A Dynamic Rooftop Renovation Lures a New Type of Workforce

Commercial office properties have always had to contend for tenants as a part of doing business and, increasingly, existing buildings are facing stiffer competition from new office properties offering integrated amenities packages that go way beyond the lobby coffee shop. As a new generation of employees enters the workforce, employers are challenged to secure leases that provide more than simple office space, instead offering an attractive combination of recreation, retail and relaxation options that feel more akin to a resort than a workplace. In the case of Prudential Plaza, a 41-story structure in Chicago built in 1955, the challenge for the building owners was to offer new value in a building originally designed to respond to a workforce that no longer exists.

The rooftop transformation is highlighted by a fully wired amphitheater, fire-pit lounge and a small lawn accompanied by a new 12,000-square-foot fitness center and a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse located inside.

The rooftop transformation is highlighted by a fully wired amphitheater, fire-pit lounge and a small lawn accompanied by a new 12,000-square-foot fitness center and a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse located inside.


Investing more than $85 million into building renovations, Prudential Plaza’s owners envisioned a top-to-bottom rehabilitation, crowned by a 13,000-square-foot amenities deck on the 11th floor. The rooftop transformation is highlighted by a fully wired amphitheater, fire-pit lounge and a small lawn accompanied by a new 12,000-square-foot fitness center and a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse located inside. These amenities are exclusively for building tenants and their employees. Kyle Kamin, a Los Angeles-based CBRE Inc. executive vice president and tenant broker who has clients in Prudential Plaza called the roof deck “a game-changer with an unbeatable view.”

Engineering

Certainly the idea of a gorgeous tenant recreation and lounge area would appeal to most; however, few outside of the design and construction industry would appreciate the immense challenge of adding this type of space on top of a 60-year-old roof. When Wolff Landscape Architecture, Chicago, was asked to partner with Chicago-based architecture firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz for landscape design, project manager Ishmael Joya quickly understood the complexities of the situation. Joya is a landscape architect with 15 years’ experience, specializing in green-roof construction.

“Prudential Plaza is a classic figure in Chicago’s skyline and the first time we walked the project it was clear that the 4 1/2-inch-thick roof deck was going to present some design and construction challenges,” Joya remarks. Although the Wolff Landscape Architecture team has completed many green-roof projects, including renovations, Joya realized that adding what is essentially a mini-park to a very thin structural surface was going to require out-of-the-box thinking. “In any roof-deck renovation, it’s critical to reduce the weight of the building materials because the building is only designed to support a maximum amount of weight and that can’t be compromised,” he says.

Joya worked closely with the design team’s structural engineer, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., Chicago, to make sure the appropriate products were specified to support the expected weight of each area of the renovation

Demolition and Interim Roof

Like many large-scale occupied renovation projects, Prudential Plaza’s overall renovation was executed in multiple phases, allowing construction activities to take place while tenants maintained their typical routines. Romeoville, Ill.-based Preservation Services Inc., a commercial roofing company, was responsible for rehabilitating the original 11th-floor roofing structure. The original roof was a modified bitumen membrane that had been applied directly to a layer of lightweight concrete and covered by 2- by 2-foot pavers. Preservation Services carefully removed the pavers, old membrane and thin layer of concrete.

Investing more than $85 million into building renovations, Prudential Plaza’s owners envisioned a top-to-bottom rehabilitation, crowned by a 13,000-square-foot amenities deck on the 11th floor.

Investing more than $85 million into building renovations, Prudential Plaza’s owners envisioned a top-to-bottom rehabilitation, crowned by a 13,000-square-foot amenities deck on the 11th floor.

Because the building is located adjacent to a series of vaulted streets, the construction team was unable to use a high-reach crane because the weight of the crane would have required special provisions and necessitated street closures. Consequently, crews carried all removed debris down through the freight elevators during the night while the building was largely empty. At the end of each night, a single-ply EPDM membrane was rolled out, seamed and secured to protect the under structure from possible water penetration the next day.

Once demolition was complete, the EPDM was opened in select areas so repairs to the concrete slab could be made by other trades. When repairs were complete, a single layer of torch-applied modified bitumen membrane was applied to the deck along with additional structural steel required to support the added weight of trees, planters, patios and people. Finally, a white, granular-surfaced modified bitumen roof over tapered isocyanurate foam insulation was installed making the undersurface ready for the plaza deck renovation work.

Weight Considerations

Joya recommended a lightweight expanded polystyrene (EPS) material with high compressive strength that is used to reduce axial loading on structures. He has found the product very easy to work with, which saves time and money, ultimately allowing designers to put more of the client’s investment into tangible value users will see and feel rather than subsurface building materials.

On the Prudential Plaza roof-deck renovation, two types of EPS were used. EPS 15 was used in areas that would largely be filled with plants and wouldn’t bear much foot traffic. EPS 46, chosen for its high compressive strength, was used as a structural fill across the design’s many grade changes and in areas that would bear more weight of roof-deck occupants. For Joya, another advantage of using the EPS is being able to see the shape of the assembled product and make any required changes before the concrete is poured and work becomes significantly more complicated.

PHOTOS: Wolff Landscape Architecture

Pages: 1 2

Projects: Office and Warehouse

BMC ISSAQUAH, ISSAQUAH, WASH.

Because of the steep slope of this roof, the Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal crew installed 60-mil Sureweld HS (High Slope) TPO.

Because of the steep slope of this roof, the Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal crew installed 60-mil Sureweld HS (High Slope) TPO.

Team

Roofing Contractor: Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal, Kent, Wash.
Project Foreman: Rudy Sanchez

Roof Materials

Because of the steep slope of this roof, the Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal crew installed 60-mil Sureweld HS (High Slope) TPO. HS TPO contains more fire-retardant chemicals in the membrane to help decrease the spread of fire. In addition, 1/4-inch Securock Glass-Mat Roof Board was installed, which gave the building a Class A fire rating while helping protect against moisture and mold.

TPO Manufacturer: Carlisle Syntec Systems
Roof Board Manufacturer: USG

Roof Report

BMC Issaquah manufactures doors and high-end cabinetry. The industrial building features a 525-square barrel roof that was very wet and experienced dry rot. The crew replaced nearly 150 sheets of plywood throughout the project.

The main challenge during installation was safety because of the extreme slope. The barrel roof is nearly 60-feet tall from the bottom to the top of the barrel, making installation on the edges difficult because crewmembers had to hot-air weld rolled product on a nearly vertical surface. The HS TPO added another level of difficulty while welding along the edges.

The project was completed on May 1, 2015.

PHOTO: Columbia Roofing & Sheet Metal

Pages: 1 2 3

Projects: Office

DPR Construction, Phoenix

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building.

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building.

Team

Roofing contractor: Arithane Foam, Corona, Calif.
Architect/engineer: SmithGroupJJR, Phoenix
Daylighting systems distributor: Norcon Industries, Guadalupe, Ariz.

Roof Materials

Eighty-two Daylighting Systems were installed in the renovated 16,533-square-foot building, formerly an abandoned retail boutique at the corner of 44th Street and Van Buren in Phoenix.

“The use of the Daylighting Systems was an integral part of our sustainability and lighting energy savings plans for the renovated space,” says Dave Elrod, regional manager of DPR Construction, Phoenix. “The products are a cost-efficient solution to provide lighting since they nearly eliminate the need for artificial daytime lighting.”

In addition, the roof is composed of foam with an R-25 insulation value (approximately 4-inches thick) over plywood sheathing.

Daylighting systems manufacturer: Solatube International Inc.
Foam roofing manufacturer: Quik-Shield from SWD Urethane

Roof Report

DPR Construction is a national technical builder specializing in highly complex and sustainable projects. In less than 10 months, the design-build team researched, designed, permit-ted, and built a highly efficient and modern workplace with numerous innovative sustainability features.

In addition to natural daylighting, the office features an 87-foot zinc-clad solar chimney, which releases hot air from the building while drawing cooler air in; shower towers that act as evaporative coolers to regulate building temperatures; 87 operable windows designed to open and close automatically (based on indoor/outdoor temperatures); and two “vampire” shut-off switches to keep electrical devices (radios, cell-phone chargers, microwaves) from using plug energy when no one is in the office.

Access to the building was limited during construction. Spray foam roofing, which took about seven days to complete, had to be done in small quadrants because of the tight schedule as work was progressing in the other sections. The roofing workers were challenged by the barrel-shaped roof, which created footing difficulties, and the many penetrations that had to be flashed, including all PV support legs, Solatubes, skylights and HVAC penetrations. Work was completed in the middle of winter, so additional protections and efficiencies were required.

The circa-1972 building has been officially certified as a Net-Zero Energy Building by the Seattle-based International Living Future Institute through its Living Building Challenge program. It also has received LEED-NC Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, Washington, D.C.

PHOTOS: Ted Van Der Linden, DPR Construction

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

A Standing-seam Roof Protects a Bank and Its Offices for the Long Term

Located on a high-traffic, signature intersection in Taylorville, Ill., Palmer Bank sought a timeless design that would visually represent its strength and stability to the community of just more than 11,000 people.

Design for the project was provided by The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis. The design team blended extensive detailing and profiling of the metal roof with a masonry façade to create an attractive prairie-style look.

Design for the project was provided by The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis. The design team blended extensive detailing and profiling of the metal roof with a masonry façade to create an attractive prairie-style look.

Design for the project was provided by The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis. The design team blended extensive detailing and profiling of the metal roof with a masonry façade to create an attractive prairie-style look.

“We clearly wanted to take advantage of the great location with a strong, timeless design,” says Andy Young, The Redmond Co.’s director of project development and construction manager on the project. “We presented two options to the bank regarding the roof … It was pretty unanimous that everyone liked the standing-seam profile look. We also liked the life-cycle cost of the roof since the bank plans to be the owner of this building for the long term.”

Installation of the standing-seam roof was completed by E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill.

Installation of the standing-seam roof was completed by E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill.

Installation of the standing-seam roof was completed by E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill. The crew, which consisted of six tied-off workers, installed fascia, gutters, downspouts and soffit. Flashing components were custom-fabricated in E.L. Pruitt’s shop.

The metal is coated with ENERGY STAR-approved colors and is vented for optimal airflow, which greatly in-creases the roof’s longevity and energy efficiency. The metal was installed over roof-deck protection and a self-adhered underlayment.

The metal is coated with ENERGY STAR-approved colors and is vented for optimal airflow, which greatly in-creases the roof’s longevity and energy efficiency.

The metal is coated with ENERGY STAR-approved colors and is vented for optimal airflow, which greatly in-creases the roof’s longevity and energy efficiency.

According to Dallas Stephenson, E. L. Pruitt’s project manager, the roofing job took about six weeks to complete. He explains: “The most difficult part was doing all the seam layout because the product requires a progressive install, which means you can’t really start in the middle of the roof and work both directions. You have to start in a corner and work out of a corner and then work into a corner and then work back out of the corner.”

The metal was installed over roof-deck protection and a self-adhered underlayment.

The metal was installed over roof-deck protection and a self-adhered underlayment.

Stephenson notes symmetrically lining up seams on the bank’s dormers and then across the roof was challenging. “Once we got all that figured out—took all the measurements on the job site and confirmed them—it went fairly smoothly,” he says.

“We knew the many hips and valleys would be somewhat of an installation challenge, but the installer did a terrific job,” Young notes.

Stephenson is quick to return the compliment: “Scott Brooks, site superintendent, and Andy Young from The Redmond Co. did an excellent job of picking a good team to build Palmer Bank. Everything just worked out great!”

PHOTOS: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

Team

Roofing installer: E.L. Pruitt Co., Springfield, Ill.
Designer: The Redmond Co., Waukesha, Wis.

Roof Materials

Approximately 9,000 square feet of 24-gauge, 16-inch Snap-Clad panels and 2,200 square feet of PAC-850 Soffit Panels were utilized to meet the design objectives. The Snap-Clad panels were finished in Charcoal and the 0.032 PAC-850 Panels were finished in Slate Gray.
Panels’ manufacturer: Petersen Aluminum Corp.
Roof deck protection manufacturer: Deck-Armor from GAF
Underlayment manufacturer: Grace Ice and Water Shield

A Design Firm Trusts Its Regular Roofing Contractor to Install a New-to-him Insulated Metal Panel on its Office

David Miller, owner of Alpine Roofing LLC, Durham, N.C., has been in business since 2008. He specializes in what he calls the “complete roofing package”—making sure that all the areas of a roof are properly installed so the roof system lasts for 30 years or more without any problems. Miller and his crew’s attention to detail has made him the chosen roofing contractor of Durham-based BuildSense Inc., a residential design and construction firm that has a sustainability emphasis.

BuildSense Inc. is a Durham, N.C.-based residential design and construction firm that has a sustainability emphasis. PHOTO: Catherine Wilborne Photography

BuildSense Inc. is a Durham, N.C.-based residential design and construction firm that has a sustainability emphasis. PHOTO: Catherine Wilborne Photography

Miller knew he was doing good work for BuildSense, but he was assured of this fact when BuildSense’s owners—Randall Lanou, LEED AP, MCGP, and Erik Van Mehlman, AIA, CGP—asked him to reroof the existing building that would become the firm’s new office. Not only did they trust Miller enough to reroof their practice’s new home, but they also entrusted him with a roof cover he had never installed before.

“They knew I hadn’t worked with this insulated metal panel product before,” Miller recalls. “But they said I had always done them right and they wanted to give me the opportunity to look at this type of project. It seemed like it was up our alley. We handle things we haven’t done before with attention to detail and an understanding of how water causes problems. We try to do the best job we can.”

Sustainability Focus

BuildSense’s new office at 502 Rigsbee in Durham was built in 1945 as a farm-equipment-maintenance building. The structure had spent its last 30 years as various automotive service centers. The 1-story, 6,000-square-foot solid masonry building had optimal orientation to achieve Lanou and Mehlman’s daylighting and solarpower goals. By adding a second story in which BuildSense and tenants (occupied today by a marketing firm and a yoga studio) could operate, Clear-Vue Glass, BuildSense’s partner in the building’s purchase, could maintain an office, fabrication facility and showroom at pedestrian level.

To create the most energy-efficient building possible, Lanou and Mehlman opted to take the existing structure down to its skeleton, leaving only the masonry shell and primary steel columns and girders. Originally, they planned to maintain the existing roof and build the second story on top. However, the roof sloped from north to south about 3 inches for drainage. The partners decided to remove the wood framing, add more steel and a metal deck, and pour a new level composite concrete slab for the second story.

BuildSense pursued a tight, well-insulated building envelope. For the roof, Lanou and Mehlman specified an insulated metal panel featuring a 6-inch urethane core that boasts an R-value of 42. “It’s also painted white, which significantly helps us reduce our cooling loads in the summer—the predominant loads in a commercial building in our climate,” Lanou explains. “It’s very well air-sealed, very well insulated and it’s reflective.” In addition, the roof cover, insulation and finished ceiling are provided in one component.

Roof Install

A crane was required to lift all panels to the roof from one side of the building because power lines impeded the other sides. “The crane would grab the bundle of panels, which were staged on the high side of the building, and lift them up and over the building to place them on the low side,” Miller says. “It would’ve been so much easier if we had access completely around the building but we had to have a big crane come out there and do that lift.”

The roof cover, insulation and finished ceiling are provided in one component. PHOTO: Barrett Hahn

The roof cover, insulation and finished ceiling are provided in one component. PHOTO: Barrett Hahn

Once the panels were on the building near where they would be installed, manlifts further assisted with situating the panels on the roof. “The larger panel sections were 400 pounds each and 42-inches wide,” Miller explains. “They were awkward to handle. You also had to make sure when you were moving them around on top of the steel trusses that you didn’t scratch the finished paint on the underside of the panels, which would serve as the second-floor ceiling.”

Miller says safety was the biggest challenge on the project. His crew was tied to steel beams or apparatus that bolts onto the standing seam once they were past the leading edge. “We also made sure no one got hurt while we were moving the 400-pound panels. You don’t want a 400-pound panel on one man and he’s trying to hold the thing up without his knowledge. Honestly, a 400-pound panel once it is in motion may end up being 2,000 pounds of live load so we had to work in unison. We had one crew leader who would call out the play, saying ‘1, 2, 3, we’re going down’ or ‘1, 2, 3, we’re moving the panel over’.”

The coordination among the crew helped because the panels weren’t packaged exactly as they would be installed on the roof. “Some of them were upside down and we had to rotate,” Miller notes. “Without a lift there fulltime, it would’ve been even more challenging. Plus, we were working about 35 feet above the ground and 15 feet above the concrete floor of the building. We had to stay safe, stay tied off.”

Once the lifting and maneuvering were handled, Miller says the installation, which took about a week, was similar to any standing-seam roof, except each panel is 8-inches tall. “The top of the lock must be engaged while the panel is rotated so the tongue at the bottom of the panel engages with the lock,” he says. “Once you are engaged at the top and bottom, then you manually seam the locks together at the top. When you’re all finished you take a massive power seamer and run down the seam and it locks that joint together, so you have all kinds of wind-uplift value.” [Read more…]

Projects: Offices/Manufacturing

Accident Fund Holdings Inc. Headquarters, Lansing, Mich.

Team

Roofing Contractor: Bloom Roofing, Brighton, Mich.
Construction Manager: The Christman Co., Lansing
Architect of Record: HOK, St. Louis
Construction Engineer: Ruby + Associates Inc., Farmington Hills, Mich.

Roof Materials

Accident Fund Holdings Headquarters features a white TPO roof. PHOTO: Image Michigan and The Christman Co.

Accident Fund Holdings Headquarters features a white TPO roof. PHOTO: Image Michigan and The Christman Co.


An insulated cool roof minimizes the building and surrounding area’s heat-island effect.
White TPO Roof: Firestone Building Products Co.
Polyurethane-foam Adhesive: OMG Roofing Products
Caged Roof-hatch Grab Bars: LadderPort

Roof Report

Accident Fund Holdings, the nation’s 13th largest workers’ compensation insurer and a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, has been headquartered in Lansing, Mich., for more than 100 years. When it outgrew its office, the firm’s leaders were determined to stay in Lansing.

By revitalizing the iconic Ottawa Street Power Station, which was built along the Grand River in 1939 but had been mostly abandoned since 1992, the company would have 9 stories and 122,000 square feet to grow into. To support Michigan’s economy, 106 of the 118 contracts and suppliers that participated in the project were Michigan-based firms and 54 of those were Lansing-based.

To remove existing building elements, including catwalks, elevator/ stair shafts, framing and platforms, the team cut two 40-foot-long by 20-foot-wide roof hatches so a crane operator could move about 8,900 pieces of steel in and out of the building while the floors were built from the bottom up.

Since Accident Fund moved into its new headquarters, the building has won numerous awards, including the Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation from the state of Michigan and an Excellence in Economic Development Award from the Washington, D.C.-based International Economic Development Council. [Read more…]

Pages: 1 2