Hints that roofing shingles need replacement | Higher building-material prices challenge contractors | Copper roof could reduce load at church in New Zealand
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March 15, 2013
NRCA SmartBrief
News for the roofing industry

Top Story
Hints that roofing shingles need replacement
Dull, cracked or bubbled roof shingles are signs that a roof needs to be replaced, writes Mark Huffman. Estimates for re-shingling work should include costs for removal and disposal of the old shingles, Huffman notes. ConsumerAffairs.com (3/14)
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News & Trends
Higher building-material prices challenge contractors
An analysis of federal data by the Associated General Contractors of America shows that the cost of building materials rose in February and was up for 2013 compared with 2012. "For the second month in a row, contractors endured outsized price hikes," Chief Economist Ken Simonson said. "In addition, soaring diesel prices mean contractors are paying more for fuel they buy and, via fuel surcharges, for the thousands of deliveries of materials and equipment required for construction projects." American City Business Journals/Albuquerque, N.M. (3/14)
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Copper roof could reduce load at church in New Zealand
New Zealand architect Sir Miles Warren said if the interior of earthquake-damaged Christ Church Cathedral in Christchurch had been built all from wood as originally designed, "it would probably be standing today." In addition, using copper for its roof instead of slate would help reduce the load. However, church officials want the church to be built from stone and not wood. The Press (Christchurch, New Zealand) (3/14)
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Repairs discussed for broken skylight at historic Minn. county courthouse
Repairs are being discussed for the broken skylight atop the roof of the historic Mille Lacs County Courthouse in Minnesota. Repairing the skylight could cost between $90,000 and $100,000, but replacing it with a fixed roof would cost only $65,000. Installation of a fixed roof would require placing artificial lights behind the stained-glass panels in the rotunda's ceiling to maintain the lighting effect. Princeton Union-Eagle (Minn.) (3/14)
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Energy & the Environment
Expert: Green roof advantages can go beyond buildings
Green roofs can go beyond providing stormwater management and improving the energy efficiency of a facility, according to Mary Ann Uhlmann, a certified environmental horticulturist and expert on green roofs. Plants on the roof also absorb toxic pollutants such as lead and zinc that can be released by traditional roofing materials. At hospitals, green roofs visible to patients can have a therapeutic effect, Uhlmann said. Winston-Salem Journal (N.C.) (3/15)
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USGBC launches assessment tools for green-building investors
In response to the growing popularity of green-building projects, the U.S. Green Building Council has unveiled two assessment tools that aim to aid investors in assessing the "sustainability and environmental friendliness" of real estate projects. The Green Building Information Gateway was released last fall, and the Green Real Estate Index will make its debut this fall. DesignBuildSource.com.au (Australia) (3/15)
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In the Office
How a small general contractor survived the economic downturn
Roger Hendrick Construction, which handles a diverse array of projects, managed to make it through the country's difficult economic times without resorting to layoffs. The Charlotte, N.C.-based business managed to stay afloat by taking on smaller projects and looking for work outside its typical geographic area of operation. In addition, CEO Roger Hendrick networked with other entrepreneurs to gain new insights about the state of the industry. The Charlotte Observer (N.C.) (3/12)
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Why trust is critical for employee productivity
If you want to encourage employees to dedicate themselves to improving your company, you have to show that you trust them, writes Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project. For this reason, Schwartz allows some of his employees to work from home when necessary. "In over a decade, no employee has ever chosen to leave our company. The better you meet people's needs, the better they'll meet yours," he writes. Harvard Business Review online/HBR Blog Network (3/13)
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Government & Regulatory
Congress works on tax-code overhaul
Bipartisan work on a comprehensive overhaul of U.S. tax law got under way in the Senate Finance Committee with Democrats and Republicans agreeing on one issue: The economy would benefit from eliminating tax breaks worth tens of billions of dollars, they said. They disagree, however, on what to do with the money saved. The Washington Post (3/14)
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IRS cracks down on employee misclassification
The Internal Revenue Service is surprising entrepreneurs with audits of their payrolls in search of misclassified employees. The crackdown is part of a government effort to look for workers incorrectly classified as independent contractors as a way for employers to avoid withholding payroll and income taxes. Studies show that anywhere from 10% to 60% of small-business employees may be misclassified. The Wall Street Journal (3/13)
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Submit a topic proposal for the 2014 IRE
Hanley Wood LLC, Washington, D.C., has issued a call for presentations for the 2014 International Roofing Expo, which will be held Feb. 26 to 28, 2014, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. All presentations must be purely educational, and vendors must be exhibitors in the show to be considered for a presentation. The deadline for submissions is April 15. Learn more, and complete the submission.
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Repair manual is available
NRCA's Repair Manual for Low-slope Membrane Roof Systems will help you identify problems and permanently repair low-slope roof membranes. Learn the most reliable long-term repair procedures for built-up, polymer-modified bitumen, thermoplastic and thermoset roof systems. With instructions for more than 150 repairs, the manual is designed to be used on job sites. The NRCA member price for the manual is $115, and the retail price is $230. Purchase it here.
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Adventure is not outside man; it is within."
-- George Eliot,
British writer
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