PUBLISHED: 4:51 PM on Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Building relations
Ketchikan holds state home builders convention, trade show
The 26th Annual Alaska State Home Building Association Convention will be held Oct. 19-21, in Ketchikan by the Southern Southeast Alaska Building Industry Association. The state convention was first held in Ketchikan in 1997, although it was sponsored by Juneau builders at the time, said Pam Roth of SSABIA.

"We've never been able to host it and do it ourselves," Roth said.

Planning for two years for the event to be held in Ketchikan, the first step was securing a facility. The convention and trade show will be held at the Ted Ferry Center and Cape Fox Lodge.

The Thursday through Sunday event is packed with classes, lectures and meetings and features a "Flashback to the 60s" dinner.

Chuck Dearden, a building official for the city of Ketchikan, said a focus of the convention will be the issue of mold, which especially affects Southeast Alaska.

Keynote speaker will be McGregor "Mac" Pearce, who specializes in evaluating water damage and mold problems and designs clean-up protocols. He deals with health issues pertaining to exposure to microbiological contaminants. Dearden said Pearce gives an informative presentation with an entertainer's flair.

"He mixes philosophy, politics, funny anecdotal experiences and personal views into his dissertation. He is a great trainer," Dearden said.

"We're centering our whole fair on this issue because it really affects Southeast and other maritime climates."

Also serving as a keynote speaker is Jack He'bert, who will talk about the newly finished $5.3 million Cold Climate Housing Research Center built on the University of Fairbanks campus.

"Not only will the center test products and building systems for the five regional areas of Alaska, but the building is a test in itself," Dearden said.

"These are monitors and sensors in all components of the buildings as well as in the soil to monitor current permafrost and seasonal permafrost degradation."

Marquan George, a University of Alaska Southeast associate professor in construction technology, will instruct a 16-hour residential endorsement class necessary for all new potential residential builders.

Classes also will be taught by instructors from the Fairbanks and Anchorage areas.

"Many of the classes and booths will center around building envelopes and the proper use of weather resistant applications, especially around penetrations such as windows," Dearden said.

The tradeshow will feature products and services targeted at the building industry and that are specific to Alaska, Roth said.

"We have some cool stuff coming," she said.

"We're hoping by having the tradeshow at the same time as the convention to show people that Alaska has products that are made here and for here."

Roth said a state convention ranges in 60-300 attendants, and she is expecting more than 100 this year.

She said having the convention in Ketchikan benefits the economy and also energizes local builders.

"I think it's important to get our members excited and remind them of what we can do," Roth said.

"Everyone is busy from the day-to-day building that they forget what we have here and how we can keep moving forward."

For information or registration for the convention, call Roth at (907) 247-4903 or send e-mail to