Four Views From a 44th Floor Manhattan Green Roof

The green roof is a living ecosystem, and multiple species of sedum give it the best chance of success. The vegetative mat from ZinCo is pre-cultivated with about 12 to 16 hardy plant species.

SL Green Realty Corp., the largest commercial landlord in New York City, is working with tenants across its NYC properties to achieve a 30-50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 10 years. Green roofs are playing a role in the effort, including one 44 stories up at 1185 Avenue of the Americas.

The 1.1 million-square-foot commercial office building is owned and managed by SL Green, a leader in urban sustainability. Among the many environmental advantages of green roofs, they reduce the urban heat island effect, ease storm water runoff, filter pollutants in rainwater and remove carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the air. In addition, by lowering building cooling demand, they can cut greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing electricity.

The roof replacement project was completed in the fall of 2017, and key participants shared their perspectives on the project, including representatives of four companies:

  1. SL Green, the property owner and management company
  2. CANY Architecture and Engineering DPC, the construction management firm
  3. Nations Roof LLC, the installer
  4. ZinCo USA, the green roof system consultant and manufacturer

1. The Realty Management Company

Daniel Huster, Senior Project Manager, SL Green Realty Corp.

How did this project get started?

Before the new Kemperol waterproofing membrane could be installed, the existing bituminous roof needed to be removed down to the concrete deck. Photo: Nations Roof LLC.

SL Green has an on-site team that manages 1185 Avenue of the Americas. I handle all the construction within the building and several others in our portfolio. The old (bituminous) roof was past its warranty. It had absorbed water, and we were showing signs of leaks in our mechanical room and the spaces below. We engaged CANY to put together a package to design and replace the roof system. They specified a reinforced waterproofing membrane from Kemper System America Inc. for the main roof, and we also asked CANY to bid with a green roof on top.

Green roofs are uncommon at such heights. What convinced SL Green?

When we originally put the RFP out for roofing renovation, we asked for the green roof as an alternative. After the group considered all the advantages and then saw the pricing, we made a collective decision that it was worthwhile to pursue.

SL Green already has two buildings in New York with green roofs — 100 Park Avenue and a vegetable garden at 1515 Broadway near Times Square. But those are setback roofs at much lower elevations. The roof at 1185 is essentially rectangular, so this was an opportunity. The floor plates spread the weight, and the green roof and pavers could cover roughly 4,500 to 5,000 square feet of the 14,200 square foot total. It took a while to work out the details on the elevation, but CANY and the green roof consultant from ZinCo figured out a design that could work.

2. The Construction Management Firm

Andrew Cucciniello, Project Manager, CANY

What was the condition of the existing roof?

The existing roof was a modified bituminous system — a torch-applied sheet on the concrete deck followed by layers of rigid insulation, topped with cover board and two more plies of the mod bit. Judging by the wear, it had been down about 20 years. We completed an investigation of the assembly, and found that it had failed in a number of locations and water had infiltrated the layers. This was one of the driving forces behind our recommendation for a full replacement aside from any repair.

What is involved with the investigation?

Typical with any investigation for us, we coordinate with an environmental consultant and an independent agent, who cuts holes into the main roof frame down to the structural deck so we can understand all the existing components. This also gives us an opportunity to do material sampling and test for asbestos-containing materials (ACMs). (There were none.)

Testing lets the demolition contractor know the extent of material removal. Also, the environmental consultant is required to submit a laboratory report and must notify the NY Department of Buildings before we can file for permits. The city wants to know there are no ACMs present, and if there are, the Department of Environmental Protection will receive notification about the abatement procedures.

What do you consider in specifying the green roof waterproofing assembly?

When we get a project like this, there are several different types of materials we can consider. We try to analyze the use of the roof and what kind of traffic it will experience in terms of mechanical equipment, people performing maintenance and repairs, etc. Also, for a protective roof assembly, there can be NY Energy Conservation Code requirements for insulation.

In this case, if we were to go with a built-up roof (BUR) it would require drainage at the surface, which would mean tapered insulation (likely a polyisocyanurate). Tapered insulation would drive our base flashing height halfway up the parapet, which we could not accommodate due to a scaffold track around the perimeter.

Nations Roof crews are acquainted with the challenges and procedures of working at height. In this photo, crew members are appropriately harnessed as they remove an old metal railing. Photo: Nations Roof LLC.

So we selected the liquid-applied Kemperol 2K-PUR reinforced membrane system, which is self-flashing and installs directly to the deck. Since it is a fully-adhered system that can withstand ponding water, we did not have to design for slope. A (non-tapered) rigid-styrene insulation board sits on top. Because the Kemperolmembrane is root resistant, a separate root barrier was not required. There were also ongoing discussions with Kemper System and ZinCo throughout our design process to assist with the final overburden components.

Are inspections conducted during the construction phase?

Our company performs QC inspections throughout the course of construction. From existing roof material removal and any preparation of substrates, as well as the new roof installation, flashing details, and the overburden placement. We have been involved with Kemper System for about two decades. With these roof assemblies which offer a 20-year warranty, we conduct periodic inspections with Kemper System to make sure the installation meets their warranty compliance requirements. We were the applicant of record with the NY Department of Buildings, though, and are on board until the project gets closed out.

3. The Installer

Michael Johannes, President, Nations Roof-East

Why was Nations Roof selected for this green roof rather than an architectural landscape company?

When a realty management firm first looks at us as a roofing and waterproofing company, they see our financial stability and our commitment to working safely. Nations Roof consistently ranks in the top five roofing contractors in the U.S. We are committed to delivering comprehensive roofing solutions. During any repair or construction project, we understand the need to protect employees, guests and valuable assets, and at the same time, to maintain business operations and service levels throughout the project. This project was completed working off-hours and through occupied spaces that needed to be ready for the next workday without interruption.  

Also, not a lot of landscaping companies are going to carry the required levels of insurance coverage without numerous exclusions for such things as building height. We work constantly on projects from eight to 50 stories in the air installing roofing systems both on new construction and renovations such as 1185 Avenue of the Americas.

What about the quality of the waterproofing installation?

1185 Avenue of the Americas in New York City earned a LEED Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council and is one of the most efficient commercial office buildings in the nation. The property features expansive views and a green roof on the 44th floor.

Landscape contractors are not generally authorized to install roofing and waterproofing systems. Our foreman, project managers and installers are employees and most have been with our company for years. Our crews are trained and experienced in installing leak-free systems. That includes certified training by Kemper System in the liquid-applied reinforced membrane system used on this project. Plus, ZinCo provided guidance on installing the garden components and the transitions to the interlocking paver walkways. We can supply a “finished turnkey green-roof” with all the components, and provide the owner with a warranted watertight installation.

Has Nations Roof installed other green roofs in New York City?

Actually, we’ve done many garden roof installations. For example, we successfully completed 100 Park Avenue with SL Green, which was a LEED Silver project, and Via Verde, an affordable housing complex in the Bronx.

New York and Chicago are at the front of the green roof trend. Via Verde was former N.Y. Mayor Michael Blomberg’s first initiative into green gardens back in 2010, and they caught on. Most new roof projects we do in the city now have some form of hardscape and softscape. It’s valuable space that in the past has gone unused for the owner and the tenants. If you live or work in one of these buildings, it’s nice to have a place you can go that is secure. When we go to Via Verde now, we see mothers with baby strollers sitting and reading books in what would have been just a roof a few years ago.

What do you see for the future of green roofs?

We believe the market will continue to be strong for livable roof space that improves the environment, and we will continue to be in the middle of that with big developers. It is also the commitment and leadership of property owners like SL Green to invest in these initiatives that will continue to drive success.

4. Green Roof System Consultant and Manufacturer

Nick Smith, National Account Manager, ZinCo USA

What are the primary issues with installing a green roof at this height?

Any green roof installed at 500 feet can invite potential problems with horticulture, erosion and exposure. Let’s focus on those three: To analyze exposure, we recommend a wind study and sun/shade study, and CANY performed these tests.

Wind uplift is a major issue with the physical properties of the green roof. We are concerned with getting the proper ballast. In this situation, a standard engineered-material assembly would not be heavy enough to protect against a worst-case scenario. The solution was to add significant weight to the assembly within the cups and the drainage elements. The engineered growing media is also a bit heavier than normal.

Wind scour, a horticultural issue, is the plant’s ability to stay vital with continuous wind. We know after looking at hundreds of studies that trouble spots most often occur around the perimeter and at corners, where you get microcurrents of fast-moving or swirling air. The conventional wisdom is that on a building over 500 feet tall that is going to withstand serious wind 24 hours a day, plants simply won’t grow at the perimeter and corners.

To combat erosion, we separated the vegetated area from the walkway deck in many areas with an aluminum angled-edge. The aluminum barrier acts as a separation for the way the wind moves. So we make sure the installer understands that at the edge angle, the depth of the growing media must be exactly compacted in the cup wells to 3 inches plus. A shallower depth may not be significant at the center, but at the edge you must have that specificity in quality control to safeguard against erosion.

Finally, once the plants are down, we place a “jute net” over the entire assembly. Our erosion blanket is a biodegradable coco-fiber. It is really important on the perimeter that the jute net is wrapped around the vegetation and under the soil profile at full depth to make sure the plants have the best chance. 

What were some other ways you adapted the green roof for this project?

One unusual thing is we infilled the drainage element with an aggregate. That’s not totally uncommon on a green roof assembly, but it is on sedum. We wouldn’t do that at a lesser height, but it served as ballasting. The mineral-based aggregates we use also wick the water saved in the cups up into the growing layer, which in this case had a slightly higher dry weight (28.9 pounds per square foot) than a traditional assembly, again primarily for ballasting.

Dry weight always compromises nutritional content in the media. That means you can’t think strictly about weight, or you lose plant vitality. This was a balancing act we performed with CANY — to make sure proper weight was maintained for ballasting without undermining the needs for plant life, while also keeping the fully saturated weight within the load-bearing requirements of the structure.

What about the installation?

Green roof design, engineering and global experience are important, but the success of a green roof also depends on the installation. We worked with Nations Roof on proper installation technique, both generally and specifically for this challenging installation, and they did a fantastic job.

TEAM

Building Management: SL Green Realty Corp., New York, www.slgreen.com

Construction Management: CANY Architecture and Engineering DPC, New York, www.cany.com

Installer: Nations Roof-East, Yonkers, N. Y., www.nationsroof.com
Green Roof Consultant: ZinCo USA, Stoughton, Massachusetts, www.zinco-usa.com

MATERIALS

Roof Waterproofing System: Kemperol 2K-PUR cold liquid-applied reinforced membrane system, Kemper System, West Seneca, N.Y., www.kemper-system.com

Green Roof: Custom Sedum System by ZinCo USA, Stoughton, Massachusetts, www.zinco-usa.com

Living Roof Helps Orcas Island Home Blend into the Landscape

This residence on Orcas Island is crowned with an extensive green roof from XeroFlor.
Photos: Terra Firma NW LLC

Orcas Island is a horseshoe-shaped island in the northwest corner of the state of Washington. With an area of 57 square miles, it’s the largest of the San Juan Islands, and accessible only by ferry. When a client approached him about building a custom home on the island, Justin Paulsen jumped at the chance. Paulsen is the owner of Terra Firma NW LLC, a general contractor located in nearby Eastsound, Washington. “We were hired directly by the owners to build the project from the ground up,” Paulsen notes.

The 3,400-square-foot home features 3,850 square feet of roof area, which is crowned with a living roof. The system specified for the project was a XeroFlor extensive green roof, which was installed on top of a PVC membrane roof manufactured by Versico.

The green roof system consists of a root barrier with a drainage composite, 1-1/4 inches of growing medium, and pre-vegetated sedum mats. The system was installed in the late fall in 2018, so many of the plants were dormant. Photos: Terra Firma NW LLC

“The roof system works well for the home, which is designed in the style of the Bauhaus school of design,” notes Paulsen. “The home features many linear design elements, and the green roof gives it a sense of blending in with the natural surroundings.”

It was only the second green roof Paulsen had been involved with, so he made sure to do his homework. He knew from experience that work on the island would pose logistical challenges, so he tapped a talented to team to help design and execute the project.

The Roofing Contractor

Paulsen wanted a skilled roofing contractor to install the waterproof layer beneath the green roof system. The Versico rep in the area, Ken Stillwell, recommended All Weather Rooftop Solutions, headquartered in Everett, Washington. The company, owned by partners Todd Severson and Greg O’Neill, typically focuses on commercial work, but this project was right in their wheelhouse. Severson knew the company had to plan ahead to ensure the everything went smoothly.

Crews from Terra Firma NW installed the green roof system. The sedum mats arrived on a pallet and were unrolled on top of the growing medium. Photos: Terra Firma NW LLC

“Working on the island was the biggest challenge of the whole project,” Severson notes. “We wanted to complete the project in one week, so we had to make sure we had everything ready to go. Everything had to be transported by ferry, so we had to schedule all of the trucks and make sure all of the material landed at one time. We just had to make sure we had all of the material and manpower on that ferry.”

The PVC roof system was installed over a plywood deck. Crews first installed two layers of 3.3-inch insulation to achieve an R-value of 38. Tapered insulation system was then added to ensure proper drainage. The insulation was topped with half-inch DensDeck Prime cover board, which was mechanically attached. A gray 60-mil PVC membrane from Versico was then fully adhered over the entire assembly.

All Weather crews also installed OMG SpeedTite roof drains with Vortex-breaker technology, as well as Solatube light tubes. The large skylight was installed by the manufacturer, CrystaLite.

All Weather Rooftop Solutions installed the PVC membrane to provide a waterproof barrier beneath the green roof. Photos: Terra Firma NW LLC

The sheet metal work was completed by All Weather on a second trip, with a smaller crew returning to complete the flashing and edge metal. The roofing portion of the project went smoothly. “Justin from Terra Firma was great work with, and our superintendent, Jeff Gale, did a great job quarterbacking it on our end,” Severson notes. “Everything went off without a hitch. It’s a pretty unique little structure.”

Paulsen agrees. “They did a great job installing the insulation and the membrane,” he notes. “The biggest thing we had to deal with after that was protecting the membrane from other trades. Our stonemason had to go back up on the roof and complete the chimneys.”

To preserve the integrity of the membrane after it was installed, Terra Firma crews cut a 20-mil pond liner pond liner into sections that were used to protect areas of the roof that had to be accessed by other trades.

Installing the Green Roof

After all the other work was completed on the rooftop, crews from Terra Firma installed the green roof system in the late fall of 2018. Paulsen had heard about XeroFlor from another contractor and did some research. He then contacted Clayton Rugh, director of XeroFlor America, to design and specify the system.

“I thought it was really top-notch system,” Paulsen notes. “I went to Clayton to document some other examples that had been installed in the area, and I pitched it to our client. Clayton did all of the functional engineering work on the green roof system and determined the soil requirements. The plantings by XeroFlor were sourced very close to the project site, which helps to ensure successful future growth.”

Photos: Terra Firma NW LLC

The extensive green roof system consists of a root barrier with a drainage composite, which is an open-flow zone of polymer coils with a bonded fleece fabric sheet. The drainage material was topped with 1-1/4 inches of growing medium, followed by 1-inch-thick pre-vegetated mats, which contained a mix of sedum succulents.

The pre-vegetated mats are installed just like sod. “They arrive rolled up on a pallet,” Rugh notes. “You just align the roll adjacent to the previously installed roll, abutting it tightly, and roll it into place.”

Terra Firma also installed the edge metal and rock ballast around the perimeter. “I was amazed at how simple it was to accommodate the green roof portion of the project,” Paulsen says. “Once the membrane was down, we knew we were rock solid and the house was well protected. The green roof portion was easy to install. I’d definitely do one again.”

Paulsen is proud to have this project under his belt. He can’t wait to see it in the spring, when the green roof is in its full glory.

“Terra Firma NW thrives on jobs that have complex and unusual requirements,” Paulsen says. “This job, from foundation all the way through the roof, presented numerous design challenges. We have a $2 million-dollar house under this roof. If I had to give advice to anyone doing a green roof, my advice would be: Don’t cut corners.”

TEAM

Architect:  Harlan Pedersen AIA, Orcas, Washington

General Contractor: Terra Firma NW LLC, Eastsound, Washington, www.tfnwllc.com

Roofing Contractor: All Weather Rooftop Solutions, Everett, Washington, www.allweatherroof.net

MATERIALS

Extensive Green Roof System: XeroFlor XF + GM Assembly, XeroFlor North America, www.xeroflornorthamerica.com

Roof Membrane: 60-mil PVC, Versico Roofing Systems, www.versico.com

Cover Board: DensDeck Prime, Georgia-Pacific, www.densdeck.com

Skylight: CrystaLite, www.crystaliteinc.com

Daylighting: Solatube, www.solatube.com

Roof Drains: SpeedTite roof drains, OMG Roofing Products, www.omgroofing.com

At The Wharf, Vegetative Roofs Play a Key Role in Storm Water Management

The Wharf is a riverfront community spanning nearly a mile of the Potomac River. The neighborhood features high-end hotels, luxury condominiums, retail shops, commercial offices and a music hall. Photos: The District Wharf

According to the Washington D.C. Department of Energy and the Environment, the District is home to more than 3 million square feet of vegetative roof assemblies (VRAs). A commitment to responsible storm water management has helped the nation’s capital rank first among U.S. cities when it comes to green roofs installed. From the massive 500,000-square-foot VRA atop the Douglas Munro U.S. Coast Guard headquarters (featured in the September/October 2018 issue of Roofing) to elegant boutique cocktail bars, VRAs are helping Washington, D.C., manage storm water runoff and providing unique vantage points for taking in national landmarks. The Wharf, in the District’s Southwest quadrant, represents a “neighborhood” approach to green roofs.

A riverfront community spanning nearly a mile of the Potomac River, The Wharf is a mixed use, public-private development, including high-end hotels, luxury condominiums, retail shops, commercial offices and even a 6,000-seat music hall. While the design and aesthetics of different buildings at The Wharf project a sense of diversity, VRAs are a unifying element. In addition to providing visual interest and elevated spaces for public gatherings, VRAs help The Wharf achieve its sustainability and water management goals.

Managing Storm Water, Supporting Sustainability

Water has long been a defining element of life in the District, whose neighboring waterways include not only the Potomac, but also the Anacostia River, Rock Creek and Chesapeake Bay. To help manage storm water runoff, the District makes use of a massive cistern system, permeable pavements, and extensive use of vegetative bio-retention supported by VRAs. The District of Columbia’s Department of Energy & Environment mandates measures that retain runoff from a 1.2-inch storm event through green infrastructure and capture reuse systems. Specific storm water retention rates are specified relative to a building’s footprint.

The vegetative roofs help tie together the diverse types of buildings in the area. Photos: The District Wharf

In addition to helping manage storm water runoff, protected roof membrane assembly (PRMA) systems at The Wharf also help to support the development’s sustainability performance goals, which started at the master planning stage. Sustainability objectives supported by The Wharf’s VRAs include reducing storm water discharge and improving thermal performance through the cooling and shading properties of soils and plantings — an important consideration in a region renowned for its humid summers. VRAs are also desirable in urban areas for the role vegetation can play in helping filter pollution and providing habitats for birds and other wildlife. Finally, VRAs offer an aesthetically pleasing environment for employees, occupants and visitors.

The Wharf development was designed to achieve LEED Gold, while individual buildings targeted LEED Gold or Silver. Constructed in phases, Phase One opened in 2017 and took nearly 15 years to complete. While the Great Recession slowed construction, an “upside” of the delay was that a proliferation of PRMA assemblies across the District helped inform the assembly of green roofs at The Wharf. Several high-profile buildings that employ similar roofing systems include the MGM Casino, the National Museum of African American History and the National Archives.

A PRMA Approach to Support Performance

More than half of the roofs in The Wharf make use of an Owens Corning PRMA that includes Owens Corning FOAMULAR 404 and 604 extruded polystyrene insulation (XPS) supplied by PPSI Maryland. XPS delivers unique water resistance and strength properties that differentiate it from other insulation products and make it ideal for VRA applications. In fact, the demanding conditions on rooftops helped prompt the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommendation to use only XPS insulation for VRA applications. The innate water resistance of XPS helps a roofing system retain its R-value and energy-saving power while retaining its compressive strength to bear a significant amount of overburden. Strength is critical in a PRMA application, as the insulation must be able to withstand the weight of vegetation, rainfall, growing media, pavers and surrounding surface materials.

Sustainability objectives supported by The Wharf’s VRAs include reducing storm water runoff, improving thermal performance, and providing habitats for wildlife. Photos: The District Wharf

At the highest levels, the rooftop plants and vegetation help serve as a giant sponge to absorb the rainwater. In a PRMA roof, insulation under the plant layer, growing media and filter/drainage layer is placed above a waterproofing layer which directs water horizontally to a series of overflow vaults. A network of massive 700,000-gallon cisterns throughout the District collect and control the release of water.

In addition to water, wind was another consideration when planning VRAs at The Wharf. Rock curbs from Hanover Architectural Products help mitigate against winds coming in off the riverfront. Other roofing materials that help The Wharf PRMAs achieve performance include waterproofing membrane 790-11 Hot Rubberized Asphalt by the Henry Company, EMSEAL expansion joints to tie together air barriers, and Hanover Architectural Products pavers and sedum mats supplied by Sempergreen.

Contractor Coordination and Communications Are Key

As a community-focused development, The Wharf celebrated its grand opening with several public events. Hometown rock band the Foo Fighters performed for a sellout crowd at the Anthem music center on October 12, 2017. The enormous task of completing multiple buildings against a very tight timeline was a challenge felt by all of the contractor trades on site, according to Brian Davis, general superintendent at James Myers, the roofing contractor charged with installing green roofs at The Wharf. The immensity of the project required careful scheduling and logistics among roofers and other trades. Teams worked throughout the night and seven days a week as Phase One approached completion.

Photos: The District Wharf

As the countdown to the October 12 grand opening approached, construction teams followed tight schedules outlining exactly what team members would be working in what area at a particular time. The logistical demands of building nine buildings over six blocks made traffic bottlenecks an ongoing challenge throughout the project. Scheduling details had to consider not only the District’s notorious rush hour traffic but also events and attractions in the area. For example, the Washington Nationals baseball team played a number of weeknight baseball games at home. Trades working on The Wharf were required to clear the streets three hours before the first pitch of each Nationals home game. While navigating event schedules and a tight construction schedule, contractors also had to maintain high levels of safety and quality.

The public event commemorating the completion of Phase One celebrated a one-of-a-kind public space winding along one of the nation’s most historic riverfronts with an epic rock concert. More quietly, the completion of Phase One celebrated Washington’s role as a leader in the installation of VRAs while helping the District achieve sustainability goals and comply with storm water management mandates.

MATERIALS

Insulation: FOAMULAR 404 and 604 extruded polystyrene, Owens Corning, www.owenscorning.com

Waterproofing Membrane: 790-11 Hot Rubberized Asphalt, Henry Company, www.henry.com

Expansion Joints: EMSEAL, www.emseal.com

Sedum Mats: Sempergreen, www.sempergreen.com

Pavers: Hanover Architectural Products, www.hanoverpavers.com

Michigan Homeowners Embrace Composite Shake Roofing

The cedar shake roof on this Michigan home was replaced with composite shake by Butcher and Butcher Construction Co. Photos: Butcher and Butcher Construction Co. Inc.

Homeowners can be faced with difficult decisions when it’s time to replace their roof. That’s when knowledgeable, dedicated contractors can provide crucial assistance by explaining the best options for their particular circumstances. Mark Dalrymple, president of steep roofing operations for Butcher and Butcher Construction Co. Inc., headquartered in Rochester Hills,Michigan, points to one homeowner’s decision to replace their cedar shake roof as an example.

“Ten years ago, our company maintained and restored the original cedar roof on this house because the homeowners loved their real cedar shake so much,” says Dalrymple. “The goal was to get it to last another decade, which was achieved. However, now it’s 10 years later. The homeowners came back to us because they knew their old cedar shake roof had reached the end of its lifespan.”

At the client’s request, Dalrymple explained other roofing system options. “They wanted a recommendation for a roof alternative that would outperform real cedar, but still give the authentic appearance of cedar shakes,” he recalls. “We recommended composite shake roofing from DaVinci Roofscapes.”

The contractor installed Multi-Width Shakefrom DaVinci Roofscapes on the roof and turret. Photos: Butcher and Butcher Construction Co. Inc.

According to Dalrymple, the homeowners immediately approved of the DaVinci Multi-Width Shake product suggested by Butcher and Butcher.“They were impressed with the authentic look of the composite shake tiles,” he says. “The Autumn color was a great match for the weathering effect they were seeking. These homeowners were also extremely pleased with the features of the DaVinci tiles and liked the idea that long-term roof maintenance will be much easier than with real cedar shakes.”

Roofers That Care

Butcher and Butcher completed the massive re-roofing project in July of 2018. The project included installation of 85 squares of roofing material with special applications around a turret and multiple chimneys.

The roof on this Michigan home was replaced with composite shake manufactured by DaVinci Roofscapes. Photos: Butcher and Butcher Construction Co. Inc.

“We’ve been installing DaVinci composite roofs for 18 years so we’re very familiar with the product,” says Dalrymple, whose company has locations in both Michigan and Florida. “For this project, we used extra caution to protect the home’s meticulously manicured landscaping, courtyard and pool area. We were careful in both removal of the old roof and installation of the new roof. Everything from flowering shrubs around the house to flowers in window boxes had to be protected.”

Located in the prestigious area near Cranbrook Schools, a National Historic Landmark site, the newly re-roofed home sits in the Bloomfield Hills community of Michigan. Butcher and Butcher has worked in this area since the company started in 1972.

“This is a neighborhood of quiet, rural residential properties,” Dalrymple notes. “For us it’s an honor to help these homeowners have composite roofing installed on their homes. We know that this roofing material will help both protect the home from severe weather and add distinct curb appeal value to a property.”

According to Dalrymple, the homeowners were very pleased with the end result. “For this project, the homeowners truly love the fact that the composite shake looks so much like natural cedar roofing,” he says. “They’re excited with the roof’s performance so far and the idea that this DaVinci roof will far outlast their old natural cedar roof.”

Talented Team Helps School District Get the Most Out of Its Roof Assets

Roofs in the Milwaukee School District are inspected annually and undergo a five-year cyclic maintenance program. Photos: Atlas Roofing Corporation

When Dennis Fula took over the roofing shop for the Milwaukee Public School District more than 20 years ago, many of the school’s roofs were failing, and some buildings were in danger of being condemned. He reached out to a manufacturer to help him institute a program to inspect and prioritize roof repairs and replacements — and set up specifications to ensure the roofs he installed would last longer and need fewer repairs. 

Today, Dennis Fula’s son, Ryan Fula, is now in charge of the roofing shop at Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS), and he’s realizing the benefits of the program his father helped set up more than two decades ago. 

The Milwaukee Public Schools facilities management team includes (from left) John Linn, MPS Manager of Design and Construction; Dennis Fula, the previous crew leader of the MPS roofing shop; and Ryan Fula, the current crew leader. Photos: Atlas Roofing Corporation

According to Ryan Fula, his father teamed up with Dan Dalle Nogare, an independent representative of Atlas Roofing Corporation, to address the school district’s roofing issues some 23 years ago. The pair convinced the school system to adopt a comprehensive program to evaluate and maintain the district’s roofs. A key part of the plan was the implementation of theAtlas Roofing Corporation Certified Drainage Program (CDP), a low-slope tapered insulation design service that focuses on eliminating ponding water on a roof’s surface to extend the service life of the system. 

“Atlas Roofing came in and did a presentation on how they can save money in the long run working with Milwaukee Public Schools by offering the Certified Drainage Program,” Ryan Fula recalls. “So, we decided to take a shot at it and see how it might work out.” 

When it is time for a roof replacement, the specifications call for using tapered insulation designed by the team at Atlas Roofing’s Certified Drainage Program to ensure proper drainage. Photos: Atlas Roofing Corporation

According to Fula, the results over the last two decades have been impressive. “It’s been working out great ever since,” he says. “It helps us with the budget, it’s paying off now, and it will continue to pay off into the future.”

The program has been embraced by the school district, the roof system manufacturer, and the contractors who work on the projects. Ryan Fula and others currently involved with the program — most of whom represent the second generation of employees at their companies working under the arrangement — shared their insights on how the program works and why it’s effective. All of them cited it as a role model for other school districts across the country to follow. 

The School District

According to Ryan Fula, Milwaukee Public Schools encompasses more than 160 buildings with approximately 9 million square feet of roofing. The first priority of Fula and his roofing team is to fix and repair leaks, but their overall strategy involves taking a long-term approach to managing roof assets. The MPS roofing crew conducts annual inspections of each roof, and crew members clean up debris and check for problems. Every summer, the team conducts a five-year cyclic review, which includes routine maintenance, repairs, cleaning roofs and sometimes applying an aluminum roof coating. After 25 years of service, each roof is fully evaluated.

“We’re all about planning for the future and preventative maintenance,” Fula says. Most of the roofs in the school district are BUR or modified bitumen systems. “We like to keep our roofs smooth,” Fula notes. “As a rule, we don’t like gravel or ballast. The reason why is we only have four employees, and with the amount of square footage we have we don’t have time to spud or remove ballast.” 

The roof on the 88thSt. School was replaced with a modified bitumen system utilizing plan tapered insulation with a four-way slope. Photos: Atlas Roofing Corporation

Each year, Fula goes over his list and determines which roofs need to be repaired or replaced. When a building needs a full roof replacement, the process works like this: The Atlas representative visits the project, meets with Fula, and takes field measurements. The CDP team puts together a budget and preliminary plan, and the project is sent out for bid. Once the job is awarded, the contractor chosen removes the existing roof system and installs a temporary roof to keep the building watertight. The rep then conducts a detailed auto-level survey that maps out the entire deck, recording any deck deflection and high and low areas. Then the team at CDP comes up with a tapered insulation plan to ensure proper drainage.

Fula is involved at every stage of the process and serves as the construction liaison to the administrators and teachers at the school. “I work directly with the schools and the construction contractor from start to finish as the roofing work takes place,” Fula says. “I’ll be the inspector on the job. I’m there on a daily basis. Our biggest priority is to make sure that we don’t disrupt the school.” 

The Rep

One of the first people Fula contacts when it’s time for a roof replacement is Brett Kaehler, his Atlas representative. Kaehler works at Adroit Marketing Inc., headquartered in Slinger, Wisconsin, which has represented Atlas since 1988. Working alongside Dan Dalle Nogare, who helped launch the program, Kaehler has worked on more than 20 projects with MPS.

Consultation typically begins in the budgeting stage. “If a roof needs a full replacement, they would already have plans for that roof, so we would go out and field measure the roof to verify the overall measurements, noting any penetrations or drains,” Kaehler says. “We field verify everything and send that report down to our tapered team in Atlanta.” 

Six contractors are approved to bid on MPS projects, and they receive the preliminary roof plans and scope of work to help them prepare their bids. Once the job is awarded, the tear-off process begins. After the tear-off is complete and a temporary roof is installed, Kaehler meets with Fula to conduct the auto-level survey of the roof. “We grid out the roof in either 12-foot or 8-foot sections,” Kaehler explains. “We shoot heights in each individual quadrant. If there are areas of concern with low spots, we might even tighten it up to a 6-foot or 4-foot grid. We take pictures and include those with the heights in our report to CDP.” 

The reports are turned around very quickly, notes Kaehler; the final plans are usually received within two days. The tapered insulation plan is logical and easy to follow, even for a new contractor, according to Kaehler. “It’s like a puzzle,” he says. “We give you the layout and tell you where to place each puzzle piece. It’s pretty cut and dried. There is minimal waste. We try to keep it as simple as possible.”

Every member of the team has the same end goal in mind. “At the end of the day, we want a perfectly pitched roof for Milwaukee Public Schools for their longevity,” Kaehler says. “We want the contractor’s name to be well represented. We want Atlas Roofing’s name to be well represented. It’s a complex process, but we have it so fine-tuned it doesn’t seem so complex. We all know it and understand it very well. There are a lot of moving parts, but it moves very smoothly. It’s a well-oiled machine.” 

Kaehler commends Milwaukee Public Schools for their proactive approach. “They do a great job with preventative maintenance,” he says. “Sometimes with an owner, a roof will be out of sight, out of mind — they won’t look at it until it is leaking. Milwaukee Public Schools doesn’t look at it that way. If something does come up, they nip it in the bud before it becomes a problem.”

Kaehler monitors the project through completion and conducts a final inspection. “I’m on the site regularly,” he says. “We do a roof inspection to make sure everything is draining properly, preferably after a good rain to ensure there is no ponding water.”

The Tapered Design Team

Shaun Kerschen is the director of Private Label and Tapered Services for Atlas Roofing, based in Atlanta, Georgia. He joined the company in 2002 and began designing tapered polyiso insulation systems for commercial projects in 2003. Some of his first projects were for the Certified Drainage Programon MPS buildings. He’s since been promoted to oversee the tapered insulation design team, which has four full-time designers, including Jennifer Tyree, who has handled MPS projects since 2008. “We review the plan sets and work up quotes for tapered insulation systems,” Kerschen notes. “After the project is sent out for bid and the job is awarded, we work up shop drawings and installation plans. The material is delivered to the jobsite and installed by the contractor.”

Measuring the actual roof deck is critical, notes Kerschen, as there can be surprises that emerge as the tear-off is executed, especially on older buildings. “Over the last 16 years I’ve seen some pretty crazy things,” he says. “On one section of roof that had been involved in several additions over the years, we found five different deck heights. We had to fill in several sections with insulation before we could even begin to install the taper.”

The tapered insulation plan has some typical design requirements. “As part of the certification process, we agree to provide a tapered insulation system to provide positive drainage and void substantial ponding water within 24 hours,” says Kerschen. “The system has to be designed with four-way slope. We do not allow two-way slope with saddles or crickets, except in very unusual circumstances. The minimum requirement is a 3/16 inch per foot slope; that allows us to correct a lot of issues. In some cases, we will require 1/4 inch per foot slope.”

Once the tear-off is executed, the final plan must be completed very quickly, according to Tyree, but the detailed reports and advance planning help speed the process. “The reps are my eyes in the field,” Tyree says. “They’ll identify the drains and anything that might be an issue. They’ll point out anything I need to know, such as height issues on windows, for example. Then I work up the plan. The biggest thing is to take meticulous notes, keep everything organized, and turn it around very quickly when the time comes.”

Everyone on the team knows their part in the process, notes Tyree. “The goal is putting on a good roof that lasts, with quality workmanship from certified contractors,” she says. “Our reps are out there, hands-on, from the very beginning. They check how the roof performs after a rain. We provide more peace of mind for the owner.” 

The Contractor

The program also makes life easier for the installing contractor, notes Doug Biggar, project manager for Langer Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., a union-affiliated commercial roofing contractor headquartered in Milwaukee.Langer Roofing is one of the companies approved to work on MPS projects. Biggar took over as the point man on MPS projects after the retirement of Dave Novak a few years ago, and he is another admirer of the smooth-running system his predecessors put in place. 

“The biggest benefit of the Certified Drainage Program is that it provides a higher-quality product in the end,” Biggar says. “It’s a great team, and it also makes it easier when you are working with a more involved owner. If we are working over an occupied building, I don’t have to sit down and explain everything to the principal; that’s all handled by the MPS people. We have one point of contact, and it’s Ryan. Every day our foreman connects with Ryan at the beginning of the day and they go over the plan. Ryan lets the principals and the teachers know what’s going on. It makes our lives so much easier.” 

The plans from CDP ensure the quality and longevity of the system, and the communication of every member of the team saves the contractor time and minimizes confusion. “Ultimately, it’s a higher-quality product, and the process streamlines things,” Biggar explains. “When the roof is put on, we don’t have punch-list items, and we don’t have ponding water.” 

Biggar credits his company’s experience and union training as the keys to quality workmanship. “It’s a great team from top to bottom,” he says. “We’re a union shop, so we are all well trained. I have the ability to sell any type of system, any type of service work. We’re certified with every major manufacturer out there. It all boils down to the ability of our guys in the field and our equipment. We have a full-time safety director. There are a lot of years of experience in our project management team. We do things right around here.”

Investment Pays Off

According to Fula, the investment in the roof asset management program is paying big dividends. The team effort helps ensure the roofs meet their maximum life cycle while minimizing emergency repairs. Fula’s advice for other school districts is to determine the full life-cycle cost of a roof system — not just the initial cost. 

“We are making the investment up front,” he says. “When these roofs are coming around to be replaced, we are completely ripping them off down to the deck. We’re installing a vapor barrier. Atlas will come in with the Certified Drainage Program, and they will guarantee that the water will be off our roof in 24 hours. So now we are energy efficient, we are up to code, but we also have the guarantee that the water is gone. If we do have a leak, we won’t have standing water there to cause further damage to the system.”

“Ponding water is the number one cause of problems for low-slope roofs,” notes Fula, “so making sure the roofs have proper drainage is critical.” He has seen the proof with his own eyes. 

“Now, with the Certified Drainage Program in place, we are really able to see how the roofs are doing and how our investment is paying off there,” Fula says. “The roofs we designed and installed are lasting longer. In the past, just about every 25-year-old roof was put into our deferred maintenance program to be repaired or replaced. Now I’m looking at 20-year-old roofs, and they look brand new.”

South Carolina Resort’s Metal Roof Complements Classic Low Country Architecture

The new Inn at Palmetto Bluff was inspired by a mansion built on the property in the early 1900s. Photos: Nurnberg Photography, www.nurnbergphotography.com

The recently expanded Palmetto Bluff Resort in Bluffton, South Carolina, now boasts a new 74-room inn designed by Dallas-based HKS Architects. The new Inn at Palmetto Bluff sits alongside an expanded lagoon waterway and was inspired by the R.T. Wilson Jr. mansion built on the property in the early 1900s. Located in the Low Country between Charleston and Savannah, Palmetto Bluff is one of the largest waterfront properties on the East Coast. The resort is set within the 20,000-acre Palmetto Bluff community and conservation preserve that features an array of Southern-style residential neighborhoods ranging from multi-million-dollar legacy family compounds to more traditionally sized single-family homes.

The inn is finished with artisan James Hardie siding on the exterior façade, and a Petersen standing seam metal roof was chosen to complement the classic Low Country architecture. The roof features PAC-CLAD Snap-Clad panels finished in custom color Patrician Bronze. Approximately 75,000 square feet of the 24-gauge Galvalume panels were installed on a tight deadline.

Don Harrier, principal at HKS, said one of the greatest challenges was complying with a long list of restrictions designed to keep additions within the scope of the original buildings, such as a mandated three-story height limit and rules regarding waterways.

The inn is topped with a standing seam metal roof featuring Petersen’s PAC-CLAD Snap-Clad panels. Photos: Nurnberg Photography, www.nurnbergphotography.com

“It’s easy to get into a site like this for construction, but in our world we have staging areas for materials, contractor trailers, etc., and because of the environment, we had to build another building first to house back-of-the-house areas, maintenance, administration and parking,” Harrier says. “There were a lot of logistics involved as far as taking care of the site.”

Installation of the Snap-Clad panels on the 154,000-square-foot luxury inn was done by Southern Roof & Wood Care in Hardeeville, South Carolina. “It was a complicated job with three adjoining sections of the roof and lots of different elevations and planes and dormers. The flashing details were complex,” says David Swanson, president of SRWC.

Southern Roof & Wood Care has considerable experience with Petersen’s PAC-CLAD profiles. “We like Snap-Clad because it doesn’t require mechanical seaming. We use it whenever we can and when it meets the wind uplift requirements,” Swanson notes. “Of course, we also install a lot of Tite-Loc and Tite-Loc Plus, too. We like using the PAC-CLAD products and we can be competitive in the marketplace. We’re really happy with the Petersen relationship. They stand behind their products.”

The Snap-Clad panels were manufactured at Petersen’s plant in Acworth, Georgia. The general contractor was Choate Construction in Savannah, Georgia. The Petersen distributor was Commercial Roofing Specialties in Savannah, Georgia.

TEAM

Architect: HKS Architects, Dallas, Texas, www.hksinc.com

General Contractor: Choate Construction, Savannah, www.choateco.com

Roofing Contractor: Southern Roof & Wood Care, Hardeeville, South Carolina, www.southernroof.com

Distributor: Commercial Roofing Specialties, Savannah, Georgia, www.crssupply.com

MATERIALS

Roof Panels: PAC-CLAD Snap-Clad panels in Patrician Bronze, Petersen, www.pac-clad.com

Metal Panels Highlight Rooftop Area of Washington Apartment Building

Reed Row apartments in Washington features a rooftop common area that provides residents with social space and great views of the city. Photos: Rheinzink

The brand-new Reed Row apartments in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., offers an eclectic, urban sophistication that is reflective of the area. Adams Morgan is well known for its broad mix of cultures and activities. The five-story apartment community includes 132 residential units in 100,000 square feet of space.

The site, located about 1.5 miles from the White House, was previously a parking garage. The developer demolished everything above grade but was able to retain portions of the below-grade structure.

The exterior expression of the architectural design, created by R2L:Architects, Washington, D.C., is influenced by the materials and scale of the traditional masonry buildings found in nearby districts. “We wanted to pay homage to the historic neighborhood with a material palette that offered the proper aesthetic fit,” says Donrico Washington, R2L project designer/manager.

Approximately 3,000 square feet of Rheinzink Flat Lock Tilesand 1,000 square feet of Rheinzink Standing Seam Panelswere used to highlight the rooftop amenity. Photos: Rheinzink

Two different Rheinzink profiles were specified for application in an “intimate, exterior amenity space,” Washington notes. The area is an inviting rooftop common area that provides residents with social space and a great view of the city. Approximately 3,000 square feet of Rheinzink prePATINA graphite-greyFlat Lock Tiles and 1,000 square feet of Rheinzink Standing Seam Panels highlight the rooftop amenity. “In the early stages of our design process, we noticed that numerous nearby buildings had mansard roofs with diamond-shaped tiles and shingles. That’s what led to our selection of the Rheinzink Flat Lock Tiles,” Washington says. 

The Rheinzink Standing Seam Panels were used to clad sloped roofs over stairways in the units below the roof deck leading up to outdoor terraces. “The reaction to the Rheinzink from the residents has been outstanding,” says Washington. “Everyone loves it because it’s a material that’s not typically seen.”

Installation of the panels was done by MSM Roofing, Hampstead, Maryland. David Peterson, owner of MSM, described the installation as “a piece of cake.”

Contractor Overcomes Challenging Logistics to Re-Roof 16-Story Westin Savannah

The Westin Savannah site posed logistical challenges, as it is bordered by the Savannah River, a canal and the Savannah Convention Center. Photo: SOPREMA

Were you to visit Savannah, Georgia, the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa would be tough to miss. This landmark property, known for its 18-hole PGA golf course, secluded beach access and on-site spa, is the tallest building in the city at 16 stories. The aura of luxury surrounding the building was threatened, however, when Hurricane Matthew moved through the region, inundating the city with rainwater and causing the aging Westin Savannah roof to fail. With leaks resulting in the closure of a major portion of the hotel’s upper floor, it was clear the building owners would need to move quickly to restore a waterproof seal atop their building.

The job would not be easy. The Westin Savannah is surrounded by the Savannah River on one side, a canal on another and the Savannah Convention Center on a third. The only feasible area left to stage and load the roofing material onto a crane was the front parking loop and valet area — an area that would typically be avoided with any other roofing project. “We only had one spot where we could set up, and that was the biggest challenge,” says Larry Hoffman, the superintendent who oversaw the installation of the roof at the Westin Savannah on behalf of Whitco Roofing, the Westin’s chosen contractor. “We were very limited with regard to any mobility around that hotel, not to mention the fact that we had to get materials onto a roof that was 270 feet from the ground.” 

Envisioning an Approach

The Whitco Roofing team also had to deal with challenging application conditions, given that the roof had many penetrations due to the presence of air conditioning units, towers, exhaust vents, lighting, walkways, ladders, staircases and other equipment. Special care would have to be given to the installation of the flashing to ensure no opportunities for leak formation remained after the roofing job was done. Recognizing that the use of a liquid flashing material was the best bet to keep the roofing layer monolithic despite all the penetrations, the Whitco Roofing team set about selecting the right compatible materials for the job.

SOPREMA’s SENTINEL P150 60-mil PVC-based roofing membrane was selected for the projectbecause we wanted a durable roofing product that was compatible with a liquid flashing material for difficult base flashings encountered during this project,” explains Henri Brickey, director of business development for Whitco Roofing. “We recommended the SOPREMA PVC membrane for several reasons, the first of which is the superior chemical and UV resistance PVC offers over TPO. Since we also intended to wrap the large quantity of concrete and metal support column bases with SOPREMA’s ALSAN RS 230 Flash polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) liquid resin, we made sure the PVC membrane was compatible and that we could include those areas under the roof’s warranty.” 

The Installation Commences

The complex coordination required for a successful roofing installation began on the ground. One week’s worth of material was staged at a time, then a crane was brought in to upload materials to the roof on the same day trash was being downloaded from the old roof tear-off process. All debris had to be carefully bagged and secured with tarps to avoid pollution in the nearby Savannah River, and the delivery and removal of four dumpsters at a time had to be carefully coordinated so that no dumpster was left on the premises overnight, blocking entry to the building. “You had to be out of there by five o’clock with everything, and it had to be done in a particular sequence, further complicating matters,” explains Hoffman.

On the rooftop, existing asphalt-based roofing materials were stripped down to the concrete deck. SOPREMA SOPRA-ISO3.5-inch polyisocyanurate insulation was adhered using SOPREMA DUOTACK 365 foam adhesive to provide improved R-value to the building. Next, the PVC membrane was bonded onto the insulation, providing both a reliable waterproofing layer and a reflective white finish that would help diminish heat absorption compared to the older materials. The liquid resin coating was then applied to prevent water intrusion at all exposed concrete column bases — extending up and coating metal base plates — and at vertical flashing points where air handling units tied into the building’s walls. New tapered crickets were also installed between drains, improving the overall flow of water on the roof and reducing the opportunity for ponding water.

Safety and Communications Prioritized

Throughout the project, OSHA guidelines had to be followed carefully on the rooftop and on the ground to ensure both workers and bystanders entering and exiting the hotel were safe. Flagging and ground guides were used around the staging area, and strict adherence to timelines for deliveries and mobilizations were also critical to the safe execution of the project. The Whitco Roofing team worked closely with the hotel management throughout the process to prevent interference with hotel operations and to minimize risks to guests. 

The building now benefits from a superior roofing membrane that is Energy Star-compliant, upgraded insulation, a strong foam adhesive that helps resist uplift pressure during storms and a monolithic waterproofing layer thanks to the liquid flashing installed around all penetrations. “SOPREMA’s single-ply membranes have a reputation for strength and durability,” notes Brickey, “and especially with the inclusion of the liquid flashing system to deal with difficult flashing details, we were able to provide a long-lasting, warranted waterproofing solution for the Westin.”

In all, more than 14,000 square feet of roofing material was replaced over the course of roughly a month by a large team of installers. In part because the hotel staff was so pleased with the way the job was planned, managed and executed, Whitco Roofing was brought back to install a new roof on a lower section of the building as well. That project was recently completed, positioning the Westin Savannah to resist the elements while serving as a relaxing getaway for the foreseeable future.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Whitco Roofing, Atlanta, Georgia, www.whitcoroofing.com

MATERIALS

Roof Membrane: SENTINEL P150 PVC, SOPREMA, www.soprema.us

Insulation: SOPRA-ISO, SOPREMA

Adhesive: DUOTACK 365, SOPREMA

Liquid Flashing: ALSAN RS 230 Flash, SOPREMA

Contractor Shows Versatility During Spectrum Field Restoration

Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Florida, is home to the Philadelphia Phillies in spring training and its minor league affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers. TarHeel Roofing replaced the main roof and restored and waterproofed the walls. Photo: TarHeel Corporation

TarHeel Corporation was founded as TarHeel Roofing in 1981. Headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, the company specializes in commercial work including roofing, waterproofing, cladding, damp proofing, exterior renovations, lightning protection and sheet metal. According to John Looney, president and owner of TarHeel Corporation, the company’s name was changed to better reflect its ability to work on the entire building envelope, including above- and below-grade waterproofing. 

When nearby Spectrum Field needed roofing and waterproofing work, Looney saw the project as a perfect opportunity to show off the company’s versatility. The stadium is home to the Philadelphia Phillies during spring training, and it also serves as the home field for the team’s minor league affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers. “We’ve done a lot of sports complexes in the past,” notes Looney. 

TarHeel Roofing restored the roof two years ago, and this year the company waterproofed the walls. The scopes of work included cold-applied roofing, waterproofing, caulking, and glazing, as well as repairing the tie-ins to pedestrian deck areas. “There were a lot of little pieces here that were right in our wheelhouse,” Looney says. 

Roofs and Walls

When the stadium’s existing modified bitumen roof reached the end of its service life, the decision was made to restore it with Garland’s Energizer K Plus FR. “We used Garland’s Energizer system, a cold-applied system with polyester mesh and granule surfacing on it,” Looney notes. 

The roof was restored with Garland’s Energizer K Plus FR system, a cold-applied roofing restoration system with granular surfacing. Photo: The Garland Company Inc.

Some perimeter areas of the roof were removed and repaired after an infrared scan was used to detect any moisture, and then the entire roof surface was cleaned and primed. The fluid-applied system is installed in two coats with a polyester or fiberglass scrim sheet fully adhered into it. Immediately after the second coat, granules are broadcast over the entire surface. “The finished product is very good-looking,” says Looney. 

Work on the vertical surfaces began in September 2018. The complex features walls clad in an exterior insulation and finish system (EIFS), as well as concrete and concrete masonry unit (CMU) walls. “The EIFS, concrete, and CMU walls each required a different application, but the basic scope of work is the same for each, with some variations,” Looney says. 

The walls were first cleaned and repaired. After the walls were pressure washed, crews repaired and replaced caulking at windows, doors and other penetrations. Cracks were filled using Garland’s Green-Lock Sealant XL, a polyether joint sealant with no VOCs. “We took care of cracks in the concrete and any breaks, including damage from baseballs hitting it,” Looney says. “Once the surface was repaired, we moved on the coating application.”

Crews applied Garland’s Tuff-Coat acrylic architectural wall coating. The coating can be applied with either a sprayer or rollers. Both methods were used on the project, but the majority of the work was done with rollers. The tan color was a crucial concern for the owners, and up-front testing ensured the tint would match up perfectly on the various substrates. “There was also some striping involved for aesthetics,” notes Looney. “We put on a band of a darker accent color.”

Crews from TarHeel Roofing cleaned and repaired the walls and waterproofed them with Garland’s Tuff-Coat acrylic architectural wall coating. Photo: TarHeel Corporation

The schedule was sometimes adjusted to accommodate concerts and other events. “The most unusual thing is the actual use of the building, obviously, being a baseball park with a lot of public access,” he says. “It takes a beating from all of the use and people there.”

Accessing some of the wall areas on the site was the biggest challenge on the project, according to Looney. “If you can picture the typical ballfield, you’ve got anything from ground-level vertical walls up to walls tucked behind seating up in the grandstand,” he explains. “Logistically, the challenge was getting access to all of the areas, extending from public concourses all the way up to the owner’s boxes and suites. A lot of that work was done from ground level, actually out on the field, reaching up with big Hi-Los that extended over two or three sections of seating.”

When figuring out the best approach, safety is always the primary concern. “Safety is a big part of any project, beginning with preparation and layout,” Looney says. “Once we were awarded the job, we weighed working from ladders, swing stages, and man lifts. In this project, we opted to do most of it from man lifts because of the safety concerns inherent in working from ladders, swing stages, or even scaffolding in some of these areas.” 

Major-league workmanship is the key to earning repeat business, says Looney. “We don’t do much advertising,” he says. “To us, that means every job has to be done well enough to be asked back. We pay a lot of attention to the details, including safety and the setup. To us, the finished product has to be great — that’s a given — but also the journey, from the start to the completion, is important as well. We do a lot of work on hospitals, health care areas, and industrial sites where us being in the way really isn’t an option. We are very familiar with working around the needs of businesses. So from a logistics and detail point of view, we are very sensitive to making sure the ride is as good as it can be.”

TEAM

Roofing and Waterproofing Contractor: TarHeel Corporation, St. Petersburg, Florida, www.tarheelcorp.com

MATERIALS 

Roof Restoration System: Energizer K Plus FR, The Garland Company Inc., www.garlandco.com

Wall Coating: Tuff-Coat, The Garland Company Inc.

Joint Sealant: Green-Lock Sealant XL, The Garland Company Inc.

Wave-Inspired Canopies on Convention Center Pose Challenges

The Prince Edward Island Convention Centre features distinctive curved canopies inspired by its waterfront location. The roofs of the canopies were covered with a coating to match sections of the walls. Photos: IKO

When the Prince Edward Island Convention Centre was put out for public tender, Ashe Roofing jumped at the chance to work on the high-profile new construction project on the waterfront near the company’s headquarters in Charlottetown. 

Ashe Roofing has been in business for 27 years, specializing in commercial and industrial low-slope roof systems. When their bid was selected, the company got ready to install the roof systems for the structure’s 42,000-square-foot main roof, as well as 10,000 square feet of canopies. 

A two-ply, torch-applied modified bitumen system from IKO was specified for the main roof. According to Boyd Corcoran, general manager of Ashe Roofing, the system was chosen for its durability and its ability to withstand the areas tough winter weather. “It suits our climate,” he notes. “It can stand up to snow and ice dropping from higher roof sections to lower ones.” 

Photos: IKO

The building’s distinctly shaped canopies would be visible from the ground, and the architect insisted the canopy roofs match the EIFS wall color. Initially, a tan single-ply roof membrane was specified for the canopy roofs, but the schedule dictated that construction took place during the winter months, so the decision was made to use the same modified bitumen system used on the main roof. A smooth surface APP cap sheet was used so that the proper color could be attained using an elastomeric roof coating application.

The Installation

The first phase of the project included setting up safety systems. “We used a railing system, and when we were doing the perimeter work, we had to tie off with a personal fall arrest system outside the rails,” Corcoran notes. 

Material was loaded with a telescopic fork lift. Work on the main roof began with installing the vapor barrier, which was covered with Trufoam EPS insulation and 1/4-inch protection board. The system was topped with IKO’s Torchflex TP 180 FF base sheet and finished with the Torchflex TP 250 cap sheet in Frostone Grey. 

The main roof was installed in sections. Crews mechanically installed as much insulation and cover board as they could each day, and each section was topped off with the base sheet. “We’d make sure each section was watertight, and we kept going, one section at a time.”

The cap sheet was installed after all of the roof sections were completed. The roof was installed over both metal and concrete decking. Portions of work over the concrete deck needed special care, as the area was designed to accommodate future expansion. “We could not use any adhesive,” Corcoran explains. “They didn’t want anything on the cement at the end of the day, foreseeing a time in the future when they might take the roof off and use that roof deck as a floor when they added hotel rooms.”

Corcoran cited mechanically fastening these sections as the biggest challenge on the project. “We also had to install a tapered system on the whole thing because it was flat,” he notes. “We ended up with a 10-inch base layer and then the tapered insulation, and had to drill an inch and a half into the cement, so it was hard to find bits long enough to do the job. It was pretty slow going.” 

After the main roof was dried in, crews tackled the canopies, which were made of wood. “There are wavy-style canopies on two sides, and there is a big canopy that goes up at a bit of an angle over the water,” Corcoran explains. “In some sections of the canopies, the flashing had to be cut into 4-foot sections because of the curves. We put a restorative coating on top of the canopies to make sure the color matched the walls. The coating was applied with rollers.”

The job went smoothly and finished on schedule, notes Corcoran, who credits his experienced crews for the orderly progress at the jobsite. “Installing the system on the uphill and downhill portions of the canopies posed a little bit of a challenge, but we have guys that have been installing these systems for 20-plus years,” he says. “They get pretty good at it.” 

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Ashe Roofing, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, www.asheroofing.com

General Contractor: Brighton Construction, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, www.brightonconstruction.ca

Architect: Chandler Architecture, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, http://wcarch.com

MATERIALS 

Roof Membrane: Torchflex TP 180 FF base sheet, Torchflex TP 250 Frostone Grey cap sheet, IKO, www.iko.com

Cover Board: Protectoboard, IKO

Insulation: Trufoam EPS, IKO

Vapor Barrier: MVP Vapour Barrier, IKO