Research + Tech

ASTM International to hold symposium in Houston

ASTM International will hold its Ninth Symposium on Roofing Research and Standards Development Dec. 8 in Houston. Sponsored by ASTM Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing, the symposium will be held in conjunction with the committee’s December standards development meetings.

The symposium provides a forum for contributing to the fundamental understanding of acceptable roof performance with an emphasis on current research and development work. The influence of laboratory and field investigations in the development of standards for roofing and waterproofing systems and materials will be highlighted.

The symposium also will address topics describing research and standards development for low- and steep-slope roof systems, including roof system durability and service life prediction; roofing in an era of sustainability and resiliency; synthetic single-ply roof systems; metal roof systems; advances in waterproofing; and air and moisture movement in roof systems, among other topics.

Additional information about the symposium is available at

Contractors struggle to implement technology

As technology use increases in the construction industry, contractors are struggling with how to implement innovations to ensure productivity and profitability.

JBKnowledge’s 2019 Technology in Preconstruction Report says contractors not only have to find and justify an IT budget but also must research, test and implement new technology to try to stay current.

The report received insights from about 3,000 construction professionals. Nearly half (42.5%) identify as subcontractors; 36.7% identify as general contractors/construction managers; and 28.3% work in an estimating or preconstruction management role. Most of the firms represented have been in business more than 50 years, have 201-500 employees on average and primarily are focused on commercial building projects.

The report found job titles growing in popularity and importance include chief innovation officers, chief data officers, preconstruction technology managers, building information modeling-virtual design and construction coordinators and managers, and data analysts.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Most contractors report using custom forms that can be built out and integrated with bid management, accounting and enterprise resource planning solutions to qualify and select subcontractors.
  • Only 38.7% of respondents report using dedicated takeoff software as an alternative to spreadsheets.
  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents report still using spreadsheets in their estimating processes.
  • No single estimating tool was found to be used by more than 18% of respondents.
  • Nearly 50% of respondents report using DropBox, with most relying on separate document management solutions, which are integrated into company-wide workflows.

The report also found contractors need mobile and accurate tech tools to remain competitive. In addition, construction firms must add new roles to support data optimization or be willing to educate current staff.

MCA releases new metal flashings test standard

On Oct. 3, the Metal Construction Association released ANSI/MCA FTS-1-2019, “Test Method for Wind Load Resistance of Flashings Used with Metal Roof Systems,” a new standard for testing the performance of metal flashings used with metal roof systems.

Properly designed and installed metal roof systems can withstand high winds, but when metal roof system failure does occur, flashing failure commonly is a contributing factor. MCA launched an initiative to investigate flashing failures on metal roof systems and create a standard to help prevent future occurrences.

“The locations of these flashings are where the highest wind uplift pressures occur, so it’s critical they’re designed, manufactured and installed to resist those higher wind pressures,” says Bob LeClare, director of perimeter edge metal business for ATAS International Inc., Allentown, Pa.

ANSI/MCA FTS-1-2019 has four sections: test apparatus, test specimen, loading procedure and test report. The standard is available to specifiers and manufacturers of metal roof systems to help assure proper performance of edge flashings used with metal roof systems. ANSI/MCA FTS-1-2019 is available on MCA’s website,



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