Education Sessions Overview at the IRE 2021

ERA staff attended the International Roofing Expo recently; while attendance seemed down in the expo hall, there were some great education sessions that provide good information for roofing contractors and others in the roofing industry. I’d like to highlight a few that may be of interest:

What Roofing Contractors Need to Know About Solar
This session was based on the alignment of the roofing and solar industries and included discussion on roofing companies that develop solar offerings, and solar companies that develop roofing offerings. It also included the latest solar trends and technology and how those trends are impacting contractors, the current state of the U.S. rooftop solar market, and the fundamentals of rooftop solar installation. There was a significant focus on BIPVs (building integrated photovoltaics). Unfortunately, this presentation included almost no discussion of solar on low-slope roofs.

Top 5 Immigration Issues in Roofing
While roofing contractors need to be concerned with a variety of issues, this session focused on the top five issues that are most prevalent to roofing contractors, including: ways to help employees on the legal path to citizenship, how to respond with a valid defense if an employee is at risk for deportation, employment sponsored visas and the pros and cons of each, and the fines and penalties associated with ICE audits. Many of the issues discussed in this section would apply to the manufacturing segment of our industry as well. This article in Roofing Contractor provides a good overview of the issues

A College-Level Course on Roofing!
This was a very exciting session to see on the program! Dr. Dhaval Gajjar is an Assistant Professor at Clemson University and is developing a course on roofing-specific issues to include into the university’s course offerings. ERA staff has contacted Dr. Gajjar to set a time to discuss how ERA can assist with the development of this course content.

The 2021 I-Codes: Roofing-Related Changes
As always, NRCA staff held a session on roofing related changes in the I-Codes. Rather than summarize the discussion points here, I will direct you to this article in Professional Roofing which is a thorough overview.

I would estimate that attendance at the expo was down by 60%, purely judging by the foot traffic in the expo hall. Nonetheless, the education sessions were still pretty well attended although not at the same levels as prior years.