Symmetrical Standing Seam Roofing System Installed Without Interrupting Operations

Northwest Distributors was able to keep operations running without interruption while a new seam roofing system installed was installed a re-cover application. Photos: McElroy Metal

The versatility of a symmetrical standing seam metal roofing system has given birth to a new way of dealing with damaged metal roofing.

Northwest Distributors in Hays, Kansas, is a busy warehouse, dealing with auto parts and supplies. The R-panel roofing on the original building and an addition both sustained damage in several hailstorms over the years. After a 2017 hailstorm, the insurance company for Northwest Distributors agreed a new roof was needed and it would cover the damage.

The tried and true method of replacement involves complete roofing tear-off and replacement. Obviously, this would expose the valuable contents of the facility to the elements. Roofmasters Roofing & Sheet Metal of Hays proposed the patented 238T tall clip re-cover using the 238T symmetrical standing seam roofing system from McElroy Metal.

The roof re-cover would not require the removal of any existing roofing panels and therefore, would not interrupt any activity inside. It would be business-as-usual at Northwest Distributors during the install.

The owners at Northwest Distributors decided to go with the re-cover. Project manager Andrew Bizzell and project superintendent Andy Littrel headed up the assignment for Roofmasters.

“The tall clip re-cover cost is about the same as a removal, but the benefit comes from the contents of the building not being exposed to potential damage from rain or wind or hail,” says Bizzell. “Plus, they were able to keep working without interruption. That saved Northwest money as well.”

To eliminate the problem of standing water behind curbs above the skylights, transverse panels were installed above the skylights using floating purlins that lift the transverse panels and skylights above the field of the new roof. Photos: McElroy Metal

Panels for the 58,000-sqaure-foot re-cover were produced onsite and stacked on the roof. Roofmasters owns its own roll former that produces the 238T symmetrical standing seam panel. The 24-gauge panels are 24 inches wide with striations in PVDF Regal White. Panels were approximately 64 feet long.

“It really was a straightforward job,” Bizzell says. “We have installed several re-covers with the 238T. We like the ease of installation. It provides a great benefit to the building owner because if a panel is damaged, a single panel can be removed and replaced anywhere on the roof. If a panel is damaged with another type of standing seam system, you have to start on an end and remove all of the panels up to and including the damaged panel. Obviously, that is a much greater expense.”

Bizzell says not all insurance policies cover cosmetic damage sustained in weather events like hailstorms. The symmetrical standing seam system allows for the replacement of a single panel or only damaged panels the owner feels the need to replace, reducing his financial hit.

Roofmasters installed 3 1/2 inches of batt insulation between the original roof and the new panels to eliminate the possibility of condensation forming between the two metal systems. It also provided the owner with an added R-value of R-12, which will help reduce heating and cooling costs.

Photos: McElroy Metal

It should be noted the Northwest Distributors warehouse roof includes 36 skylights, a feature the owner wanted to keep. To eliminate the problem of standing water behind curbs above the skylights, Roofmasters installed transverse panels from the top of the skylight to the ridge. Transverse panels are installed perpendicular to the slope using floating purlins that lift the transverse panels and skylights above the field of the new roof. This system lifts the leak-prone skylights out of the water plane. None of the exposed fasteners used for this detail penetrate the roof.

Beneath the center of the transverse panels, a center support was installed. In addition to support, it adds a little pitch to the transverse panels to aid water flow.

Roofmasters installed a polycarbonate skylight panel from MWI Components over the original skylight hole.

“We use transverse panels with skylights and other roof penetrations,” Bizzell says. “We also use the traditional curb. Installed correctly, they both do what they’re supposed to do.”

Iconic White Sands Inn Re-Roofed With Foam System After Hurricane

The White Sands Inn is an eclectic beachfront lodge in Marathon, Florida. Photo: Rachel Price. Photo: Rachel Price

For Rachel Price and her mother, Janice Stephens, the White Sands Inn represented 20 years of hard work and memories. Situated on Marathon, Florida’s Grassy Key, the eclectic beachfront lodge looked out on tranquil blue waters framed by graceful palm trees. Idyllic and serene, White Sands was a vacation home away from home for legions of loyal patrons.

But the oceanfront location that made it so popular with visitors also put it right in the path of Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful and costly storms ever to hit the United States. After making landfall in Barbuda as a category 5 on September 6, 2017, Irma roared through the Caribbean toward the vulnerable islands at the Sunshine State’s southern tip.

The Keys bore the full brunt of Irma’s Category 4 winds and rain on September 10. The storm then traveled directly north up the entire length of Florida and into Georgia before dissipating, leaving more than $50 billion in damage in its wake, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management.

As Price watched the storm build and prepared to evacuate, she worried whether her hotel would survive. When an apprehensive Price finally returned, she found the inn practically in ruins and the roofs of both of the inn’s buildings completely gone. Determined to rebuild and re-open, she knew that a new roof was a top priority. Contractor Charles King used Lapolla roofing products manufactured by Icynene-Lapolla to shield White Sands from the elements and help Price prepare to re-open her doors to guests.

Preparing for a Direct Hit

With one eye on the weather reports, Price began bringing in all of the hotel’s outdoor equipment and battening down anything that could break or cause damage. Then she boarded up the windows, threw some essentials in the car and joined the line of Keys residents and Miamians headed north.

Hurricane Irma ripped the roof off of both of the inn’s buildings and left extensive damage to the interior and exterior of the complex. Photo: Rachel Price.

Evacuating, however, turned out to be a difficult task. With all of Florida in the storm’s path, Price and her mother had no safe place to stop. They eventually ended up near their original home of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Not everyone left. A few “old salts,” as Price calls them, weathered the storm in bars and restaurants. Photographers also traveled to the Keys expressly to document the destructive event.

In the days after the storm, photos depicted catastrophic damage: crumbled walls, demolished homes, crushed trailers, scattered debris, boats in the street and roofs damaged from the Keys to the Florida-Georgia state line. Tagged in online photos of the hotel, Price and her mother had some idea of the situation that awaited them.

Because of damaged and inaccessible roads, Price and her mother couldn’t get back to Grassy Key for two weeks. The first thing she saw when they returned was that one of her buildings, a duplex, was missing a roof, exposing the interior to heavy rains. She found the roof on top of a car she had hoped to save from Irma. The duplex also lost windows, allowing waves up to 10 feet high to cause extensive water damage inside.

Photo: Rachel Price.

The other building, the main complex of the White Sands Inn, sustained serious damage everywhere. Waves had punched enormous holes in the ocean-facing side of the building and sucked everything inside out to sea. Furniture, toilets and showers were simply gone. One room remained salvageable, but it had to be dug out of a mound of sand.

The 4,500-square-foot flat, modified bitumen roof was gone, lifted completely off by the powerful winds and deposited a quarter of a mile away. The 20-year-old roof system was built before newer building codes were enforced, and its drip edge was not properly nailed down.

“The entire roof came off down to the wood,” Price says. “The whole entire roof was just sheared off. It lifted up and split off of the building.”

Steps to a New Roof

Price immediately filled out the Small Business Administration paperwork necessary for disaster loans and began getting quotes from roofing contractors. One of them was Charles “Charlie” King of Southeast Waterproofing and Coatings, a family-owned firm based in Geneva, Florida.

A closed-cell, polyurethane foam was spray applied over a nailable vented base sheet and plywood decking. Photo: Charles King.

He didn’t get the job — at first. Price opted to hire a local contractor who promised to do the roof of the main building as well as the interior, all in a couple of months. After a while, he failed to show up and sent another roofer in his place. By then, many months later, city inspectors had shut down the renovation project and found that the contractor had installed only half of a roof — and it was crooked.

Price went back over her estimates and this time hired King.

Rain was still falling inside the White Sands Inn building the next summer when King and his small crew made the trip to Grassy Key. Having previously made a fast and sturdy repair at the Marathon Community Playhouse and Cinema, King already had a good relationship with the local building department.

King and crew arrived on July 2, 2018. After finding a place to stay in the Keys on a holiday weekend — no easy task — he and his crew restored Price’s roof in just a few days and still had time to go deep-sea fishing before heading home.

A Waterproof Roof for the White Sands Inn

One of King’s primary challenges involved the previous contractor’s botched fix, which had left a low spot in the roof over a main living area. The spot acted as a funnel, channeling rainwater into the building’s interior and causing the ceiling and floor of the building’s second floor to sink.

The roof system was topped with Therma-Flex 1000, a highly reflective acrylic roof coating. Photo: Charles King.

“First, we removed the previous contractor’s single-ply roof and started over on the 4,500-square-foot White Sands Inn roof,” King says. “The building was old and very little space was left for air conditioning ducts between the ceiling and roof.”

The White Sands Inn’s new flat roof included a three-quarter-inch plywood substrate nailed according to code. King constructed a custom gravel stop with a larger top than the previous roof’s, which he then nailed and screwed every four inches, staggered.

“We anchored the face every 16 inches to 2-by-8 fascia,” King explains. “That’s beyond code. I just like the extra protection.”

The crew worked quickly to avoid the inevitable moisture present in tropical areas, especially in the mornings and evenings, and laid down a nailable venting base sheet as the basis of the new roof. Atop this barrier they applied a Thermo-Flex polyurethane foam roof system featuring an acrylic coating.

Framed by palm trees, White Sands Inn looks out at the ocean from Marathon’s Grassy Key. Photo: Rachel Price.

King and Price agreed that the roof system would offer the hotel the best possible protection against tropical storms, rain and intense UV exposure. FOAM-LOK 2800 is a closed-cell, polyurethane foam system used on a variety of substrates for both waterproofing and insulation purposes. Therma-Flex 1000, an acrylic coating designed specifically for roofing applications, protects and preserves roofs from heat, moisture and severe weather.

The crew sprayed the polyurethane foam onto the roof substrate in a sloping shape that channels rainwater toward the building’s intended drainage pathways. Thermo-Prime and Thermo-Flex acrylics were applied on top of the polyurethane foam to completely seal the roof and ensure that everything adhered firmly to every square inch.

The roof system is designed to provide a lightweight and sustainable seamless umbrella over a wide variety of new and existing roof substrates to protect against rain and hail. It also includes a fire retardant and exhibits excellent dirt pick-up resistance.

The crew from Southeast Waterproofing and Coatings finished the roof in time to do some deep-sea fishing. Photo: Charles King.

The system does, however, require a professionally trained roofer who understands the proper application procedures. King works regularly with Lapolla products and installed Price’s roof to stand up to the heat and moisture of tropical conditions for the life of the system.

In fact, King’s customer service is such that when Price called him about a small leak near the fireplace after the roof was finished, he hopped on a plane immediately — only to discover that the issue was not related to the roof at all. He fixed it anyway.

The Return of a Florida Keys Vacation Mainstay

The new roof should help protect the White Sands Inn if another hurricane hits the Keys. King noted that after Hurricane Michael, which devastated the Florida Panhandle in October 2018, most of the few buildings that remained standing had spray-foam and coating roofing systems.

King has a lot of faith in his work, and not without reason. In response to the adage, “They don’t make ’em like they used to,” King says: “You’re right. They don’t. They make ’em much better now.”

An added bonus is that the Thermo-Flex system boosts the R-value of Price’s roof, a plus in an area prone to high heat and direct sunlight. She expects her cooling costs to come down drastically in the near future.

King, who has extensive post-storm repair experience, advises home and business owners to choose state-licensed contractors for their roofing work. The savings promised by the other guys, he says, might end up costing a fortune when the work is either not finished or not done according to code.

Though the roof is completed, interior work is still going on and Price is not sure when the White Sands will re-open for guests. But one thing’s for sure: King and Icynene-Lapolla products helped save Price’s business, and once the White Sands opens, King has a standing invitation to stay at the inn whenever he’s in town.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Southeast Waterproofing and Coatings, Geneva, Florida, www.foamittoday.com

MATERIALS

Spray Polyurethane Foam: FOAM-LOK 2800, Icynene-Lapolla, www.lapolla.com

Acrylic Roof Coating: Thermo-Prime and Thermo-Flex, Icynene-Lapolla

A Roof Coating Is the Right Answer for Florida Condo Complex

Photos: KARNAK Corporation

Educated customers make the best decisions.

That philosophy is shared by Frank Scelzi of Munyan Restoration Waterproofing and Painting Service of Tampa Bay Inc. The company was founded in 1951 as a painting and waterproofing company, and over the years it has evolved into a general contractor that handles restoration of the entire building envelope, including the roof.

Munyan Restoration often educates its customers through seminars, which sometimes have the added benefit of bringing in new business. According to Scelzi, that was how he got involved in the Sage Condo project in St. Petersburg, Florida. “We have a marketing department, and we do what’s called ‘lunch and learns,’” he says. “Our engineer also has several continuing education classes approved for facility managers and building owners who want to keep up to date on certain things. We have these several times throughout the year, and one of the property managers said he needed a roofing inspection.”

The property manager was worried that his roof needed to be replaced, and he asked Scelzi to take a look. Scelzi found the existing TPO roof was nearing the end of its service life, and it had some minor tears and punctures, but he believed the roof would be a good candidate for a restoration coating. He contacted Joe Prussel, Southeast U.S. Regional Manager for KARNAK Corp., to confirm his conclusion and determine which product would be the best fit.

“After the initial evaluation, Frank brought me back to walk the roof and look at the condition of it,” Prussel says. “Frank wanted to give them an option of coating in lieu of tearing everything off and transporting all of the trash to the dump — avoiding not only the cost but the environmental impact that would have, as well as the disruption to the residents that live there because the building has a multi-level roof.”

After adhesion tests proved a high-solids silicone coating would be an excellent fit, Scelzi submitted a written proposal and he and Prussel put on a presentation for the board and the property manager. “We told the board that we’ve been on the roof and had seen the damage that is up there, and we feel that it is a good candidate for a coating application,” Scelzi recalls. “We went through the procedure with them. We told them how we clean the roof, how we do our repairs, apply our primer, do our tie-in work, and ultimately apply the coating.”

After he detailed the safety plan and documented the experience and training of his crews, Scelzi told the residents what to expect during the coating application, stating, “There’s really going to be no disruption of your lifestyle while the coating system is going on.”

The board had been budgeting for a roof replacement, and the coating application was substantially less expensive. It would also be approved for the 20-year warranty the board sought. “They decided to go forward with it,” Scelzi says. “This was a real quick turnaround, which is unusual in the condo market. We were at a board meeting on a Thursday night and had a signed contract Friday morning.”

Following the Plan

A couple of weeks later, the Munyan Restoration crew was executing the plan laid out at the board meeting.

The building had a main roof on the 12th floor and two other roof sections on the fifth floor, totaling approximately 30,000 square feet. The main roof was sloped toward the interior, and its outer edges were approximately 6 feet above the center. “Everything slopes into the roof’s interior to make it more architecturally pleasing,” Scelzi notes. “It gave you a real weird feeling when you stepped out on that roof, but as far as setting up a safety perimeter, it made things fairly easy. The roof also had built-in tie-off points, so our guys could be harnessed, and that made the safety aspect very easy for the guys up there.”

The roof on the Sage Condo complex was restored using a high-solids silicone coating system manufactured by KARNAK. Photos: KARNAK Corporation

The first step was washing the roof with 799 Wash-N-Prep, an environmentally safe cleaner that can go right into the roof drains and the water system. “The entire roof was cleaned,” notes Scelzi. “We used a power washer and a round scrubber head that really raises the dirt from the roof. The roof was pretty dirty, but it really came out very, very clean and it was a real good surface for us to do our repairs and start doing our tie-in work.”

Repairs were made to seams and penetrations using Karna-Flex 505 WB repair mastic with fibers, using a brush application. The next steps included applying the primer and the coating.

The 180 Karna-Sil Epoxy Primer is a two-part epoxy that can be applied with spray equipment or a roller. A roller was used on this project, and it was applied at a rate of 3/4 of a gallon per square. “It really enhances the adhesion of the coating to the roofing membrane,” notes Prussel. “This is one of the products we did an adhesion test with and got very good results. It dries fairly quickly — in three to four hours — which makes it very user friendly.”

After the primer was dry, the Karna-Sil 670 high-solids silicone coating was applied. The product was chosen for several reasons, including its excellent performance in the adhesion test and the fact that the owner wanted a white coating. The product also allowed the contractor to meet the 20-year warranty with only one coat, minimizing labor costs.

The slope of the roof was another key consideration, as crews wanted to make sure the product didn’t run or migrate when they put it on. “What was really nice about this system from KARNAK was the high-solids silicone, even with the angle of the roof, the coating just stayed there, so we could really get our millage,” notes Scelzi. “On this job, we even exceeded it in some areas, which was good.”

For the 20-year specification, the coating was applied at a rate of 3 gallons per square, or 46 dry mils. As they put the coating down with rollers, crew members constantly checked the thickness with a mil gauge. After the project was completed, destructive testing confirmed the proper mil thickness was achieved, and then the test areas were repaired.

Smooth Operation

Weather was a concern, as rain, dew and fog are common in the area. “We had a couple of days we had to stand down due to the weather, but other than that, the project went very smoothly,” Scelzi says. “It really shows you what coatings are supposed to do — make it more friendly for the building owners and for the applicators who put it down.”

It also minimizes disruption for the residents. “We had some material we had to stack in certain areas, but the residents never even knew we were there unless they saw that material,” Scelzi says.

Prussel points out that coating applications also pose less liability for owners, as the roof area is never exposed to the weather, as it would be during a tear-off. “With a coating, there is never a liability of an open roof, and especially in Florida in summertime, you never know when you’re going to get some rain.”

Feedback on the job has been positive, notes Scelzi. “The owners, property manager and board members are very happy,” he says. “It’s a nice, clean-looking product and there are no seams. It’s a monolithic system. They are very pleased with the result, and it cost a lot less than a roof replacement.”

The project included a contract for an annual maintenance program. According to Prussel, proper maintenance not only safeguards the warranty, it can save owners money in the long run by ensuring the likelihood that the roof will be a good candidate for another coating application when the warranty period nears its expiration.

“Whenever we do a presentation for a building owner, a board, or a property manager, we always stress the importance of maintenance,” Prussel says. “It’s extremely vital to any roofing project, be it a coating or a new membrane, that a certified applicator of that manufacturer observe the roof a minimum of once a year, maintain it, make any repairs, and make a report for the owner.”

Scelzi and Prussel believe that teamwork between the manufacturer and the contractor is essential at every phase of the job. “As the manufacturer working with the applicator, we have a technical support team that can advise the applicator which product would be the best fit for that substrate,” says Prussel. “We are there to specifically design a system that is the best fit for the owner of that building, and we can advise the contractor on the application, and they can lay out the best option for that customer. We want to make sure our product will work, our product will last, and everybody will be happy.”

Scelzi agrees. “It gives the customer a good feeling to know they have a quality contractor and a quality manufacturer standing behind them,” he says.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Munyan Restoration Waterproofing and Painting Service of Tampa Bay Inc., Clearwater, Florida, www.munyanpainting.com

MATERIALS

Roof Coating: Karna-Sil 670 high-solids silicone, KARNAK, www.karnakcorp.com

Primer: 180 Karna-Sil Epoxy Primer, KARNAK

Repair Mastic: Karna-Flex 505 WB, KARNAK

Cleaning Agent: 799 Wash-N-Prep, KARNAK

A Talented Team Meets the Needs of New Children’s Hospital

Key priorities for the roof on the new Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital included durability, resilience and low maintenance. Photos: Roofing Solutions LLC

Roofing is a rewarding job; it is worthwhile to know someone or something is safer thanks to your work and craftsmanship. Every day across North America, roofing systems are helping keep people, possessions and businesses safe. In 2017, a mission to help heal the children of Louisiana began at the groundbreaking ceremony for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.

When the hospital opens in the fall of 2019, it will join a statewide network providing families greater access to physicians trained to care for children in more than 25 specialties. The new hospital will also join the Children’s Miracle Network, a nonprofit group that relies on donations, community support and fundraising partners. Comprised of 170 hospitals in the United States and Canada, the group treats more than 22,000 children a day, and 1 in 10 children in North America are treated by the network each year.

To help protect such an important building, a high-quality roofing system was mandatory. So, the local professionals from Roofing Solutions LLC were enlisted to identify a roofing system that matched the building owner’s requirements: durability, resilience and low maintenance.

Designing the Roofing System

“We were invited to participate in the designing process, and it quickly became more than just a project,” says Tupac de la Cruz, the founder and operations manager of Roofing Solutions LLC. “Due to the nature of the building, we needed roofing materials that possessed exceptional strength and a low-maintenance factor to avoid possibly loud disturbances from upkeep.”

The roof system incorporates designs that reflect the diverse ecosystem of the Louisiana bayou. The theme is carried over to the internal design elements, with each floor evoking the area’s woodlands, marshes and coasts. Photos: Roofing Solutions LLC

The system also needed to support extensive foot traffic and aesthetic customizations, according to de la Cruz. Portions of the roof were colored and decorated to reflect the diverse ecosystem of the Louisiana bayou, helping make the view more comforting. This matched internal design elements too, where each floor is designed to spotlight vibrant ecosystems from throughout Louisiana — including woodlands, marshes and coasts — along with animals indigenous to each region.

“The lower section’s roof is visible from many of the rooms above. By decorating it, we hoped to create a fun surface that would provide the children a greater sense of ease and calm,” notes de la Cruz. “From a professional standpoint, ‘resilient’ became a distinct qualification in the material selection process.”

After conversing with the building owner and HKS Architects, Roofing Solutions LLC decided to install 924,000 square feet of styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) modified bitumen for its proven performance, durability, lifecycle value, resilience and low maintenance.

“When we compared the options, modified bitumen was the best choice for the type of application and the performance the owner was looking for,” says Lauren Reynolds, the business development manager for Roofing Solutions LLC. “Modified bitumen has stood the test of time and proven its capabilities — especially in terms of strength and function — so the decision was made to install an asphalt roofing system.”

Installing the Membranes

The roof system was manufactured by SOPREMA. SOPRA-ISO+ polyisocyanurate foam insulation and a 1/4-inch SOPRABOARD cover board were mechanically fastened to the prepared structural steel deck. The insulation’s closed cell structure is bonded to inorganic, coated glass mat facers on the top and underside. The semi-rigid cover board is composed of a mineral-fortified, asphaltic core formed between two fiberglass reinforcing piles designed to enhance the strength and impact resistance of the system and help protect the insulation below.

Roofing Solutions LLC installed 924,000 square feet of modified bitumen roof system. Photos: Roofing Solutions LLC

For the base ply of this multi-ply system, a layer of ELASTOPHENE FLAM 2.2 SBS-modified bitumen was heat welded to the cover board. The base membrane is reinforced with a high-quality, random glass fiber mat and is surfaced with polyolefin burn-off film to optimize welding. The asphaltic cap sheet used was ELASTOPHENE FLAM LS FR GR, a fire-retardant membrane that’s surfaced with ceramic coated granules.

For the flashings, SOPRALENE FLAM 180 was used due to its dimensionally stable, non-woven polyester mat that adds toughness and durability. The flashing cap sheet selected, SOPRALAST 50 TV ALU, incorporates a high strength glass scrim and the topside is surfaced with a reflective aluminum foil, which is designed to improve UV resistance.

“We felt an asphalt roofing installation would provide the best long-term value and reliability,” de la Cruz says. “We worked closely with the architect and general contractor to ensure a proper application of these high-quality materials.”

While Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital’s roof is complete, the entire project will not be finished until the fall. When the hospital officially opens, it will begin helping children from across the state heal.

Recognized for Asphalt Roofing Excellence

For its displays of craftsmanship, Roofing Solutions LLC was honored at the International Roofing Expo by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) through its Excellence in Asphalt Roofing awards program. The free-to-enter program recognizes outstanding steep and low-slope asphalt roofing projects and contractors from across North America.

“Excellence in Asphalt Roofing allows us to recognize contractors who use asphalt roofing systems to make a difference in their communities,” says ARMA’s Executive Vice President Reed Hitchcock. “Asphalt roofing’s aesthetics, durability and reliability provide peace of mind to building and homeowners alike. We are truly proud that asphalt roofing played an important role in establishing Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.”

Submissions are now open for the 2020 Excellence in Asphalt Roofing awards program. To submit your project or to learn more about asphalt roofing systems, visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

About the Author: Chadwick Collins is ARMA’s Director of Technical Services. For more information, visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

TEAM

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

Roofing Contractor: Roofing Solutions LLC, Prairieville, Louisiana, http://roofingsolutionsla.com

MATERIALS

Insulation: SOPRA-ISO+, SOPREMA, https://soprema.us

Cover Board: 1/4-inch SOPRABOARD, SOPREMA

Base Ply: ELASTOPHENE FLAM 2.2 SBS, SOPREMA

Cap Sheet: ELASTOPHENE FLAM LS FR GR, SOPREMA

Base Flashing: SOPRALENE FLAM 180, SOPREMA

Flashing Cap Sheet: SOPRALAST 50 TV ALU, SOPREMA

Re-Roofing a Busy Hospital Poses Logistical Challenges

At Holmes Regional Medical Center, Advanced Roofing replaced 32,000 square feet of roofing on four different levels. Photos: Smith Aerial Photos

When leaks on the existing roof on the Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida, became too much to bear, the need for a new roof on four levels of the building was obvious. But so were the numerous difficulties posed by removing and replacing the roof on an active hospital. To make matters more complicated, the areas affected were directly over the hospital’s main entrance and the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which cares for premature infants.

It would take a talented team of roofing professionals using the right products to install a durable roof system without disrupting patient care. Advanced Roofing Inc. was up to the challenge.

Advanced Roofing is a full-service commercial roofing contractor based in Florida. The company’s corporate headquarters is in Fort Lauderdale, with offices in Sanford, Tampa, Miami, Jupiter, Fort Myers and Jacksonville. According to Jason Carruth, branch manager of the Sanford location, the company installs almost every type of low-slope and steep-slope roof system. “We do production, service, maintenance — anything to do with commercial roofing,” he says. “Our specialty is re-roofing occupied buildings.”

For Holmes Regional Medical Center, a two-ply modified system with a reflective coating from Tremco was specified. This was an ideal fit for the re-roofing application at the hospital, notes Carruth, as it was a cold-applied system with low VOCs. “As a certified Tremco applicator, we were invited to bid on the project, and we were successful with the contract,” says Carruth.

High Degree of Difficulty

The project involved the complete tear-off and replacement of the roofs on the four lowest levels of the hospital, totaling approximately 32,000 square feet. These included two of the most sensitive areas on the building. “We did the whole section over the main entrance where everyone drops people off,” notes Carruth. “Another section was directly over the NICU center. We did the staging and handled personnel coming in and out on four roof levels over that area. The entire roof section also surrounds an open-air atrium below, so we had to roof around not only the main entrance, but an atrium as well.”

No torches could be used on the project, so cold-applied modified system from Tremco was specified. It was topped with a reflective coating. Photos: Advanced Roofing Inc.

Safety was the top priority, both on the roof and on the ground. “We had to have full-time supervision on the ground,” Carruth says. “We had ground safety monitors that worked for us, and they had to coordinate traffic at the drive-through and the turnaround, as well as the pedestrian walkway, which was right at the edge of our staging area.”

The site posed numerous challenges, as the lone staging area was limited and the schedule was subject to change at a moment’s notice due to emergency surgeries. “Work over the NICU unit was a little more involved due to the fact that we were almost continually on call,” Carruth explains. “On days we were able to work, we had to be ready to stop if there was anything critical going on.”

Work began in the areas with the most problems. “We started in different sections based on the priorities of the hospital,” Carruth notes. “We initially focused on the areas where the leaks were the worst.”

After the problem areas were fixed, work proceeded in sections, working from the back to the front to minimize traffic on completed areas. The process involved tearing off the existing built-up roof down to the concrete deck and installing a temporary roof to keep everything watertight. Then tapered insulation was applied in cold adhesive, followed by a cover board and the two-ply smooth modified system. The last step was the application of the Alpha-Guard MT coating, which was set in a polyester mat.

Logistics, loading and disposal of debris was a complicated process, as crews could only load the roof at one point accessible to a telehandler — a 10K Lull. This meant much of the material had to be moved a long way across the roof. “We had to haul all of the material and all of the debris from the old roofs across a level, down a level, and up a level to one spot,” Carruth explains. “Mobilization was a little bit difficult on it because we were only allocated one staging area.”

Tear-Off and Installation

Advanced used a 10-man crew on the project, doing most of the demolition work at night and installation work during the day. The fall protection plan included Raptor tie-off carts and anchor points at higher levels of the building.

Photos: Advanced Roofing Inc.

Mechanical roof cutters were used to tear off the existing built-up roof. In some sections, lightweight concrete also had to be removed. Debris was placed in a custom-fabricated trash box with a lid that had special forks for use with the telehandler. “We cut the old roof into small sections and just used hard elbow grease to pop them off the bottom,” Carruth says. “We utilized a Lull and a trash box to dispose of the that debris, driving it over to the dumpster, which was in the parking lot.”

After the temporary roof was installed, tapered insulation was set in a low-rise foam adhesive. This was topped with half-inch Securock cover board and the modified sheets. The two-ply Tremco system consisted of a PowerPly HD base sheet and Composite Ply HT top sheet, both set in PowerPly adhesive. Before the coating was applied, all of the edge metal and trim were installed. “We put all of flashings in, put all of the sheet metal on, we put the counterflashing in,” notes Carruth. “All metals were installed on this project were stainless steel, as it was in Melbourne and pretty close to the coast.”

The Alpha-Guard MT base coat and Alpha-Guard MT top coat were set in Permafab polyester fabric. The coating was applied using a squeegee.

The system supplies the benefits of solar reflectance, which include lowering the roof temperature and minimizing utility costs, but the roofs also had to be aesthetically pleasing. “There are patient rooms that look down in this roof, so that’s why we went with the light gray coating, which still supplies the necessary SRI [Solar Reflectance Index] value,” Carruth points out.

Minimizing Disruptions

The work areas also necessitated other considerations for patients and staff. “We had guest rooms where we had to hang tarps up so people couldn’t see us working at the time,” notes Carruth. “There were passive air louvers that we had to cover to keep debris from the tear-off from getting inside the building. We also had to put charcoal filters in all of the air intakes.”

The work schedule could change on a moment’s notice, so the roofing crews kept in almost constant contact with facility managers. “We’d provide them with a weekly schedule and every day we let them know where we would be working and what we’d be doing. If anything changed, we’d hear about it from their facility people and adjust on the fly.”

The project was completed on time, despite numerous weather delays and interruptions because of surgeries in the NICU. “The communication between the manufacturer’s rep, the owners and ourselves was excellent,” Carruth says. “Pre-planning is everything. When the key players on a job are all on the same page, that’s when a project ends up being successful.”

Success on this project meant protecting the patients and pleasing the owner with a top-quality system. The roof system was designed for high-priority, high-sensitivity projects, and there are few areas that are more sensitive than a neonatal intensive care unit. But these types of projects are familiar territory for Advanced Roofing.

“This is what we do. We re-roof occupied buildings,” Carruth says. “Not only are we putting on a roof system, we’re dealing with customers, we’re watching the weather forecast and making sure the roof is always watertight. The experience Advanced has roofing occupied building is why Tremco and Holmes selected us for the project. We know how to handle those situations and keep the roofs watertight on a daily basis.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Advanced Roofing Inc., headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. www.advancedroofing.com

MATERIALS

Cold-Applied Modified System: PowerPly HD and Composite Ply HT, Tremco, www.tremcoinc.com

Roof Coating: Alpha-Guard MT in Light Gray, Tremco

Cover Board: Securock, USG, www.usg.com

Contractor Has the Right Prescription for Medical Office Building

Texas Traditions Roofing installed the metal and TPO roofs on the Pflugerville Parkway Medical Office Building, as well as the metal wall panels, soffit, fascia, gutters and downspouts. Photos: Texas Traditions Roofing

The Pflugerville Parkway Medical Office Building features a metal roof, a TPO roof, metal wall panels, soffit, fascia, gutters and downspouts. The new construction project was perfect for Texas Traditions Roofing, which prides itself on its versatility and quality craftsmanship.

Headquartered in Georgetown, Texas, the company handles a variety of commercial and residential work. “Residentially we do replacements and custom home new construction,” says Michael Pickel, estimator, Texas Traditions. “On the commercial side, we do mostly new construction, but we also do commercial repair and replacement as well.”

Pickel was the estimator on the project, but he feels the term “estimate” doesn’t begin to cover what his job entails. “We want to be the experts and provide all of the information for the general contractor, rather than just throwing an estimate at them,” he says. “We take that responsibility very seriously, whether it’s residential or commercial. We don’t necessarily like the word ‘estimate’ because it sounds like you’re guessing and just hoping it’s right. We understand that commercial new construction involves an estimate, but what we try to do is just be very specific and clearly define what we’re going to be doing, how we’re going to be doing it, and what the manufacturer and what the NRCA recommends us to do. That way nothing is incorrect, it’s not going to leak, obviously, and you have the backing of the manufacturer because it was installed properly.”

Multiple Systems

The scopes of work included two sections of metal roofing — a peaked section in the middle of the main roof and a shed roof off to one side of the building. A TPO roof system was applied over the main roof on either side of the metal roof in the center. “We started with the metal roofing panels on the top first, and then worked our way down to the lower section on the side,” Pickel notes. “Shortly after that, we came back and installed the TPO roof. It was pretty open, so it was fairly easy to put that down.”

The low-slope roof sections were covered with a 60-mil TPO system manufactured by GAF. Photos: Texas Traditions Roofing

The metal roof system manufactured by Sheffield Metals features 1.5-inch Snaplock 450 Panels in Ash Grey. Approximately 4,000 square feet of roof panels were installed over two layers of 2.2-inch polyiso insulation, which was mechanically attached. The underlayment used was Viking Armor from Viking Barriers.

The 6,000-square-foot low-slope roof was topped with a 60-mil TPO system manufactured by GAF. First, two layers of 2.2-inch polysio were mechanically attached to reach R-25. A tapered insulation system was then fully adhered across the entire roof to ensure proper drainage.

The safety plan utilized a Raptor safety cart, which was lifted to the roof with a SkyTrak. “The Raptor system was either on the left or right side of the roof, depending what side we were working on,” Pickel says. “Any time workers were on the roof, they were tied off.”

After the roofs were completed, the focus shifted to the wall panels. Berridge Vee Panels in Charcoal Grey were installed using a man lift. “We put Z-purlins down horizontally over the vapor barrier,” notes Pickel. “Then we installed the 1-inch, four-by-four mineral wool insulation, and attached our panels over that.”

Metal crews also installed 11-inch fascia across the entire edge of the roof, including both the metal and TPO sections. “There are some tricks involved with that because it was a fully tapered TPO system, so your height differences can vary,” Pickel explains. “Making sure the fascia wrapped smooth and properly, and was the proper height, was a little tricky.”

Gutters were not originally specified, but they were added at the suggestion of Texas Traditions. “We talked to the G.C. about talking to the owner because we felt they were going to want gutters,” Pickel recalls. “They came back to us and said they wanted gutters, so we issued a change order for it.”

The company installed 6-inch box gutters and four-by-four downspouts matching the metal roof.

A Challenging Schedule

The jobsite was relatively open, accessible and easy to navigate, so some typical problems that can crop up with new construction projects weren’t a big issue. The HVAC units were installed on a pad within a fenced-in area on the ground, minimizing roof penetrations as well as foot traffic on the roof. Crews were able to focus on doing the job right — and doing it safely. “Installation-wise, it wasn’t too tricky,” Pickel notes. “We just had to ensure that everything was installed to the manufacturer’s requirements.”

Manpower and scheduling posed the toughest hurdles, notes Pickel, but the general contractor, Lott Brothers of Austin, Texas, did a great job of keeping everyone on the same page. “We had weekly mandatory meetings that were set up by the G.C., and it was very helpful for us and other trades as well,” Pickel says. “Having to coordinate multiple trips is very common with new construction, unfortunately, but it’s great that we are able to do so much work. We did everything down to the gutters and downspouts — the full system — but it takes a lot of coordination and scheduling of the crews, especially when you have other jobs as well.”

One advantage of the multiple scopes of work was that Texas Traditions crews didn’t have to worry about coordinating transition details with crews from other companies. “It’s also nice for the owner,” Pickel adds. “If they have any issues or if they have any questions, they know the roofer did every bit of the metal on this job, and all of the TPO roof, and they know who to contact.”

Versatility is one of the company’s strengths, and for that Pickel credits the experience of the company’s owners, including his father, co-owner Mike Pickel, who has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, including 20 years working for a general contractor.

“He understands the complexity of coordinating multiple trades because he did it for so long from a G.C. perspective,” Pickel says. “His ability to know what needs to be done when allows us to be more effective and more efficient with our time. It allows us to be the expert in front of a general contractor because he was a general contractor. He worked with superintendents. He worked with multiple trades. His ability, knowledge and expertise within our company allows us to be the roofing expert.”

Texas Traditions strives to make the best use of that wealth of knowledge. “Each job is treated with care,” Pickel says. “It’s treated with expertise because it’s not just another job — it’s someone’s home, it’s someone’s office. We do apartment complexes, we do office buildings, we do residential homes, we do churches. Mike treats it with care, and it trickles down to everyone else to treat it with care as well.”

TEAM

Architect: Tim Brown Architecture, Austin, Texas, www.timbrownarch.com

General Contractor: Lott Brothers Construction, Austin, Texas, www.lottbrothers.com

Roofing Contractor: Texas Traditions Roofing, Georgetown, Texas, www.texastraditionsroofing.com

MATERIALS

Low-Slope Roof: 60-mil TPO, GAF, www.GAF.com

Metal Roof Panels: Snaplock 450 Panels, Sheffield Metals, www.sheffieldmetals.com

Underlayment: Viking Armor High-Temp, Viking Barriers, www.vikingbarriers.com

Metal Soffit Panels: FWP non-vented Soffit Panels, Sheffield Metals

Metal Wall Panels: Berridge Vee Panels, www.berridge.com

Colorful Exterior for Veterinary Hospital Comes Together Without a Hitch

The Kimbrough Animal Hospital in Longview, Texas, features a colorful exterior constructed of metal roof and wall panels. Photos: Petersen

Kimbrough Animal Hospital in Longview, Texas, is designed to provide top-notch care for its furry patients. The building includes surgical suites, treatment areas, and an in-house lab, as well as boarding and grooming facilities.

The state-of-the-art facility is housed in a striking complex highlighted by colorful metal roof and wall panels. It was a complicated new construction project on a tight jobsite, but experience and planning made for a smooth, textbook execution.

Complicated projects are nothing new for Curtis-McKinley Roofing and Sheet Metal. Headquartered in Longview, Texas, the company has been in business for 33 years and does a variety of commercial, industrial and residential work, including modified bitumen, built-up, single-ply and shingle roofs, as well as metal roofing and sheet metal fabrication. “We did all the metal on the project,” says Anthony McKinley, vice president of Curtis-McKinley. “We did the roof, the walls and soffit.”

McKinley was confident his crews could execute the project smoothly, and his confidence was bolstered by his experience working on other projects with the general contractor, Transet Company, and the manufacturer of the roof and wall panels, Petersen.

“We have a good relationship with Transet Company and we’ve done so much work with Petersen that they know our company and our guys,” McKinley says. “If there are any technical questions, they are very quick to help and get us answers, and inspections go great.”

The Roof and Walls

The roof and wall panels were manufactured from 24-gauge steel. The roof was covered with approximately 18,000 square feet of 18-inch PAC-CLAD Snap-Clad panels in Charcoal. The exterior also incorporates 4,400 square feet of 16-inch HWP panels in Slate Gray and 5,250 square feet of 12-inch Flush Panels in three colors: Slate Gray, Teal and Berkshire Blue.

The roof is comprised of Petersen’s 18-inch PAC-CLAD Snap-Clad panels in Charcoal. Photos: Petersen

Crews from Curtis-McKinley dried the roof in with TAMKO’s TW Metal and Tile self-adhered underlayment and tackled different phases of the project as the building came together. “We kind of did it all at one time,” McKinley recalls. “First, we had a roofing crew come out and put the peel-and-stick on the roof, and we measured for the roof panels. Then we started installing all of the trim and had a few guys start installing the wall panels.”

Petersen fabricated and delivered the wall panels, which were installed over plywood and cinder block walls using a man lift. On the cinder block walls, hat channels were installed to receive the clips. At two entrances, the Flush Panels were installed vertically. “We also installed regular flush soffit panels,” notes McKinley.

A representative from Petersen roll-formed the roof panels on the site. Some of the panels were more than 50 feet long, and this posed some logistical problems. “It was a very tight construction site,” McKinley explains. “We ran the panels on site and we had to lift them up with a crane. We couldn’t use a lift because there was no way to turn the lift around when the panels were loaded. There was one long driveway down one side, and we had to stack all of the panels in one direction and lift them straight up.”

Panels were lifted using a spreader bar as a cradle. “We strapped the panels to the spreader bar,” McKinley notes. “We only lifted about 10 panels at a time and our guys would receive them and stack them at points along the roof. We had about six or seven guys on the roof and the rest of the crew on the ground to strap down the panels.”

The walls feature Petersen’s 24-gauge HWP and Flush Panels in multiple colors, including Slate Gray, Teal and Berkshire Blue. Photos: Petersen

The crew started installing panels on the main roof and finished roof sections alongside the structure as the job progressed. Crew members were tied off 100 percent of the time, using temporary anchor points screwed into in the deck. “We started off on the main roof area and worked our way from the back to the front,” McKinley recalls. “The shed roofs were incorporated as we worked our way forward.”

While the main crew worked on the roof, a smaller group sometimes split off to install the wall panels. “We had a crew with a few extra sheet metal guys on it, and we moved them around as needed,” McKinley notes. “That way they could start on the walls as the roof progressed and the job wouldn’t lag on.”

Planning Ahead

The main challenge on the project was the tight jobsite, according to McKinley. “It was a very limited site,” McKinley says. “Once we got the roof panels on, we could breathe a little easier.”

Despite the cramped conditions, communication between the crews kept conflicts to a minimum. “Working with other trades went fine,” McKinley says. “The superintendent on the site was easy to work with. We worked with other subcontractors in Longview we’ve worked with plenty of times. Our guys knew their guys, basically, and they just coordinate well and work around each other as needed.”

The project moved along smoothly and stayed on schedule. “We were blessed not to have any big weather delays,” McKinley says. “When they were ready for us, we were able to get right out there and move things along in a timely manner.”

McKinley also credits the manufacturer for help executing the project. “There are four or five different colors on it,” he says. “Each entrance was a different color, and the walls and roof. That was pretty interesting. Keeping it all straight with the guys was a challenge.”

Again, planning ahead was essential. “It just took a little more communication,” McKinley says. “When we were making our trim, we just had to make sure it was the right color. It’s very easy to work with Petersen. On a job like this one, the technical aspect of it was really very simple, but seeing all of the different colors on this project come together was pretty cool.”

Curtis-McKinley crew members were able to execute all of the transition details themselves as they installed the roof and wall panels. “They were all standard details, really,” McKinley says. “Almost all of the transitions were something the guys have done hundreds of times.”

Exceptions included the large, irregularly shaped windows at the entryways, which were trimmed in red. “There were two entrances with windows that were a little different,” McKinley says. “One set had a sort of triangular shape, which was pretty straightforward to flash. The other had a circular window, and that took a lot of time and coordination with the window people to ensure that we got it watertight with the flashing. Getting the trim for that wall custom made and fitting perfectly was a bit of a challenge.”

Taking a complicated project and making it look easy is one of the strengths of Curtis-McKinley Roofing. “The key is having the right guys,” McKinley says. “We are blessed to have very experienced professional roofers and sheet metal installers. Our sheet metal guys have done this for years. That’s getting harder to find these days, and we still have some older guys that know how to do it. They’ve done so much of it that I often rely on them to tell me, ‘This is how it needs to be done,’ or ‘This is a better way to do it.’ Then we just make sure everything conforms to the plans and specifications, and we ensure the installation integrity. Obviously the most important thing is to keep the water out.”

TEAM

Architect: Ron Mabry Architects, Tyler, Texas, www.ronmabryarchitects.com

General Contractor: Transet Co., Longview, Texas, www.transetco.com

Roofing Contractor: Curtis-McKinley Roofing and Sheet Metal, Longview, Texas, www.curtismckinleyroofing.com

MATERIALS

Roof Panels: 18-inch, 24-gauge PAC-CLAD Snap-Clad in Charcoal, Petersen, www.pac-clad.com

Wall Panels: 16-inch, 24-gauge HWP, Slate Gray and 12-inch, 24-gauge Flush Panel in Slate Gray, Teal, and Berkshire Blue, Petersen

Underlayment: TW Metal and Tile, TAMKO, www.tamko.com

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