Metalcon organizers expect a packed trade show during the Oct. 11-13 event.

Metalcon International is returning this year to Atlanta, and organizers are optimistic that despite the construction industry’s continuing recession-related troubles, the Oct. 11-13 show will be a major success.

Taking place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta’s sparkling downtown, the 21st annual metal construction event has a theme of “Constant evolution,” marking how it and the industry it celebrates has changed during the last two decades.

Show organizers say education and ideas at Metalcon come in all forms with a blend of product exhibits, educational discussions, and several different live-action demos highlighting the latest field techniques and trends. Many of the industry experts in the education programs and the product exhibitors at Metalcon began their careers as installers and help strengthen field talent and expand business opportunities for roofing contractors by sharing their knowledge with contractors.

One such speaker is Rob Haddock, head of the Metal Roof Advisory Group Ltd., based in Colorado Springs, Colo. He teaches “Understanding Metal Roofing, Parts I and II,” which are two of Metalcon’s most popular programs.

“Frequently I get comments from contractors in the field that after attending my seminar they got into metal roofing,” he said. “This session kind of demystifies metal roofing, so once they understand more about it they aren’t afraid anymore and are ready to take the plunge.”

And metal roofing is growing in popularity, Haddock said, due to its environmental benefits.

“Market penetration for metal roofing continues to increase in commercial and more so in residential. This is due to the growing awareness of metal’s superior durability as a roofing material and its appeal to the market’s environmental influences,” he said. “It particularly has appeal when solar is incorporated into the roof design because of the fact that metal is the only roof type that will outlast solar. There’s also an increased use of natural metals, primarily zinc. And the trend toward portable site forming continues to grow; the site-forming suppliers are doing more and more to make those systems user friendly and code compliant.”

Educational sessions like this show-floor presentation from metal-roofing expert Rob Haddock are popular with attendees.  


Roofing techniques and details will also be covered by Jerry Iselin, founder of Metal Roof Specialties Inc. in Tacoma, Wash., in “Penetration Flashings for Residential Standing-Seam Roofing,” an interactive session with examples of correct and incorrect installation of skylights, chimney, furnace vent, power mast and other flashings that generate problems for installers.

“This year’s session has a new format,” Iselin said. “It focuses more on the technical detail for roof penetrations. That’s where a lot of people unfamiliar with metal roofing get confused. They don’t know what to do because the techniques are so different for metal than for other types of roofing.”

The session is sponsored by the Metal Roofing Alliance, an organization that promotes the use of metal roofing for the residential market.

“The residential re-roof market is picking up because people who have been waiting to make a decision are now deciding to do it,” Iselin added. “Metal is also becoming more desired in this market because more people recognize the environmental benefits, such as metal’s ability to help cool the home, provide water catchment and protect it from extreme conditions such as high winds, hurricanes and fire. Also, about 10 years ago many people didn’t think of metal for a home. Now it’s more popular and we’re seeing more of it, especially on newer high-end homes because it’s also so attractive.”

Attendees will have a chance to examine new products.

Live demonstrations

Education continues in daily live demonstrations presented by members of the Metal Construction Association, one of the show’s major sponsors. These industry experts bring the latest product applications, field techniques and trends that construction professionals are looking for to hone their skills and expand their businesses.

These demonstrations offer details and techniques for residential roof, commercial roof and wall-panel systems along with commercial-grade tools for bending, cutting and fastening that attendees will actually be able to work with during the show. The entire demonstration area will be open for attendees to walk through during exhibit hall hours.

This year’s program has some new features.

“We’re focusing more on the educational aspect of the demos,” said Dale Nelson, chairman of the MCA’s Metalcon liaison committee and president of Roof Hugger Inc. in Odessa, Fla., and a longtime Metalcon exhibitor. “Now tools are part of each day’s session, rather than just part of one day. Every day we’ll have various experts showing the latest tools and techniques in a special area. We’re also putting more seating by the demos to allow the audience to stay and focus on the education aspect that is integral to all of Metalcon activities.”

Residential metal roofing demos will focus on the basics with an emphasis on proper deck preparation and how to waterproof roof penetrations such as ventilation pipes, skylights and chimney openings. The differences of detailing with vertically applied panels versus horizontally applied shingle metal products will also be covered.

Many new tools are likely to be shown at Metalcon.

Commercial work

Commercial roofing demos will focus on retrofit opportunities with metal and the integration of new energy-efficient technologies such as cool roofing, above-sheathing ventilation and photovoltaic systems. Detailing used with natural metal materials such as copper and zinc will also be discussed.

The metal wall panel segment covers the latest in wall panel designs and systems such as metal composite materials, insulated metal panels, single-skin systems, natural metals such as zinc and sun-shading systems. Waterproofing techniques and rain screen principles will also be covered.

Metal’s many environmental benefits are highlighted in the conference program, the exhibits and two special exhibit areas: “Solar Bay,” a pavilion featuring educational forums and demos about metal and solar technology, and “Green Island,” an exhibit area featuring metal-related products that meet green-building standards.

A new session shows metal roofing contractors an opportunity to use existing technology to expand their business, improve energy efficiency, and tap into the solar market. Titled “Integrating Building Envelope Roof Technologies” and presented by Green Metal Consulting Inc. President Scott Kriner and Mark James, vice president of sales and marketing at Roof Hugger, the program details how various technologies can be pooled into one system.

“The concept starts with retrofitting an existing roof with a metal roof using sub-purlins,” Kriner said. “This introduces above sheathing ventilation, and allows the addition of a radiant barrier and insulation if needed. Before putting on the new roof, a solar water heating system can be placed on the existing roof to heat water for use inside the building.”

Kriner also noted that although this may not be easy for a single contractor, metal roofing contractors who are familiar with retrofit and interested in solar could easily work with a solar supplier or integrator to capture more business. 


The Oct. 11 keynote address, “Metal and High-Performance Green Buildings,” will be presented by Kevin Kampschroer, director of high-performance green buildings for the U.S. Government Services Administration. It will be followed by Greg Goodwin, founder and president of Goodwin Marketing Group LLC, who will discuss “A Sustainable Approach to Successfully Winning Work With the Federal Government.”

Although a recession and a belt-tightening federal government may not seem like the best time to seek such projects, this still represents a stable market particularly for sustainability and high-performance buildings, Goodwin said.

Show director Claire Kilcoyne noted metal’s role in these areas.

“As metal’s place in sustainable projects continues to gain prominence, we recognize the need to educate our audience more about opportunities in this market and how to prepare to meet them,” she said. “We also know that government work is increasingly focused on green, so we lined up experts to discuss these important topics. We’re looking forward to this interesting program and are confident it will set the stage for growth in the metal industry.”

For more information on Metalcon, call (800) 537-7765 or