Metal Roofing Hall of Fame 2007: Jack Berridge

Jack Berridge remains active at Berridge Manufacturing, the company he founded in Houston in 1970.

Q. What are you doing nowadays?

“I serve as Chairman of the Board of Berridge Manufacturing Company. Lately I have been working on the development of a new light gauge steel framing system which will offer architects and owners a ‘green, sustainable’ way to design and build light commercial and residential projects. Of course these structures will also be able to use our metal roofing and siding products.”

Q. How did you get involved in the metal roofing industry?

“After I graduated from California State Polytechnic College back in 1959 with a degree in architectural engineering, I went to work for Kaiser Aluminum in their product development department and later worked for Amax Aluminum company in research and development.
“In 1966, I was a startup partner in a company which manufactured architectural panel products. I could see the immense potential for metal roofing and siding, therefore, my next venture was to form my own company, Berridge Manufacturing Company in Houston, Texas in 1970. When we started it was just my wife, a warehouseman and me. We began by press-brake forming several roofing profiles then. As the business grew we added roll forming equipment. I would go out and sell the job, come back and fabricate the order, go out and install it, and then go back to collect.
“In 1984 I introduced the first portable roll former machine which was capable of producing both curved and straight standing seam panels at the jobsite. It was an immediate success, largely because no one else could offer curved panels at that time. In order to serve our customers who bought the roll formers, we began to operate our own paint line in 1985.
“Today, we have eleven different dedicated profile portable roll formers and we also make over 31 different roofing and siding products.”

Q. How has the industry changed since you first became involved?

“In the late 60s, the only metal roofing available was that being sold by the metal building manufacturing companies as a part of their system and the choice of profiles were very limited. Architects who designed non-metal buildings were not specifying metal roofing or siding at that time. We actually created the architectural metal roofing and siding market in the early 70s, and we had very little competition.
“Today we see many high-profile projects featuring architectural metal panels. Many profiles such as the curved barrel vault metal panels were copied from original Berridge designs.”

Q. How has Berridge Manufacturing changed through the years?

“When we began selling portable roll formers and pre-painted coil and flat sheet products, it changed the way we marketed our products. Once customers could site-form their own roofing panels and control their production schedule, that became the major part of our business.
“The other major factor is increased awareness and acceptance of metal roofing and siding panels by the architectural community. Most of our business is based on architectural specifications so that is where we focus a lot of our marketing efforts.”

Q. What contributions have you and your company made to the metal roofing industry?

“I would say my contribution and that of my company would be the development of architectural metal roofing and specifically site-formed standing seam panels. Since we first began marketing our portable roll formers and the profiles we developed more than 20 years ago, the architectural metal roofing industry has experienced unprecedented growth.”

Q. What does the future look like for our industry?

“I think the introduction of ‘green’, sustainable color-coated steel will be a strong growth factor as designers and owners are required to comply with new and emerging energy-conservation standards.
“Light-gauge steel framing is another type of ‘green’ building construction, which holds great promise, and I predict we will see very rapid development in that area as well.”

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