Roofing & Exteriors spoke with Jeff Henry, executive director of the Metal Construction Association.
Formed in 1983, the Metal Construction Association is an organization of manufacturers and suppliers whose metal products are used in structures throughout the world. Since its inception, MCA has focused on one key strategy—to promote the use of metal in the building envelope through marketing, education and action on public policies that affect metal’s use.
Roofing & Exteriors: Energy efficiency has become an important hallmark of quality products. In what ways is metal roofing energy efficient? How does it compare/contrast in this respect to other roofing types?
Henry: There are multiple ways in which metal roofing is energy-saving. Metal roofing can provide the best combination of solar reflectivity and thermal emittance for a given building and climate. This combination significantly reduces heat gain into the building in the summer while minimizing the impact on heating, resulting in reduced utility costs over the year. Studies have shown that metal maintains these properties longer than many other roofing materials.
The use of Insulated Metal Panels (IMPs). IMPs are panels consisting of two metal skins with a layer of insulation between them. Panels can vary in the amount of insulation depending on the building use or geographic location. IMP’s can also span large distances and minimize thermal bridging leading to lower energy use.
It is hard to discuss metal’s energy efficiency without noting a few other characteristics that contribute to a greener planet. Metal roofs are completely recyclable. Their long lifespan can outlive the building, eliminating the need for replacement. That long life makes metal roofing highly compatible with solar energy systems, and metal roofs also help improve water efficiency in buildings and are excellent for rainwater catchment.
R&E: Could you tell us more the MCA Metal University and what topics are interesting for professionals right now?
Henry: The Metal University serves as a public-facing resource center for all seeking information related to the use of metal in the building envelope. It hosts educational sessions, white papers and technical bulletins addressing over100 issues of interest to designers, contractors and manufacturers. Overall, the metal roofing installation manual is one of the most popular downloaded items. Resources addressing sustainability or energy efficiency continue to grow in popularity. We recently released three white papers addressing metal roofing and solar. They have been highly sought after. Regarding member education, mitigating supply chain challenges has been the topic of 2021. Sustainability is also growing in popularity.
R&E: MCA’s Winter meeting will take place Jan. 24-26 in Scottdale, Arizona. What important takeaways do you hope members receive from this event?
Henry: Three come to mind. First, simply the ability to connect with their peers. Our meeting is structured to serve both a business and social function. Networking is a big part of the event. The ability to refresh friendships and connect to share and solve business concerns is a big part of MCA’s value proposition.
Second, our councils and committee agendas are quite full. There is a tremendous amount of technical and marketing activity. We want members to leave understanding the association has a robust plan for advancing the association and the use of metal in building construction.
Lastly, we want them to leave sensing the need for greater engagement. Its often said that a member-derived benefit is proportional to their level of engagement in an association.
We want them to not only appreciate the benefit of their attendance but return encouraging greater participation from others in their organization.