Buzzword at METALCON: Sustainability

In addition to assembling a trade show floor filled by exhibitors showcasing a wide array of metal construction products, organizers of METALCON are driven to provide educational opportunities for contractors, roofers and architects looking to learn more about working with metal and its benefits.

Metal brings a lot to the table for any project and sustainability continues to be near the top of the long list of metal’s benefits. Sustainability benefits include durability, energy efficiency, reflectivity and recyclability.

Understanding all of the benefits of metal will help you sell more metal. So, METALCON is offering six learning sessions focused on sustainability. They are in the expo hall during show hours and are free to attend.

Hafsa Burt, AIA, LEEP AP, BD+C, NCARB, is the Studio Head at HB+A Architects of San Francisco. She will be presenting, Understanding EPDs, focusing on decarbonization of the building sector.

“California made history this month by codifying embodied carbon reduction measures as part of the Title 24 part 11 CalGreen,” Burt says. “Specific language mandates prescriptive requirements in line with Buy Clean California, adding GWP limits for concrete. Embodied carbon has been in the background since the beginning of the efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions, but it was hardly mainstream. Difficult to define, measure, control, it was, for a long time, considered more ‘aspirational’ than ‘functional.’ As we’ve run the clock down and are now facing a level of urgency that is palpable, especially when surrounded by people who have cared about this for a long time, and who are understandably frustrated by the lack of progress, today embodied carbon is moved to the spotlight.”

Burt says a growing “patchwork” of policies across the country uniquely address embodied carbon.

“For a successful climate policy, jurisdictions, designers, developers and product manufacturers alike need a unified approach,” she says. “Through embodied carbon standards that are adopted by codes and policies, the built environment can reduce 11 percent out of 40 percent of global GHG emissions associate with buildings. In order to comply with prescriptive requirements of these policies and codes, design professionals will need to understand environmental product data of various materials to understand their carbon footprint and GWP limits.”

Another session, Incorporating Metal in Your Company’s Sustainability Strategy, will discuss how companies are successfully implementing ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) strategies. One of the presenters is Bob Zabcik, President of Z-Tech Consulting in Houston. Zabcik is also the Technical Director of the Metal Construction Association.

“Given it’s a panel discussion, it’s going to go where it goes,” Zabcik says. “I anticipate addressing how codes and standards define and require sustainability, particularly when it comes to carbon. I’ll work in some information on how to read and interpret LCAs and EPDs as well as what I see as trends in the next five years.”

Mark Gies, Director of Solar Business at S-5! will be presenting with Zabcik and expects ESG to be a hot topic.

“Companies in the metal construction industry are now executing Environmental, Social and Guidance principles and policies in every aspect of their businesses, even with some metal building companies leading the way,” Gies says. “One aspect is for manufacturers to document and update their supply chain to reduce waste, toxic by-products and their carbon footprint. ESG initiatives are becoming important in our industry, with standardized metrics and processes gaining more and more traction. As well, metal buildings, especially metal roofs, offer any company the best way to incorporate renewable energy on their rooftops. Metal roofs are the most sustainable and durable roof type, with a long service life that exceeds the service life of a solar array, making it the perfect solar platform with the lowest lifetime roof+solar system cost.”

A third learning session covers Choosing the Right Metals for the Environment. Renee Ramey, Executive Director of the Metal Roofing Alliance, will discuss how a metal roof can address any issues of potential concerns within that region.

“One of the first considerations when re-roofing a home should be where the home is located,” Ramey says. “Why? Because the area in which the home is located can have a big impact on the roof and its potential lifespan. Understanding how a home’s location would impact the roof goes a long way toward ensuring the homeowner selects and installs a roof that will exceed performance expectations. We will discuss the various regional considerations that affect how a metal roof can address any issues or potential concerns in that region. This includes metal roofing performance and specifications based on years of rigorous testing and research.”

Sustainability Sessions at METALCON

October 18

Improve Sustainability of Pre-Painted Metal with Radiation-Cured Coatings
11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
This panel session will explore what radiation-curable coatings are and why they are gaining a lot of attention in the field of pre-painted metal. The main area of focus will be electron-beam (EB) curing, a technology that offers many sustainable advantages and the potential for improved products. (Craig Smith, Global Platform Director, Coil and Extrusion Coatings, PPG; Michael Stucky, Customer Sustainability Business Partner, Global Industrial Coatings & Aerospace, PPG; Karl Swanson, President, PCT Ebeam and Integration)

Understanding EPDs
12:45 to 1:45 p.m.
Policies across the United States are focused on decarbonization of the building sector. For the first time, these policies are addressing Embodied Carbon. Carbon assessments and understanding the environmental data of products specified in projects can help practitioners make conscious design decisions and employ carbon reduction strategies. (Hafsa Burt, AIA, LEEP AP, BD+C, NCARB, Studio Head, HB+A Architects)

Why Design and Build with Metal – the Most Sustainable Construction Material Available
2:15 to 3:15 p.m.
The growing demand for more innovative sustainable design strategies and generating onsite renewable energy leads designers and owners to metal as the most sustainable building material. This panel presentation includes speakers who encompass a variety of metal building design and construction specialties. (Shelly Higgins, Architectural & National Accounts Director, S-5!; Frank Stasiowski, FAIA, CEO, PSMJ Resources; Rob Haddock, CEO and Founder, S-5!; Tom Smith, AIA, RRC, F.SEI, FEMA Consultant, TLSmith Consulting; Dick Davis, VP & Senior Engineering Technical Specialist, FM Global; and Jeff Hock, Technical Director, Sheffield Metals)

Choosing the Right Metals for the Environment
3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
Understanding how a home’s location can impact the roof goes a long way toward ensuring the homeowner selects and installs a roof that will exceed their performance expectations. This discussion includes the various regional considerations and how a metal roof can address any issues of potential concerns within that region. (Renee Ramey, Executive Director, Metal Roofing Alliance)

October 19

Closing the Loop – Circularity and Embodied Carbon Reduction in Buildings
11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
This session will define circularity, discuss the trends in sustainable design and government regulation leading us toward it. Specific examples will be used to illustrate key concepts and highlight practices that can be adopted now to move the building industry toward circularity. (Alan Scott, Director of Sustainability, Intertek)

Incorporating Metal in Your Company’s Sustainability Strategy
2:15 to 3:15 p.m.
Speakers will discuss how companies are successfully implementing ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) strategies and how metal is the ultimate solution to aligning with certain aspects of ESG philosophies because of its extended service life, low consumption of natural resources for production, zero-petroleum by-products and recyclable properties. (Mark Gies, Director of Solar Business, S-5!; Bob Zabcik, President, Z-Tech Consulting; and Marcos Corradin, Director of Marketing and Strategy, United States Steel)

How to Complete an Accurate COMCheck Building Envelope Compliance Report: A Live Demo
3:45 to 4:45 p.m.
This demonstration will illustrate how to generate an accurate COMcheck compliance report, with specific emphasis on the building envelope. The speaker will also deconstruct important COMcheck terminology, review key pain points faced by architects and builders, and, ultimately, help attendees become confident in producing an accurate COMcheck building envelope compliance report. (Bill Beals, District Manager, Therm-All)