Opportunities in Roof Design
by Richard K. Olson, president & technical director, Tile Roofing Industry Alliance
(Editor’s Note: Richard K. Olson is president and technical director for the Tile Roofing Industry Alliance. The association represents industry professionals involved in the manufacturing and installation of concrete and clay tile roofs in the United States and Canada, and works with national, state, and local building officials to develop installation techniques, codes, and standards for better roofing systems. Olson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
It is time for the architecture community to prepare for the changes in roof design opportunities that 2020 will bring. This means archiving and purging old design resource files to prepare for the new revisions, additions, and connections that are coming. The following are some resources to consider adding to your files for 2020.
Local Code Recognition
Each local building official will determine the formal codes they will recognize for 2020. Many will move to the newest version of the International Code Council® codes for the International Building Code®, but there are also areas where they will go instead with the International Residential Code®. Design professionals need to understand not only the formal approved code, but additional restrictions that have been added to recognize local best practices, performance, or design considerations that have been incorporated in the code provisions. With the local building official having the final authority for approvals, it is important to have a positive working relationship on a local basis.
Most materials used in roofing assemblies carry formal code-issued product approvals on either a national or local approval process. These approvals provide the proper identification, testing, quality control, and performance restrictions for use in roofing applications. These are issued ongoing and have specific renewal dates required for maintaining compliance to the various codes. When new data or information becomes available, they can also be renewed out of sequence to make them up to date for such revisions. The latest versions of these product approvals are required for project call-outs in design details for roofing applications.
One of the greatest resources to the design professional are the various industry associations. While individual product manufacturers can provide product-specific information, industry associations can provide a broader and less biased resource when looking for a product in a more general aspect. Many industry associations, such as the Tile Roofing Industry Alliance, create installation guides, technical bulletins, research, and educational resources to help improve the design and application of specific products or services. For many, there are ongoing newsletters, email services, and alerts to subscribe to that keep professionals informed of new developments during the year.
The start of the year is a great time to seek new opportunities to gain additional training on products or services. Industry associations are a great resource to learn about training designed for the design professional. Often times a one-day commitment to attend a class or learn via online training can create greater efficiencies, resulting in increased profit margins.
The housing economy for 2020 promises to be a strong construction season, and with the aging existing residential structures, the reroof market will also continue to grow. By taking time to organize your roofing resources, you can be positioned to be more efficient, productive, and profitable in the year to come.