Almost all of us would agree that 2020 was a bad year, and it’s good to have it in the rearview mirror. Before we move forward, though, let’s not forget the lessons that 2020 taught us. For the staff of ERA, it was a time to look at new approaches, work with our roofing industry allies, and stay agile as we met almost daily challenges. Some highlights:
- When COVID emerged in early March, we pivoted immediately from our planned activities to get ahead of what soon became a national crisis. Our website was revised to detail ERA’s response to the pandemic and provide in-depth resources for the roofing community.
- ERA joined other roofing industry associations and started meeting weekly to coordinate the industry’s response to the pandemic. This coalition met to plan and implement outreach to federal agencies, state executive branch offices, and municipal and county officials to ensure that roofing continued to be designated an essential business.
- Despite the ongoing challenges presented by the Covid crisis, ERA supported a legislative agenda to promote long-term growth of the roofing industry. The Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2020 offered a tax credit of up to $25,000 for commercial construction that met new standards of resilience. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), one of the sponsors of the bill, praised ERA’s support of the legislation as part of a coalition of construction industry organizations including the ICC, the NAHB and the US Resiliency Council. While this legislation has not yet passed, it advances the approach of providing Federal support for resilient building.
- ERA worked during the final weeks of 2020 to lay the groundwork for its interaction with the Biden administration. ERA is now working to ensure that buildings are included as essential parts of infrastructure and resilience funding that is expected to be part of the administration’s effort to slow or reverse climate change.
Looking forward, as we hopefully emerge from the impact of the pandemic, we are sure that the future role of buildings will increasingly be discussed throughout this decade. We anticipate that the Biden Administration will have some significant interest in the role of buildings in climate and human health issues. This presents ERA with an opportunity to proactively engage with the Federal government, provide leadership on these issues, and utilize the lessons we learned from the challenging year just past.