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

Metal brings a lot to the table for any project, and there's one buzzword you're likely to hear the most about it: "sustainability." The topic 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 companies sell more metal. With that in mind, METALCON is offering six learning sessions focused on sustainability. They are in the expo hall during show hours and are free to attend.Burt_Hafsa.jpg

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% out of 40% 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 Environment, Social, Governance [ESG] 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.Gies_Mark.jpg

“Companies in the metal construction industry are now executing ESG 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-plus-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 reroofing 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.”

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