Asphalt Roofing Takes the Spotlight
QARC Program Raises Awareness of Weather Resistance, Durability and Reliability
Innovations in unique asphalt shingle design, increased energy efficiency and adherence to code specifications have emerged as key elements in the roofing industry.
The 2012 QARC award program winners and honorable mentions include:
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Miami Branch
Erhard, Minn. Residence
Bryn Mawr, Pa. Firehouse
Marathon, Fla. Residence
Springdale, Ark. Comfort Suites
The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is able to monitor these types of trends and new developments through the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study (QARC) awards program, which recognizes roofing professionals who continuously raise the “B.A.R.” by creating North America’s most Beautiful, Affordable and Reliable asphaltic roofing systems.
This year, a majority of the QARC submissions, both residential and commercial, reinforced one of asphalt roofing’s key characteristics. In reviewing the projects, ARMA’s panel of industry experts, who served as the program judges, found that reliability continues to be a primary focus. More and more, property owners are demanding roofing systems that can withstand extraordinary weather conditions and still fit within a tight budget.
“The industry is always changing,” said Reed Hitchcock, ARMA’s executive vice president. “Ultimately, we want to determine why the end user has chosen asphalt roofing products over other materials.”
For the past 150 years, a vast majority of America’s homes and businesses have donned asphalt roofing products. Offering unparalleled availability and a long history of reliability, asphalt continues to be the nation’s most widely-used roofing material, protecting four out of five homes in the United States. But what are the driving factors that lead building owners to specify an asphalt roofing system?
Considering the increase in the number of tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters affecting the United States, it’s no surprise that these untimely acts of Mother Nature have led to a greater emphasis on weather-resistant products and overall affordability in recent years.
Guy Campbell, Advanced Roofing, Inc.’s Project Manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta – Miami Branch, which received the Bronze award for this year’s QARC program, is keen to asphalt’s core attributes. The building’s 257,000-square-foot roof was covered with an asphaltic modified bitumen system.
“Being in South Florida, roofs are subject to high levels of UV radiation and intense winds year round,” said Campbell. “The low-slope system we installed features a highly reflective, Energy Star-rated cap sheet and a 140-mph wind rider warranty to provide peace of mind during hurricane season.”
In general, investing in a new roofing system is a difficult decision for any property owner, not to mention those whose buildings are located in disaster-prone
areas of the country. Hot, dry summers have also been known to cause considerable property damage. Fire resistance proved very important for one homeowner in Seagoville, Texas, whose home earned the contractor a QARC silver award. For this residential project, Legends Roofing specified a one-of-a-kind shingle system that offered a high fire rating.
“Fire resistance was essential when choosing a roofing material for this project,” said Kanish Ali, president of Legends Roofing. “The house is surrounded by tall grass and open fields which makes wildfires an imminent danger and hazardous concern. The shingle system we installed has a UL Class A fire resistance rating which gives the client peace of mind.”
Reliability also played a key role in this year’s Gold winning project. “The customer requested a heavy duty, durable and attractive shingle,” said Joe Krysiak, president of Precise Construction, referring to the asphalt roofing system on the Deerfield, Ill., residence. “Ultimately they chose an asphalt system that could provide excellent curb appeal but also withstand the high winds and extreme winters that Chicago is known for.”
This year’s QARC awards program garnered doubled the amount of entries from a year ago. The program is open to all roofing professionals who work with asphaltic roofing products.
Each QARC entrant is required to explain why asphalt was used for the project in the submission form. All of the 2012 projects showcased either how different asphalt shingle textures, styles and colors can transform a home, or highlighted the durability, performance and adaptability of asphalt low-slope systems for commercial buildings. Unique aesthetics, energy efficiency, durability and safety were also important factors in the judging criteria.
“The program is still relatively new in the industry, but judging by this year’s overwhelming response, it promises to have a bright future,” added Hitchcock. “Too often, asphalt roofing systems are overlooked or taken for granted, but through this program, we look to identify trends and feature projects that represent our industry as a whole.”
ARMA is currently accepting submissions for the 2012 awards campaign. For more information about the QARC program or to submit a project, please visit www.qualityasphaltroofingcasestudy.com.