About KJ Fields

KJ Fields writes about design, sustainability and health from Portland,
Ore.

Roof Sections of Cosmetics Manufacturing Facility Get Expert Makeover With Cold-applied System, SPF and Smoke-vent Skylights

American International Industries manufactures cosmetics at the facility, and great care had to be taken to ensure no dust or fragments would fall from above and contaminate the products. Photo courtesy of Highland Commercial Roofing.

American International Industries manufactures cosmetics at the facility, and great care had to be taken to ensure no dust or fragments would fall from above and contaminate the products. Photo courtesy of Highland Commercial Roofing.

American International Industries was faced with a conundrum. The roof diaphragm on its 1968, 210,000-square-foot, wood-frame manufacturing facility in Los Angeles had deflection caused by structural settlement, but a full roof replacement was not an option.

“The roof was built without a substantial amount of pitch to it and the plywood deck in between the main purlins had settled over time,” recalls Rick Cunningham, president of Highland Commercial Roofing in Baldwin Park, Calif. “Removing the existing roof and deck and restructuring a roof of this size to return it to its original slope was financially unfeasible.”

American International Industries contracted Ernest Orchard, owner of Irvine, Calif.-based Orchard Roofing and Waterproofing Consultants as a project consultant and owner’s representative who closely monitored the job. Orchard selected a reinforced fluid-applied roof restoration system and brought Highland Commercial Roofing into the project because of the company’s specialization with the process and its expertise in commercial flat roofing in the Southwest. (Highland Commercial Roofing has offices in the Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Oakland, Calif.; and Phoenix areas.)

American International Industries restored sections of its roof with a cold-applied system, spray polyurethane expanding foam and smoke-vent skylights. Photo courtesy of SKYCO Skylights.

American International Industries restored sections of its roof with a cold-applied system, spray polyurethane expanding foam and smoke-vent skylights. Photo courtesy of SKYCO Skylights.

According to Ernest Orchard, another critical consideration in selecting a roofing solution had to do with the activities inside the building. “American International Industries manufactures cosmetics here and we couldn’t have any dust or fragments falling from above into the product,” he says. “In addition, the installation was to take place over the winter while the facility remained operational, and we couldn’t have the building open to weather.”

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Prefabricated Edge Metal Helps Shape Unique Roofs on a Georgia Hospital

To expand its services and make it easier for patients and visitors to navigate its facility, Gordon Hospital, Calhoun, Ga., underwent a $37 million expansion. The project added 59,000 square feet of hospital space, renovated 11,500 square feet of space, and created a new patient tower entrance to separate inpatient and outpatient service entrances. The various aspects of the project included 11 different roof areas, so the project’s general contractor, the Atlanta office of Birmingham, Ala.-based Brasfield & Gorrie, brought Atlanta’s Diamond Roofing Co. into the project during concept design.

The architects designed all the curves and unique walls to make the campus beyond ordinary and give the hospital a certain appeal.

The architects designed all the curves and unique walls to make the campus beyond ordinary and give the hospital a certain appeal.

“The hospital addition and renovation was still just a sketch and a narrative, and we worked together to understand the owner’s needs and architect’s intent,” says Dave Mossige, Diamond Roofing’s president. “Roofing systems have be- come very complex over the years and it really does take a roofing specialist to navigate the numerous options and decide the best roofing systems for the project.”

Having the roofing contractor onboard from inception also helped with staging. When it became apparent that two canopies between the new and existing buildings would pose significant challenges with materials’ access, the team was able to plan ahead and stock-pile materials near the area months pri- or to needing them.

GETTING THINGS LEVEL

Because this was a fast-track project, 10 to 15 crew members worked across multiple roof areas. “All the other trades come in behind us once we have the roof ready, so getting the roof area dried-in was key to the schedule,” Mossige says. “That’s why we chose a more durable two-ply modified bitumen rather than a single-ply system for the roofing. Disturbances that happened to the base while the trades were working off the roofs could be quickly and easily repaired before we applied the cap sheet.”

The roofing areas added up to 25,400 square feet of space, including the main roof, penthouse and various other canopies. The main roof on the new addition was unique because it was divided into two portions: one with a steel deck and another with a concrete deck for future vertical expansion. The concrete deck was 5-inches higher than the steel deck.

To make the steel deck meet the thickness of the adjacent concrete deck for a level roof, Diamond Roofing’s team mechanically fastened 5 inches of polyisocyanurate insulation on the steel and then installed a 1/4-inch-per-foot-total tapered ISO system. The team then applied a cover board to increase the system’s wind rating and provide better adhesion of the base ply. The tapered system and cover board were set in ribbons of low-rise foam adhesive. The next layer was an SBS modified bitumen as a cold-process adhesive and then a fire-rated granular cap sheet, also set in a cold-process adhesive.

Although Diamond Roofing has a sheet-metal shop in which team members fabricate edge metal, it worked with a supplier to source prefabricated edge metal that had been formally tested to meet or exceed the hospital's required FM 1-105 criterion.

Although Diamond Roofing has a sheet-metal shop in which team members fabricate edge metal, it worked with a supplier to source prefabricated edge metal that had been formally tested to meet or exceed the hospital’s required FM 1-105 criterion.

PRECISE EDGE METAL

Although Diamond Roofing has a sheet-metal shop in which team members fabricate edge metal, most of the roofing firm’s product is equivalent to a wind rating of FM 1-60 and FM 1-90. FM approval ratings apply to uplift pressures in pounds per square foot. Hospitals are constructed to stricter standards, however, and officials at Gordon Hospital wanted to ensure an FM 1-105 approval rating. Diamond Roofing worked with a supplier to source prefabricated edge metal that had been formally tested to meet or exceed the FM 1-105 criterion.

The ability to order the sheer volume of edge metal needed also saved time on the project. “We had over 2,500 lineal feet of edge metal on this project. That would’ve taken us three weeks to fabricate,” Mossige explains. “In addition, the highly unique specifications of the edge metal needed for the project made it more cost-effective for us to outsource it.”

The edge metal needed to be a heavy gauge of 0.063 prefinished aluminum with a protective Kynar 500 resin-based coating. The architects also wanted welded mitered corners. In certain places on the roofs, unusual radiuses and slopes—occasionally joining with straight coping at offset angles—meant some inside and outside miters had to be exactingly produced for odd angles like 104 and 140 degrees.

For example, on one parapet, two different elevations come together at a corner, making precision critical for the manufacturer and installer. “When you are dealing with preformed metal, you have to be precise,” Mossige notes, “but when you’re doing a raised, offset miter, you have to be perfect.”

PHOTOS: OMG EDGESYSTEMS

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Deft Planning and Skillful Moves Play Out on the Reroof of the World’s Largest Water Filtration Plant

Reroofing the 10.3-acre surface of Chicago’s highly sensitive James W. Jardine Water Filtration Plant posed logistical challenges on par with the building’s magnitude. Phasing to ensure the plant continued to supply fresh water to its 5 million customers in the city of Chicago and its suburbs, the need for complete containment areas, roof-load restrictions, unique stainless-steel expansion joints and the Department of Homeland Security’s onsite presence all made for intricate operations. But John Cronin, president of Chicago-based Trinity Roofing Service, says Mother Nature was his toughest challenge.

The James W. Jardine Water Filtration Plant arguably was the largest and most complex roofing project in Chicago during the past decade.

The James W. Jardine Water
Filtration Plant arguably was the largest and most complex roofing project in Chicago during the past
decade.

“Conducting construction on the Lake Michigan waterfront during Chicago’s harshest winter in 30 years [2013-14] was by far the hardest part of this job. Driving rain, wind, black ice and snow—it was unmerciful,” asserts Cronin. “Constant communication had to be our priority, because we could go to the site in the morning and discover that weather made impossible the sequence of work we had planned. Senior Project Manager J.J. Matthews, Job Superintendent Rob Reno and I had to be incredibly flexible to keep the job moving.”

Water Protection

The water-treatment plant’s 50-year-old coal-tar roof and concrete roof deck had been leaking, which created potential health concerns. The plant supplies approximately 1 billion gallons of clean water a day, which meant many concrete filter beds had to remain operational and free of contamination during construction. Filter beds beneath the phased work area were drained. To protect the drained beds, Trinity cut a hole in the roof and erected a specialized watertight “shoe box” work zone, extending 6-feet down. These shoebox areas consisted of a plywood scaffolding platform blanketed by a 60-mil membrane. Inside the box, existing structural steel had to be sand blasted free of lead paint, inspected and replaced in some spots. At any given time, the team had two 56,000-square-foot scaffolding platforms in place.

Winter winds blew snow across the flat roof and down into these protection zones carrying multiple forms of contamination. Rooftop bird droppings were one source. Asbestos from the original 1960s roof was another. The team had to bring in heat torpedoes (portable forced-air or convection heaters) to melt the snow and divert it through custom-made gutters into cisterns to be hauled offsite so workers could access the steel.

Protecting materials from the elements was also paramount. More than 1,000 rolls of fleece-backed membrane had to remain completely dry. In addition, cellular glass roof insulation (specified from Belgium for its proven 50-year track record on the facility) had an eight-week timeframe for production and overseas delivery, making critical that each square of insulation stayed in pristine condition. Chicago rain can fall in isolated pockets, so every load had to be fully secured with tarp, even on seemingly sunny days.

The harsh Chicago winter of 2013- 14 didn’t stop Trinity Roofing Service from completing the twoyear project on schedule. Seven miles of backer rod are being laid between seams of concrete roof channels despite snow and ice.

The harsh Chicago winter of 2013-14 didn’t stop Trinity Roofing Service from completing the two-year project on schedule. Seven miles of backer rod are being laid
between seams of concrete roof channels despite snow and ice.

“It was an ongoing job to impress the importance of covering all the materials that came to the site, especially at the slightest hint of rain,” Cronin says. “It worked, though. We fully inspected every material load that came to the job site. Out of more than 712,000 board feet of new insulation, none of it was rejected thanks to our strictly enforced quality-control program.”

Despite the snow and ice accumulation on staging areas, no salt was allowed on the property for fear of water contamination, which meant Trinity also dealt with slippery walking and driving surfaces.

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