Links and Tools

Links & Tools

Appearing below is a list of Links to organizations and entities whose work centers primarily on research, testing, product ratings, and codes and standards. Below that, under the heading of Calculators and Tools, are descriptions and links to various energy-related calculators and building cost estimating tools that are available either for free online use or free download. The calculators and tools are divided into two sections, non-proprietary and manufacturer-specific.

To add an organization, a tool or calculator to this list, e-mail BobF@DesignandBuildwithMetal.com.

Links

California Energy Commission Consumer Energy Center  

1516 Ninth St., MS-29
Sacramento, CA 95814
(800) 555-7794
(916) 654-4058 (outside CA)
renewable@energy.state.ca.us
www.consumerenergycenter.org
The California Energy Commission’s Consumer Energy Center went online in 1995 to offer the public a one-stop site on the internet for the latest information about energy resources and how to use them wisely in homes, vehicles and workplaces. It provides information about rebates and incentives, offers consumer tips and has a video section about the state’s Title 24 Energy Code.




 
   

Cool Roof Rating Council  

1738 Excelsior Avenue
Oakland, CA 94602
(866) 465-2523
info@coolroofs.org  
www.coolroofs.org  
The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) was created in 1998 to develop accurate and credible methods for evaluating and labeling the solar reflectance and thermal emittance (radiative properties) of roofing products, and to disseminate that information to all interested parties. At the core of the CRRC is its Product Rating Program, which enables roofing manufacturers to have their products rated under a strict program administered by the CRRC. Those manufacturers are listed in a searchable directory on the organization’s website.

 
   

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency  

DSIREinfo@ncsu.edu  
www.dsireusa.org 
 
Established in 1995, The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The chief components of the program are databases that can be accessed freely on the DSIRE website. These databases, one for Renewable Energy and the other for Energy Efficiency, provide comprehensive information on state, local, utility and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.

 
   

Florida Solar Energy Center  

1679 Clearlake Rd.
Cocoa, FL 32922
info@fsec.ucf.edu  
www.fsec.ucf.edu  
The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) was created by the Florida Legislature in 1975 to serve as the state’s energy research institute. The main responsibilities of the center are to conduct research, test and certify solar systems and develop education programs.






 
   

Galvinfo Center  

(888) 880-8802
info@galvinfo.com  
www.galvinfo.com  
The GalvInfo Center, a program of the International Zinc Association (IZA), was established in 1999 to serve current and potential users of steel sheet coated with zinc-containing coatings. The core activity of the Center is to provide technical information and support to direct inquiries about the application, performance and unique terminology of these products.




  
   

International Code Council  

500 New Jersey Ave., NW,
6th Floor
Washington, DC 20001
(888) 422-7333
www.iccsafe.org  
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety and fire prevention, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states that adopt codes choose the International Codes developed by the International Code Council.




 
   

International Lead Zinc Research Organization   

2525 Meridian Parkway,
Ste. 100
Durham, NC
(919) 361-4647
www.ilzro.org
The International Lead Zinc Research Organization (ILZRO) was formed in 1958 as a non-profit research foundation. Its sponsors include most of the major producers of lead, zinc and silver, and significant numbers of end-users of these metals from among the steel, automotive, die casting, battery, galvanizing and other industries. The results of ILZRO’s R&D efforts are communicated through a variety of forums, including research reports, technical seminars, expert consulting, internet sites and printed publications.

 
   

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories/Heat Island Group  

Building 90, Room 2000
Lawrence Berkeley National Labs
Berkeley, CA 94720
http://eetd.lbl.gov/HeatIsland
/graphic.html
This group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories conducted research to find, analyze and implement solutions to the so-called “heat island” effect. A major area of concentration for the group has been the development and advocacy of more reflective surfaces for roadways and buildings. A website detailing the research and findings contains a wealth of information on the heat island effect.



 
   

Metal Buildings Institute  

P.O. Box 499
Shawnee Mission, KS 66201
(800) 866-6722
mbcea@kc.rr.com
www.metal-building-institute.org 
 
The Metal Buildings Institute is a 501 c 3 Educational Institute founded for the primary purpose of improving the quality of in-place metal building construction. MBI provides educational and training programs to metal building contractors, erectors and students in construction programs for the direct benefit of specifiers, designers and owners.



  
   

Oak Ridge National Laboratories  

Building Envelopes Program
P.O. Box 2008, Mail Stop 6070
Oak Ridge, TN 37831
(865) 574-9354
www.ornl.gov/sci/
roofs+walls/index.html
The Building Envelopes Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratories focuses on improving the roofs, walls and foundations of buildings, and also the insulating materials that these systems contain. The program is interested in ways that heat, air, and moisture travel through the building envelope and the effects that various building materials have on energy consumption. The goal of this research is to identify energy-efficient building materials and envelope systems that will be adopted by the U.S building industry.

 
   

Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues Inc.  

4721 Covenant Way
Powder Springs, GA 30127
(770) 726-7194
www.ricowi.com
The Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues Inc. (RICOWI) was established in 1990 as a non-profit organization to identify and address important technical issues related to damage and failures of roof systems as a result of weather-related events such as severe storms, hurricanes, etc. Since its inception, RICOWI has completed three important field investigations. To read overviews and/or download, visit the Technical Articles section of this website and scroll down to RICOWI reports.


 
   

U.S EPA Energy Star Roof Products Program

1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20460
(888) 782-7937
www.energystar.gov/
index.cfm?c=roof_prods.pr_
roof_products
 
 
Solar reflectance is the measurement of how much of the sun’s rays are reflected away from the surface. Roofing materials with a high solar reflectance rating have been shown to be more energy efficient than products with low solar reflectance ratings. The EPA’s Energy Star program recognizes roof products with high reflectance values because of the positive impact those systems have on lowering building energy needs. More information about Energy Star Reflective Roof Products can be found by visiting the Energy Star website.
  
   

U.S. Green Building Council  

1800 Massachusetts Ave., NW,
Ste. 300
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 828-5110
info@usgbc.org  
www.usgbc.org  
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) promotes buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy. As a means of objectively evaluating and recognizing environmentally responsible building projects and construction teams, the organization has developed the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. It provides credit for the use of building products that are recyclable and made with high concentrations of recycled content, and for materials that are energy efficient.

  
   

Wei-Wen Yu Center for Cold-Formed Steel Structures (CCFSS)  

301 Butler-Carlton Hall
University of Missouri-Rolla
Rolla, MO 65409
(573) 341-471
ccfss@umr.edu
http://campus.umr.edu
/ccfss/
   
The Center for Cold-Formed Steel Structures (CCFSS) was established in 1990 under an initial grant from the American Iron and Steel Institute. It provides an integrated approach to handling research, teaching, engineering education, technical services, and professional activity. The Center brings together the technical resources of interested parties, i.e. university researchers, steel producers, product manufacturers, consultants, building officials, government agencies, and others with a common goal of continued improvement of cold-formed steel design and construction.
 
   

Whole Building Design Guide 

National Institute 
of Building Sciences
1090 Vermont Ave., NW,
Ste. 700 
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 289-7800
www.wbdg.org
The Whole Building Design Guide is an informational website that offers government and industry practitioners access to up-to-date information and guidance on designing from a ‘whole buildings’ perspective. One section of the site is the Construction Criteria Base—an extensive electronic library of construction guide specifications, manuals, standards and other essential documents that would be needed to compete for construction contracts involving any of a number of government agencies.

 
Links and tools 200.jpg  Links and tools 360.jpg 

Didn't find the organization you were looking for?
Try browsing our Associations section instead! 

 

Tools & Calculators - Non-Proprietary

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) Calculator  


The calculator works in an Excel Spreadsheet environment and is available for download at the Cool Metal Roofing Coalition (CMRC) website’s LEED information page. To find the calculator, click
LBNL Solar Reflectance Index Calculator and then scroll down to the Download SRI calculator link.

 

This calculator allows the user—by providing verified reflectivity and emissivity values—to quickly find a given roof product’s Solar Reflectance Index. SRI is the amount of total solar energy reflected away from a roof’s surface. It is expressed as a percentage from 0 to 100%, or as a decimal from 0 to 1.00. Roof products with a SRI of 78 for low-sloped roofs and 29 for steep-sloped roofs can receive 1 point in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-NC Version 2.2 Sustainable Sites Credit 7.2, Heat Island Effect: Roofing.
 
   

LEED Solar Reflective Index (SRI) Calculator  


This SRI calculator is also contained within an editable PDF that can be downloaded for free from the U.S. Green Building Council website. To obtain, click
LEED Solar Reflectance Index Calculator and then click to download NC2.2 SS. The conversion calculator is on form SSc72_2.2a.pdf. 

 

This calculator allows the user—by providing verified reflectivity and emissivity values—to quickly find a given roof product’s Solar Reflectance Index. SRI is the amount of total solar energy reflected away from a roof’s surface. It is expressed as a percentage from 0 to 100%, or as a decimal from 0 to 1.00. Roof products with a SRI of 78 for low-sloped roofs and 29 for steep-sloped roofs can receive 1 point in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED-NC Version 2.2 Sustainable Sites Credit 7.2, Heat Island Effect: Roofing.
  
   

Energy Star Roofing Comparison Calculator 


To link directly to the calculator, go to 
Energy Star Roofing Comparison Calculator.
This Energy Star Roofing Comparison Calculator is intended to roughly estimate the savings an Energy Star-qualified reflective roof can provide on a typical building. Projections are based on modeling simulations developed by the Department of Energy.
 




 
   

Department of Energy Cool Roof Calculator  


To use the calculator, go to
DOE Cool Roof Calculator.
By inputting the verified reflectivity and emissivity values of a proposed roof system, this Department of Energy Cool Roof Calculator shows the annual cooling and heating savings that would be realized when compared to a black roof. Differences between non-black surfaces can be seen by printing out separate estimates for each and then manually comparing them.
  


 
 

ECOCalculator With Life Cycle Analysis For Metal Buildings


To use the calculator, go to EcoCalculator
This calculator allows architects, engineers and others to have access to life cycle analysis (LCA) for hundreds of common building assemblies, including metal building systems. Developed by the Athena Institute in association with the University of Minnesota and Morrison Hershfield Consulting Engineers, the ECOCalculator tool was commissioned by the Green Building Initiative™ (GBI) for use with the Green Globes™ environmental assessment and rating system.
 

 
   

RSMeans QuickCost Calculator 


To use the calculator, go to
RSMeans QuickCost Estimator.
Select from more than 50 building types in 930 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The RSMeans Quick Cost Estimator enables users to quickly calculate an estimated value of total project cost localized to a selected area. The calculations include add-on costs itemizing low, medium and high estimates for Archtectural Fees and Contractor’s Overhead and Profit.
 


 
   

Square Foot Building Replacement Cost Comparative Tables  


To see the tables, go to
Square Foot Building Cost Comparative Tables.
Published by Saylor Publications Inc. and posted online as a demonstration of products and services, these tables provide ballpark square foot replacement cost estimates for residential construction and 65 different categories of commercial, industrial and institutional construction in six comparative classes ranging from economy to luxury.
 


 
   

REScheck  

To learn more about the Department of Energy’s Building Energy Codes Program, click Energy Codes Program.

The REScheck program can be used online, but is available for free download too. To use the online version, click REScheck online. To download, click REScheck download.

Offered by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of its Building Energy Codes Program, REScheck is designed to simplify and clarify code compliance with the Model Energy Code (MEC), the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and a number of state codes as they relate to residential construction.




 
   

COMcheck  

To learn more about the Department of Energy’s Building Energy Codes Program, click Energy Codes Program.

The COMcheck program can be used online, but is available for free download too. To use the online version, click COMcheck online. To download, click COMcheck download

Offered by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of its Building Energy Codes Program, COMcheck is designed to simplify and clarify commercial and high-rise residential energy code compliance. It addresses both trade-off and prescriptive approaches, and allows the user to easily determine which is the most cost effective for the situation.




 
   

Electricity Rates (ERATES) Calculator 


To use the calculator, go to
Electricity Rates Calculator.
ERATES (Electricity Rates) is used to calculate the monthly and annual electricity costs for a facility, building or system under a wide range of electric utility rate schedules. Both kilowatt-hours (kWh) usage and maximum kW demand during peak periods can be included in these costs. Most typically, this information would be used to support engineering-economic studies that assess the cost-effectiveness of energy conservation measures or measures to shift electricity use from on-peak to off-peak time periods.
 
   

eVALUator Software  


To download the software, go to eVALUator Software.
Developed and offered by Energy Design Resources, eVALUator is a Windows-based software program that calculates the lifecycle benefits of investments that improve building design. It analyzes the financial benefits from buildings that reduce energy cost, raise employee productivity, and enhance tenant satisfaction. It also provides building owners, developers, tenants, architects, engineers, and facility managers with the financial information necessary to make sound decisions about building improvements.

 
   

SkyCalc Skylight Calculator  


To use the calculator, go to
SkyCalc Skylight Calculator.
Developed and offered by Energy Design Resources, SkyCalc is a simple computer tool that helps building designers determine the optimum skylighting strategy that will achieve maximum lighting and HVAC energy savings for a building.






 
   

Zinc Coating Life Predictor  


To use the online calculator, go to Zinc Coating Life Predictor.

To instead view and/or download a handy Service Life Chart for Hot-Dip Galvanized Coatings, which was created using the Zinc Coating Life Predictor, go to Service Life Chart for Hot-Dip Galvanized Coatings.

 

Developed by Dr. Gregory X. Zhang at the Teck Cominco Product Technology Centre, the Zinc Coating Life Predictor is a software program that estimates the corrosion rate of zinc in various environments. The program’s calculations are based on models developed using statistical methods, neural network technology and an extensive worldwide corrosion database. Information needed to use the program effectively includes temperature, airborne salinity, sulfer dioxide concentration, relative humidity, rainfall and sheltering condition. 

 
   

Hot-Dip Galvanize or Paint: Online Life-Cycle Cost Calculator  


To use the online calculator, go to Life-Cycle Cost Calculator.
The Life-Cycle Cost Calulator is a tool for determining the best corrosion protection system for a given project over the course of its projected service life. Information required to use the calculator would include unit of measure (English v. Metric), currency designation, coating system being considered (e.g. two-coat epoxy zinc/polyurethane), surface preparation method, project size (tons or square feet), application method (spray or brush), project design life, and service environment (e.g. severe heavy industrial C5-1). The impact of inflation is accounted for using established financial industry equations.
 
   

NRCA Wind-Load Calculator  


To use the calculator, go to www.roofwinddesigner.com.
Developed by the National Roofing Contractors Association, in cooperation with the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association and the North/East Roofing Contractors Association, the Roof Wind Designer calculator provides roofing professionals a means of accurately determining roof systems’ design wind loads for common building types. Determinations made by the calculator are the result of information input by the user, including roof area, building location and configuration, roof area dimensions, mean roof height and slope, and exposure and occupancy information.
 
   

Wind-RCI Wind-Load Calculator (Canada only)


To use the calculator, click

Canadian Wind-Load Calculator.
Developed by the National Research Council of Canada, in partnership with the Roof Consultants Institute Foundation and the Roofing Contractors Association of British Columbia, the Wind-RCI online calculator is designed to do calculations based on the National Building Code of Canada (NBC 2005) or the American Society of Civil Engineers guide (ASCE 7-05). It allows users to calculate building wind loads for all Canadian cities by entering the building type (high-rise or low-rise), height and roof dimensions, exposure and type. Wind-RCI then calculates roof cladding design loads and displays the wind load diagram for the field, perimeter and corner zones of the roof assembly.    
   

Metal Roofing Cost Calculator


To use the calculator, click
NE Metal Roof Calculator.
This tool calculates a ballpark figure for any metal roofing project in the New England region of the United States. The bottom-line figure for the project changes with the choice of materials used, size of the roof, slope and complexity. Figures reflect hiring skilled professionals who have the necessary tools, insurance and workers' compensation required by the state. 
 
   

Tools & Calculators - Manufacturer-Specific

Flex-Ability Concepts' Dome Construction Calculator


To use the calculator, click here.
Developed by Flex-Ability Concepts, the Dome Construction Calculator helps designers and contractors determine the amount and type of Flex-C Trac® needed to construct virtually any type of dome configuration. Users can choose from multiple Flex-C Trac gauge and width options plus rib spacing options, and they can also select a combination that provides load capacity. For a selected configuration, the Dome Calculator will indicate the size of the compression ring and tension ring required, plus the number of ribs and their dimensions.      

   

Dow Building Solutions' Steel Stud Wall Condensation Analysis - Cold Climates Calculator


To use the calculator, click here.
The Dow Building Solutions Steel Stud Wall Condensation Analysis - Cold Climates Calculator helps analyze the condensation potential of a steel stud wall. In addition, the tool helps: determine the effective thermal resistance of steel stud wall assemblies using the ASHRAE parallel path method; and determine the thermal regime of the interface of exterior sheathing over the heating system.

 
   

Owens Corning Commercial Metal Buildings Energy Calculator  


To use the calculator, click here.
Developed by Owens Corning, the Owens Corning Commercial Energy Calculator demonstrates how building owners can improve the envelope and/or lighting and HVAC systems performance in their metal buildings to qualify for tax deductions under the Energy Policy Act of 2005. In addition, it estimates the payback period for any combination of thermal efficiency measures within the metal building. 

 
   

ASC Steel Deck Delta Grip® Design Aid  


To use the calculator, click here.
Developed by ASC Steel Deck, the ASC Delta Grip® Design Aid is a software program that helps architects and engineers specify steel decking by determining the most efficient deck profile and attachment system for a given job, based on the installed costs.




 
   

Flex-Ability Concepts' Flex-C Trac® Arc Length Calculator   


To use the calculator, click here.
Developed by Flex-Ability Concepts, The Flex-C Trac® Arc Length Calculator is used to determine the linear footage of Flex-C Trac® needed for a given curved wall application. The calculator can be used to determine the radius and arc length (if the chord length and chord height are known), the chord height and arc (if radius and chord length are known), or the chord length and arc (if radius and chord height are known).      


 
   

SnoBlox-SnoJax Snow Guard Spacing Tool 


To use the spacing tool, click here.
Developed by SnoBlox-SnoJax, the Snow Guard Spacing Tool calculates estimates and layouts for snow loads up to 80 psf. Estimates are based on rectangular roof areas only.



 
   

S-5!™ ColorGard® Snow Retention Project Calculator


To use the calculator, click here.
Developed by S-5!™, the ColorGard® Snow Retention Project Calculator is a tool that can be used to determine either single roof or multi-roof snow guard systems. After entering roof specifications the ColorGard® Snow Retention Project Calculator will recommend which type of clamp to use, the quantity of clamps needed and the amount of ColorGard® necessary for maximum snow load. The calculator can also be used to determine the amount of materials needed for multiple projects.
 
   

Drexel Solar Estimator For Portable Roll Former Owners


To receive the free estimator, e-mail here
The new Drexel Solar Estimator enables members of Drexel Metals Association of Regional Manufacturers (DMARM) to determine the cost of adding thin-film laminate photovoltaics to new projects and existing buildings. It also provides links to incentive information and much more. The program is free to DMARM members.
  
   

Metal Building Insulation Product Selector Tool 


To use the selection tool,
click here.
Metal Building Insulation's four-step online product selector tool allows users to configure, price and order metal building fiberglass blanket insulation in minutes. The program has built-in pricing and data for wall and roof insulation in thicknesses from 2" to 6" and with any of a number of facings and tapes.
  
   

Hilti Diaphragm Design Software

 

To use the software, click here.
Developed by Hilti, the new Hilti Profis DF Diaphragm Software Version 2.0 calculates diaphragm shear, flexibility factors and uplift resistance for steel deck roof and floor systems using Hilti, as well as other, fasteners. The program is based on the Steel Deck Institute (SDI) Diaphragm Design Method and incorporates the latest ICC-ES AC43 performance data. The program incorporates a powerful design optimization feature with estimating and zoning functions in order to produce the most cost-effective steel deck design solution today.
 
   

New Tech Machinery Metal Coil Calculator



To use the calculator, click here.
Developed by New Tech Machinery, this coil calculator will assist anyone in the roofing industry in calculating the square feet, linear feet and weight of steel, aluminum and copper coils. The calculations are based on coil dimensions that are input by the user.
 
   

Miller-Clapperton MCM Specification Generator


To use the calculator, click here.
In an effort to assist architects in correctly specifying Metal Composite Material (MCM), The Miller-Clapperton Partnership, Inc. has launched an online specifications generator. With this technology, an architect simply inputs basic project information, selects from drop-down menus available material thickness, color, core, and attachment system and upon completion a formal specification is generated and is available for download and inclusion in the project manual.
 
   

Whirlwind Solar Energy Metal Roofing Calculator


To use the calculator, click here.
Whirlwind Steel Buildings Inc. offers on its website a free Return On Investment (ROI) calculator for architects and contractors interested in utilizing Whirlwind Solar Energy metal roofing systems on either Whirlwind steel buildings or conventional structures. Use of the calculator requires information to be input and submitted, with the results then calculated and returned.
   

 

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