roof is 26,700 square feet of Metl-Span’s CFR-42 panels, five inches thick with a 24-gauge exterior panel in Zinc Gray. More than 12,900 square feet of Metl-Span’s CF42 Striated wall panels were installed, in three colors: Smoke Gray, Zinc Gray and Sandstone. All interior panels were 26-gauge in Igloo White.

Insulated metal panels also were chosen so the building would closely resemble two other pre-engineered buildings on the grounds; a nursing home and the county’s 911 center, that hosts ambulances and fire engines.

The front façade of the building is brick, but the other three walls and roof are insulated metal panels. Lichtenwalner says the 42-inch roofing panels led to a design where the seams line up with the 42-inch wall panels, creating clean, crisp lines.

“The building was enclosed amazingly quick,” Lichtenwalner says. “The walls and the roofing fit together in a machine-like fashion. The county is happy with the building; we’re happy with the building.

“For the Chamber of Commerce to present local government an award says a lot about how successful the project was. Northampton County was a good steward with taxpayer money.”

The south-facing roof became a field for solar panels, provided by EIS Solar of Pittsburgh.

“It’s a pretty standard building, a typical job for us,” says Steve Chando, Vice President at CHM Contracting LLC of Reading, Pa. “It’s a great building, perfect for the county. The insulated metal panels are energy efficient, providing an R-30 with the roofing and an R-24 with the walls. It will serve the community for a long time.”

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DuPont Adds ArmorWall™ Five-in-One Systems to Portfolio

May 19, 2022

DuPont Performance Building Solutions announced the addition of DuPont™ ArmorWall™ Systems to its innovative product portfolio. The premium performance exterior commercial wall solution is a five-in-one system incorporating five traditional building enclosure elements into a single panel product: structural sheathing, fire-resistance, air- and water-resistive barriers, and a high-performance continuous insulation layer.

The additions of DuPont™ ArmorWall™ Plus Fire-Rated (FR) Structural Insulated Sheathing™ (SIS) and DuPont™ ArmorWall™ SP Plus Fire-Rated (FR) Structural Insulated Sheathing (SIS) are the latest DuPont products to join the impressive portfolio of proven, compatible, and market-leading brands that protect all six sides of the building envelope. DuPont acquired MaxLife Industries’ ArmorWall™ business, including the ArmorWall™ brand, patented technology, and manufacturing facility in late 2021.

Both ArmorWall™ Plus FR SIS™ and ArmorWall™ SP Plus FR SIS utilize patented Fusion Technology to fuse the fire-resistant Magnesium Oxide (MgO) structural sheathing layer to the high-performance poured polyurethane insulation layer, which creates an ideal substrate for many types of cladding attachment. Additionally, all panels arrive at the jobsite with a factory-applied, high-quality air and water-resistive barrier that eliminates the need for additional field-applied coatings or wraps. The systems are available with either ArmorWall™ Plus FR SIS™ or ArmorWall™ SP Plus FR SIS as the panel component and include ArmorBoard Plus Structural Sheathing Returns and ArmorSeal accessories as part of the complete system.

ArmorWall™ SP Plus FR SIS includes an additional layer of MgO sheathing on the interior face, encompassing the polyurethane foam insulation. This addition makes ArmorWall™ SP Plus FR SIS a two-hour fire-rated assembly, benefiting multi-family projects and buildings in high density areas. Furthermore, both ArmorWall™ Plus FR SIS™ and ArmorWall™ SP Plus FR SIS pass NFPA 285 testing as part of DuPont™ ArmorWall™ Systems complete wall assemblies.

"The DuPont™ ArmorWall™ Systems are innovative additions to DuPont’s powerhouse portfolio of commercial wall solutions"
-Ryan Miller, North America Commercial Marketing Manager

“The DuPont™ ArmorWall™ Systems are innovative additions to DuPont’s powerhouse portfolio of commercial wall solutions,” said Ryan Miller, North America Commercial Marketing Manager. “Each 5-in-1 panel provides the structural sheathing element with cladding attachment support, potentially eliminating the need for traditional components such as girts and rails that add cost, labor, and complexity to a project. ArmorWall™ customers across the country attest that use of these wall assembly systems save weeks, not just days, on all types of multifamily and commercial project schedules.”

Both ArmorWall™ Plus FR SIS and ArmorWall™ SP Plus FR SIS are ICC-ES listed. The DuPont™ ArmorWall™ Systems have undergone rigorous testing and allow projects to meet continuous insulation requirements, building codes, and the tight timelines of construction schedules faster and more cost-effectively.

For complete details, visit

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What's TRENDing?

May 19, 2022

Mosaica by Fabrizio Plessi for Dior

Orsoni and TREND mosaic continue to inspire the most prestigious haute couture Maisons. The latest example is Mosaica, a reinterpretation of the Lady Dior bag designed by Italian artist Fabrizio Plessi to celebrate Venice. The artwork, entirely decorated with 24K gold leaf mosaic tiles, was presented in the House’s Venice boutique in conjunction with the opening of Biennale Arte 2022.
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Orsoni welcomes Cartier

On April 26th, we had the pleasure of welcoming Cartier’s Masters of art in Orsoni for a joint event dedicated to celebrating our cherished savoir-faire, representing the first important milestone of a partnership with the prestigious French luxury brand.
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etherium® By E-Stone featured in Architectural Digest

Step Inside This Beachy Bahamas Abode by AD100 Designer David Netto. Working with architect Kiko Sanchez, Netto crafts a marvel of relaxed tropical chic for a young family.
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We are proud to have been featured in the latest issue of Architectural Digest. Our etherium® By E-Stone was the perfect flooring for this stunning Bahamas home.

Brillante mosaic collection

With its stunning translucent effect, Brillante is perfect for intricate commercial and residential applications. When brightness and transparency matter in your design, Brillante - as its name implies - is second to none.

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Debunking Myth Series: Does Window Film Stop Fading?

May 18, 2022

According to Projection Hub, it’s estimated that a new business spends about $21,000 on office furniture. Unfortunately, it’s estimated that the average life of this office furniture is only about 7.3 years, and the salvage value of such is less than 15 percent of its original cost. While everything has a shelf life, this isn’t exactly the best return on investment (ROI).

Furniture and décor may require replacement for a variety of reasons. There’s normal wear and tear from regular usage that takes its toll over time. Perhaps it was damaged when being moved or relocated for an event? However, one of the most common reasons why furniture requires replacement is due to poor aesthetics — and these poor aesthetics are usually due to color fading. How do you minimize fabric fading? Let's take a closer look:

Why Does Fabric Fade?

Though there are other factors that lead to fading, the biggest culprit behind it is the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. But keep in mind that furniture aren’t the only pieces in your office that are subject to fading. Finishes, flooring, artwork and even photos can also fade over time if they’re exposed to UV rays. Yes, just like your skin, many of the materials used to decorate an office are sensitive to the sun too. The good news is that there’s an easy, convenient way to better protect these investments — and it doesn’t involve regular applications of sunscreen!

In addition to UV rays, heat and visible light can also cause fading, and should be properly managed.

How to Stop UV Rays from Damaging Office Items

The more barriers that you can put between UV rays and your office items, the better. Glass window panes help, and the thicker the better. In fact, dual pane glass about doubles the protection against UV rays compared to single-pane glass. But if you really want to take the steps to safeguard your office furniture and décor, while not restricting the amount of natural light that you’re allowing in, window films are the best solution.

High-quality solar films block up to 99 percent of all UV rays, and also help safeguard an office from solar heat, two of the biggest factors associated with fading. What’s more is that window films are affordable, easy to install and unnoticeable if they’re installed properly. They're an ideal preventative solution to manage fading.

Think you don't need window films because your decor isn't exposed to direct sunlight? Think again, as UV rays can bounce off of things like trees and neighboring buildings to enter your office and cause your furniture to fade. It's similar to how UV rays can bounce off the water at the beach or in the pool.

Window films are a great addition to any office that wants to get more of a return on investment from its fabrics, furniture and accessories. With window films, even if you decide that it’s time to redecorate after 8 years or so, your furniture and office items that you part with will be worth much more than the typical 14 percent resale value.

So does window film stop fabric fading? While it may not be the be-all, end-all solution to all the causes of fading, it can protect it from UV rays.

Reach out to our experienced window film experts and they can better explain how window solutions can lengthen the life of your office furniture, while keeping your employees comfortable.

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S-5! Introduces New CanDuit™ Clamp

May 06, 2022

S-5!, the inventor of engineered, manufactured, metal roof attachments, introduces its new electrical conduit clamp for metal roofs.

The new CanDuit™ clamp secures and supports chases and raceways, cable trays, gas piping, condensate lines and other round-shaped objects to metal roofs, in combination with any S-5! clamp or bracket, including the GripperFix® utility mounting system.

Made from electro-zinc coated steel, the CanDuit clamp features two halves that clamp around the pipe or conduit with an EPDM liner pad that protects against abrasion and a threaded M8 stud that allows for attachment to S-5! products—providing easy, organized securement without scratching, corrosion or other damage to the roof.

The CanDuit can be used in both residential and commercial settings for a range of applications including electrical, solar, plumbing for gas or water and condensate drainage.

CanDuit Key Features:
• Available in 14 sizes with outer pipe diameters ranging from .79" (20 mm) to 4.6” (117 mm).
• Adjustability within each clamp enables minor size adjustment to secure most conduit and other piping.
• CanDuit’s M8 threaded shaft mounts directly to S-5!’s non-penetrating clamps for standing seam roofs and factory weatherproofed brackets for exposed-fastened roofs.

CanDuit Benefits:
• Complete solution from a single source
• Secure and long-lasting
• Fits all S-5! clamps and brackets
• Easy installation
• Avoids scratches and corrosion
• Fewer components save costs
• Corrosion-resistant and durable
• 10-year warranty against manufactured defect

“Our customers repeatedly ask, do you have anything to mount pipes, conduits and other round-shaped objects to metal roofs,” says S-5! CEO and Founder, Rob Haddock. “So, in an effort to respond to the industry’s needs and as we continue to innovate new and better solutions in a constant product improvement and invention/reinvention mode to bring competitive advantages to our customers, we’ve created the CanDuit clamp. So now, S-5! Can-do-it!”

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A Diamond in the Rough: How Sound Seal Helped ‘Polish’ Arch Resources’ Acoustics

May 05, 2022

Arch Resources, a leading U.S. producer of metallurgical products for the global steel industry, is renowned for its ability to set the industry standard for both mine safety and environmental stewardship. Now, with the help of Sound Seal, the organization can also cite another remarkable company achievement: improved acoustics.

A large axial fan located within Arch Resources operational complex is critical to circulating clean air within mine shafts and ensuring worker safety. A downside to the fan, however, is the high level of low frequency sound and subsequent harmonics it emits during its operation.

Prior to the installation of a solution, the axial fan generated approximately 112 dBA at 25’ (45° off inlet axis) from the discharge point. A subsequent measurement of 101 dBA at 25’ (135° off inlet axis) established the inlet opening as being the dominant noise path, while secondary sound paths (fan and duct radiation noise) were also evaluated. These measurements all established that treatment of the inlet noise would result in a reduction of noise levels throughout the complex.

While multiple mitigation techniques were evaluated for cost and performance, Sound Seal BBC-13X-2” Sound Curtains were ultimately selected based on cost, flexibility and schedule performance—the product could be installed in such a way to minimally impact the fan performance and allow the motor located within the plenum to received adequate ventilation—all without impacting operations or necessitating downtime.

Arch Resources contracted O’Neill Engineered Systems, Inc. to visit the site, measure the sound levels, determine the dominant sound paths and provide a variety of commercial options available that would provide relief for the workers impacted by the fan noise. In consideration were modular steel sound panels, concrete block walls with absorptive liners and the Sound Seal option of vinyl coated fiberglass exterior curtains.

Working with partners Alpha Engineering Services, Inc. for aerodynamic and structural design and consultation and Wilson Works Corporation, who performed the installation, the Sound Seal product was positioned 25’ above grade. Once installed, it was confirmed that a 12–20 dBA sound reduction was achieved, handling transmission loss properties from 250 -1000 Hz, and helping to improve worker conditions.

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IMPs from Metl-Span deliver energy and worker efficiency

May 04, 2022

Oxford Pallett of Norwich, Ont., prides itself in efficiency. The company is efficient to the point that they repair pallets and recycle pallets that are not reparable.

When Oxford Pallet was looking to expand with a new assembly facility and a new grinding building, the hope was to erect energy efficient buildings. Insulated metal panels from Metl-Span quickly became a selling point for Brouwer Construction of St. Catharine’s, Ont.

“I took them into an existing building on the hottest day of the year, 95 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Ron Brouwer, president of Brouwer Construction. “Everyone inside was wearing sweatshirts. Because of the insulation, the temperature inside the building doesn’t change much. White roofs, white walls, it requires minimal heat and minimal air conditioning. Oxford told us they lose productivity during the hottest times of the year in their wooden buildings because people are sweating from top to bottom. That’s not a problem in these buildings.”

Brouwer Construction, an authorized Nucor Building Systems dealer, erected the steel building frame and installed insulated metal panels from Metl-Span.

Brouwer Construction built two buildings for Oxford Pallet, one a 58,000 square foot facility where pallets are made and a 7,000 square foot grinding building, where unusable pallets are recycled. The Oxford Pallet website says, “Recycling pallets saves hundreds of trees every day. Oxford Pallett is able to save more than 250 trees every day, or more than 91,000 per year.”

Ron Brouwer’s nephew, Jason Brouwer, B.Arch.Sci., M.Arch., OAA, of Brouwer Architecture also in St. Catharine’s, led the design of the new facility.

“Our design goal was to provide the client with a new contemporary corporate identity, primarily through the street-facing façade of the new building,” Jason Brouwer says. “Pragmatically, the intent was to provide an efficiently constructed, non-combustible and easily maintained facility for the company to be able to improve their product output and fabrication efficiency.

“The insulated metal panels were chosen primarily due to the fact that we were constructing a pre-engineered steel building and they work well with that type of construction. They were a cost-effective way to enclose the building and meet and exceed all building code requirements for the building enclosure. However, the panels also allowed us to use a single type of product in a few different colors in order to highlight the front façade in conjunction with the curtain wall glazing.”

Ron Brouwer says this project stands out because he was able to use two colors on the exterior wall panels. It doesn’t look like some of the other ordinary industrial buildings in the vicinity. “I brought a different beast into the area,” Brouwer says. “It’s generating a lot of interest.”

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Architectural Applications: Why Metal Mesh Is So Important To The Industry

April 26, 2022

Architecture is a vast field where projects are limited only by an architects imagination. However, there is an element of practicality that must also be respected; as long as you have a support system in place to reinforce your design, you'll have no problem creating a work of art. Metal fabric material is particularly useful in this area.

The crux of architecture is how long it lasts; metal fabrics can ensure that the stability of a structure is maintained far beyond its initial construction. Let's find out why.

Flexibility: If your architectural project requires the structure to contort into unusual shapes, metal fabric can lend a hand. As a product, it can be manufactured to meet virtually any type of custom specification; this makes it an ideal choice in situations that are particularly tricky or unique.

Strength and Durability: That being said, you also need your chosen material to stand up to the tests of time. Metal fabric resists damage from water and a variety of other conditions to ensure that it lasts a long time. When you use metal fabric, structural integrity is not compromised.

Appearance: Architecture is as beautiful as it is practical. In fact, many architects and artists specifically use a certain kind of material to achieve a certain kind of look. Whether your structure is indoors or outdoors, metal and wire mesh provides a quality building facade that screens out harsh sunlight and acts as a barrier that doesn't obstruct vision because its size varies between 0.5mm and 7mm. At the same time, it offers an aesthetic alternative to some harsher and less appealing options.

When it comes to architectural applications, it's important to note that wire mesh doesn't perform the same role as metal fabric filters. The latter is used to remove contaminants from air and wastewater, while the former is focused more on providing security and protection in physical structures. Despite their similarity in name, the difference between the two is quite stark. This is precisely why choosing the right kind of fine metal wire mesh matters; metal fabric filters won't be able to provide the same levels of safety to the general public as architectural wire meshes.

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Creative Uses Of Metal Fabrics In Contemporary Interior Design

April 19, 2022

Modern interior design has embraced the use of industrial materials such as concrete and steel. While these materials were once covered up with ceiling panels, carpet, or paint, many designers now go out of their way to highlight these materials. Today, you can find concrete floors, metal surfaces, and exposed pipes in hip restaurants, offices, lofts, and countless other spaces. Whether you love or hate the "unfinished" appearance of industrial-chic spaces, this aesthetic is everywhere.

Now that designers are embracing the industrial look, metal fabrics are being used more often in both architectural applications and interior design. That's because metal fabrics are both functional and visually attractive. On top of that, stainless steel metal fabrics are also environmentally conscious. Typically, stainless steel in metal fabrics contains more than 60% post-industrial and post-consumer recycled material. These fabrics are also 100% recyclable at the end of their lifespan, which makes them the ideal building material for many modern designers.

Architectural metal fabrics can be used in a number of ways in contemporary design. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common applications of metal fabrics in interior design.

Metal Fabric Room Partitions

Metal fabrics can be used to create freestanding partitions in offices, restaurants, museums, and other high-traffic spaces. Because many metal fabrics are semi-transparent, they can be used to separate spaces without blocking natural light. Designers can choose a weave that blends perfectly into their environment, both defining and enhancing their space.

Elevator Cab Interiors

Too often, a building's impressive interior design disappears the moment a guest steps into the elevator. As a result, many builders are now taking advantage of elegant elevator cab interiors made from metal architectural mesh. These panels are both durable and aesthetically pleasing, which makes them an ideal choice for an otherwise dull elevator interior.

Acoustic Ceiling Panels

While ceiling panels are often used to hide unsightly pipes, wires, and other architectural features, in concert halls these panels must meet specific acoustic requirements. If you look up, you can find stainless steel metal fabrics in performing arts centers around the world. In fact, compared to other types of ceiling panels, metal fabrics can often enhance reverb and provide superior acoustic results in concert halls.

Sunlight Barriers

Modern design isn't all about concrete and metal accents. Many contemporary designers also love to incorporate natural light into their work. Of course, natural light can also present challenges to everyday use. In religious spaces, office environments, and academic environments, direct sunlight can interfere with the building's purpose. However, carefully placed metal fabrics can be used to block the sun without eliminating natural light altogether. This also has the additional benefit of reducing the need for air conditioning, making the architectural metals a sustainable material for modern buildings.

From elegant elevator cab interiors to innovative acoustic panels, the right metal fabric can enhance a space in exciting ways. Whether you're involved in a new building project or need to revamp an existing space, GKD can provide a range of metal fabric materials to suit your needs. Contact our team today to learn more about our unique and flexible metal fabrics.

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What Are Metal Fabrics? What Are They Used For?

April 19, 2022

Sometimes, the completion of a construction project requires a material that looks modern and aesthetically pleasing but is also sturdy enough to offer lasting support. When you need a material that will stand strong for the long haul, a well-built metal fabric is often the perfect fit for your needs.

What Are Metal Fabrics?

A metal fabric is used often in architectural settings to create an aesthetically pleasing design that is sustainable and long-lasting. There are a lot of metal fabrics that can be used for a wide range of applications, depending on what the designer actually needs. Some are more flexible, while others are more rigid. Some have a tight weave, and others include more open area between the metal strands.

Because they are such a flexible building material, architects and engineers can utilize woven metal fabrics in virtually all facets of their designs. In a building's exterior, metal fabrics can be used to create a contemporary facade for otherwise unattractive buildings such as parking garages. Not only do these materials help provide shade and improve safety, but they give a sleek, modern design to the building. That's just one possible use of metal fabrics in a building's exterior; they can also be used to project video displays and protect architectural elements from vandalism.

Inside a building, metal fabrics have many more potential uses. They can be used as railings and balcony protectors, acoustic sound panels, suspended ceiling surfaces, partitions, and more. When choosing the right metal fabric for a particular project, it is important to do your research and find the material that would work most appropriately for your needs.

Benefits of Using a Metal Fabric

Metal fabrics have many advantages. One is being resistant to high temperatures and inclement weather. If you are building something that needs to be exposed to the outdoors on a constant basis, then you need to be certain the material can withstand all kinds of weather extremes.

Along these same lines, metal fabrics are known for their strength. In most cases, stainless steel metal fabrics are the most reliable. While bronze, aluminum, and galvanized steel are sometimes used in similar applications, stainless steel can withstand heavy use, high impacts, corrosion, and temperature extremes.

Metal fabrics are also versatile. Here at GKD, we offer a wide range of styles certain to meet all kinds of needs and preferences. From Helix to Omega to Escale and more, we are sure you will find something ideally suited for your architectural or engineering project.

You Can Rely On GKD Metal Fabrics

For nearly 100 years, GKD Metal Fabrics has worked hard to provide metal fabrics that meet the highest technical, aesthetic, and environmental standards. GKD’s metal fabric products are already used in recognizable buildings all over the world. From ceilings, walls, and column coverings to intricate facades with etched graphics, GKD Metal Fabrics has extensive experience in all facets of architectural metal mesh design and installation. Our innovative manufacturing heritage has benefited customers time and again when they need the absolute best woven mesh solutions for a new project.

In addition to classic metal fabrics, we also believe in innovation. That's why we offer advanced media mesh for transparent visual displays, solar mesh for green building projects, and other unique solutions to modern architectural problems. If you aren't sure what type of metal fabric is best for your project, contact the GKD team today for a technical consultation. Together, we can find a fabric perfectly suited to your needs.

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Metl-Span provides 72-foot-long panels for award-winning cold-storage facility in New Jersey

April 14, 2022

FreezPak Logistics opened its fifth state-of-the-art freezer warehouse facility in New Jersey, using insulated metal panels (IMPs) up to 72 feet long from Metl-Span.

The 140,000-square-foot facility is located on the border of two communities, Elizabeth and Newark, and was recognized as the 2021 Industrial Deal of the Year Award by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), during its annual Commercial Real Estate Awards. The warehouse includes 18 docks, 46 car-parking stalls and 25 trailer-parking stalls.

“FreezPak Logistics was looking to build a public refrigerated warehouse for frozen food storage,” says Kate Lyle, Director, Industrial Cold and Food at Ware Malcomb of Irvine, Calif. “A priority of the design was to maximize their building clear height, their ‘cube’ for the site. The overall building height was limited to 75 feet and the design team worked diligently with Industrial Building Group and the developer to design a 66-foot clear freezer.”

Part of the design goal was to minimize the stack joints for the IMPs around the freezer envelope. Lyle says Metl-Span was able to provide IMP lengths that, in spite of the building’s height, required no stack joints on two sides of the freezer. Cold Storage and Industrial Building Group of Montgomery, Texas, also worked with Metl-Span to develop details that covered the stack joint location with the blue accent stripe around the building and allowed for 32 faux windows to be attached to the outside of the metal panels. These faux windows were required by local jurisdictions.

“There were many jurisdictions in the U.S. that would not allow the building of a 75-foot-tall freezer,” Lyle says. “The FreezPak Logistics project received the support of two jurisdictions: Elizabeth, N.J., where the project is located, and Newark, N.J., which is across the street from the site. The project brings much needed cold storage to support local businesses like grocery stores."

“We went with Metl-Span because they could get us the 72-foot panels we needed,” says Wade Hudson, project manager for Cold Storage Construction. “Also, having the panels delivered from their (Prince George) Virginia plant was the most economical.”

Hudson says his company routinely constructs buildings of this size and was onsite for this project for four months. Cold Storage Construction installed more than 100,000 square feet of 6-inch thick CF42 insulated metal panels … half of that square footage was made up of panels 72 feet long. The exterior 24-gauge panels were coated with PVDF Almond. The remaining 20,000 square feet of interior partition metal panels were 4-inch thick CF45 panels in SMP White. All interior panels were 26-gauge in SMP White.

The 6-inch-thick panels provide an R-value of R-48.

One unique feature of this warehouse is that half of the building offers an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) and half is a standard vendor neutral archive (VNA) system.

“This is the 17th freezer building I’ve built and we’ve used Metl-Span on all but one of them and that one has some significant long-term performance issues,” says Karl Dickman, Owner/Partner of Industrial Building Group, LLC. “We’ve had a lot of manufacturers pursuing us to use their IMP Products, but we simply refuse to make any adjustment due to the long-term performance of the Metl-Span products.”

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Why do you need a professional to measure RF?

April 14, 2022

Look around your office and you’ll likely easily spot several devices that emit RF, or radio frequencies. In fact, the likes of phones, computers, wireless networks, microphones, modems and more are all devices that emit RF. And being that networks can be hacked by wrongdoers intercepting RF signals, more businesses are taking such matters seriously and taking the proper measures to guard against this type of intrusion.

However, before the likes of RF window films, foils, paints and other signal-deadening solutions are put in place, it’s always a good idea to measure RF so you can see just how much of an issue it is — and what types of solutions would be best suited to prevent a breach.

How RF is Measured

So just how is RF measured? Typically, this is carried out using an RF signal analyzer. However, it’s important to note that the analyzer will only measure RF at the point of where it is located, so you’ll get different readings as you move around an office our outside of a complex.

There are a few types of signal analyzers that are often used, the most common being 1-axis models and 3-axis models. The former is generally a bit trickier to use, as these single-axis analyzers only contain one sensor and must be rotated properly to get a correct reading. 3-axis models are generally easier to use, as they’re typically always appropriately aligned and don’t need to be rotated. These signal analyzers are typically also much more expensive than single-axis models.

Measuring RF: Leave it to the Pros

While you can purchase a wide range of RF signal analyzers to assess whether or not RF is an issue in your office, determining this is always best left to the pros. Like we said above, there are different types of RF analyzers, and there are different means of how each delivers readouts. Those who don’t know what they’re doing may not be getting the accurate readout that they need to properly determine whether there’s a problem or not. False alarms, identifying the incorrect source of RF emissions, and ultimately spending money on solutions that aren’t necessary or not best suited for your office.

Furthermore, professionals can ensure that your RF readings are accurate, the sources are properly identified and that the best solutions are recommended for proper business safeguarding. They’ll perform initial assessments, mock-ups and proof-of-concept modifications, and they’ll always conduct a follow-up test to ensure that the solutions that were suggested or were implemented are working appropriately.

Yes, it’s possible to purchase an RF signal analyzer on Amazon or at the store, but do you really know how to use it? Are you really confident that the readings you’re getting are accurate? Are you really about to spend money to resolve a problem that you’re not even certain exists? Leave RF readings to the professionals, you’ll likely save time, money and hassle in the long run. Bottom line: Rely on the pros for RF measurement!

Let the pros at Signals Defense help you measure your RF but more importantly, make your office safer for your data and information.

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Realize your vision with Nudura ICFs

April 12, 2022

Whether you’re an architect, developer, or homeowner, Nudura is here to help you realize your dream structure with our innovative, sustainable, and superior ICF system that will also stand the test of time.
Watch Now

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What's TRENDing?

April 12, 2022

Celebrating #EarthDay2022

Building materials and construction account for as much as 11% of annual global CO2 emissions. With approximately 2/3 of today’s buildings that will still exist in 2040 and new building construction expected to double by 2060, re-rethinking how we produce and use building materials will be critical in meeting global climate goals.
TREND is proud to do its part by offering the architectural community products that are manufactured using a high percentage of recycled raw materials, therefore contributing to reducing embodied carbon which is expected to account for nearly 50% of the overall carbon footprint of new construction by 2050. Building a more sustainable future does not mean compromising on quality or style – and our products prove it!

Watch our video to find out more about how TREND combines excellence in design with sustainability.

Introducing our new Hexagonal, Rectangular & Square mosaic collections

TREND's new Hexagonal, Rectangular and Square mosaic formats offer original design solutions for both vertical and horizontal surfaces that create surprising visual effects in any environment. Download the catalog.

Orsoni Venezia 1888 brings mosaic art to Homo Faber and Biennale Arte 2022

Our sister company Orsoni Venezia 1888 is bringing the art of mosaic to Homo Faber 2022, the premier international event dedicated to celebrating contemporary craftsmanship promoted by the Michelangelo Foundation live in Venice, Italy from 10 April to 1 May 2022. Book your tickets.

Orsoni is pleased to be taking part in the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, which will open to the public from April 23 to November 27, 2022. Discover more about Biennale Arte 2022.

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REGUPOL Course Tops AEC Daily Ranking of Most Popular Courses for Fourth Consecutive Month

April 11, 2022

REGUPOL America, LLC. is proud to announce its continuing education course “Improving Environments with Sustainable Recycled Rubber Flooring” has earned recognition from AEC Daily in their list of top performing courses for four consecutive months.

This course examines rubber flooring through the environmental and social lens of sustainability. Key attributes of rubber flooring are discussed along with the ample opportunities for application and contribution to improving building occupant health and safety. The course concludes with several case studies to help illustrate how recycled rubber flooring has been able to enhance the learning and working conditions in numerous settings.

“Rubber has been recycled from more than a century and used in recycled rubber flooring for over 65 years,” said Bill Neifert, Commercial Sales Manager for REGUPOL. “Our course helps broaden the mind, boosts imagination, and shifts your perspective of rubber flooring forever.”

The Revolution collection blends shredded and cleaned post-consumer tire rubber, vibrant marbleized chips, and a low VOC binder to create a smooth, sleek resilient floor in 4mm thickness and 46 standard color combinations. It’s available in looks inspired by refined marbles and precious stones to eye-catching, colorful textiles. Revolution is suitable in corporate, education, health care, retail, and hospitality settings. It offers remarkable durability, low maintenance, design flexibility, ergonomics, and excellent sound absorbing qualities. In addition to being GreenCircle certified, Revolution can help a building earn points in several LEED certification categories.

AEC Daily is one of the largest providers of continuing education to the construction, architectural, interior design, and engineering communities. Complimentary courses are available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, with automated credit reporting to numerous organizations across the United States and Canada. Architects, engineers, interior designers, and other construction professionals rely on AEC Daily to maintain their accreditation and keep them up-to-date with new products and technologies.

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Metl-Span IMPs a part of large storage building renovation

March 31, 2022

Swire Coca-Cola needed more storage space and came up with the idea of renovating an aging facility on the grounds in Denver, Colo. The trick was converting this old building, with abandoned rail access and no efficient loading dock access, into a modern-looking facility at a reasonable cost.

Insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span, installed as roofing and a composite wall system, helped complete the successful project.

“The owner of Swire Coca-Cola wanted to operate in an existing steel structure that was constructed on their current site in the early 1940s,” says Bryant Mazzetti, AIA, of Powers Brown Architecture in Denver. “The original building was used as a steel manufacturing plant and had been under-utilized for a few decades before our renovation. The new facility would house Dasani Water storage for Coca-Cola, but the original building was in serious disrepair.”

Big-D Construction of Ogden, Utah, was the design-builder for Swire Coca-Cola. The 31,000 square feet of roofing is Metl-Span’s CFR 42 panels with a three-inch urethane core. The exterior 24-gauge panels are Galvalume and the interior 26-gauge panels are Igloo White. The 24,000 square feet of wall panels are Mesa CF 42 panels with a three-inch Urethane core. The 26-gauge exterior panels are Almond and the 26-gauge interior panels were Igloo White.

“The toughest challenge was stripping the existing facility down to the frame of the old building, which wasn’t necessarily as plumb as we had hoped for,” says Forrest McNabb, CPE, president of Big-D Construction. “The IMP subcontractor, Big Johnson, working with our partner Landmark Builders, the general contractor, did an amazing job; provided a clean, safe and beautiful finished product.

“Everyone was extremely pleased as it took an old worn-down, leaky, cold and dark building and changed it into a brilliant white, warm and bright building. The before and after pictures are truly a picture of what an incredible makeover took place.”

Mazzetti says the use of IMPs helped reduce cost, as opposed to other roofing and wall products, and delivered less labor cost.

“IMPs were selected to give the building the best overall thermal and aesthetic performance without requiring major modifications to the 1940s structure,” Mazzetti says. "The IMP also gave the interior of the building a nice, durable finish. Thermal value of the panels with the durable interior and exterior surfaces allowed us to minimize the wall assembly thickness and reduce the trades that would need to be coordinated on site. The textured exterior helped the City of Denver get comfortable with the massive look of the building from the right of way.”

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GKD Metal Fabrics Unveils One of Its Largest New Product Launches

March 30, 2022

Unveiling an array of new patterns and an expansion of enhanced collections, GKD Metal Fabrics continues to set the pace as the most advanced technical weaving mill for metal fabrics in the United States and beyond.
One of the largest new product launches in the company’s recent history, the new weave patterns will provide architects and designers with countless options for interior and exterior product specification needs, from cost-effective aluminum and specialty interiors to facades and sunshading.

The collections and patterns are:

The Bronze Collection
GKD Metal Fabrics now offers its complete portfolio of rigid/PC metal fabric in a showstopping bronze. This material offers similar technical properties as stainless steel but creates a completely different aesthetic for commercial exteriors and interiors. With an option for clear coating, specifiers can choose to keep the warm bronze tone for years to come or allow the panels to achieve the natural patina indicative of the material.

Helix 36 Aluminum
Helix, a popular weave known for its dimensional appeal, flexibility and variance in open area, is now available in a more cost-effective aluminum material. This lighter-weight material is better suited for interior applications such as ceilings, partitions and wallcoverings where weight is a specification factor. Because aluminum is a lower price point than stainless steel, designers can ensure a tighter spec that meets both weight, cost and maintenance requirements. The aluminum is anodized so that the material offers high performance characteristics such as low-maintenance and durability with light commercial traffic.

Ellipse 52 Aluminum
Ellipse, a rigid weave pattern with tighter dimension and finer detail, is now available in a more cost-effective aluminum material. This lighter-weight material is better suited for framed interior applications such as railing infill, elevator cabs and other specialty interiors that may not require the extreme strength of steel. However, the aluminum is anodized so that the material offers high performance characteristics such as low-maintenance and durability from light commercial traffic. Because aluminum is a lower price point than stainless steel, designers can ensure a tighter spec that meets both weight, cost and maintenance requirements.

Choptank Choptank
Named for the Choptank River which surrounds GKD Metal Fabric’s headquarters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, this new rigid metal fabric design offers a fresh take on a dimensional square weave pattern but with a smaller open area. When used an a sunshading material, this smaller open area controls the amount of natural light that can reach the interior of the building and therefore positively impact energy costs and building occupant comfort by limiting solar heat gain. GKD manufactures this and other high-quality woven metal fabrics using AISI Type 316 stainless steel.

Originally designed as a custom weave for a multi-family project outside Washington DC, the new pattern is now part of GKD’s standard product offering. It provides visual variation through a diagonal repeating section of the weft wire accomplished by skipping a more closely positioned vertical wire. The resulting effect is that of a ripple across the surface of water. This rigid metal fabric is manufactured by GKD using AISI Type 316 stainless steel.

Tigris TC-3
This new pattern was originally developed as a custom weave for Brookline Place, a redevelopment project consisting of outdoor public spaces, medical offices and mixed retail. This enhanced stainless-steel product is a unique take on the original Tigris metal fabric which features a triplet of warp wires spaced along a straight weft. With Tigris TC-3, the same triplet is scaled up and woven along a crimped horizontal wire for added texture and visual interest. GKD manufactures this and other high-quality woven metal fabrics using AISI Type 316 stainless steel.

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U-Line Corporation and Marvel Refrigeration Introduce BrightShield™ Antimicrobial Lighting to a Collection of Refrigerators and Ice Machines

March 28, 2022

Premium refrigeration brands, U-Line and Marvel, today join a growing new segment of product innovations for homes and business with the introduction of BrightShield™ antimicrobial lighting inside select refrigeration and ice making products. These are the first of their kind to feature around-the-clock protection on any surfaces the light touches from viruses, bacteria, mold, and mildew.

In 2021, The Middleby Corporation became an investor and licensing partner with Vyv, Inc., to bring antimicrobial/antiviral innovations to the home appliance and foodservice industries through its broad product portfolio. U-Line and Marvel lead the way for Middleby with today’s product introductions.

The upgraded interior lighting using Vyv’s patented UV-free antimicrobial lighting mitigates the risk of microbial contamination that can be introduced inside these ice and refrigeration environments from outside sources. Vyv lights create environments that are inhospitable to the growth of bacteria, viruses, mold, mildew, fungi, and yeast.

“As premium brands of ice and refrigeration products, this is a perfect place for us to focus on creating a more hygienic home environment,” said Andy Doberstein, President of U-Line and Marvel. “Harnessing this energy efficient and environmentally sustainable approach to reducing germs continues our tradition of leading the way through innovation and setting the highest standards for our customers.”

“The world’s many health challenges have always required innovative thinking and approaches,” said Colleen Costello, CEO, Vyv, Inc. “We are delighted to see Middleby, the global leader in home appliance and foodservice equipment, and their teams at U-Line and Marvel, join the innovative family of antimicrobial-enabled household products with a shared focus on promoting better health and well-being for us all.”

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What is a Faraday Cage?

March 22, 2022

Just think of it as a force field of sorts, except instead of guarding yourself physical attacks from an enemy or potential threat, you’re protecting the Radio Frequency (RF) signals that much of your electronics create from reaching the outside world.

That’s the basic premise behind a Faraday cage, which is traditionally defined as a special cell-like area or room that is surrounded by or protected with signal-blocking material. English scientist Michael Faraday first proposed this concept in the mid-1800's, and even today Faraday cages are utilized for a few select purposes. One, they can house electronic equipment in an effort to prevent signals from interfering with the signals of other nearby electronic equipment. Or, as is the case with traditional office environments, they can be used to prevent RF signals emanating from the likes of computers, audio recorders, Internet routers, phones and more from exiting a particular facility. When RF signals exit a facility, they may be prone to hacking and data theft from outside threats, hence the value in a Faraday shield or some version of this.

In addition to preventing RF signals from exiting the environment, Faraday cages also prevent external signals from entering.

A Modern Day Faraday Cage

We get how it might seem a little odd to have a small “cage” in your office where all of your electronic equipment is stored. Today, many commercial and government firms, data centers, and urban offices take the Faraday cage concept to their own customized level, to meet their specific needs. They may use the likes of RF-blocking window films, foils, fabrics, paints and more to prevent these signals from reaching beyond a facility where any hacker could be waiting to intercept them, or just to reduce external interference from neighboring facilities and equipment. By taking the appropriate measures to safeguard an entire office, you reduce potential threats, increase your technical security posture, and improve your technological efficiency and capabilities with your space.

How to Create a Total Office Faraday Cage

Looking to improve your office security and implement a version of a Faraday cage to your building? Signals Defense offers many of the technologies to allow your business to do it. Here’s a look at some of the technologies to help prevent RF and IR signal theft:
• RF window films: These install easily and are barely noticeable following installation. What’s more is they prevent signal release through one of the most vulnerable areas of a building — the windows.
• Special foils, fabrics and paints: These install easily on the outside facing walls of a building to provide an extra layer of protection.

Is the threat of an external hacking from electronic espionage a concern for your company? Is it even on your radar? If you have confidential or important data that could cripple your business if it fell into the wrong hands, then it should be a priority to protect it.

For more information on RF projects and protecting your office, contact us for a no obligation conversation.

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3 Ways Using Metal Fabrics Can Be Eco-Friendly

March 15, 2022

When it comes to choosing fabrics and materials for a building, sustainability is something more and more people are focusing on. While there are plenty of material options, metal fabrics are some of the most eco-friendly options available. If you're wondering how using metal fabrics can be more eco-friendly, keep on reading.

Maintains temperature balance: In big buildings, it can often be difficult to maintain temperature balance. But when metal fabrics like architectural mesh are used, it's less challenging to keep areas within a building a consistent, comfortable temperature. This is because the architectural mesh can help with the ventilation and filtration of hot and cold air. With the right products, cooled or heated air can flow freely between designated areas, keeping the area a comfortable temperature. This helps reduce the amount of energy the HVAC system has to use to maintain a temperature.

Made from recycled materials: Today's architectural metals are some of the most sustainable materials on the market. Did you know that the stainless steel used to make metal fabrics is made from more than 60% post-industrial and post-consumer recycled material? By using recycled materials like steel, metal fabrics save energy and construction costs by avoiding having to make new materials. This is a super easy way to be more sustainable because the material is already eco-friendly.

Manages shade and daylight: With material options like metal mesh walls, building owners can better control how much shade or daylight is let into the building. In areas where shade is needed, these walls can keep both sunlight and unnatural light sources outside of the building. And in areas where daylight is desired, the light can easily enter through the mesh walls. All in all, these materials give more control over light from outside and can help reduce energy use by eliminating the need for artificial lighting in certain areas.

As you can see, metal fabrics have a lot of sustainable properties. From reducing the need for extra energy use to being sustainable materials from the start, choosing metal fabrics is a great way to be more eco-friendly. If you're interested in metal fabric, contact GKD Metal Fabrics for more information.

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Heart of Gold: GKD gold metal mesh represents an internet company’s noble mission of a connected culture

March 11, 2022

In Chinese culture, gold signifies prosperity, health and wisdom—the signs that the right path has been chosen. That couldn’t be more evident than at Tencent, a Chinese internet giant that has wrapped the interiors of its world headquarters in a golden shroud of GKD metal mesh.

The atrium’s stunning backdrop has a primary function to provide safety from the open floors of its two towers. This golden safety net of metal mesh also symbolizes a workforce networked with a world in flow. Its rigid framework offers safety and security while simultaneously providing visual continuity between floors.

A Culture Link, Health Link and Knowledge Link serve as gathering spaces—modeled after a US campus quad—that connect its employees to one another and to these three fundamental areas that offer novel experiences and learning opportunities that enhance quality of life. Giving employees access to an abundance of health, knowledge and culture in a communal setting also encourages the social aspect of behavioral change. This increases the likelihood of spontaneous mingling of organizational knowledge between employees from outside of conventional organizational charts, that may result in thought innovation.

The golden hue of GKD’s metal mesh compliments the wood and ceiling installation in the atrium and reflects off of the cool gray marble flooring and glass walls of the lobby. GKD devised an exacting match of the soft golden tone specified by the customer. This meticulous engineering in the fabrication and installation of the golden-anodized aluminum wires and tubes ensures a consistent appearance of texture and tone throughout the entire pattern—even under several different lighting conditions. This golden light cascades into the building’s main floor and lobby, and creates a warm glow of intimacy, setting the stage for socialization or a mindful stroll through the atrium, despite the large volume of space.

In addition to safety, connection and warmth, the metal mesh installation is a conduit to the noble intention of passive energy practices. The Tencent two-tower design reduces carbon emissions and energy consumption by 40% compared to conventional skyscrapers, as the interior metal mesh allows the towers to take advantage of natural ventilation via operable windows and keeps outdoor air exchanges ventilating the interiors.

By incorporating fresh air, a warm atmosphere and dedicated spaces for learning and discovery, Tencent’s headquarters fosters a workplace culture of putting people and innovation at the heart of its business.

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Keller strengthens engineering capabilities

March 08, 2022

Keller strengthens engineering capabilities with recent hires in our Northeast and Southeast regions.

Paul Deterling, PE, joined Keller as Chief Engineer in our Northeast region. For the past 25 years, Paul has worked as a principal design engineer at his own company Earthwork Engineering, Inc. During that time, Paul designed many intricate Keller projects involving temporary and permanent excavation support systems, structural underpinning, micropiles, and jet grouting. Paul received his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Tufts University and his master’s degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Paul can be contacted by email or by phone at 401-334-2565.

Steve Dapp, Ph.D., PE, D.GE., joined Keller as a Senior Engineer in our Southeast and Central regions. Steve has 26 years of experience in the design, construction, and testing of deep foundations. Previously, he worked at Dan Brown and Associates, Applied Foundation Testing, Loadtest Inc., and Coastal Caisson/Bauer. Steve received his doctorate in civil engineering at the University of South Florida with a focus on the base grouting of drilled shafts. He also received a master’s in civil engineering and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Utah State University. Steve can be contacted by email or by phone at 615-517-0242.

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STATEMENT PIECE: GKD mesh wraps floating staircase in dynamic visual warmth

March 03, 2022

UGI Utilities, Inc. serves more than 700,000 customers in 45 counties across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and one county in Maryland. Its recently completed headquarters, a 93,000-square-foot facility located on a 33-acre tract, is designed to house approximately 350 employees. The site includes significant acreage set-aside as greenspace and includes nearly a mile of walking trails.

“Construction of our new headquarters building marks a significant milestone in the history of UGI Utilities,” said Robert F. Beard, UGI CEO. “The location and design of our new building will enhance and expand our employees’ efforts aimed at providing excellent service and the safe and reliable delivery of energy to our customers and the to the many communities located within our service territory."

The design team at Bernardon, led by Neil Liebman, AIA; Tim Kiser, AIA; Robin Tait, AIA; and Rebecca Blake Cardamone, IIDA; were charged with the interior design, including the building’s main lobby, a dramatic, two-story space the design team dubbed “Central Park.” As the building’s roundabout, it is the epicenter of the building. “It’s a knuckle that connects two wings of the large facility,” explains Cardamone.

The central meeting place serves an active design cue that showcases a two-story floating staircase which abuts a series of conference rooms, café seating, and an outdoor garden area. The interior designers sought to define the space with a backdrop to activate the central staircase.

When a multi-line product rep happened to stop by the firm with a decorative mesh, the designers discovered an attractive GKD mesh that was also robust enough to stand up to the scope of the job. “The material was perfect,” said Cardamone. It was subtle, the correct scale, and light reflective adding dynamic visual interest while adding the warmth the client desired. “It was just on the edge of the client’s comfort zone,” said Tait. “The copper-colored mesh straddled that line between modern and warm elegance.”

Joseph Swope, manager of media relations and special projects at UGI agrees that the feature makes a statement. “That beautiful staircase is the first thing you see when you walk into the building. It creates a very positive first impression.” It serves as a backdrop for company photographs, video presentations, and the centerpiece of holiday gatherings.

Because the two-story staircase required structural reinforcements and had to meet safety codes, the team involved the structural engineer and GKD’s Project Engineer, Noel Justice. Engineers edited down the structural steel to the slightest possible framework so as not to detract from the mesh aesthetic. Justice then worked to skin the skeletal structure with GKD OMEGA 1520, a stainless steel product coated in Venetian Gold.

With the radius of the circle and the stair provided by the architect, the metal mesh panels and framework had to fit precisely and follow the curvature of the opening between the stair and the wall. The mesh backdrop also had to look unified with the staircase so penetrations for the handrail attachments were planned to go through the metal mesh. It was a precision job with tight tolerances—about 1/16th in., or 2-3 millimeters.

A computer-generated model specified the location of clevises, a specific hanging method with a threaded hardware device that clamps onto the panel and pulls it tight. This allows installers to make adjustments at the top and bottom of each curved panel for a smooth transition without wrinkles or folds. A flat, stainless-steel bar and five intermediate attachments mid-way up the wall also help to maintain the radius. “We make allowances for a curve here in the factory. When you turn a 2D product into 3D, you have to think ahead,” recounts Justice. “The key to this project execution was sharing digital information.”

The Venetian gold of the dynamic mesh shimmers in the light of the large sculptural chandelier and cove lighting. It also compliments and contrasts the earthy stone and wood finishes found throughout the rest of the interiors. The final product is a dramatic visual statement with a modern flourish to the otherwise traditional building design. “It is a memorable part of the headquarters and captures the entire overarching design intent in one gesture,” lauds Swope.

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Safe and Sound: Creating Healthy Mid-door Environments

February 23, 2022

According to the World Health Organization, noise pollution is the number two killer of humans, after air pollution. The presence of midscapes – expanded outdoor spaces – offer the benefit of an acoustic buffer zone that is a safe and healthy setting for productivity. Additionally, extending the exterior footprint of a building adds benefits such as biophilia and solar protection.

Due to its basic structure and depending on its open area, wire mesh can provide exceptionally efficient sound absorption. To mitigate airborne noise pollution from nearby highways and transportation in urban settings, a metal mesh wallcovering or partition can act as a sound absorption tool and acoustic buffer to help block exterior noise pollution. Stainless steel metal fabric is particularly suited for outdoor use with its low maintenance and high-performance technical benefits. GKD provides design, fabrication and installation for all types of “middoor” architectural features such as green facades, trellises and semi-permeable walls.

Considering current health and safety precautions encouraging socially distanced, outdoor activities, the need to provide sunshading, overhangs, or other ceiling structures has become a necessity. Metal mesh can be used to create custom-designed solar protection in a variety of finishes and metal alloys. When used around the perimeter of parks, landscapes and expanded outdoor areas, metal mesh maintains a subtle, semi-permeable and secure boundary while also blending unobtrusively into natural settings.

Extending the exterior footprint brings beauty and biophilia to the built environment and benefits collective health outcomes. Using woven metal mesh to create these midscapes provides an economical, flexible design solution that results in multiple benefits: enhanced indoor air quality, lowered operating costs, natural light and sunshading, higher cognitive performance and healing, reduced stress and acoustic comfort.

GKD metal mesh is a remarkably versatile construction material that provides an integrated solution to expand, define and protect outdoor public spaces while fostering healthy environments and community resilience in any extreme climate, health epidemic, or cultural landscape while delivering attractive aesthetics.

This series focuses on evolving sustainable technology and how GKD Group is working with our customers to solve sustainability challenges around the world. Learn more about our vision for a healthier, cleaner and safer world.

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Keller expands local presence in Quebec

February 22, 2022

Keller announces a new office in Montreal, Quebec, following an agreement to acquire the local TreviGroup assets. The acquisition furthers Keller’s commitment to the Quebec and Eastern Canadian markets supporting public, commercial, and industrial clients.

The office continues to operate under the existing management structure and brings a knowledgeable team experienced with soldier pile and lagging, tieback anchors, bored piling, micropiles, and slurry walls. Combining their local expertise with Keller’s global strength, they now offer a complete range of geotechnical solutions.

Area Manager Ilio Persico is the primary contact for area clients and is an accomplished civil engineer with nearly 20 years of experience in the industry. “I am most excited to offer the wide array of Keller techniques and to champion them in the region,” he states. He can be contacted via phone at 450-231-0104 or by email.
The office is located at 1900A, Rue Cunard, Laval, QC H7S 2B2.

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DuPont’s New Quality Assurance Services Help Reduce America’s $31 billion Construction Rework Problem

February 18, 2022

DuPont Building Knowledge Center (BKC) Quality Assurance Program helps mitigate costly construction issues before they happen; industry-exclusive 15-year warranty builds confidence.

DuPont (NYSE: DD) today introduced the DuPont Building Knowledge Center (BKC) Quality Assurance Program created to raise the bar in manufacturer quality control and help further reduce the $31 billion waste caused by installation rework in the US. The BKC is a team of trusted DuPont advisors for installation guidance, training, field support and inquiries related to the DuPont building envelope portfolio.

The new BKC Quality Assurance Program features expanded support and design review services for general contractors. Upon passing the technical review, customers may be eligible for an exclusive 15-Year Product and Labor Limited Warranty for select DuPont™ Tyvek® Commercial Wrap and DuPont Self-Adhered Flashing Products.

“With DuPont’s new BKC Quality Assurance Program, we benefit even more from the added services, minimizing our potential for risks and mitigating future potential issues,” said Jim Driggs, President, Quality Assurance, Trammel Crow Residential. “The 15-year extended warranty creates increased value with pre-project equity partner’s perception of quality, and at sale for the new buyer’s long-lasting asset value.”

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Fox Blocks - ICF Manufacturer passes ICC 500 Missile Impact Testing Requirements for Storm Shelters and Safe Rooms with Rebar Design at 16” O.C.

February 18, 2022

Fox Blocks, an Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) manufacturer, announces that their ICF wall assembly passed the ICC 500 required Missile Impact test used to determine compliance of storm shelter and safe room design and construction from flying debris in severe high-wind weather events.

This distinction allows owners, designers, structural engineers, and contractors who are currently designing and building these structures to reference Fox Blocks testing with an efficient rebar layout for superior constructability and schedule and cost savings. All the while enjoying peace of mind knowing that their builds will be FEMA P-361 and ICC 500-2020 compliant.

Safe rooms are defined as an interior room, a space within a building, or an entirely separate building, designed and constructed to provide near-absolute life-safety protection for its occupants from extreme wind events such as tornados and hurricanes. Safe rooms are designed and constructed to meet or exceed the criteria in ICC 500, for grants or funding per FEMA PC-361.

Storm shelters are structures that provide life-safety protection from extreme-wind events, as designed, and constructed to meet ICC 500 criteria, but do not have to meet the criteria of FEMA P-361 for funding. All safe rooms are storm shelters, but not all storm shelters are safe rooms.

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Photo Finish: Dynamic Graphics for TrackTown USA

February 16, 2022

Marking the centennial celebration of the University of Oregon’s legendary Hayward Field, the stadium was scheduled to become a completely reimagined venue for the Track and Field 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials—an event taking place on the world stage. The University, known as TrackTown USA for its longtime dedication to the sport, embraced the opportunity to create a state-of-the-art track and field facility designed and built entirely around the elite athletes and dedicated fans it would house.

The design team at Seattle-based SRG Partnership was charged with bringing this stadium to the forefront of athletic facilities while also honoring its rich past which elevated the sport nationwide and brought continued notoriety to the University.

Down the Finish Line
Due to the nature of track and field races, the hot ticket is as close to the Finish Line as possible. Knowing this, the design team at SRG Partnership planned a stadium that would be able to accommodate the largest amount of people at the most desirable sightline. This meant that the classic, colosseum shape of the stadium would be stretched to rise up at the point of the finish line, making an asymmetrical form.

Light and Fast
Figueroa says typically what you see under the bowl of a stadium is all its inner workings, such as plumbing, hydraulics and HVAC services. But SRG’s design team wanted to hide all the unsightly mechanical that can usually be seen when strolling a stadium concourse. The design would need to obscure, but also comply with requirements for essential ventilation requirements.

Precision Wiggle Room
Regional Sales Director of the Architectural Division, Shawn Crismond led the team into the project. He determined that the main technical and artistic challenges would lie in feats that had never yet been achieved using metal mesh before. Known for its technical ability with woven metal mesh material as a modern architectural building solution, the GKD team was no stranger to specifications that push the material’s aesthetics and technical precision.

Etched to Perfection
With the mock-up fully optimized, Project Engineer Roger Kahl was able to render each of the 276 unique T316L stainless steel mesh panels. The next challenge however, presented in the custom-etched graphics that portrayed the history of the stadium. The art depicting handwritten notes of legendary track and field coach Bill Bowerman would need to be designed and applied in such a way that as panels were curving and wrapping around the steel substructure, the designs would match-up within the same tight tolerances at the seams. The art had to be designed flat, but looking at the panels wrapped versus flattened were two different perspectives entirely, explains Kahl. “Flattened, a design might look like its two feet apart, but once it’s put together, it may only be one inch apart.”

Photo Finish
A tight timeline with a do-or-die deadline meant a design-build schedule at full sprint. This left no room for errors or delays as there wasn’t time for any revisions in the field. Using AutoCAD Navisworks ensured that every single trade’s drawing flowed into one master file that would immediately alert the team of any interferences. Working hand-in-hand in meetings with 15-30 people once and sometimes twice a week, they immediately resolved any conflicting constructions. “It showed how nimble and flexible the team was, and the attitude of teamwork and the collaboration that we all put towards it was tremendous,” recalls Figueroa.

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What is 5G and Why is Everyone Talking About it?

February 15, 2022

If you pay attention to tech news or stay up to date with the latest news and updates from the various cell providers, then you've likely been hearing a lot about 5G lately. In fact, if you were to take a look at your ATT or Verizon mobile phone now, you might see an icon in the upper left-hand corner that says "4G," which stands for the "4th generation mobile network." Noting this, you might think that 5Gwill represent the 5th generation mobile network. And while this is true, 5G is about so much more than just an advanced wireless network. In this post, we'll set the foundation for 5G to give you a basic understanding of how significant it can be.

5G Explained
So just what is 5G? Like we said, it will represent the next generation of the mobile network, but it will elevate this network in ways that we've never seen before. In fact, in addition to interconnecting devices, it's able to control machines and objects too. It represents a significant evolution in the mobile network, offering multi-Gbps speeds during peak times, low latency, a massive amount of capacity and a better overall user experience.

So What's the Big Deal with 5G?
Any next generation of a mobile network is a big deal in and of itself, but when you put into context just how revolutionary the 5th generation is, then it really becomes clear why it's the big buzz in tech. To really see how significant this is, consider the advances from the mobile networks that came before it. 1G, for instance, just offered analog voice. 2G and 3G included digital voice and mobile data, respectively, and 4G was the network that kick started the mobile Internet era. There's yet to be a mobile network generation that's included all of what 5G offers, and it's why there's so much buzz surrounding it.

Some of the big benefits of 5G include:
• Improved network performance, with an expected peak data rate up to 20 Gbps.
• Reduced network costs.
• A 5G economic effect that has the potential to produce more than $10 trillion.
• The ability to allow for complete interconnectivity of smart devices and the Internet of Things (IoT).

However, despite all the good things that the 5G era is expected to usher in, there are some things to be cautious of as well. For instance, there are concerns about the security of 5G networks, notably after a joint research project from a pair of Big Ten universities revealed nearly a dozen potential vulnerabilities.

What Frequency is 5G?
To prepare for 5G, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opened up lots of bandwidth space in the spectrum back in 2016. The European Commission followed suit in 2018. In the United States, 5G is designed to run on three spectrum bands, low-band, mid-band and high-band. Low-band is essentially at or below 1GHz speeds, mid-band the spectrum between 1 and 6 GHz and high-band in the tens of GHzs. It's this high-band spectrum that's going to be the most significant upgrade when it comes to 5G, but it's likely to be awhile before these types of speeds are universal when it comes to the 5th generation mobile network.

The bottom line is that there's a lot to like about the 5G mobile network, and those who have already experienced it certainly know how much of a game changer it has the potential to be. And while a price tag has yet to be established and it's still being very gradually rolled out, you can expect to hear a lot more about 5G as it becomes more mainstream in the coming months and years. Stay tuned for more from Signals Defense in the coming weeks and months on this subject.

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Keller performs interlocking pipe pile project in Canada

February 04, 2022

Keller, the world’s leader in geotechnical solutions, announces the completion of its first interlocking pipe pile system for Alamos Island Gold Mine in Dubreuilville, Ontario.

When the Gold Mine encountered unexpected ground conditions at the proposed site for their tailings dam expansion, a 40m (131 ft) long cut-off wall was required.

Various solutions were considered but with several meters of thick sand and gravel till, cobbles, boulders underlaid by bedrock, and flowing water conditions, interlocking pipe piles were chosen as the preferred solution.

Other benefits of using interlocking pipe piles include rapid construction using a rotary percussive drilling process in a single pass and a watertight seal using mechanical interlocks. Like sheet piles, the interlocking pipe pile system creates a cut-off wall and can be used for excavation support. However, while sheet piles would refuse to drive through rock and boulders, a down-the-hole hammer is used to advance the interlocking pipe pile through these conditions.

Keller crews installed 68 interlocking pipe piles with lengths varying from 5m (16.4 ft) to 11m (36.08 ft) as required. Interlocking pipe piles were 610mm (2 ft) in diameter. Project Manager Anojan Siva states, “We were involved early on in the process to explain the pros and cons of several potential cut-off wall techniques.” He continues, “We were able to discuss and resolve anticipated constructability challenges, technical considerations, and address the time-sensitive requirements for this critical project."

Overall, Ledcor and Alamos Gold, the client, and owner respectively, were extremely pleased with the team’s professionalism and resourcefulness, and execution of the cut-off wall. During construction, Keller provided high caliber experienced personnel working six days a week for six weeks. “We were able to provide a high-quality solution using a pile guide/template to ensure pile location and verticality, and performed a continuous inspection and monitoring of all activities,” Anojan said. The project was completed on schedule and Keller has already planned future projects using interlocking pipe pile technology.

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McElroy Metal’s 138T metal-over-asphalt recover system satisfies needs of union hall.

January 26, 2022

The Bricklayers Local 5 of Valley View, Ohio, knew what it was getting into when purchasing a property with two existing buildings, both with failing asphalt shingle roofs. The union’s first order of business after acquiring the buildings was to solve the roofing problem with a more permanent solution and ultimately selected the McElroy Metal 138T symmetrical standing seam system.

The 138T shingle re-cover system was installed on both buildings, one of which would become the union hall and the other would be occupied by tenants.

“The Bricklayers wanted to install a roofing system that could deliver a low-maintenance, long-lasting solution for decades to come because this newly acquired property would eventually become the permanent location for their union hall,” says Scott Froelich, vice president of TEMA Roofing Services of Youngstown, Ohio. “They knew the benefits of a metal roofing system aligned best with their long-term goals. So, the Bricklayers were able to take advantage of our metal installation capabilities and our cost-saving design-build services in order to address concerns for existing dormers on both buildings.”

In regard to the dormers, TEMA worked with an architect to have designs stamped and certified to meet state building code requirements. In all, 10 dormers were removed from the two buildings, helping to tie in the new metal roofing system with a more sleek, seamless overall appearance.

“While most building owners choose a full tear-off and reroof when replacing an old roofing system, a metal-over-shingle recover system offers numerous benefits, both to the owners and the environment,” Froelich says. “No tear-off or underlayment is needed. No underlayment is a significant cost savings and no tear-off means no waste to the landfill. This system also allows for above-sheathing ventilation (ASV) to reduce heat transfer and assist in energy efficiency.”

TEMA installed 13,500 square feet of roofing on one building and 15,100 square feet on the other. The installation included a special detail: one-piece welded stainless steel at dead valley transitions to ensure a weathertight system. The 16-inch wide 24-gauge 138T panels were delivered from the McElroy Metal plant in Clinton, Ill. The color is Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF Medium Bronze. TEMA also installed the S-5! ColorGard snow retention system with two-inch Medium Bronze strips.

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Metl-Span insulated metal panels work for cart barn renovation

January 25, 2022

Roger Penske, American businessman and entrepreneur known for his accomplishments as a driver and owner in the Indy racing circuit, purchased Indianapolis Motor Speedway in early 2020 and along with it, acquired Brickyard Crossing, an adjacent golf course.

Adjacent isn’t totally accurate as four holes (holes 7-10) are located in the infield of the famed track. Among the changes and improvements Penske oversaw was the renovation of the golf cart storage facility at the golf course. The original metal-framed barn with canvas walls was transformed into an enclosed structure by replacing the canvas with insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span.

“Mr. Penske didn’t like the way the existing structure looked,” says Matt Kirgan, Project Manager with Shiel Sexton Company of Indianapolis. “I’ve been involved with a lot of design/build work, including some with insulated metal panels. This was really a no-brainer to use IMPs with the metal framing that was already in place.”

The cart barn (7,975 square feet) is 145 feet long and 55 feet wide, with a drive-through power washing bay where golf carts are cleaned. The barn also has charging stations for the carts. Metl-Span’s 42-inch-wide CF Light Mesa insulated metal panel was selected to become the walls for the cart barn, including 5,075 square feet of two-inch thick panels in a Leaf Green exterior finish. The cart washing area utilized longer panels for the needed height in the standard Igloo White finish.

“Our guys really paid attention to the details on this one,” Kirgan said. “It was the easiest way to enclose this building. We dropped the canvas and kept everything under cover the whole time. One of the biggest benefits to using IMPs is the quickness of erection. The exterior and interior are finished when you put them up.”

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CENTRIA’s colorful Formawall envelope system creates unique aesthetic for Illinois high school

January 21, 2022

The addition at McHenry West High School in McHenry, Ill., became necessary with the consolidation of 10th through 12th graders at the west campus. The new area would focus on “science, technology and industry offering college and career-oriented pathways.”

CENTRIA’s Formawall Dimension Series building envelope system, in five colors, helped create a unique aesthetic for the addition.

“Two significant initiatives prompted the district’s vision for the addition,” says Jonathon Kuzynowski, project manager at Wold Architects & Engineers, a national leader in educational architecture. “The first was to create diverse opportunities for all students to find their passion and determine their trajectory after high school. Through uncovering the educational synergy between science, math and industry technologies, students can gain exposure to a wide range of potential career pathways. The second initiative was to consolidate 10th through 12th grade levels to a single campus and establish a freshman campus so equitable learning experiences could be offered to all students between the two existing schools.

“We shared the district’s goal of providing a facility that encourages exploration by supporting innovative program offerings and through intentional transparency into learning environments so students can participate in project-based and hands-on activities to pique their curiosities. The goal of the exterior design was to create architecture that embodies innovation and technology, emulating attributes that are core to the district’s curriculum and the learning environments inside.”

Metalworks of Chicago of Arlington Heights, Ill., installed just more than 18,200 square feet of CENTRIA’s Formawall Dimension Series building envelope system as part of the McHenry West High School three-story, 64,000-square-foot renovation and addition.

“There were a lot of modules, in eight different sizes, so it was a little like putting a puzzle together,” says Arthur Jazowski, Project Manager for Metalworks of Chicago. “There were five different colors, but it was shipped to us in such a way that the panels were numbered and stacked by elevation, so it was a lot easier to install panels in the correct order.”

The specified smooth Formawall modules were three inches thick with 22-gauge exterior metal panels and a PVDF Duragard® finish. Modules came in five colors: Chromium Gray (11,885 square feet with 10 horizontal and two vertical modules); Dove Gray (1,280 square feet with eight horizontal and two vertical modules); Midnight Bronze (3,900 square feet with three horizontal and three vertical modules); custom Special Orange (800 square feet with two modules); and custom Forceful Orange (250 square feet with two modules).

Jazowski said the only real obstacle facing the project was getting materials during the COVID-19 pandemic. “It all turned out great, thanks to the combined efforts of the project superintendent and the field manager,” he says. “If there were any questions, they reached out to me, and we got things figured out. I think everyone is happy with how it turned out. We definitely had longer than usual lead times, but that’s just the way things have gone during COVID.”

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Brian Eastman named 'Young Civil Engineer of the Year'

January 20, 2022

Brian Eastman, P.E., has been named the 2020 ASCE Connecticut Section’s ‘Young Civil Engineer of the Year’.

Brian began his career at Keller in 2011 as a field engineer in Rhode Island. He was promoted to project manager in 2015 and area manager in 2019. When the opportunity arose, Brian took the lead in opening Keller’s Connecticut office, where he and local staff oversee all projects and opportunities.

Brian obtained his bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering in 2010 and his master’s degree in Geotechnical Engineering in 2011 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Vice President Kevin Dawson commends Brian on this award stating, “Over the years, I have seen Brian grow into a trusted leader and mentor who goes above and beyond. His determined and generous spirit is admired by both colleagues and clients, making him a valued team member.”

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Two Industry Leaders Join Forces

January 18, 2022

Industrial Opportunity Partners Makes Majority Investment in Applegate Insulation and US Greenfiber

We are excited to announce that Applegate and Greenfiber, in conjunction with Industrial Opportunity Partners, have joined forces as APPLEGATE • GREENFIBER. The combination of these two companies forms the largest, nationally recognized manufacturer and marketer of cellulose insulation in the North American market. The new company will capitalize on a shared marketing platform, complementary product portfolios and shared research and development to satisfy the changing needs of homeowners, contractors, builders, architects, and retailers. This merger will provide an expanded footprint of production facilities and strategically placed sales and field support for more emphasis on best-in-class customer experience and service.

Applegate and Greenfiber will combine their long-standing reputations for innovative product and industry leadership to grow and strengthen the cellulose insulation category, and more importantly, ensure a focus on product innovation that will generate better and additional feature-rich products in the marketplace. Strong, established presence in the cellulose fiber category will provide the most environmentally preferred and safe insulation to families across North America.

In this new partnership, Tom VanAlstine, the current CFO and acting General Manager of Applegate, has taken the role of President & CEO, and Vic Birchmeier, the current CFO of Greenfiber, has taken the role of CFO. Richard Applegate will serve as Interim VP of Sales. Regarding the new company, Tom commented that “Applegate and Greenfiber both have incredible people that consistently demonstrate how much they care about the industry, the customers, the product, and each other. Our businesses complement each other strongly between greater coverage from our larger geographic footprint, the relationships we have built across distribution channels, and a mix of talented individuals. I cannot imagine two companies being a better fit.”

Andy Weller, IOP Operating Principal who will be chairman of APPLEGATE • GREENFIBER, commented that, “IOP is pleased to bring these two exceptional companies together and provide the resources and financial strength to support future growth and success.”

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How to Protect Your Assets During Uncertain Times

January 13, 2022

The year 2020 has so far been a period of unprecedented change in the United States and around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shuttered businesses throughout the country and forced workers to transition from the company office to working out of their homes. And when you throw in the recent civil unrest that the country is currently in the midst of, it makes for some very unnerving times. However, during these uncertain times, it's important to safeguard your company and protect its assets - perhaps now more than ever before. With cyber theft becoming more prevalent to prey on vulnerabilities and the risk of break-ins on unoccupied businesses at an all time high, it's important not to let your guard down when it comes to protecting your assets. Failure to do so could put your building and/or operations even further behind than it may already be.

Here's a closer look at how to do it:

Safety Films

Like we said in the opening, it's important not just to protect your assets from physical threats, but from invisible ones as well. Here's a range of the tools and technologies to help you do it:
Physical threats are always something you must account for, but they're perhaps even more of a threat in these current times when many offices are still left sitting empty as employees work from home. Noting this, it can be tempting for a thief to attempt to access the property and swipe any confidential information that they could use to their advantage. And one of the most common ways thieves gain entry to a property is via the windows. That's where safety window films can come in handy. Containment glass safety films, which are designed to withstand sustained attacks by one or more individuals, can help prevent entry and reduce property damage. Even if the glass is broken, the films work to contain it upon impact, which can inhibit entry.

Ballistic Glass

If you're concerned about armed intruders breaking into your commercial property, ballistic glass is a consideration. Fitting to the name, this type of glass is able to resist high-impact projectiles that it comes into contact with. Its effectiveness will subside with each initial strike, but it can help buy adequate time until help arrives. Not only does ballistic glass have the potential to greatly reduce the severity of property damage, but it can stop armed intruders in their tracks, potentially saving lives as well.

Frost/Decorative Window Films

If an intruder can't see what's inside a building, it's likely that they won't attempt to enter it with physical force. That's the big value of frost window films. These films make a light glazing over the window, which makes it difficult for outsiders to see what's inside. If you don't like the look of frost window films, there are other products available to help minimize exposure into a property from the outside. These include the likes of window treatments (blinds, curtains, etc.), decorative window films and more.

RF Films and Foil

Chances are that by now there's at least a limited number of staff back working in the office. And with workers again accessing systems and doing work over a Wi-Fi network, there's the risk of cyber thieves spying on your network from outside your office, and attempting to intercept RF (radio frequency) signals to gain access to confidential data. In fact, according to data from the FBI, reports of cyber theft have quadrupled since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. The good news is that it's easy to keep RF signals from computers, phones and Wi-Fi networks confined to the building with the installation of RF window films and foils, or even RF-blocking paint.

RF isn't the only invisible threat you need to be aware of - so too is infrared, or IR, emissions. The good news is that many RF window films also effectively work to block IR signals. We encourage you to take IR protection just as seriously as you take RF protection.

Other Safeguards

There are several more safeguards you can protect your property with. One is a CCTV security system that can alert the authorities of a potential break in or any suspicious activity. Other ideas are safes and vaults to store valuables in.
What safeguards does your property currently have in place? With the current state of the country and world, it can pay - literally - to have some extra insurance in place to properly protect your company's assets. Just make sure that you're paying attention to both the physical and invisible threats.

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Ground Freezing for Major NY Tunnel Project

January 05, 2022

Keller is the leading ground-freezing expert in the world – a point recently reinforced on Long Island, New York, where the team successfully used the technique to provide excavation support and groundwater control on two shafts for a major tunneling project.

It’s the largest infrastructure program ever in Suffolk County. A 2.6-mile stretch of outfall pipe pumping millions of gallons of treated wastewater under the Great South Bay is being replaced.

The $187 million construction contract was awarded by County officials in May 2018 to a joint venture of OHL, Posillico, and SELI Overseas. Keller was handed the subcontract for temporary excavation support and groundwater control on the tunnel’s launching and receiving shafts.

The plans for the 125ft-deep, 35ft-internal-diameter launch shaft specified ground freezing, in large part due to the amount of space available at the Bergen Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, where the tunnel starts. “It’s a small site, with room for just one rig, so there isn't really space to carry out a diaphragm wall,” says Keller’s Director of Ground Freezing, Joe Sopko.

Joe has almost 40 years of experience with ground freezing and Keller is one of the few companies in North America to offer it. It’s also the only one to carry out its own drilling for the refrigeration pipes and to run its own in-depth analysis and modeling to ensure the highest levels of quality control.

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Always Have a Plan B

January 04, 2022

One thing I have learned in life is to always have a Plan B. Things don’t always go the way you think they will. The pandemic is a stark reminder. For some, with the onset of COVID-19, it appeared as though the greatest economic boom period in history had come to a complete standstill. And today, with increasing costs of goods and raw materials, supply chain backlogs and the labor shortage, it can still feel like an uphill battle. So, it is imperative to have a Plan B. Not having a Plan B can cause unnecessary stress and anguish that affects both your personal and business relationships. Who wants that?

In the wake of the pandemic, the S-5! team put our heads together, mobilized, got creative and activated a plan to not only keep our business afloat but to thrive and be well-positioned for the future. Our Plan B was to kick off a series of educational webinars and video conferences to stay in front of customers and provide education and training opportunities. We introduced a more user-friendly website with revamped content, up-to-date information and additional resources, including a new resource center, a new training center and a host of new web-based tools to assist our customers. That plan was a true team effort and worked well for us.

Then, the next challenge was upon us. Like all sectors of the economy, our industry has seen raw material price increases. Steel companies had shut down production and inventories became decimated. That’s raw material at its source. Other mills beyond steel, like aluminum, stainless, lumber and consumer goods shut down as well (both domestic and foreign). The result was an increase in demand along with a decrease in supply.

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U-Line Celebrates 60 Years of Innovation

January 04, 2022

U-Line, America's leader in undercounter refrigeration & ice makers, celebrates its 60th year in 2022. From humble beginnings of a single product, U-Line progressed through 3 generations of family leadership before becoming part of the Middleby family of brands in 2014.

Since the introduction of America’s first residential undercounter ice maker to the market in 1962, U-Line has claimed many industry firsts and patents, including the first home undercounter wine refrigerator.

From the beginning, U-Line has maintained and grown our operations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. “60 years is a big milestone for U-Line,” said U-Line President Andy Doberstein. “As many companies have decided to relocate outside the US, we’re proud of our history here, and we’re glad to continue to call Milwaukee home,” added Doberstein.

U-Line has continued to evolve and has recently launched a number of new products, including a line of adjustable Nugget Ice Machines and the 5 Class Collection featuring stainless steel inside and out, strengthening their position in the home appliance industry. Additionally, U-Line recently launched a growing line of products designed specifically for restaurants, bars, and hospitality, branded U-Line Commercial - capitalizing on Middleby’s strength in this sector.

We want to thank our customers, employees, distributors, dealers, suppliers, and the Milwaukee community for supporting us over the years. We look forward to the next 60!

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McElroy Metal adds solar panels to plant in Sunnyvale, Texas

January 03, 2022

Taking advantage of local and federal incentives to help pay for the project, McElroy Metal added solar panels to its manufacturing plant in Sunnyvale, Texas.

McElroy Metal, based in Bossier City, La., has now added solar panels to four of its manufacturing sites. In addition to the most recent Sunnyvale project, McElroy has completed successful solar panel installations in Peachtree, Ga., Adelanto, Calif., and Clinton, Ill.

“Installing solar panels on a standing seam roof like the one produced by McElroy Metal is the most cost-effective way to complete a solar installation,” says Mark Rangel, Executive Vice President of Commercial Business Development and Preconstruction at Spier Commercial & Industrial of New Braunfels, Texas. “We do flat roof installations, ground installations, carport installations, every kind of installation imaginable and installing on a standing seam roof is always the most cost-effective.”

Spier installed a 165kW grid-tied photovoltaic (PV) distributed generation (DG) rooftop system at McElroy Metal’s Sunnyvale plant. The Seraphim Energy panels were installed on a recent addition to the facility, which was topped with McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical standing seam panels. The panels were fastened to the standing seam roof with products from S-5!. The project contained 352 470-watt solar panels, which will produce approximately 261,574 kWh each year. The system is estimated to reduce the facility’s grid energy usage by 46 percent.

“We’re very excited about the addition of solar panels to a fourth manufacturing facility,” says Ken Gieseke, Vice President – Marketing at McElroy Metal. “Once we did the math, calculated the return on the investment, it simply made sense to install the solar panels. McElroy Metal remains dedicated to being an advocate for solar energy.”

Rangel says local and federal incentives paid for approximately 80 percent of the solar installation and that the return on investment will be about five years – for a system that is expected to last 25 years.

“McElroy Metal has been a respected and premier metal roof and component manufacturer for three generations,” says Rob Haddock, founder and CEO of S-5!. “Just like S-5!, they got there by setting the highest standards of quality and integrity for themselves and for their vendors. As both companies are leaders in the metal construction industry, we have had the privilege of working alongside McElroy in many venues, industry trade groups and supply relationships now spanning almost 40 years. Not only are they a valued S-5! customer and distribution partner, but close friends, industry advocates, allies and activists. Two premier brands, McElroy and S-5!, have both raised the bar in making metal roofs better, and together again, with the addition of solar power on their fourth S-5! solarized project. I am sure we both look forward to the next one.”

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Making history with Miami’s Signature Bridge

December 21, 2021

Keller is taking a lead role on the first Florida Department of Transport project for half a century to use auger cast piles. We spoke to the project team to find out how it’s going.

It’s a high-profile project for the Florida Department of Transport (FDOT) and one they’re keen to get absolutely right. But when early tests showed that the FDOT’s preferred foundation method of precast piles wouldn’t have enough load capacity and that drilled shafts would take too long, they needed a new solution.

Experience and expertise
“The FDOT had a very bad experience with auger cast piles about 50 years ago, and ever since they’ve been reluctant to use them again,” explains Andres Baquerizo, Keller Vice-President – Special Projects. “But over the last few years, as part of my role on the National Committee of the Deep Foundation Institute, we’ve been promoting advances in auger cast pile technology and explaining how this is now a technique you can genuinely trust.”

Rigorous testing
After intense negotiation, Keller was awarded the contract and started on site in September 2019. Work began by carrying out a rigorous regime of test piles, with support from affiliate GEO-Instruments and specifically Area Manager Lee Gabriel.

Making progress
Over the next couple of years, Keller will work in phases to install more than 2,000 auger cast piles, with diameters of 30 and 36 inches, up to depths of 134ft.

“We’re one of the few companies capable of installing piles to such depths with full-length reinforcing,” adds Andres. “Traditionally, the FDOT has specified fixed-lead rigs on site because of a belief that you always need pull-down force to drill to the specified depths. The fixed-lead rigs have drilling depth limitations that prevented their use on parts of this project. We were able to prove that our design-build equipment (leads, augers, drill bits, power units, etc) were specifically designed for such purpose and had been successful in thousands of projects.”

Opening up a new market
The other main challenge has been logistics, as Nick explains: “It’s a bridge, so we’re working on a series of small sites along a mile-long stretch in a built-up area. We’re having to move regularly, which requires careful planning. We also start work at around 3 am before the traffic gets too busy, and finish in the early afternoon.”

Because of an existing bridge nearby, Keller is recommending low-headroom piles in some areas. This will allow the team to install foundations without the need to first demolish the original bridge, saving months on the schedule and minimizing traffic disruption.

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McElroy Metal publishes E-book: 18 Ways to Reduce Risk When Specifying Standing Seam Metal Roof Panels

December 16, 2021

McElroy Metal, an industry leader in metal roofing and other building components, has published an E-book for architects, specifiers and metal roofing installers called 18 Ways to Reduce Risk When Specifying Standing Seam Metal Roof Panels.

With its long lifespan, high uplift values, ease of recyclability and ability to reduce energy consumption, metal roofing continues to grow in commercial, residential and institutional markets.

18 Ways to Reduce Risk When Specifying Standing Seam Metal Roof Panels is designed to ensure the best installation. It takes you through all design and spec phase considerations, highlighting risks to avoid so you and your building owners gain a roof that can last for decades.

To download this new E-book from McElroy Metal, visit the E-books library on the website:

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Do Low-E and Tinted Windows Affect WiFi or Other Radio Frequency Energy?

December 08, 2021

Do my windows affect radio frequencies (RF) such as wireless Internet signals and mobile phone service? The answer to this question is a hearty "it depends." While there are numerous physical barriers that may weaken RF signals such as Wi-Fi (i.e., cabinets, kitchen appliances, Bluetooth devices, concrete, masonry, etc.), one assumption that many people incorrectly make is that factory-tinted windows can have a detrimental effect on the strength of such signals too.

With factory-tinted windows, only the color of the glass is altered — and not any high performance or metalized coatings. Low-E coatings on the other hand may impact RF energy. But in most cases, if you want to safeguard a facility from electronic theft and maintain privacy from the outside world, using a purpose-built solution is necessary to ensure the best levels of protection.

In this post, we'll discuss the function windows serve, the difference between Low-E glass and RF-attenuating window films, and why factory-tinted windows don't get the job done and more. Here's a closer look:

The Purpose of Windows
While these may be stating the obvious, let us highlight the primary purposes of windows in a structure:
• Windows provide natural daylight to residential, commercial, and industrial facilities.
• Windows are key as it pertains to aesthetics.
• Natural daylight has been proven to improve human comfort and health.
• They can help maintain indoor comfort (i.e., keeping heat outside during the summer and keeping the cold outside during the winter).
• They help with noise reduction.
• They complement a facility's overall security.

Low-E Glass Explained
So just what is Low-E glass? Low-E stands for "low emissivity." Specifically, this is a type of thin metallic coating that helps reduce heat gain or heat loss by working to reflect infrared and radiant heat that comes into contact with the glass. In use for decades now, these come in a variety for forms from every major glass manufacturer. Essentially, Low-E helps minimize solar heat gain and improve energy efficiency.

Window Coatings and RF
Because of what Low-E coatings do for radiant heat, there may be some potential impact to RF signals. Factory-tinted color conversely, has very little effect on RF in most cases, unless the color is achieved through metallic coatings rather than dyes. However, even Low-E coatings aren't usually significant enough to severely impact a cell or Wi-Fi signal to the point of preventing usability. Know that RF transmission is contingent on many materials and many factors, not just windows. While windows are typically the "hole-in-the-bucket" of sorts for RF, RF will often find its next best path into or out of a building — whether this is the walls, roof, or something else. It’s extremely difficult to completely stop or prohibit all RF from entering or exiting a building without going to more extreme measures. However, it can be mitigated.

RF Window Films
If you’re trying to intentionally reduce RF transmission through glass, consider purpose-built solutions such as RF films. And, while it's true that Low-E coatings may provide some reduction of certain radio frequencies, this isn't what they're designed to do. RF window films on the other hand, are purpose-built for such a role. And if you combine them together, that is installing RF films on top of Low-E glass, it can potentially offer even more protection.

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Parenting in a pandemic

December 08, 2021

Work and parenthood can be a difficult balancing act especially when you throw in a global pandemic that’s seen schools closed and many becoming part-time teachers.

As today is the United Nations’ Global Day of Parents, we caught up with a few of our colleagues to find out how they’re coping with parenting in a pandemic.

Miguel Sanchez Guijarro - HSEQ Manager Iberia-Latam, Keller Cimentaciones (Madrid, Spain)

Before the pandemic I used to travel a lot; now I can spend more time with my family and be part of their daily routine. We’ve tried to shelter the children from the situation as much as possible – we think it’s best for their minds when so much of the information coming from outside is not positive for them. When I’m at home I try to help my kids with their homeschooling, but I’m terrible at it!
Parenting in a pandemic in three words? Intense, familiar, different.

Kevin Wikar - Area Manager, Keller North America (Annapolis, Maryland)

For Keller, we’ve continued to see high demand in public and private infrastructure projects, and it’s been very difficult given the situation to meet that demand. I’ve recently started to travel a little bit further afield. We’re taking every precaution on these visits, but obviously, it’s a concern. But as I say to my friends when they ask me why I’m going out to work, these are essential projects that keep our society functioning.

Lea Cochrane - Marketing Manager, Keller Australia (Victoria)

Homeschooling has been challenging. We’ve adapted our house so we all have a place to sit and work, but we’re in a small area. Plus you have to set up and use a range of online source materials from three different schools while trying to remember who has meetings today, at what time, and using which platform!

Fortunately, I work for an amazing, understanding company with awesome people and I’ve only ever experienced considerate working conditions as a parent.
Parenting in a pandemic in three words? Adaptable, optimistic, creative.

Jessica Church - HR Manager, Keller North America (Baltimore)

My husband and I work full-time, so at the beginning of our week we talk about our schedule, then every day each of us gets half the day in the home office, uninterrupted. The other half is still working, handling calls, emails, etc, plus teaching kindergarten, feeding them countless meals, and taking them out on our street to play.

Pre-Covid I used to say there weren’t enough minutes in the day and I’m missing time with my boys. So despite the challenges, the situation has given me time to be with them during this short childhood period. For a working mom, this is something I never thought I’d get.
Parenting in a pandemic in three words? So. Very. Hard.

Rosalind Leong - PA to Directors, Keller ASEAN (Singapore)

The main challenge has been the endless household chores. With children around, the house keeps getting messy, so we’re constantly cleaning up after them. Also, Singapore has really hot and humid weather, which means multiple changes of clothes daily, so the laundry is really adding up! I’m training them to wash dishes, but they’re often still dirty!

Balancing work and parenting hasn’t been too bad. On the bright side, I feel that we spend more time together. On the days that I can’t finish my work during the day, I just work later at night. The fact I don’t have to rush home after work to pick them up means it’s more flexible.
Parenting in a pandemic in three words? Stay home safe.

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December 07, 2021

Arriscraft, Canada’s leading stone manufacturer using Natural Process technology, is pleased to announce plans to re-brand the former Meridian Canada operations.

Today we are announcing the relaunch of a well-known brand - Canada Brick. The name is bold and familiar, and lays claim to its rich heritage of brick-making in the Canadian marketplace. We have every confidence that we will uphold the tradition and excellence that is associated with this beloved brand by our employees and customers.

At Arriscraft, we are excited about our future, as it gives us a new opportunity to align with Canada Brick – a well-respected counterpart in the building industry. Stay tuned for more to come about the Canada Brick relaunch.

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Benjamin Moore’s contribution to continuing education

December 06, 2021

We can paint over mistakes, freshen things up with a coat of paint, or even paint ourselves into a corner. Paint is everywhere in the English language because paint is, well, everywhere. Most people think of paint as merely a vehicle for color. But building professionals know that coatings are more than a pretty surface. They’re a layer of pure performance.

Benjamin Moore has been in the business of protecting and enhancing architectural surfaces since 1883. 10 in-house laboratories test, research, and develop innovative products to express your design vision under the toughest conditions. As a leader in the coatings industry, Benjamin Moore has a deep commitment to sharing technical expertise and global design insights with the A&D community. Designers and specifiers can tap into this wealth of intelligence through Benjamin Moore’s 40+ continuing education courses. And you can access them all on for free!

On the performance side, you’ll find courses about the science of paint formulation, pigments, performance factors, and how to specify coatings to avoid common failures. Subject matter experts also provide guidance on coatings and LEED certification, indoor air quality, and sustainability standards.

On the color side, Benjamin Moore’s design researchers report on emerging color trends, the effects of light on color, the science of color, and color for the aging eye. For those wanting a deeper dive, there are courses on historical color palettes and color theories.

Benjamin Moore’s dedication to Leadership, Innovation, and Performance continuously creates new insights into how to make architectural coatings better and more beautiful. Consult the experts and take one of their courses today!

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McElroy Metal provides coil for Texas lake home

December 02, 2021

Even with all of the benefits a metal roof provides, including durability, longevity, recyclability, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability, sometimes, it’s still all about the look.

Chadd Hessing purchased a home on Cedar Creek Lake about 90 miles east of Dallas that had been abandoned for more than seven years. Needless to say, it needed a lot of work, inside and out, including a new metal roof.

“It’s a lake home, so we wanted a clean, crisp look,” says Hessing. “It’s an all-black home: black walls, black windows and black roof with Cyprus soffits. We considered some other roofing products, but incrementally, it wasn’t that much more to go with this roofing system.”

For GreenLeaf Roofing of Plano, Texas, it was a relatively straight-forward job. GreenLeaf owns a New Tech Machinery roof panel roll former and produces its own panels with coil from McElroy Metal: a 1-3/4-inch standing seam roofing panel, similar to McElroy's Medallion-Lok. The panels for this home were formed from a 24-gauge, 21-inch coil, coated in Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF Black Matte. The longest panel was 23 feet.

The homeowners wanted a flat pan, with no ribs or striations, so Andrew Ziegenfelder, senior project coordinator for GreenLeaf, convinced them that a narrower pan would decrease the chance of any visible oil canning. That’s why he used 21-inch coil, leaving a 15-inch pan.

Ziegenfelder says the GreenLeaf crew set up the roll former in the adjacent vacant lot, ran the panels, bundled them up and stacked them near the house. The roof, approximately 2,300 square feet with the house and garage, was installed in two days.

“The only unique request on this roof was to install the first panel along the second story wall so the siding could be installed over our sidewall flashing detail,” Ziegenfelder says. “When the siding was completed, we came back to finish the roofing.”

Charlie Teague, the general contractor and co-owner of RC Pride Restoration in Allen, Texas, has seen more and more houses with metal roofing on Cedar Creek Lake, about 90 miles east of Dallas. “I’d say about 25 percent of the houses on the lake have metal roofing, but most of it is R-panels,” he says. “There are a couple with standing seam, but none of them look as good as ours. The owners wanted a standing seam roof for the aesthetics, more than anything. They wanted a clean look, no shingle lines.

“We pretty much gutted this one right down to the studs,” Teague says. “I think it looks great and the roof is a big part of that.”

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TREND Group partners with Kristina Zanic and THG Paris @Dubai Design Week 2021

December 01, 2021

TREND Middle East was pleased to participate in Dubai Design Week 2021 with futuristic and interactive installations in collaboration with Kristina Zanic Design Consultants and THG Paris. The 7th edition of the annual week-long festival celebrating design and creativity in the UAE took place in the Dubai Design District from November 8-13. Regenerative architecture and restorative design to reduce human impact on the planet were among the central themes of this year's show.

In recognition of our commitment to bringing excellence in the Middle East we are proud to have received the award as Best Italian Company 2021 in the UAE. Congratulations to the TREND Middle East team on this milestone!

Participation at DecorHotel Lisbon Marked TREND Group's Relaunch in Portugal and Spain
TREND Group had the pleasure to be among the hundreds of companies and professionals gathered in Lisbon October 21-23 for DECORHOTEL, the only fair in Portugal dedicated exclusively to the hotel sector. Our booth showcased our newest glass mosaic collections and their various decorative applications. The show represented a great opportunity to meet new partners and discuss many exciting projects and collaborations for the future.

etherium® By E-Stone, now featuring Microban® technology
Watch as our Global CEO Andrea Di Giuseppe and RockSolid Granit Global/TREND Group USA CEO Charlotte Russell discuss the exciting and exclusive partnership between etherium® By E-Stone and the world leader in antimicrobial technology, Microban®.

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Jim Cahill inducted into ADSC Hall of Fame

November 19, 2021

Keller announces the induction of Jim Cahill into the ADSC Hall of Fame.

Jim Cahill, a long-time executive with Case Foundation Company, now rebranded as Keller North America, was inducted into The International Association of Foundation Drilling (ADSC) Hall of Fame at the organization’s Annual Meeting during the Final Night Awards Reception and Dinner in Tuscon, AZ on January 31, 2020.

With over 35 years of experience in the geotechnical construction industry, Jim first participated in ADSC attending the summer meeting in 1985. He was elected to the Board of Directors, serving for a total of 12 years. He chaired the Scholarship Committee, Drilled Shaft Committee, and participated in numerous sub-committees representing ADSC in meetings with federal and state agencies. He was also a member of ADSC’s Industry Advancement Association funding scholarships and industry research projects.

Upon winning this award, Jim expressed “I was totally surprised and honored to join such a great group of inductees. Not only has this group had a significant impact on the ADSC, but more importantly they have greatly aided our industry. I am truly blessed to join this great group of individuals.” Jim continued to thank all who had a part in the selection process.

Commenting on Jim’s induction, Mike Moore, CEO of ADSC, stated, “Jim is not only a great ambassador of ADSC, but he is also an ambassador to his company and the industry he has served throughout his years. He demonstrates the type of commitment and dedication that produces valuable results.”

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Signals Defense Film vs the other RF Films

November 10, 2021

In this post, we are taking one of our most frequently asked questions and lending some clarification and guidance on some of the key considerations when designing and constructing a secure space that requires RF and IR shielding on the windows.

“What’s the difference between the Signals Defense RF/IR window films, and other ‘clear’ RF window films?”

Not all shielding films are created equal — and when consistent and high RF attenuation across a broad frequency range is required, you need to be aware of the differences. This is especially true in government sponsored construction, where performance can be very strict, and certain standards must be met to gain accreditation.

Verify Data was Obtained Using the ASTM F3057 Test Method

ASTM F3057 is the test standard for Electromagnetic Shielding Effectiveness for Glazings, which is specific to both glass and film. Any shielding product that is being advertised for RF attenuation for high-level security purposes must be tested to this standard, and results and graphs shown in terms of dB, NOT percentage. Unlike other test requirements, such as basic IEEE-299 and D4937, ASTM F3057 requires hundreds of test points across several RF bands, ensuring complete broad-spectrum performance data.

Are All RF Films Created Equal?

The technology inside of commercial and residential window films has made tremendous leaps in the last few decades. These high-performance films are great for rejecting solar energy including UV and may only cost a few dollars per square foot. However, some of these ‘clear’ solar films are also being mistaken as “RF” films. They may deliver some low-level RF attenuation, but this is purely coincidental, and frequencies are sporadic, leaving many gaps or holes in protection. Not to mention: these solar films don’t reject the critical IR energy.
Films specifically built for RF/IR attenuation won’t be found at the same price point as your typical solar film. It's important to know that your secure space is only going to be as good as its weakest point. For example, if your walls and other surfaces offer robust RF attenuation and the windows do not, the space may not satisfy the customer’s requirements.

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McElroy Metal provides hurricane-safe solution for Surf City Municipal Complex

November 09, 2021

When the Town of Surf City, N.C., made plans to construct a building that would consolidate the police department and other emergency services operations, durability was a main consideration for an area that sees high winds and hurricanes on a regular basis. To meet the high-wind requirements of the coast, the architectural roofing choice was McElroy Metal’s Maxima standing seam metal roofing.

Highland Roofing of Wilmington, N.C., installed approximately 20,000 square feet of mechanically seamed Maxima panel with a 3-coat Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF finish in Bone White. The official ribbon cutting of the complex was held May 21, 2021.

“We selected a metal roof to add resilience to the new structure,” says Kyle Breuer, town manager. “Our previous building was lost to water damage during Hurricane Florence (in 2019) and that damage occurred because of water penetration through the roof.”

Breuer says aesthetics played a role in the selection of metal roofing as well.

“Metal helped us keep with our coastal theme,” he says. “Maintaining a community aesthetic consistency was an important consideration. Metal helped us achieve that.”

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River Oaks Baptist School honored by CENTRIA as 2021 Building of the Year

November 09, 2021

River Oaks Baptist School in Houston was named CENTRIA’s 2021 Building of the Year, selected from a group of 12 Building of the Month winners.

Designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects of Houston, River Oaks Baptist School features CENTRIA’s Intercept: Entyre panel. Wade Architectural Systems of Humble, Texas, supplied the panels and W.S. Bellows Construction Corporation of Houston served as the general contractor. Underwood Sheetmetal Inc. of Houston installed the panels.

Other Building of the Month winners were:

American Airlines Hangar, Chicago: Architect-Ghafari Associates, LLC; Dealer/Installer-Crown Corr, Inc.; GC-O’Neil Construction Company; Panel Type-FWDS, 1W-10A, Versawall

Clover Park Mets Training, Port St. Lucie, Fla.: Architect-Ewing Cole; Dealer/Installer-Five-T-Co; GC-Barton Malow Company; Panel Type-CS-200, Intercept: Entyre

St. Louis Park Middle School, Silverdale, Wash.: Architect-Cunningham Group Architecture; Dealer-M3Sixty, LLC; GC-Kraus Anderson Construction; Installer-Progressive Building Systems; Panel Type-CS-200, Intercept Entyre, RZR

Emerald Queen Casino, Tacoma, Wash.: Architect-Cunningham Group Architecture, Inc.; Dealer/Installer-Flynn Group of Companies; GC-Absher Kitchell; Panel Type-FWDS, MetalWrap

Carver Elementary School, Carver, Minn.: Architect-Architects Rego & Youngquist; Dealer-M3Sixty, LLC; GC-Kraus Anderson Construction; Installer-Innovative Building Concepts; Panel Type-CS-200

Essex County of Technology, West Caldwell, N.J.: Architect-DiCara Rubino Architects; Dealer-Pravco, Inc.; GC-Dobco; Installer-Pravco, Inc.; Panel Type-FWDS, DS60, DS58, C/S Sunshades

St. John’s on the Lake, Milwaukee: Architect-Eppstein Uhen Architects; Dealer/Installer-Construction Supply & Erection, Inc.; GC-VJS Construction Services Inc.; Panel Type-FWDS

St. Michael Medical Center, Silverdale, Wash.: Architect-NBBJ; Dealer/Installer-Flynn Group of Companies; GC-Balfour Beatty; Panel Types-FWDS, DS60, IW-40A, CS Louvers, C/S Sunshades, FV 600

St. Pete Pier, St. Petersburg, Fla.: Architect-ASD|Sky; Dealer-M3Sixty, LLC; GC-Skanska USA Building, Inc.; Installer-MG McGrath; Panel Type-Econolap ¾-inch Roof

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November 04, 2021

Impact Security, LLC. (IS), the manufacturer of DefenseLite® has announced a strategic alliance with Binswanger Glass, a leading national retail and commercial glazing firm based in Memphis, TN. Binswanger will launch their DefenseLite program at their locations in Dallas and Houston, TX, offering clients high-security window glazing options for maximum protection against security threats.

DefenseLite is a retrofit security shield designed to mount onto existing glazed openings, creating unmatched forced entry protection at what is typically the weakest link in a building’s security profile, transforming windows and doors into impenetrable openings that are 250 times stronger than glass alone. A bullet-resistant version of DefenseLite, BulletShield, is available, backed by independent tests that yielded UL 752 ballistic ratings, preventing breach against 9MM, .44 Magnum, and other aggressive attacks.

This patented retrofit glazing system is exclusive to Impact Security, and only available through authorized dealers once they are trained and certified.

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Keller ranks #1 on ENR list

November 04, 2021

Engineering News Record (ENR) ranks Keller #1 Excavation and Foundation firm for 2019. This top position has been held by Keller company Hayward Baker for the past 17 years. This year, Keller’s geotechnical and foundation companies combined into a single entity, Keller.

Operating as one company in each local market, offering all products and services, Keller becomes easier to understand and engage with and clients can be confident they are getting the optimal, most competitive solution for their project. For more information on the change click here.

ENR, a construction-industry based publication, performs annual surveys and ranks companies engaged in general contracting, specialty contracting, engineering, architecture, planning and studies. Rankings are based on annual revenue at home and abroad.

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Hydrofloors® Pro at The Kimpton Pittman Hotel

November 03, 2021

The Kimpton Pittman Hotel is a new boutique hotel in downtown Dallas, Texas. Located in the Deep Ellum district, this hotel needed to maximize every inch of their downtown property. Hotel operators wanted to have a pool for guests on hot summer days but did not want to give up valuable outdoor deck space.

With Hydrofloors® Pro, the hotel and their guests can enjoy a 55 ft long pool by day and transform their space for outdoor dining & dancing by night.

The pool is 55 ft long and 12.5 ft wide. Equipped with full-width steps on one end and a 3 ft sitting bench on the other.

Since its opening in March 2021, the pool deck has already drawn a lot of outside use. Hotel operators have rented out the space for pool parties, weddings, and other private events atop their Hydrofloor.

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The Incredible Versatility of Vinyl Film

November 03, 2021

Unless you live in a concrete bunker, the chances are high that you regularly come into contact with vinyl film. You just might not know it.

Vinyl film is used in a wide array of applications. You’ll find vinyl in bumper stickers and floooring, roofs, showers, and swimming pools. In other words, vinyl film is incredibly versatile. Here’s why.

Vinyl film is both functional and decorative.

As a material, vinyl film is a bit like a blank slate (albeit a blank slate that can hold up gallons of water). It’s perfect on its own, but it can also be formulated to do so much more. You can incorporate properties to make vinyl film scuff-resistant (think luxury vinyl tile). You can also, for example, incorporate additives to make it resistant to very, very cold temperatures, or resistant to fading in UV. It can also be formulated to be smoke, and flame retardant.

In addition, vinyl film is the material of choice for many designers because it can feature an almost infinite number of beautiful designs on printed vinyl. So that shower or pool liner isn’t just functional, it’s also visually appealing. Vinyl products can be customized for a shiny, matte, or iridescent finish and formulated in a wide array of colors.

Plus vinyl film isn’t just versatile; it’s also sustainable.

Meet the Play-Doh of manufacturing.

Alex Grover, COO of i2M, calls vinyl film “the Play-Doh of manufacturing in that the material can be repeatedly remolded and reprocessed into something new usually with the same level of integrity and functionality as the original product.”

i2M, a manufacturer of vinyl film used largely for commercial and residential construction applications in multiple sectors, is a member of the Vinyl Sustainability Council (VSC). Grover explained that joining the VSC is part of the company’s broad commitment to sustainability. “We are passionate about developing innovative solutions to help our planet and we believe that leveraging the impressively sustainable nature of vinyl is an important first step,” she said.

i2M aims to reduce the environmental impact of vinyl by addressing sustainability at different stages in the product life cycle. Grover explained that her company captures scrap and trim during its manufacturing process. That material is then chopped up and fed back into production. The company also purchases and reprocesses over a million pounds of vinyl scrap from secondary manufacturers and distributors each year. Instead of having that vinyl film end up in a landfill somewhere, it’s chopped up and reused in new products. And, thus, vinyl film’s cycle of life continues.

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BMO Tower, Milwaukee named Metl-Span’s 2021 Building of the Year

November 02, 2021

Metl-Span, an industry-leading manufacturer of high-quality, durable and energy-efficient insulated metal panels, has announced the BMO Tower in Milwaukee is the winner of the company’s annual Building of the Year award.

A total of 12 projects were named Building of the Month for 2021, including the BMO Tower, which was designed by Kahler Slater of Milwaukee. Irgens Partners LLC of Milwaukee was the general contractor on the project and Muza Sheet Metal Co. of Oshkosh, Wis., headed up the installation of Metl-Span’s CF Architectural and CF Light Mesa insulated metal panels.

Other winners were:

448 N. La Salle, Chicago: Architect-Lamar Johnson Collaborative; GC-Lendlease; Installer-All American Exterior Solutions; IMP-CF Architectural

Saltzer Health Clinic, Boise, Idaho: Architect-Cushing Terrell; GC-Mark Guho Construction; Installer-Madison Roofing Inc.; IMP-CF Architectural

ASU Downtown, Phoenix: Architect-Studio Ma; GC-DPR Construction; Installer-True Metal Solutions, LLC; IMP-CF Striated

Boston Swordfish and Tuna, Boston: Architect-CMS Design-Build; GC-Commodore Builders; Installer-Controlled Environmental Structures; IMP-CF Mesa, CF Light Mesa, CF Mesa, Partition

Dartmouth Indoor Practice Facility, Hanover, N.H.: Architect-Sasaki; GC-Engleberth Construction, Inc.; Installer-Dutton & Garfield, Inc. / Riess Construction; IMP-CF Architectural

Galvion, Portsmouth, N.H.: Architect-Pratte Architects, Inc. and Market Square Architects; GC-Sullivan Construction LLC; Installer-Seacoast Crane & Building Co., Inc.; IMP-CF Striated

Kornneef Produce, Beamsville, Ont.: Architect-Brouwer Architecture; Installer-Brouwer Building Systems, Inc.; IMP-CF Mesa, CFR Roof, ThermalSafe

Las Vegas Municipal Court Building, Las Vegas: Architect-PGAL, LLC; GC-Martin-Harris Construction; Installer-Sierra Metals, Inc.; IMP-CF Architectural

SUNY Morrisville Alternative Energy Building, Morrisville, N.Y.: Architect-SWBR; GC-Northland Associates; Installer-Henderson-Johnson Company, Inc.; IMP-7.2 Insul-Rib, CFR Roof

Extra Space Storage, North Hollywood, Calif.: Architect-James Goodman Architecture; GC-DAI General Contracting, Inc.; Installer-Emeral Metal Products, Inc.; IMP-CF Architectural

Wanda Vista, Chicago: Architect-BKL Architecture, Chicago; GC-McHugh Construction Co.; Installer-All American Exterior Solutions; IMP-CF Architectural, CF Mesa

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Beyond Epoxy: Resinous Flooring Chemistries

November 02, 2021

There are some flooring chemistries that have existed in the United States for more than 15 years but are rarely specified relative to their epoxy counterparts. Epoxy has become the Kleenex or Band-Aid of resinous flooring. That said, every construction project has certain needs that cannot always be solved by only specifying one flooring type or chemistry.

So, what other resinous flooring options are available? Urethane cements, methyl-methacrylate (MMA), urethanes, and polyaspartics have already been established as viable resinous flooring solutions for a variety of challenges. Urethane cements, for example, are good for resisting thermal shock from steam, grease, and other hot contaminants, while MMA can accept a fresh topcoat at any future time without requiring mechanical preparation.

The best practice for a specifier is to partner with a manufacturer. When partnering with a resinous flooring manufacturer, there are endless combinations of system builds that can be customized to achieve the perfect system for the customer. Epoxy still belongs in certain specifications, but urethane cements, MMAs, and polyaspartics all deserve equal consideration based on the project’s demands.

Joe Lasko of Res-Tek explains the various types of chemistries available along with the pros and cons of each in the October issue of The Construction Specifier.

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Keller acquires RECON

October 26, 2021

Acquisition of specialty contractor RECON further strengthens Keller’s product range, sector diversity, and geographic footprint in the industrial services and environmental remediation markets.

Keller North America (Keller) announces the acquisition of RECON Services, Inc (RECON), an industrial services, soil stabilization, and environmental remediation company headquartered in Houston, Texas.

RECON will continue to operate as a separate company within Keller providing customers with the same industry-leading service. The business will be managed by Danny Brown, SVP of Operations – RECON, and report through Moretrench Industrial, Keller’s existing Florida-based business.

RECON works principally for industrial clients, many in the petrochemical sector, predominantly along the Gulf and East coasts of the United States. Its geotechnical work is focused mainly on the environmental remediation and solidification of soils, while its industrial services activities support the specialized needs of the power, mining, and manufacturing industries. Together, RECON and Moretrench Industrial significantly broaden Keller’s capability in the growing environmental services sector. In addition, their shared industrial focus and their geographic proximity will provide synergies both between the two businesses, as well as with the Keller foundations businesses.

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greenscreen® Recognized by Architizer Best Products of 2021

October 22, 2021

greenscreen® is a three-dimensional modular trellis system providing you with endless combinations for creating green facades, freestanding elements, shapes and fencing. greenscreen® can transform space or define it… act as a wall, change a facade or create an environment.

The gsTree was the Winner of the 2021 Architizer A+Product Awards in Conceptual Design. The all-inclusive unit consists of a column trellis at the ground level leading up to the horizontal panels overhead. You can place plants in the ground that fill the column with vines and are directed up to the horizontal panels on top.

The Café Series was chosen as 2021 Architizer A+Product Awards finalist in the Hospitality and Flexible Design categories and received Special Mention in the Landscape category. The Café Series provides a graceful, natural way to shape spaces. The series includes planters that are straight or curved with greenscreen® trellis panels on top. Curved benches and square planters can be combined with the trellis panel planters to create a variety of different shapes and configurations. Add the Café Series to provide privacy in restaurants, define rooftop and lobby spaces or shield unwanted views.

The Elysian Interior Series was also chosen as 2021 Architizer A+Product Awards finalist in the Commercial category and received Special Mention in the Hospitality and Accessories categories. This collection of fiberglass planters come with greenscreen®’s 3-inch steel trellis panels, which are designed to spruce up interior spaces. These living sectionals encourage social distancing, add beauty to your layout and create healthy spaces. The greenscreen® Elysian Interior Planter Series is available in a variety of colors, finishes, sizes and configurations. Additionally, planters have a built-in, watertight irrigation reservoir with two- to four-week watering cycles.

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Andres Baquerizo receives 2019 ASCE Roebling Award

October 20, 2021

Andres M. Baquerizo, P.E., MSE. is the recipient of the 2019 Roebling Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The award was presented at the 2019 ASCE Annual Convention in Miami, FL on October 13, 2019.

Andres began his career in Bogota, Colombia in the 1990s, working at his family’s consulting and construction company. He joined Keller in 2002 as an assistant project manager for HJ Foundation and began to work his way up in the company. In 2011, he became vice president for HJ Foundation and received the 2011 ASCE Miami Engineer of the Year Award. Four years later, he was appointed as the leader of the Global Product Team for continuous flight auger piles at Keller.

Upon winning this award, Andres expressed “It’s amazing to be recognized by your peers for all the hard work over the years...I also receive this as a team award. In construction we build on each other’s ideas and it takes a team to implement them.” Andres also credits his professional mentors and his wife.

Commenting on the award announcement, Frank Fonseca, Senior Vice President stated, “Working with Andres for the last two decades, it is no surprise he won this award. We are very proud of his dedication and accomplishments at Keller.”

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The Sustainability of Vinyl Flooring

October 15, 2021

Vinyl flooring is everywhere. You’ve probably seen it at your favorite box store. You’ve definitely seen it if you’ve been to an upscale hotel recently. More and more, vinyl is becoming the material of choice in retail, hospitality and other sectors.

Indeed, the luxury vinyl tile (LVT) market has grown by double digits in recent years. And there are good reasons why businesses and commercial builders are turning to LVT and other vinyl flooring options. It’s all about design, ease of use, performance, and sustainability.

Three practical reasons to choose vinyl flooring.
But design without function isn’t enough – and vinyl flooring is a cost-effective option in hotels and other public spaces which typically want to renovate and update the décor on a regular basis. It’s easy to install – and easy to maintain. Vinyl flooring can withstand water and moisture so cleaning is simple. Plus it’s an excellent choice for basements and other areas where flooding can be a problem.

Here’s why vinyl flooring is a sustainable choice.
In addition to its design and performance attributes, vinyl flooring offers architects and designers a sustainable option for healthy buildings. For one thing, PVC is highly sustainable from a material health perspective. Leading flooring brands moved away years ago from heavy metal stabilizers and orthophthalate plasticizers. They also reduced volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions below most stringent green building standards and implemented takeback programs to reclaim flooring and enable a circular economy. From a planetary health perspective, the embodied carbon footprint of vinyl flooring—the amount of CO2 emitted during manufacturing, transportation, and construction—is less than 1 percent of a whole building’s embodied carbon.
Vinyl’s small footprint is due to both its inherent properties and the fact that the industry has a long track record of innovation, including the abilities to recycle products and develop smarter manufacturing processes.

Giving old flooring a new life.
Vinyl flooring is also a sustainable choice because it can effectively be recycled—giving the old materials new life in new floors. Vinyl Sustainability Council member Tarkett USA, for example, has a takeback program in which the company recycles and reuses a growing percentage of the vinyl composite and luxury vinyl tiles that it sells in the commercial sector.

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Nucor Fastener to Expand with Acquisition of Coil Processing Facility

October 14, 2021

Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today that it is expanding its Nucor Fastener division with the acquisition of an existing state-of-the-art coil processing facility in Shelbyville, Indiana. This facility includes an automated clean and coat line, 2 STC® furnaces and wire drawing capabilities. In addition to coil processing, the Company will also be expanding its fastener manufacturing capabilities by installing bolt making equipment at the Shelbyville facility. This new operation will employ approximately 33 team members at the outset with the potential to double those jobs as it reaches full capacity.

"We are excited to grow our Fastener Division with the acquisition of these assets," said Joey Loosle, General Manager of Nucor Fastener. "Adding bolt making capability to the Shelbyville facility will help expand our offerings to the automotive, heavy truck, industrial/MRO and structural fastener markets. Nucor Fastener is already a leader in steel fasteners and this expansion will further enhance that position."

By recycling steel in electric arc furnaces, Nucor is among the cleanest steel producers in the world, with greenhouse gas emissions that are one-third of the global steelmaking average and nearly one-fifth of the average blast furnace steel producer. Nucor's Fastener Products are made with 97% recycled content, which is far more sustainable than fasteners produced from blast furnace steel made overseas.

Along with recently announced upgrades at the Nebraska engineered bar mill, this new facility will allow Nucor to better service the automotive cold heading quality (CHQ) market and provide customers with the highest quality products. The Shelbyville facility will allow the Nucor Engineered Bar group to offer processed coil with superior surface quality for the most demanding automotive CHQ applications.

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Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® Announces Its New High Performing Thermal Window Wall With Seamless Design, Fit and Installation

October 13, 2021

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® (OBE), a leading global supplier of architectural glass, metal and hardware, announced today the addition of a new thermal window wall system to its portfolio: TCR-225. TCR-225 thermal window wall joins OBE’s suite of façade products for projects and markets requiring high-performing solutions.

“We designed a triple threat answer to our customers’ challenges on projects requiring elevated thermal performance by putting energy performance, aesthetic appeal and ease-of-installation into one standard, cost effective window wall solution,” said Don Pangburn, Product Designer at OBE.

For unmatched energy performance, OBE leverages thermal strut technology resulting in industry-leading U-Factors with a variety of infill options. A U-Factor as low as 0.30 with 0.24 COG can be achieved without the need for triple glazing while a U-Factor as low as 0.34 with 0.29 COG can be achieved without the addition of high-performance glass or argon. This allows customers to customize the solution making TCR-225 a more cost-effective window wall option.

The innovative front screw spline allows for tight, more consistent joints that eliminate visual gaps between the horizontal and vertical mullions for a seamless look while the dual finish option allows for color selection to match the exterior and interior. Get product details here.

“We also designed this product to help address some of the challenges with labor we know our customers are facing,” added Pangburn.

TCR-225 is available dry glazed and as a pre-glazed system to save time, ensure quality and significantly reduce field labor required during installation. To learn more about how the new TCR-225 window wall system offers top thermal performance, seamless design and simplified installation, visit

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StruXure Helps Boost Restaurant Sales with Covered Outdoor Seating

October 07, 2021

For the past 15 months, StruXure has helped many restaurants create new outdoor seating configurations, as well as to cover existing open-air seating, so that eateries could continue serving their customers. It wasn’t a new idea, but the pandemic certainly motivated restauranteurs to find an outdoor seating solution in a hurry, and StruXure was ready.

According to the National Restaurant Association’s (NRA) 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, 62% of fine dining and 56% of casual dining operators dedicated more resources to developing and expanding outdoor dining since the start of the pandemic.

“We’ve been installing our Pergola X product at restaurants, country clubs, and other commercial properties for years,” said StruXure’s CEO, Scott Selzer, “but when restaurants were forced to close their indoor dining due to COVID-19 restrictions, it became critical for them to create comfortable outdoor spaces in which to serve their patrons in order to stay in business.”

The Pergola X is made of strong, ultra-durable powder-coated extruded aluminum. With automated louvers that pivot 170-degrees, it offers versatile weather protection. The system can also accommodate lights, fans, heaters, and screens. An integrated 360° patented gutter system collects rainwater from the closed louvers and sends it to concealed downspouts for the most water-tight system on the market, offering one more way to keep customers comfortable while dining outdoors. The automation is provided using top-of-the-line Somfy motors and the MyLink app, providing confidence and ease when adjusting the louvers, and any add-ons, at the touch of a button.

StruXure’s Pergola X helps businesses expand by optimizing the property they already own. “It’s a relatively quick install yet a long-term solution,” added Selzer, “for an investment that produces big dividends.” And, based on the NRA Report that also shows 85% of consumers who are planning to return to on-premise dining would consider choosing at an outdoor table, there is evidence that concerns about health and dining out will linger. However, there is also evidence that people want their dine-out options back (restaurant sales rose sharply in March 2021 according to the U.S. Census Bureau). For more information on Pergola X for restaurants, go to

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Debunking Myth Series: Can Window Film Be Layered?

October 06, 2021

Window films are used for a variety of purposes, whether it's to provide glare reduction, solar energy improvement, visual privacy, safety protection, to attenuate RF and IR energy, or simply to help decorate or brand a property. One question that is commonly asked is: Can window films be layered so that multiple benefits are combined?

The answer: Yes, but it should only be considered under the right circumstances and conditions. Layering window films, or dual application, is the process of placing one film on top of another film. It's a practice that's typically carried out when a customer has specific needs that aren't met by just one film. In this post, we'll take a look at some of the common situations where dual application makes sense and what property owners, and managers should know before installing layered film on their glass.

When Does Dual-Application Make Sense?
Only under the right circumstances. Dual application commonly occurs when a customer wants to alter the visual appearance of the windows so they look more aesthetically pleasing, or to provide visual privacy, after an initial layer of film is installed.

Dual Application Pitfalls
However, while dual application can make sense and can be a somewhat common request, there are some drawbacks that property managers and owners should be aware of before layering window films.

The bottom line is that while layering window films is common, it is important to make sure that the benefits outweigh any potential drawbacks before making the decision to perform this on your interior or exterior glass.

Choosing the right window film for your particular scenario can be complicated. Let the experts at Signals Defense help. Click the button below for a free consultation.

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OmniMax International, LLC acquires Verde Industries, Inc.

October 05, 2021

OmniMax International ("OmniMax", or the "Company") has acquired Verde Industries, Inc. (“Verde”). Verde is a leading manufacturer of high-quality roof flashing and plastic weather-blocking products, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. Verde will operate as a subsidiary of OmniMax and be integrated into its Consumer segment in a complimentary manner to OmniMax’s residential building and roof drainage products. The combined companies will greatly benefit customers of both firms, providing a more extensive product portfolio, enhanced service across broader geographies and increased investments throughout the new manufacturing footprint.

John C. Wayne, CEO of OmniMax: “We are delighted to add Verde to the OmniMax portfolio of brands and see it as an exceptional complement to Berger and Flamco. We believe Verde is the perfect platform for OmniMax to grow its residential roofing accessories business in the Southwestern and Western U.S. This acquisition will allow us to deepen our relationships with key customers, by providing greater geographic reach and product depth. We are excited to welcome the Verde employees into OmniMax, and we look forward to working with them to further augment the company’s strong 30-year foundation that has grown under the leadership of George Goettl.”

George Goettl, President of Verde: “We are excited to join the OmniMax family and to continue to grow the great business we have built. With the support of the ownership group at SVPGlobal, this combination will bring the resources, capital, and scale that will allow us to further strengthen our customer service, broaden our spectrum of products, grow our geographic footprint, invest in our manufacturing capabilities, and provide opportunities for our employees to advance and flourish. I would like to thank our loyal customers that believe in and trust Verde Industries and thank the many employees that helped grow our company over the years. I am looking forward to joining the OmniMax team and working with them to continue to build Verde for generations to come.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Mike Nuckolls joins ISE Logik as Southeast Regional Manager

October 04, 2021

Industry veteran Mike Nuckolls has joined ISE Logik to head up sales and client service in the Southeast. Nuckolls started his flooring career with Shaw Industries and held sales management positions in Residential, Commercial, and Shaw Contract. Most recently, he managed sales for FloorFolio Commercial Flooring.

"Mike brings a deep understanding of the commercial side of the flooring business and the importance proper moisture mitigation plays in successful installations," said David Seland, founder and CEO of ISE Logik. “He is one of the most highly respected and trusted professionals in flooring.” ISE Logik specializes in admixtures and topical treatments warranted to 100% RH with no moisture testing required for new or existing concrete slabs receiving flooring or roofing.

“I met David Seland when he was at Shaw years ago. They are building a category-leading company, and it's great to be a part of that excitement and growth,” said Nuckolls.

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TREND Group USA Receives 2021 Best of Miramar Award

September 30, 2021

TREND Group USA has been selected for the 2021 Best of Miramar Award in the Granite category by the Miramar Award Program.

Each year, the Miramar Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Miramar area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2021 Miramar Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Miramar Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Miramar Award Program
The Miramar Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Miramar area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Miramar Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.

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Metl-Span IMPs provide desired aesthetic for new Las Vegas Courthouse

September 29, 2021

The new buildings that seem to be always rising as part of an ever-changing Las Vegas skyline are casinos, resorts and hotels. The new City of Las Vegas Courthouse is only two stories tall, but it makes quite an impression. Visitors are greeted by walls of metal and glazing, including a stunning entry canopy constructed with insulated metal panels from Metl-Span.

“We wanted to deliver a courthouse that is compatible with the surrounding neighborhood and municipal buildings, while providing an attractive structure where court employees will enjoy working and serving the community,” says Lance Berrey, RA, Senior Associate at PGAL of Las Vegas. “Basically, we wanted to provide a building the residents can be proud of.

“Insulated metal panels were chosen because of the R-value they offered for building-envelope efficiency and performance. Additionally, the panels helped create a smooth, contemporary façade that fit the aesthetic of a new modern and forward-thinking Municipal Court.”

Metl-Span IMPs make up the canopy and a large portion of the exterior walls. More than 21,000 square feet of two-inch-thick IMPs were installed in two colors, Silver Metallic (10,962 square feet) and custom Eames for Blue (10,576 square feet). The Architectural Flat profile was selected for the exterior to provide a modern, sleek look.

“Insulated metal panels are an economical option,” says Michael Romack, project manager for A.R.J. Inc. of Las Vegas, the installing contractor on the project. “The goal was to get the smooth look of ACM and the Architectural Flat exterior finish definitely helped achieve that.”

ACM from Alfrex was used on the interior and exterior columns.

“The front canopy and plaza are elements of the project that really stand out and give the project a strong personality,” Berrey says. “Overall, we’re very satisfied with the completed project and happy that it’s working out to be a successful addition to the justice corridor in downtown.”

Romack says A.R.J. frequently works with Metl-Span IMPs, so it was a rather straightforward job.

“The entry canopy is what makes this project unique,” he says. “We installed IMPs essentially as a soffit, so it’s on upside down with a lot of angles. Fortunately, it’s a pretty simple system to work with.”

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Vectorworks, Inc. a Finalist in 2021 Construction Computing Awards

September 28, 2021

Vectorworks Architect Nominated for BIM Software of the Year

In its 16th year, the Construction Computing awards affectionally known as "The Hammers" are looking to showcase and reward the technology, tools and solutions for the effective design, construction, maintenance and modification of commercial buildings, residential and social housing and civil engineering projects of all sizes.

“We’re honored to have this recognition of our efforts and commitment to the AEC industry,” said Vectorworks UK Director of Customer Success Tamsin Slatter. “Innovation and performance enhancements drive our focus and the launch of Vectorworks 2022 demonstrates our commitment to investing in developments that deliver workflow freedom to designers and creators everywhere.”

Vectorworks is nominated in the following categories:

• BIM Software of the Year: Vectorworks Architect
• Architectural Design Software of the Year: Vectorworks Architect
• Company of the Year: Vectorworks, Inc

The awards are determined by voter submission and a panel of judges. Voters are encouraged to place their votes here by Nov. 1. Winners will be announced on Nov. 11 at the awards ceremony at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City Hotel.

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Reducing Embodied Carbon and How Vinyl Can Play a Role

September 23, 2021

At Greenbuild this year, the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool was launched by the Carbon Leadership Forum. This new tool takes lifecycle assessments (LCAs) and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) to estimate a product’s embodied carbon emissions. The goal of the tool is to provide a simple method of evaluating and comparing embodied carbon emissions in the design and procurement phase to enable a lower carbon footprint overall.

Through collaboration with the Carbon Leadership Forum and the development of this tool, the Vinyl Institute aims to help manufacturers highlight the relatively low carbon impacts of their vinyl products for architects and contractors, while helping the industry discover new opportunities for continued improvement. Our vision is to make a positive contribution to the building and construction market as they seek to change the culture from being focused on first-cost metrics, to one which prioritizes long-term societal benefits.

What is embodied carbon?

Good question. When it comes to building and construction projects, there are two types of carbon engineers, architects, designers and others look at: operational carbon and embodied carbon.

Operational carbon considers how many greenhouse gases (GHGs) are released during the useful life of a building, which can include heating and cooling the building, electricity, hot water use, etc. Embodied carbon considers the amount of GHGs that are released during the life cycle of a product from raw material extraction through installation in a building, all the way through the end of its useful life and beginning of its next one where appropriate. Another way of thinking about embodied carbon is that it is the carbon footprint of a material.

Why is our carbon footprint important?

In 2017, carbon dioxide made up 82 percent of all GHG emissions in the U.S., making it the primary GHG emitted through human activities. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), GHG emissions from human activities are also “the most significant driver of observed climate change.”

According the Carbon Leadership Forum, the building and construction sector is responsible for at least 39 percent of global carbon emissions. Currently, most of these emissions are coming from the operational carbon of the building. But over the next 40 years, that’s going to change, and embodied carbon will make up most of building and construction’s carbon footprint, as it’s predicted that the world’s population will be building the equivalent of an entirely new New York City every month.

You’re probably familiar with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, or have at least heard of it. It’s the U.S. Green Building Council’s green building rating system. The most recent LEED update addresses and rewards lower embodied carbon in building projects through a new pilot credit. Building materials, while part of the climate problem currently, can be part of the climate solution in the future.

Why is the launch of EC3 so exciting?

The EC3 tool can help anyone determine ways to reduce the carbon footprint of a building in the early stages of the construction process. Within the tool, you can map out your entire project and see where the embodied carbon emission is highest and where you can reduce through identification and selection of alternative materials. The EC3 tool relies on digitized versions of thousands of environmental product declarations (EPDs) that have been made available. Even in its early days, the hard work by the developers pays off in that the tool projects a clear path toward being broadly beneficial across the entire range of building and interior materials.

The tool was also designed to be free so it’s available for use by anyone, and you don’t need to seek approval from leadership to purchase access to the tool—it makes the option to increase sustainability just a little bit more accessible to everyone.

How does vinyl fit in?

As for vinyl’s role in this discussion, life cycle assessments have repeatedly shown that vinyl products provide low-carbon alternatives in many building applications. Nonetheless, the industry is committed to further cutting emissions. Led by the Vinyl Sustainability Council, and based on an industry-specific materiality analysis, we formed an Emissions Task Group, whose work supports the +Vantage Vinyl priority areas and emissions goals. One priority area is to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions to air, notably GHGs that are included as part of the embodied carbon of the building products that would be listed in the EC3 tool.

With +Vantage Vinyl, we’ve structured this initiative to demonstrate the vinyl industry’s commitment to continuous improvement. Each year, we will determine a new set of goals that need to be met that are more difficult to achieve and more impactful to the environment—we’re in the midst of establishing 2020’s emissions goals right now. Individual companies are also demonstrating their own commitment by creating more EPDs that summarize the impacts of their products.

EPDs for vinyl products such as LVT flooring are already being compiled into the beta version of EC3, and we have started working with the EC3 developers and product manufacturers to establish categories for a variety of vinyl building materials in the tool. We anticipate that collaboration with the Carbon Leadership Forum and the EC3 tool developers will help project specifiers and general contractors to realize both the first cost and the societal benefits of selecting vinyl for their project needs, delivering a robust return on investment for their stakeholders as well as for those manufacturers who are committed to developing and delivering lower-carbon alternatives.

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S-5! Presents at METALCON, Sponsors New Solar Education Center & Launches its WindClamp2X

September 22, 2021

S-5!, the leading authority on metal roof attachment solutions, presents several sessions at METALCON in Tampa from Oct. 6-8, providing opportunities for attendees to earn continuing education credits.

Solar is a rapidly growing energy sector in the U.S. and globally. This increased focus on energy efficiency and sustainability has brought attention to the pairing of solar and metal roofing. Business owners, designers, contractors, EPCs, solar developers and installers interested in learning more about the benefits of solar and metal roofing can attend a variety of educational sessions at the new Solar Education Center sponsored by S-5!

One of the featured panel presentations, Metal Takes on Solar – A Metal Roofers Perspective on Solar Installations,―moderated by LeeAnn Slattery, sales support manager of ATAS International and market development chair for the Metal Construction Association (MCA)― is based on a newly released MCA report, Metal Roofing & Solar PV Systems and takes place on Oct. 7.

S-5!’s Founder and CEO, Rob Haddock presents the fundamentals of Understanding Metal Roofing: Parts I and II on Oct. 6 and Oct. 7 beginning at 8.30 a.m. each day. Often billed as "Metal Roofing 101" and known as the best “crash course” available for all in-industry personnel, it includes technical information presented in a common-sense fashion that makes the art and science of metal roofing clear, concise and understandable. Contractors, sales people, architects, specifiers, roof consultants, engineers, building owners and maintenance staff will all benefit from attending.

Attendees are invited to stop by S-5!’s booth #527 to see first-hand its award-winning WindClamp2X™, designed to increase wind resistance for standing seam metal roofs. These small aluminum clamps are placed over the roof’s seam at designated intervals to prevent multiple modes of failure and provide a cost-compelling solutions for increasing wind resistance by up to three times. S-5!’s team will be on-hand to explain the features and benefits of this technology.

And, don’t forget to sign up for the Solar Trivia Games. Moderated by S-5!’s solar expert, Mark Gies, teams of three to five individuals can pre-register or join a team on the first morning of the games. Each day’s winning team from Days #1 and #2 will win prizes before facing off on the final day for the grand prize.

“We are very excited to be so actively involved in METALCON this year,” says Haddock. “It’s the place to be if you are in the industry, and we are honored that our new WindClamp™ has been named a METALCON Top Product Award winner.”

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McElroy Metal roofing, siding a vital piece of Net Zero ‘tiny homes’

September 15, 2021

Dwayne Borkholder spends more time than most thinking of others. The president of Borkholder Building and Supply as well as New Energy Homes, of Nappanee, Ind., modestly has been a part of humanitarian projects all over the world.

“It’s always been a part of my philosophy to build a home with materials that won’t have to be replaced before the 30-year mortgage is paid off,” Borkholder says. “With (asphalt) shingles you get 10 or 15, maybe 20 years. Vinyl siding has to be replaced after 20-25 years. If you can use a product like metal, that has a proven record of lasting longer, why wouldn’t you use it?”

Borkholder says that South Bend, Ind., has, in the last few years, changed its ordinances to allow for the construction of an Auxiliary Dwelling Unit, or an ADU, on city lots. By erecting an ADU, there’s no need to purchase additional land or add infrastructure like electricity and water. It adds value to the property and creates a source for added revenue as a rental space.

The homes are 600 square feet, but have a spacious feel because of the way they are designed by Borkholder and his staff architect, Mike Blue. They have nine models available on the New Energy Homes website with plans for more. The homes were submitted for consideration in the 2021 Builders Showcase of the Home Builders Association of St. Joseph Valley and garnered several awards, including Best of Show. In addition to the metal panels from McElroy Metal, other sustainable products used on the project included metal panels from Quality Edge Vesta in Gilded Grain, entry doors from Therma-Tru, thin-film laminate solar panels from MiaSolé and balcony railing from Westbury Aluminum Railing’s Tuscany line.

Why metal? Borkholder sites three reasons: Aesthetics, longevity and energy efficiency.

When it comes to energy efficiency, Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF reflective paint colors help reduce heat transfer. McElroy Metal’s Multi-Rib roofing and wall panels on the tiny house are Matte Black.

“Steel has a lot more value than most people think,” Borkholder says. “People need to see and feel what it’s like, they need to ‘experience’ the Tiny Homes.”

Of the first two Tiny Homes, one was sold to an executive at Inovateus Solar, the MiaSolé solar panel supplier. The second remains available on Air BNB.

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Vectorworks, Inc. Launches 2022 Version of BIM and CAD Product Line

September 15, 2021

Latest Version Provides Next Generation Performance, Feature-Rich Improvements Empowering Designers to Design Without Limits

Columbia, MD (September 15, 2021)—Global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. releases Vectorworks 2022 emphasizing product quality improvements, superior performance and the user experience. This latest release includes Vectorworks Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Fundamentals, Braceworks, ConnectCAD and Vision.

In addition, Vectorworks reveals its comprehensive solution for designers working within multiple industries has been renamed to accurately reflect its full range of design and BIM capabilities. Vectorworks Design Suite, formerly Vectorworks Designer, offers all the up-to-date features of Vectorworks Fundamentals, Architect, Landmark and Spotlight, providing the entire suite of technology in one interface.

“Vectorworks 2022 is an invitation to embrace the exceptional flexibility and interoperability that is expected of our purpose-built, design-focused products,” said Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar. “When you dive into all the advances in the product line, you can see how we are constantly investing in developments that deliver workflow freedom to designers and creators throughout the architecture, landscape, interiors and entertainment design industries.”

The Vectorworks 2022 product line includes improvements focused on next-gen tech, 3D and BIM workflows, interoperability, landscapes and GIS and entertainment design workflows.

Next-Gen Tech

With Vectorworks 2022, the main areas of development in core technologies and interfaces make Vectorworks products faster and more intuitive, while also providing the stability and accuracy required for maximum efficiency. Vectorworks is the first major BIM application to run natively on Apple silicon processors. Testing of Vectorworks 2022 has shown speed increases of two to four times.

Additional improvements in this area include full use of Metal on Mac and DirectX on Windows in the Vectorworks Graphics Module, Maxon’s Redshift Render Mode and a new Direct Link to Twinmotion. Plus, a redesign of the attribute and snapping palettes and new per-face texture mapping support an intuitive process for creating and visualizing designs.

3D and BIM Workflows

Vectorworks continues to provide design-focused tools for BIM workflows that work for all designers. Direct editing improvements to the stair tool help simplify the process of designing complex objects. Updates to the worksheet database and data manager provide a consistent interface, better visual cues, a new search mode and an improved formula bar with a new set of functions to help make generating targeted reports, schedules and material take offs easy. With a focus on re-engineering and the modernization of core architectural objects like wall components and data reporting to support the creation of accurate BIM models, Vectorworks 2022 offers improvements to your workflow for greater precision, control and accuracy for both the visual model and the corresponding data.


Vectorworks takes pride in being a design hub and continues to invest in optimizing the most-used file formats, supporting value-added partner products and ensuring that project teams and BIM collaboration remain unrivaled. Version 2022 includes improvements to the DWG file import to support Civil 3D, DWG and GIS georeferencing. Additionally, IFC import/export capabilities are enhanced for improved quantity takeoffs and GIS workflows.

Landscape and GIS

As the BIM platform of choice for landscape architecture, Vectorworks Landmark 2022 delivers more options for accurate modeling reflective of real-life design considerations. Improvements to the site model make it easier to define and report on soil layers. Updates to the plant tool, hardscape objects, and integrations with Esri make it easier to produce landscape BIM models that leverage GIS workflows while meeting the demand to create sustainable sites.


Our commitment to users in the entertainment industry is to invest first and foremost in re-engineering for better file performance and to provide highly responsive tools. Version 2022 of Vectorworks Spotlight, Braceworks, ConnectCAD and Vision has greater consistency between tools and functionality focused on simplifying processes such as cable and power planning to make your overall workflow efficient. This latest release also delivers many usability enhancements such as better controls on the camera tool, a position name field for truss and context menus for shifting data around. Improved placement and direct editing of objects in Schematic Views makes day-to-day documentation work in Vectorworks Spotlight faster and more intuitive.

To learn more about the latest release, visit or join the conversation on social media with #Vectorworks2022.

The English-language editions of Vectorworks, Braceworks, ConnectCAD and Vision 2022 are available today. The release of localized language versions will begin in October and conclude the first quarter of 2022. For more information about the availability of Vectorworks 2022 in other markets, contact your local Vectorworks distributor. Vectorworks Service Select and subscription users will receive upgrades to Vectorworks 2022 as soon as the product is released in their local markets.

Press can visit for more information, high-res images and videos, or contact for press interviews, demos and more.

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For the 7th Time, StruXure Appears on the Inc. 5000, Ranking No. 2079

September 14, 2021

Inc. magazine today revealed that StruXure is No. 2079 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“It is a testament to our dedicated staff and amazing dealer network that we are making our seventh consecutive appearance on the Inc. 5000,” says Scott Selzer, Founder and CEO of StruXure. “And it is incredibly gratifying to see that our unwavering mission to improve the way people live, work, and gather through the use of our smart pergolas and cabanas continues to gain momentum.”

“The 2021 Inc. 5000 list feels like one of the most important rosters of companies ever compiled,” says Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc. “Building one of the fastest-growing companies in America in any year is a remarkable achievement. Building one in the crisis we’ve lived through is just plain amazing. This kind of accomplishment comes with hard work, smart pivots, great leadership, and the help of a whole lot of people.”

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Architecture Transformed: How the Iconic Don CeSar Hotel Was Made Accessible for All

September 13, 2021

Renovating historic buildings is a tricky proposition because the way a space is used inevitably changes over time, even if it’s being used for its original function. Such is the case for the Don CeSar, an iconic resort hotel first opened on Florida’s St. Pete Beach in 1928. The Don CeSar, visible for miles due to its distinctive, Mediterranean-inspired design and bright pink stucco exterior, was transformed from hotel to military hospital before being reopened as a hotel again in 1973.

As the building approaches its 100th year, it recently underwent another transformation to be brought up to 21st-century design standards. Along with this change came the need to accommodate modern accessibility standards, a key concern when renovating historic structures. Parker-Torres Design, which led the renovation, accomplished both by creating deliberate spatial sequences and thoughtful sightlines, as well as harnessing the innovative technology of Ascension Lifts.

“Creating a new accessible and usable space for all within a building that was built in 1928 is a challenge in itself,” said Heather Gray, Senior Designer at Parker-Torres. As any seasoned designer knows, retrofitting an historic building for accessibility often means creating significantly more open space than it originally had. “The seaside retreat is composed of many small guestrooms that we designed to feel much larger, creating more livable space while also keeping the feel of the original hotel,” she said.

In common areas, the desire to streamline a series of compartmentalized spaces into an open environment came hand-in-hand with the increased circulation space needed for accessibility. “The bar was rotated a full 90 degrees from the side of the space and lowered to the adjoining lobby level to create a striking arrival view from the main entrance,” Gray explained. Furthermore, “the entrance of the restaurant was shifted to create a more interesting and dramatic transition from the lobby,” she added.

Outside, a new centerpiece was added to the hotel’s grounds in the form of the Beacon Pool Bar & Lookout, a poolside bar with an upper-level outdoor lounge lofted directly above it. The Beacon derives both its namesake and its design from the Don CeSar’s status as a nautical landmark for ships navigating the adjacent Gulf of Mexico. From the hotel’s grounds, its elevated profile is a landmark for guests, beckoning them upstairs to enjoy unobstructed views of the water.

While the benefits of creating a desirable, elevated space may be obvious, Parker-Torres designers found themselves facing the same obstacles when creating a new addition as they did when re-organizing the resort’s interior. “Creating a multi-level structure from a single, existing pool bar was a challenge for many reasons but creating accessibility to the upper level was the main concern,” Gray said. Like the rest of the historic hotel, the new outdoor lounge had to be able to be enjoyed by all.

To accomplish this, the Beacon’s designers unobtrusively placed an open-air, accessible lift between the lounge’s two exterior staircases. “We used a lift next to the new lit staircase and created multiple different seating arrangements,” Grey said. Design for accessibility was also integrated into the layout of tables, chairs and countertops. “High-top and low-top tables were integrated with drink rails and low lounge seating so the picturesque sunset could be enjoyed from all locations of this space,” she said.

Wishing to complement the resort’s aesthetic style, Parker-Torres designers needed to specify a lift that performed both functionally and visually, blending in with its surroundings rather than drawing attention to itself. As a result, they chose Ascension’s Clarity lift for its small footprint and glass enclosure. “The sleek design allows for a visually pleasing look that matches with the overall design concept while still providing ADA compatibility so that all guests have access to experiencing the Beacon Lookout,” said Joseph Zummo, the Don CeSar’s Director of Engineering.

The Clarity lift is specifically designed to bridge significant height gaps in small spaces while keeping a low profile. Reaching up to 14 feet vertically, the lift’s cabinet is mounted directly to the face of the upper landing, while both the upper and lower entries meet the adjacent floor without ramps. The entire assembly is also installed on the existing floor surface, without an operating pit or overhead equipment.

Because the Don CeSar’s poolside bar is located directly below the Beacon Lookout, a straight through entry/exit orientation was utilized so the lift wouldn’t interfere with bar operations, although the Clarity can be specified with a same side orientation as well. Parker-Torres also picked a muted black finish to match the rest of the Beacon Lookout’s architectural metals, though the Clarity’s aesthetics are highly adjustable, with custom colors and even window etchings available.

To see more design-focused accessibility solutions, check out Ascension’s wide range of lifts and the many ways they’ve been applied to historic building projects.

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TELLING INDUSTRIES, LLC Announces: Environmental and Sustainability Verification (EPD)

September 10, 2021

TELLING INDUSTRIES, LLC announced that their cold-formed metal framing products now carry the SFIA Environmental Product Declaration (EPD).

Telling is now a recognized holder of latest LEED™ certification, EPD or Environmental Product Declaration. Telling’s manufacturing processes and products underwent rigorous audits by SCS Global Services to qualify for the SFIA EPD program listing. Telling Industries has joined other business and organizations around the world working to provide products and services that meet the highest environmental, social, and quality standards.

Telling Industries is a recognized leader in metal framing innovation. With multiple plants to service most of the USA, Telling excels at problem solving for metal framing needs of the commercial construction industry. Please visit our web site at for more information about our exciting products!

SCS Global Services (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party quality, environmental and sustainability verification, certification, auditing, testing, and standards development for three decades. Its programs span a cross-section of industries, recognizing achievements in green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, power generation retail, and more.

The Steel Framing Industry Association (SFIA) is dedicated to expanding the market for cold-formed steel in construction through programs and initiatives that promote the use of cold-formed steel framing as a sustainable and cost-effective solution, advocate the development and acceptance of favorable code provisions, educate members with reliable data and other critical information that is essential to effective business planning, and create a positive environment for innovation.

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Registration Opens for 2021 Vectorworks Design Summit

September 09, 2021

Global, Virtual Event to Provide Exclusive Trainings, Thought Leadership Sessions and Networking Opportunities

Columbia, MD (September 7, 2021)—Global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. opens registration for its sixth Vectorworks Design Summit. From Nov. 1 to Nov. 3, design professionals, customers, educators and students across the globe in the architecture, landscape and entertainment industries will virtually hear the latest from Vectorworks leadership and product experts, take part in live training sessions and network with Vectorworks partners and fellow users—all at no cost.

“Even though we’re going virtual for this year’s Design Summit, we’re committed to providing an exceptional training and networking experience for customers all around the world,” said Customer Success Director Juan Almansa. “We’re tailoring this event to not only include exclusive trainings, networking opportunities and a look at our future developments but to also help attendees gain confidence in their design skills using Vectorworks software.”

Each day of the event will have a specific focus for attendees.

Monday, Nov. 1: Hear from Vectorworks leadership including CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar, Chief Technology Officer Steve Johnson and Product Marketing Director Rubina Siddiqui, Assoc. AIA in live presentations followed by a Q&A session.

Tuesday, Nov. 2: Participate in live and on-demand trainings, attend thought leadership sessions on key industry topics and get exclusive content from the Vectorworks Partner Network.

Wednesday, Nov. 3: Ask questions and connect with product experts and Vectorworks partners in an open-house style networking session.

“I'm thrilled to speak at this year’s Design Summit about Stageport's research into BIM, digital twins and the entertainment industry, and I look forward to sharing our Vectorworks experience with the community,” said Jazz Hutsby, visualization technologist at Stageport. “With all the advancements in Vectorworks features and the industry over the last year, I’m hopeful attendees will gain insights into the benefits of creating digital twins of venues to help change the way they create, adapt and share their own drawings.”

All design professionals, customers, educators and students are invited to the Vectorworks Design Summit.

Secure your spot and learn more about the event by visiting the registration page.

Media interested in press interviews with Vectorworks team members can submit their requests to

Connect with other design professionals in the latest conversations by following #VectorworksDesignSummit.

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Staron Adds 18 New Colors to 2021 Solid Surface Line

September 03, 2021

LOTTE Chemical California, Inc. expands its 2021 line of premium solid surfaces with 18 new additions, available now from the company’s network of North American dealers and distributors. The new colors deliver the outstanding performance for which Staron is famous – non-porous construction for exceptionally easy cleanup, dimensional flexibility for use in wide-ranging commercial and residential applications, unparalleled durability, and low maintenance requirements.

A new addition to the Evermoin® Collection – Angel White – provides a fresh option engineered for environments that require ultra-hygienic materials. Manufactured to suppress the growth of microbes, including common bacteria, Evermoin surfaces are specifically designed for environments requiring exceptionally-clean conditions – healthcare facilities, retail establishments, and high-traffic office environments.

“The popularity of our premium solid-surface line continues to grow among commercial customers and homeowners,” stated John Kim, director of the architectural products team for LOTTE Chemical California, Inc. “We now offer more than 100 superior Staron color and pattern options, capable of meeting the need of almost any application imaginable.”

Each of the 2021 colors adds a new dimension of choice for interior designers, architects, builders, and the residential and commercial customers with whom they collaborate.

The Staron Terrazzo Collection
New Terrazzo patterns feature the old-world look of broken, polished stone, presented in classic aggregate with interesting shapes and textures.
• Bologna – a warm collection of dark and light brown aggregate
• Torino – a sophisticated mix of black, gray, and white aggregate

The Staron Supreme Collection
An assortment of beautiful, flowing veined patterns that resemble those found in marble and other natural stone.
• Arctic White – an undulating combination of light and dark whites

The Staron Solid Collection
Rich single colors for a uniform, clean look or as an accent to other Staron color choices.
• Forest – dark, rich, fertile green
• Piano Black – elegant polished black
• Tusk – concentrated, regal ivory
• Cave – mesmerizing matte black
• Champagne – light, bouncy beige
• Moonstone – rich, layered gray
• Ultramarine – deep ocean blue

The Staron Sanded Collection
A selection of dense grain patterns for a subtle, sophisticated look.
• Loft – tan with beach-like patterning

The Staron Aspen Collection
A blend of particulate sizes with tone-on-tone chips resembling natural granite.
• Altai – sophisticated beige with subtle tan and brown specks
• Attica – gray with light and dark speckles
• Crema – cream-coloring bejeweled with white flecks

The Staron Pebble Collection
Surfaces with larger particulates creating a visual depth that resembles natural stone.
• Crema – rich light-brown fused with light and dark specks
• Iceland – crisp gray with a hint of floating white
• Straw – tan intermingled with subtle brown markings

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For Some, Vinyl Flooring Is Life Changing

September 01, 2021

We don’t talk enough about the social aspect of design—but we really should.

Medina Creative Housing didn’t opt for vinyl flooring because of its aesthetics or its affordability. For its residents, vinyl flooring is literally life changing.

Medina Creative Housing offers housing and services for people with developmental disabilities. Their homes enable people in Medina County, Ohio, to live independently (with support services) in affordable, accessible, and safe neighborhoods.

“Quite simply, vinyl allows for barrier-free living,” says Medina Executive Director Dianne DePasquale-Hagerty.

There are two important ways that vinyl changes lives: (1) safety and (2) independence.

From a safety perspective, vinyl flooring provides a seamless surface to walk on and navigate across. So a person with a cane, for example, doesn’t have to transition across different surfaces. Nor does someone who might have equilibrium problems due to a pharmaceutical regimen or a medical condition need to worry about tripping on frayed or uneven carpet or falling onto hard tiles.

Vinyl flooring is also really easy to disinfect, something that has become a critical aspect of property maintenance for Medina Creative Housing since the coronavirus outbreak. “Our residents and staff are especially vulnerable during this pandemic,” says DePasquale-Hagerty. “It would be catastrophic to our ability to provide necessary services and safe living spaces if we had any concerns about viral material spreading on common surfaces in our facilities, so we must maintain them to a high degree. Vinyl flooring allows us to do that easily with chemical disinfectants, and without expensive and disruptive steam cleaning.”

Along with safety, vinyl flooring enables greater independence. Residents in wheelchairs can more easily mop the floors in their units and maintain their living spaces, which helps them to develop skills that enable them to enter the workforce. Similarly, the ease of moving around on vinyl floors makes cooking, washing, and other activities of daily living easier for residents. Vinyl floors in workplaces can help people with certain disabilities be able to work safely—a key to economic independence.

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METALCON Launches Project Photo Competition

September 01, 2021

METALCON launches a metal in design and construction project photo competition at this year’s annual conference and tradeshow in Tampa from Wednesday, Oct. 6 - Friday, Oct. 8.

Architects, designers, contractors, manufacturers and owners are invited to submit high-quality photos of their best, coolest, most interesting and inspiring projects that feature metal in the interior OR exterior design in one of the following categories:
• Roofs
• Walls
• Interiors
• Ornamental/Architectural Features

A panel of judges comprised of the Metal Construction Association (MCA) council chairs and other metal construction and design industry experts will determine one winner in each of the four categories with one grand-prize winner. Entries will be judged based on the use of metal in design and construction communicated through photographs, not based on photo composition. Entrants may submit multiple projects. Each project requires its own entry form and photo. Submissions including photo and entry form must be received by September 2.

Top entries will be displayed in the METALCON Metal in Architecture Gallery at the Tampa Convention Center during the show. Photos selected for inclusion in the gallery will be automatically entered to win. All winners will be announced at METALCON, and the grand-prize winner will be awarded a $1000 cash prize.

To enter, register your project at or go here. Project photos must be in color and high-resolution; download the specs sheet for more information.

“We are excited to launch this competition and also create the ultimate display of projects that illustrate the beauty, durability and functionality of metal in all kinds of architecture, from firehouses and truck stops to museums and universities at the only global event dedicated exclusively to the application of metal in design and construction,” said Judy Geller, METALCON’s Vice President of Tradeshows.

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Five benefits of specifying manufacturer certified installers on your projects

August 31, 2021

Manufacturer certification programs can be a source of confusion. Most often, the confusion stems from using words like “certified,” “approved,” “authorized,” and “qualified” interchangeably. While they may mean the same thing to architects and building owners, those terms often mean completely different things to manufacturers.

For this article, let’s assume that “certification” means an installer has completed system-specific installation training by the panel manufacturer. With that definition established, let's focus on discussing the benefits of requiring a “certified” installer for your next project

1. Better Quality Installs
2. Weathertightness Warranty Requirement
3. Contractor Commitment
4. Manufacturer Contact
5. Quicker Install

Key considerations for Requiring Manufacturer Certification

While the benefits of manufacturer certification are numerous, there are some key considerations when including this requirement in your project specifications.

Programs Differ. While the term manufacturer certification is used interchangeably through the metal roof and wall panel industry, certification programs vary widely between manufacturers. Some manufacturers conduct their programs in a conference room at a local hotel where participants are taught only through PowerPoint or by reviewing install manuals for one or two hours.

Bidders Can Be Limited. While requiring contractor certification can help ensure the benefits previously discussed, it’s important to understand that it does so by limiting the installers that can bid on your project. When a contractor isn’t already certified by a manufacturer, they can experience two hurdles:1. They may be able to get certified but can’t do so within the time frame the project requires.2. They simply may not be able to meet the manufacturer’s specified criteria.

Know Who is Certified. While there are some variations, most manufacturers certify the individual who attended the training program instead of the company that employs them.

Certification Expires: Once achieved, manufacturer certification typically lasts for a limited time frame. Once the established time passes, contractors are required to complete a recertification process. This process also varies widely by the manufacturer and is often impacted by the contractor’s quantity and quality of work during their initial certification window.From the architect’s perspective, it’s most important to understand that certifications can (and do) expire. Someone who may have previously been certified with a manufacturer may no longer hold that designation. Consequently, if installer certification is important to you, it’s imperative that a copy of the contractor certification be a requirement in the submittal package.

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Niagara Debuts Over 100 New Toilet SKUs Designed with Advanced Technology, High Performance and Water Efficiency for the Traditional Wholesale Channel

August 30, 2021

Niagara®, the leader in high-performance, high-technology, water-saving toilets, is launching a full line of products today with four new toilet product suites dedicated to the traditional wholesale channel and designed specifically with features and benefits for builders, remodelers, and plumbing professionals. The new product lineup is the first in the industry to carry a 15-year warranty. Specific characteristics that make this new product line attractive to pros include:

• Three Flush Technologies including Stealth®

• Superior Performance

• Notable Convenience

• Outstanding Confidence

“With continued growth in new housing construction and remodeling, we’ve taken the time to listen closely to the building pros who install, repair and specify toilets – including plumbers, plumbing engineers, builders, service plumbers, contractors and architects – to learn what details are important to them when installing toilets in homes,” said Jeff Pratt, vice president of sales at Niagara. “Using that knowledge, we have developed a full lineup of products for pros to choose from that not only delivers advanced technology, but powerful performance and easy installation. These products provide savings and are offered in a variety of flushing options: 0.8, 1.0, 1.1 and 1.28 GPF.”

More than 100 new SKUs comprise Niagara’s new product line, which includes four categories of products:

The Liberty™ Product Line

The Sabre™ Product Line

The Shadow™ Product Line

The Barron™ Product Line

Niagara's new line will be sold exclusively through wholesalers across the United States.

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METALCON Launches Project Photo Competition
Highlighting the Use of Metal in Design and Construction

August 26, 2021

METALCON launches a metal in design and construction project photo competition at this year’s annual conference and tradeshow in Tampa from Wednesday, Oct. 6 - Friday, Oct. 8.

Architects, designers, contractors, manufacturers and owners are invited to submit high-quality photos of their best, coolest, most interesting and inspiring projects that feature metal in the interior OR exterior design in one of the following categories:
• Roofs
• Walls
• Interiors
• Ornamental/Architectural Features

A panel of judges comprised of the Metal Construction Association (MCA) council chairs and other metal construction and design industry experts will determine one winner in each of the four categories with one grand-prize winner. Entries will be judged based on the use of metal in design and construction communicated through photographs, not based on photo composition. Entrants may submit multiple projects. Each project requires its own entry form and photo. Submissions including photo and entry form must be received by September 2.

Top entries will be displayed in the METALCON Metal in Architecture Gallery at the Tampa Convention Center during the show. Photos selected for inclusion in the gallery will be automatically entered to win. All winners will be announced at METALCON, and the grand-prize winner will be awarded a $1000 cash prize.

To enter, register your project at or go here. Project photos must be in color and high-resolution; download the specs sheet for more information.

“We are excited to launch this competition and also create the ultimate display of projects that illustrate the beauty, durability and functionality of metal in all kinds of architecture, from firehouses and truck stops to museums and universities at the only global event dedicated exclusively to the application of metal in design and construction,” said Judy Geller, METALCON’s Vice President of Tradeshows.

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Virtual Learning: Structural Engineer & Architect Continuing Education

August 25, 2021

Still looking for virtual learning options, even as the country continues to re-open and people begin to attend more in-person gatherings? If so, we have you covered!

At Fabreeka, we’ve partnered with AEC Daily, an e-learning provider for architects, engineers and other construction professionals. We sponsor two self-paced courses on the website, free for anyone to take. Whether you’re an industry professional, or just someone looking to learn more about what our products can do for you, the course can offer a wealth of benefits.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) continuing education credit has been reviewed and approved by AIA Continuing Education Services for these courses. Certificates of Completion for both AIA members and non-AIA members are available upon completion of the course and passing the subsequent test.

Additionally, Fabreeka’s online courses have been approved by multiple associations. AEC Daily Corporation has met the standards and requirements of the Registered Continuing Education Program (RCEP). Credit earned on completion of this program will be reported to RCEP at A certificate of completion will be issued to each participant.

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Vectorworks, Inc. Chief Human Resources Officer Wins Silver Stevie® Award in 2021 International Business Awards®

August 20, 2021

Tania Salgado-Nealous Honored in the Human Resources Executive of the Year Category

Columbia, MD (August 18, 2021)—Global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. proudly announces Chief Human Resources Officer Tania Salgado-Nealous, PHR, SHRM-CP was named the winner of a Silver Stevie® Award in the Human Resources Executive of the Year Category in the 18th Annual International Business Awards®.

The International Business Awards (IBAs) are the world’s premier business awards program, open to all individuals and organizations worldwide. The 2021 IBAs received more than 3,700 nominations from organizations of all sizes and industries in 63 different nations and territories. This year’s competition featured a number of categories to recognize organizations’ and individuals’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The various and creative employee engagement efforts Salgado-Nealous has implemented in her 14-year career at Vectorworks have helped to make employee’s lives better not only at the office, but also at home. Since 2019, Salgado-Nealous has executed paid paternity leave for employees, hired over 70 new employees for the U.S., U.K. and Canada offices and helped to reinforce and communicate Vectorworks’ core values of inclusion, balance, collaboration and innovation. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she also successfully oversaw the transition of all three company offices to full-time remote work in less than one business day, implemented several pandemic-friendly employee engagement activities and transitioned company training and development opportunities to a new virtual environment.

“After such a remarkable year and a half tackling great adversity, I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this achievement,” said Vectorworks Chief Executive Officer Dr. Biplab Sarkar. “Tania is a dedicated champion of our employees and a leader by example of the culture at Vectorworks.”

Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 260 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process from June through early August.

“What we’ve seen in this year’s IBA nominations is that organizations around the world, in every sector, have continued to innovate and succeed, despite the setbacks, obstacles and tragedies of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Stevie Awards President Maggie Gallagher. “All of this year’s Stevie Award winners are to be applauded for their persistence and their resilience. We look forward to celebrating their achievements with them during our December 8 virtual awards ceremony.”

Details about The International Business Awards and the lists of Stevie Award winners are available at

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August 18, 2021

ICD, an industry leader in manufacturing water-based coatings for 35 years, has announced today the company will begin operating under a newly extended formal name, known as ICD High Performance Coatings + Chemistries.

Kris Vockler, CEO & President expresses the significance of this pivotal moment in the company’s history, “This rebrand strategy isn’t only a name change, it cements ICD’s vision for the future by expanding both our product offerings and promoting our silicone expertise.”

Describing market reach expansion, Casey Anderson, ICD Marketing Manager states, “In addition to our B2B architectural, automotive, and decorative/protective coatings, we now manufacture and offer upstream solutions for the broader coatings formulation market. This is also achieved while prioritizing sustainable contributions.”

The proprietary product magnifying ICD’s sales channel opportunities is a 1-component, water-based silicone elastomer named PerformaSil™ 100. It’s formulated to improve overall coating properties and out-perform solvent-based silicones, while aiding easy application and cleanup.

The unique capabilities of PerformaSil™ 100 are characterized by DJ Widmer, ICD Global Sales Director, “This revolutionary silicone latex is best utilized as a co-resin or sole binder when formulating ambient-cure or baked architectural coatings. It plays well in the waterproofing, protective, anti-graffiti, and air and weather barrier segments as a co-binder to increase coating weatherability and water resistance. Incorporation in exterior coating formulation is also beneficial when harsh weather conditions are a concern. As a bonus, it exhibits excellent adhesion to a wide range of substrates, such as masonry, glass, metal, wood, and textiles.”

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Sto Corp. Introduces StoVentec® for Masonry Veneer Facades: Sto’s Rainscreen® System for Thin Brick Masonry Veneer

August 18, 2021

Sto Corp., the innovative world leader in claddings, air barriers, coatings, and restoration systems announced the launch of StoVentec® for masonry veneer facades, a new offering in the StoVentec® line of ventilated rainscreen cladding systems to support thin brick masonry veneer cladding.

The latest introduction is part of Sto’s ongoing effort to expand their array of unlimited design flexibility with a broad range of architectural surfaces. “This is part of our ‘Creativity Begins. Sto Finishes®’ initiative” explains Larry Hilovsky, Director, Rainscreen – Sto Corp., “We’re offering the widest range of aesthetic options in combination with the most complete selection of fully engineered and tested building envelope systems. Designers know they can find the look they want without compromising the performance of the building enclosure.”

Following standard procedure with a new product introduction, Sto is conducting full system testing. In particular, they are testing the sheer bond strength of industry standard thin brick masonry veneer products with Sto’s masonry adhesive. “Customers need to know that the products they’re using will work together seamlessly. By offering a complete, tested system, we’re making sure that they will,” said Sto Senior Product Manager Karine Galla. When describing their testing program, she said, “When you combine the complete system approach with the aesthetic possibilities that come with Sto, nobody else can compete. Nobody really even comes close.”

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5 Reasons Why Your Hotel and Resort Projects Need Antimicrobial Glass Protection

August 17, 2021

HMI understands that microbes can live anywhere, including on the most beautiful showers found in high-end resorts and hotels. With the addition of Microban® technology, our C.10 Glass Protectant is the premium choice for fighting mold, mildew, and bacteria to maintain high-end shower enclosures and other glass products.

We are proud to be the first and only glass manufacturer to offer this advanced antimicrobial protection to general contractors, architects, and commercial designers serving clients in the hospitality industry.

Here are five reasons why you should add a layer of invisible protection when specifying HMI for your next hotel or resort project.

1. Guests rank cleanliness is ranked above all else.

According to, cleanliness is the most important attribute hotel guests look for when choosing accommodations – even when considering price and location.

Even though they may not be visible to guests, bacteria reproduce rapidly on untreated surfaces, doubling in number every 20 minutes. On a C.10 with Microban treated surface, the bacteria are reduced by up to 99%.

HMI’s C.10 with Microban is proven effective against a broad spectrum of bacteria on your shower glass, giving guests the cleanliness and peace of mind they seek.

2. 24/7 protection reduces housekeeping efforts.

In the coming years, the hospitality industry will have to balance increased cleaning efforts without diminishing the guest experience that is expected. That means more thorough cleanings from housekeeping without adding to their time spent in the room or requiring earlier guest checkouts.

C.10 with Microban works continuously to keep shower glass cleaner between showers. The invisible protection results in visible cleanliness and less mold and mildew between cleanings, so housekeeping can work efficiently in the bathroom without sacrificing effectiveness. Just think what five minutes in time savings could do for your team when multiplied by the number of rooms cleaned.

3. Clients enjoy peace of mind for the life of the product.

HMI’s C.10 with Microban is integrated during the glass manufacturing process and becomes part of the molecular structure of the custom glass product. It is designed to last the lifetime of the glass and will not wash off or wear away. Your hospitality clients will rest assured that they’ve been treated to smart, cleaner glass for years to come.

4. Architects and designers can specify with confidence.

By protecting custom shower glass from degrading microbes, C.10 with Microban helps to extend the product life. This longevity gives architects and designers confidence that they are specifying a shower that is built to last.

Plus, clients will love this added layer of protection to safeguard their custom glass investment, ensuring the work of art is safe from wear and tear.

5. The clear coating can be added to any design.

Last but not least, C.10 with Microban is invisible! Because of it’s clear nature, it is an ideal protectant for any custom design with digital in-glass printing. The product will not affect or tint the design, allowing designers and their clients full creative freedom with color and texture.

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McElroy Metal’s Medallion selected for Texas condo reroofing project

August 12, 2021

There’s always going to be competition when you’re bidding on a visible re-roofing job. Sam Mott, owner of Wimberley Roofing in Wimberley, Texas, is not one to shy away from a little competition.

“It was a fun project,” Mott insists. “We were humbled and happy to be offered the opportunity to complete this project. There were eight bids and we were not the cheapest. Fortunately, our reputation and experience with these kinds of projects was enough to convince the owners that we were the best-suited to do the job right.”

Mott’s bid included 24,000 square feet of McElroy Metal’s 24-gauge Medallion-Lok standing seam panels. Medallion-Lok features a narrow 1-3/4-inch-tall standing seam that creates crisp, clean visual lines. The roof color chosen was Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF Terra Cotta, similar to the color of the concrete tiles when they were originally installed.

“The number one concern with this project was dealing with the fact the buildings were fully occupied,” Mott says. “We had a safety person on hand at all times, to make sure the residents knew when we were working and on what part of the buildings we would be working on. Concrete tiles coming off a roof can do a lot of damage.”

Mott says the job was completed in 2-1/2 weeks, beginning to end. Tearing off the concrete tiles took a full two days.

“The original roofing system consisted of a single-layer felt underlayment, which was in pretty bad shape,” Mott says. “We had to do some cleanup, replace some deck boards. We used GAP Guardshield for most of the roof and Carlisle WIP 300 (High Temperature) underlayment in the valleys and all penetrations.”

The roofs on both buildings are pretty cut up, with several valleys, gables, slope changes and penetrations, including four skylights on each building, measuring 4 by 4 feet.

“They were a little bigger than we like to work with, but we’re always extra careful with skylights,” Mott says. “We put new curbs behind the skylights and wrapped them up with the PSU underlayment to keep them watertight. Some of the old stucco on the chimneys had to be cleaned up and touched up before we could install the metal curb detail around them.”

Ultimately, the job was completed on time and everyone was pleased with the results.

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IOTA® ILBHI emergency drivers address the challenges of 347-480 VAC applications

August 11, 2021

IOTA® introduces the ILBHI Series emergency drivers for applications using 347-480VAC line power. The IOTA ILBHI converts the incoming 347-480VAC power to DC voltage for operating the LED array or light engine from the internal battery supply for the code-required 90-minutes during a loss of normal power.

With the ability to accept the native 347-480VAC input, the IOTA ILBHI Series eliminates the challenges created by using typical 120/277VAC emergency driver products, such as the need for stepdown transformers, dedicated 120/277VAC circuits, potential incompatibility with other control devices, or the use of additional surge suppression equipment.

The IOTA ILBHI Series includes emergency drivers for both Class 2 and non-Class 2 luminaires on the 347-480VAC circuit, with mounting and wattage options to match individual lighting requirements.

Other benefits of the IOTA ILBHI emergency drivers include: • Constant Power delivers consistent emergency illumination from Minute 1 to Minute 90 • Auto-Sense forward voltages for both 15-55VDC and 55-250VDC luminaires • Self-test/self-diagnostics automatically conduct required monthly and annual tests. • High-efficiency design helps meet CA Title 20 energy performance standards for battery chargers • UL 924 Listed for factory or field installation in the United States and Canada • 5-Year Warranty

IOTA’s emergency driver designs are carefully engineered, manufactured, and handled to deliver optimal customer satisfaction and performance in the field.

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8 Reasons PVC/Vinyl is a Sustainable Choice

August 10, 2021

1. PVC is recyclable and recycled.
In 2019, more than 1.1 billion pounds of PVC was recycled in the US and Canada. Testing has shown that PVC can be recycled up to seven times without losing its mechanical properties - proof of its circularity.

2. It’s durability allows products to be in service for upwards of 100 years.
Vinyl siding stays in use for decades and doesn’t need to be replaced as often as other products. Termites and insects won’t destroy it, and hail won’t dent is. PVC pipes last much longer than metal, clay, or cement pipes that rust, corrode, and break much sooner, requiring additional energy to replace and fix.

3. Vinyl can withstand harsh cleaning requirements.
Items like flooring, wallcoverings, and upholstery all need to be regularly disinfected in medical settings. Many other materials deteriorate in those settings due to the harsh cleaning and disinfecting regimens, requiring repeated replacement and disposal. Vinyl can last longer and stay in use longer.

4. PVC has less embodied carbon than most other building materials.
Iron, steel, and concrete are some of the most significant contributors to the high carbon footprints of buildings because they require more energy to manufacture and transport.

5. PVC pipes are slick, using less pumping energy to move fluids over their lifetime.
On the other hand, iron pipes rust and corrode, which requires more energy to pump water. This means that PVC has a lower operational carbon footprint than rusty, corroded piping systems.

6. PVC is lightweight, so it costs less to ship and install.
PVC pipes need less heavy machinery to move and install, requiring less fuel. Lightweight PVC auto parts reduce the weight of our vehicles, which improves gas mileage and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Replacing steel components with plastic has been essential to achieving greater fuel efficiency.

7. PVC packaging keeps food safe and fresh longer
This reduces food waste, which is an enormous carbon creator.

8. PVC supports renewable energy.
Durable, lightweight PVC is used in the core of solar turbine blades, the film, and wiring in solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations.

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CSI's highest honor, Distinguished Member, is presented to Louis Medcalf, FCSI, CCS® and Casey F. Robb, FCSI, Lifetime Member, CDT®, CCPR™.

August 04, 2021

These two members are recognized for their outstanding careers in the AECO (architecture, engineering, construction, and owner) industry and notable support for, and advancement of, CSI. Louis and Casey become CSI's 56th and 57th Distinguished Members.

These honors will be bestowed at the CSI National Conference during CSI Celebrates, Wed., Sept. 23 from 5:30-7:00 p.m., EDT.

Louis Medcalf, FCSI, CCS®

Louis Medcalf started his journey with CSI in October 1982. Since then, he has exercised his skills and expertise with technical writing, education, and service to and on behalf of CSI at the chapter, region, and national level. Louis' contributions toward developing electronic communications and his service to CSI on the Specifications Subcommittee, the Practice Subcommittee, the UniFormat® Task Team, as Editor of the Memphis Perspective, and as President of the Cincinnati and Memphis Chapters, in addition to many other extraordinary accomplishments, ensured his induction as a CSI Fellow in June 2007. He participated in the long-standing monthly webcast sessions of the CSI Specifying Practice Community which has served to engage CSI members and specifiers and has provided insight and education to many in the AECO industry. Louis was bestowed with CSI's Outstanding Contributions Award and the CSI Board Chair’s Plaque for extraordinary services to the Institute in 2019.

Trusted colleague and confidant, mentor, and friend, Louis receives this honor posthumously, having peacefully passed on July 7, 2021.

Casey F. Robb, FCSI, Lifetime Member, CDT®, CCPR™

Since joining CSI in May 1986, Casey has served in numerous CSI chapter, region, and national committees, on various CSI task-teams, and in many leadership roles. He is an accomplished motivational speaker and educator, having presented at countless building science and CSI training, and educational functions and events. He has made it his mission to help others engage with CSI, to learn and grow, and advance CSI principals.

Casey has served on the boards of CSI’s Saint Louis and Atlanta Chapters, and Southeast Region in a variety of leadership positions. He has also served at the national level as a Board member and officer, and notably as CSI President from 2012-2013. He continues his service in CSI as the current College of Fellows Chancellor.

Casey is a recognized construction industry professional, a principal business development consultant, a mentor, an educator, and sought-after motivational speaker. As a trusted advisor, he is constantly inspiring others by connecting them with CSI and his own national network of design and construction professionals.

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Colorado’s Most Visited Tourist Destination Features S-5! Snow Retention

July 28, 2021

Standing at 14,115 feet above sea level, Pikes Peak is home to majestic views, a National Historic Landmark, more than a half a million visitors per year, and for the past three years, the highest ongoing construction site in North America. Mounted on its new $60 million, 38,000-square-feet Pikes Peak Visitor Center's standing seam metal roof is S-5! ColorGard.

Constructed in material similar to Pikes Peak granite and designed for visitors to take in its surrounding beauty, richness and scenery, this three building campus–the Pikes Peak Summit Complex–features a visitor's center with dining and rooftop terraces, observation decks and interactive displays, and a high-altitude research and communications center. It offers sweeping views and features interpretive outdoor exhibits and digitally interactive displays on the history, significance and geology of Pikes Peak.

"We are honored to be part of this extraordinary project on 'America's Mountain' right in our backyard," said Rob Haddock, CEO & founder of S-5! "The new Pikes Peak Summit Complex is an extraordinary place to visit, with unobstructed inspiring views – a place where all people can experience the summit of a magnificent Colorado 14er. And by the way, a companion natural attraction at the foot of the Peak is the Garden of the Gods. Its visitor center also sports an S-5! ColorGard installation."

Photo credit: Moss Photography

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U-Line Adds Specialty Products to Commercial Product Line

July 28, 2021

U-Line is proud to introduce a new commercial collection resulting from a collaboration with Desmon. Desmon is a commercial refrigeration specialist based in Italy and has been part of the Middleby family since 2014. As a leader in chilling and freezing technologies, their products are known for innovation, energy efficiency, and craftmanship. The collection includes 33 specialty models including pizza prep tables, refrigerator & freezer base units, blast chillers & freezers, and upright freezers & refrigeration in various sizes.

President of U-Line Andy Doberstein noted, “The combination of Desmon’s unique product mix and our growing expansion into the commercial space brings opportunities for both companies and we anticipate our U-Line by Desmon collection to expand over time”. These specialty products are sold exclusively through a network of commercial dealers throughout the United States. President of Desmon, Corrado De Santis says, “We are excited to tap into the vast US Market and believe leveraging the heritage and strength of the U-Line brand and the extensive Middleby network will allow us to showcase our products in commercial applications both large and small.” U-Line by Desmon products are made in Italy and stock is maintained at U-Line in Milwaukee.

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Metl-Span IMPs have a contemporary appearance for military eyewear producer

July 21, 2021

To say Galvion produces glasses would not do the company justice. Galvion "utilizes a robust design to deliver protective eyewear solutions that save lives" for use by the military and law enforcement. The company's new manufacturing and office facility in Portsmouth, N.H., constructed with insulated metal panels from Metl-Span, reflects that bold and durable design.

"The goal was to ensure consistency with the branding of Galvion products," says Mallory Mae Conway, Architect, Director for Jodoin, Lamarre, Pratte Architects Inc. in Montreal. "Galvion is focused on its eyewear line, so the insulated metal panels and aluminum composite material (ACM) helped us achieve a contemporary look; the panels are very smooth, as opposed to the rough finish of a concrete or stucco material."

Conway says the front of the building contains a crease in the metal to represent the folded elements consistent with the company’s branding. "The availability of bright green and the grays for the metal panels allowed us to easily match the corporate colors," she says. "You can't do that with other materials."

Seacoast Crane & Building Company of Kittery, Maine, installed the insulated metal panels and the ACM that make up the colorful façade of the Galvion building.

"We've been doing more and more work with insulated metal panels the last 4-5 years," says Bill Belanger, project manager at Seacoast Crane & Building. "Up here in New England, it's become a trend; there are a lot of large warehouse-type buildings. I think the growing popularity of insulated metal panels has a lot to do with the energy codes. Insulated metal panels allow you to achieve almost any R-value you want."

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Vectorworks, Inc. Joins the Open Geospatial Consortium to Contribute to GIS and BIM Standards

July 21, 2021

Global Design and BIM Software Provider Will Serve as Technical Member of International Consortium

Columbia, MD (July 19, 2021)—Today, global design and BIM software provider, Vectorworks, Inc. announces its official membership in the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), a global resource for geospatial information and standards. As a technical member, Vectorworks will offer its experience and expertise in connecting BIM and GIS workflows to the OGC.

“Joining the OGC is a milestone that not only shows our commitment to standards for BIM and location data, but also demonstrates how we’re continually progressing to advocate for the needs and standards of the AEC and landscape industries,” said Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar. “Together with the 500-plus businesses and organizations this partnership brings, we look forward to discussions with innovative thought leaders on emerging tech trends, open geospatial standards and the future of BIM and GIS that will define solidified and streamlined principles for the industries.”

Through their member-driven consensus process, OGC serves as the leading authority on geospatial standards, ensuring that location information is findable, accessible, integrable and reusable. Vectorworks global architecture, landscape architecture and planning customer-base, along with the use of geospatial data across BIM and BIM for landscape workflows, are leading priorities for the company. As such, together with the OGC, Vectorworks will participate in discussions that ensure interoperability of geospatial data within design and BIM projects.

“I'm happy to welcome Vectorworks to our collective global , problem-solving community of geospatial experts and users that is the OGC," said OGC CEO Dr. Nadine Alameh. "A key part of the mainstreaming of geospatial is the integration of information between the AEC and geospatial information environments in the architecture and landscape architecture industries. Vectorworks’ commitment to such an integration across BIM workflows based on international open standards and best practices cannot be timelier and more impactful to the Consortium and the community overall.”

Read about OGC’s mission and vision here and learn more about their newest member by visiting

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Meet Katrina Ralston: Business owner, mother, wife, sailor and good friend

July 20, 2021

We had the good fortune of connecting with Katrina Ralston and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katrina, what is the most important factor behind your success? People. We live in a global economy and the internet has leveled the playing field from a buying perspective. Folks can review and buy from a wide variety of places online and in person. So what keeps a company relevant these days? It’s the people. How we treat each other matters. How we function and support one another is more important now than ever. Customer service is no longer a buzz word it is a game changer. If you are not supporting the people inside and outside of your company, people won’t come back. It’s not just about the consumer, it is about your entire human experience.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others? Feeney, Inc. is a family owned and operated business. Our passion and the foundation of our business is a product called CableRail. We brought this product to the United States back in the mid 80’s. It is an environmentally friendly, sustainable in-fill alternative for railing. It’s sexy. It’s easy to maintain and we love it.

People initially teased us about the product and now it is one of the hottest, most sought after in-fill alternatives on the market. We also specialize in powder coated aluminum railing for interior/exterior commercial and residential spaces. Our co-offerings include awnings, garden and industrial rods for the places you live, work and play.

One of the many challenges of being a business owner is being a woman owned and operated company in a predominantly male industry. There are not a lot of female, building material’s owners out there. It sometimes feels like pushing a rock uphill to manifest change. There aren’t a lot of women in power in our industry. I am usually the only woman at the table in corporate executive level meetings. I’ve had to work hard to balance my professional side with my feminine side. The industry is changing and I hope we have had some small role in that. A large portion of our staff is female and hold positions of influence. We are proud of our equitable stance.

I consider myself an environmentalist and while I wish I could say our company is plastic free and that we don’t use fossil fuels, we aren’t there…yet. But we do what we can when we can at Feeney. Such as the installation of a 380 panel (over 5,000 square foot) photovoltaic solar array that can produce as much as 90 kilowatts direct current (DC) of clean, sun-generated electricity at our Oakland, CA facility. We also don’t use styrofoam peanuts and instead use cornstarch peanuts that melt in water or can be composted. We also started the conversation about phasing out plastic as much as we possibly can. We don’t use plastic knives, forks or cups around the offices. And we implemented a company recycling program.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to? To The Feeney Family, I would not be where I am today without the love and support you have provided through the years. My sincere thanks.

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The World's Best Architecture: Announcing the Winners of the 9th Annual A+Awards!

July 07, 2021

Finally, after weeks of anticipation, the best architecture of the year can be revealed: Architizer is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Annual A+Awards!

For the ninth year running, Architizer's A+Awards has attracted breathtaking creative and technical talent from around the globe, with thousands of projects being submitted for consideration. After a rigorous and highly democratic judging process, the top accolades for the world’s largest and most international awards program for architecture have been decided.

Without further ado, explore every winner in the Jury and Popular Choice winner here: See the Winners of the 2021 A+Awards.

After a year of unprecedented social and environmental challenges, the theme of this year's A+Awards — Architecture for a Changing World — celebrates the architects and designers whose work strives to create a more resilient built environment for the years to come.

The 2021 winners include innovative projects — both built and conceptual — by internationally renowned firms and emerging practices alike. As well as year-round exposure online, every winning project will be published in a stunning hardbound compendium by The Monacelli Press, set for release later this year.

In its 9th season, the A+Awards received over 5,000 entries from 100+ countries, including countless pioneering projects that respond to the most pressing global challenges of today — from climate change and urbanization to rising inequity and the COVID–19 pandemic.

Notable jurors included Professor Lesley Lokko (Founder & Director, African Futures Institute), Tom Kundig FAIA, RIBA, (Principal/Owner, Olson | Kundig), Céline Semaan (Founder & Executive Director, Slow Factory Foundation), Aric Chen (M+ Museum, Design Miami), Fernanda Canales (Founder & Director, Fernanda Canales Arquitectura) and many more. A Jury-selected Winner and a Popular Choice Winner were awarded in each category, with over 400,000 votes cast by the voting public.

Get Ready for the 10th Anniversary A+Awards The next season of the A+Awards promises to be the biggest yet, as we hit an amazing milestone! It will be our 10th year celebrating the world's best architecture, and we will be running special editorials, events and more to mark a decade of design innovation. We’ll also be searching for the architects who will set the benchmark for the next 10 years — and we would love to see your practice be a part of it.

To register your interest for 10th Anniversary A+Awards Awards and secure an exclusive Early Bird Discount on your submissions, head this way: Register for the 10th Annual A+Awards

Thank you to every single participant in this year's A+Awards — the world of architecture and design is richer thanks to your hard work and dedication, and we are honored to be able to share your work with the world. Watch out for special coverage of this year's A+Award Winners and Special Honorees on Architizer Journal and across social media throughout the coming weeks!

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S-5! Holds Groundbreaking Ceremony for New Office Campus

July 06, 2021

Shawn Haddock, Rob Haddock and Dustin Haddock break ground on S-5!'s new office campus in Colorado Springs, Colorado, designed to provide sufficient space for staff and to better serve its customers. The two-story building will sport metal finishes, a solar roof and comfortable but provocative space for its thought-leaders to collaborate. A support building will house S-5!'s video training center, prototype shop and test facilities. S-5!'s new corporate headquarters will be located in Black Forest, Colorado, where S-5! clamp-to-seam technology was birthed 30 years ago.

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Metl-Span IMPs installed on construction company office/shop

June 25, 2021

When it came time to erect a new office building, Kevin Johnson, owner of Rhoads and Johnson, a design/build construction firm in Fenton, Mich., decided to stick to what he does best.

Johnson says the new office and shop, a 12,000 square foot facility, is a showcase for what his company does. The framing is from Butler Manufacturing and the shell of the building consists of 8,000 square feet of insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span.

Johnson says IMPs provide a cost-effective way to construct offices, shops, recreational storage, industrial facilities or retail shops and restaurants. Rhoads and Johnson has also used metal building framing and IMPs to erect medical facilities and churches.

For the new Rhoads and Johnson office/shop, the exterior and interior of the Metl-Span IMPs is CF Light Mesa, coated in Igloo White. The panels are 42 inches wide and filled with a three-inch urethane insulation."Insulated metal panels eliminate the need for interior finishing," says John Asselin Jr., AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, partner at Asselin McLane Architectural Group (AMAG) in Flint, Mich. "Kevin’s been in the industry a long time and he’s done a number of metal buildings with insulated panels. These panels are smooth and we wanted to stay away from the crinkled barn look."

The project took nine months to complete – Rhoads and Johnson moved into the facility in March 2021.

Johnson says weather doesn’t affect IMPs the way it can damage other forms of more traditional insulation. The cost of other construction materials, including plywood and steel, also makes IMPs a more cost-effective option.

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AEC Daily Announces Strategic Partnership with Material Bank

June 24, 2021

AEC Daily, North America’s leading continuing education provider for construction, architectural, interior design and engineering communities, and Material Bank, the world’s largest material marketplace, have announced a strategic partnership. The two companies will collaborate to connect product sample ordering on Material Bank, directly within AEC Daily’s CEU (Continuing Education Unit) platform.

“Education is the cornerstone of the construction and design industry, and CEUs are a common entry point to brand and material discovery,” said Jeff Rice, President of AEC Daily. “This partnership with Material Bank will allow design professionals more efficient access to sample ordering.”

AEC Daily offers complimentary continuing education courses 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. In an industry where technologies are constantly advancing, design professionals rely on AEC Daily to maintain their accreditation and keep them up-to-date with new products and innovations.

With close to 400 brands and thousands of unique product skus on a single site, Material Bank facilitates smart, sustainable sampling. The platform is committed to working with AEC Daily to close loops and advance automated methods to support all aspects of the material selection and specification process.

“The easier we can make it for design professionals to discover, search and sample materials, the more we can streamline workflows for our brand partners, members, and the industry as a whole,” said Adam I. Sandow, Founder and CEO, Material Bank. “We are proud to partner with AEC Daily to create greater efficiencies in the sampling process.”

“Brands represented by AEC Daily and Material Bank will be able to leverage their investments in both tools by increasing exposure and access to their CEUs and their samples on multiple platforms,” said Rice. “This is truly a symbiotic partnership, which will benefit countless stakeholders in the architecture and design community.”

About AEC Daily
AEC Daily is the largest provider of free online continuing education to construction professionals. Courses are available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and credits are automatically tracked and reported. Architects, engineers, interior designers and other construction professionals rely on AEC Daily to maintain their accreditation with ease.

About Material Bank
Material Bank was founded in 2019 with the goal of creating the most user-friendly and sustainable sampling system for designers and architects in North America. With thousands of materials from hundreds of brands, Material Bank offers an incredible search engine, the ability to find and request samples with endless categorizations. Always free for design professionals, Material Bank operates from a state-of-the-art robotics-powered logistics hub located in Mississippi just minutes from FedEx Express’s world hub, allowing overnight carbon neutral shipping for every order placed by midnight EST.

For more information on AEC Daily, please contact Jenna Illies.
For more information on Material Bank, please contact Laura Steele.

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Vectorworks, Inc. Names Leslie Majer Richard Diehl Award Winner

June 24, 2021

Fifth Vectorworks Design Scholarship Presents Awards to 28 Students

Columbia, MD (June 16, 2021)—Continuing its support for emerging designers, global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. announces Leslie Majer as the Richard Diehl award winner for the fifth Vectorworks Design Scholarship. With over 1,800 submissions, scholarships were awarded to 28 students for 21 projects in the architecture, entertainment, landscape and interior design industries. Winners included both individual and group submissions.

The winning project titled “Badehaus Breitstrom” was submitted by Majer for her thesis studio project at Bauhaus Universität Weimar and focuses on bathhouses and urban facilities. The project includes a historical reference with a focus on contemporary design, construction methods and sustainability. Majer used Vectorworks for drawings and connected them to Maxon’s Cinema 4D to create renderings.

“Leslie Majer’s project is a true gem,” said Vectorworks Product Marketing Director Rubina Siddiqui. “It showcases very impressive work—not just in the graphics and the thoroughness or the detail, but the space that is created through the juxtaposition of simple and heavy elements to create something so massive and intricate is quite an accomplishment. We congratulate Leslie and all this year’s winners for their creative achievements. We hope the scholarships aid these designers in continuing to elevate and progress the design industry with their contributions.”

“It’s an incredible honor to win this scholarship and to be recognized by a jury of experienced, diverse design professionals,” said Leslie Majer, now graduate architecture student at ETH; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. “In architecture school, we’re very much taught to learn and form our own stance on what’s important more so than the real parameters of construction or what our ideas will actually affect in the real world. It is an amazing feeling that the Vectorworks Design Scholarship gave the project and the topics it incorporates a bigger forum, which reaches beyond the discourse of my own university.”

This year’s winners represented countries from around the globe United States, Dominican Republic, Australia, England, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Japan. Submissions were evaluated based on design quality, concept and originality, the effective use of computer technology, presentation and explanation of design.

Congratulations to all winners:

Architecture Winners

• “Pliable Display-Ground,” by Han Zhu, Xinyu Chen, and Wanting Zhou, Rice University • “Swinburne Station!,” by Shengye Yu, Swinburne University of Technology • “The Invisible Castle,” by Henri Kopra, University of Nottingham • “Hideout, Self-sufficient Huts in Cambodia,” by Justyna Dmytryk, Wrocław University of Science and Technology • “Ziemlich beste Nachbarn - Ein dezentrales Nachbarschaftszentrum,” by Sina Dreßler, Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design

• “Badehaus Breitstrom,” Leslie Rahel Majer, ETH; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich • “Forest Revolution,” by Wang Jiawen, Tama Art University

Landscape Architecture Winners

• “Cooling UHI via Parametric Design in Landscape Architecture,” by Chien-Yu Lin, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry • “Industrial Complex of an International Company Dedicated to Manufacturing Electronic Devices,” by Solange Lantigua and Lindi Patricia Oviedo Aguilar, Autonomous University of Santo Domingo • Eden Project Productive Garden,” by Joss Paine, Cornwall College, University of Plymouth • “The Project of Podwawelski Park in Krakow,” by Łukasz Byś, Tadeusz Kościuszko University of Technology • “Dandelion - Zbrojovka Reloaded,” by Carina Brandl and Amelie Kessler, Technical University of Munich • “Fjorde in der Berliner Mitte - Bepflanzungskonzept Innenhöfe Charlie Living,” by Caroline Kemkes, Frauke Weerts, and Christian Lepper, Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences • “Le Bain Sauvage,” by Elisa Fomasi, University of Applied Sciences Rapperswil

Interior Design Winners

• “Projekt Adaptacji Wnętrza Stodoły na Cele Mieszkalne,” by Martyna Jaworska, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw • “,” by Lukas Riedl, Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design • “In Situ - Ein Marktplatz mit Geschichte,” by Michelle Mosiman and Sara Vergallo, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Entertainment Winners

• “Subject to Change,” by Mollie Singer, University of Maryland College Park • “All We Have Is Time,” by Wei Guo, Victoria College of the Arts • “Covid-19 Music Tour,” by Alex Forey, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art • “Dzika Kaczka - Teatr Telewizji,” by Maciej Strzałkowski - Rajca, Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw

Visit the Vectorworks Design Scholarship web gallery to view the winning designs, runner-up projects and projects from previous years.

To learn more about Vectorworks academic programs, visit Students and professors can also download a free individual copy of Vectorworks

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And the BEAT goes on: Women in Architecture

June 18, 2021

How a grassroots organization committed to empowering women in architecture is now poised to forever reshape the Canadian architectural profession from Vancouver to St. John’s.

One evening in early June, 72 women in architecture from across Canada hopped on a Zoom call to discuss their profession among colleagues, most of whom they had never met before. On this particular night, the theme was pretty much anything that came to mind. As the meeting progressed into more manageable breakout rooms, participants began to express various topics that resonated with others, including how to deal with derogatory remarks during construction site visits or what to expect when re-entering the workforce after an extended maternity leave. Others introduced themselves as new associates about to embark on obtaining their licences, a journey that typically takes three years or more to complete. The event’s host was BEAT, which stands for Building Equality in Architecture; the T indicating the Toronto chapter of a volunteer organization that first took shape in 2015 and now has four regional chapters from coast to coast.

BEAT’s rapid expansion across the country is a clear sign of just how necessary its support is needed. While architects consider themselves to be out-of-the-box thinkers and seekers of innovations that improve quality of life, they have sorely lagged in addressing many socio-economic inequalities in their profession, including gender. In Canada, women make up 50% of architecture school graduates, but less than 30% stick with it in such a male-dominated field. That gap has begun to close incrementally in recent years. However, there are still many "leaks in the pipeline," as the BEAT website describes it, where various obstacles prevent or dissuade women from reaching their full leadership potential. Pressing issues include low and unequal pay and non-family-friendly working hours. But the more complicated matter to pinpoint is the unconscious biases that permeate the work environment in subtle and not-so-subtle ways: from sexism at job sites to female architects being sidelined by their male counterparts or given fewer experience-building opportunities from project leads.

Architect Sonia Ramundi is the current Executive Director, a role she has held for the past two years. "For me, the inequality issues weren’t apparent at school. Only until I was in the workplace did I start to feel I had to work harder to show I could do it." Now practicing at Williamson Williamson, she has been an active BEAT member since its formation. She has used her early career experiences to become an exemplary mentor, a leadership skill BEAT considers critical for empowering new graduates to stay committed to their chosen field. The goal is to create a positive network where one generation passes on its expertise and know-how to the next for the betterment of the entire profession. "I will take extra time to make junior staff and summer students feel comfortable as they join the office," says Ramundi. "And I treat all of my colleagues the same way. Creating that kind of open communication is important."

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McElroy Metal roofing panels cover Tennessee events center

June 16, 2021

The Barn at Sycamore Farms, built on a historic property in Arrington, Tenn., is designed to be a luxury event venue, suitable for corporate events, weddings and conventions. The Barn can accommodate more than 300 guests and is topped by 16,000 square feet of Medallion-Lok roofing panels from McElroy Metal.

"The panels were delivered in two stages," says Sam Lamberth, owner of National Barn Company (Eastern Division) of Portland, Tenn. "Panels for the lower roof were delivered first and the panels for the upper roof came a couple weeks later. We craned panels to the roof and we needed a lift that could get us 120 feet up."

The upper roof has a 7:12 pitch and the lower roof has a 4:12 pitch, so the upper roof provided a tougher challenge for the National Barn crew. The roof color chosen was Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF Mansard Brown. Medallion-Lok effectively captures the elegance of a standing seam roof, because the narrow 1-3/4-inch-tall standing seam creates crisp, clean visual lines. Medallion-Lok features hidden clips and a snap-together seam which eliminates the need for jobsite seaming.

DC Builders of Damascus, Ore., designed The Barn at Sycamore Farms. DC Builders is a nationwide design and construction firm with nearly two decades of experience crafting custom structures, ranging from timber frame homes in Oregon to barn-style equestrian estates in North Carolina.

The owners at Sycamore Farms wanted their events center to be constructed with durable products, but also wanted it to have a "Wow Factor" that made it the dream place for weddings and parties.

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GKD Secondary Finishes Provide Designers with Full Spectrum of Color

June 10, 2021

GKD Metal Fabrics, the leading provider of architectural metal mesh, now offers designers and specifiers an unlimited array of color coating options when designing with metal fabric. Powder coating, specialty painting and also screen printing are used for adding color to stainless steel wire mesh, results in colorful fabric options that are also resistant to extreme heat, cold, bending and flexing.

"For designers who want the functional advantages of stainless steel mesh, but want to explore a color palette beyond the alloy’s signature silver, powder coating and other painting methods solve all challenges at once," explains Darren Bromwell, GKD-USA Estimating Manager / Coatings Specialist. GKD offers a handful of secondary finishing techniques when it comes to colors and surfaces:

  • Powder Coating Process
  • Wet Coating Process
  • Screen Printing and Digital Printing

GKD’s custom capability and turnkey technical consultation are combined to help the architect determine the best and most effective method of color coating, keeping key specification criteria in mind. This includes geographic location, exposure to sun, moisture and other elements, as well as aesthetic considerations such as viewing distance, angle and readability. GKD applies its many decades of innovative metal mesh fabrication and installation to guide the specifier in the optimal use of its vast product options and finishes.

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Feeney: Resin Panel Infill and Laser-Cut Aluminum Panel Infill for DesignRail®

May 20, 2021

Alternative infills for railings are a growing trend. The ease of installation and unlimited design potential make them a great way to add to the look and feel of any space!

Resin Panel Infill

Resin panels are composed of 1/4" thick resin panels with organic embedded materials, suitable for indoor applications only. We have nine standard styles with additional designs available.

Panels come in either 32 inch or 42 inch heights, at a width of 5 feet, field trimmable using straight edge and saw. Panels are compatible with all DesignRail® top rail styles except Square (Series 100) and Graspable (Series 150).

Laser-Cut Aluminum Panel Infill

Powder-coated finishes available in 5 standard colors - the color samples shown represent approximate colors only. Custom color matching or specific color selections are available upon request for an additional fee.

Laser-Cut Aluminum panels are compatible with all DesignRail® top rail styles except Square (Series 100) and Graspable (Series 150). Panels are available for 36 inch railing height (with a max width of 6 feet) and 42 inch railing height (max width of 5 feet).

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Unilock makes major investment in the Québec market

May 20, 2021

Unilock Ltd. and Rocvale Inc. are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement whereby Unilock has acquired a majority interest in Rocvale. This transaction is the continuation of an alliance that began in 2013. It will allow Rocvale to meet the challenge to have a product offering that is constantly on the cutting edge of innovation.

“This acquisition by Unilock will allow Rocvale to fully benefit from the tremendous synergies that will arise within the Unilock group of companies and I’m excited and proud to see Rocvale becoming part of the Unilock family,“ said Pierre Normandin, President of Rocvale.

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Metl-Span Helps Bring Car Collection Under One Roof

May 18, 2021

Collectors eventually want to display their collection. A classic car enthusiast wanted a state-of-the-art facility in the Adirondack Mountains of New York; a “green” building to showcase his stable of Fords and Packards. To help the facility be energy efficient, insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span were chosen for the roofing and walls.

“The goal was to create a work shop and storage space for a collection of vehicles that is energy efficient, low maintenance and has the simple aesthetic of an agricultural barn,” says Gary McCoola, Architect PLLC. “Since it is a relatively large structure with a footprint of 10,900 square feet, it was important that the shape and massing of the building allow it to appear as a smaller structure set into the wooded site.”

McCoola says IMPs were chosen because they provide a weather-tight exterior skin, a high thermal resistance and a pre-finished interior skin in a single component. “When erected and fastened to the pre-engineered metal building, they read like a modern version of wood board and batten siding on a timber-framed barn,” he says. “So as not to overshadow the design of the vehicles stored within, the metal panels provide a simple, clean background surface.”

Munter Enterprises of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., erected the metal framing system from Metl-Span’s sister company, Ceco Building Systems, and installed the insulated metal panels. The framing was coated in Medium Bronze to match the exterior wall panels. Metl-Span’s 4-inch thick CF Flute panels (8,000 square feet), 42 inches wide, were installed as wall panels in Medium Bronze. Metl-Span’s CFR Galvalume panels (15,000 square feet), 42 inches wide, were craned up on to the framing to be installed on the roof.

“On the exterior, the brown siding color was selected so the building would blend into the wooded site, particularly during the winter when foliage was down,” McCoola says. “The galvanized roof color was selected to resemble that of a tin barn roof and to reflect the summer solar heat. On the building’s interior, windows high in the walls allow natural light to fill the space, so the light color of the panels reflect the light and provide contrast to the symmetry of the building frame.”

“What makes this project special is the owner’s interest in creating a sustainable project using ground-source heat pumps for radiant slab heating, roof-mounted photovoltaic panels for electric generation and an efficient thermal envelope. The final outcome is an uncluttered structure with practically invisible mechanical systems which provides contrast to the stylized vehicles that are highly mechanized.”

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One For The Books: Reimagining the Missouri City Branch Library

May 17, 2021

A New Chapter Originally founded in Missouri City, a suburb southwest of Houston in 1992, the 18,458-square-foot Missouri City Branch Library was due for expansion to keep up with the growing community it served. It was also overdue for some high-tech updates to keep up with the digital age. Local voters approved funding for the expansion and renovation of the library in a 2015 bond election, with plans that included a three-story, 11,009-square-foot addition, with a soaring balcony, study rooms, a computer lab, self-service checkout machines and more.

Merriman Holt Powell Architects (MHPA) was chosen to design and manage the update. "Our office did the original building in 1991, and we were asked back by the county to do the expansion," said Michelle Carter, principal with Merriman Holt Powell. MHPA’s design brings the nearly 20-year-old library into the 21st century, with a sharp, triangular three-story addition boldly pointing due east.

Acute Approach "The site defined the shape of the addition," explained Carter. Phase II of the library was meant to create an iconic new library image. "The county wanted the addition to be a beacon for the public, so they could see the library and the overall county complex."

The Entyre Idea The design team selected CENTRIA’s Intercept Entyre panels due to their smooth, unbroken appearance – adding to the sleek, isometric style of the exterior design. But that’s not all. “There are a lot of good reasons for a public entity to choose products like Intercept,” said Selig. Intercept Entyre is large and flexible, capable of creating angular shapes like the triangular addition required by MHPA’s design. The large module sizes provide sleek, unmatched edge-to-edge widths. Selig also explained that with no plastic cores, the panel is environmentally friendly and safely recyclable at the end of its life cycle.

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Green & Sustainable Cooking Options for Extended Stay Hospitality

May 14, 2021

Extended stay hospitality properties; whether they be an economy, mid, or up-scale flag within the segment offer a kitchenette equipped with a 2-burner cooktop. This cooktop can vary considerably based on the age of the property as the brand specifications have become keenly focused on green and sustainable options that offer enhanced safety options for both the user and the facility.

Prior to the new normal of the global coronavirus pandemic, the extended stay hospitality segment continually outperformed other hospitality segments with respect to occupancy and revenue generation. The challenges that the pandemic unleashed on travel and lodging clearly illuminated and reinforced the bright spot that extended stay hospitality continues to maintain under these pressures.

The great recession presented new pressures on next generation products with built-in safety features; which is again being challenged by the economic pressures from the pandemic; but is unlikely to prevail as brand standards have progressed substantially in the period in-between these two events and sustainability, energy efficiency and user and facility safety play a greater role in product selection.

The specific type used for extended stay hospitality, resorts with kitchenettes, and time-share lock-outs has traditionally been of the compact electric 2-burner radiant type with knob control.

The cost differential between the coil units and the ceramic models has faced numerous challenges, and over the last twenty years, the delta between the two has narrowed, due to raw material costs of the cooktop components. Furthermore, the features, advantages, and benefits of the smooth top ceramic cooktops far outweigh the initial cost advantage of the coil type units; although this cost differential is not as great as it was twenty years ago.

In the final analysis, these ceramic cooktop value added features have promoted their use from "upgrade" to "brand standard" in the product selection process. The argument towards socially responsible and sustainable hotel construction is reinforced by the ceramic cooktop savings over their coil counterparts, as after-purchase savings are realized from greatly reduced maintenance, significant decrease of replacement parts purchases, and higher energy efficiencies of 10-15% over the coil models.

The benefits of the smooth top ceramic cooktops are well documented by green gurus and field tested and proven by hospitality developers, owners and operators. Coil cooktops present a false economy, given the post-purchase operating costs. Now the vast majority of the cooktops specified and installed in extended stay hospitality are radiant ceramic types at a minimum, with a nearly equal split between the knob control and digital touch control radiant cooktops. A much smaller percentage are using induction cooktops; which at this time are largely reserved for high-end boutique suites and not the mainstream extended stay type accommodation; largely due to the cost differential.

Based on their sustainability and value-added features, in the past 20 years +/-, ceramic cooktops have been the established "green" standard for extended stay hospitality, resorts with kitchenettes, and time-share lock-outs. This is attributable to their easy-to-clean smooth surface, absence of replacement parts excluding knobs, reduced maintenance needs, and savings from better energy efficiencies of 75-80% due to the enhanced transfer of energy from the cooktop surface to the bottom of the cooking vessel.

More recently, the new generation of compact 2-burner cooktops based upon induction technology is taking up residence at the inn. These induction cooktops offer even higher operating efficiencies of nearly 90%. And there is no need for built-in automatic shut-off as the heat is not generated by the burner at the surface, but rather through the excitement of electrons in the cooking vessel, where the heat is produced to cook the food. If the cooking vessel is not in contact with the electromagnetic generator under the ceramic panel, the cooktop is not using energy and is in resting mode.

In summary, each new generation of cooktop…radiant coil, smooth top knob and touch control radiant ceramic, and now induction cooktops have successively reduced or eliminated externally wired timers, cleaning time, user maintenance, and replacement parts, while at the same time have increased energy efficiency and/or enhanced user and facility safety. The upcharges for these technological advancements results in overall lower costs based on simplification and efficiencies of operation.

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Dean Craft earns Assoc. DBIA® Professional Credential

May 03, 2021

Dean E. Craft, a principal and co-founder of ISE Logik Industries, has successfully completed the certification exam to receive the designation of Assoc. DBIA® from Design-Build Institute of America. This marks the completion his education, training and testing toward his National Design-Build Certification. Only candidates with substantial design and construction experience are eligible. DBIA certification is the nation’s only measurable standard of an individual’s knowledge of the Design-Build Done Right® principles that are vital to successful project delivery.

“DBIA is proud to offer the industry’s gold standard in education and to continue to certify record numbers of dedicated design-build professionals each year,” stated to Lisa Washington, DBIA Executive Director/CEO.

Mr. Craft is a retired U.S. Marine Corp. LtCol with a doctorate in Global Leadership. He has presented over 1,000 times on how to proactively address concrete moisture in the design phase. In addition to his appointment by CSI, he is the principal author and technical chair of ASTM F3191–16: “Standard Practice for Field Determination of Substrate Water Absorption (Porosity) for Substrates to Receive Resilient Flooring.” Mr. Craft is a voting member of the ASTM Committee D08 on roofing and waterproofing, among others.

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MBCI IMPs, standing seam roofing complete wastewater treatment facility in eastern Washington

April 28, 2021

When the City of Spokane, Wash., was making plans for a major upgrade of its water treatment facility that would treat an average wastewater flow of 50 million gallons a day, it was important to choose construction materials that would stand the test of time. Insulated metal wall panels and standing seam roofing from MBCI were selected for the new Membrane Filtration Building at the Riverside Park Water Reclamation Facility to help the city with its $126 million project.

“The insulated metal panels were also selected for compatibility with the pre-engineered metal building superstructure,” Kirsten says. “Last, the MBCI insulated metal panels offered the advantage of having the ribbed profile integral with the panel that matches the AMP. This allowed for a cost savings from the approach used on a previous project at the facility, which used a built-up cladding system that was much more labor intensive.”

Two MBCI insulated metal panel profiles were installed as wall panels on the water reclamation facility, 5-inch thick 7.2 Insul-RibTM panels in Medium Bronze (14,250, square feet) and 2-inch thick Striated panels in Slate Gray (9,000 square feet) and Classic Green (9,500 square feet). All have a 22-gauge Galvalume exterior panel. The canopy roofing is MBCI’s BattenLok HS, a 12-inch wide mechanically field-seamed structural standing seam roofing system, also in Classic Green (3,000 square feet).

Halme Builders handled the erection of the metal building framing, assembling framing on the ground outside the building and then craning it into place with a large boom. Halme also installed some IMP roofing, translucent wall panels and skylights, overhead doors and walk-through doors.

Halme Builders recently achieved AC478 accreditation for metal building erectors. The Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association (MBCEA) introduced the program in 2016 with the goal of recognizing metal building assemblers who are devoted to excellence. Achieving that accreditation provides proof that companies like Halme Builders have the experience and commitment to correctly assemble metal building systems.

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McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical standing seam panel solves problem for Georgia technical college

April 27, 2021

Aging roofing and poor details on four adjacent buildings on the Central Georgia Technical College campus in Warner Robins, Ga., got to the point they were beyond another temporary repair job. After approximately 10 years of patching the problem, the college wanted a permanent solution and eventually elected to re-cover the modified bitumen roofing with symmetrical standing seam panels from McElroy Metal.

Most of the roofing – a mix of modified bitumen with aluminum coating and some existing metal sections – was simply old and had weathered until it had no useful life cycle remaining.

“This facility could have been successfully reroofed with any of several low-slope options including single plies and modified bitumen,” says Jody Usry of Edifice Consulting Inc. of Bryon, Ga. “The system chosen was in our client’s best interest in this particular application because the shape and slope of the building made continuous-run panels practical and cost-effective. It could also be installed over existing sections covered with modified bitumen and sections already covered with metal roofing.”

Usry says the existing roof system, due to age and workmanship, was substantially under-attached to the cementitious wood fiberboard decking. The metal option, unlike other systems, made it practical to leave the poorly attached roof systems in place and attach exclusively to the steel framing, which reduced expense, construction time and risk exposure.

McElroy Metal’s 238T symmetrical standing seam panel is setting a new standard for performance with ease of installation, outstanding wind uplift and strength characteristics, individual panel replacement capability and jobsite roll forming for long length panels. The symmetrical legs are topped with a mechanically seamed cap, which can be removed when the replacement of a damaged panel or panels is required.

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S-5 Attachment Solutions Help New York Orchard Add Rooftop Solar Power

April 27, 2021

S-5! is regarded as one of the world's leading providers of attachment solutions for the direct mounting of solar panel arrays to metal roofs. Joining the company's ever-growing portfolio of successful installations is KC Bailey Orchards in upstate New York. On that project, the company's S-5-PVKIT®2.0 solar attachment solution and S-5-S Mini clamps were used to secure solar panels to five new apple storage buildings. Panels were added to four existing older buildings as well, but conditions dictated those panels be mounted using the more traditional rail system.

A standing seam roof was selected to allow direct-attach of the solar panels to the seams or ribs of the roof, preserving the PV assembly’s longevity by providing a penetration-free system. The PVKIT mounting system was chosen to secure the solar panels to the metal roof because it provides a rail-less, aesthetically-pleasing, penetration-free, and cost-effective solar mounting solution.

Another added benefit of the solar is that is creates a shaded air space between the solar panels and the metal roof, lowering the surface temperature on the roof and lessening the refrigeration load because the exterior structure is cool, thus creating a more energy-efficient building. Together, the solar PV and the metal building components provide the sustainability the Baileys hoped to achieve.

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Metal-Fab Fights the Fire with DynaGuard™

April 23, 2021

How can a ceiling radiation damper be tested and listed for use on an active blower air handling system? It must be dynamic.

Changes in the international building and mechanical codes have generated the need for safer ceiling radiation damper installations. DynaGuard™ is the first and only product developed exclusively from Metal-Fab that is able to meet these new code requirements.

In 2015, the International Code Council (ICC) made significant changes to the IMC and IBC, requiring the use of dynamic ceiling radiation dampers for air systems with fans that remain on in the event of a fire. The tempo-rary solution was accomplished with costly electrical control systems known as micro switches that are unique to each building design. The simpler and more economical solution to the problem is provided by using UL listed “dynamic” ceiling radiation damper or DynaGuard™ damper that is tested and listed for such conditions.

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Vectorworks, Inc. Expands Reach in Asia With Two New Distributors

April 23, 2021

New distributors bring experience, innovation to Asian market

Columbia, MD (April 22, 2021)—Global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. is expanding its service in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region by onboarding two influential distributors in the design and production industry: Tathastu Techno Solution and Total Solution Marketing. Tathastu Techno Solution and Total Solution Marketing will expand and grow the Vectorworks business to better serve customers in the APAC market.

“We’re proud to add Tathastu Techno Solution and Total Solution Marketing to our growing roster of distributors in the APAC region to best serve our customers in the industry” said Vectorworks Global Channel Operations Director Victoria Morris. “By expanding our presence in the APAC market and bringing in proven experience within the design industry, both distributors will improve our ability to give our customers the best possible support.”

Based in Mumbai, Tathastu Techno Solution joins Datalogics, an existing Vectorworks distributor, in the burgeoning Indian market. Tathastu Techno Solution, which currently distributes 3D, animation VFX and motion graphics software by sister company Maxon, will represent Vectorworks in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

“Vectorworks products fit perfectly with our vision to partner with world-renowned 2D/3D software companies,” said Chetan Jain, CEO of Tathastu Techno Solution. “India is a diverse and innovative market and partnering with Vectorworks will give us the opportunity to better serve our customers with the best software solutions. Customers are acquisitive to adapt to new products and technologies and we see great potential to introduce Vectorworks products to customers and assist them in changing their existing workflows and product pipelines. This partnership between Tathastu and Vectorworks will definitely scale new heights in business across India.”

As a distributor for MA Lighting — a platinum partner with Vectorworks, Total Solution Marketing joins existing distributors Softedge and Quick Solutions to represent Vectorworks in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand. The experience they bring to the media and entertainment industry will expand access to product support, training and customer success in the region, including offering Vectorworks training conducted by Linesmith founder and long-time Vectorworks user Gabriel Chan.

“We are privileged to be appointed a distributor for Vectorworks and look forward to our collaboration,” said Total Solution Marketing Executive Director Tevin Heng. “In the past few years, we have seen the continued partnership of Vectorworks and MA Lighting and other lighting manufacturers to enhance lighting design workflow processes in the entertainment lighting industry. We believe Vectorworks is the one-stop solution for entertainment show documentation and design. With the Vectorworks team support, we will offer local training and improve the quality of technical support to Vectorworks users.”

To learn more about becoming a Vectorworks distributor or to find a local distributor in your region visit or click "READ MORE"

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Expanding the Exterior Footprint with Mid-Door Spaces and Beyond: Breathing Life, Biophilia and Wellbeing into Modern Outdoor Spaces

April 19, 2021

Architects are often seeking for ways to create or enhance outdoor spaces in commercial buildings. But in this unprecedented year, all eyes have turned to examining whether a business has the physical space to take it outside. And if not, how can adjacent exterior spaces be adapted for this new design objective? A new charge for architects in 2021 will be expanding the footprint of usable space to the outdoors, a trend with potential to impact all building types and markets.

“Now more than ever, public spaces are poised to become the grand lobbies and public waiting rooms of our neighborhoods and cities,” says Michael Wagner in Gensler’s blog. “At a time when crowds will be metered and access controlled like never before, public space is where people will spend a lot of time, waiting and doing all the things people do when they’re idle,” wagers Wagner.

Buildings with atriums, overhangs and semi-enclosed spaces provide enhanced access to these extended outdoor spaces. These “mid-door” spaces – a term coined by Transsolar’s Erik Olsen in his series What is Indoors? for Fast Company – also provide biophilic benefits fundamental to human performance while delivering a flexible program rife with daylight, ventilation and naturally filtered and humidified air.

On the coattails of companies like Amazon, many workplaces are adopting this approach to their facilities. For example, C3, a Gensler spec project in Los Angeles, transforms the border between an office building and a parking structure into a curated series of outdoor spaces. In environments like this, where building materials must maintain a high level or both performance and aesthetic, metal fabric is an ideal material for expanding the exterior footprint of existing buildings. In addition to its modern look and customization options, metal fabric brings performance characteristics such daylighting ability and providing natural ventilation, safety and security.

Airport design is also evolving to make the passenger journey more of a semi-permeable experience, says Wagner, pointing to JFK’s JetBlue Terminal 5, which weaves a new outdoor dining roof terrace into the design. In this case, metal mesh may be designed to include railings, balustrades and gabions for rooftop lounges or restaurant terrace spaces without obstructing views.

In addition to fall protection, metal mesh can secure a semi-permanent perimeter for after hours. GKD’s collaboration with CornellCookson resulted in a sleek security product called SteelWeave. This metal mesh grill combines GKD fabric with CornellCookson roller shutter technology for elegant theft protection in retail, restaurant and hospitality settings.

With current health and safety precautions encouraging socially distanced, outdoor activities, architects are exploring sunshades, overhangs, and other ceiling structures to hover above and define an exterior space. Metal mesh provides a flexible design solution that can adapt to the design of outdoor spaces depending on factors such as location, exposure to sun, moisture and other elements. However, architects do not have compromise on aesthetics, as there are multiple customization options using a wide variety of finishes, weaves and metal alloys.

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Three-Coat vs. Two-Coat Paint Systems for Buildings

April 16, 2021

More is better right? For many architects and building owners, the decision of three-coat vs. two-coat paint systems certainly isn’t black and white.

What’s the Difference? As the name implies, one system has three layers of coating (or film), and the other consists of two coating layers.

Most often, a two-coat system includes the primer and a top coat whereas three-coat systems include the primer, top coat, and a third coating (most often a clear coat) that is applied over the top.

So while the apparent difference involves the number of coating layers, there are other important differences. When the coatings are applied, two-coat systems can be produced in one pass through commercial coil coating lines, whereas three-coat systems routinely require a second pass through the coating lines.

Additionally, two-coat systems tend to be industry standard for most manufacturers, while three-coat systems are most often considered a special order. As you might guess, these last two nuances can carry both cost and lead-time implications.

Are Three-Coat Systems Necessary? For the vast majority of colors, a two-coat PVDF system of a primer and a topcoat are sufficient. There are, however, times when a three-coat PVDF system — primer, color coat and clear — coat is necessary to improve the color retention and chalk resistance of the solid color or metalescent base color.

Saturated colors like reds, oranges, and purples are good examples of colors that may benefit from the addition of a clear coat. A clear coat may also be needed for some metallic colors, like bright silvers, to protect the aluminum flake from losing its brightness and turning dark. Lastly, there are some special effect coatings available on the market that may also require three-coats; a primer, a base color coat, and an effect coating. Click here to learn more about this unique group of products. Outside of these situations (saturated colors like reds, oranges, and purple; bright silvers and special effect coatings), three-coat systems are rarely necessary nor beneficial.

In summary, the first consideration for a two-coat vs. three-coat system should center around the intended colors. Certainly, for projects involving saturated color families like purples and oranges, it may be prudent to have a three-coat system specified as the base bid.

Outside of saturated color families and bright silver metallics, most would agree that while a three-coat system might perform incrementally better than a two-coat, the differences are minimal and rarely (if ever) offset the additional project costs and lead-time.

Considering the intended color, project budget, construction schedule, desired performance, and harshness of the environment should all be considered in the decision-making process. Will these considerations make the decision miraculously black and white? Likely not. But hopefully, with a bit more knowledge about two-coat vs. three-coat systems, the decision is at least a little less gray. And if it’s not, contact us; we’re always happy to help!

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Cooper Lighting Solutions Wins 2021 ENERGY STAR® Partner of The Year – Sustained Excellence Award

April 14, 2021

Cooper Lighting Solutions announced today that it has won the 2021 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy for the seventh consecutive year. This award recognizes continued leadership and superior contributions to ENERGY STAR.

In line with its sustainability goal, Cooper Lighting Solutions deployed millions of ENERGY STAR-certified solutions in both commercial and residential markets, increasing the number of ENERGY STAR-certified configurable models by 19% with new products. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the ENERGY STAR-certified products provided by the company to consumers represented a 48% increase in avoided electricity consumption compared to the previous year. Between 2017-2020, Cooper Lighting Solutions’ HALO LED Recessed Lighting offering to businesses and consumers averaged an annual increase of 40% in avoided electricity consumption.

Commenting on this win, Kraig Kasler, President of Cooper Lighting Solutions said, “We are honored to win this award. Sustainability is a primary goal for us and as a responsible company, we are committed to delivering the most innovative, energy-efficient solutions to our customers through a strong and robust agent and channel partner network, and industry partnerships like the one with ENERGY STAR. Winning this award for the seventh year in a row is very encouraging and reinforces our dedication to advancing the understanding and offering the best and most valuable lighting technology solutions for the benefit of communities.”

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates handwashing guidelines and materials

April 09, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated handwashing guidelines, standardizing language and updating visuals. Though hand dryers have always been recommended by the organization, language around the topic of hand drying was inconsistent across industries and materials. Now, with the latest updates, the CDC’s stance is unequivocally clear: hand dryers are a supported hand drying solution.

The CDC has shared that “germs spread more easily when hands are wet” and recommends thorough hand drying with clean towels or hand dryers to mitigate germ transfer and the spread of viruses like COVID-19. The organization’s robust hand hygiene media library now visually depicts both towels and hand dryers as a means to complete hygienic hand drying in materials supporting the Stop Germs! Wash Your Hands campaign including fact sheets, posters and other downloadable assets. Additionally, CDC hand drying FAQs and reopening guidelines across industries, including schools, make specific mention of hand dryers among recommended supplies to have on hand.

“Hand drying is a critical step of proper hand hygiene but has not received the same media attention that handwashing has throughout the pandemic,” shared William Gagnon, vice president of marketing and sales at Excel Dryer. “Ask most anyone how long you should wash your hands and they’re likely to respond with ’20 seconds’ or ‘the amount of time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.’ I don’t believe they realize how important hand drying is to the process and am hopeful the updated materials will help to mitigate confusion and, in turn, the virus’ spread.”

Excel Dryer’s line of sensor-activated, touchless hand dryers have long been trusted to achieve proper hand hygiene by retail stores, airports, restaurants, schools and universities, stadiums and arenas, hospitals and healthcare facilities, public safety complexes—and any commercial facility with public and/or employee restrooms.

The CDC’s updated guidelines provide peace of mind to facility managers and members of the public who will interact with hand dryers as these sites reopen.

“We encourage policy makers, owners, operators and any decision makers or organizations responsible for commercial facilities to consult the updated CDC hygiene resources when reopening guidelines are formulated,” furthered Gagnon. “In some instances, these guidelines will need to be updated to correct incorrect guidance on the use of hand dryers. The CDC has made this point clear: hand dryers are recommended.”

To review the CDC’s handwashing recommendations, visit To learn more about Excel Dryer’s hygienic hand drying solutions, visit:

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Vectorworks, Inc. Invites Users to its First Virtual Open House on April 21st

April 08, 2021

Registration is open globally for Vectorworks Open House, allowing users to connect with Vectorworks developers

Columbia, MD (April 7, 2021)—Global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. will host its first-ever Open House for all users on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. This interactive virtual event will provide customers in the architecture, landscape architecture and entertainment design industries the opportunity to meet the minds behind the software, ask questions of product experts and dive into new and improved software features.

“Bringing this brand-new global experience to the Vectorworks community is the perfect opportunity to connect with users all over the world to incorporate their feedback and requests into our development process,” said Darick DeHart, chief product officer at Vectorworks. “We can’t wait to open our virtual doors and interact with customers from each industry on a plethora of topics from BIM and GIS workflows to performance improvements and upcoming new features designed to improve the everyday experience in Vectorworks products.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of engineers, product experts and the Vectorworks leadership team in a series of Zoom rooms that focus on a wide range of topics, including:

• Public development roadmap
• Collaboration
• Algorithms-Aided Design (AAD)
• 3D modeling and rendering
• Entertainment design
• Site design and GIS workflows
• BIM and data management
• Academics
• Licensing and purchasing options
• Usability and learning

Registration is free and the event will take place from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. ET. Attendees from around the world can join at any time during the event’s duration. Prospective attendees can visit the registration page to secure their spots.

Press interested in attending should contact Vectorworks PR at for more information, to request a demo or to schedule a press interview with executives, industry experts and/or customers.

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A Timely Solar Power Conversion in the Deep South

April 05, 2021

One of the most galvanizing 2020 APsystems project entries arrived courtesy of The Next Solar Energy Technology, and it took the APsystems honors for commercial winner in 2020. With an astonishingly prescient sense of timing, the Kenner, Louisiana-based solar power company transformed a solar array into a symbol of restored freedom in the Deep South.

Next Solar Energy was contacted by Liberty Self Storage, a multi-site business in Louisiana, about taking on the conversion project for one of their locations. Liberty Self Storage had dedicated itself to green energy in 2016, commissioning solar conversion for the first 9 of their 12 stores in St. Tammany Parish, but wanted to do something different for this location.

Next Solar Energy’s design arranged the solar panel array into an American flag. In trading string inverters for 64 APsystems microinverters in the project design, they created one of the most energy-efficient locations in the Liberty chain, and helped Liberty take the prize as one of the most progressive mid-sized companies in the South.

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McElroy Metal’s Wave panel serves as façade for training, strength facility in South Carolina

March 30, 2021

Gaffney High School in Gaffney, S.C., wanted a new training and strength facility adjacent to its stadium that represented the rich football tradition at the school. The 8,000 square foot building was sided with McElroy Metal ribbed metal panels coated in the school’s color.

“It’s a free-standing building, built adjacent to the football stadium,” says Ron Smith, Managing Principal, McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture of Spartanburg, S.C. “It had to have some elements that enhanced the athletic department and the stadium. We were on a bit of a tight budget, so we wanted a cost-effective functional facility.”

McElroy Metal’s Wave Panel was installed vertically on the metal building in two Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF colors – Surrey Beige (7,000 square feet of 22-gauge) and Matte Black (200 square feet of 24-gauge). The Wave Panel is a 16-inch concealed fastener wall panel with 3/4-inch-deep ribs, designed to be installed horizontally or vertically over a solid substrate or sub-framing to provide clean, visually appealing lines for both new construction and retrofit projects.

“We really liked the looks of the vertical element,” Smith says. “It gives it a little bit of its own design look. Metal was the cost-effective choice that provided durability and helped the project be completed on time.”

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Ozone Resistant Waterstop for WTF

March 22, 2021

Modern water treatment facilities, particularly ozone contactor structures, have utilized Earth Shield® waterstop for over 20 years. Earth Shield® Thermoplastic Vulcanizate (TPV) is immune to the corrosive effects of concentrated ozone. Our TPV polymer waterstop is suitable for ozone exposures up to 600 pphm (parts per hundred million).

Independent ozone resistance testing (ASTM D 1171) has been performed on our product under direct contact, side-stream, off-gas, and finished water conditions. There was only a slight deviation from the control sample and negligible loss of physical properties.

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LA2 Connected Shapes

March 13, 2021

LA2 Connected is customizable modular lighting system, without the custom cost.

  • Using a standardized kit of parts, specify unique configurations tailored to meet the needs of each project and budget.
  • Choose from an array of modular components to create truly limitless combinations, each adaptable to your design goals.
  • Handmade in the USA offers precision construction, UL Compliant and fully integrated LED Components, solid stat system with dimming capabilities.
  • Living Building Challenge-Complaint Declare Label

The entire LA2 collection, which includes Connected Shapes, Rings, Ellipses, and Essentials are Declare Label certified products. Declare is a transparency initiative to communicate complex chemical analysis and raw material sourcing. The label allows build teams and designers to make informed choices about products that are toxin free and support efforts to minimize the impact on the environment.

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ISE Logik Webinar - March 10, 2021

March 12, 2021

You are cordially invited to a Live Partner Exclusive webinar event. Join us as we explore the features and benefits of our complete line of topical treatments that stop moisture in its tracks, for existing concrete slab construction.

Save the Date - March 10, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET Join Here

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FOREVERLAWN Partners with Jeffrey Earnhardt for Majority of the 2021 Season

March 02, 2021

JD Motorsports with Gary Keller is proud to announce that ForeverLawn, the leading synthetic turf producer in the country, will serve as Jeffrey Earnhardt’s primary sponsor for the majority of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

ForeverLawn’s first foray into the NASCAR world was last season as part of a three-race deal with Earnhardt and the No. 0 Chevrolet at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway, and Martinsville Speedway. This season, ForeverLawn has signed on for many additional races, covering over half of the schedule.

The expansion of ForeverLawn’s support underscores their belief in the fourth-generation driver and grandson of NASCAR Hall of Fame member, Dale Earnhardt. In December, it was announced that Jeffrey Earnhardt would be returning to the seat of the No. 0 Camaro full-time and compete for a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs. Earnhardt’s team is ready to get the season started off in a big way and has high expectations to deliver with on-track results.

Jeffrey Earnhardt was quoted saying “I am very proud to represent all of the great people at ForeverLawn this season. Their core leadership team shares the same values as my crew and I, and we were able to share a special bond over the three races we had together. With the start of the season just around the corner, I couldn’t be more excited to get down to Daytona and lay the foundation for what I think will be my best season yet. We are here to make a statement this year, and I think we can kick some serious grass!”

The first races for ForeverLawn will be at Daytona International Speedway on both the superspeedway and road course configurations. Further sponsorship announcements for Earnhardt will be in the forthcoming weeks.

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Introducing the New Kingspan GreenGuard LG XPS Insulation Board

March 02, 2021

The Kingspan GreenGuard LG XPS Insulation Board product line will continue with our 25-year history of:

  • The same green foam color
  • The same high R-value of 5 per inch
  • The same wide range of compressive strengths including 25 psi, 40 psi, 60 psi
  • The same superior moisture resistance

There are also improvements and changes:

  • The new formulation will have a GWP (Global Warming Potential) of less than 50!
  • The board face print will be blue!
  • New literature specific to the LG product line with new product numbers: GG25-LG, GG40-LG, and GG60-LG. We believe these new product numbers will enhance the communications regarding which product a customer is requesting and expecting.
  • GreenGuard® XPS LG (low GWP formula) is a premium product with ZERO ODP and <50 GWP.
  • HFC134-A has been completely eliminated.

This new product line is fully in support of the Kingspan Group’s world-wide Planet Passionate Initiative.

New Regulations

GreenGuard XPS currently contains a zero Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP) blowing agent. New laws and regulations are being implemented to lower the Global Warming Potential (GWP) impact of the product.

  • These new regulations are overall very positive and Kingspan is fully in support of this effort
  • Our approach is a measured and customer focused approach

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Three McElroy Metal Panels Provide Contemporary Aesthetics for Terminix Headquarters

March 02, 2021

In an effort to consolidate operations in several buildings into one modern office and warehouse facility, Terminix constructed a two-story corporate office in a highly visible location along Interstate 26 in Columbia, S.C. Aesthetics were essential for this project so three distinct panel profiles from McElroy Metal adorn the façade of the headquarters.

“The exterior design expression needed to pay homage to the materials and color palette of the original structures, but in a contemporary and forward-looking way,” says David Sickinger, AIA, LEED AP, at Garvin Design Group of Columbia. “Since the original buildings on this campus used a gray/beige brick and gray metal panels, the intent was to replicate those material selections as a means to provide a link to the past. The building’s architecture was to be much grander in scale and open in terms of the amount of exterior glazing, so the veneer selection provided an opportunity to incorporate a sense of familiarity. However, the scale of the brick and profiles of the metal panels were changed to respond to the larger scale of the new structure.”

Sickinger says the team added black as a contemporary accent to play off the other panel color and the brick.

“It was a challenging job, one that makes you look forward to getting to the jobsite when you wake up in the morning,” says Dale Hutto, Manager for Aqua Seal Manufacturing & Roofing of Cayce, S.C. “The toughest part was detailing the transitions between different panel profiles and keep it all watertight. We were careful and it all worked the way it was supposed to.”

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Here's What The New HMI Glass Means For You

February 03, 2021

As a heritage custom glass brand dating back to 1946, we've provided high-quality glass to glaziers, designers, and homeowners for 75 years. 2021 brings many exciting changes for our company, beginning with a new look and vision.

Whether you are a previous customer of HMI Cardinal (Cardinal) and Woon-Tech Inc., or a new client, we're thrilled to share all that's in store for the future of HMI Glass and how these changes will best support your home design, renovation project, or glass industry business.

Keep reading to learn about our third fabrication facility, redesigned website, new sales resources, and fresh design inspiration.

What's The Story Behind HMI's Rebrand? - The transition began in 2018 when Cardinal acquired Boston-based Woon-Tech. The intention was to blend the best in custom glass shower design, manufacturing, and service with the latest in innovation and creativity. Woon-Tech's excellence in boutique glass fabrication, digital in-glass printing, and glass lamination perfectly complemented the existing Cardinal products.

We recognized this dual expertise was a one-of-a-kind find in the industry and called for a landmark rebrand. The new look and vision positions HMI as a true innovator in glass.

With this launch, we're ready to deliver next-level craftsmanship to new and existing partners of any size. We can't wait to serve you and bring your unique vision to life.

Opening In Reno, Nevada: HMI's Third Facility - We have opened an additional glass fabrication facility beyond our Boston and Louisville hubs to best provide these increased product offerings, uphold high standards of customer service, and continue to improve lead times.

This latest state-of-the-art facility is located in Reno, Nevada, deepening our roots throughout the United States while catering specifically to the robust design and construction markets on the West Coast.

HMI Unveils A Bold New Look - Today we are proud to present new branding that brings together Cardinal and Woon-Tech, as well as our three facilities across the country.

Our history as an American manufacturer served as the key inspiration. From partnering with nationally-recognized artists and influencers to spotlighting the craftspeople “behind the glass” inside the HMI factories, our heritage is showcased and elevated.

The revamped look is bold and industrial, but also detailed and artistic. We can say with confidence that no other company is offering this visual feast for the eyes.

HMI's Website Becomes A Key Tool - With a merger, new facility, and rebrand under our belt, we got to work on new tools just for you. The recently-launched website is a true sourcebook for homeowners and designers while serving as an essential tool for glaziers.

Armed with a tablet or smart device, our vast national network of preferred dealers can now walk into any home and showcase custom glass products in high-resolution, quality, and style using the improved website. Before and after consultations, homeowners will be able to envision their dream bathrooms with the help of striking photography.

Similarly, architects and designers will find it easier than ever to explore the latest collections and glass technologies. Plus, product specifications are available for download in a few simple clicks.

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Aluminum Top Rail in Wood Grain Finishes

February 01, 2021

Aluminum Top Rail in Wood Grain Finishes: Feeney's DesignRail® Top Rail in Wood Grain Finishes offers the organic look of wood without the ongoing maintenance requirements. Well-suited for both interior and exterior applications, the durable, powder coat finishes adhere to AAMA 2604 coating specifications for superior impact and weather resistance, and color retention.

Finishes include Cherry, Walnut and Weathered Gray. The Wood Grain Top Rail can be mixed with any DesignRail® frame color, including standard and custom colors, and matched to the wood used on a deck to create a seamless look.

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Metl-Span insulated metal panels help speed up school completion

January 26, 2021

LEWISVILLE, Texas – If you make it simple, they will build it.

To simplify the entire process of constructing a K-12 school building, TLS Choice of Santa Ana, Calif., has developed plans for building systems of various sizes, already Division of the State Architect (DSA) pre-checked. The CUUBE by TLS Choice is a pre-engineered building, using pre-approved building plans that utilize pre-sourced and pre-verified materials and components, including insulated metal roofing and wall panels from Metl-Span.

“Because all CUUBE buildings have gone through the DSA approval process for the structural components, they do not have to be re-evaluated when submitted for the site-specific plan review,” says Corey McElhinney, Project Manager at TLS Choice. “Using one of our pre-engineered CUUBE DSA-approved PC plans can save the district up to six months.”

McElhinney points out that TLS stands for “Total Learning Space.” The initial CUUBE project was Vail Elementary School in Temecula, Calif. She says two more projects broke ground in December 2020 and several more are in pricing stages.

“We offer nine options for the shell of the building,” McElhinney says. “The interior space can be designed for any needs the district requires. Because we use a moment-frame design, it allows for flexibility in location of doors and windows. We use Metl-Span insulated roof and wall panels, allowing the client to select style, color and thickness to meet the district specification and campus aesthetics.”

The wall panels for Vail Elementary were Metl-Span's CF36 with a TuffWall® exterior finish in Light Stone color to provide the appearance of stucco. The 36-inch-wide panels with a 2-1/2-inch urethane core boast an 18 R-value. Pascal Steel Corporation of Encinitas, Calif., installed 5,766 square feet of wall panels and 6,844 square feet of insulated roofing panels in a Terra Cotta finish. The 42-inch-wide roof panels are 3 inches thick.

“This was a great project to be a part of and we've got two more on the books,” says Tim DePascale, Project Manager for Pascal Steel. “This school will be the flagship for future projects. While we were onsite, there were numerous walk-throughs with other school districts, so it has great potential.”

Pascal Steel is used to installing insulated metal panels on cold storage buildings and other industrial type facilities. The use of IMPs on schools may be unique now, but it could take off.

“The design plans make it easy to erect,” DePascale says. “Everything is thought out ahead of time. We still have work to do onsite as far as ductwork and doors and windows, but it's all laid out in the plans. Insulated metal panels work because they achieve the energy codes for heating and cooling requirements in California.”

DePascale enjoys going back to take a look at the completed project. “With the TuffWall finish on the insulated metal panels, it has a durable stucco appearance,” he says. “It's a great idea and it's pretty simple to erect.”

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Arkansas college campus building features four McElroy Metal products

January 12, 2021

Bossier City, La. — Thanks in part to the largest grant the school has ever received, the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts has completed the $4.7 million Creativity and Innovation Complex in Hot Springs, Ark. The 21,000-square-foot building, the first new classroom in the 25-year history of the school, houses the Dan Fredinburg Technology Center, the Oaklawn Foundation Community Center, as well as a flexible use space for staff and students to meet on campus.

McElroy Metal delivered four different products for the new CIC, including roofing and soffits and two different wall panel systems.

“It was one of those rare projects where the owner provides some parameters and just turns you loose on the design,” says Rico Harris, AIA, vice president at Harris Architecture of Hot Springs. “We considered stucco and cement fiber board, but ultimately chose metal because it gave us the modern, contemporary aesthetic the owner wanted. It just looks good.

“It's a no-maintenance product and it's durable. It will look good for a long, long time.”

Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF Patina Green and Slate Gray were the colors chosen for the metal façade and roofing panels. The 24-gauge Maxima panels (13,200 square feet) are Patina Green, installed on the low-slope roof (1-1/2:12). McElroy's Wave panel (7,500 square feet) in Slate Gray and the 138T standing seam panel (13,800 square feet) in Patina Green were specified for the façade. The Wave panel was installed horizontally and the 138T was installed vertically. Marquee-Lok soffit panels (3,800 square feet) in both colors were used on the CIC.

Because McElroy Metal was able to supply all four products, it was more convenient for the owner to order everything from one manufacturer/supplier. McElroy Metal delivered a profile for the metal roofing, two different metal panels for wall cladding and the metal soffit panels. With everything coming from one supplier, everyone involved with the project was more comfortable also knowing the colors would match.

Hooper Construction of Hot Springs erected the metal framing for the CIC, and installed the metal walls and roofing from McElroy Metal. Owner Corey Hooper had his crew onsite on and off for almost one year, working around other trades. The project was completed in February 2019.

“This was a great project for us to work on,” says Hooper. “We've never worked with the Wave panel before and this was the first time we installed the 138T as a wall panel. We took extra care to make sure everything was installed straight, we snap-lined all the way around the building. And it was something new for us to run a mechanical seamer straight up the wall. Once we got the right equipment onsite, it all went really well.

“I think it looks great, especially at night. They've added waterfalls and it's all lit up. I wasn't sure about the colors and how well they'd look together, but now that it's done, it turned out just great.”

The new Creativity and Innovation Complex is home to computer science classrooms, a digital arts lab, entrepreneurship lab, D-Space, Maker Space, Morris Rehearsal Studio, network infrastructure and faculty offices.

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Sound Seal Launches a Portable Acoustic Enclosure as Part of Sound Curtains Line of Acoustic Solutions

January 12, 2021

Agawam, MA – Sound Seal, a leading manufacturer of noise control products serving the industrial, architectural, commercial and construction industries, is pleased to introduce the Portable Acoustic Enclosure.

Portable Acoustic Enclosures are completely mobile with built-in locking casters, optional vent baffles and windows and Velcro seals to join the panels together. It also combines high-performance sound curtain panels with a modular steel-tube frame. The slip-fit modular frame construction means easy, no-tool assembly in multiple configurations. The reinforced loaded vinyl noise barrier provides up to a 15dB reduction in mid-range frequencies.

“Portable enclosures were the next logical evolution for our industrial product line,” said Dave Ingersoll, Vice President of Sales for Sound Seal. “With newer plant and shop equipment being made more compact and movable, we wanted to accommodate that with a customizable, modular and sturdy enclosure that can quickly be relocated as needed”.

To read the full press release, please click the "Read More" button.

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A Customer Portal Made For You MyEdge™ Online Customer Portal

January 11, 2021

Project Overview - Ryan Purdie, Inventory Purchasing Agent for Davis Door Service, has been sourcing products for Davis Door for over 20 years and is always looking for ways to order products and manage his manufacturer relationships as efficiently as possible. Ryan was looking for a way to improve Davis Door's turn-around time on projects for customers where time was of the essence.

The Challenge - Davis Door takes great pride in offering fast response services for their customers. Sometimes this means working after hours; sourcing products, providing quotes, or installing products even during offhours. This can be challenging when you can't get quotes while manufacturers are closed. “The Customer Service team at Miller Edge has always done a great job, but every once in a while, there were situations where being able to place orders, check order history, or get quotes after hours would have been very helpful,” said Purdie.

The Solution - Miller Edge recently released its online customer portal called MyEdge. MyEdge is a unique online customer portal that allows customers to access their accounts, anytime day or night. Customers can use MyEdge to place orders, generate quotes, check order history, and much more - all from the convenience of their own devices. Ryan immediately took advantage of the new tool and has been using it actively since its launch. “MyEdge is one of the easiest to use portals I have ever seen — very intuitive and customer friendly. It allows me to get the information I need back to customers faster,” says Purdie.

The Result - Davis Door Service is able to quickly and easily create quotes in MyEdge, allowing them to respond quickly to customers. Over time, Purdie has grown to utilize MyEdge for nearly all his ordering. “For quoting, ordering and checking status, now I use MyEdge almost all the time because of its ease of use and the convenience of getting what I need quickly. I still contact Miller Edge by phone or email every now and then in special situations and they do a great job for me, but for the most part I use MyEdge just because it’s so convenient and it’s available to me anytime I want – even if Miller Edge is closed,” said Purdie.

About MyEdge - Miller Edge customers can use MyEdge to access their Miller Edge accounts, create quotes, check pricing, and access their account history, billing, and current orders all in one location. Additionally, MyEdge offers unique sales and marketing programs designed to make branding your showroom, truck, fleet, and marketing efforts very easy. This portal has been customized for MyEdge users to stay up to date on Miller Edge news and updates, as well as downloadable resources. Register at to gain access!

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BuildingGreen Announces Top 10 Products for 2021

January 08, 2021

These innovative products reduce carbon emissions and include negative embodied carbon carpet, repurposed EV battery storage, carbon sequestering aggregate, and more.

Every year for the past 19 years, BuildingGreen has selected ten green building products that significantly improve upon standard “business-as-usual” practices. This year's products address our most pressing challenge: reducing the environmental impacts of greenhouse gases. The products do so by sequestering carbon, conserving energy and resources, and reducing emissions, fundamentally changing our building systems.

Please click the READ MORE button to be taken to this year's BuildingGreen Top 10 winners.

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Q-railing – USA Announces Opening of New Office and Warehouse in Orlando, FL

December 23, 2020

Q-railing – USA, a quality leader in glass and metal guardrails & railings, will be opening a new office and warehouse in Orlando, Florida at 3734 Mercy Star Ct. - Suite 130 in January 2021. Due to steady growth within the United States, the company is expanding operations to build upon their promise for product availability and logistics excellence. The new location will serve as a distribution hub for product shipments within the Southeast region and showroom for local design professionals.

“With European design and a modern aesthetic, our products are very relevant to this market,” Jan Hulin, General Manager for Q-railing – North America expressed. “We are excited to become part of this community to serve our regional customer base and foster new business relationships.”

With the addition of the new location, Q-railing will have three U.S. offices in Tustin, CA, Brooklyn, NY, and Orlando, FL.

Q-railing, headquartered in Emmerich am Rhein, Germany, is one of the most dynamic and fastest growing railing system providers in the world today, with representation on six continents. Q-railing - USA, started selling in North America in 2009. Currently, it ships throughout the United States with additional sales presence in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

As the premium brand in railing systems, Q-railing is a trusted source for glass & metal railings, guardrails, handrails, balconies, and more. The products celebrate panoramic views, modern design, safety and innovation.

Systems are engineered for residential, light commercial, commercial applications, including production homes, custom residences, retail shops, multi-story residential buildings, restaurants, offices, mid & high-rise structures and large public spaces such as shopping malls, museums, stadiums, swimming pools and airports.

Q-railing promotes components parts, prefabricated assemblies and project solutions to designers, architects, installers, contractors, builders and developers.

The “Premium” at Q-railing, stands for superior quality products at a competitive market price with customer service you can count on; this reputation for excellence grows with every system installed.

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Versatile Aluminum Railing Systems: Quick to Install, Designed to Last

December 21, 2020

Aluminum Top Rail in Wood Grain Finishes: Feeney’s DesignRail® Top Rail in Wood Grain Finishes offers the organic look of wood without the ongoing maintenance requirements. Well-suited for both interior and exterior applications, the durable, powder coat finishes adhere to AAMA 2604 coating specifications for superior impact and weather resistance, and color retention.

Finishes include Cherry, Walnut and Weathered Gray. The Wood Grain Top Rail can be mixed with any DesignRail® frame color, including standard and custom colors, and matched to the wood used on a deck to create a seamless look.

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McElroy Metal's Multi-Cor panels bring durability as well as desired aesthetics to California apartment complex

December 17, 2020

Bossier City, La. — You'd never guess the 30-unit complex known as Downtown Terrace in San Luis Obispo, Calif., was made up entirely of mobile homes. Each two-story unit was manufactured in a factory and delivered with OSB siding. As a finishing touch, corrugated panels from McElroy Metal were installed as the façade to each building.

“Technically, they're mobile homes,” says John Belsher, project manager at Belsher Law of San Luis Obispo. “They are registered by the state as mobile homes, licensed as mobile homes and taxed as mobile homes. They were manufactured in a mobile home factory. I didn't like the factory finishes that were available, so I found the corrugated metal siding.”

Mathieu Anfosso, Lead Designer at Ten Over Studio in San Luis Obispo, says the Multi-Cor panel from McElroy Metal was selected for its aesthetic qualities and paneled look, which was in line with the pre-manufactured concept of the homes.

“Metal siding was really helpful in our design and assembly process,” Anfosso says. “It allowed the construction crew to side the buildings after assembly on site, rather than in the home manufacturing plant, since each building is composed of four different modules. Siding on site helped the design team hide the modules for a more holistic siding design on each building.”

Anfosso says the colors are reminiscent of the direct project surroundings and the San Luis Obispo area. “The darker gray echoes the dramatic mountain backdrop of the Cerro San Luis, while the burgundy is a playful nod to the wine heritage that San Luis Obispo is nestled in,” he says.

The four Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF colors selected for 24-gauge Multi-Cor panels were Charcoal, Brandywine, Ash Gray and Light Stone. Consistent, rounded corrugations make Multi-Cor the ideal panel to achieve nostalgic appeal.

“Metal is very durable and it has a very avant-garde feel to it that appeals to millennials,” Belsher says. “It's a clean, distinct look, an industrial revitalization; a hip look for young urban professionals. It can easily be cleaned and will never have to be repainted. It's a lifetime product.”

Belsher says extra care was taken during the installation process to ensure all details were waterproof.

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Stationary Awnings From Feeney Add Style And Protection From The Elements

December 14, 2020

OAKLAND, Calif. – Feeney, Inc., a leading manufacturer of high quality stainless steel and aluminum railing systems, has launched a line of stationary awnings designed to provide protection in a wide variety of climates and settings.

Constructed of powder-coated aluminum and strong polycarbonate panels for long-lasting durability and defense from the weather, the awnings are available in two styles: Icon, a streamlined design with clean lines and curves, and Era, a classical design with a more ornate look and feel. A modular approach simplifies installation and enables selection of components based on project and design preferences. Customers simply choose a style, and then select the desired polycarbonate panel option, frame color, and any extension kits.

“Awnings offer a great way to enhance the exterior of a residence or building, adding an aesthetically pleasing architectural component while also making the entry more welcoming and protecting people from the elements,” said Brad Adsit, director of product development for Feeney. “Our kit system makes it easy for customers to choose from a variety of design options to create an awning that will elevate their structure and provide a beautiful, statement-making exterior.”

Suitable for a broad range of climates, the awnings are Class 4 impact rated and have been engineered to withstand snow/wind loads up to 35.5 psf. Built-in rain gutters at the front edge of the awnings direct runoff to the sides. The polycarbonate panels come in a choice of clear, textured and gray tint, and awning frames are available in 14 standard colors, including Feeney's vibrant Express Yourself hues, along with custom colors. Optional extension kits can be added to extend awning coverage on straight sections and around corners.

The awnings are available from Feeney or from authorized Feeney dealers.

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ISE Logik launches new website and brand strategy

December 04, 2020

Gulfport, Miss.– ISE Logik Industries, the industry's #1 specialist in moisture vapor mitigation for new or existing concrete slab construction, announced the launch of a totally new website to serve its customers. Under the theme “Concrete Science for Moisture Mitigation,” the new site radically expands the amount and depth of information about the company, its products and the concrete industry it serves.

“We took a look at the information out there, as well as our current site and determined some big improvements could be made,” said David P. Seland, principal and CEO of ISE Logik. “The construction, flooring and roofing industry is intensely interested in solutions for vapor transmission, and we saw the need for a better way to get the word out.” features easy connecting points and links of the company's comprehensive education program throughout the construction industry's leading publications and forums. Also new is a blog with extensive technical articles to help specifiers, contractors, installers and specialists understand the science of stopping moisture transmission in its tracks before it causes extensive and costly damage.

“Our new website is a perfect reflection of our company's take on its role in the industry. It's the destination for the best admixture and topical products, knowledge and help in our business,” observed Dean Craft, principal and COO of ISE Logik. “And over time, it'll just keep getting better.”

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School Wins First Place Interiors Award in ATAS' Project of the Year Competition

November 25, 2020

Allentown, PA - The new Moser School for fourth and fifth grade students is a 79,000 square foot building which opened in September of 2019. Due to increasing student enrollment, a new school was built, making it the fifth school for the town of Rocky Hill, CT.

ATAS International's Linear Ceiling panel in a custom wood grain pattern, created with a high-performance 70% PVDF paint finish, was used in the project. Black recessed filler strips were installed between the panels to create a striking shadow line. The Moser School was the first-place winner in ATAS' 2019 Project of the Year competition, in the interiors category.

The architect for Moser School was Kaestle Boos Associates of Boston, Massachusetts. The contractor was GDS Contracting Corporation and the panels were purchased through KAMCO of New England.

Linear Ceiling is a system comprised of suspended or positive fastened carriers with metal panels snapped into place within the carrier. The Linear Ceiling system is available in two distinct profiles: a round edge or a square box, with or without filler strips. Each profile has a choice of two widths that are interchangeable due to the 4” increments of the carrier system. The two ceiling widths provide coverages of 4” and 8”. The use of filler strips provides either a flush or revealed appearance. Filler strips can be removed to provide ventilation within the system or panels can be perforated or louvered if desired. Microperforations are available and recommended for interior use only.

The metal panels are available in over 35 standard colors, and in addition to the 70% PVDF paint finishes, they are also available in anodized aluminum, wood grain laminates, various print coats, and a mirrored finish.

Metal is being used more often for interior applications, including ceilings, walls, column covers, and other accents. It is being discovered that a building's interior can benefit from the beauty, longevity, and durability of metal. Curved, tapered, and custom capabilities expand options for building owners and architects, bringing design ideas to life.

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McElroy Metal's 238T symmetrical panel recovers coliseum roof, wall

November 24, 2020

Bossier City, La. - The usually busy Fort Hays State University campus was closer to a ghost town when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March. Students were attending classes online and athletic events were canceled. It turned out to be the perfect time to re-roof – and re-wall – Gross Memorial Coliseum.

After 50 years of enduring heavy winds, hailstorms and whatever Mother Nature could throw at it, an aging copper batten roof was leaking in spots and had to be removed by Roofmasters of Hays, Kan. Approximately 50,000 square feet of McElroy Metal's 238T symmetrical standing seam panels were installed as the replacement roof.

“Everyone was used to the way that roof looked,” says Kelly McMurphy, AIA, Partner at Landmark Architects of Hutchinson, Kan. “The owner wanted to keep the look of the standing seam roof and the color. Metal was the only option as a replacement and to keep the same look, Dark Bronze was chosen as the color.”

McMurphy says the roof is very visible from the nearby highway and everyone wanted to be sure it would look good and last for decades.

“Working with Roofmasters and (McElroy Metal National Recover Manager) Charlie Smith, I felt we had all our bases covered,” McMurphy says. “Roofmasters has installed a lot of standing seam roofing. I knew this roof would be detailed better and installed better than the original roof. I couldn't be more pleased with how it all turned out.”

Luke Haines, President and owner of Roofmasters, says the 2-inch by 2-inch redwood battens the copper panels were attached with had disintegrated from being subjected to years of extreme heat under the copper caps. His crew removed the battens and some of the roof deck then covered the entire roof with a self-adhering high-temperature ice and water shield. Roofmasters installed 50,000 square feet of McElroy Metal's 238T symmetrical standing seam panels – most as roofing, but some as walls. Dark Bronze resembles the original copper roof when it reached its 50-year-old patina.

“We've installed this system on many roofs, but this was the first as a large vertical wall,” Haines says. “It's an exceptional watertight system, so it can be installed as a wall.”

The vertical “walls” are between the four steep-slope (14:12) entrances around the building. At the bottom of the metal panel walls is a lower slope roof (8:12). Roofmasters hoisted a roll former to the upper low slope roof deck of the coliseum and the panels for the steep slope and the 20-foot vertical walls were produced there. Each panel, up to 65 feet long, was lowered by hand from the flat roofing section into place with a rope and clamp.

“Where the wall panels meet the lower slope roofing sections, there were some serious leaking problems there,” Haines says. “The original copper panels were not continuous panels; they were only eight feet long and they were folded at the bottom of the wall where it meets the lower sloped roofing. Years of expanding and contracting left some gaps. With the new roof, we were able to work up a detail to avoid that problem. The wall panels are pinned at the top, so they can move at the bottom. Customized proper flashing at the transition of the vertical to steep slope was installed and stripped in with high-temp ice-and-water underlayment. We were careful to design and implement redundancy in the details as the roof and wall project will be here for years in the future.

Another challenging detail was the internal gutter at the bottom of the steep-sloped roofing above the entrances. Haines says the PVC-coated metal was heat-welded with strips at the laps to make it watertight. The gutters are more than a foot wide. The details were important from the design to the installation and Roofmasters workmen were a key component for a timely quality finish.

Gross Memorial Coliseum, constructed in 1973 with a capacity of 6,814, was named a Top 5 Arena in NCAA Division II by Hero Sports and to the Best Division II Arenas list by the NCAA in 2018. It was voted the Best Arena in Division II by T3Bracketology Twitter Arena Bracket Challenge in 2020.

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Metl-Span - Call it Continuing Education with a Conscience

November 19, 2020

Choose your course. Select your cause. Earn your credits.

All NINE of Metl-Span's webinar courses qualify for the program!

Metl-Span will donate $100 through Credits for a Cause on behalf of every architectural firm that completes one of their nine CEU webinars.

For more information, please click the "Read More" button.

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CSI Fellowship Awarded to Employee of ATAS International

November 17, 2020

Allentown, PA - Lee Ann M. Slattery, FCSI, CDT®, CCPR, LEED AP BD+C, sales support manager at ATAS International, has been awarded CSI Fellowship in the 2020 Class of Fellows, as one of five members elevated this year. She was nominated through a rigorous application process, then elected by the Jury of Fellows for membership. Fellowship is one of the top two honors given by the Institute. Slattery has been an active CSI member at the local chapter, region, and Institute levels over the past 18 years, and is well deserving of this award. Fellowship was bestowed during a virtual honors and awards ceremony on November 5th.

Slattery said, “I am very humbled to be included in this year's Class of Fellows. Being a member of CSI has provided so much to me. In addition to gaining knowledge and guidance though a vast network of industry colleagues, it also provided me with leadership opportunities. I learned how to be a better team member when working as a group to achieve a goal, and I also learned to pass along my knowledge and guidance to others to advance their own careers in our industry.”

The CSI Fellowship award reads “For creating public awareness of the construction industry through the Let's Build Construction Camp for Girls, Canstruction of the Greater Lehigh Valley, and Homes for Our Troops; for initiating change to broaden the membership reach of CSI and expand the educational offerings of the Middle Atlantic Region events; and for being an outspoken champion of the value of CSI certifications, memberships, emerging professionals, corporate partnerships, and Master Specifier Retreats, you are hereby advanced to Fellowship in the Institute on this 5th day of November 2020”.

Dick Bus, president of ATAS, stated, “There is no one more deserving of a Fellowship award than Lee Ann. I was pleased to have the opportunity to recommend her for CSI Fellowship this year. She has been an ambitious and highly motivated employee of ATAS for over 14 years, and a very engaged and active CSI member for over 18 years.”

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What is the cost difference between standard PVDF color, Premium PVDF color and Metallic colors for metal roofing and siding?

November 17, 2020

By Kathi Miller, Architectural National Accounts, McElroy Metal

Bossier City, La.— The paint used to coat metal roofing and siding panels has three basic components: pigment, which creates the color; solvent, which helps to dissolve the pigment; and binder or resin, which acts like the glue to hold everything together.

Due to differences in both pigment cost and the amount of pigment required, most metal panel manufacturers segment their PVDF offering into three pricing tiers.

Standard PVDF (Kynar 500/Hylar 5000) Colors - The first and lowest priced group is often referred to as the standard colors. These colors represent the bulk of the metal roof and wall panel industry. Given the basic laws of economics (the more you buy, the cheaper it is), most people expect this color offering to be the least expensive. And they're right. But what many folks don't realize is that these colors require less pigment, so their lower cost is actually reflective of the fact that they are less expensive for paint manufacturers to produce.

While most of the colors in these groups fall in the white, beige or earth tone family, dark bronzes and blacks are also commonly included.

Premium PVDF (Kynar 500/Hylar 5000) Colors - While the Standard colors work for most projects, there are times where something a little more spectacular is desired for the color of a metal roof or wall system. Often, the decision stems from the desire to match a corporate brand or perhaps a designer or owner wants all or part of a building to make a bigger statement. In those cases, Premium colors are often considered.

While there are many variables in the equation, a good rule of thumb is to allow 8-10 percent additional cost for colors in the Premium PVDF family. The additional cost stems from several factors.

First, the pigments used to produce these dramatic colors are more expensive than their standard color counterparts.

Secondly, Premium colors typically require more pigment (and less filler) than standard colors, which also makes them more expensive. As a side note, some of the colors in this family also carry a reduced paint warranty due to the performance of the pigments used in this process. So, if the warranty length is important, always check with a reputable manufacturer during the color selection process.

It's also important to note that the 8-10 percent upcharge for the premium colors “typically” applies only to panels and doesn't apply to labor, trims and accessories. Consequently, the total cost increase to move from a Standard to Premium color is often less than expected. As an example, for a 20,000 square foot standing seam roof, the cost difference to go from Standard to a Premium color might cost an additional $3,000-$5,000 total on the project. So, while it is a higher price, the cost difference is pretty negligible, especially if it's critical to the brand or building owner.

Colors in this family fall more into what you might call the exotics and include things like oranges, reds, vibrant blues and greens.

Metallic PVDF (Kynar 500/Hylar 5000) Colors - Moving the discussion onto metallics, it's important to note that we're referring to metallic “colors.” Metallic colors are completely different from an unpainted product like Galvalume or galvanized, which have an actual metallic coating.

When comparing Standard, Premium and Metallic finishes, Metallic PVDF colors are the most expensive and normally carry a 10-12 percent cost increase over the standard PVDF colors.

Like Premium colors, some of the higher cost can be attributed to higher pigment cost. In some cases, the coating lines which apply the paint to the steel are also required to run at slower speeds for metallic paints, which can increase cost.

It's also important to note that Metallic finishes can be directional, meaning they must be installed in the same direction to prevent perceived shade differences. Consequently, installers are required to take more care in the layout and installation of materials, so installation costs are often higher for Metallic coatings than they are for either Standard or Premium colors. And, while it may not impact cost, metallic colors tend to be “batch sensitive,” meaning there may be slight differences between paint produced at different times. Using products from several different batches on the same project can create aesthetic issues and should be avoided whenever possible.

Colors in this family tend to be coppers, silvers, bronzes and champagnes.

Summary - Keep in mind that the cost increase percentages outlines here are simply for budget purposes. If you have color or budget questions for an upcoming project or even want to chat more about the possibility of custom colors, contact us. We would love to help.

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Wilsonart Unveils New Laminate Collection Designed To Enhance Wellness

November 17, 2020

The 2020 Virtual Design Library offers textures and colors that help bring calm and relaxation to healthcare settings

TEMPLE, TX – As interior design that prioritizes mindfulness and comfort becomes increasingly important, Wilsonart continues to push the practice forward with its 2020 Virtual Design Library. Embracing the concept of “Wellness,” the new curated collection of boutique laminate designs takes inspiration from nature and brings healing, calm, and serenity to healthcare-built environments and beyond.

Based on research that suggests a strong connection between well-being and familiar elements found in the natural world, these new Wellness offerings feature organic patterns, textures, and colors. From large-scale abstract scenes reminiscent of foggy grey mountains to layered sky motifs that exude warmth, all are designed to soothe the soul and invigorate the senses. This collection also introduces the Hinoki range, consisting of three neutral-hued woodgrains that get their name from Japanese cypress trees famous for their “divine wood.”

“The concept of wellness has rippled through communities and industries as people look for a bit of respite from the stresses of modern life. We're proud to offer intentional design coupled with high performance that can bring tranquility to healthcare settings,” says Danielle Mikesell, Global Vice President of Marketing and Design for Wilsonart. “The best part is that while these looks were created with healthcare in mind, they also work beautifully for hospitality, retail, and residential.”

Extending the 2020 Virtual Design Library umbrella theme of “Community,” the Wellness collection offers individual appeal — while also harmonizing to create a unique palette. Their coordinating possibilities increase exponentially when combined with Wilsonart's engineered surfaces portfolio, including Wilsonart® Quartz, Solid Surface, High Pressure Laminate (HPL), and Coordinated Surfaces. This flexibility helps facilities quickly adapt to new modes of care.

Staying true to the durability and easy maintenance Wilsonart is known for, the 2020 Virtual Design Library Wellness collection also offers exceptional cleanability and resistance to scratches and scuffs for lasting beauty and high-quality appearance.

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BIA Launches New US-Canada Industrywide Clay Brick EPD Contributes Toward LEED v.4.0 and v.4.1 Materials and Resources Requirements

November 16, 2020

RESTON, Va. — The Brick Industry Association (BIA) announces that clay brick can now contribute toward fulfillment of Materials and Resources requirements in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4.0 and v4.1 for projects pursuing LEED certification.

A new United States-Canada Industrywide Clay Brick Environmental Product Declaration (Brick Industrywide EPD) has been completed, third-party certified and published, reflecting data associated with the manufacture of units that comply with nearly every currently active ASTM clay brick specification. The full EPD can be viewed here.

The Brick Industrywide EPD qualifies for use in the Building Product Disclosure and Optimization –Environmental Product Declarations credit as a Type III EPD, conforming to ISO 14025 and ISO 21930 with a cradle to gate scope. The requirements of this credit can be viewed here.

“The new EPD provides evidence of clay brick's sustainable benefits and allows designers to further recognize clay brick's role as a major element in sustainable design and construction,” said BIA President Ray Leonhard.

Products from an industrywide EPD are valued by LEED v4.1 as one (1) whole product for the purposes of the credit achievement calculation, whereas LEED v4.0 awards a value of one-half (1/2) for these products. A total of 20 products are required on a project to receive this credit.

The Brick Industrywide EPD represents the average environmental impact of clay brick production in the U.S. and Canada. The data for the EPD captures 32% of 2018 brick production submitted by 13 different manufacturers from plants in 14 states and provinces in the U.S. and Canada. The range of data includes brick formed by the stiff-mud and soft-mud processes and includes brick made in tunnel and periodic kilns.

Participating BIA manufacturers include Acme Brick Company, The Belden Brick Company, Bowerston Shale Company, Brampton Brick, Inc., Endicott Clay Products Co., General Shale, Inc., Glen-Gery Corporation, Hebron Brick Company, Lee Brick & Tile Company, Meridian Brick LLC, Meridian Brick Canada, Ltd., Pine Hall Brick, Inc. and Statesville Brick Company.

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Wilsonart Redefines Rare Beauty with Its Calacatta Quartz Collection

November 09, 2020

Four Stunning Designs Inspired by the Classic Elegance of Calacatta Marble

TEMPLE, TX – Wilsonart, one of the world's leading manufacturers of engineered surfaces, announced its breathtaking Calacatta Quartz Collection launch. The unique designs are inspired by Calacatta marble, derived from Italy's Carrara region. Wilsonart's world-renowned design team spent months refining the vibrant whites and deep, elegant veining of their Calacatta Collection, providing timeless designs that effortlessly complement a wide variety of interiors. "The new Wilsonart® Calacatta Quartz Collection provides an environmentally sustainable choice over its marble muse, one of the rarest natural stones on the planet," said Danielle Mikesell, Wilsonart Global Vice President of Marketing and Design. "The Calacatta Collection is elegantly fulfilling the promise of engineered surfaces and making readily available one of the world's most sought after marble-looks. Inspired by the splendor of nature, our design team was able to replicate the look and feel of marble, yet do so in a more responsible way to help protect our planet while meeting the design community and consumers' demands alike. Now, you can have the exceptional style of Calacatta without the concern of disturbing one of the most beautiful places on Earth."

Wilsonart® Quartz is man-made, using state-of-the-art technology that gives architects, designers, and homeowners color consistency throughout slabs, and allows for a beautiful installation.
"The advantages of engineered quartz are numerous, giving you the best of both worlds: a coveted look combined with daily ease and long-term durability," shares Andrew Korzen, Global Vice President of Hard Surfaces at Wilsonart. Calacatta Quartz designs provide numerous advantages:

· Stronger, harder and more scratch-resistant than most surfaces
· Non-porous, non-absorbent, and stain-resistant surface inhibits the growth of mold and bacteria
· Does not need to be chemically sealed
· Maintenance-free, easily cleaned with only soap and water
· 10-year product-only warranty, non-transferrable
· Certified UL GREENGUARD Gold for Indoor Air Quality, NSF International Seal for Safe Surfaces for Food Preparation, and Kosher for the U.S. under the Kashruth Division of the Orthodox Union

The Collection includes:

Calacatta Aquilea (Q4056)
Calacatta Aquilea has wide cool grey veins running diagonally within the slab and accented by thin darker grey veins giving this design a unique large-scale marble look.

Calacatta Volegno (Q4057)
Calacatta Volegno is a bright, white large-scale marble design with soft and wide, cool grey veins. The thin veining adds warmth with dark grey and brown.

Calacatta Pastino (Q4058)
Calacatta Pastino is a large-scale Calacatta marble design in cool tones. The wide veins are in a soft grey with thin darker grey veins throughout to accentuate.

Calacatta Serchio (Q4059)
Calacatta Serchio is a large-scale Calacatta marble look. The background is a slightly warm white with wide soft grey veins accented by slightly darker thin veins throughout.

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Barrette Outdoor Living Generates Massive Power With Another Solar Panel Installation

November 05, 2020

Barrette Outdoor Living has completed the installation of a rooftop solar array on their 200,000 square foot aluminum fence and railing manufacturing facility in Brooksville, FL, making it the largest privately-owned solar project in Florida at the time of contract.

The 2.35 Megawatt DC system was designed and installed by Advanced Green Technologies (AGT) of Fort Lauderdale, FL. The array is comprised of 27 invertors, 6,354 solar panels and is capable of producing more than 2,352,489 watts DC of power output which will offset approximately 81 percent of the facility’s electricity consumption.

This rooftop array is a major step in not only reducing operating costs, but minimizing Barrette Outdoor Living’s carbon footprint on the community. The energy generated by the solar array will produce approximately 3.465 gigawatt hour of energy annually with a CO2 offset of 2,450 metric ton. This equates to driving 6,079,140 miles in a passenger vehicle, charging 312,440,375 smartphones or planting 40,510 trees.

This is the second Barrette Outdoor Living plant to undergo a transition to solar power. In April 2019, the company completed installation of a 2.14 Megawatt DC rooftop system at their 400,000 square foot facility in Galloway, NJ. “As a leading manufacturer, we are proud of our commitment to build sustainable and environmentally-responsible practices to help green our supply chain and decrease our carbon footprint,” said Jean desAutels, President of Barrette Outdoor Living. The company will continue to further their sustainable gains by working to implement solar panel programs throughout some of their other facilities over the next few years.

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Durable and Attractive Metal Chosen to Accent New Regional Corporate Headquarters

October 27, 2020

Allentown, PA - A 200,000 square-foot, three-story building houses the new regional headquarters for Geico in Tucson, Arizona. It occupies 20 acres of land, and includes modern workspaces, an onsite cafeteria, fitness center, credit union, and 20,000 square feet of patios and outdoor space for associates to use during breaks. This project won first place in ATAS International's 2019 Project of the Year competition in the accents category. The building is located in The Bridges, which includes a 65-acre tech park, 112 acres of retail development, and 175 acres of residential development. It is poised to be one of the most desirable employment hubs in Tucson.

ATAS' Belvedere 6” Short Rib solid and perforated panels in clear satin anodized aluminum were used on portions of the walls, along with solid panels in a custom blue color. For the stairwells, custom perforated ATAS panels in clear satin anodized aluminum were installed. The metal panels accented the concrete tilt-up panels, of which the building was constructed.

Belvedere 6″ Short Rib wall panels are structural in nature and can be installed either on solid substrate or open framing. It is a 1½” deep ribbed panel that features six broad low and six narrow high cells. This panel can be installed horizontally and vertically with exposed fasteners. They are manufactured in .032, .040 and .050 aluminum, as well as in 24, 22, or 20-gauge metallic coated steel or 55% Al-Zn alloy coated steel with acrylic coating. The Belvedere 6” Short Rib panels provide a rugged, urban-industrial aesthetic desired by many building owners and architects alike. They are easily installed and the long-lasting, high-performance fasteners and accessories in matching colors are made to resist weathering and deterioration.

The architect for this project was ONYX Creative of Tucson, Arizona. J.B. Steel was the installer of the stairwell panels, and Roofing Southwest was the installer of the wall panels, both of Tucson. Panels were purchased through Beacon Building Products.

Randall Paine, procurement manager for J.B. Steel, stated, “For this particular project, the design and pattern for the perforated aluminum panels was specified by the architect. Since our expertise is in steel and not aluminum, we relied heavily on ATAS to help us design and detail the perforated panels in both a functional and aesthetically pleasing manner. We believe this was achieved on this project through close cooperation between the design team, the Renaissance Companies, ATAS, and J.B. Steel. We would like to give a special thanks to David Jarrett, the ATAS product rep, for his commitment to working with J.B. Steel to help address issues and questions that developed during the project.”

Approximately 230 perforated stairwell panels in over 40 different perforation patterns were manufactured by ATAS. The technical department created a program for each perforation pattern; the panels were then perforated and cut on ATAS' turret presses in Allentown, PA and Mesa, AZ. Once removed from the turret press, all the edges were bent for each panel.

Shawn Wood, metal expert at Roofing Southwest, said, “We chose ATAS for the wall panels due to their ability to provide small quantities of custom colors by post-painting the panels, as well as for the wide variety of wall panel profiles that they offer. David Jarrett of ATAS was great to work with during the entire process.”

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Private School in Dallas Area Solves Leaking Issues with McElroy Metal Symmetrical Standing Seam Roofing System

October 27, 2020

Bossier City, La. — After a decade of throwing money at ongoing problems, Greenhill School in Addison, Texas, finally decided it was time to deal with leaky roof issues on its gymnasium and natatorium. The solution came from McElroy Metal's 238T symmetrical standing seam roofing system, installed by Supreme Roofing of Dallas.

Greenhill School is an independent school in the greater Dallas area, serving more than 1,300 students, grades prekindergarten through high school. Founded in 1950, the campus consists of 15 buildings, including a full athletic complex and state-of-the-art performing arts center.

“The school was getting a new gym floor, so it was decided the best thing to do was repair those areas and eliminate those problems that might end up damaging that new floor,” says Todd Gilmore, Sheet Metal Manager at Supreme. “There were two roof leaking issues on campus and we've been helping out the client for many years with both of them.”

Gilmore says the gym, with its 25-year-old 7/8-inch T-panel roof, was always overwhelmed with rain and the clearstory windows would get flooded out.

On the barrel roof of the gym, the existing roof system was left in place. Supreme flute-filled the original panels with a 1.25-inch ISO to help bring the system to an R-25 to meet building code. That was covered with 18,300 square feet of 238T curved symmetrical standing seam panels in Acrylic-coated Galvalume. Not having to tear off the gym roof protected the new gym floor from any inclement weather during construction.

The natatorium featured a 20-foot x 60-foot skylight, and dealt with issues caused by a dead valley above the skylight, leading to constant leaks into the pool. When tearing off the 25-year-old T-panel on the natatorium, the Supreme Roofing crew discovered there were significant deck areas that had rotted because of the leaks.

“There were also a lot of safety concerns on this one, no way to flag it off, guys were tied off consistently to structural steel,” Gilmore says. “We had the large skylight in the middle of the natatorium to work around which presented its own set of problems.”

The natatorium roof ended up being a complete tear-off.

“On the natatorium roof, we removed the existing panel and installed a 1.25-inch ISO,” Gilmore says. “We then installed an 18-inch wide, 238T panel, a new skylight and the single-ply system. We introduced a new, 8-inch high skylight and we raised that curb up to 15 inches. We put a 5-square gray single-ply TPO roof with a cricket behind the skylight, instead of trying to create a cricket out of metal.”

The natatorium roof was approximately 7,000 square feet of 238T, also in Acrylic-coated Galvalume. Supreme Roofing also installed 3,500 square feet of the 238T on a canopy adjacent to the gym. The 18-inch Galvalume Plus 238T panels were formed and curved 118 degrees onsite. The 238T symmetrical standing seam system is setting a new standard for performance with ease of installation, outstanding wind uplift and strength characteristics, individual panel replacement capability and jobsite roll forming for long length panels.

“The school has a 20-year warranty with this,” Gilmore says. “Those battles they've been fighting the last 10 years that I've been helping them with, will no longer exist.”

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Fifth Vectorworks Design Scholarship to Open December 1

October 20, 2020

Global competition will recognize design students’ best work

Columbia, MD (October 20, 2020)—Continuing its commitment to cultivate future generations of designers, global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. will open submissions for its fifth Vectorworks Design Scholarship on December 1, 2020. The Vectorworks Design Scholarship invites undergraduate and graduate students in major disciplines related to architecture, landscape architecture, landscape, entertainment and interior design to submit either new or old projects.

“Last year, we received over 1,600 submissions worldwide and we’re looking forward to getting even more submissions this year,” said Marketing Programs Director Alice Lowy. “The Vectorworks Design Scholarship is an amazing opportunity for students to take the next step in their professional development by submitting to win scholarship prizes while showing off their creative designs.”

Students will be able to submit their best work for a chance to win up to $10,000 USD and gain professional recognition. Winners will also acquire free Vectorworks design software for their school’s lab and free virtual workshop training.

Those who wish to enter are encouraged to start thinking of their submissions now. Visit to learn more and to enter your email address to be notified of when entries open.

Additionally, students can visit the academic portal to receive a free educational copy of Vectorworks Designer and check out the inspiration gallery of last year’s winners to help get started.

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Vectorworks, Inc. Receives Nine Nominations for the 2020 Construction Computing Awards

October 14, 2020

Voting for the 15th annual awards is open until November 2

Columbia, MD (October 13, 2020)—Global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. celebrates their nominations for the 2020 Construction Computing Awards. Vectorworks, Inc. and its products Vectorworks Architect and Vectorworks Landmark received nine nominations in BIM, architectural and innovation categories, among others. Additionally, the Vectorworks Nomad app is nominated in the Mobile Application category and Jonathan Reeves of Jonathan Reeves Architects received two nominations for his projects and work as a Vectorworks trainer.

The Construction Computing Awards, also known as "The Hammers," is now in its 15th year. The awards showcase and reward the technology, tools and solutions used in the effective design, construction, maintenance and modification of commercial buildings, residential and social housing and civil engineering projects of all sizes. The Hammers are the perfect opportunity for companies from every industry sector to seek recognition for their efforts over the past 12 months.

“We’d like to thank the Construction Computing Awards for recognizing our efforts and commitment to the AEC industry,” said Vectorworks UK Director of Sales Adrian Slatter. “Despite this unprecedented year, providing innovations to our customers remained our top priority, which is why the launch of Vectorworks 2021 highlights our continued emphasis on improving product quality, performance and the user experience.”

Vectorworks and its products are short-listed in the following categories:

• BIM Product of the Year: Vectorworks Architect
• Architectural CAD Application of 2020: Vectorworks Architect
• GIS/Mapping Product of 2020: Vectorworks Landmark and Architect
• Mobile Application of 2020: Vectorworks Nomad
• Product of the Year 2020: Vectorworks Architect
• Company of the Year: Vectorworks, Inc.
• Innovation of the Year 2020: Vectorworks Architect 2021
• One to Watch Company 2020: Vectorworks Architect and Landmark
• BIM Project of the Year: Jonathan Reeves Architects with Vectorworks for Earth Sheltered Eco Home
• Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality Project of the Year 2020: Jonathan Reeves Architects with Vectorworks for Urban Masterplan
• Editor’s Choice of 2020: Vectorworks Architect 2021

The awards are determined by voter submission and a panel of judges. The Editor’s Choice award is selected by David Chadwick, editor of Construction Computing Magazine. Voters are encouraged to place their votes here by November 2. Winners will be announced on November 12.

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Residence Turns Heads with Attractive Metal Cladding

October 07, 2020

Allentown, PA - This striking home is located in Penn Township, which was named after Pennsylvania founder William Penn. CastleTop panels in three shades of green; Forest, Hemlock, and Patina, were used along with Dove Grey Grand C panels, to create this unique façade. This residence won first place in the residential walls category of ATAS International's 2019 Project of the Year competition. Jeff Anderson, R.A. acted as both the architect and contractor for the project. The panels were purchased through Lezzer Lumber Company.

CastleTop is a diamond-shaped flat shingle for a unique roof or wall appearance. It offers easy install with concealed fasteners. Different colors may be combined to create interesting patterns, as demonstrated on this home. The panels were manufactured out of .032 aluminum and are also available in copper or zinc.

Grand C panels are manufactured in .032 aluminum and can be installed horizontally or vertically with exposed fasteners. They provide a rugged, urban-industrial aesthetic desired by many building owners and architects alike. Grand C panels are easily installed and the long-lasting, high-performance fasteners and accessories in matching colors are made to resist weathering and deterioration. Grand C panels can also be perforated, if desired. Architects and owners are getting very creative with using multiple metal wall panel profiles on their projects, along with combining a variety of colors, panel orientation, and both solid and perforated panels.

Jeff Anderson, R.A., stated, “Being a contractor and architect, I am aware of the increasing popularity of metal siding for accenting portions of a residential design, or even the entire skin. I like its unique look with clean lines and of course the no-maintenance advantage. I also like the ability to purchase siding materials in custom lengths to minimize overlaps/joints. The home still turns heads as people drive by. As far as challenges, I need to give credit to our daughter, Ruth, for the color selection and layout of the CastleTop panels. Any other questions I had were always quickly answered by our ATAS product rep, Phil Dorenkott. It has been a good experience throughout the entire process.”

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Award Winning Private Residence is Topped with ATAS Roofing

September 25, 2020

Allentown, PA - Freeport is a village in the town of Hempstead, Nassau County, New York, on the South Shore of Long Island. A settlement since the 1640s, it was once an oystering community and later a resort popular with the New York City theater community. A homeowner in Freeport, New York, chose ATAS' Techo Tile and PC System for the roof on her new residence. The Boysenberry colored panels complement the natural beige and brown hues of the façade, resulting in a gorgeous home, which won the first place award in the residential roofs category of ATAS' 2019 Project of the Year competition.

Techo Tile has the look of a Spanish tile clay roof without the problems associated with its care. The .032 aluminum panels are installed vertically up the slope of the roof and utilize an anti-siphoning overlap design, preventing water migration at the panel overlap. Due to the deep configuration in the form of an “S” in the Techo Tile panel profile, an air space allows for airflow between the panel and substrate, offering the potential for increased energy efficiency.

ATAS' PC System is a two-part system offering a standing seam or a batten seam look and is manufactured in .032 or .040 aluminum, 24 or 22-gauge metallic coated steel, and 16 oz. copper. The standing seam option is available in straight, tapered, and curved applications. A unique feature of this system is that you can mix and match colors of the flat panel and the seam if a contrasting aesthetic is desired. For this project, the tapered PC System panels in .032 aluminum were chosen in the same Boysenberry color as the Techo Tile panels, to cover the balcony areas in the center and on both ends of the house.

The architect for the project was TOC Architects of Hauppauge, New York. The metal roof panels were installed by JA Construction of Port Jefferson Station, New York, and were purchased through Riverhead Building Supply Corporation of Hauppauge, New York.

Michael Galfano of Riverhead Building Supply, stated, “I was originally called by Brian Silvius, inside technical salesperson with ATAS, asking me if I would speak to the homeowner to provide roofing assistance. After a few meetings with her, we determined she wanted a metal roof because she loves the way it sounds when it rains, and it reminds her of the homes back in Guyana, where she used to live. The homeowner initially got better pricing from a local competitor, but I brought Joe Jackowski, the ATAS product rep, to the job and we assured her that ATAS was the best choice in metal roofing for her home. I explained to her that for a roof of this magnitude, she needed a qualified contractor and I put her in touch with John Arnone of JA Construction. John did an amazing job from start to finish. The homeowner is thrilled with the way the roof came out. This was a challenging project, but the homeowner, contractor, and I were very pleased with the results.”

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Vectorworks, Inc. to Host its First Virtual Vectorworks Design Day on October 6

September 25, 2020

Registration is now open for global event that will include addresses from Vectorworks’ CEO and leadership team, as well as live Q&A

Columbia, MD (September 23, 2020)—Following last week’s Vectorworks 2021 release, global design and BIM software provider, Vectorworks, Inc. invites all users and press to its global Vectorworks Design Day on Tuesday, October 6, 2020. This virtual event is geared toward designers in the architectural, interior architecture, landscape and entertainment industries and will educate customers on the new Vectorworks 2021 features, while providing access to a variety of live and on-demand presentations and discussions.

This year, attendees can expect a welcome presentation from Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar, where he will share the direction of development and deliver a keynote that covers product strategies centered around the theme of this year’s release “Simplicity to Design the Complex.”

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has altered the lives of many, which is why we are taking this opportunity to bring Vectorworks Design Day to our users in a virtual format, so more people can learn about the new features and tool improvements in Vectorworks 2021,” said Dr. Sarkar. “We look forward to giving a behind-the-scenes look at how our latest release was created to empower designers of all disciplines with simple solutions to design their most complex projects. Our live Q&A will allow us to connect with our customers worldwide and offer a two-way conversation that not only fields their pressing questions but also shares how Vectorworks is adapting to best support our customers given these challenging times.”

The event will also include core feature and technology updates from industry experts and exclusive on-demand presentations from global Vectorworks users including:

• Randolph Gerner, AIA principal at GKV Architects • Linette Brown, exhibit designer at originstudios • Lisa McRavey and Iain Lyon, senior landscape architects at Raeburn Farquhar Bowen • Derek Lee, BCSLA, CSLA, LEED® AP principal at PWL Partnership • Ben Inskip, production designer at ARTDPT and Siyan Lighting • Nick Lawrence BEng (Hons) BA (Hons) Dip Arch RIBA, director at A&Q Partnership

“We’re honored to present at this year’s Vectorworks Design Day,” said Gerner. “As a Vectorworks user for more than 25 years, we will explain how as a firm, we have evolved with the platform and now lead the path to a full integration with utilizing other BIM platforms. I look forward to sharing with attendees how Vectorworks allows us to be on the cutting edge of design and productivity with their flexible and intuitive tools.”

Registration is free and the event will last approximately two hours. To best serve those around the world, times are offered at 8 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET. Visit the registration page (by clicking READ MORE) to secure your spot and submit questions to be answered during the live Q&A by Dr. Sarkar and the Vectorworks leadership team.

Press interested in attending can contact Vectorworks PR Coordinator Kamica Price at for more information or to schedule a press interview with executives, industry experts, customers, request a demo of Vectorworks 2021 and more.

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New study: hand dryers equally hygienic to paper towels for drying hands

September 21, 2020

Findings support World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hand washing recommendations

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. – After an exhaustive two-year process, a University of Arizona Health Sciences research team have announced the publication of their work, Comparison of electric hand dryers and paper towels for hand hygiene: a critical review of the literature. The review culled the current breadth of data, including published studies, news reports and online content, seeking to uncover which hand drying method, hand dryers or paper towels, is more hygienic and safer relative to human health risks. The researchers found that, while studies in the public arena generally favor paper towels over hand dryers, the conclusions are largely misleading and unsubstantiated.

Through the scientific research, the use of hand dryers and paper towels to dry hands were found to be equal from a health and safety perspective; the findings echo recommendations from the World Health Organization that everyone “frequently clean [their] hands…” and “dry [them] thoroughly by using paper towels or a warm air dryer,” and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that report that, “Both [clean towels or air hand dryers] are effective ways to dry hands.”

To conduct the study, the research team considered 293 papers and published studies for inclusion in their review, rejecting 270 for failing to meet review criteria or for reporting generalized recommendations without sufficient scientific evidence. The 23 peer-reviewed studies that met the inclusion criteria were categorized and prioritized based on their scientific rigor, a score determined by taking into account such factors as sample size, methodology, data quality and whether or not the study was set up to represent real-world scenarios.

The study that was found to have the highest rigor score was an independent study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, Effects of 4 Hand-Drying Methods for Removing Bacteria From Washed Hands: A Randomized Trial. It found that “…there is no difference in bacteria counts when drying with paper towels or hand dryers.” Only three studies received positive rigor scores for having realistic testing conditions, and none of the studies reported any negative effects of either hand drying method on human health.

Although numerous studies have been published evaluating the “best” method for hand drying, “best” has been defined in a variety of ways relative to bacterial removal efficacy, environmental contamination potentials, ecological or cost benefits, noise and more. Kelly Reynolds, MSPH, Ph.D., the corresponding author of the review explained that, “No study to date has examined the “best” drying method,” and that she and her team, “found no empirical data to support one hand drying method over another from a health and safety perspective.”

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, hand hygiene has been widely covered in the media. Reynolds shared that, “Media reports frequently used sensationalized headlines. While such headlines may increase traffic, they sometimes overgeneralize or exaggerate research results. Consumers may only read the headlines which can influence public opinion toward biased or erroneous conclusions.”

“At a time when proper hand washing and drying is of the utmost importance, exclusively recommending paper towels is limiting, and frankly, irresponsible,” said William Gagnon, vice president of marketing and sales at Excel Dryer. “Hand dryers provide an effective way to achieve completely dry hands, a critical part of proper hand hygiene, the top defense against the spread of germs, like coronavirus.”

The scoping review's conclusion calls for future studies to examine the relationship between contamination that occurs due to hand-drying methods and human health outcomes. They offer that this can be accomplished by utilizing real-world scenarios while controlling certain variables.

“We hope these credible findings will be consulted as part of guidelines and reopening plans,” said William Gagnon, vice president of marketing and sales at Excel Dryer. “Sensationalized news accounts and click-bait headlines created an unsubstantiated concern around hand dryers and hygiene. We're grateful to the researchers for uncovering the truth, and hope the findings will help to dispel myths and categorize hand dryers as the hygienic hand drying solution they are.”

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KOAA/SHIELD616 Virtual telethon for Black Forest Fire Rescue gets big boost from S-5

September 13, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — This year's SHIELD616 border to border ride is happening this week the effort has already raised enough money to outfit the entire Steamboat Springs police department with protective gear and now we are also looking to help a local agency: Black Forest Fire Rescue.

James Rebitski is the Deputy Fire Chief with Black Forest Fire Rescue. “Firefighters are a unique breed of people. They don't ask for much anything and it's not the greatest paying job.”

Firefighters in general are used to making do with the resources they have, and that is particularly true in Black Forest says Deputy Chief Rebitski. “Black Forest, although we are a department that covers a large number of square miles, we are smaller budget Department.”

And if you are wondering why Black Forest Fire Rescue has a need for rifle rated ballistics gear, Deputy Chief Rebitski says, “People think we only fight fires. This department does everything from medical transport, firefighting, and hazmat. We don't try to run into a bad situation a lot of times the situation will develop around us. There have been many scenes over the years where there has been an armed assailant in the residence while we're putting out a fire. There have been several times that we have actually had to post watches in the woods for an armed assailant while the other firefighters put out the fire. I personally during my career have been shot at while on an ambulance. We have had many instances where there were guns in the house, we stumbled into a what we thought was a medical call that actually ended up being a scene where people had been shot. You never know what you're going to get into. That's why having protective equipment that will get our firefighters home every night is crucial.”

A global metal roofing solutions company based in Black Forest, S-5 has come forward in a big way to assist KOAA News5 and SHIELD616 in the effort to raise the $48,500 needed to purchase armor vests and helmets for every member of Black Forest Fire Rescue.

Rob Haddock is the C.E.O. of S-5. Rob says, “We mount things on metal roofs, from solar arrays to snow guards to satellite dishes, fall protection systems and anything you would mount to a metal roof. We do it penetration free to preserve the warranties of those metal roofs. We've been used on buildings including the world headquarters of Apple, Google, IBM, NATO in Brussels Belgium.”

Rob's professional background has been in construction his entire professional life, and he says his family has a long history in Black Forest. “The Haddocks have been in Black Forest now for four generations. There are about twenty of us scattered around here depending on how you count them. Many of those folks depend on our company for support and growth of their families, these guys here at Black Forest Fire Rescue are defending us against a lot of different things. They're not just firefighters, they are an ambulance service and I dread to think but people have actually snipped at firefighters, and even set fires to snipe at firefighters.”

This week, S-5 made a $10,000 donation to the KOAA/SHEILD616 virtual telethon to, as they like to say at S-5, get it started - the right way. Rob says, “We're willing, we're able and I wanted to see this fundraiser get kicked off the right way. It's incumbent on me and it's my privilege to be able to do this for SHIELD616 and for my own Black Forest Fire department, to protect our protectors.”

SHIELD616 founder Jake Skifstad received the donation with gratitude and excitement. “To start a telethon with a donation like this, a $10,000 donation from a Black Forest resident and a Black Forest business for Black Forest Fire Rescue. I really hope that that's going to challenge and motivate other individuals, other businesses, churches, and foundations that might be in the Black Forest area to get behind our Black Forest Fire Department. We all see what our first responders are going through right now. We want to not only better protect them while they're out there protecting us, but we also want to support them and encouraged them and be praying for them.”

The $10,000 donation from S-5 ensures 5 of the 22 kits needed for the department which is much appreciated by the department. There is still work to do by the end of this week to raise the rest of the money. Deputy Chief Rebitski says, “It's my job to make sure my guys get home safe at night and so I asked that any little bit anyone can donate will help. If it will get our people home every night to their families and their loved ones and keep them safe that's going to make our lives much better. We greatly appreciate forever any little thing that you can do.”

Before leaving the Black Forest Fire Department this week, Rob had another generous commitment to SHIELD616. Rob telling Jake Skifstad, “We're a family company and we also have a family Foundation and I would like to commit that we will continue to support SHIELD616 on an annual basis. Our family foundation was created to protect preserve and make lives better, and you're a guy who does that.”

You can support SHIELD616 AND KOAA News 5 on the 2020 Border to Border ride across Colorado this week, through the virtual telethon on Thursday, September 10th, the first day of the ride.

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Unique Façade for Philadelphia Condos Created with ATAS Metal Wall Panels

September 13, 2020

Allentown, PA - OTTO Brewerytown is a two-building, two-phase project, with a total of 52 high-end, high-tech condo units. It is located in a rapidly developing neighborhood, just five minutes to Philadelphia's Center City. Phase one was completed last year, which consisted of 20 units, and in February of this year, ground was broken on phase two, for 32 more units. ATAS' custom Grand C panels in three colors, Patina Green, Silversmith, and Brilliant Green, in .032 aluminum, and Versa-Seam panels in Silversmith in .040 aluminum, were used to create an eye-catching design for the building's exterior. This project won the first-place award in the category of commercial walls in ATAS International's 2019 Project of the Year competition.

The architect for the project was ISA (Interface Studio Architects), and the owner of the building is Equinox Management and Construction, both of Philadelphia. All Seasons Home Improvement Company of Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania installed the metal panels, which were purchased through ABC Supply Company of Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Brewerytown is a neighborhood rich in history. The name “Brewerytown” comes from the nine brick-faced breweries located within its boundaries during the late 19th century. The population was mostly comprised of German immigrants who worked in the breweries. The building's name OTTO is in tribute to the architect, Otto Wolf. His innovative designs of breweries, bottling houses, storage facilities, and more, transformed a neighborhood into an icon. Although much of his work has now fallen, Otto's legacy, and those of the brewers and immigrants which helped to build this neighborhood, continues to inspire those living in and building up Brewerytown. Today, 31st Street is now a hotbed for development in Philly, including new residences, restaurants, and retail.

Gregory W. Hallquist, Senior Vice President, Development and Construction with Equinox Management and Construction (building owner), stated, “The design concept for OTTO was to organize an existing warehouse plus two new multi-family podium buildings around a courtyard in a way that refers to the site's adjacency to Fairmount Park – one of Philadelphia's great natural and recreational assets. The outside perimeter facades of the new buildings were conceived as being more neutral with a surprise courtyard experience that refers to the natural dimensions of the context. A pair of contrasting green color finishes create a kind of synthetic moss wall within the courtyard, with a series of horizontally jointed gray panels at the outer edge facades. Pops of green along major entry points and terrace moments help link the two façade conditions and make a coherent whole out of the building. Both buildings are five stories and are wood frame over a first-floor podium of steel and concrete. In selecting a façade material, we are extremely focused on the building envelope and achieving a watertight solution. We also consider aesthetics, durability, maintenance requirements, and affordability. Over the years, we have analyzed a wide variety of material for use on our facades, and metal siding has become our material of choice. In fact, we just broke ground on a 50-unit apartment building in Brewerytown that also incorporates ATAS' metal siding products. We chose ATAS first and foremost because they are extremely easy to work with. Our design team, led by Interface Studio Architects in Philadelphia, collaborated closely with ATAS to select products that would achieve the design and aesthetic goals of the project, while also meeting our budget parameters. We also worked with ATAS during the construction to ensure that our installers understood the product and that they followed the installation guidelines and requirements. In summary, we found the products to be aesthetically pleasing, affordable, relatively straightforward to install, and at the end of the day, these products have helped us to achieve a building we will be proud of for years to come.”

Kerry Moleski, Outside Sales with ABC Supply Company, added, “This was a long process with the owners and architect in working out the products and look they wanted to achieve. The real thanks should go to Bob Crimian in our ABC Supply branch, and especially our ATAS product rep, Mike Krahling. Without these guys, we could have ended up with a lot of waste and unhappy customers. When we were submitting our color samples, I was scratching my head on what it would look like on the building, but it really came out nice. The owner, who acted as the general contractor, was Equinox in Philadelphia. We are excited to be part of their business and look forward to more projects like this.”

Grand C panels are manufactured in .032 aluminum and can be installed horizontally or vertically with exposed fasteners. They provide a rugged, urban-industrial aesthetic desired by many building owners and architects alike. Grand C panels are easily installed and the long-lasting, high-performance fasteners and accessories in matching colors are made to resist weathering and deterioration. The Versa-Seam panels are manufactured in .032 or .040 aluminum, and are also offered in copper, zinc, and stainless steel. They are installed with concealed fasteners for horizontal or vertical applications. Grand C and Versa-Seam panels can also be perforated, if desired. Architects and owners are getting very creative with using multiple metal wall panel profiles on their projects, along with combining a variety of colors, panel orientation, and both solid and perforated panels.

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Frictionless Access

September 09, 2020

As offices, homes, and other workplaces are having increasingly more complex security needs, the demand for security products is on the rise.

An adequately designed access ecosystem must empower people to carry on with their daily lives freely while providing them a peace of mind and sense of security. Frictionless access is a method of permitting access to an area without interfering with the user experience. In other words, tapping into frictionless access allows a person to walk into an otherwise locked room or building, with hands in their pockets. Especially in hectic or crowded environments such as buzzing offices, hospitals, or factories, frictionless access can save time, optimize the people flow, and significantly enhance security.

Furthermore, as frictionless access is an innovative method to go hands-free, it promotes hygiene and public health. As the concerns about the two peaked due to the COVID-19 outbreak, hands-free access never resonated more with millions of people.

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Now Available: Supreme Framing System™

August 27, 2020


Willoughby, Ohio - Meeting the needs of today's steel framing applications, Telling Industries is pleased to announce the addition of the Supreme Drywall Framing System™ to their product offering.

The Supreme Framing System™ stud and track is an engineered EQ design that uses thinner steel, a larger return lip, and superior 57 ksi yield strength when compared to traditional material. The Supreme Framing System™ is available immediately through Telling Industries and is offered in multiple thickness, web sizes, and flange/leg sizes to meet all your metal framing needs.

The Supreme Framing System™ is a trusted and proven product that has been successfully used in commercial construction for over a decade. This system boasts robust code approvals in all 50 states and Canada. Telling industries is proud to offer it to their customers.

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Girls Build Shed with Metal Roof and Awning for Habitat Fundraiser

August 26, 2020

Allentown, PA – This year, the advanced campers at the Let's Build Construction Camp for Girls built a shed for a local homeowner. His winning bid at the Lehigh Valley Habitat for Humanity's fundraising auction resulted in a new building for his property. Seven high school aged girls, who have attended the camp in previous years, got together for one week in July to build a structure from start to finish. ATAS International has sponsored this camp since it began four years ago and has been a part of its curriculum from the start.

The shed construction process began by meeting with its owner, to determine his needs for the building. The design process was guided by architect Samantha Ciotti Falcone, owner of SCF Architecture. Many volunteers from the local construction community came together to provide instruction and help the girls with building the shed.

This year, Kevin Klersy and Tim Coughlan of ATAS' technical services and inside technical sales departments spent time with the campers, demonstrating and assisting with the installation of ATAS' Colonial Seam standing seam metal roof panels and trims. A retractable awning was constructed with the same roof panels, which covers an opening on one side of the shed. It has a bar on the outside, under which stools can be placed, and a countertop on the inside of the bar area.

Lee Ann M. Slattery, Sales Support Manager for ATAS, who was involved in the planning of the camp, stated, “ATAS is a strong supporter of the development and training of students within the local community, and this is the perfect opportunity to allow the campers exploration of potential careers in the architecture, engineering, construction, and manufacturing industries. We are pleased to be involved in the camp again this year, and it was very exciting to see the girls design and build this shed.”

Let's Build is a free week-long camp designed for high school age girls to explore construction trades, architecture, engineering, and construction materials manufacturing through hands-on experiences. This was the first year for an advanced camp. The fourth annual beginners camp was held virtually this year during the week of August 10th. This camp was created in 2017, the result of a collaborative effort between the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter and the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Eastern PA Chapter. The objectives of the camp include:
·Provide girls an opportunity to explore a career in the construction industry.
·Experience the construction trades through hands-on learning and building.
·Learn about architecture, engineering, and manufacturing during construction-related field trips to area businesses.
·Develop greater self-esteem by teaching skills to solve challenging projects and successfully complete them.
·Provide inspiration and mentoring for girls to understand they have a place in the construction industry, and they can become successful leaders in the future.
·Develop a stronger workforce for the future of the construction industry.

Jon Lattin, President of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter of CSI, and Kristen Fallon, Regional Vice President of Member Services of Eastern PA ABC, have led the creation and collaborative organizational efforts for this annual camp. Each year, the event has attracted more sponsors, volunteers, and campers. The camp is structured in such a way that the girls get to experience many different trades, visit area offices of architects, engineers, and contractors, and tour manufacturing facilities that make building products. This gives the campers a well-rounded view of the industry, and the many different careers that are included within it.

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UArizona College Of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture and Ascension Wheelchair Lifts Partner to Offer Universal Design Studio Prize

August 26, 2020

How can architects ensure the widest and fairest use of the spaces they design? The answer is in universal design—a concept that prioritizes accessibility in buildings, products and environments for all people, regardless of age, disability or other factors.

For third-year Bachelor of Architecture students in studios offered by the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona this semester, it’s a concept they’ll become intimately familiar with—and just may be awarded for.

Thanks to a partnership between CAPLA and AGM Container Controls and Ascension Wheelchair Lifts—a leading manufacturer of wheelchair lifts since 1992—ARC 301 Design Studio III: Integrations of Place, taught by Assistant Professor of Practice in Architecture Teresa Rosano, will offer an awards program for universal design, with $5,000 in student prizes funded by Ascension.

“This universal design awards program comes at an opportune time in both the students' learning and this consequential moment in time more broadly,” says Rosano. “As we engage in discussion about diversity, equity and inclusion, we often neglect to include our ableist biases in the conversation. This sponsorship is an excellent catalyst for us to identify those biases, understand how they are built into our physical environment and uncover creative solutions for making places we design accessible and experientially rich for everyone.”

CAPLA Dean Nancy Pollock-Ellwand agrees: “Universal design is such a critical component of building design, redesign and use—and integrating the concept into architectural education early in the student's career is essential. We are delighted that Ascension is sponsoring this studio, and I couldn't be more excited to see what the students come up with under Teresa Rosano's outstanding guidance.”

Ascension's sponsorship of the CAPLA studio is one of many ways the company is supporting education for a more accessible future across Southern Arizona and beyond. The company has also partnered with the UArizona College of Engineering, Pima Community College and San Miguel High School.

“Investing in accessibility and universal design principles today is an investment in a better future for all of us,” says Howard N. Stewart, CEO/president of AGM and Ascension. “Ascension is proud to partner with CAPLA to underwrite studios focused on the importance of designing accessibility into every project. Working together, we can make our community and world more accessible, which allows everyone to participate equally.”

The studio begins on August 24, and over the span of the Fall 2020 semester CAPLA will highlight student and studio universal design progress on social media, including Instagram at, culminating in an awards ceremony at which Stewart will name the student winners.

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The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association is Pleased to be Part of Broad Coalition

August 20, 2020

Alexandria, VA – The National Ready Mixed Concrete Association is pleased to be part of a broad coalition that includes members of the building and construction materials associations, civil engineers, codes and standards organizations, and insurance industries supporting the reintroduction of federal legislation aimed at securing a tax credit to foster the construction of resilient residential and commercial buildings.

The Disasters Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2020, sponsored by Reps. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Tom Reed (R-NY), Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), would offer a tax credit of $3,000 and $25,000 per structure for residential and commercial construction, respectively, if the structure is built or rebuilt within a federally-declared disaster zone for up to two years following the date of the disaster. A structure is eligible when it meets a variety of resilient construction standards, including standards for high wind, wildfire and seismic events.

Disasters in the United States are increasing in number and severity each year. Once a disaster strikes, communities are faced with the task of rebuilding so Americans can get back to work. The economic and environmental impacts of rebuilding after each disaster are unsustainable. Resilient construction will help prevent future loss of life, ease economic suffering, reduce our carbon footprint and require less federal assistance during the next disaster. The National Institute of Building Science has found that for every $1 spent on stronger building codes as much as $11 are saved by avoiding future losses.

“When communities are built to resilient, robust standards, we help to ensure that the places where we live, learn, work, worship and play are safe and sustainable. We applaud Representatives Pascrell, Reed, DeFazio and Diaz-Balart for their leadership on this issue and are honored to be a part of a broad coalition supporting this legislation,” said NRMCA President Michael Philipps. “Building strong homes and businesses with resilient construction techniques saves lives and property, resists the impacts of natural disasters and climate change, and ultimately saves money for taxpayers. If we want resilient communities, we must incentivize building to higher standards. This bill will promote resilient construction for safer, stronger homes and businesses.”

Similar statements in the support of the bill included a lengthy list of associations and organizations besides NRMCA, including the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, BuildStrong Coalition, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, EPDM Roofing Association, Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, International Code Council, National Association of Home Builders, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, North American Concrete Alliance, Portland Cement Association and the US Resiliency Council.

NRMCA, based in Alexandria, VA, represents the producers of ready mixed concrete and the companies that provide materials, equipment and support to the industry. It conducts education, training, promotion, research, engineering, safety, environmental, technological, lobbying and regulatory programs.

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WILSONART to Acquire Alpine Sales, Inc.

August 18, 2020

AUSTIN, TX, USA – Wilsonart Engineered Surfaces announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alpine Sales, Inc., a Columbia, South Carolina based wholesale distributor to the building and remodeling industry. Alpine Sales distributes decorative surfaces, post formed countertops, lacquers and stains, and hardware.

“Our acquisition of Alpine Sales complements Wilsonart's company culture and greatly enhances the services we offer with three locations in South Carolina and one in North Carolina, said Tim Atkinson, Vice President, Sales. We look forward to expanding Wilsonart's Company-owned distribution footprint and enhancing our penetration of our expanding engineered surfacing offering. We will continue our tradition of best-in-class service, promote our broad engineered surfaces portfolio, and grow our business.”

“For over forty years, Alpine Sales has partnered with Wilsonart in distributing surfacing products,” Michael Steck, President, Alpine Sales. “Wilsonart's commitment to delivering the highest quality products with unmatched service blends seamlessly with Alpine's founding principles. The acquisition is a logical progression and will solidify our efforts in continuing to service customers in the Southeast with their building and remodeling needs.”

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Wilsonart's Virtual Design Library Embraces Separate-but-Connected Selections

August 18, 2020

TEMPLE, TX – Today, Wilsonart announced a new collection, The Connected Collection, available in their boutique Virtual Design Library (VDL). Based on a “separate but connected” story, Wilsonart's in-house designers drew inspiration from the exploration of how individual surface designs with threads of similarities can work beautifully together in a choreographed manner, while also able to stand on their own in a given space, resulting in breakthrough looks.

The new VDL release includes 16 abstracts and unique woodgrains, specially selected to coordinate with each other. The collection's inherent connections make it easy to experiment, mix, match, or even use each design individually.

Wilsonart's all-embracing theme of 'Connectedness' for its Virtual Design Library Collections for 2020 is no accident. “This collection represents our society as a whole,” said Natalia Smith, Wilsonart Design Manager. “During these profound societal shifts, we all face personal challenges, yet we remain connected. This collection is symbolic of how, when we learn to come together through our differences, we create our strength.”

“When we took a closer look at the trends, we noticed exciting ideas taking shape, such as sets of dishes designed to look as if they were curated from several different places while still working beautifully together,” said Smith. “By applying this same line of thinking to surfaces, we imagined similar but different choices that bring an eclectic yet intentional look that is unique, bold, and fresh.”

As a leading engineered surfaces company, Wilsonart's Virtual Design Library offers the design community a more inspirational design choice in the High Pressure Laminate market. The collections are continually released and curated from Wilsonart's designers in conjunction with the broader design community. Now with nearly 600 designs and more launching each quarter, the Virtual Design Library offers unprecedented design choices for commercial and residential applications.

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ATAS Copper Roof Crowns the New Saratoga Racetrack Club

August 13, 2020

Allentown, PA- A stunning copper Field-Lok standing seam roof is showcased on the 1863 Club at the historic Saratoga Racetrack in Saratoga Springs, NY. The building won first place for the category of commercial roofs in ATAS International's project of the year awards for 2019.

The Saratoga Racetrack opened in 1863 and is one of the oldest racetracks in America. The 1863 Club is one of the largest single investments to be made at the track since the clubhouse in 1928. Preservation of the historic character of the Saratoga Racetrack was paramount for this project. The 36,000 square foot, three-story luxury facility overlooks the track with a walkway over the paddock that connects to the existing clubhouse, under which the horses pass on their way to the track. The first floor is a banquet space called The Rail that can accommodate 500 people. The second floor has an exclusive members club, named Legends Hall, which can hold up to 100. The third floor offers five luxury suites designed for groups of up to 50, and an adjoining lounge. Vast views of the property are enjoyed from the balconies off the second and third floors.

Carl Veglia, Project Manager with Mid-State Industries, stated, “It was challenging to keep this project on schedule, so that it would be completed in time for the 2019 Saratoga Meet. Panels had to be ordered in several phases as the roof deck became available for field measurements. Knowing that the pressure of the deadline was high, ATAS' turnaround/delivery time was accelerated and excellent for the duration of the project, which was completed on schedule. The combined efforts of ATAS, Mid-State Industries, Erie Materials, SOSH NY, Frost Hurff Architects, and MLB Construction Services made this project the success that it was.”

Special facets of this project, as shared by Veglia, included:
·Tapered panels on a radiused wraparound porch - mechanically seamed tapered panels are not commonly offered by most manufacturers
·Half-round 16 oz. copper gutters and downspouts by ATAS
·Seven finials custom crafted by Mid-State Industries, per architect's design to complement historic finials on adjacent grandstand
·Multiple roof pitches and tie-ins to valleys, hips, and ridges at towers created challenging details
·All roofs were vented either at the ridge, the apron flashing at the walls, or through the Z clips attaching the finials
·20-year weathertight warranty was provided, per specifications

The roof line on the 1863 Club was designed to harmonize with the existing copper and slate roof on the grandstand and clubhouse. Approximately 18,000 square feet of 20 oz. copper Field-Lok panels were installed by Mid-State Industries of Schenectady, NY and were purchased through Erie Materials of Albany, NY. The architects for the project were SOSH NY of New York City, and Frost Hurff Architects of Saratoga Springs, NY. The contractor was MLB Construction Services of Malta, NY.

The Field-Lok panel chosen for this project has a 1-1/2” high seam, and the panel width is 19-7/8”, which is a custom size. Field-Lok is a standing seam panel system and is available in four different seam heights. The Triple-Lok design on the 2-3/8” seam height creates one of the strongest mechanically locked seams on the market today. The 2” seam height is a double-locked structural panel that can meet severe load requirements. The panels with 1-1/2” and 1” seam heights are non-structural, single-locked or double-locked, with standard plank ribs, and available as tapered and convex curved (with or without plank ribs). Factory panel pre-notching and optional factory-applied seam sealant is also available. In addition to being manufactured in copper, the 1-1/2” Field-Lok is also available in aluminum, metallic coated steel, 55% Al-Zn alloy coated steel with acrylic coating, zinc, and stainless steel. It is installed with an expansion clip and is mechanically seamed in the field.

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Miller Edge - Invisible Blanket of Protection - Monitored Light Curtain / MLC-K36

July 29, 2020

Project Overview - The Winchester Kentucky Fire Department, located in Central Kentucky, houses four bays with entry and exit sectional doors on two of the bays (6 overhead sectional doors total). Fire apparatus can enter and exit on both sides of the building, making the need for a photo optic device even more essential.

The Challenge - The ChallengeOHD of Lexington had installed photo eyes and motion sensors on the individual doors. Fire trucks in particular are difficult for photo eyes with less than a 3ft span to detect due to the weight of the truck drastically changing when filled with water. The front of an empty truck may not pass through the single light beam, which can cause unwanted contact with the door. Because of this, the fire department suffered damage to two doors and one truck hood. Additionally, the ground in front of the doors is pitted from truck weight and in general poor condition making it a problematic environment for a motion sensor.

The Solution - In order to detect all parts of the fire apparatus, OHD of Lexington installed six MLC-K36 (Monitored Light Curtain-3 Ft.) on the six bays on February 24, 2020.

The Result - With the ability to span three feet high from the ground, these light curtains have prevented damage the fire station experienced prior to the MLC-K36 installation. Not only does this keep the vehicles, facility, and people safe with functioning automated safety solutions, but it has virtually eliminated service calls for this location. Since the light curtains offer monitored protection across a broad area in front of the garage opening, the safety system now can recognize firetrucks that are weighted down, or completely empty, preventing service calls for this location, and virtually eliminating the frustrations of the facility manager. Prior to Miller Edge Light Curtains, Rodney Greene, OHD of Lexington Commercial Sales, stated they were using a competitor's product, which was admittedly less expensive but “we have had more callbacks and warranty (faulty receivers or transmitters) than you would ever believe. I'll pay the price for a better product and no issues.”

About the Miller Edge Light Curtain - Using a series of thru beam photo eyes attached near the door track or guides, this light curtain is designed to provide a dense barrier of light that, when interrupted, signals the door to reverse. With the ability to span up to 32 feet wide and 6 feet high, it is suitable for use on the majority of commercial and industrial door applications. The Miller Edge Monitored Light Curtain is a UL 325 compliant monitored device that replaces a photo eye and provides extended protection.

Project Specs Overview - Six Overhead Doors, Six MLC-K36

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Vectorworks, Inc. is a Finalist in 2020 Architizer A+Awards

July 27, 2020

Vectorworks Architect 2020 competing in Software & Digital Tools category until voting closes on July 31

Columbia, MD (July 23, 2020)—For the second year in a row, global design and BIM software provider Vectorworks, Inc. ­­is an Architizer A+Awards finalist. Specifically, Vectorworks Architect 2020 is competing against three other products for the 2020 Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award and the Jury Award in the Software & Digital Tools category. Vectorworks Architect 2019 was the 2019 Architizer A+Awards Popular Choice Winner in the Design Tools-Apps & Digital Tools category.

Now in its eighth season, the Architizer A+Awards will highlight the most pressing issues facing architecture and design today. Through relevant new categories, topical coverage and pioneering jurors, the awards will celebrate industry professionals working at the forefront of today’s creative challenges. The 2020 awards will promote work that is harnessing cutting-edge approaches, materials and technologies to create more resilient spaces and cities for generations to come.

New this year are awards that emphasize the industry’s most innovative use of materials and technologies, as well as those celebrating sustainable design and new approaches to building. These include categories for sustainable products, design hardware and BIM technology.

“We are honored to be a finalist again for this prestigious award and thank Architizer for including us alongside other incredible products and companies who are helping to drive the AEC industry into the future,” said Vectorworks Vice President of Marketing Jeremy Powell. “Each year, we strive to provide enhanced and new software capabilities that simplify design workflows from sketch to BIM. In particular, Vectorworks Architect 2020 was created with an emphasis on helping architects strike a balance between practicality and creativity using data-driven insights.”

The jury evaluates the product categories based on aesthetics, performance and impact.

The Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award is determined by public voting. Be sure to cast your vote by July 31 on their website. Popular Choice and Jury winners will be announced on August 4.

To learn more about the nominated product, Vectorworks Architect 2020, visit

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Your Software, Your Choice. Vectorworks, Inc. Licensing Philosophies

July 27, 2020

With the recent and dramatic change in economic climate due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s important for designers to have access to flexible and cost-effective licensing options to meet their constantly evolving needs.

In light of this major current event affecting the business world, we sat down with Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar and Vice President of Sales Nicole Davison to explore the ins and outs of their current licensing structure for their global design products.

What sticks out most? The importance of offering our customers a choice. Read on to see what they shared.

1. Some software companies limit their options to forced subscriptions. What is Vectorworks’ philosophy when it comes to licensing, and why has Vectorworks chosen a different path from its competitors?

Davison: At Vectorworks, we value our customers, so we prioritize offering purchasing options and solutions that make the most sense for them. With this in mind, we’ve chosen to offer perpetual, perpetual with maintenance, network, single-user options for perpetual licenses, and subscription with single-user options, so that we can customize a solution that’s best for our customers and their varying needs.

Additionally, our philosophy is to reward customers for their longevity commitment. A customer who commits to the long-term by purchasing a perpetual license and staying on our maintenance plan always receives the lowest price for our product.

Sarkar: Historically, our goal has been to maintain cost of ownership lower than our primary competition. Vectorworks is a value-priced product over time, and we find that these cost savings allow us to best support our customers. Continuing to offer versatile purchasing options to our customers around the world allows us the flexibility to challenge our competitors who have limited offerings.

2. When did Vectorworks begin doing subscriptions? Where have they been rolled out?

Davison: In April 2018, subscriptions first rolled out in Australia, followed by New Zealand in August 2018, the U.S. in April 2019, Canada in September 2019, in India, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines in November 2019 and the U.K. in March 2020. We are looking forward to releasing subscriptions throughout Europe this summer and in South America and additional Asian countries after that.

Sarkar: We chose to roll out subscriptions in Australia first and then New Zealand soon after because we have great partners interested in testing subscriptions due to their economic climate at the time. The other benefit for us was to kick off subscriptions in the English-speaking countries. Now, all of our main office locations — U.S., Canada, and U.K. — offer subscriptions, too.

3. What prompted the decision to launch subscriptions?

Sarkar: Subscriptions offered an opportunity to serve our community of users who weren’t necessarily best served by a perpetual license. This could be someone who is just starting a business or freelancers who only need their design software for a few months at a time. Having a subscription is a much better solution for these individuals.

4. What types of licensing options do you offer to users?

Davison: Our software offerings boil down to three main license options:

1.) Our E Series license is an individual license that is activated over the internet. 2.) Our B Series license is an individual license that gets activated through a hardware key, that the customer owns. 3.) Our Network license is maintained on a server and allows multiple users to share seats. The server can be activated through the internet or a hardware key. Our Network option allows customers with 10+ seats on their license the flexibility to float our different product offerings.

Our E Series can be activated globally and there’s never a risk of losing a hardware key like with our B Series. This factor is why we are seeing many customers migrating to our internet-authenticated solutions.

5. What is the difference between a perpetual and subscription license?

Sarkar: A perpetual license means customers own the software forever and can always use it, as long as your operating system remains compatible. You will be able to upgrade your license for up to three years at a discounted price. Current version perpetual licenses are eligible for enrollment into our Vectorworks Service Select maintenance plan, where you will receive free upgrades to the current version, exclusive training opportunities, and more.

Since Vectorworks Service Select is a maintenance program and not a subscription program, our customers own a perpetual license of their Vectorworks software and can continue to use it regardless of if they stay enrolled in Vectorworks Service Select or not.

While subscription licenses are the exact same Vectorworks product as perpetual, they are rented on either a monthly or an annual basis. If subscription is the route for you, and you plan to use the license for a year, we offer a discount to purchase an annual subscription license.

Davison: For perpetual and subscriptions, there’s the option to request up to three versions back in case a customer isn’t ready to upgrade to the latest version because they’re in the middle of a project or collaborating with others on a different version.

6. Can you break down the benefits of Vectorworks Service Select vs. the benefits of subscriptions?

Sarkar: Vectorworks Service Select is the best way to get the most out of Vectorworks software for the most cost-effective price over time. Our members receive an immediate upgrade of new product releases including Service Pack updates, priority technical support, early release of all content through our Resource Manager, and our constantly growing library of on-demand learning tutorials. Further, Vectorworks Service Select members receive special member-only features in Vectorworks Cloud Services such as Photos to 3D Model, cloud rendering, and more.

While subscription licenses don’t have the same early access to content or all of the training available in Vectorworks University, they do always have access to the most recent Vectorworks version. And, these customers have the flexibility of paying for the software when they need it.

7. Do you lose access to your work if you cancel a subscription? How can someone access their work if they cancel their subscription?

Davison: Your work is always yours, and you keep your project files. You must have an active subscription or perpetual license to update, edit, or use your files. Once your subscription period has expired, your access to Vectorworks will end unless you renew for another term or purchase another license type. We always offer our Vectorworks Viewer which allows users to open and view their files.

8. Are you allowed to convert your subscription license to a perpetual license?

Davison: Yes, you can easily convert your subscription license to a perpetual license. Since the product is the exact same, once you have purchased a perpetual license you just need to update your serial number for your license to automatically convert to a perpetual license. We often offer promotions and discounts that subscribers can take advantage of to make the conversion.

Sarkar: For customers considering whether to convert, it’s worth pointing out that our perpetual license is not only a better offer compared to subscriptions, but a better option when compared to our competitors, too. Look at the chart directly below to clearly see how over time Vectorworks is the most cost-effective choice.

Image courtesy of Vectorworks, Inc.
Price comparisons are made using Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price ("MSRP") in U.S. dollars against competitive annual purchasing options compared to Vectorworks purchasing options. Prices shown are an estimate and may not represent the average or prevailing market price at any particular time. Vectorworks prices may reflect promotional pricing on the initial purchase available in select markets at any given time. Prices are subject to change without notice. Price comparison information is for personal use and guidance only and does not constitute contractual representation or obligation of Vectorworks, Inc.

9. What’s types of products do you offer? Where can customers learn more about pricing and buy Vectorworks software? Any closing remarks?

Davison: Vectorworks Fundamentals is our basic CAD software package, while Vectorworks Architect, Landmark, and Spotlight support the AEC, landscape and entertainment industries, respectively. Vectorworks Designer encompasses our entire suite of technology in one interface with Architect, Landmark, and Spotlight. Finally, we offer Vision, a pre-viz software; Braceworks, an add-on rigging analysis module; and ConnectCAD, a signal flow add-on as part of our entertainment offerings.

Sarkar: We seek to be the go-to software choice for designing anything and this encompasses a vast group of designers with varying needs. Not everyone can make the same pricing or license options work. It’s important for our customers to always have a choice when it comes to their software, and we’ll continue to prioritize this goal like we have before and during the coronavirus pandemic and even when things go back to normal.

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LEED, other building certification systems, look to adjust to COVID-19 era

July 21, 2020

Building standards such as LEED, RELi and WELL are piloting tweaks to respond to the spread of COVID-19.

When Minneapolis architect Doug Pierce first envisioned a few years ago a new building standard that could help measure the resiliency of a structure or community, he had imagined design that could help structures withstand extreme weather, economic upheaval and even sea-level rise. But worldwide pandemics weren't high on his list.

Now the coronavirus pandemic has shifted Pierce's way of thinking on how building resilience, sustainability and general wellness can address the current crisis and those in the future.

“COVID-19 has really had a huge impact on the way I see resiliency and sustainability. … What was it in the system that we were not prepared for this?” Pierce said in an interview Wednesday.

Pierce's RELi (pronounced rely) design rating and certification system and similar systems like the popular LEED and WELL building standards are all in the process of being re-evaluated for short-term as well as long-term changes in the face of the coronavirus emergency.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and administered by its sister organization Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) system is the most widely used green-building rating system in the world. LEED standards focus on numerous factors including energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction and health.

This month, Minnesota was announced to have reached 100 million square feet of LEED-certified space.

Last year, the state ranked eighth nationally in terms of the amount of LEED-certified gross square feet per capita.

As a way to address the building-safety concerns raised in the current health crisis, the USGBC is updating LEED strategies to address factors that can affect the spread of the coronavirus such as indoor environmental quality, cleaning and risk management.

LEED, which operates on a certification system so building owners can earn credits to reach higher LEED levels, has launched new pilot credits that focus on social distancing, nontoxic surface cleaning, air quality and infection monitoring.

“What our strategy is, is to upgrade and strengthen and evolve our existing standard to make sure that it responds to the global health crisis that we are facing,” said Sarah Merricks, chief of staff for the USGBC.

USGBC is also asking for ideas on how LEED can continue to evolve.

“I do believe that LEED buildings are definitely in a much better place to respond to this crisis than traditional construction would do because of the simple reason that a LEED certified building is in a much better place in terms of its design, construction and operations,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, chief executive of the U.S. Green Building Council.

In 2017, the RELi standard was adopted by GBCI. In collaboration with USGBC, GBCI is working to further refine RELi, which is in its second round of pilots, said Pierce, who developed RELi and is the chairman of a national steering committee to develop the RELi system.

Pierce is also the lead of design firm Perkins and Will's Living Design resilience and sustainability initiative.

RELi is working on pilot credits for things building operators should be thinking about when people are returning back to work as well as gathering ideas for how to enhance its standards, Pierce said.

For example, a new factor could be making mechanical systems more flexible so that the amount of fresh air going through a building can be changed easily, he said.

“As architects and designers when you are faced with a problem like this you automatically start trying to solve for that,” Pierce said.

The WELL building standard, which is led by the International WELL Building Institute, focuses on features that support and advance human health and wellness.

The institute is forming a task force on coronavirus that will inform new enhancements to the WELL building standard as well.

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dormakaba - Mobile and Touchless Access Products a Necessity in the New Era

July 20, 2020

Indianapolis, IN - The coronavirus has drastically changed personal and professional views and expectations about cleanliness in buildings and high traffic environments. Convenient, reliable and safe for both the properties and visitors, dormakaba's Mobile Access Solutions and Touchless Access Solutions are excellent choices to reduce hand-to-door contact in high contact public areas such as healthcare facilities, restaurants, schools, offices and restrooms. They offer contactless, barrier-free and user-friendly access that assure secure entry, minimize high frequency touchpoints, and reduce the spread of germs.

Simplified Mobile Solutions Add to the Guest Experience
dormakaba's Mobile Access Solutions are touchless, secure, end-to-end mobile credential applications utilizing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), the preferred communication technology for dormakaba mobile enabled RFID locks. Its BLE Ilco and Saflok RFID locks are the basis for a simplified transition to reliable mobile access. Properties can issue and manage keys on mobile devices to access rooms so visitors only touch their smartphone to check in, check out, ride the elevator or enter their apartment, pool or common area. dormakaba RFID locks currently in use can be converted to BLE.

Automatic Openings Offer Safe, Barrier-Free Access
dormakaba solutions can transform any manual opening door into an automatic opening.

Low Energy Swing Door Operators can be used in new construction or retrofit onto existing doors. dormakaba's swing doors are designed for high traffic and heavy-duty use. Self-learning microprocessor controls adjust swing door speed for smooth opening and closing. Automatics function in low-energy or full-power mode.

Automatic Sliding Doors Operators are designed with attractive framing and sleek styles that offer unobstructed views and allow natural light into a building. dormakaba's sliding doors create easy hands-free access with a silent and smooth door opening. dormakaba doors are tested for one-million cycles in harsh weather.

Touchless Actuators deliver effortless operation for access control, door automation, alerts, and handicap accessibility. dormakaba's RCI switches provide functional control with a selection of options for momentary release, maintained release, time-delay, or emergency release. For increased operator flexibility, switches can be mounted as a remote switch and/or located at the door.

Expert Mobile and Touchless Access Consulting & Services
dormakaba's Mobile and Touchless Access Programs can be tailored to meet any building's needs and simplify adoption. Our service team can conduct site visits for compatibility, offer touchless activation packages and perform free existing equipment general health check. Contact dormakaba for a free consultation to learn more about how to integrate mobile and touchless access solutions into any property.

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BRIGHTSMITH Coaters' Post-Painting Facility Earns ISO 9001:2015 Certification

July 06, 2020

Trenton, NJ - BRIGHTSMITH Coater's post-painting operation, located in Trenton, NJ, was recently certified to the ISO 9001:2015 quality system standard. This certification assists BRIGHTSMITH Coaters with maintaining industry leadership; utilizing a customer focus and quality improvements that are consistent with continued growth, enhanced customer service, and employee satisfaction; harnessing growth responsibly.

By conforming to the ISO standard, BRIGHTSMITH provides their customers with confidence in knowing that an established systematic approach to total quality management is employed. BRIGHTSMITH is continuously improving their processes to ensure their customers' needs are clearly understood and fulfilled.

The scope of BRIGHTSMITH Trenton's certification is post-painting and powder coating of extruded and/or fabricated metal parts. The post-painting services are ideal for applications such as roof coping, railings, storefront, facades, doors, panels, wheels, assorted brake shapes, architectural extrusions, and more. All products go through an in-house pre-treatment stage to ensure a high-quality finish.

BRIGHTSMITH's coil coating facility in Morrisville, PA has been ISO Certified since June 2006. Their scope of certification is applicable to prepainting, slitting, laminating, and embossing of coiled sheet metals.

BRIGHTSMITH chose SRI Quality System Registrar as their partner to assist in the renewal of the ISO certification for their coil coating facility, and for the new ISO certification for their post-painting facility. Established in 1991 as Steel Related Industries Quality System Registrar (SRI) to serve suppliers in the steel industry, SRI was one of the first five registrars in the U.S. As a representative on ISO 9000 and 14001 Technical Advisory Groups, a member and past Chair of the Independent Association of Accredited Registrars (IAAR), a representative of the IAAR on the International Automotive Sector Group (IASG), and former Malcolm Baldrige Senior Examiner, founder and CEO Dr. Peter B. Lake put SRI at the forefront of development and acceptance of standards worldwide. SRI now serves the accreditation needs of businesses in over 40 major industries across North America, Asia, and Europe.

The ISO 9001 series of certifications is based on seven quality management principles, including: customer focus, leadership, engagement of people, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decision making, and relationship management. The 2015 version of ISO 9001 is less prescriptive than its predecessors and focuses on performance.This is achieved by combining the process approach with risk-based thinking and employing the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle at all levels in the organization. Greater emphasis on building a management system suited to each organization's needs is applied.

Karen Schwenk, Quality Management Systems Administrator, said, “We are very proud to now have ISO certification for both BRIGHTSMITH facilities. The BRIGHTSMITH team meets regularly to review our progress toward continuous improvement. Everyone is involved and accountable to aligning our quality services to our business strategy for growth. This commitment to certification and excellence ensures that we will continue to deliver the highest quality of services to all of our stakeholders.”

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Vectorworks, Inc. Offers Discounted Licenses to Graduating Students with student2PRO Program

July 02, 2020

Higher education graduates are eligible for a 40 percent discount on award-winning design software licenses up to twelve months after graduation

Columbia, MD (June 30, 2020)—To help graduating students transition into their professional careers, global design and BIM software provider, Vectorworks, Inc. is offering recent graduates 40 percent off perpetual licenses as part of its student2PRO program. This deal is applicable to any Vectorworks product.

“Starting a career after graduation is a momentous milestone for any graduate, and the student2PRO program is the perfect initiative in helping graduates take that first step toward career success without having a huge financial burden setting them back,” said Alice Lowy Marketing Programs Director. “This option is to help ensure up-and-coming professionals have the necessary 2D drawing, 3D modeling, and BIM tools to bring their designs to life.”

student2PRO is a gateway program helping recent graduates jumpstart their professional careers more easily by offering discounts on the standard price. Additionally, those who take advantage of student2PRO are eligible for a 40 percent discounted membership to Vectorworks Service Select — the maintenance program that includes upgrades to product, priority technical support, exclusive training opportunities and early release of new content libraries. Service Select members also receive member-only features in Vectorworks Cloud Services.

“Going the student2PRO route was such a valuable option for me and now as a full-time lighting designer, I use the features in Vision and Spotlight in my day-to-day work on theatre productions,” said Chloe Clark, a San Diego State University alumna. “Not only is the program an economical option for graduating students, but it’s also beneficial that Vectorworks updates and enhances its software regularly in conjunction with my industry constantly changing. It’s an easy way for me to always stay up to date.”

To qualify for student2PRO, graduates must have completed a degree at a university, college, post-secondary vocational or poly-technical school within the past 365 days and submit transcripts or a diploma showing degree completion and graduation date. Alternatively, graduates can take advantage of the current monthly or yearly subscription license offerings on Vectorworks products, where available.

For more information or to submit your transcripts or diploma, click "READ MORE" below.

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Richlite Partners with Charlie Cart Project: Food Education Anytime, Anywhere

June 29, 2020

Richlite is proud to partner with like-minded organizations that believe community and sustainability go hand in hand. We fell in love with the Charlie Cart Project and the entire team behind them, who set out to create an affordable and comprehensive food education program, giving kids the power to make healthy choices for life.

The Charlie Cart Project is an all-in-one, hands-on food education, and nutrition program for any learning environment. With kids in mind who don’t thrive in a traditional school environment, hands-on learning, and cooking, in particular, can unlock a child's potential and open a window to a greater understanding of the world around us..

Educators from 150 organizations in 38 states are active in the program, teaching basic cooking skills in their communities, and transforming lives with hands-on food education.

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SYNLawn brings 'Summer Fun Fore All' to Tanger Outlets

June 19, 2020

SYNLawn® Brings Putting Greens to Tanger® Factory Outlet Centers for 'Summer Fun Fore All' Activations

Dalton, GA — SYNLawn® and Tanger® Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. have collaborated to make this summer more enjoyable by giving families the opportunity to enjoy putting greens during June through September activations at 33 locations across the country and Canada. Golf-loving families can show off their putting skills on a Dave Pelz GreenMaker by SYNLawn Golf during the 'Summer Fun Fore All' events.

“This is the beginning of a fantastic partnership with Tanger Factory Outlet Centers,” said George Neagle, executive vice president at SYNLawn. “We're thrilled to offer shoppers the chance to play on the finest complete putting green system on the market today, and help make the summer months more enjoyable for families across the country.” Both companies are focused on providing fun experiences for the whole family throughout the season. Tanger Outlets welcomes more than 181 million visitors each year at 39 locations. Due to COVID-19, each of its locations has established the following steps to ensure safety for customers during these activations:

~Shoppers will be directed to stay 6 feet apart by following decals instructing them where to stand.
~Each putter will be sanitized between use and hand sanitizer will be available at each putting green.
~Shoppers are encouraged to wear appropriate PPE at all times.

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Roof recover with McElroy Metal symmetrical standing seam system solves 20-year-old leaking issues

June 16, 2020

Bossier City, La. — It takes a special roofer to agree to recover a 20-year-old roof that's been leaking since it was installed. Armed with his own roll former that produces McElroy Metal's 238T symmetrical standing seam panel, Marty May is that kind of special.

May, the Chief Manager at Architectural Paneling LLC of Covington, Tenn., believes he was one of no more than two roofers who submitted a bid to recover the failing roof on the Kathleen and Tom Elam Center at the University of Tennessee-Martin. The original modified bitumen roof was topped once with sub-purlins and a metal roofing system that contained end laps. That retrofit installation didn't solve the problem.

“Once we got involved with the job, most of the other companies backed off, knowing we would do our due diligence and get the job done right,” May says. “Once we started, we smoked it pretty good; we got it done in four months.”

The Elam Center is the busy home of intercollegiate athletics and the Department of Health and Human Performance on the west entrance of campus. It houses seven basketball courts with volleyball and badminton options, six racquetball courts, an Olympic-sized swimming pool, an interior jogging balcony and an aerobics room. The arena, which seats 4,800, is home to men's and women's basketball and various campus-wide student activities such as homecoming events, concerts, intramural sports and programming associated with academic speakers, senior preview day and freshmen welcome week.

“The old retrofit metal roof had end panel splices which were leaking at various areas and required constant maintenance and resealing,” says Mark Maddox, AIA, of TLM Associates in Jackson, Tenn. “Also, the termination/drip edges of the panels were not installed correctly and allowed capillary action rainwater to infiltrate the building.”

In addition, Maddox says the existing insulation did not meet current code requirements and the cavity underneath the roof was not properly ventilated.

“Our approach, under the guidance of UT Facilities planning, was to specify complete removal and replacement of the entire metal panel system,” Maddox says. “Metal was chosen due to its long-term durability and life-cycle cost considerations, as compared to single-ply and other systems. We specified a continuous panel, approximately 98 feet long, which required jobsite roll forming. It also called for accommodations at the ridge and eave for the proper thermal expansion/contraction of each panel. A special eave/drip edge was extended sufficiently beyond the supporting wall to solve issues along the previous drip edge.”

After removing the metal roofing system, Architectural Paneling replaced the curbs around all of the equipment on the roof with new systems from LMCurbs of Longview, Texas. The original parapet walls on three sides of the Elam Center required work so Architectural Paneling removed and re-installed 434 linear feet of parapet wall coping caps.

The low slope roof (1/2:12) runs in one direction, to the back of the building, where 60 linear feet of headwall flashings had to be replaced. From there is a four-inch drop to a modified bitumen roof on another section of the building that has internal gutters to handle rain drainage. As a last step to preparing the roof for the new panels, 8 inches of unfaced fiberglass insulation was installed between the sub-purlins.

“Our plan was to hoist our machine to the roof and run the panels on the roof,” May says, “but it was determined that the roof wouldn't be able to support the roll former and the coil, probably about 13,000 pounds.”

Plan B was to erect scaffolding from Tennessee Scaffolding and crane the roll former and coil to the top, where it was bolted to the scaffolding. A crew of 10-12 collected the 98-foot long, 22-gauge Galvalume Plus panels (18 inches wide) as they came off the machine and stacked them on the roof. May says his crew installed a thermal spacer between the sub-purlins and the 238T roofing panels.

McElroy's 238T panel is a symmetrical standing seam panel, so it does not have male and female seams. It's comprised of panels with matching left and right seams. The panels are joined with a mechanically seamed cap. The panels are non-directional, meaning they can be installed left to right, right to left, or even from the center out.

The new system also called for new insulation to meet the 2012 IECC energy code and proper ventilation. Also included with the specification was a Special Total Roofing System warranty, with a 20-year no-dollar limit.

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ATAS Announces Project of the Year Award Winners

June 09, 2020

Allentown, PA - ATAS International, Inc. is pleased to announce the 2019 project of the year award winners. This annual competition recognizes projects in which ATAS products have been incorporated into the design of the building. Six project categories were included in the competition: commercial roofs, commercial walls, residential roofs, residential walls, accents, and interiors. An independent panel of judges, comprised of ATAS advisory board members, reviewed photos of all the projects submitted throughout the year and chose first, second, and third place winners in each category.

Receiving the first-place honors for commercial roofs was the Saratoga Racecourse project in Saratoga Springs, NY. Copper Field-Lok panels were used on this building, which were installed by Mid-State Industries, and purchased through Erie Materials. Architects for the project included SOSH and Frost Hurff, and MLB Construction Services was the contractor. For the commercial walls category, Otto Brewerytown in Philadelphia, PA, a mixed-use retail and condominiums project, took first-place. This building was designed by Interface Studio Architects (ISA), using Custom Grand C panels in Patina Green, Silversmith, and Brilliant Green, and Versa-Seam panels in Silversmith. The panels were installed by All Seasons Home Improvement Company and purchased through ABC Supply. The owner of the building is Equinox Management and Construction.

Taking the first-place award in the residential roofs category was a private residence located in Freeport, NY. TOC Architects designed the roof of this home using Boysenberry Techo Tile and PC System. The panels were purchased through Riverhead Building Supply and were installed by JA Construction. The residential walls category first-place winner was a private residence located in Penn Township, PA. Jeff Anderson acted as the architect and contractor for this project, which used CastleTop in Forest Green, Hemlock Green, and Patina Green, and Grand C in Dove Grey. The panels were purchased from Lezzer Lumber.

For the accents category, the Geico Headquarters project in Tucson, AZ, took first-place. ONYX Creative, the architectural firm on this project, used custom perforated panels in clear satin anodized for the stairwells, along with Belvedere 6” Short Rib panels in clear satin anodized and a custom blue color. Also, perforated Belvedere 6” Short Rib panels in clear satin anodized were incorporated into the design. The panels were purchased through Beacon Building Products. The stairwell panels were installed by JB Steel, and the wall panels were installed by Roofing Southwest. For the interiors category, the Moser School in Rocky Hill, CT was recognized as the first-place winner. Custom wood grain PVDF linear ceiling panels with black recessed filler strips were incorporated into the design created by Kaestle Boos Architects. The panels were installed by GDS Contracting and purchased through KAMCO of New England.

Jim Bush, VP of Sales and Marketing for ATAS, stated, “Once again, we received many entries into ATAS’ annual project of the year competition. We are pleased to honor the architects, contractors and distributors who were involved in the award-winning projects. A 60-page booklet has been created to showcase the projects that won an award or were nominated. This “idea book” should be useful to architects, contractors, and building owners to help them envision possible metal panel applications and design aesthetics for their future projects.”

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S-5! Accept the things you cannot change

May 20, 2020

S-5! is working full steam ahead on the re-invention of every department, availing of every opportunity for improvement. From marketing and communications to manufacturing and sales to research and development, we are integrating extensive improvements into all phases and functions of our company. We are reinvigorating the entrepreneurial spirit that underpins this organization. We are performing the same functions but in new and different ways.

Our sales team is facing customers through video conferencing – no planes, airports, rental cars and hotel rooms for now; they are training distribution channels and end-users through educational webinars. We are communicating more and more through social media and online communications. And, we are coordinating interdepartmental functions via digital media. It is actually more time-and cost-effective than the ways of yesterday. We are accelerating the implementation of our new ERP and CRM systems, fast-tracking our manufacturing plant expansion program, stepping up R&D with new products and installing new automation equipment in production. We are working harder and faster than ever before.

S-5! has and will continue to identify the opportunities hidden within this difficulty and align ourselves, our strategies and preparations to emerge on the other side of this pandemic as a more vibrant company. We will be stronger, more effective, more purposeful, more dynamic, more resilient with more fluid operational procedures and infrastructure, closer customer contact and rapport, higher production rates, and lower operating costs in all departments.

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Benjamin Moore Is Making Hand Sanitizer in it's New Jersey Factory - It's just part of the company's COVID-19 relief effort

May 19, 2020

As someone who has waxed poetic about certain Benjamin Moore colors, I'm clearly a fan—and designers love their paints, too. Now, the company is giving us all the more reason to love them by rolling out a multifaceted relief program in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The most surprising pivot? Turning its Newark, New Jersey, paint factory to a hand sanitizer production.

Over the past few weeks, Benjamin Moore—which as operated a facility in Newark since the 1920s—has been investigating how to switch from making paint to making hand sanitizer. Now, the company is in the process of manufacturing 600 gallons (over 2,000 bottles) of sanitizer, which it is donating to local police departments.

In addition, the company has announced a $100,000 gift to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Frontline Foods, two of the organizations helping to make up for the 50% state increase in demand for food assistance. This donation will facilitate 230,000 meals.

"Benjamin Moore has operated in New Jersey for more than 100 years, with four locations and our largest employee population based in the Garden State. As a company committed to the communities we serve, we recognize the health and financial hardship that COVID-19 has caused many residents," says chairman and CEO Dan Calkins. "Through our production of much-needed hand sanitizer and monetary donations to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey and Frontline Foods New Jersey, we hope to bring some comfort to first responders, healthcare workers and community members in need during this difficult time."

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Sensitile - materials as dynamic as light

May 19, 2020

“Today more than ever we understand the importance of space, and the beauty that can be achieved through its effective and adaptable use. Only when we return to that beauty which we had taken for granted, will we feel alive again.” - Giovanni de Niederhäusern, Senior Vice President Architecture, Samuele Sordi, Chief Architect in Pininfarina USA, Marco Bortolussi, Marketing Specialist

Marrying beauty and elegance with people's connectivity to the physical space has always been our guiding vision. We aim to draw people in, harness their senses in dynamic ways, and push beyond prevailing thinking of what it means to interact with the material world. The need to distance socially should not preclude connectivity and beauty. Our screen, divider and partitioning solutions achieve privacy without seclusion and are versatile, adaptable and configurable. They are easy to clean and sanitize and relevant for hospitality, healthcare, retail, institutional, educational and residential environments. They divide spaces and create privacy, while at the same time, maintain a delightfully connected whole by extending, distributing and maximizing ambient and daytime light.

Please click the "Read More" button to view Sensitile's available Screens and Dividers.

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Oasis Outdoor Living & Landscapes Brings Bluworld of Water USA to Central Indiana

May 01, 2020

Today's fast-paced lifestyle may generate joy and productivity, but it can also create ample stress, causing homeowners to crave a greater degree of tranquility back on the home front. Rob Delaby, owner of Oasis Outdoor Living & Landscapes, has found homeowners are increasingly seeking to enhance their environment with a calming and soothing element, incorporating water features both outside and inside the home.

Since the beginning of time, humans have been naturally drawn to water's beauty as it serves to soothe, heal, restore, and uplift us. Moreover, water increases alertness, decreases blood pressure, and lowers depression & anxiety. And here's a great bonus: including a water feature on either the interior or exterior of your home substantially increases its value!

Last year Delaby met with a local couple who were eager to add flair to their newly constructed home by Christopher Scott Homes, by adding some unique water features. In describing the kind of design they were looking for, these homeowners, who adore Arizona and Las Vegas, said, “We want Scottsdale flair but with a Bellagio kicker.”

Delaby was eager to deliver, but unfortunately there was nobody in the area that could help him with the type of technologically advanced water features he needed to create the design his clients envisioned. In doing his research, Delaby came across Bluworld of Water in Orlando and was immediately awestruck by the jaw-droppingly unique projects he saw.

“I was impressed not only in their design capability but also their proprietary trademark of the Blu-Guard system that prevents water from getting stagnant, stale, or growing algae,” says Delaby. (Bluworld has developed a 100% hermetically sealed design that required no water supply, no drainage, no filtration and no regular maintenance. Because the system is 100% encapsulated with distilled water, it can never get dirty or develop any biological growth.)

“What Bluworld offers isn't currently available in the Indianapolis market,” says Delaby. “We've all seen exterior water features, but how often do you walk into someone's home and see a kitchen tabletop full of water that has bubbles in it? Or an entryway with a wall of water?”

After flying to Florida, meeting Josh Effron, Senior Account Manager for Bluworld of Water, and touring the state-of-the-art 40,000 sq. ft. facility, Delaby was sold and suggested a partnership.

“I wanted the opportunity to be the dealer of Bluworld's concept and bring Central Indiana the beauty of Bluworld,” says Delaby, who was thrilled to return to Indy and let his clients know that he could make their dream a reality, complete with a custom Butler Bulldog themed water feature.

Because of the partnership with Bluworld, the sky is the limit on customizing these water features. Clients can custom build each detail of their water feature, choosing from different panel materials, colors, lighting, and water effects.

“There is virtually no limit to what we can create or how far we are willing to travel. In fact, we now have installations in more than 35 countries and most recently, in Wah Pakistan where we designed the world's tallest indoor water feature at 165 feet,” says Effron. “This includes using custom stainless steel, any type of glass as well as custom cast acrylic. These designs can also include programmable animation and lighting shows.”

“I searched high and low to find a partner that could provide cutting-edge interior and exterior water features, and Bluworld has captured the market with high-end design and development with proprietary methods and computer systems,” says Delaby. “I'm honored to be their dealer in Central Indiana and am eager to help any and all residential and commercial design build firms with the installation of Bluworld products and projects.”

“It was a major success as all the work done by both Oasis Outdoor and Bluworld was absolutely stunning!” says Effron. “Bluworld is thankful to have a trusted and knowledgeable partner in the Indianapolis area. We feel that the opportunities are endless, and we look forward to sustaining this great partnership and working with Oasis Outdoor in the future on many projects!”

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New Test Results Prove XLERATORs with HEPA Filtration System Remove 99.999 Percent of Viruses from the Airstream

April 30, 2020

Proper Hand Hygiene Top Defense Against Spread of Germs

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. – Both the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list proper hand hygiene among the best defenses against spreading germs. Proper hand hygiene involves thoroughly washing hands for at least 20 seconds, and drying them completely. Further, both organizations list warm air dryers as an effective means of drying hands.

The XLERATOR® Hand Dryer has already been proven to dry hands completely in as little as 8 seconds per global UL Environment Product Category Rules (PCR) testing standards. Now, a new study offers more insight into how HEPA filtration can contribute to hand hygiene. New viral filtration efficiency testing conducted by LMS Technologies found that XLERATOR® and XLERATORsync® Hand Dryers with HEPA Filtration Systems remove 99.999 percent of viruses from the airstream.

“In these unprecedented times, the health and well-being of our customers is our main concern and it was important for us to confirm how our products interact with viruses,” said William Gagnon, vice president of sales and marketing at Excel Dryer. “These results provide peace of mind to the public and our customers with regard to hand dryer use, especially now, at a time when proper hand washing and drying is paramount.”

This latest test challenged XLERATOR HEPA Filtration Systems with approximately 380 million viruses ranging in size between 16.5 and 604.3 nanometers. In the end, the HEPA Filtration System removed 99.999 percent of viruses.

Of the results, LMS Technologies President Al Vatine said, “The virus used in the test represents all viruses, like coronavirus in terms of their size or how they would react to the filter. I can, with confidence, tout the effectiveness of the XLERATORs with HEPA filtration systems. If it can perform this effectively in an enhanced, virus-infused scenario, it surely would provide effective filtration in real-world settings.”

XLERATOR Hand Dryers with HEPA Filtration Systems provide a more hygienic hand drying experience and environment compared to restrooms using paper towels. This touchless hand hygiene solution eliminates the multiple unnecessary touch points that come with using paper towels as a drying method including handling during their manufacture, shipping, storage, restocking and then, once used, the germ-laden waste removal. By reducing touchpoints, the risk of germ transfer is likewise reduced.

“Now more than ever, hygiene is a global concern,” Gagnon furthered. “With our latest test results, we can report that when it comes to public health, you’re in good hands with XLERATOR.”

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ATAS International Launches New Website for Transpired Solar Air Heating Collector

April 28, 2020

Allentown, PA - ATAS International has been involved in the manufacturing of transpired solar collector panels since 2002. Technical insights gleaned from early projects resulted in continual refinement of design, ultimately culminating in the release of the InSpire® wall solar air heating system to the sustainable construction industry in 2006. Since then, InSpire® has been installed on a wide variety of building types including schools, warehouses, and office buildings, earning numerous industry awards and professional recognition along the way.

A new website for InSpire® was launched in mid-April:, with a nod to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The new site contains more project data and photos, applications and case studies, and real-time performance data of a system installed on a warehouse/production facility. Design considerations, a BIM model, CAD details (in PDF and DWG formats) and color selections are also available on the new site.

Heating outside air is often the single most expensive energy budget item in a building and this is what the solar air wall system helps to reduce. Solar air heating is a simple, renewable, and efficient technology using the sun as a source of heat. Transpired solar collector panels installed on building walls can be used for heating building space with pre-heated outside air and can also provide process hot air for drying applications across numerous industries. The solar thermal efficiency of the InSpire® wall can exceed 80%, as certified by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC). Christian Vachon, Director of Solar Technology for ATAS International, stated, “I have been selling and installing the InSpire® solar air heating panels for over 10 years and they have always met or even exceeded calculated performance.”

The InSpire® solar collector is a perforated aluminum or zinc wall panel that is usually mounted on a building over the south-facing weathertight exterior wall (southeast and southwest-facing walls are also adequate to provide preheated air). The precision perforations in the wall panels allow outside air to travel through the face of the panel. When the metal panel is exposed to sunlight, it heats up, creating a layer of warm air on the surface of the panel. This solar-heated air is drawn through the perforations where it rises through the plenum between the two walls and enters the building's central ventilation system or supply fan where it is distributed through the building's duct work.

To learn more about solar air heating, ATAS offers a course on the topic that is approved by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for 1 LU/HSW and by Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI) for 1 CE hour. You may request a seminar through the resources tab on the new InSpire® website.

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McElroy Metal provides panels for Texas university landmark

April 28, 2020

Bossier City, La. — Growth and expansion have defined the ongoing evolution at the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL) during recent years. The transition from a commuter school for continuing education into a four-year campus with resident students created the need for a recreation and wellness facility that serves as a campus landmark.

The Clear Lake Recreation and Wellness Center is a new 81,000 square foot facility, featuring McElroy Metal's 22-gauge coil formed into wall panels. MCT Sheet Metal of Katy, Texas, manufactured three custom profiles in the Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF custom color Aged Bronze. A recruiting tool for the university, the facility partners student life with wellness-focused academics as the new home to the university's Exercise and Health Science Department. It houses recreational amenities including fitness/exercise facilities, an indoor track, and multi-use athletic courts for club sports, intramurals and personal training.

“Campus recreation and wellness centers are powerful tools for recruitment and retention of higher education students,” says Mark Kranz, FAIA, Vice President & Design Director at SmithGroup of Dallas. “To that end, the university wanted a bold, modern new facility to elevate their brand externally, and unite the campus internally with a strong, cohesive identity.

“Through the use of provocative form reflecting the program within, overarching sustainable strategies, materially and with color, the design epitomizes the UHCL 'Hawk' brand.”

Kranz points to the south façade of the building, which “is energized with a dynamic composition of custom profile single-skin metal panels, inspired by the motion of a hawk in flight,” he says. “That wing of the building houses research and academic space for the Health and Human Performance (Kinesiology) programs. We knew that we wanted our design to express the many layers and aspects of this active, human-centered field of study. The two-story volume blends in plan in a muscular way. We thought of both the body in motion and the flight of a hawk and overlaid the two as an abstract way to think about how a façade could appear to be kinetic.

“This dynamic set of ideas led to the exploration and experimentation with broken metal profiles. The result is very poetic and elegant and uses a simple and economical material.”

MCT Sheet Metal handled the fabrication and installation of metal products on the new center. MCT owner Patrick Coussens says working closely with SmithGroup helped everyone achieve project goals.

“The procured metal has a fantastic warranty with a large selection of color options to meet the design needs of the architect,” he says. “The 22-gauge sheet metal used is a step above the 24-gauge typical standard, which translates to a more robust panel in terms of strength and wind load. That adds longevity to the project. The profiles SmithGroup designed are fantastic for breaking up the façades into something visually enjoyable.”

Kranz says a major challenge with such extensive use of glazing is the control of solar heat gain and visual glare as it relates to energy performance and environmental comfort. “Metal components are used throughout the project to help achieve the design's solar control strategy,” he says. “On the exterior, dramatic overhangs, metal shade structures and metal fins reduce heat gain, while on the interior, perforated metal guardrails diffuse sunlight to reduce glare.”

The project certainly met the aesthetic and durability goals of all involved.

“Working creatively with a simple metal coil and braking it into three custom profiles, we were able to express the project's kinetic spirit and purpose,” Kranz says. “It isn't easy to capture movement with static materials, but the panel composition makes the architecture move, in a very provocative way.”

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Accept the Things You Cannot Change

April 24, 2020

Rob Haddock, CEO & Founder of S-5! Metal Roof Innovations, Ltd.

Without the noise of day-to-day fires to put out, many of us are operating in quiet solitude and reflecting on how we will do things both now and when this crisis subsides. I am one of the many.

There are six words that come to mind in describing the events of the past 60 days: The first two have to do with external stimuli; the second two with our internal reaction to those stimuli. And, the final two have to do with the outcome. So, let me expound on that a bit.

Change and Upheaval - “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.” Known as “The Serenity Prayer,” by Reinhold Niebuhr, these wise words frame how many of us view the current situation. It is hard to dispute this virus and its ripple effects (which are external forces) have changed things dramatically causing serious disruption and upheaval to the way we live. This health crisis has shaken the entire world. It has drastically affected our social, economic and political strata – all three. Such unprecedented change brings upheaval. And upheaval precipitates more change – change in how we work, how we think and how we feel. For many, even change in our value system. It will and should spark a reaction from each of us. We cannot alter the external force. We can change how we react to it.

Shifting and Redirection - “Tough times never last: tough people do!” This phrase coined by Clergyman, Robert Schuller leads us to respond to negative circumstances in a positive way. So, accepting what we cannot change, we have to shift our thinking to deal with things we can change. How do we do that? We find and focus on the potential silver linings within and beyond the circumstances of the crisis and how they might relate to our businesses – things that represent opportunity shrouded within this disaster; things that we can control and are actionable. We systematically re-evaluate, re-strategize, re-align our strategies and re-direct our activities to accomplish new strategies. Those silver linings will be different from one company to the next. The same shift or redirection will not work for everyone. At S-5!, we are shifting and redirecting. It is energizing –even fun!

Opportunity and Increase - “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein When we identify the opportunities within the adversity, we must implement our strategies and do it quickly.

S-5! is working full steam ahead on the re-invention of every department, availing of every opportunity for improvement. From marketing and communications to manufacturing and sales to research and development, we are integrating extensive improvements into all phases and functions of our company. We are reinvigorating the entrepreneurial spirit that underpins this organization. We are performing the same functions but in new and different ways.

Our sales team is facing customers through video conferencing – no planes, airports, rental cars and hotel rooms for now; they are training distribution channels and end-users through educational webinars. We are communicating more and more through social media and online communications. And, we are coordinating interdepartmental functions via digital media. It is actually more time-and cost-effective than the ways of yesterday. We are accelerating the implementation of our new ERP and CRM systems, fast-tracking our manufacturing plant expansion program, stepping up R&D with new products and installing new automation equipment in production. We are working harder and faster than ever before.

S-5! has and will continue to identify the opportunities hidden within this difficulty and align ourselves, our strategies and preparations to emerge on the other side of this pandemic as a more vibrant company. We will be stronger, more effective, more purposeful, more dynamic, more resilient with more fluid operational procedures and infrastructure, closer customer contact and rapport, higher production rates, and lower operating costs in all departments. That postures us for an increase in sales and profits.

Is your business accepting the things it cannot change? Do you have the courage to change the things you can? Do you have the wisdom to know the difference?

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ATAS Announces 2019 Sales Team of the Year

April 15, 2020

Allentown, PA | April 14, 2020 - At the recent ATAS International employee appreciation and awards dinner, Jared Gorman, CSI, and Ernie Kortvely, were announced as the recipients of the annual Malan S. Parker Award, which recognizes the top sales team of 2019. Malan S. “Steve” Parker was an exemplary ATAS Product Representative in the New England territory, and he passed away in 2002. Since then, to honor his hard work and dedication to ATAS, the sales team of the year award is now known as the Malan S. Parker Award.

This is the first year that Gorman has won this award. His territory includes eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Gorman joined ATAS in 2016 and has over 15 years of industry experience in a wide variety of roles, including distribution sales and management, estimating, roofing, and carpentry. He has a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Fitchburg State University in Fitchburg, MA. Gorman is the membership chairperson for the Boston Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI).

Kortvely is the inside technical salesperson for the territory. He has over 22 years of industry experience, and most of those years were as an ATAS employee. Kortvely was a product representative for ATAS in the Mid-Atlantic region for many years, prior to his current position. He earned the LEED Green Associate certification in 2010 and the CSI Construction Documents Technologist certification in 2011.

Gorman and Kortvely were chosen as this year’s winners for their teamwork in overall sales growth and observance of corporate goals and objectives. They obtained the highest level of sales in a year for the eastern New England territory, consistently grew sales over the last three years, and diversified their product channels. Kortvely’s support of Gorman and their customers within the region was instrumental to the growth realized in that area. Both Gorman and Kortvely have certification in metal roof installation from the Metal Construction Association (MCA).

“Jared and Ernie's dedication and hard work in 2019 was outstanding, resulting in continuous years of sales growth”, said Mark Bus, National Sales Manager for ATAS. “We have great customers in the eastern New England market, and Jared and Ernie provide exceptional service to maintain their loyalty. Jared's background within distribution and the trades was also very instrumental in growing the business, along with driving the benefits of ATAS within the architectural community. We congratulate both on this well-deserved award and for their dedication and continued service to ATAS.”

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April 15, 2020

Natatorium Is Central Feature in Learning By Design's Outstanding Project Winner

BOW, NH — The La Joya (Texas) Water Park & Planetarium, which features a natatorium enclosure by New Hampshire-based Structures Unlimited, Inc., was a distinguished winner in Learning By Design's 2020 Educational Facilities Design Awards program.

The expansive project, built by the La Joya Independent School District to serve its students and the public, includes a water park, planetarium and a natatorium featuring a 10-lane competition pool and two diving boards. The enclosure features two retractable roof systems designed by Structures Unlimited for natural ventilation and a corrosion-resistant aluminum structure.

The park is the first complex of its kind in Texas owned by a school district and can welcome 1,200 guests at a time. The project was named one of Learning By Design's Outstanding Project winners.

Learning By Design is produced three times a year in partnership with the American Institute of Architects' Committee on Architecture for Education, the Association for Learning Environments, the Society for College and University Planners, and the Association of University Interior Designers. The Spring Educational Facilities Showcase is a national juried program based on quality, design and community impact of a project.

“To earn the respect of such a prestigious jury is quite an accomplishment,” says Mark McNichol, Director of Sales for Structures Unlimited. “This was a complex project and the ability of Structures Unlimited to provide a single-source, pre-engineered solution for the natatorium was something the design team was seeking.”

“It's critical that the glare off the water in a pool is minimized for the safety of the swimmers, and that is what we are able to provide with our structures incorporating Kalwall® translucent sandwich panels. Diffused natural daylight provides the perfect setting for natatoriums.”

Gignac & Associates, LLP of McAllen, Texas was the architect, D. Wilson Construction of McAllen was the general contractor and Counsilman-Hunsaker of Richardson, Texas was the aquatic design consultant.

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Concrete Pavement Webinar Series Off to Strong Start with More to Come

April 09, 2020

The first installment of NRMCA's Concrete Pavement Education Series was a great success, with more than 430 individuals attending the Designing Concrete Parking Lots and Streets webinar, reports Senior Vice President, Local Paving, Phil Kresge. These weekly webinars focus on topics related to design, construction, maintenance and rehabilitation of concrete pavements. The next program in the series, scheduled for Thursday, April 9, at 2 p.m. Eastern time, is Designing Concrete Industrial Pavements and will discuss proper pavement design per the recommendations of ACI 330.2R-17: Guide for the Design and Construction of Concrete Site Paving for Industrial and Trucking Facilities.

“In this time of mandatory social distancing, the Concrete Pavement Education Series provides you the opportunity to stay in front of your audience while following health and safety guidelines,” Kresge said. “By sharing the link, you can invite your contacts in the A/E and construction communities to register for the webinar. A courtesy follow-up e-mail or phone call after the program keeps you on their radar screen.” The webinars also provide American Institute of Architects (AIA) Elective Learning Units and/or Professional Development Hours (PDH) for continuing education requirements.

Future programs include Soils 101: What to Know for a Successful Paving Project (April 16), Concrete Pavement Jointing Details> (April 23) and Materials and Construction Specifications for Concrete Pavement Projects (April 30). Each webinar starts at 2 p.m. Eastern time and is free.

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Fifth Consecutive Top Workplace Award is Received by ATAS International

March 31, 2020

Allentown, PA - ATAS International, Inc. is once again honored to receive a prestigious Top Workplace award. This is the fifth consecutive year that the award has been earned, and ATAS is one of only four manufacturing firms in the Lehigh Valley to receive this 2020 honor from The Morning Call.

The organizations who receive a Top Workplace award are determined solely on the results of an employee engagement survey consisting of 24 questions, administered by Energage, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including employee engagement, leadership, alignment, connection, coaching, performance, and “the basics” (which include pay, benefits, flexibility, training, and expectations). Companies that participated in the survey could be public, private, non-profit, or governmental, and had at least 35 employees in the region. There is no cost to enter the Top Workplaces program.

“Recruitment and retention are a key focus for every organization today. The employee engagement survey at the heart of the Top Workplaces program provides the foundation for unearthing unique culture differentiators to recruit and retain the right talent,“ said Bob Helbig, CEO of Energage, The Morning Call's research partner for Top Workplaces of the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. This year, 81 organizations agreed to take the employee survey. Combined, they employ 26,284 people.

Comments made by ATAS employees while completing the survey were not only shared with the owners and managers at ATAS, but with all the employees. Along with the positive feedback were suggestions on areas for improvement, which will be reviewed and considered for implementation. Some of the survey comments made anonymously by the ATAS team members include:
· Good work environment that feels like we all have the same goals in mind
· I love my job because I work with great co-workers and team players
· The company is always planning for the future
· Management listens to all opinions and concerns
· The company consistently works toward making improvements for customers and staff
· My manager allows me to be a decision maker, values my opinion, and treats me with respect
· I have been given the ability to shape my future within the organization; hard work and determination are acknowledged

As the ATAS point of contact for the Top Workplaces survey, Anne Hicks, Executive Assistant, stated, “People have to feel good about what they do to be successful at it. Top Workplace is a tool that can identify a company’s weaknesses, so improving can be achieved. Both employer and staff benefit.”

Jim Bus, Executive Vice President at ATAS International, said, “ATAS is thankful for our employees and their efforts, which are what truly makes ATAS a Top Workplace. We are proud to support our employees with training and advancement opportunities, and encourage them to provide us with feedback and ideas on a continuing basis. Many of their suggestions have been implemented to improve our products and services, and our work environment.”

This year, ATAS is celebrating their 57th year in business, and the last 36 years have been in the Lehigh Valley. They will soon be breaking ground on a new world headquarters and expanded manufacturing facility in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania, which will enhance their continued growth in production, building materials innovation, and overall employment of additional team members.

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Solar Power World's "Top Products in 2019"

March 30, 2020

AceClamp was recently featured by Solar Power World for one of the "Top Products in 2019." Learn what Bob Mercier, Director of Business Development has to say about their latest Solar Snap™ product that's hitting the market later this year.

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Vectorworks 2020 SP3 Launch Brings Quality and Performance Improvements

March 19, 2020

Vectorworks Spotlight quality fixes, BIM enhancements and Enscape and NBS Chorus partnerships are a few of the coveted updates

Columbia, MD (March 18, 2020)––Global design and BIM software solutions provider Vectorworks, Inc. releases Vectorworks 2020 Service Pack 3 (SP3) with quality and performance improvements as the central theme of this update. As part of the SP3 release, Vectorworks is introducing additional partner integrations with Enscape and NBS Chorus, as well as providing key updates for users of its BIM, landscape and entertainment design product line.

“Our release of the Vectorworks 2020 Service Pack 3 is the perfect example of our focus and drive to improve software quality and performance and to further enable Vectorworks to be a design hub for many workflows,” said Steve Johnson, vice president of product development at Vectorworks. “By continuing to develop connections to the latest technologies and partner solutions, we’re delivering a design ecosystem that is helping designers around the world to ideate, discover and realize their design visions.”

Improved Performance Speeds and Quality Fixes in Vectorworks Spotlight

With Vectorworks Spotlight 2020 SP3, lighting devices and their Schematic Views have been re-engineered, improving overall file open time and performance. Specifically, issues with Schematic Views related to project sharing, the display of 2D label legends and how views are updated with model changes have been implemented, which will provide users with significant speed gains. Additionally, quality fixes have been made to optimize snapping and attaching loads to rigging objects in 3D, as well as to improve the graphic generation of lighting fixtures when using Duplicate, Mirror, Rotate and Move by Points commands.

“We’ve heard our Vectorworks Spotlight customers loud and clear — they want improved performance speeds and quality fixes above all else,” said Darick DeHart, vice president of product management for Vectorworks. “We’ve addressed several priority areas in Spotlight and are happy to share these improvements in Service Pack 3. In testing of Service Pack 3, we’re confident in sharing that Vectorworks Spotlight users will notice file opening and Schematic view creation/manipulation are up to two times faster and that duplicating lighting devices for large projects can be five to 10 times faster.”

Put GDTF and MVR into Practice with Enhanced Support in Vectorworks Spotlight and Vision

With SP3, the workflow for using GDTF data in Vectorworks Spotlight is greatly improved. GDTF files can now be directly imported into Spotlight, can be applied to any Vectorworks lighting device and can be managed directly from the Resource Manager. These lighting devices can then be sent to any previz or console that supports GDTF, including Vision which will now recognize GDTF files when using the MVR Import. Other improvements to Vision include the integration of the GDTF fixture builder to allow for direct editing and the customization of fixture attributes such as gobos, colors, effects and more. This enhanced GDTF support streamlines the MVR workflow and creates a fully connected workflow between Vectorworks Spotlight, Vision and consoles that support these open file formats. This video showcases the MVR and GDTF updates.

Take Visualizations to New Heights with Another Real-time Rendering Connection, the ‘Enscape for Vectorworks: Free Beta’

In keeping with Vectorworks’ dedication to integrating new technology that brings direct benefit to customers, they have teamed up with Enscape, providers of real-time rendering and Virtual Reality (VR) solutions.

Enscape goes beyond other real-time rendering applications by developing plugins that work directly inside Vectorworks, so users can accurately gauge the impact of their design decisions as they are being made. Enscape is providing a free beta plugin to all Windows users in the Vectorworks 2020 Service Pack 3.

The plugin provides a suite of Enscape rendering tools inside Vectorworks which can control the visualization in Enscape. As geometry, lighting, textures or views are changed or added in Vectorworks, users will see these real-time changes in Enscape. For easy virtual reality, the Enable/Disable VR Headset tool connects Vectorworks models directly to a VR headset like Oculus Rift S or HTC Vive with little to no setup.

“Traditionally, high-quality rendering can be difficult and time-consuming, reserved for specialists and relegated to design reviews and presentations,” said Mortiz Luck, CEO and co-founder of Enscape. “With Enscape, models can be rendered with one click and design changes are immediately reflected — there's no uploading to the cloud, importing files or syncing models. Enscape is the perfect companion to the designer's workflow. Users can have Vectorworks open on one monitor and Enscape open on a second to see the impact of their design changes as they happen.”

Watch this video to see the Enscape feature in action.

Easily Connect BIM to Building Specifications Using NBS Chorus Integration

Data and information is what makes a BIM model useful throughout the project lifecycle. The NBS Chorus integration enables users to access and dynamically link their models to the NBS online specification database, keeping the model as the central source of project information. Users will be able to open a web palette in Vectorworks, letting them work concurrently with their model and NBS Chorus. Any data modified in NBS Chorus via the web palette will update in the data record of the model, ensuring accurate and up-to-date specification information is accessible at all times from the model.

The NBS Chorus integration is another step in creating a holistic BIM environment within Vectorworks.

NBS Chorus integration will be available to users of Vectorworks Design Series products with an active Vectorworks Service Select membership.

Greater BIM Collaboration with BCF Improvements

The BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) is widely used for quality checking, clash detection, coordination and issue tracking in BIM workflows. Vectorworks Architect, Landmark and Spotlight 2020, through Service Pack 3, will support BCF 2.1, the latest and most optimized version of the format. BCF 2.1 gives Vectorworks users extended capabilities in issue tracking and adds new information for spaces and openings. The BCF Manager tool has also been updated to reflect the changes needed to support BCF 2.1, making a more streamlined BCF workflow.

Stylize Images with Machine Learning

Creating compelling renderings for presentations can be time consuming and may not be possible due to deadlines or other constraints (like unfamiliarity with Renderworks settings). The Vectorworks Cloud Services web portal will now have the ability to transfer a “style” of one image to another through machine learning. This means that rendering styles can be derived from an image and applied to a simple Vectorworks rendering –– all via the cloud –– making artistic rendering presentations more accessible and customizable.

This Service Pack is available as a downloadable updater for all U.S. English-based versions of Vectorworks 2020, including Vectorworks Architect, Landmark, Spotlight, Designer, Fundamentals, Braceworks, ConnectCAD and Vision. To install, select “Check for Updates” from the Vectorworks menu (Mac) or Help menu (Windows). To find out more about this release, read the tech bulletin. Contact with any technical questions.

Experience the technology first hand by getting a 30-day free trial of Vectorworks Designer.

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ATAS International Introduces New Matte Colors

March 17, 2020

Allentown, PA - To complement the industry accepted standard gloss finish of over 35 standard colors, ATAS International now stocks six new matte colors. The new low-gloss finish offers a more subdued aesthetic, like that which is found with natural metals. Matte Black has been a popular color choice for many building components recently, and that color leads the new matte palette, which also includes Thunder Grey, Anchor Grey, Ash Grey, Char Brown, and Almond. The new matte colors will be stocked in .032 and .040 aluminum and 24-gauge steel; other gauges are available upon special request.

The matte finish is achieved using a 70% PVDF coating, the same coating used with all the ATAS painted colors, which provides high-performance durability for exterior and interior applications. The only difference with the new matte colors is that the gloss level is only 10 to 20 degrees, as compared to a 30 to 40 degree gloss level with the standard colors. Therefore, the same quality, longevity, and surface color performance can be expected. The coatings are designed to resist fading, chalking, and abrasion, and meet the requirement of AAMA 2605-13 and AAMA 620-02. To further ensure quality of coatings and products, ATAS International and their sister company, BRIGHTSMITH Coaters, are both ISO 9001:2015 certified, with a focus on serving customers and continuous improvements.

The calming shades of black, grey, brown, and beige in the matte finish softens the look of a panel surface. For a unique aesthetic, glossy and matte finish panels are being used together to create a textured look. The glossy panels can be used for a dramatic effect in a specific area, creating an instant impact against the rest of the wall, which remains visually softer in the matte colors.

This new ATAS color offering is just one more option in a multitude of finishes, including stock and premium colors, Oxide Series colors (to mimic the look of weathered steel), and laminates and print coats in wood grain patterns. In addition to painted finishes, ATAS also offers a variety of natural metals that include copper, stainless steel, anodized aluminum, 55% Al-Zn alloy coated steel with acrylic coating, and six different zinc colors.

Jim Bush, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ATAS International, stated, “As design trends develop, and with the input of our customers and advisory board members, ATAS strives to increase our range of colors and products. We are pleased to offer more choices than ever before to meet the needs of building owners and the design community.”

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Metl-Span IMPs installed on milestone Home2 Suites in Chicago

March 11, 2020

LEWISVILLE, Texas – Home2 Suites by Hilton Chicago River North was designed for travelers who want to maintain their normal routine. It features 206 suites and a range of tech-focused and eco-conscious amenities, while becoming the company's 300th property.

More than 46,000 square feet of insulated metal panels from Metl-Span were specified and installed on the milestone hotel.

“Initially, the exterior of the building was designed to have exposed concrete with an applied, colored, weather-resistive coating system,” says Mohan Srinivasan, AIA, CCS, LEED AP, Principal at NORR Architects of Chicago. “When the building envelope was modeled for energy performance, we realized that a continuous exterior insulation product was needed to comply with the updated Energy Code. Initial studies for this included ACM metal panels on clips with continuous mineral wool insulation in the cavity and rain-screen products with rigid insulation behind them. The Building Code requirements for NFPA 285 compliance ruled out several of these options. After some research, we came across the foamed-in insulated metal panel system by Metl-Span which met several requirements in one package; including continuous insulation, air and water barrier, large panel sizes and multiple exterior coating finish options. This is what we ended up selecting as the most efficient exterior cladding system for the project.

“Insulated metal panels were selected for this project as they met several requirements for exterior wall aesthetics and performance in a complete simple package. The ability to get a large-sized, modular, pre-finished, easy-to-install, NFPA 285-compliant product with continuous insulation as well as an integral air-and-water barrier made the exterior building envelope easy to detail and construct in addition to giving us finish options that fit our aesthetic goals for this project.”

Working in a busy part of downtown Chicago places some challenges at the feet of the installers. Because there was little to no room for staging any building materials, All-American Exterior Solutions of Lake Zurich, Ill., ordered insulated metal panels from Metl-Span in 15 phases – or basically whatever the crew could install in a week's time. Some deliveries were two days apart.

“Because the building is constructed out close to the property lines to achieve as much square footage as possible, there is almost no room to work,” says Mike Underwood, Vice President of All-American Exterior Solutions. “These were horizontal panels, installed from the bottom up. We worked around the building, clockwise, so it always appeared like we had half the building completed. We started at Clark and Huron (streets) and worked our way around to the backside.”

Panels were delivered, all marked, so installing crewmen knew what side of the building each panel was to be installed. One week, panels were marked with an “S” for the south side of the building, the next week, they'd be all marked with an “E” for the east side.

“We kept a forklift onsite to unload trucks and I don't think we ever had more than one truck delivering at a time,” Underwood says.

The project started in September 2018 and was completed in March 2019, meaning installation continued through the Chicago winter.

“We had to deal with the cold and the snow, but if the winds got up to 20 or 25 mph, that limited what we could do as well,” Underwood says. “We had to jump through hoops battling Mother Nature.”

Underwood says the weather caused a number of delays, including scheduled deliveries. Fortunately, suppliers, including Metl-Span, were able to accommodate the changes.

All-American had to do some fabricating onsite with the insulated metal panels, in order save on the cost of custom-sized panels. “Every third floor there's a white line,” Underwood explains. “Instead of having customized panels made for those, we cut down standard-sized panels.”

All of the IMPs were filled with a 3-inch urethane core and featured 24-gauge Galvalume Igloo White interior panels. Colors used on the exterior were Striated Zinc Gray (23,735 square feet), Mesa Zinc Gray (12,398 square feet), Striated Medium Bronze (4,906 square feet), Striated Polar White (4,058 square feet) and Striated Sandstone (1,452 square feet).

“The insulated metal panels, as a product, have excellent long-term thermal and visual properties with minimal maintenance compared to more conventional exterior rain-screen, cavity or mass wall systems and their corresponding finishes,” says Mario Rosado, Project Manager at NORR. “This was a big selling point for us. Additionally, the fact that the panel system is an integrated and tested assembly meeting NFPA 285 fire rating requirements, allowed us to easily detail the exterior envelope compared to more conventional rain-screen cladding systems where the wall finish systems consist of a careful arrangement of multiple wall components from different kits of parts with complex detailing to achieve an integrated assembly.

“The insulated metal panels provide the building with a fresh, contemporary look that allows it to stand apart from its more conventionally constructed neighbors. It provides a well-insulated exterior wall that adds to the comfort and energy efficiency of the hotel interior and the striated exterior finish texture gives the long, insulated panels an exceptionally flat surface that is free of oil-canning, resulting in a crisp and sharp look for the hotel exterior. The project has been well received by everyone on the project team, the hotel brand, as well as receiving good reviews online from guests and neighbors.”

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Impacta by Sound Seal Launches Cerazorb Low Density and High Density

March 06, 2020

Agawam, MA - Sound Seal, a leading manufacturer of noise control products serving the industrial, architectural, commercial and construction industries, announced today the introduction of Cerazorb Low Density (LD) and Cerazorb High Density (HD) acoustical underlayments.

Cerazorb Low Density (LD) is Designed Specifically for Installation beneath engineered hardwood and stiff-core LVT/LVP Applications.

Cerazorb High Density (HD) is designed for Tile and Stone applications. Both the LD and HD variations are made out of hemi-crystalline thermoplastic that will not rot, swell or absorb water and are antimicrobial.

“We are pleased to offer two specific variations of Cerazorb” said David Ingersoll, National Sales Manager for Sound Seal. “Unlike our competitors, our underlayments are uniquely designed and developed to be compatible with specific top floors and applications. This ensures that we are providing solutions that will result in optimal performance.”

About Sound Seal - Since 1978, Sound Seal has been a leading manufacturer of acoustical noise control products, offering the widest product selection in the soundproofing industry with innovative solutions and outstanding customer service. Sound Seal consists of three product divisions: the Industrial Division that addresses in-plant and environmental noise control; the Architectural Division that handles interiors and finishes, including an award winning line of WoodTrends products; and the Impacta Flooring Division that offers floor underlayments.

About Catalyst Acoustics Group - Catalyst Acoustics Group is the parent company of an elite group of acoustic, seismic, vibration and noise control companies that together, offer the broadest portfolio of noise control solutions in the market today. The independent brands, channels to market, products and services offered by each business remain unique, while leveraging the scale, deep functional expertise, broad channel reach and significant financial resources.

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Curving concrete's carbon footprint

February 27, 2020

In a bid to reduce waste while achieving great design, researchers have developed an adjustable frame for casting curved concrete panels

In our quest for beautiful building design, it can be difficult to also achieve a low environmental impact.

Bespoke concrete panels have become increasingly popular as they create distinctive buildings, raising their cultural, commercial and aesthetic value. Iconic examples include the Sydney Opera House, and more recently work by Zaha Hadid Architects and Frank Gehry Architects.

The increased use of computation tools in architectural design, has also made it easier for architects and designers to incorporate elements such as complex curved surfaces in their designs.

To create curved panels, a curve mould is produced and the concrete set inside to the desired shape. When the panel is curved in two directions it is known as a double curved panel, which is significantly more difficult to achieve using traditional methods.

Robotic 3D printing and milling processes allow casting of doubly curved concrete panels to reduce construction waste, but typically require a specialist skill in operation and the procedure is significantly time-consuming.

So researchers from Melbourne School of Design, led by Dr Paul Loh, have developed a re-useable and adjustable mould frame for casting double-curved concrete panels.

“Moulds are typically made from expanded polystyrene foam and are often discarded after use, generating significant construction waste and contributing to the embodied energy – the total energy used to produce a building,” explains Dr Loh.

Parametric Adjustable Mould, or PAM, is the bespoke computer numerically-controlled machine developed at the University of Melbourne that allows simple, precise fabrication of elements with any double-curved shape. It uses a flexible, low-cost material that is understood by builders worldwide – reinforced concrete.

“Consisting of a single adjustable mould frame, PAM interprets digital information from a panelised surface to actuate the mould into desired positions for concrete casting. Once cured, the concrete panel is removed from the mould with no immediate waste,” says co-inventor, Mr David Leggett.

Dr Loh explains, “This technology eliminates the need for individually unique mould design in the manufacturing of curved panels, reducing manufacturing waste and improving cost efficiency.

It makes fabricating double-curved construction elements, like cladding, affordable to a wide range of construction projects due to the significantly reduced mechanical part in the system, resulting in a lower capital cost.”

Australia produces 24 million cubic metres of concrete annually, 10 per cent of which is pre-cast concrete. Formwork – the steel, timber or polystyrene mould into which concrete is poured – typically constitutes up to 15 per cent of the weight, or approximately 0.9 million tonnes of total waste from concrete usage.

Dr Loh says that PAM is currently designed to produce non-structural panels for external cladding or interior use. If this technology can service 20 per cent of market demand for pre-cast concrete, it could save a projected 225,000 tonnes of waste in formwork annually.

This is equivalent to the waste created by 112,500 Australians a year – the entire population of Ballarat.

“With support from the Translating Research at Melbourne program and Wade Institute, the PAM research and technology has been geared toward commercialisation, with Curvecrete born as a start-up company,” Dr Loh says.

Highlighting its potential for high-end design, Curvecrete was last year shortlisted in the 2019 Melbourne Design Week 'NGV Victorian Design Challenge'. Design professionals and students were invited to tackle the challenge of 'waste'.

One of five professional firms shortlisted for the design challenge, the Curvecrete team, in collaboration with RMIT industrial designers Marcus Cher, Paul Meeuwsen and Travis Gemmill, centered their proposal around the concept for a chair manufactured using PAM's innovative fabrication techniques.

The design demonstrated the functionality of PAM in its ability to produce refined decor alongside large scale industrial manufacturing.

It has recently accepted into the Melbourne Accelerator Program, where it will benefit from an expanded support network and additional mentors for the Curvecrete team, allowing for a concerted focus on reducing waste in great design.

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Vectorworks Design Summit Keynote Speakers Announced: CEO and First-Ever Entertainment Design Keynotes

February 24, 2020

Vectorworks CEO Dr. Sarkar and International Lighting Designer Roland Greil to address attendees at the ultimate training event

Columbia, MD (February 13, 2020)—Global design and BIM software provider, Vectorworks, Inc. has named Lighting Designer Roland Greil and Vectorworks CEO Dr. Biplab Sarkar as the keynote speakers for the fifth Vectorworks Design Summit. This year’s Summit will have two firsts: an entertainment design keynote speaker and a West Coast location.

From April 22 to April 24, 2020 in San Diego, California at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, design professionals, educators and students in the architecture, landscape and entertainment industries will be able to participate in industry workshops, product training for all levels of expertise, inspiring keynotes, networking opportunities and a customer appreciation party.

Sarkar with the support of Vectorworks staff will deliver the first keynote on Thursday, April 23 at 9 a.m. His talk “Simplicity to Design the Complex” will focus on Vectorworks’ strategies to see where the company and products are headed, including partnerships, acquisitions and emerging technologies, to name a few.

“With design trends constantly evolving, we must remain at the forefront of new strategies and technology, giving our customers and users more reasons to feel empowered and confident in their designs,” said Dr. Sarkar. “The Vectorworks Design Summit continues to be the best opportunity to share how we’re supporting designers to create projects that push the limits of what’s been done before.”

On Friday, April 24 at 9 a.m., Greil of Woodroffe Bassett Design will address all industry professionals in his talk “Design Efficiency in Complex Conditions” focusing on how to stay efficient when given tight deadlines. Using examples from his own entertainment design work, Greil will explore how software-assisted collaboration with project stakeholders — creative and drafting departments, installation and construction professionals, project managers and more — sets the stage for success, no matter the industry.

“As a Design Summit keynote speaker, I’m honored to have the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people in various professions and industries who all share the same interest — using cutting-edge design software to meet their needs,” said Greil. “I truly look forward to sharing some insights from my work in the entertainment industry at this year’s Vectorworks Design Summit, and my hope is that people will have inspiring takeaways to apply to their own designs and workflows.”

In addition to these two motivating keynotes, the conference itself will include more than 40 industry sessions and workshops, one-on-one tech support, networking events and over 90 hours of training. Various sessions will offer continuing education credits, where applicable.

All design professionals and industry experts are invited to the Vectorworks Design Summit. Register today and view more information by visiting

Press can register for free by contacting Vectorworks Senior Media Relations Manager Lauren Meyer at

Engage with other design professionals in the latest conversations by following #VectorworksDesignSummit.

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Medallion-Lok from McElroy Metal tops signature barn project

February 20, 2020

Bossier City, La. — Rare is the barn that designer, builder, roofer and owner all consider a signature project. The Miller Barn in Churchville, Md., is that rare exception.

In need of a new barn to store lawn equipment, a rural homeowner had the original barn on his property torn down to construct a new barn. The owner spared no expense on materials, ordered up some top-of-the-line products and topped it off with a standing seam metal roof from McElroy Metal.

“It was all high-end materials, the best of everything,” says Ted Jasinski, AIA, NCARB, CGP, Vice President and Director of Architecture at Frederick Ward Associates of Bel Air, Md. “The retaining wall, the metal roofing, the exterior siding, the custom doors … it started as a $750,000 project, but with change orders, it ended up being a million-dollar barn. It's in an upscale rural neighborhood.

“Let's just say it's a real nice storage facility for some lawn equipment.”

The 4,875 square foot barn also has a loft measuring 1,880 square feet. Windowed dormers in the loft area provide plenty of light into the building. The 14-foot wide doors accommodate equipment stored in the barn. The view from the barn overlooks the pasture below.

Everyone who worked on the project was focused on executing the details. McElroy Metal's Medallion-Lok standing seam roofing (7,500 square feet) was carefully installed by Agpoint Construction Services of Quarryville, Pa. Project manager Barry Flora had plenty of crew members on the jobsite to handle the lengthy panels in some challenging conditions. The roof had various pitches, some as steep as 9:12, requiring extra safety precautions.

“That area has a tendency to be subject to some windy days and getting those longer panels into place took extra care,” Flora says. “We also paid close attention to detail during the roof installation, make sure everything was flashed properly. Obviously, you never want to have water infiltration with any building, but with all those dormers, this job provided plenty of opportunities. We made sure it wasn't going to happen.”

The 16-inch wide panels featured the Sherwin-Williams Fluropon PVDF coating in the color Charcoal Gray and double pencil ribs to increase rigidity. Approximately 7,500 square feet of McElroy Metal's standing seam roofing was used to complete the job, with a small amount of copper standing seam roofing to top off the cupolas.

The interior of the barn was sided with T-1111 clear cedar siding, featuring grooves 8 inches on center. The T-111 siding was also wrapped around the bottom four feet of the interior glulam columns. The interior of the windows and doors were all carefully trimmed with the T-111 siding. The exterior siding is 1 by 12 #1 cedar board and batten siding. RigidPly Rafters of Richland, Pa., supplied the columns, interior and exterior siding, barn trusses as well as the S-5! ColorGard snow retention system.

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Mortar Net Solutions Expands its Masonry Scholarship Program

February 20, 2020

Mortar Net Solutions will award 20 financial need-based scholarships and more than $1,000 in tools to masonry students in 2020.

PORTAGE, Indiana – Mortar Net Solutions™, the leading supplier of moisture management solutions for masonry walls, will continue the success of its 2019 Masonry Scholarship Program by extending the program to 20 masonry students in 2020.

The national program is intended to give interested individuals an opportunity to enroll in a masonry apprentice training program at the early stages of their career and is open to non-union facilities for qualifying individuals. In addition to the scholarships, the recipients will each receive tool bags to help them as they work through their education and apprenticeships. These tool bags will be equipped with more than $1,000 worth of tools, courtesy of Bon Tool, Kapro Tools and Mortar Net Solutions.

“For us at Mortar Net Solutions, masonry is something that is in our blood and something we care about deeply,” said Steven Fechino, Engineering and Construction Manager at Mortar Net Solutions. “Therefore, we are proud to have the opportunity to provide aid and the essential tools to those who will one day be the future of our industry.”

The scholarships will be awarded at the annual National Masonry Instructors Association (NMIA) Annual Summer Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, on July 7, 2020. Student selection will be made by instructors and sponsors of the scholarship. Instructors interested in nominating students must be a NMIA member. The entry form for the Masonry Scholarship Program can be found here.

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Metl-Span IMPs provide aesthetics, durability for Houston renovation

February 13, 2020

LEWISVILLE, Texas – Renovating and transforming a 70-year-old manufacturing facility into a contemporary office building with impressive amenities, requires some imagination, careful planning and a lot of communication. The Cannon, an entrepreneurial hub in west Houston, also called for more than 90,000 square feet of insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span for walls and roofing.

The Cannon, a 120,000 square foot modern, flexible workspace, provides innovators with everything they need to establish a home base for their companies. Home to more than 500 of Greater Houston's most talented and accomplished entrepreneurs, creatives and small business owners, The Cannon includes 131 offices, 300 open and dedicated desks, a movie theatre, game room, event space, full-service kitchen, a health and wellness room and a courtyard with outdoor seating. The facility is marketed as “a citywide ecosystem for Houston's entrepreneurs, small businesses, freelancers and creatives.”

Insulated metal panels also helped achieve the desired appearance, inside and outside.

“We could have gone the conventional route, with insulation and drywall, but we really wanted to maintain some of the original look of the building,” says Ken R. Harry, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Principal of Abel Design Group of Houston. “With the insulated metal panels, we were able to leave the interior beams and columns exposed. Plus, we got the levels of insulation that were required for the roof and walls. Right from the start, it seemed like the logical way to go.”

The original building was stripped down to the steel structure. Some of the 70-year-old purlins and cross members had to be replaced. “We had to verify every dimension of all the beams so shop drawings could be accurate,” says David Baldwin, Sales Manager at FSR Services of Houston. “The beams were painted, and the insulated metal panels were installed. The bright blue beams against the white interior finish of the insulated metal panel is a very modern and clean look.”

The project called for approximately 67,775 square feet of Metl-Span's CF42R insulated metal roofing panels, with 4 inches of urethane insulation, in the color of Burnished Slate. The exterior panels were 24-gauge Galvalume. The wall panels were two profiles and colors: 37,858 square feet of CF7.2 InsulRib in Burnished Slate and 9,437 square feet of CF36A in Chestnut, both with 22-gauge Galvalume exterior panels. All interior panels were 24-gauge Galvalume in Igloo White.

Baldwin says FSR needed 180 working days to install the IMPs, but ran into weather delays during the rainy Houston summer of 2019, which pushed back the original completion date approximately 90 days. The project was completed in August 2019.

“We were basically working in a mudhole all summer,” Baldwin says. “There were a lot of days we couldn't get anything done. Our equipment was buried in the mud.”

The Cannon is the largest IMP project completed by FSR Services. Baldwin says his team, led by owner Steve Seibert and project manager Tommy Pavlicek, did its best to keep the project moving along. Seibert says it was a challenging project, retrofitting an existing structure, but the end product turned out amazing.

“Insulated metal panels are easy and quick to install,” Baldwin says. “The larger panels cover a lot of space in a single pass. It's a lot easier than making several passes for the exterior system, interior system and insulation.”

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Los Angeles County Study Exposes Dangers of Wood-Framed Construction Cost Study Cites Safety Hazards and Negative Economic Impact

February 05, 2020

Los Angeles, California—A study released by Urvashi Kaul, Consultant and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University, seeks to address the issue of wood-framed residential fires, particularly multifamily wood-framed structures. By examining two California fires, Kaul utilized a cost-benefit analysis of the economic impact incurred by citizens and local governments to determine the potential repercussions of similar fires over the next fifteen years. Focusing exclusively on the County of Los Angeles as a model, the study suggests that under current building codes, the city could be facing billions of dollars in losses over the coming years due to wood-framed construction fires.

“Los Angeles could lose $22.6 billion in wood-framed residential fire losses over the next 15 years,” Kaul estimates. While property damage accounts for roughly $20.5 billion of this figure, potential city expenditures could amount to $132.5 million, with $70.1 million going to police, fire, and sanitation departments, and another $62.4 million of indirect costs, such as remediation, insurance, and planning.

Such conditions, the study suggests, set the stage for major fire losses should the structures be framed with combustible materials such as wood.

“I lost most of my belongings, the family dog, nearly everything due to an electrical fire that burned my wood-framed childhood home,” says Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE). CLUE is a member of Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association consisting of community organizations, fire safety professionals, engineers, architects and industry experts committed to strengthening the nation's building codes and ensuring greater access to secure housing.

One example analyzed in the study involves a 2011 three-alarm fire in Carson, CA. The fire, which occurred at the Renaissance City Center, destroyed five buildings. One hundred firefighters were required to extinguish the flames, and over a hundred people, including many senior citizens, were displaced from nearby buildings and mobile homes.

The second example in the study involves a 2014 fire in Los Angeles at the Da Vinci apartment complex. The fire required 250 firefighters to extinguish, and it damaged four surrounding buildings and caused a shutdown of the northbound 101 for several hours. Additional crews of firefighters worked for 24 hours after the fire started to quell the flames.

National and local building codes have been relaxed considerably over recent years, which has led to an increase in wood-framed residential construction. Rabbi Klein sees the examples analyzed in the study as indicative of the need to prevent fire losses by restricting the use of combustible materials in residential framing.

“It could have so easily been prevented had there not been tinder. In a flash, everything was consumed,” says Rabbi Klein of his childhood home. “Thank God my parents survived. No one should have to experience that kind of a loss, which is why I'm a big advocate for safer building materials.”

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5-Alarm Blaze Rips Through Residential Construction Site, Embers Spark Nearby Fires East Bay inferno latest in devastating string of Oakland building fires

January 31, 2020

Silver Spring, MD— Early on Tuesday, massive flames destroyed an East Bay housing complex built of salvaged wood, along with several other buildings in the area's fifth major residential fire in just two years. The five-alarm blaze was so powerful that firefighters could not enter the structure, instead launching a defensive effort to keep the fire from spreading. Over 2,200 homes were without power, and one firefighter was left hospitalized.

The “Ice House” complex in West Oakland was under construction using salvaged wood beams and brick. Four of the six buildings were completely destroyed, set to house 126 units with plans to welcome residents as soon as December. Just six months ago, the exact same complex was hit by another fire. This time around, the wood building fire blazed for over eight hours with over 90 firefighters working to extinguish it. Embers from the fire fell for blocks, igniting three additional fires around the neighborhood.

“It's just a big pile of kindling,” said Nick Luby, deputy fire chief with the Oakland Fire Department, discussing Tuesday's fire at the construction site. “Small timber – it just grows quite quickly.”

Several homes were evacuated in the emergency, as families with young children and pets woke to neighbors' screams warning of a fire. Residents huddled outside while some brave residents grabbed hoses and buckets and attempted to keep falling embers fr