FACTS about Public Roofing Procurement, and Oversight. Copyright 2010 by Robert R. Solomon

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"LAW", and Public Bid Procurement"

Recently, I was asked to offer assistance regarding a "Proprietary" arrangement with a school district here in Florida.  First, let's understand the purpose, which is to ELIMINATE FAIR COMPETITION IN PUBLIC BID PROJECTS

A Private Owner is free to do anything they like with their own property, and must only comply to building code, and permitting jurisdiction.  They OWN the building, are the ones PAYING for services, and it is not our business to ponder their decisions.

Publicly Owned structures are not "Owned" by the government, but by taxpayers.  Therefore, we must seek both serviceability, and VALUE.  NO local, state, or federal agency may be exclusive of fair bidding, and procurement.  Here, we are discussing roofing only, but it is applicable to all disciplines, and services.


Florida statutory law requires combative bidding, and the Florida District Court of Appeals has held that the government cannot split the contract into separate pieces to avoid the statutory monetary minimum (with exceptions for specialty work or work that requires special skills not found in the general market). Further, Florida courts have held that a public body may not draw specifications in its bid request that would permit only one bidder to qualify for the project.

Cases that involve fraud or ill repute in contract bidding usually nullify the contract. For example, if a city or county lacks the statutory authority to enter into a particular contract, the contract is void and the contractor may not recover for work performed. Cases that involve bad faith or bribery are also nullified, with the contractor receiving nothing.

To the best of my knowledge, this "Exclusionary" practice is illegal in all states (and territories).  A public official may not call out a specific product, or limit competition through specifications written to favor a "Preferred Manufacturer".   The "Specification Manipulation" trick is very common, and easy to spot.  Most cases I see are actually written by a manufacturer who wishes to eliminate all competition by stressing certain ASTM numbers, and unique "testing", relevant to only one product.


This has absolutely nothing to do with "Performance", but designed only to circumvent the law.  Many, many, millions (billions) of taxpayer dollars are overspent on "Boutique" manufacturers with predatory sales models.  The manufacturer acts as the "Consultant" (illegal), specifies only their product, and uses only their "approved contractors".  They also give themselves the power to order "testing" anytime they wish (at great cost).  You may expect to pay TWICE THE COST for this non-compete process. A competitively bid process MUST be followed.

I don't use this forum for "advertising", which is why you don't see any.  My philosophy is to always remain "independent", and not create the slightest impression of financial, or personal, advancement of any kind.

The following videos are very representative of the scams, and illustrate the great burden placed upon the taxpayers as a result.  Roofing is not "Sexy" or actually very interesting to most people, but huge sums of money are changing hands.  Especially when a vendor has absolutely no reason to compete.

That's me in the yellow blazer just beneath the main video.


Think it's isolated?  Think again.

This is a PATTERN, and you will note the specific manufacturers in these examples.  I did not "cherry pick" the videos or articles, and researched just as hard on each manufacturer.  If anyone wishes to submit a link contrary to what I have to say, it is welcomed, and I WILL publish it here.

In the meantime, you can research it yourself, by typing "School Roofing Scam" into your browser, or YouTube.  No shortage of articles, and complaints.  Please note they are from California, to New Jersey, and all points in between.

The arrogance of public officials offends me, and especially those in "Purchasing" who quickly lose sight of why they're hired (or elected) in the first place.  Apparently, the lure of money is strong, and human frailty for greed, is like throwing gasoline on a fire.  These are people we hope define a moral code. If I want to see common drunkards, and "chain snatchers", I'll visit central booking on Saturday night.

Let's try another one:

And this one is in my state:

My friends in Ohio may view this one, and it should put you over the top.

Baltimore?  Sure thing.

I happen to care about where my tax dollar goes,  As a highly credentialed, independent, roofing authority, know this game better than the ones who play it.  Next time you read about your school (post office, courthouse, university, etc.) budgets being slashed, programs cut, and children doing without basic supplies, you can thank roofing material manufacturers who cannot compete on the open market.

In this post, I would also like to give you an opportunity.  That opportunity will come in the form of research.  I know the people of Firestone, GAF, Carlisle-Syntec, and a few others to be 100% above board, and properly serve the community.  I've been unable to uncover even the slightest bit of wrongdoing by any of them.  After you research them, you will decide if what I say is true.

The best way to eliminate corruption in roofing (or anywhere else) is to stop issuing P.O.'s to the offenders, and support the ones who provide only serviceability and value.

I will share my loving family with you, because this is my world, and my purpose.  I'll really get it from those not pictured, but we'll share them another time.  I love them all, and they love me.

Christy (Mrs. Solomon) & Papa

Mimi & Papa

Alexandria & Sunny

Mrs. Solomon and I will pray you, and your families, have a blessed, and Merry Christmas.  This happens to be our custom, but we respect customs of all regions, and beliefs, as free people.

Therein lies the beauty.

I am incapable of describing how much appreciation I feel for each and every one of you, who spend your most valuable commodity (TIME) with me here.  Please reject negativity in all forms, know you are not alone, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

Sibucao, Dammous, Hall, Minteer, Austin, Anderson, Andersen, Agliano, Sierra, Colwell, Hartmann, Farnell, Beckner, Lepore, Pratt, Lynch, Rowell, Center, Songer, Ochs, Borden, Hatten, Scheidt, Leiby, Salimbene, Lyons, Embow, Christiano, Araj, Stefanakos, Goswami, Russell, Abreu, Coston, Demott, Kenney, Lusa, Cotney, Dickie, Colitz, Celli, Huggins, Mulling, Wiencek, Fenstermaker, and all 800+ members of Roof Consultant's Alliance.

"In this world everything changes except good deeds and bad deeds; they follow you as the shadow follows the body" (unknown)



Monday, December 5, 2011

"Beauty, Serviceability, & VALUE of Prefinished Metal Roof Systems"

I will thank "Amy" of IMETCO for allowing permission to feature a couple of very handsome projects.

Before we get into all the "Pretty" stuff, I'd like to share some facts about metal roofing systems.  They are aesthetically beautiful on many building types, which is why many Architects prominently featuring the roof as a focal point of the structure.  Remember the three elements of "curb appeal" is "Roof, Paint, and Landscaping".

No question they are beautiful.

Serviceability:  This is another great benefit abundantly provided by prefinished metal roof systems.  NO asphalt shingle roof even comes close to providing a comparable life cycle cost.  Metal roof systems frequently exceed 50+ years, and you will find that the norm, rather than the exception.  They are generally considered a "Lifetime" roof.

VALUE:  I prefer the word "Value" over "Cheap" because they are quite the opposite when given life cycle costs.  The initial "Up Front Installed Cost" is more costly.  But you will probably replace an asphalt shingle roof 4-5 times before your metal roof requires attention.  So, if your intentions are to "Improve" your home (or commercial project) as a lifetime investment (or for resale value), prefinished metal roofing is a wonderful way to do it.

I do not like to get into sq. ft. pricing as they vary wildly by geographical location.

Metal is lightweight, and does not require the structural support elements a tile roof would require.  Modern engineering methods also make them highly wind resistant which you will read about momentarily.

Environmentally Friendly:  Of course all metals are recyclable.  Metal roofs do not create additional harmful "stormwater runoff"  contaminants as asphalt shingles do.  Most modern metal types are prefinished with a resin bonding commonly referred to "Kynar 500", and comes in a "Cool-R" series that reflects substantial radiant energy away from your home, thus reducing roof surface temperatures, and subsequently energy consumption.

For those of you interested in PV apparatus, numerous versions of  "flat strips" are available for such a purpose.  They are much less prone to wind uplift than frame mounted systems, and since they don't require support framing, eliminate all those vertical stansion details that are a constant maintenance issue.

So, let's feature our friend "Amy", and her fine company "IMETCO".

This first project (in my state) may be found in it's entirety at:

The next project is a Marina.  ANYONE who lives on, or near the water should give prefinished metal roofing systems great consideration.  They have great resistance to gulf winds and saltwater spray.  I prefer an aluminum base for that reason, but therre may be many long time metal roofers out there who prefer otherwise.  All I know is that aluminum doesn't rust.  This particular one is my very favorite in stainless steel that of course won't rust, and also will not create a galvanic response in a "dissimilar metals" situation.

You may find IMETCO (ask for Amy) at:  http://imetco.com/home.php

IMETCO Corporate Office

2070 Steel Drive
Tucker, GA 30084
(770) 908-1030
(800) 646-3826
(770) 908-2264

For homeownmers or commercial structures that collect rainwater, prefinished metal roofs will provide an excellent surface to use.  Note:  ALL roofs are prone to jet fuel exhaust, airborne spores, and animal waste, so some type of flush converter must be used.  The water would be suitable straight off the roof for watering of fruits and vegetables however, unlike asphalt shingle roof systems.

You will please excuse my normal departure in the last post, but the young man was factually correct regarding the "decimal point", and the solar reflection verbiage.

I never cease to be amazed by the incredible geographic diversity of visitors here.  Each time I see you, I am somehow transported, and it's done wonders for my knowledge of both geography, and cultures.

Thank each of you for taking the time to visit, and I am humbled you care one bit about what I try to share with you here.

Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".



Sunday, December 4, 2011

"Corrections" & Reply to Post"

Dear Friends:

Anytime I'm featured in a television news investigation, or article on "Proprietary Specifications", and the waste of taxpayer dollars, I receive condemnation by those who participate in it.  This "anonymous" writer is welcomed here.  It is important you hear all positions, and make your own decisions.

Everyone must understand that NO ROOFER should adopt my ideals, and refuse work based upon them. I've refused a $250,000.00 contract on principle, but have never left employees without an address to work, as that would be both cruel, and plain wrong..  Your valiant, and noble assignment is to feed your families, and nourish your employees the best way you can.  You must install the roofing systems you are comfortable with, and trained for.  Your equipment investment is your business, and I respect that.

I am not always right.  I simply try my best to provide lucid answers to the many sciences related to all roof systems, and their interface with energy, clean water, safety, and taxpayer value.  The "Taxpayer Value" portion seems to escape those who participate in it.  This is well documented.  Anyone can simply type "School Roofing Scams" on either Google, or YouTube, and you will find both court record, and many investigative news reports.  This is one I recently appeared in:


I am not a scientist.  I do not know everything.  My goal is to illustrate common principles through analogy, and not get too esoteric.  But today will respond to this informed comment.  I normally wouldn't reply to an "anonymous" comment, but feel merit in some clarification, and will offer thought:

Anonymous said...

For the future you may want to quote LEED correctly, since you're an expert and all. LEED v2.2 has been replaced now for 3 years and LEED 2009 is about to be replaced in 2012. I quote from LEED V2.2, because that is the version I own.  I do not have the money USGBC requests for each and every version, and they are very expensive.  I cancelled my membership with USGBC, as I couldn't justify the cost of materials and cocktail parties (I don't drink).  I am not a LEED AP, but the Governor of Florida values my skill set, and has awarded 5 Judgeships to me for his "Sustainable Schools", and "Sustainable Florida" initiatives.  An example of the nominees would include retailers like Wal-Mart, huge golfing communities, water agencies, all school districts, classes, and teachers.

I spend a great deal of time in many areas other than roofing, but the discipline has been very good to me, and I want to return the favor out of respect for my mentors, and educators.

And it's Solar Reflective Index not Reflectance. Also, SRI is a whole number not a decimal. I stand corrected.You're confusing SRI with reflectivity. Reflectivity is a percentage of UV rays reflected, SRI is a formula that takes reflectivity and emissivity into consideration. Thank you for the clarification.  That would explain why some materials have indexes above 100.

I've been working with mod bit, single plys, and coatings for 5 years, primarily for LEED projects. To group all mod bits in the category you described above is irresponsible. Perhaps my responsibility does not meet your standard, and you are well within your right to view me as you wish. Yes, some mod bits are torched down still but most use cold applied adhesives now.  Regardless of adhesive (NRCA advises against adhesives in tropical climates).  Florida, where I live may be an example.  I am more than happy to furnish the article upon request, and may post it here very soon.  The fact remains that huge quantities of petroleum are consumed in the manufacture of modified bitumen, and the product itself is heavily laden with petroleum, or "Bitumen" as I illustrated. Almost all modifieds out there have a high reflective option which you can see if you search on the CRRC's website. In fact there are 33 different sheets out there that meet LEED's SRI standard of 78.   You forgot to mention these modifieds, or "options" as you refer to them are "Coated".  So you are essentially building a product of oil, and then masking a design flaw.  You do not mention the short time on the market, or the coating maintenance.  "Coated Oil" is actually what your "option" is about, and is a response I get quite a bit from those who sell it.  I see no mention of "VALUE".
I don't know if you've been out of the game for too long and aren't doing your due diligence to keep up with the times or you have some kind of personal vendetta against someone. In any case most of this "article" is just false by today’s standards.  I always ask that responses point to "factual" errors as the first part of your comment does.  You are welcome to view me as you wish, but I work very hard to furnish documentation to support every word I say.  I do not "Sell" anything, nor do I receive compensation from anyone, for anything I do.  Your argument is based entirely upon a P.O. Book, and personal advancement, where I have no interest in such things.

Your comments, and very short career, appear to be concentrated upon "Public" projects.  But I cannot know that to be 100% correct as I was not given the opportunity for discovery.  I suspect your "sales model" to be one of aggression, self promotion, and deceit, rather than best interest of the owners, or taxpayer. 

“The trouble with internet articles is that you never know if they are true” – Abraham Lincoln

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