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MBCEA 45th Annual Conference and Building of the Year Award

By Jackie Meiluta, Posted 06/03/2014

The 45th Annual Metal Building Contractors and Erectors (MBCEA) Conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, Mass., on May 1-3. The exhibit hall opened to a great crowd, and contractors and erectors were there to learn new applications, see new products and make new contacts. More than 20 product manufacturers, suppliers and industry players exhibited, creating a definite buzz in the air as contractors talked about upcoming projects and new MBCEA initiatives.

Hockey legend Derek Sanderson presented a stimulating keynote speech. Often witty, sometimes wistful, he spoke not only about growing up as a hockey prodigy in Canada but about the problems athletes face when they suddenly are cast in the spotlight and paid millions of dollars. He spoke to a full room and answered many questions afterward.

At the Friday night awards ceremony, Gary T. Smith of Thomas Phoenix International, Eastampton, N.J., and current president of the MBCEA gave a rousing state of the association speech. Smith spoke of several new MBCEA initiatives such as the newly revised safety handbook, a new module on insulated metal panels for the Quality and Craftsmanship Series and an accreditation program. Calling the new accreditation program a "game changer for the industry," he encouraged all to participate. After, he formally inducted Wes Young, NCI Building Systems, Houston, to the board of directors. Steve Olson, Rigid Global Buildings, Houston, was sworn in as treasurer, and Andy Huber of A.L. Huber Construction, Overland Park, Kan., as secretary of the MBCEA board.

Following Smith's speech, the much anticipated awards ceremony got underway. This year's judges were Ronald Albert, AIA, RHA Architects, Lunenburg, Mass., and Jim Lichty, AIA, Archetype Design Group Inc., Leawood, Kan. All winners were quite impressive, but the judges ultimately chose The Field House as Building of the Year. This 46,800-square-foot building from Star Building Systems, Oklahoma City, has eaves from a low of 30 feet to a high of 38.4 feet. It has a standing seam roof, with R-30 Simple Saver Insulation and 2-inch insulated wall panels. It was built by Burk Erectors, Battlefield, Mo., and Morelock Ross Builders, Springfield, Mo.

Marty Barnes of Barnes Building and Management Group, Weymouth, Mass., was inducted as a Pioneer. The Pioneers Club gives credit and recognition to metal building contractors and erectors with at least 25 years of experience and who have made significant contributions to the industry.

Shannon Fowler, MBCEA Midwest Chapter, received the Oil Can award. This prestigious honor is given in recognition of those who work behind the scenes for the good of the industry. Fowler has been attending MBCEA conferences and helping to make them run smoothly since she was a young girl. Many know her as the face of the registration desk; others know her as a driving force for the Midwest Chapter of the MBCEA.

The conference continued with several educational offerings. Bill Beals of Therm-All, North Olmsted, Ohio, explained insulation and energy codes to a rapt audience. He managed to make a dry subject fascinating. Members of the audience wanted more, and quickly retained him to speak at future chapter meetings so their foremen and project managers could also hear what he had to say.

Gene Mitchell, G.W.Y. Inc., Greenfield, N.H., demonstrated bolt tightening techniques. Mitchell was very engaging and informative. Attendees also received a copy of the Metal Buildings Institute "Turn of Nut Guide."

Smith and Sandi McCracken, International Accreditation Service (IAS), Whittier, Calif., presented an overview of the accreditation program titled, "Crafting a Standard to Recognize Metal Building System Assemblers that are Committed to Excellence." They explained that the MBCEA intends to develop an independent accreditation program that differentiates those contractors and erectors who are committed to safety, training and education: those that perform at a higher level.

The IAS supports this endeavor and has assigned McCracken to assist in the development of a program. The criteria are being developed in concert with the industry to ensure a program that is meaningful and relevant to all parties. The MBCEA recognizes that this accreditation program needs to be sufficiently meaningful to carry weight at all levels of the metal building systems industry. Accredited entities complying with this criterion will need to have demonstrated that they have the personnel, organization, experience, knowledge, quality procedures and commitment to assemble metal building systems in accordance with specified requirements.

The MBCEA, with the support of metal building manufacturers, seeks to educate the industry and its influencers regarding the importance of accreditation as a quality standard in the construction of metal buildings. This accreditation will provide a benefit to the public by helping to identify contractors who are committed to quality workmanship and maintain a high level of integrity. Accredited assemblers will be able to market themselves as having achieved the qualifications of a contractor specialist in the metal buildings industry.

Jeff Henry, Metal Construction Association (MCA), Chicago, and Arnold Corbin, Metl-Span, Lewisville, Texas, shared important updates from MCA's Insulated Panel Council.

The conference ended with a well-attended contractor and erector roundtable panel discussion. This unscripted two hours allowed members to present ideas, ask questions, sometimes vent but always learn. No brands or job specifics were discussed but there was lively discussion on change orders, project preparation and shakeout, as well as instilling a culture of safety. Smith coordinated the discussion, with a panel comprised of Tom Frahm, Butler Manufacturing, Kansas City, Mo.; Eric T. Kay, Thomas Phoenix International; Mike Reynolds, Systems Contractors Inc., Greensboro, N.C.; Mark Heffron of OSHA; Kenny Waugh, IMPACT, Washington, D.C., and Tim Seyler, S&S Structures, Blandon, Pa.

Smith said: "This conference continues to grow and improve. Our members are anxious for more educational and networking opportunities. They want to learn about new products and applications, and our exhibitors and speakers really delivered!" Smith announced next year's conference will be in San Diego April 30-May 2, 2015 and promised it would be bigger and better than ever. 

Building of the Year

MBCEA Building of the Year Recreational Winner of Excellence

Project: The Field House, Springfield, Mo.
Building Erector: Burk Erectors Inc., Battlefield, Mo.
Building Contractor: Morelock Ross Builders, Springfield
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Star Building Systems, Oklahoma City

Awards of Excellence

Educational Category

Project: Clemson Football Practice Facility, Clemson, S.C.
Contractor: Downs Construction Co. LLC, Thomasville, N.C.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Star Building Systems, Oklahoma City

Manufacturing Category

Project: Golden Dragon Copper, Pine Hill, Ala.
Contractor: MarKim Erection Co. Inc., Burlington, N.C.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Covenant Steel Warehouse, Dothan, Ala.

Religious Category

Project: Temple Baptist Church, Lodi, Calif.
Contractor: Roland Construction Inc., Stockton, Calif.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: CBC Steel Buildings, Lathrop, Calif.; All Weather Insulated Panels, Vacaville, Calif.; AEP Span, Fontana, Calif.

Retail Category

Project: Dollar General Store, Bennington, Vt.
Contractor: MMS Northeast Inc., Hampton Falls, N.H.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Chief Buildings, Grand Island, Neb.

Specialty Category

Project: Sims Municipal Recycling Facility, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Contractor: MarKim Erection Co., Burlington, N.C.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Nucor Building Systems, Waterloo, Ind.

Warehouse Category

Project: Allied Oil & Tire, Joplin, Mo.
Contractor: Crossland Construction Co. Inc., Columbus, Kan.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: United Structures of America, Houston

Awards of Merit

Recreational Category

Project: South Shore YMCA, Quincy, Mass.
Contractor: Barnes Buildings & Management Group Inc., Weymouth, Mass.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Metallic Building Co., Houston

Specialty Category

Project: Habitat for Humanity Restore, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Contractor: Downs Construction Co. LLC, Thomasville, N.C.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: American Buildings Co., Eufaula, Ala.

Warehouse Category

Project: FedEx Ground-Ft. Smith, Ft. Smith, Ark.
Contractor: Crossland Construction Co. Inc., Columbus, Kan.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Varco Pruden Buildings, Memphis, Tenn

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