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Press Release: ERA Represented at White House Conference on Resiliency


Washington, DC, May 24, 2016 –ERA leadership was represented at the White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes, convened earlier this month to work toward developing a national strategy to enhance the resilience of the built environment. “Once again, this Conference was a reminder that EPDM membranes deliver superior performance in this new environment that values energy-efficiency, sustainability and – now, more than ever, resilience,” said Ellen Thorp, Associate Executive Director of ERA.

There was agreement at the Conference that resilience has no one definition but essentially allows “a building or community to recover or bounce back from a natural weather event.” The topics ranged from incorporating resilience into the built environment to implementing resilient building codes. Sponsored by the White House National Security Council as well as the National Institute for Building Sciences, the overall tenor of the meeting was that the building stock and infrastructure in United States are old and woefully unprepared for what climatic changes will occur in the years ahead.

While the participants ranged from professors of civil engineering to home builders to mayors of towns that have been decimated by serious weather events, the conclusions drawn were that engineering has to be more focused on risk management, and historical weather patterns don’t matter now. In short, “the past is not a reliable map for the future building code practitioners.”

From ERA’s perspective, the conversation was both alarming as to the magnitude of the problem and reassuring in the sense that the panelists believe that our codes, standards, and overall engineering ingenuity and products can help us accommodate the change in climate patterns. “It is gratifying to hear both the civil engineers and the mayors of the towns that were commenting agreed that energy efficiency needs to be incorporated into any strategy to create a more resilient building stock,” said Thorp.

ERA leadership feels that the topic of resiliency in building materials will continue to be addressed by multiple disciplines and policy makers in the months and years to come.  “It is in interest of the built environment, and the people who own and occupy commercial buildings, that manufacturers of EPDM are part of the planning.  Our products offer the resilience that is needed to withstand current and foreseen climactic extremes,” said Thorp.

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The EPDM Roofing Association (ERA) is the first trade association solely representing the manufacturers of EPDM single-ply roofing products and their leading suppliers.  ERA provides technical and research support to the public and the construction industry, and communicates the longstanding attributes, consistency and value proposition of EPDM rubber membrane roofing materials.

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