Commercial and technical representatives from Americhem’s building products team visited the InternationalRoofing Expo (IRE) last week at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. We’ve attended the last two shows and the market appears to be growing. One of our customers who has exhibited at the Expo for years said he thought attendance was up, probably the highest attendance he has seen at this show. Preshow exhibitor news confirmed that this was the largest Roofing Expo ever in terms of exhibit space, which was completely sold out. The show encompassed 131,000 square feet and 465 exhibitors, the most in the history of the 62-year show.
In addition to the trade show, the National Roofing Contractors Association holds their annual convention at the venue. Forty-four educational sessions were held on a variety of topics, many of which were approved for continuing education credits.
From our perspective, the most commonly displayed roofing was metal, steep slope roofing, both for commercial and residential properties. Steel and aluminum materials in these roofs are painted to achieve the desired aesthetic. These roofing systems are considered lighter in weight and more durable than their asphalt counterparts.
A couple of companies were geared towards residential steep slope and produced polymeric roofing. These products were injection molded, and fit into two categories: similar to cedar shakes and a slate-like appearance. The ability to create custom colors was touted by one of these organizations. Some of these materials had a different look, more like flexible cedar shake. Some of these products come with 50 year warranties, class 4 impact resistance and a class A fire rating.
From a standpoint of booth size, the top three were definitely GAF, Johns Manville and Firestone Building Products. Other sizeable players included Seaman Corporation and Carlisle Syntec Systems. There was a lot of equipment at this show, certainly more than last year. The most prominent group of these seemed to be ultrasonic welding equipment.
We learned a lot about the industry during our visit to IRE. Next year’s show moves to New Orleans, from February 6-8. Until then, Americhem will continue to innovate on behalf of our roofing customers, leading the industry in color and natural woodgrain and other effects. Polymeric roofing has come a long way, and we’re proud to have taken part in its growth to this point.
Kelly GagerDevelopment Segment Leader – Building & Construction
Brian CurField Service Specialist