The roofing industry association with the longest name—the
China National Waterproof Building Materials Industry
Association—recently held its fifth exhibition; this year, it
was in Beijing. An NRCA delegation participated in the event
and included NRCA
President Bob Daly, president of Kaw Roofing & Sheet Metal
Inc., Kansas City, Kan.; Daly's wife, Kelly; NRCA Director of International Relations
Olicia Hinojosa; NRCA Safety Consultant Bill Steinmetz;
and yours truly.
Herewith, a few impressions from the trip:
- Everything people say about jet lag is true except that it can
be mitigated. No human can withstand 14 hours in a confined space
- If you have doubts about why our steel and concrete prices are
high, take that 14-hour plane ride. China is industrializing at a
rate of 30 million people annually. And we think we have
- Oh, and 40,000 automobiles are being added every month into
what already is a gridlocked mess in Beijing.
- Construction technology has advanced immeasurably since my
first visit to Beijing in 2000. This is, in part, a result of the
integration of Western technology and industriousness of the
Chinese, who, by the way, could not be nicer or more generous to
- Improvements in the construction industry clearly extend to
roof systems. Specifications and products are better, and the
industry is much better organized.
- Foreign capital is pouring into China as its GDP growth hovers
at around 10 percent. European companies, in particular, are more
noticeable—including European roofing materials
- In Beijing, it's all about the Olympics. In 2008, automobile
driving will be rationed, factories will be closed and other
measures will be taken to clean up the air before Aug. 8, 2008.
(Opening ceremonies begin 8/08/08 at 8:08:08. Yes, superstitions
matter.) And the Olympic facilities are astonishing.
- Disregard much of what you hear about Chinese food. It is
uniformly good though it is sometimes best not to ask follow-up
questions about its origins.
The Chinese roofing exhibition has become so successful that it
is now an annual event. In June 2008, it will be held in
Shanghai—yet another accommodation to the Olympics. NRCA continues to sponsor the
event and can help anyone interested in securing booth space or
simply attending to learn what it's all about. It's...
To read the article in its entirety, please log in or register (registration is free).
Log in or register for FREE access to this article and other Professional Roofing online content.