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Brian Pallasch - IIBEC’s leadership in Understanding Roofing Drainage - PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION

IIBEC Podcast with Brian Pallasch
September 23, 2021 at 10:04 a.m.

 


Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Brian Pallasch of IIBEC. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast. 

Speaker 1:
Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a longterm professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews, and exciting news in the roofing industry today.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Hello, and welcome to another Roofing Road Trips from Roofers Coffee Shop. This is Heidi Ellsworth and entrepreneur and I'm tripping over across the country today to talk to Brian Pallasch, the CEO and EVP of IIBEC. And for all of you who maybe haven't heard, which I think there are very few, IIBEC is the new, the greater, the more inclusive name, which used to be RCI, Roof Consultants Institute. So Brian, welcome to our show.

Brian Pallasch:
Thank you very much for having me, Heidi. It's great to be here.

Heidi Ellsworth:
One of my favorite topics, and I know this may seem a little crazy, but is how contractors and consultants, roof consultants can work better together because there's so much strength together. And maybe in the past, sometimes there's been a few conflicts, but I'm really excited today to talk about not only your new second edition drainage book, but overall what's happening with IIBEC. So maybe we can start there, start with a little bit of the history of how it went from RCI to IIBEC and kind of what your goals and missions what's really happening with IIBEC right now.

Brian Pallasch:
Sure. So as I think most people know, and certainly predates me since I've only been at IIBEC since the summer of 2019. So RCI or Roof Consultants Inc started way back in 1983. In fact, coming up, we're starting to talk about celebrating our 40th anniversary. So and I will say in those 40 years, or nearly 40 years now IIBEC has changed quite a bit. And I think probably the biggest, if you will, evolution or change is that our members, our consultant members, have started to do a lot more with the building enclosure. And hence the reason why we decided to make that change a couple of years ago and change our name. Our folks were working on what we like to say, all six sides of the building. And so it wasn't just the roof.

Brian Pallasch:
And if the roof is buttoned up and tight and doesn't leak and that's great, but the other pieces of the building, the other five sides leak, that's still a problem. So, our guys, we're working on a variety of projects. Our guys do a variety of projects. And so the need for sort of looking at all six sides of the building is important to them, whether it's waterproofing, whether it's the exterior walls and making sure, as I like to say, that water and air doesn't get in or doesn't get out, depending on what the building owner and what the plan calls for, if you will. And so, our guys are really the ones that are trying to help make sure that doesn't happen.

Brian Pallasch:
And a lot of that is, you're right, is working with the roofing contractor to make sure that not only is the design right, but also the installation is right. And then in the future that the building's performing the way it should, as we move forward. The other thing I would add just as the other thing that we've gotten into, if you will, or evolved into is more of our members are doing, what's called building commissioning. And that's when a new building is coming online and you're making sure all the systems are working properly and a good piece, a good chunk of that is the building exterior and those six sides. And we are literally just now taking the first applications for our new certification, which is the CBECXP, which is a lot and it does roll off the tongue after awhile, which is a certified building enclosure commissioning providers.

Brian Pallasch:
So it's someone who goes out and works with the owner to make sure the building, the exterior of the building, those six sides are going to work the way it's supposed to. We've gotten our first number of applications for people that want that designation. And it's actually, we're actually going to, the first test should be sometime in the fall. People can take that, those exams. So that is pretty exciting and it really just expands and it then further encompasses this idea that is the entire building enclosure.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That makes so much sense to me having worked on, at Carlyle and a couple of different places where I really saw that, the importance of the transition from the roof to the wall and being able to have the consultants there too. A lot of contractors are now doing six sides, right? They're doing the waterproofing, they're doing the walls, they're doing the roof, but some are still more waterproofing and roofing. So be able to work with someone who's certified on all six sides, the whole nine yards. Then all of a sudden, now everything starts going together better. It makes a lot of sense for the building owners.

Brian Pallasch:
Agreed. It does. It does. And then really, I think the goal of all of us, whether you're a roofing contractor or an IIBEC member, is you want the owner to be happy at the end of the day, right? You want the product to be good, for it to do what it's performed the way it's supposed to perform and keep that owner happy. So that they have a good product, right?

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes, exactly. It's really true. Well, okay. So along that lines, I just had a wonderful visit with Stephen Patterson and Dr. Mehta and wow. It was, if anybody hasn't listened to it, you got to go back to the previous podcast, check it out. You want technical, you want to learn about drainage. These are the gentlemen. My head was spinning a little bit, but it was just such a great conversation. And I think it's so important that IIBEC really finance this and help put this out there to really bring up the standards of roof drainage. Can you talk to us a little about how that process was and what kind of brought it about?

Brian Pallasch:
Absolutely. There is a prior edition to this book that was released quite a number of years ago and Dr. Mehta and Mr. Patterson came to IIBEC and actually they came to the RCI IIBEC foundation. So, the credit for the money, if you will, or the grant, if you will, really goes to our foundation, which is supported by industry members and supported by many at IIBEC. So, I want to stop and make sure that they get that proper credit, but they came to us and said, look, this book was published some number of years ago and things have changed and things have changed in a lot of different reasons that are for a lot of different reasons. One is, as weird as it sounds, precipitation has changed. Some places are getting more rain, some places you're getting more rain and higher frequency, right.

Brian Pallasch:
Or, and higher volume. I think we saw a couple instances in the last couple of weeks where people are getting nine inches of rain in a couple of hours. I'm not sure that, I'll let the smart engineers and designers figure out how you design a roof for that. But that is something where we need to, we are having these more, more significant rain events, and as a result, we do need to make sure that the roofs are able to withstand that and can get the water off as quickly as possible. Right, and in a safe fashion.

Brian Pallasch:
I saw something over the weekend, the storm that hit New York city, they got almost two inches of rain. I think it was in an hour, which is the most on record ever in New York city, as long as records have been kept. That's a lot of rain and it's a lot of rain on a low slope roof. And how do you make sure you get that rain off of the roof? And so, because that can become a structural engineering problem as we're aware. So...

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. Well, so much is happening with climate and with, you're right, with the changing rains or lack of rain. So how do you handle that, even if you have no rain and then all of a sudden, a deluge, that's a whole different way of taking care of your drainage also. And that's one of the things that, it was really, really interesting listening to them about the plumbing codes and how this is affecting the roof and all the different changes. What have you heard back from people who have purchased the book or receive the book. What's some of the feedback on the acceptance of kind of some of this change?

Brian Pallasch:
I think we've gotten positive reviews of the book. I think people need this knowledge. People want this knowledge and I think I would say one of the benefits to me is that they put this book together really for everybody. So, it really is to serve three different disciplines, right? It's to serve folks who are doing the architectural work, it's put together to serve people who do the plumbing engineering, and then people who are structural engineers. And last, it certainly can be utilized by roofing contractors as they're as they're trying to proceed and do their work as well. And so the fact that it's sort of, I think sometimes, and I've seen this in my career. Engineers can get into silos, right? Designers can get into silos if you will, and like anybody, right. Regardless of the organization. And so I appreciate the fact that they put this book together in such a manner that it's trying to bring everybody together to have a discussion about how we do proper roof drainage on structures. So-

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah. I know they were very, very, so impressive on that. And so, as you're kind of looking at this, and you're really thinking about roofing contractors and how can they engage with, first of all this book, getting the book and reading it, but also just engaging even further with their IIBEC councils or the local regionals, and how can they, because it's one thing to read a book, which is really important, but it's another thing to be able to engage in conversation, to be able to go to educational classes. What are some of the things surrounding that and the new drainage?

Brian Pallasch:
Well, so I would say this. We did, Mr. Patterson and Dr. Mehta did do a seminar for us at our recent virtual spring symposium that we called it. That is now available to purchase. I don't know what the price is, but it's a couple hours seminar, that might be another easy way to engage with the book. So you're not quite a book on tape, but you'll hear some of the lecture and that may be an interesting way to do it. And I would think just, it's one of the things that probably, I would, as we're starting to come out of COVID right, in the sense of starting to do more in-person events, it would seem to me that one of the things that we should all focus on is maybe having our local chapters work with local roofing contractor groups to do seminars on roof drainage and how we do that.

Brian Pallasch:
And that's something that is easily moved forward and discussed at a local level. We're going to do more education. We're going to push this book out there, make those seminars available. But I think at the local level, if our local Southern California chapter wants to do some sort of a seminar, our local New York chapter in New York city chapter wants to do a seminar. That's when they try to invite the rest of the industry in and say, Hey, let's have a conversation about this. Let's learn about this and then have those conversations.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah, I love that. And with just the podcasts that we've already done, and then this podcast, I would like to see us on Roofers Coffee Shop have more of that education coming across for contractors too, because things are changing so fast and it's hard to keep track of everything that's going on. So it's nice to have those things, but contractors can go to the IIBEC site and find a lot of this. Why don't you just talk a little bit about what IIBEC is doing overall and because I know you have contractor members. I know there's a number of contractors that are roof consultants, certified roof consultants. What are you seeing with that combination of contractors working with, or becoming consultants or also working with consultants?

Brian Pallasch:
I think, look, our goal is to have some, if you will, I got to have the right word, is to have some interaction in the industry to make sure that there's an involvement from the consultant as appropriate with that roof project. Right. We think that's always a good idea. And so we do have roofing contractors that are members. We have obviously industry folks who are members and having them all come together and talk about what the right solution is for the owner of that building, for the person who's in charge, is really I think, the right way to do that and moving forward some of what we're trying to do. So, that's a good question, Heidi, we're really focused on providing better on demand education.

Brian Pallasch:
I will say, I think pre pandemic, IIBEC, and certainly before that RCI, wasn't graded on demand education or online education. And we've certainly switched. Everyone had to switch. We were given no choice. And so we're, I think now we're doing a pretty good job of it and making that stuff available to folks as they'd like to consume it. Right. So, even with our upcoming annual convention, international convention and trade show, which is in September, we're going to have a virtual plat virtual piece to that. So in other words, if you're not for example, comfortable traveling because of COVID, which some people are not, or you're just too busy because it's that time of year that people are super busy fixing roofs and taking care of work, right. We have a complete virtual component.

Brian Pallasch:
And so you don't have to, you're not going to miss anything. I say that, you'll miss some of the social stuff, but you're not going to miss any of the education as a result of you not being able to get to Phoenix. Obviously, we'd like everybody to get to Phoenix, but that, some of what our members want and some of what the industry wants is that education that we've been providing for nearly 40 years and that education is going to be available, and then it's going to be available after the fact. I think that's the other thing that we've been able to do is, you can't come to the full meeting for whatever reason, but you see a session you want. Within about 60 days after the meeting, that one individual session is something you can go purchase and listen to.

Brian Pallasch:
So we're trying to make stuff available to people in the bites and bits that they want, if that makes sense. We're also going back and again, this is in the vein of reading and that kind of stuff. We're trying to go back and put together, now we're trying. We are going back and putting together some collections of articles. So Interface is a pretty useful and tremendous journal magazine that we've been putting out for, again, that nearly 40 years. And there are some really good pieces in there and that the older stuff is less accessible because it's less digital, right, as we all know.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right, right.

Brian Pallasch:
And even some of the more recent stuff, just because of the way that digital works may not be that accessible. So we've been starting to put together stuff that can help our members and others in the industry, in unique packages, if you will. So we've got one on roof decks A to Z, I think is one of the ones that's going to come out shortly. And so in other words, we're trying to, if you just want to know that piece, you can purchase that piece. And then you can get a digitally, if you want to use it digitally, or you can get it printed right.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah.

Brian Pallasch:
For us older people, I still like printed books.

Heidi Ellsworth:
I know. So, that's why we are always, we're like read, listen, watch, however you want to do it, read it, listen to it or watch it because that's the generational changes that we're seeing, but I love Interface. I think you have the best team there. They are amazing writers and your process. And I've been lucky enough to have a couple articles published in Interface over the years, but to bring back those articles and put them in that way to under one topic, I think that's brilliant. That's just such a great idea. How do contractors, so what are some... When you see some of these coming out, do they just go to the website? How do they get ahold of some of this great stuff that you have coming?

Brian Pallasch:
All available on the website @iibec.org. I I B E C .org. We've had only one come out so far, but we've got plans for more. It's sort of a-

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yeah.

Brian Pallasch:
There's a backlog if you will, but that will be available. And all the education that I've been talking about is available through the website and say, you want to look at one session from that virtual spring symposium, or even go back to... It's interesting. Now that we started the way we've done our virtual education, everything is taped, right. Or there's a video, if you will, because we use GoToMeeting or Zoom or whatever the tool is that we're using. And so we're just with some slight editing, if you will, very light editing, we're able to put that into a format then that people can utilize.

Brian Pallasch:
So if they just want, again, that one session, it's going to be available to them. We've also put together for some of those, some bundles. So if you just want to see the waterproofing from our convention back in 2020, when we were forced to go virtual, right.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Brian Pallasch:
You can purchase that quote unquote bundle. And so we've again, trying to, like you said, meet people where they are. What exactly do you want as your... How do you want to get your education if you will.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right. Well, and especially when we're looking at the recruiting efforts that are going on right now. We are as an industry, labor shortage, trying to bring in new talent, trying to recruit from so many different areas that the need for just basic education is going and training is so important. And then that continuing education as you move up, whether it's estimators or project managers or whatever it may be. So one of the things I would love for you to explain to our audience is what is the difference between your spring symposium and your convention that's going to be September 15th? What can they kind of look at between those two events?

Brian Pallasch:
Well, and so the virtual spring symposium that we just held, that was all virtual was in effect, I'll say, and for those that are long time IIBEC or RCI people, it's probably more like our building enclosure symposium, which is normally held in the late fall, say October or November. It's a smaller meeting. It's really, we call it a little bit more graduate level education, if you will, for our folks. And it's got a smaller, much smaller trade show component. Normally, we're going to get about 300 or so people at that event. Our annual, our international convention and trade show is more like an IRE type event. Now it's not quite that large admittedly, but it's got in a good, normal, non-pandemic year, right?

Brian Pallasch:
We're going to go back to 2019 rather than what we're looking at last year. We're going to have 150 industry members there, exhibiting their products and, and talking to our members. We have 24 education sessions that you can go to and participate in. And we've got a couple of virtual, not virtual I'm sorry. Auxiliary seminars, which are things that happen in advance of the meeting, obviously like lots of groups will have a golf tournament. That's always fun. Folks enjoy that. And then, we'll have your general session, and we have a nice speaker and all of that, but that one is the larger show and the bigger show and there's education at all levels there, I would say, but it's one that is probably more contractors would go to that one than would the building enclosure symposium. And the building enclosure symposium is 12 sessions, so it's going to be 12 education sessions versus 24. And so and I think it's a day shorter, which has always been [inaudible 00:20:42] as well.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That is, I think something that contractors need so much is continuing education. We're seeing on the Coffee Shop here. We're seeing people coming in, they want the education, they want to hear what's going on. And so to be able to go there and get that kind of and archived. I have to tell you, I was in your first virtual opening meeting, and there were so many people on that call and it was, I was really impressed with what you did. I thought in the midst of all that craziness, you guys came out with a great meeting. Well done. So kudos on that.

Brian Pallasch:
I give the IIBEC staff team a lot of kudos for that. To use one of the words of 2020, we pivoted rather nicely and sort of, we made some lemonade out of some lemons, that's for sure. So that was-

Heidi Ellsworth:
You did. I love it. Well, one of the things I would like to kind of talk about a little bit more too, is any tips or ideas, or maybe discussions that you have for all of our roofing contractors out there right now listening, and hopefully a number of consultants on how can contractors, roofing contractors, get to know and work better with their local roofing consultants so that they go in really, as teams into working with the building owners? What are some of your tips?

Brian Pallasch:
That's a great question. I would say, again, I would think that this would start at the local level, meaning with whether it's an IIBEC chapter, whether it's roofing contractors, local group is do that kind of activity, right. Or look, some of it's just old school stuff. If you see someone that's doing work in your area, go have a cup of coffee with them, right. And find out, no pun intended since I'm on the Roofers Coffee Shop. I think just having that interaction, because I don't really... Our members are not, there's not the need to be adversarial. Our members don't want to be adversarial in any of this.

Brian Pallasch:
And I think over my short time here, I don't think that's been the case. But I do believe there's probably somewhere out there, there's people that think that a consultant is coming in to go check someone's work or something. And I think the reality is, our members are out there on behalf of the owner to make sure that the project is done in the right way, it's designed in the right way. And that it's going to function or perform in the right way once it's done. And that becomes our goal and so my sense would be, every roofing contractor wants that same thing, right? There. They want their project to perform the right way as well. So we all have the same goal in mind, right.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right.

Brian Pallasch:
So it's just remembering that.

Heidi Ellsworth:
It is. And really for a roofing contractor and for a consultant probably, but it's definitely opportunities for new business and for new opportunities to get in front of new people. I have a perfect, I just got to share this one, I have a well-known contractor, commercial roofing contractor, and waterproofing out of Sacramento. And I was lucky enough, a very well-known roofing consultant. I'm not going to mention names, but very great roofing consultant out of Sacramento also. We're all in Western states board, we worked together and stuff, and I just had really the privilege to sit with them one night at dinner and listen to them, compare notes and talk about new products and talk about what's happening out there.

Heidi Ellsworth:
And the collaboration I saw that night between this roofing contractor and this roofing consultant was just amazing. You could just see the new business happening and you could see them helping each other with new products, what they'd experienced and what they'd seen. And so to me, just like you said, it makes the most sense in the world for your business to really go out, not just be, oh yeah, there's roofing consultants but actually go out and look for the roofing consultants in your area, get to know them and grow your business in that way.

Brian Pallasch:
I think that's absolutely right and sharing that information is going to make, it'll make the roof consultant better. It'll make our member better. It'll make the roofing contractor better. Right. So, and that's, which will end up making the building better, the structure.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Right. Where everybody wins. That's what we want every single day. So, well, Brian, this is awesome. I would like to kind of end one more time with where contractors can get the book and all the information. I am going to say that we take everything that you all do, and we put it on Roofers Coffee Shop. So anyone listening out there, if you go to the IIBEC directory, you're going to find all this information and be able to get there really easy to either buy the new drainage, the Roof Drainage, second edition book, or all of these great things that Brian's coming out with. And Brian, why don't you talk to us a little bit about the upcoming show on September 15th, what people should expect and also then how they register and get involved?

Brian Pallasch:
Absolutely. So, we're quickly back to back with two conventions, which is lots of fun, I think. The first one's going to be September 15 to September 20. We're going to be in Phoenix, Arizona. And you're, again, going to be able to access that, I think it's going to be 22 sessions that we're going to have at that meeting of education. There'll be a trade show. So if you need to go visit manufacturers, we're going to have all of them there. There will be two auxiliary seminars, which may be of interest to some, one of them is on understanding construction contracts. Those will also be available virtually as well. The other one's going to be on waterproofing principles for plazas and below grade structures. So Paul [Busaleto 00:26:47] Some of you may know him is going to do that seminar.

Brian Pallasch:
So we're pretty excited about that. And then there's just the other sessions that go on during the meeting. Those are on the day before we start the meeting. And so that we call them auxiliary seminars and it shouldn't be a good meeting. And one of our goals in addition to providing the best education that we always do, and the trade show that we always have, is also to ensure that everyone's going to be safe at that meeting. So I know we're in this time of the Delta variant, but we're working with the hotel and the convention center to make sure everyone's going to be safe and there's all the appropriate safety precautions there. And then if that's too close to make arrangements to visit us in Phoenix, we're going to be back on our normal schedule, which I know everyone's going to be glad about.

Brian Pallasch:
And in March of 2022, we're going to be in Orlando. So from March 17th to the 22nd, we'll be in Orlando. Again, that's a similar meeting to the one that's going to be in Phoenix. It'll be the 24 education sessions. We'll have some auxiliary seminars, and it will be again, a, a good experience for folks to get that education, they need about the six sides of the building, not just about roofing.

Heidi Ellsworth:
That's excellent. That's excellent. I tell you that we are aiming for the March one, and we're hoping we will be there and hopefully we'll have all of this behind us and we'll be moving on with the world.

Brian Pallasch:
Yes.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Well, that is great. And again, I just want to encourage everyone, check out if you were doing big commercial jobs or any size commercial jobs, this drainage book, go back and listen to the podcast that we had earlier. Very technical and getting this book, getting to the classes, doing them virtually, I think, with what we're seeing with the rains and everything else that's happening, it could save lives, really at this point.

Brian Pallasch:
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Heidi Ellsworth:
So, Brian, thank you so much for being on this roofing road trip. I so appreciate you. And I really appreciate everything IIBEC does for the industry, for the world, really, for all the building owners out there and helping to make all six sides of the building safe.

Brian Pallasch:
Heidi, thanks. It's great to be here and look forward to seeing you in March.

Heidi Ellsworth:
Yes, we'll see you then. And we'll see all of you on the next roofing road trips. Be sure to check all or check out all of our podcasts under our read, listen, watch initiative on Roofers Coffee Shop. You can find all the podcasts on there and you can also find them on your favorite podcast channel. Be sure to subscribe. So you don't miss a single one and check out YouTube. We're on YouTube now, and we're getting all kinds of live videos on there too so you never can get done listening to everything. Thank you all and have a great day.

Speaker 1:
Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a review. Thanks for listening. This has been Roofing Road Trips with Heidi from the rooferscoffeeshop.com.



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