Hawaii-- it's everyone's idea of the perfect vacation getaway. It's also a good spot to do business, if you're a SMACNA contractor attending this year's national convention.

WAIKOLOA, Hawaii - The rapid growth in metal roofing will be the subject of a talk at the Architectural Contractors Forum, October 9 from 2:15-4 p.m.

Richard C. Schroter, P.E., CDT, Simpson, Gumpertz and Hager, a leading expert in metal roofing applications, will examine and set the record straight on myths and facts about metal roofing applications and the role of the sheet metal contractor in the growing architectural sheet metal market.

While metal is gaining in popularity as a roofing material, Schroter said it is not as simple as replacing a conventional roof with a metal one. Structure and wind loads, thermodynamics and vapor flow are some of the factors that must be considered.

"One of my themes is always, 'Don't let your roofs be designed by the lowest bidder,'" Schroter said.

His firm was called in July 1981 to investigate when two suspended walkways within the atrium of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel collapsed, resulting in the death of 114 people. This was the single largest structural disaster in terms of loss of life in U.S. history. Zurich-American, who insured the construction manager for original construction of the hotel retained SGH to determine the cause of the failure.

The collapse was caused by failure of the connections between the hanger rods and the main-carrying box beams of the walkways.

More recently, company engineers went to central Taiwan in September of last year to study the impact of a magnitude 7.7 earthquake on the island of Taiwan. There were thousands of aftershocks in the following days, with several reaching a magnitude of 6.8.

In an article on "The Load Path," Schroter pointed out that most wind damage to roofing occurs at relatively low wind speeds. "Insurance industry statistics for the last 11 years show that while hurricane and tornado winds produce almost 75% of the dollar losses paid out by insurers, these storms represent only 27% of roof damage claimsn All projects require the same attention to detail regardless of the magnitude of the wind loads."

He is also the author of a white paper report, "Six steps to prevent leaks in preformed metal roofing." While metal roofing has many advantages, "deficiencies in design and installation can lead to chronic leakage," he points out, then goes on to explain how to avoid the most common sources of leaks and achieve maximum performance from all types of metal roofing.

Also, SMACNA's Architectural Sheet Metal Council Steering Committee will report on recent council developments in ongoing liaisons with the American Institute of Architects, the Copper Development Association and the International Training Institute.

Other forums include:

Custom Fabricating and Manufacturers Forum - Monday, October 9; 10-11:45 a.m.

SMACNA members working in the custom fabricating sector create a diverse range of products for customers. The value added to products during production operations, however, is oftentimes held hostage by wasteful processes. No place is this more evident than in shops where products' shapes vary, dimensions vary and job sizes vary depending on the customer's constant and unique needs.

In this session, Dave Skinner, the author of SMACNA's "Sheet Metal Made Lean and Clean," will introduce you to specific practices and tools aimed at achieving greater shop efficiencies, reduce waste and add greater value to the products you fabricate. Skinner, TQM Program Management Consulting, will discuss how principles and practices of lean production can improve efficiencies by focusing on improved operations.

HVAC Contractors Forum

Monday, October 9; 10 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Presenter Hank. M. Harris, Jr., CMC, Vice President and Director, FMI will discuss a recurring theme familiar to contractors: the changing business climate that doesn't allow for business as usual. Hvac contractors are rethinking their fundamental approach to organization, finance, project management and planning.

Harris' session will focus on the characteristics of a successful hvac contractor in today's environment by identifying sound business practices in the following areas: organization, finance, marketing, project control and planning.

Industrial Contractors Forum

Monday, October 9; 7:30-10 a.m.

This year's Industrial Forum will feature three distinct roundtable sessions moderated by member of the Industrial Council Steering Committee and an industry expert on shop efficiencies. Roundtable discussions will take place on the following topics:

Design/build opportunities in the industrial market

Labor and training issues in the industrial sector

Achieving and enhancing shop efficiencies

Residential Contractors Forum

Monday, October 9; 2:15-4 p.m.

As the Internet continues to change the way contracting businesses operate, residential contractors need to consider the importance their customers are placing on obtaining information online in the selection of contracting services.

This forum will feature David M. Holt, a web site expert, who has a wide range of experiences in the hvac industry. He recently founded Ultimate Service Systems, a business support and training organization for residential and light commercial hvac businesses in North America. Holt will discuss the importance and potential profits to be made in having a web site and Internet access. For those who already have sites, the program will include use of digital cameras, paperless purchasing, wireless communication advances and credit card payment systems.

Service Contractors Forum

Monday, October 9; 7:30-10 a.m.

This year's forum will focus on the international best seller, "Getting to Yes." This session will cover the key elements and merits of this successful negotiating technique and will show how it applies to the contractor's market. Joe Haubenhofer, a recognized expert in conflict and dispute management for Wilson Learning, will facilitate this session.

"Getting to Yes" is best known for its five-step process - "Principled Negotiation." This win/win approach differs from the traditional style of bargaining by focusing on how to find creative ways to satisfy both parties - a central issue with every SMACNA service contractor.

Perfect location?

It's everyone's idea of the perfect vacation getaway. It's also a good spot to do business, if you're a SMACNA contractor attending this year's national convention.

The island of Hawaii is the youngest and largest of the Hawaiian islands chain, at 4,038 square miles, which is twice the combined size of all the other islands.

The state of Hawaii consists of eight main islands, each with its own unique characteristics, but all sharing the same perfect climate. Honolulu, the state capital is on O'ahu, and it is the 11th largest city in the U.S.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village resort, where the convention will be held, is called "the most extravagant resort development on the Big Island" by one travel guide. "Lonely Planet" books said of the Hilton, "It has such the air of a sophisticated theme park that islanders nicknamed it 'Disneyland.'" Lacking a beach, the resort built its own, along with a 4-acre lagoon stocked with tropical fish. Guests navigate the manmade canals in canopied boats. It opened in 1988 at a cost of $360 million. It boasts a multimillion art collection along a one mile long walkway featuring native South Seas artwork, war clubs and spears.

This island is growing, from the more-or-less continual flow of lava from its mountainous interior to the sea (Kilauea is the world's most active and largest volcano). It boasts 266 miles of coastline and the impressive peaks of Mauna Kea at 13,796 feet, and Mauna Loa, 13,679 feet. You'll also find the state's highest lake, Lake Waiau, at 13,020 feet above sea level; and the state's longest waterfall, Akaka Falls, 442 feet. The island's southern tip is also the southernmost point of the United States, Ka Lae (appropriately, "South Point.")

Of all the islands, Hawaii's Big Island is the most ecologically diverse. It has desert plains (Ka'u) to rain forests (Hilo) to snowcapped Mauna Kea (snow in Hawaii!)

Average temperature ranges from 71F to 77F, with cooler temperatures prevailing at the 4,000 foot elevation of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Headquarters. The island itself was formed by five large shield volcanoes: Kohala, Hualalai, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. The last two are still active. Mauna Kea represents the highest point in all the islands.

Anaehoomalu Beach is a long, sandy beach that curves along an attractive bay. The waters are popular for swimming and windsurfing and have a gently sloping sandy bottom. Winter weather can produce rip currents, but most of the time the water is quite calm. There is snorkeling and windsurfing equipment for rent on-site, along with scuba lessons, boat dives, catamaran cruises and glass bottom boat rides.

Major industries include Kona coffee, macadamia nuts, papaya, cattle, orchids, aquaculture and, of course, tourism. The island may be big, but the population isn't, at just 141,000. Twenty-six percent of the residents are at least partially of Hawaiian descent (21% are Japanese).

The Big Island's Parker Ranch may be the world's largest privately owned cattle ranch, boasting 225,000 acres in Waimea.

It's probably fitting that King Kamehameha the Great, Hawaii's best-known ruling monarch, was born here in 1753. Not only a wise ruler, he was a shrewd general and did a commendable job of uniting the native population and various ruling chiefs to fend off foreign intruders for many years. He died in 1819 and you will find statues of his likeness in Kapa'au, his birthplace, and Hilo. The first missionaries did not arrive in the state until 1820.

You'll also find the world's largest telescopes on the Big Island-at the observatory atop Mauna Kea-and two world-famous sporting events, the Ironman Triathlon and the Annual Billfish Tournament in Kona.

Hawaii Forest & Trail offers views of the best of the Big Island's diverse landscapes. The full day Rainforest Discovery explores native forests along the scenic, rental-car restricted Saddle Road. Or choose the Valley Waterfall Adventure (minimum age 8). Also available are volcano and mule-back excursions for all ages.

There are 19 golf courses to choose from, 324 holes in all.

For shopping, try the center of Kailua-Kona, thick with small shops, or the Big Island Outlet store at Kona Beach Hotel for Hawaiian music CDs, shirts and bonsai trees.

Trendiest restaurant is said to be Oodles of Noodles, with Chinese-Vietnamese-Thai food. The Kona Inn, Huggo's and Jameson's by the Sea are also highly rated.

There are other fish in the sea besides the ubiquitous mahi-mahi, which is still a favorite. But by all means try the A'u, which actually consists of several forms of billfish including marlin and swordfish. Other choices include hebi (shortbill spearfish), nairagi (striped marlin) and kajiki (Pacific blue marlin).

Each of the Hawaiian islands has its individual traits and claims to fame, and each is easy enough to visit after your convention stay on Hawaii ends.

O'ahu is home to Waikiki's half-square mile urban playground, aquarium and zoo.

Maui is home to Haleakala National Park, with its 10,023 foot summit that can be reached on horseback or ridden down on bicycles.

Travel experts say Kaua'i is where you will find some of the best beaches: scenic Na Pali Coast, towering sea cliffs and steep-walled valleys for 14 wilderness miles. 21/2 hour long kayak excursions up Hule'ia Stream by Island Adventures. Outfitters Kauai hike and swim then come back via motorized canoe. Hanalei Stream Bird sanctuary where taro is widely grown.

Lana'i, Garden of the gods, heights of Lanaihale, and snorkel-perfect coves along the south coast. Lanai Ecoadventures bikes and kayaks or jeeps, generally age 10 and over. Downhill bicycling excursion to Shipwreck Beach.

Twenty-three major airlines serve Honolulu International Airport from the mainland U.S., including American, Northwest, United, Delta, Continental, and Hawaiian. Together, they account for about 2,620 arrivals and departures a month, with non-stop service to Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta and other cities.