Construction Industry

SpecScope™ Product Insights

SpecScope™ Product Insights

SpecScope™ Product Insights

with Brian Tonry

What if you had full visibility to where your building products are being specified or installed? How about your competitors’ products?

Would your sales and marketing team benefit by knowing the architects specifying your projects and the contractors bidding on them?

Welcome to SpecScope™ Product Insights, a new department feature of The Who’s Who. Combined with “Project Pilot,” you now have a tandem of information that provides valuable insights on both the projects and products that connect you to new opportunities. SpecScope™ leverages the vast database of project information distributed annually through The Blue Book Network®. By searching through literally hundreds of thousands of plan and specification files, critical intel regarding the utilization of specific products can be applied to help sharpen the effectiveness of your sales and marketing efforts.

By combining high-end search technology along with business intelligence visualization software, SpecScope™ is designed to help the industry understand the “who, what and where” behind individual products or building systems found in The Blue Book Network®. Perhaps the best way to visualize how this innovative new tool works is to offer a specific product case – so let’s set our sights on Sustainable Roofing…

Sustainable, Long-Lasting, and Building-Integrated Green Building Solutions Are Accelerating

New Projects Seeking LEED Certification

In the 25 years since the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) established the popular Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification program, the construction industry has come a long way. Owners, designers, engineers, contractors, installers, distributors, and manufacturers have all responded to the call for more energy-efficient, environmentally-responsible, and sustainable solutions. More new projects every year include LEED Certification and documentation as part of their requirements, with an ever increasing number of projects reaching for Silver, Gold, and Platinum award levels.

Analysis of construction documents in The Blue Book Network® shows that specification of green building products has steadily increased over the past three years. The development of “thin-film” photovoltaics (PVs), green roof systems, and living walls has had a significant impact. The industry is moving from building-applied products to building-integrated solutions that begin in the design stage and carry through product selection, installation, and the lifecycle of maintaining the building.

Increase in Metal Roofing

specscope map

However, it’s not just the green building solutions alone that are meeting the demand for sustainable products. The design and use of these products is bringing some more traditional products along for the ride. One of these products is metal roofing. Not only is it durable and long-lasting, but it is also recyclable and uses a high percentage of recycled material in its manufacturing. Metal roofing is used in “cool roof” applications where more reflectivity is needed. In addition, metal roofing has also benefited from the solar industry as a complement to solar panel installations.

Living Roof Systems and Photovoltaics on the Rise

Top Metal Roofing Brands

Greater longevity for metal roofing means that solar arrays stay in place longer compared to more traditional roofing, requiring regular maintenance and replacement. In addition, “thin-film” photovoltaics can be applied directly to metal roof panels, resulting in lightweight and low-profile PV solutions. Just how close is the relationship between the use of photovoltaics and metal roofing? Over the past three years, half of the new construction projects specifying PVs also called for metal roofing.

This connection, as well as the overall sustainable qualities metal roofing has been a boost to the metal roofing industry that experienced some market softening prior to 2014. The Blue Book Network® data shows that 5 of the top metal roofing brands being specified in the new projects (2016-Q3 to 2017-Q2) are:

Living Roof and Wall Systems

Encouraged by successful installations and established design standards from Europe, green roofs and living walls are also on the rise. Also called vegetative systems, they incorporate sedum plants and scrubs into the building envelope. There are more than 500 new projects with living roof or wall systems over the past 12 months. Driven initially by living roof systems, wall systems have appeared in an increasing number of designs. Integrated into the design of the building, green roofs are also a “cool roof” system offering insulation and rainwater control, in addition to being beautiful and long-lasting roof and wall solutions. Like Metal Roofing, living roof and wall systems are not just driving new technologies. Traditional, as well as newly developed waterproof membrane and fluid-applied materials, provide the moisture protection required for these systems. Root Green building products continue to change the design, efficiency, and sustainability of the construction market. Environmentally responsible options are becoming building-integrated and are using traditional building materials as part of the solution.

specification performance dashboard

I look forward to sharing additional product-centric information with you…right here in SpecScope™ Product Insights.

About the author:

brian tonry headshotBrian Tonry is Vice President of Data and Analytics for The Blue Book Network®. He previously held the same title during his twelve-year career at McGraw-Hill Construction, currently Dodge Data and Analytics. Brian puts his extensive experience developing analytics-based information to work for national building product manufacturers seeking to advance their sales and marketing communications.

Prior to joining The Blue Book Network®, Brian served as General Manager for ClickSafety, the country’s leading provider of online construction safety training. He received his master’s degree in Business Administration from Villanova University and a bachelor’s in Accounting from Mount Saint Mary’s University.

You can reach out to Brian at

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