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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.

    Please click the below 'Read More'button for details.

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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 from igniting more homes.

    “The tragic fire in East Bay is about more than construction and building loss,” said Kevin Lawlor, a spokesperson for Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association comprised of fire safety professionals, engineers, architects, community groups and industry experts committed to strengthening the nation's building codes. “This is about the housing and the safety of our families – those who the fire placed in danger, displaced, evacuated, left without power or a place to live. It's about time elected officials recognize the risk of combustible building materials, in Oakland and across the country.”

    Build with Strength works with communities, lawmakers, and industry employees to advocate for safer, sustainable building materials. Strengthening local and national building codes is among the organization's top priorities.

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  • Sustainability Matters – Greenbuild 2019 Roundup | January 2020

    January 27, 2020

    UL’s 2019 Pub Night Review
    Did you make it to Pub Night this year? It was the place to see and be seen at Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, one of the largest events for green building professionals. And with over 1,000 attendees, it was our biggest Pub Night yet. Hosted at Skyline Park, an amusement park on the rooftop of the historic Ponce City market, we got to kick back and enjoy a few vintage games with our guests, all in front of breathtaking views of the Atlanta, Buckhead, and Midtown skylines.

    We were thrilled to bring back the hit spin-to-win prizes this year as well. This year nine lucky guests took home great prizes, including a Nest thermostat, Airpods, movie night and Atlanta themed gift baskets.

    Pub Night wouldn't have been possible without the support of our clients. We are incredibly grateful to all of you for trusting us to make your businesses safer, more secure and more sustainable. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us in Atlanta, and for making it the most memorable night of Greenbuild. Stay up to date with UL to see where we take Pub Night for Greenbuild 2020 in San Diego.

    UL Offers Solutions for Every Stage of the Building Life Cycle
    With new services recently added to our portfolio, UL is even better equipped to provide solutions that support every point in the building life cycle.

    Embodied Carbon in the Built Environment
    Find out how embodied carbon impacts the built environment, and how UL can help you understand your buildings’ carbon footprint.

    New LEED v4.1 Requirements Simplify Green Building Compliance
    What are some differences between LEED v4 and LEED v4.1? Discover why implementation may now be easier for the green building community.

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  • IMPs from Metl-Span provide easy convenience store maintenance

    January 24, 2020

    LEWISVILLE, Texas – Convenience stores often become neighborhood meeting places, so it's important to the owner to have an attractive and low-maintenance facility. The new and busy Pik-A-Pop in Othello, Wash., was constructed with framing from Star Building Systems and insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span.

    “This was our second convenience store with this panel, and I'll make every effort to use it on more projects like this,” says Joe Park, owner of Joe Park Construction in Yakima, Wash. “I think we've done more than 200 convenience stores in the last 30 years. Insulated metal panels give us an efficient method of construction with a tight system. Trust me, that's a tight system. The interior metal panels give the owners a durable and an easy-to-clean wall. That's obviously important in a busy store where food and drinks are sold.”

    Park says he appreciates the array of finishes the owners can have with insulated metal panels from Metl-Span. The Othello Pik-A-Pop was sided with 10,105 square feet of insulated metal panels, Metl-Span's CF42 panel with a Mesa finish, a 26-gauge exterior panel in PVDF Regal Gray. The minor rib of the Mesa panel provides a flattened appearance. The IMPs have a 2-1/2-inch urethane core and a 26-gauge Igloo White interior panel in Light Mesa, which is an even more subtle corrugated profile.

    “This is simply a more efficient way to construct a building,” Park says. “If you're doing it the old-fashioned way, with a single skin panel and batt insulation and then drywall on the interior, you need more subcontractors and it's not as weathertight.”

    Park says building with insulated metal panels makes it easier for everyone involved to meet ever-changing energy requirements in Washington. “We've got about eight or nine buildings like this in the works,” he says. “IMPs have a clean look on the inside and a durable and attractive appearance on the outside. Using insulated metal panels allows us to present a more polished building with a multitude of different and attractive options.”

    Park Construction was able to use cold-formed purlins as part of the mezzanine construction as opposed to open bar joists, which was a real cost-saving measure. To give the facility a unique and more attractive look, Park Construction added an entry with wooden framing and blue standing seam roofing and added veneer masonry to the front of the building.

    The standing seam metal roofing is a trapezoidal standing seam profile called Ultra-Dek, from MBCI, another sister company to Metl-Span and Star Building Systems. Just more than 7,300 square feet of Polar White panels were installed on the Pik-A-Pop.

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  • Preliminary results released by the ICC for a series of tall wood proposals

    January 23, 2020

    The International Code Council (ICC) has recently released the preliminary results for a series of tall wood proposals, including G108, a proposal that will allow for wooden high-rise buildings and signal to local and state building departments across the country that combustible tall wood buildings are an acceptable form of construction. Among other groups, such as the National Association of State Fire Marshals, Build With Strength stands firmly against these results. Build With Strength is 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.

    “We are gravely disappointed in the preliminary results released by the ICC, which, among other changes, signals the ICC's support for combustible wooden high-rise buildings. Where the ICC has failed to protect citizens, fire safety professionals, and local economies from the devastating impact of fires, Build With Strength stands committed to fighting for safer communities. Our coalition will continue to advocate for code policy changes in state and local jurisdictions across the United States.”

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  • Build with Strength Welcomes International Longshoremen's Local 1291 to the Coalition

    January 15, 2020

    Partnership with President Boise Butler Represents a Powerful Alliance for Fire Safety

    Philadelphia, PA – Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association consisting of civic organizations, fire service professionals, architects, engineers and industry experts committed to enacting safer and more sustainable building standards, warmly welcomes the International Longshoremen's Local 1291 as the newest member of the coalition.

    ILA 1291 is a Local that has served the Port of Philadelphia for decades, and their commitment to fire safety has formed the foundation for a partnership with Build with Strength. The dramatic rise in mid- and high-rise combustible framed fires over the past decade has presented challenges in communities across the United States to implement effective solutions.

    “Our dedication to Philadelphia extends beyond our Local, and at the end of the day it is essential for our members and community to live and work in fire-safe buildings,” says Boise Butler, President of ILA Local 1291. “Our alliance with Build with Strength has been a natural next step to solidifying our commitment to fire safety and prevention.”

    As the population of Philadelphia and other urban centers across the US increases, the demand for housing is continuing to grow. To safeguard these communities, particularly low- and moderate-income residents at greatest risk, Build with Strength is working to strengthen building codes to require the use of non-combustible materials.

    "Our partnership with ILA Local 1291 gives us an incredible opportunity to strength our understanding of local needs, work together to develop stronger building codes and educate the community on the importance of building with non-combustible materials,” said Kevin Lawlor, a spokesperson for Build with Strength. “The Local, under the leadership of Boise Butler, is unwavering in their dedication to fire safety in the city of Philadelphia.” Build with Strength works with communities, lawmakers, and industry employees to advocate for safer, sustainable building materials. Strengthening local and national building codes is among the organization's top priorities.

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  • The ICC has issued a statement underlining their decision to prohibit the distribution of “organized advocacy information”

    January 09, 2020

    The ICC has recently issued a statement underlining their decision to prohibit the distribution of “organized advocacy information” during their annual conference, at which hundreds of code officials are expected to attend. Notably, this statement arrives before a crucial vote on G108, an ICC proposal that would allow for wooden high-rise buildings and signal to local and state building departments across the country that combustible tall wood buildings are an acceptable form of construction.

    “Under the guise of fairness, the ICC’s statement underscores their preference to shelter its membership from viewing critical materials. Given the gravity of the proposals being weighed and its impact on code policy throughout the country, the ICC should welcome, not restrict, as much information as possible so that their membership can make fully informed decisions. Human life and devastating economic consequences are at stake when combustible wooden high-rise buildings are on the table, and it deserves the highest level of care and educated consideration.”

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  • Metl-Span's Franz achieves building enclosure certification

    January 08, 2020

    LEWISVILLE, Texas – Kevin Franz, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, CSI, CDT, of Metl-Span, earned certification as an accredited Building Enclosure Commissioning Process Provider and Commissioning Authority+Building Enclosure with the designation of BECxP and CxA+BE from the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. The three-day course includes a two-part exam. Franz is the SE Business Development Manager at Metl-Span.

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  • Firefighters Battle Three-Alarm Apartment Fire, Causing over $2 Million in Damages

    January 07, 2020

    Over 132 people displaced in latest in string of Maryland fires

    Silver Spring, MD – Over 130 people have been left without a home following a three-alarm fire in Lanham, Maryland. The blaze ignited a multi-family apartment home, tearing through all four buildings in the complex. More than 100 firefighters and medical personnel responded to the wood-framed building fire, which created $2.2 million worth of damage.

    Residents rushed to flee the building, many fearing for the safety of their pets and personal belongings. As a group of firefighters battled the flames on the top floor of the building, the roof collapsed and separated the response team. The Prince George's County Fire Department fought for hours to get the fire under control as flame and smoke could be seen through the roof.

    This fire is the latest in a string of disturbing and destructive building fires throughout Maryland. Prince George's County alone has seen several devastating building fires recently, including an April 2017 blaze that was the largest fire suppression effort in the history of Prince George's County, causing $39 million of damages. Many of these fires, in Maryland and throughout the country, have been exacerbated by the use of combustible building materials.

    “Lawmakers must recognize the incredible danger of fire tied to weak building codes and risky building materials, in Prince George's County and across the nation” said Kevin Lawlor, spokesperson for 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. “So many have lost their homes, memories, and even loved ones due to preventable fires in combustible buildings. These fires have incredible impact on families and communities throughout the country – everyone deserves a safe, strong, resilient place to live, and the time to act is now.”

    Build with Strength, a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA), has launched a campaign to educate citizens, local and state officials, and industry experts about the inherent dangers of wood-framed construction, particularly in multi-story, residential and commercial buildings. As a grassroots organization, they work with local elected officials and industry workers, from architects to project managers to advocate for the safety benefits of working with concrete-based construction.

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  • Roofer chooses McElroy Metal system for his own Texas home

    January 07, 2020

    Bossier City, La. — Most metal roofing installers have a project or two that stand out enough to use as models to sell more metal. Aaron Lenhart of Designer Roofing in Prosper, Texas, reroofed his home with a McElroy Metal standing seam roofing system and it has become a showcase for his roofing company.

    Lenhart is not just trying to sell more metal; he believes this system is the best for his home for a number of reasons.

    “It’s a very cut up roof,” Lenhart says. “There are a lot of valleys, turrets, some penetrations. A standing seam metal roofing system gives us the best architectural look and it provides durability in an area that experiences occasional hail. This system also gives us some energy benefits.

    “We had a lot of details to deal with on this home and that’' the way a lot of homes are built here. We have devised our own way to install a watertight system with these details. We're very careful to match up the seams at the valleys and hips. We have a proprietary ridge vent system, we use an ice-and-water shield near penetrations, flashings and at the eaves and valleys. We even hem our valleys with no penetrations. It all takes more time, but it's the right way to do things. It's what we do every day.”

    The 15-year-old composition shingles, installed by the original homeowner, were in need of replacement. Designer Roofing purchased coil from McElroy Metal and completed the tear-off and reroofing job in about one week. Approximately 11,000 square feet of metal was formed on site with the company's Zimmerman Metals roll former. Lenhart purchased the roll former in New Orleans at the 2015 Metalcon.

    One of Designer Roofing's unique offerings includes the installation of a ½-inch laminated Isoguard from Firestone, which provides an R-value of 8. The Isoguard is covered by a synthetic underlayment and topped by 24-gauge, 1-1/2-inch mechanical lock standing seam panels, 17-7/8 inches wide.

    “The hail-resistant Isoguard gives us a smoother surface to work with and it provides a little more durability to the whole system,” Lenhart says.

    The color chosen for Lenhart's home was Charcoal Gray, an Energy Star-rated Fluropon® PVDF coating from Sherwin-Williams. The longest panels on this project measured 32 feet in length. The steep-slope roof is at least a 10:12 pitch in all areas.

    “Metal just looks so cool,” Lenhart says. “More and more people are going with metal because of the look and once they understand the benefits, it becomes an easier sell.”

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