When you fill one resort with 1,500 leading professionals in the Building Envelope Consultant industry, the air is full of energy with the constant spark of new ideas and collaboration. The 31st annual Roofing Consultants International Convention & Trade Show (RCI, Inc) was a record year for RCI, hitting all-time high numbers for both attendees and exhibitors.
Maybe it was the beautiful weather, the gorgeous location, or the amount of innovation in the industry, but the buzz from all of that energy kept going day and night from the trade floor show setup on Friday, March 10th, through the annual banquet on Monday night.
Platinum sponsors Soprema, Carlisle, and Firestone Building Products were just a few of the companies showcasing their extensive product lines. The exhibit hall featured over 150 manufacturers and services, while concurrent sessions covered topics like moisture management, improving roof reliability, and below-grade waterproofing. Smart planning on RCI’s part ensured that exhibit time didn’t interfere with educational sessions – we didn’t miss a thing.
Our first educational session, “Curtain Wall Laboratory Mock-Up Testing: The Who, What, When, Why, and How” was recommended to us by the first ambassador we met, Bruce Hall of Building Exterior Solutions, LLC in Houston. Bruce was a true gracious Southern host, answering questions on more than one occasion. His associate, Amy Peevey, was the presenter of the session. Amy is a passionate engineer who specializes in forensic investigation and repair design, new construction design, litigation support, and testing of building envelopes. The startling statistic that 90% of all building failures are due to moisture set the tone, and discovering points of penetration the focus. Different sources of moisture were reviewed: natural elements (rain, snow, wind), man-made (sprinklers), interior (bathrooms, washers, people, pools,) climate zone effects and natural disasters, solar driven, capillary movement, and of course, condensation. Amy’s key point was that to prevent failures, testing systems prior to building is crucial. People are often reluctant to spend time and money on testing, but it saves both in the long run. Her statistic that every $1 spent psf on testing up front saves $100 psf later on repairs drove home the point. Utilizing a building envelope consultant on the front end of a project makes good financial sense.
“Adding Air Barrier and Thermal Improvements to Existing Facilities” by Brian Neely of Gale Associates, reviewed several case studies in higher education and healthcare facilities, and the complexity of decision making in making improvements in existing structures. Brian’s expertise focuses on developing low-maintenance renovations and energy consumption upgrades to public and private facilities, while retaining historic building elements. While we often focus on new construction, the majority of building inventory in the US was built prior to 1990, making dealing with existing structures a necessity. With reduced energy consumption being a concern globally, it was incredible to learn that nearly 40% of energy use in the US is from heating and cooling buildings. Improvements to existing building envelopes can have a profound impact on the environment. The challenges of dealing with too much insulation is an important consideration, as well as thermally broken systems.
Along with many more educational sessions, product demos were conducted on-site by Royal Adhesives & Sealants, Kemper System America, Inc. and Cosella-Dörken Products, Inc., which gave professionals a more in-depth learning experience about the application of their products. Networking and plenty of great social events were scattered throughout the schedule, but nothing was a bigger hit than the “Night in Havanna” themed event sponsored by Siplast. Hand-rolled cigars, mojito stations, great music and incredible food made for a night no one will forget! Even daylight savings time couldn’t bring the energy from this group of professionals down. The camaraderie we felt from the membership of RCI is something we won’t forget.
“Making Connections”, the theme of this convention was truly what we accomplished, with a solid list of great resources, potential customers, and excellent sounding boards for product advancements. Attending and exhibiting with RCI was a great experience for BRINC Building Products, one we plan to repeat in the future.
As first-time attendees, you never know quite what to expect at a new conference. RCI, Inc. has an excellent program to welcome newer members by staffing volunteer “Ambassadors” throughout the event. These seasoned members answer questions, make introductions, and support attendees and exhibitors alike. The personal touch of the ambassador program is just one part of RCI that makes the building envelope community a tight-knit one. We recommend you consider the benefits of membership with RCI.