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66 NOVEMBER 2016 COATINGSPROMAG.COM Industry Insight C hange, whether we embrace it or not, is a way of life in our business. Most changes occur outside of our immediate control, such as code changes, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation updates, and technology breakthroughs that contractors, architects, specifiers, and consultants grab on to and make common practice. Change happens to us all. So what can we do about it? Top-Level Change e first huge change I was a part of was the introduction of single-ply roofing in the very late 1970s through the mid-1980s. ere were a myriad of chemical polymers that were intro- duced to the North American market, along with the polymer-modified or rubberized asphalt roof membranes of various configurations. ere were an amazing number of manufacturers at that time; today, there are far fewer. Roofing continues to be an area of rapid change due to the develop- ment of "elastomeric roof coatings." Not too long ago, you had your choice of a fibered asphalt roof coating or an "aluminized " asphaltic roof coating. Now, specifications for these product technologies are few and far between. e roof coatings industry is currently a synthetic polymer emulsion (water-based) EPA volatile organic compound (VOC)-compliant, Energy Star-rated, and cool roof business. Application thickness requirements can vary; the number of coats are different as are the lengths of the warranties. Some roof coating systems are designed to work with multiple substrates. Some are limited to very specific substrates, and, as important, both the contractor and architect need to verify chemical compatibil- ity with the substrate and the surrounding atmospheric contaminants. ere are options within options of the options. As an example, I am aware of a manufacturer that makes a coal tar roof resurfacing liquid-applied elasto- meric coating, which is a specific-use product that assists in extending the ser vice life of an existing coal tar pitch roof and avoids the costly tear-off and disposal of a pitch roof. T hat is a ver y specific need met. ere are a variety of problem solvers available for clients' needs; although these solutions might not exist in every geographical area, they do exist elsewhere. And I'm sure there will be more solutions to come. Change Is in the Air Another area of rapid change for coatings is the almost nationwide use of air barriers as driven by International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)- 2015, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4.0, and various state/county/city codes. Just a short 30 years ago, all back-up walls in cavity wall construction were coated with a solvent containing asphaltic trowel mastic. Contractors applying these mastics waited 28 days until the application of a rigid board insulation. A shorter 25 years ago and driven by the EPA, the use of fibrated asphalt emulsion damp proofing came into use. And now, we have air barriers. is air barrier arena is fraught with the typical growth stages of a new construction method. Who completes the roof or window tie-in? Is the specified air barrier an ABAA (Air Barrier Association of America) evaluated assembly? Does it meet the code mandated NFPA-285 Fire Testing requirements, and if so, with what insulation? Is the window flashing of the air barrier meeting ASTM E331 for performance? Does the specification require the use of an ABAA-accredited contractor? e job you are bidding may have an insulation board that may not pass the NFPA-285, or it may not be compatible with one or more of the chemical constituents of the air barrier if the thru-wall flashing being placed by another trade isn't compatible with the insulation and air barrier. (As a note, American Institute of Architects has a learning unit on the subject of thru-wall flashing and compatibility.) Other than the above, it is easy to do. Team Achievements Change will always be coming. So a few words of advice: Search out well-rounded, knowledgeable, technical people in your particular part of the industry. You may wish to make sure that your selection for a technical resource has multiple years of experience with diverse roofing technology, proven deep knowledge of air barriers, and long-term dwell time in writing specifications. Why? Because today's cavity wall and roof environments are complex chemical soups of components and systems, and it will take more than just you to complete a successful project. CP Photo courtesy of author By Roy F. Schauffele, FCSI, CCPR, FABA A, LEED Green Associate, Founder & Owner of Division 7 Solutions Inc. Ever Present Change