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MBCEA 48th Annual Conference and Building of the Year Award

Mbcea  Grand Award

The Metal Building Contractors & Erectors Association (MBCEA) Conference has become the must-attend event for contractors and erectors in the metal building industry, as well as the suppliers that service the industry. The 48th Annual Conference in New Orleans this past May exceeded all expectations. "Post-conference surveys reaffirm it as our industry's premier event," says Mike Reynolds, of Systems Contractors Inc. in Thornton, Colo., and president at MBCEA. Thornton, Colo. Attendance was up 6 percent, exhibition space doubled with many first-time exhibitors such as Ace Clamp, Plainville, Conn.; Birmingham Rail & Locomotive, Birmingham, Ala.; Enduro Composites Inc., Houston; EZ Vent-N-Closure, Stephenville, Texas; Magnum Piering, Cincinnati; and Panasonic Industrial Devices Sales Co. of America, Newark, N.J.

New this year, the event was co-located with the Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA) Spring Meeting. MBMA Past President and CEO of Butler Manufacturing Co., Kansas City, Mo., Tom Gilligan delivered the 2017 State of the Industry address. He presented an industry update with a positive report of MBMA member steel shipments followed by a thought-provoking outlook of some trends and ideas that are driving change. He provided fascinating insight on how technology has changed our lives, our jobs and our world followed by sobering statistics on productivity gains in construction. Gilligan is a thoughtful speaker, able to convey complex ideas simply. He planted many seeds; ideas posed in his remarks were discussed and mentioned throughout the rest of the conference. He closed his prepared remarks with some opportunities for our industry, namely:


  • Market that we facilitate superior field safety, productivity, efficiency, long-term value via technology, integration and sole source
  • Initiate JD Power-type recognition for installers
  • Create a new industry image around lean, labor-saving, efficient, integrated, high-tech and collaborative construction
  • Develop standing seam metal roof longevity vs. conventional roofing case studies
  • Work with FM Global, Johnston, R.I., to determine the right approach to insurance carriers related to preferred premiums


MBCEA Awards

The MBCEA Conference has three signature components: an awards ceremony, educational sessions and a lively contractor and erector Ask the Experts roundtable panel discussion. The awards ceremony capped a long day that began with golf, followed by the opening session and exhibit hall. The MBCEA recognized the Kaiser- Martin Group, Temple, Pa.; Systems Contractors Inc.; MMS Northeast Inc., Hampton Falls, N.H.; and Steel Worx Solutions, Groveland, Fla., for recently having achieved AC478 accreditation. Leonard 'Bud' Ames of Ames General Contractor, Clermont, Fla., Jonathan Wade Hobbs of Universal Erectors, Brandon, Fla., and Clayton Rollins of C.A. Rollins Corp., East Bridgewater, Mass., were inducted as Pioneers of the industry. Tim Pendley, Bay Insulation, Green Bay, Wis., received the Bob and Beverly Ketenbrink Oil Can Award for his many contributions to safety and education.

Provo Power Facilities in Provo, Utah, submitted by J&M Steel Solutions, Lehi, Utah, was awarded the 2017 Building of the Year. The 17,525-square-foot building consisted of a preengineered metal building to be used as a maintenance building using B-deck with R-30 rigid insulation and membrane roof, and 2-inch insulated wall panels that were attached to a traditional structural building to be used for administration. It achieved LEED Gold certification. The building was supplied by Nucor Building Systems, Waterloo, Ind., and designed by VCBO Architecture, Salt Lake City. Layton Construction, Sandy, Utah, was the general contractor. The erector was J&M Steel Solutions. Individual category winners are highlighted on the following pages.


Educational Program

The conference lived up to the MBCEA mission to support the professional advancement of its members by offering two tracks of educational sessions: one geared to business management and one geared to project management. Most classes had at least 30 attendees, with some as high as 60. All were informative and well received. Topics were presented by leading experts such as Bill Beals, known as "the code man," from Therm- All Inc., North Olmsted, Ohio, and Tim Kessel, Bay Insulation. Gary T. Smith, Thomas Phoenix International, Eastampton, N.J., offered an MBI-produced Train the Trainer on Global Harmonized Systems. Fan favorite, Josh Quinter, MBCEA General Counsel and partner at Offit Kurman, Baltimore, presented two sessions, both of which received high remarks. Wilfred Hebert, an OSHA Compliance Officer provided a friendly and engaging report. Not to be confused with OSHA Enforcement, he encouraged contractors and erectors to take advantage of OSHA Compliance, which is set up to help small business and prevent issues. Apprenticeship as a structured means to train and develop workers was presented as a tool to combat the labor shortage. Justin Waller, RedIron Construction, Baton Rouge, La., shared his personal experiences with apprenticeship after Jackie Meiluta, MBCEA, provided background information.

A workshop was also offered on MBCEA's signature program, the AC 478 Accreditation. Achieving AC478 accreditation is formal recognition of an assembler's commitment to quality, safety and education. This landmark program is considered a valuable tool in branding and differentiating quality, craftsmen dedicated to safety, productivity and training.


Contractor and Erector Roundtable

Last, but not least, was the contractor and erector roundtable. Based on attendee feedback, if this was the only event offered at conference, it would still be well worth the price of admission. The only negative feedback is it is too short. The MBCEA fielded a great panel. Joining Reynolds, Waller and Quinter, were Jennifer Heimburger, LEED AP BD&C, Heimburger Construction, St. Louis; and Arnold Corbin, Metl-Span, Lewisville, Texas. Keith Wentworth, Dutton and Garfield, Hampstead, N.H., moderated. Access to this level of brain power would run to the thousands if an erector needed to bring in consultants to address his problems, but at the roundtable advice is freely available.

Much of the conversation centered on use of technology and productivity in the field but many other topics were also covered. There were several ah-ha moments as Reynolds, Waller and Heimburger shared their secrets and fielded questions. Corbin, widely respected for his pragmatic approach and comprehensive field experience, added insight from the manufacturing and supplier level. Quinter, never failing to deliver, reminded contractors and erectors of subtle ways they can protect themselves and avoid litigation.

MBCEA announced next year's conference will be in San Antonio and will be a celebration of its 50th anniversary. If the success of 2017 is anything to go on, 2018 is sure to be a fabulous event.

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Jackie Meiluta is an independent consultant who provides support to the MBCEA, most notably with the development, roll-out and training for AC478 and the Apprenticeship Program.

Building of the Year

MBCEA Building of the Year

Building of the Year

Project: Provo Power Facility, Provo, Utah
General Contractor: Layton Construction, Sandy, Utah
Steel Erector: J&M Steel Solutions, Lehi, Utah
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Nucor Building Systems, Waterloo, Ind.

Photos: Shane Southwick

Awards of Excellence

Educational and Recreational Category

Project: Jacobson Arena, New Hampton, N.H.
General Contractor: Conneston Construction Inc., Laconia, N.H.
Steel Erector: Riess Construction, Plymouth, N.H.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Northern Building Systems, Dalton, Mass.

Photo: Conneston Construction

Specialty Category

Project: Tulsa Transmission Line and Station Service Center, Tulsa, Okla.
General Contractor: Crossland Construction Co. Inc., Columbus, Kan.
Steel Erector: Crossland Construction Co. Inc.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Varco Pruden Buildings, Memphis, Tenn.

Photo: Brent Niles


Warehouse Category

Project: Dixieland Warehouse, Rogers, Ark.
General Contractor: Crossland Construction Co. Inc., Columbus, Kan.
Steel Erector: Crossland Construction Co. Inc.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Varco Pruden Buildings, Memphis, Tenn.

Photo: Brent Niles

Awards of Merit

Educational Category

Project: Canton Ice House, Canton, Mass.
General Contractor: By Design Construction, Canton
Steel Erector: BARNES buildings & management group inc., Weymouth, Mass.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Metallic Building Co., Houston

Photo: John S. Burley at Everything Ice

Manufacturing Category

Project: Mid-Land Hwy 43 Project, Joplin, Mo.
General Contractor: Mid-Land Enterprises, Joplin
Steel Erector: Mid-Land Enterprises
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Alliance Steel, Oklahoma City

Specialty Category

Project: Galeton Fire Station, Galeton, Colo.
General Contractor: Heath Construction, Fort Collins, Colo.
Steel Erector: Heath Steel, Fort Collins
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Chief Buildings, Grand Island, Neb.

Photo: John Clark

Warehouse Category

Project: SAIA LTS Freight Terminal, Grayslake, Ill.
General Contractor: Principle Construction Corp., Rosemont, Ill.
Steel Erector: Thomas Phoenix International, Eastampton, N.J.
Building Manufacturer/Supplier: Mid-West Steel Building Co., Houston

Photo: Joseph Allen