Metalcon organizers expect 8,000 attendees for the 2009 show in Tampa, Fla. This image is from the 2008 Las Vegas event.

It’s back.

Metalcon International, the annual metal construction industry trade show, is returning to Tampa, Fla., this month.

The coastal Sunshine State city is a popular one for show organizers - Metalcon has selected it two times already this decade, in 2003 and 2006.

This time, Metalcon returns in the midst of a deep U.S. recession, but organizers have been through rough times before: The 2001 show was held in Las Vegas just a few weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. They’re optimistic about the event this year, expecting more than 8,000 to attend.

As has been the case in recent years, green building will be a major focus at the Oct. 6-8 show at Tampa’s main convention center. Numerous educational sessions will focus on metal roofing and paneling and the products’ sustainable qualities.

The centerpiece of Metalcon will be the trade show, with more than 800 exhibitors scheduled. The show will be open noon-5 p.m. Oct. 6-7 to give attendees time each morning to attend seminars. Show hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 8.

For more information on Metalcon, call (800) 357-7765 or  

Architect keynote speaker

This year’s keynote speaker is slated to be Bob Berkebile, a founding principal at BNIM Architects in Kansas City, Mo. “Creating a new sustainable economy,” is the title of his speech at 10:15 a.m. Oct. 6.

Metalcon organizers call Berkebile an expert on sustainable construction and the promise it holds for the United States’ current economy.

“We’re honored to have Bob with us at Metalcon,” said Claire Kilcoyne, the show’s director. “He brings a very enlightening, global perspective to what’s happening financially and environmentally. He’s a wonderful presenter with a positive message that will leave all of us asking ‘What can I do?’ to make things better.”

Berkebile said he is optimistic on the future if people commit themselves to doing what is necessary.

“We’re being so inundated with news about economic freefall and collapse of the environment that the average citizen or business person may become overwhelmed and conclude there’s nothing they can do,” Berkebile said. “But from what I’ve observed in recent global summits, this is the most transformative and powerful moment in the history of the planet. We’ve reached this critical stage because we’ve used obsolete thinking for centuries. Right now, we have the technology and communications systems to make the changes required to improve our children’s economic and environmental vitality. But the question is whether we have the will to become more informed and to make the change.”

A trade show image from Metalcon 2008.

Lots of sessions

Although Metalcon covers most facets of the metal building industry, there are still plenty of sessions on topics of interest to sheet metal contractors, including several on metal roofing.

At 8:30 a.m. Oct. 6 will be:

•       “Metal Roofing: The Devil’s in the Details.” Things that are often overlooked by many contractors, such as flashing, trim and materials, will be talked about by Michael Bennett of NCI Group Inc.

• “Making More Green While Selling Green - While the Media Sings the Blues.” A new seminar for Metalcon, it will focus on how to promote the environmental benefits of metal roofing to consumers and the media. Learn how to become an expert on green building and the media’s go-to metal roofing person.

The session will be hosted by Dennis Duce, the “green roofer” from Salt Lake City and salesman for Nielco Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc.

• “Retrofitting With Metal Roof and Wall Systems.” Bob Scichili, president of Robert Scichili Associates Inc., will tell the stories behind common ways to apply metal roofs and walls on existing buildings. The ways metal can qualify for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design points will also be a highlight.

• “Selling When Everything is Changing.” The business environment is different today - so says Jerry Stapleton, the founder of Stapleton Resources LLC. He will explain the five most common challenges companies face and how to work them to your firm’s advantage.

• “LEED 101 and How it Applies to You.” Wading through the alphabet soup of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program will be architect Christopher Davis and Scott Kriner, president of Green Metal Consulting Inc. The two LEED-accredited professionals will explain the best-known certification program for green buildings and how metal fits in.

• “Trends in Metal Building Energy, Codes and Standards and Numerical Modeling of Envelope Insulation Systems.” More states and municipalities are requiring higher energy efficiency in their building codes. This session will preview the expected changes in relevant American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ standards next year. Chris Kasprzak, a technical manager for Owens Corning’s commercial insulation products division, will be the speaker.

At 8:30 a.m. Oct. 7, these are scheduled:

• “Understanding Metal Roofing: Part I.” Rob Haddock of the Metal Roof Advisory Group always attracts a crowd for this session, which he gives several times a year and has presented at Metalcon many times. Metallurgy, history, weathering and related topics will be explained, along with fabrication, seams and weathering issues. Part II will follow at 10:15 a.m.

• “A Key Role for Gutters in the Future of Sustainable Building.” The phrase “in the gutter” maybe won’t have negative connotations after attending this seminar presented by Steve Spratt, co-founder and president of operations at RainTube Technologies. The session will cover the importance of proper gutter installations and how they fit into green building.

•       “Building Your Residential Metal Roofing Contracting Business: The Key to Growth in Any Economy - Customer Relations Management.” Handling your customers properly will help sell roofs and increase profits, according to Dan Dawes of Congruent Media LLC. He will provide tips on this topic.

• “Why Contractors Work Too Hard and Earn Too Little.” Jayme Dill Broudy, founder of Contractors Business School in San Luis Obispo, Calif., will tell attendees how to break out of the common story of being an overworked, underpaid business owner who never takes a vacation.

• “Sustainable Design Using Metal Roofing.” Metal roofing offers a lot of green benefits, says Brian Partyska, president of Drexel Metals. This session will explain them, including details on a solar metal roof.

•             “Designing Metal Roofing for Wind Loads.” W. Lee Shoemaker, Ph.D., P.E., the Metal Building Manufacturers Association’s director of research and engineering, will explain wind-load fundamentals and code requirements. State-specific information on Florida’s statutes will be provided.

• “Converting Consumer Residential Roofing Leads Into Actual Sales.” American Metal Roofs President Frank Farmer of Michigan will explain how he’s been able to grow several successful businesses in his career.

• “Is Metal Green? An Overview of Sustainable Aspects.” This panel discussion will cover all the aspects of green construction that metal fits into, as well as the pros and cons of third-party verification programs.

At 8:30 a.m. Oct. 8, sessions include:

• “Metal Over Sloped: Reroofing Systems and Benefits.” Roof Hugger Inc.’s vice president of sales and marketing, Mark James, will explain how contractors can use this market segment to boost business in a down economy.

•   “The Residential Metal Roofers Top 10 List.” Jerry Iselin of Metal Roof Specialties Inc. will explain how metal can bring big profits to contractors if they avoid some common mistakes.

• “Building Green With Metal.” Scott Kriner will host this session and explain how metal fits into the green and “cool roofing” movements. Research, case studies and energy codes will be the focus.

For reprints of this article, contact Jill DeVries at (248) 244-1726 or e-mail devriesj@bnp