You could say this year's Metalcon International is adopting a "can-do" attitude.

Organizers for the Oct. 3-5 event at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla., are touting "Canstruction," a competition of architectural, vocational and engineering students to design buildings made entirely of food cans.

The new event for Metalcon was created by the Society for Design Administration and the American Institute of Architects.

The can-clad structures will be assembled in the convention center's conference-level lobby. After the convention, the cans of food will be distributed to families in the state's Hillsborough County. The Society for Design Administration holds Canstruction events across the country.

Metalcon's Canstruction is sponsored by Coated Steel Corp. of Chicago.

"We wanted to do our share to support the industry and Metalcon and to help students succeed," said Al Walker, president of Coated Steel. "It's also reassuring to know we're helping others while serving the industry."

New events

Canstruction isn't the only charity event at this year's show. Organizers are also donating the building erected during the show as part of the Stud University education program. Stud U is sponsored by the Steel Framing Alliance. It demonstrates the versatility of steel framing. This year's house will be designed to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. After the show, it will be donated to Homes for Our Troops. The Tauton, Mass., charity will give it to an injured south Florida veteran.

The donations fit with the civic-minded activities of metal-building workers, said Claire Kilcoyne, Metalcon director.

"Our industry and this show have always been at the forefront of shaping the future, but have never lost track of sharing the benefits of success beyond our immediate circle," she said. "Knowing that some of what we do at Metalcon can have immediate and long-term impacts on groups such as Homes for Our Troops and Canstruction gives all of us a great feeling."

Apart from the charity events, the trade show and seminars are expected to bring more than 8,000 to Tampa. The 2005 show in Las Vegas attracted more than 6,500.

Covering all segments of the metal-building industry, Metalcon deals with everything from metal roofing to environmental building and roll forming. Here's a list of some of the sessions most relevant to sheet metal contractors. Most sessions are held in the morning to avoid schedule conflicts with the afternoon trade show. Fees may apply for some sessions.


"Understanding Metal Roofing: Part I" is set for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 3. Metal Roof Advisory Group's Rob Haddock will give his popular presentation on the history of metal roofing, coatings, materials, weathering and metallurgy. Application techniques, sealants and seams will also be discussed.

Part II at 10:15 a.m. will delve into paints, steep-slope construction, drainage and wind issues.

"Best Practices for Metal Roofing in High-Wind Environments" is aimed at architects and builders who work in areas with tornados and hurricanes. The effects of Florida's well-known hurricanes, Charley, Jean, Wilma and Ivan will be discussed. Kevin Corcoran, vice president of business development with Englert Inc., will explain what contractors are doing to reduce damage from future storms. The session is at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 3.

At the same time will be "Why and How to be a Green Contractor." Ted van der Linden, director of sustainable construction with DPR Construction, will talk about the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification program, why the future is "green," and what you need to do to join the movement.

"Metal Roofing: The Devil is in the Details" is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 4. Coated Steel Corp. and the Metal Building Manufacturers Association are sponsoring this session. Ken Buchinger, vice president of warranties and certifications with NCI Building Systems, will talk about the metal roofing minutia most often overlooked. Techniques for detailing and preventing leaks, installing flashing and trims will be presented.

Myths and realities

The " ‘Four Myths' of Metal Roofing Demythstified" may be hard to pronounce, but sponsors promise it will be worth the effort to find. It is supposed to offer the "real facts" about metal. Toy Henson, the director of education and marketing development for The Metal Initiative will explain metal roof and wall systems used in commercial buildings. Recycled content, LEED credits and "cool" roofing are also on the agenda. The session is at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 4.

"Residential Metal Roofing: Making the Sale" also at 8:30 a.m., is sponsored by the Metal Roofing Alliance. Marcus Plowright, president of Big Sky Corp., will explain how new and seasoned contractors can overcome the price objections many homeowners have to metal roofing. Demonstrating "expert value" will be one of the topics discussed.

Any session mentioning the word "lawsuits" is likely to attract a crowd, so attendees may want to arrive early to "Metal Roof Lawsuits: How to Avoid Them." Chuck Howard, P.E., of Metal Roof Consultants will give tips for staying out of court. Howard has represented clients involved in litigation and testified as an expert in court. The session is at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 4.

"Weather Tightness Intelligence - New Standards for Metal Roofing" is also at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 4. Janet Mellema, Ph.D., architectural marketing manager with Metal Sales Manufacturing, will explain how to design to prevent or minimize damage from hurricanes and other natural disasters. Structural and architectural standing seams will be highlighted.

In addition to the above sessions, "Residential Metal Roof Installation 101" will also be held. Jerry Iselin, president of Metal Roof Specialties, will talk about trim and flashing techniques. Drip edges, gable-end trims, valleys and vent stack flashings are among the scheduled topics. The session is sponsored by the Metal Roofing Alliance and Classic Metal Roofing Systems.

Two metal-roofing-oriented sessions are scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Oct. 5. "Designing Metal Roofs to Accommodate Thermal Movement" will demonstrate that temperature changes affect all types of metal roofing. Kwon Kim, P.E., president of Inchon Engineering, will explain what contractors and architects can do to avoid the problems heat and cold cause.

Danny Parker of the Florida Solar Energy Center will discuss "New Ways to Control Energy Costs with Cool Metal Roofing." He says highly reflective metal roofs may be a more effective way to control attic heat than insulation or ventilation. Parker will talk about the testing of a metal roof/sealed attic system tested at the Florida center.

For more information on Metalcon, write to PSMJ Resources Inc., 10 Midland Ave., Newton, MA 02458. Call (617) 965-0055; fax (617) 928-1670; see on the Internet.