Energy Efficiency and Building Science News

Soprema and 3M Co-Develop New Roofing Membrane

Wed, 2019-04-03 16:27
Building ScienceBusiness

Building owners, architects, roofing consultants and contractors now have a new go-to means of addressing reflectivity codes across North America thanks to a joint effort between SOPREMA and 3M.

SOPREMA and 3M have developed brand-new highly reflective white granules for use with SOPREMA’s SBS-modified bitumen roof membrane product line. The result is new-generation SOPRALENE SG and ELASTOPHENE SG modified bitumen cap sheets enhanced with 3M Highly Reflective Granules.

According to a press release from SOPREMA, these new-generation SG cap sheets build upon the success of SOPREMA’s reflective roofing products currently on the market. New SOPREMA SG granulate-surfaced cap sheets are improved with 3M Highly Reflective Granules, bringing improved durability and an even brighter white appearance to the market. Moving forward, the new 3M ultrareflective granule will be integrated into SOPREMA SG products to create solutions that provide the solar reflective index (SRI) ratings needed to comprehensively meet the highest U.S. and Canadian reflectivity requirements while providing the proven protection factor of multi-ply SBS-modified bitumen systems.

“We are pleased to be the first to provide this technology: a bright, reflective system without sacrificing multilayer bituminous waterproofing performance,” said Matt Davis, product manager for roof membranes at SOPREMA. “Our new SG products are not only durable and maintain their reflectance over the life of the products, but are also lighter weight for easier handling and application for the installer.”

“SOPREMA has been a strong customer for some time, and we were pleased to work with them on this innovative endeavor.  We’re proud to provide building owners with a reliable solution that is compliant with reflectivity regulations and helps reduce urban heat island effects,” said Amy McLaughlin, business director and general manager, 3M Industrial Mineral Products Division. “SOPREMA’s R&D team provided valuable insights on market and manufacturing needs and helped us conduct large-scale trials during the development of 3M Highly Reflective Granules. As a result of 3M working closely with the customer to create a solution that meets a specific market need, 3M’s new highly reflective granules exceed expectations during and after manufacturing and enable cap sheets to have high solar reflectivity levels years after installation.”


Kingspan Launches Competition for Building Designers

Wed, 2019-04-03 16:23
Building ScienceBusiness

Kingspan Insulation LLC, a leading manufacturer in energy efficiency and moisture management products, has announced its new King for a Day Sweepstakes.

Contractors, builders, architects and engineers can enter for a chance to win $1,000 to live like a king for a day. Each quarter, one lucky winner will receive a $750 StubHub gift card to see his or her favorite band or sports team, and a $250 American Express gift card for use on food, transportation and much more.

“Construction and building design professionals are integral to community development, and we are excited to award four lucky winners with the opportunity to truly live like a king, or queen, for a day through this sweepstakes,” said Suzanne Diaz, Marketing Manager, Kingspan Insulation North America. “For an extra chance to win, entrants can also submit a photo of themselves with Kingspan GreenGuard products or their GreenGuard project and will have a chance to be featured on our social media.”

Entrants can build like a king too by using Kingspan’s GreenGuard portfolio of products which offer energy efficiency and moisture management products including extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation board, air barrier building wraps and accessories such as flashing. GreenGuard products create healthier, more durable and cost-efficient structures while also helping meet “green” building certification requirements.

For more information or to enter the King for a Day Sweepstakes, please visit Kingspan Insulation at the International Builders’ Show at booth C7548 or go to

No purchase necessary. To be eligible, submissions must be received by the following deadlines listed for each drawing: 1st Drawing – 11:59pm EST, Wednesday, April 10, 2019. 2nd Drawing – 11:59pm EST, Wednesday, July 10, 2019. 3rd Drawing – 11:59pm EST, Thursday, October 10, 2019. 4th Drawing – 11:59pm EST, Friday, January 10, 2020.

Kingspan Insulation LLC, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, is a leading manufacturer in energy efficiency and moisture management products, offering high-performance insulation, building wraps and pre-insulated HVAC ductwork.

 Kingspan Insulation LLC is part of the Kingspan Group plc., one of Europe’s leading construction product manufacturers. The Kingspan Group was formed in the late 1960s and is a publicly traded group of companies headquartered in Kingscourt, County Cavan, Ireland. Kingspan Group has manufacturing, distribution and commercial operations throughout Europe, North America, Australasia, the Middle East and other locations across the globe.


Approving a P.E.’s Work; Can a Building Official Deny?

Tue, 2019-04-02 12:07
Engineering & Testing

Graphic 1: An example process for complaint about the practice of engineering. There is a similar process for architects.

The answer to whether or not a Building Official can deny a Professional Engineer from practicing their trade under individual state professional licensing laws is contained in state law. The board of Professional Engineers is the only regulatory authority that has jurisdiction over engineering. So what does this mean? A properly licensed Professional Engineer shall be allowed to practice engineering, without discrimination, restraint or limitation, in their area of expertise as defined in the engineering laws of the state. The same is process and concepts are true for licensed professional architects.

As an example (see Graphic 1), the Florida Board of Professional Engineers has a process by which engineers that are violating professional engineering law will be investigated. This is a legal process that follows a standard investigation of the evidence, assessing legal sufficiency and probable cause of a violation of professional engineering law.

Graphic 2: Example sealed design document by a professional engineer as an approved source.

So, can a Building Official deny the any engineering work of a properly licensed Professional Engineer that has signed and sealed their engineering work?

The quick answer is no, because a Building Official does not have regulatory jurisdiction over any signed and sealed engineering or the individual engineer. If the Building Official believes the engineer is violating the law, they need to follow the proper state law complaint process through the licensing board governing engineering.

Consequently, the Building Officials that the Structural Building Components Association (SBCA) interacts with approve the work of Professional Engineers using the following step-by-step procedure:

Graphic 3: An example of state search engine to find licensed professional engineers or architects.

  1. Verify that the Professional Engineer licensed to practice in my jurisdiction by going to the state board’s website to see if the engineer in question has a valid and current license. An example validation site can be found here.
  2. If the Professional Engineer is licensed in the state and has signed and sealed their engineering work, they are defined by law to be an approved source, which is a term specifically defined in the building code as “an independent person, firm or corporation, approved by the building official, who is competent and experienced in the application of engineering principles to materials, methods or systems analyses”.
  3. Approve the work of a professional engineer by filing a signed and sealed engineering analysis, research report, design drawing or construction document.

Graphic 4: Ohio’s “Seal Law” 19 years later.

The only caveat to this is if, during the review of the documents provided by the engineer, a code compliance error is made, that error needs to be brought to the attention of the engineer, along with the code section violated, so that the engineer can cure the error.  

The Ohio Board of Building Standards has provided counsel and precedent with respect to the building official approval process in their white paper entitled “OHIO’S “SEAL LAW” 19 YEARS LATER.” The paper specifically states:

“Building officials do not have the right to refuse to accept non-residential construction documents that do not bear the seal of a registered design professional. If documents are required to have a seal of a registered design professional and they do not have one, they still must be accepted for review…. Failure to approve or deny construction documents and issue a Certificate of Plans Approval is a denial of a "license."…. To be in compliance with Ohio law, construction documents required to be submitted for an approval must be accepted for review by the building department. A thorough and complete plan examination must then be performed. If the Building Official does not issue an approval of the construction documents, this denial and the reasons for it shall be indicated in an adjudication order. This process must be used for any item of noncompliance causing the denial of an approval, including the requirement for an Ohio design professional’s seal.”

SBCA members have built an industry based on taking responsibility for their scope of work. This is best demonstrated by the continuing use of sealed truss design drawings. When an engineer’s seal is on a document, any company using that document has visible assurance that an engineer takes responsibility for the work to which the seal is attached. Furthermore, the PE will react professionally when working with building officials to provide structures that are safe and durable.