As I was saying …

Making best practices better

Many NRCA resources, such as dues dollars, go toward the development of what we like to call "best practices"—the roofing community's collective wisdom with regard to roof system design, installation and management.

The leading document of NRCA best practices is The NRCA Roofing Manual, which consists of four volumes; one volume is updated annually. It commonly is referenced by roof system designers, roof system manufacturers and a host of others. In fact, I have been pleasantly surprised to see the manual is widely used outside the U.S.

Our contribution to best practices takes other forms, as well, and we've recently released several new publications that are all intended to help elevate the industry. These include:

  • A revised and expanded manual describing rooftop photovoltaic (PV) installations
  • An updated manual compiling energy-related roofing codes to help contractors and designers make the most informed decisions about energy efficiency in roofing
  • A compendium of the 573 construction details contained in The NRCA Roofing Manual
  • A safety manual, which includes information about regulatory compliance as well as generally accepted best safety practices

These publications are not only good sources of information, but they also are part of a longer-term undertaking to make the industry more professional.

Architects and consultants use our technical information to design better, more energy-efficient roof systems. Building owners rely on our information to learn about issues involved with such things as roof system maintenance programs and PV system installations. Contractors—and others—use our safety materials to make job sites less dangerous. And our industry's collective wisdom—contained in these documents and others—often is the benchmark for training, accreditation and licensing programs.

All this takes a lot of time, money and energy. Arriving at best practices can only be done through a long, deliberative process that invites input from a host of industry stakeholders. Watching The NRCA Roofing Manual get written, edited, rewritten and re-edited is sort of like rereading War and Peace: We know it will take time; we know how it will end; and we know it won't always be at the top of our list for spending free time on a Sunday afternoon.

The scores of people involved with developing and producing these important documents deserve your thanks, but they will mostly get their satisfaction from knowing they've helped make the industry a better place.

Bill Good is NRCA's executive vice president.



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