Skylight Design Lets Glass Take the Spotlight

Good skylight design and project integration can mean a product not only provides light and possible ventilation — it also can make a statement as a strong aesthetic component.
Photo: Wasco

Skylights continue to gain recognition as energy-efficient daylight harvesting devices. When properly specified, proportioned, located and installed, skylights can meet the latest editions of national model energy conservation and green building codes and rating systems. Beyond the concerns of daylighting and thermal performance, skylights also must serve as a viable element of the building envelope.

Consequently, given the growing use of large, complex sloped glazing systems, design criteria for skylights and sloped glazing  are undergoing rapid creative evolution, as are the codes — primarily the International Building Code (IBC) — governing their application. In some cases, best practice can be to consider requirements in excess of those in the codes. Sloped glazing is defined in building codes as those where glass is inclined 15 degrees or more from vertical.

Potential Breakage is Key

Proper glass selection and system design is intended to meet specified design load(s), with the primary goal of reducing the probability of glass breakage, which can pose risks to people and property.

Breakage may occur due to several factors, either alone or in combination, some of which are noted below:

  • Loads in excess of the specified design loads
  • Large thermal stresses
  • Damage to the glass during handling or installation
  • Forces exerted by the framing system
  • Vandalism
  • Wind-borne gravel or other debris
  • Large hailstones
  • Impurities in the glass causing spontaneous fracture
Proper glass selection and system design must meet specified design load(s), with the primary goal of reducing the probability of glass breakage, which can pose risks to people and property. Photo: CrystaLite

The differences in design considerations between vertical and sloped glazing must be considered. For example, sloped glass is more susceptible to impact from falling objects than vertical glass. Sloped glazing is also more likely to fall from its opening when it breaks than vertical glass.

Typically, the preferred practice for glass selection in skylights and sloped glazing is to provide firm support for all edges of the glass for both inward (positive) and outward (negative) loads. This is mandatory for insulating glass units. The support may be by conventional channel glazing or by structural retention with a silicone sealant.

Design Considerations

Glazed systems require special glass design considerations. Designers and architects must orchestrate the use of such industry and regulatory standards and guidelines, as ASTM E1300-16,Standard Practice for Determining Load Resistance of Glass in Buildings,” ASCE/SEI 7,Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures,” and others, as well as the IBC and International Residential Code (IRC).

Glazed systems of skylights often require special glass design considerations when designing for things like structure, thermal design and control of solar heat gain. Designers and architects must orchestrate the use of industry and regulatory standards and guidelines. Photos: FGIA

Once the 2021 edition of the IBC is adopted, new code language in IBC Section 2405.1, 2405.3 will clarify that screens are not required below skylights and sloped glazing when 30-mil interlayer laminated glass is used. The use of 30 mil-laminated glass in skylights improves daylighting, aesthetics, and helps protect building occupants, along with eliminating the need for screens.

Other design considerations are outlined below.

Strength

At base, the selection of glass for skylights and sloped glazing begins with the use of ASTM E1300, which uses a failure prediction model with the glass strength based on weathered glass. This takes into account a rational reduction in glass strength from initial production to in-service use. The procedure determines if the proposed glass type (annealed, heat-strengthened, fully tempered or laminated) will meet the specified load, allowing it to be determined whether to consider either a thinner or thicker glass.

A skylight is an integral part of the building envelope, controlling the movement of moisture and air. Photos: FGIA

ASTM E1300 supplies load resistance charts for a glass probability of breakage of eight per 1000, as this is considered practical and reasonable for most glass applications. The designer should aim for a low probability of breakage, but if breakage does occur, the consequences must be acceptable.

ASCE/SEI 7 lists formulas for calculating the equivalent combined pressure due to a combination of dead, wind, snow and other loads, as does Chapter 24 of the IBC. For common shapes of buildings, background guidance on design wind velocities may be found in ASCE/SEI 7 — with a caveat: buildings of unusual shape or geometry may render that standard inadequate for defining loads on sloped glazing and skylights.

Load Duration

The strength of glass is a function of load duration. Long duration loads, or any load lasting approximately 30 days, such as snow loads, must be treated differently than short duration loads, defined as any load lasting three seconds or less, such as wind loads.

Surface Damage

Mechanical damage to the surface of glass, as opposed to weathering, can cause a significant reduction in glass strength.

Thermal stress happens where there is a mix of heavy sunlight and shade. Glass must accommodate these changes. Photo: CrystaLite

Flat glass surfaces inherently have numerous, randomly occurring, microscopic flaws, resulting in widely varying strengths among otherwise identical lites. (A lite is a pane of glass or an insulating glass unit used in a window, door, tubular daylighting device, roof window, secondary storm product or unit skylight.)

So, the strength of glass exposed to transient and static loads must be analyzed on a statistical basis. This may be expressed in various ways, one of which is the coefficient of variation, a measure of the distribution of the glass strength for a large number of lites. It is influenced by the degree of heat treatment of the glass, being highest (0.25) for annealed and lowest for fully tempered glass (0.10) due to surface compression of the latter. This minimizes the tendency of surface flaws to propagate under load and cause glass breakage.

Impact From Wind-Borne Items

Limiting deflection of the frame is important. Care should be taken not to bow or distort the frame due to over-compaction of insulation. Photos: FGIA

The ability of fenestration of all types to resist such impacts is especially important in areas where high wind events, such as hurricanes, regularly occur. Building codes or other regulations in these areas frequently require that fenestration products either be rated as impact-resistant or be protected by impact-resistant devices. Resistance to hail impact — especially applicable to skylights — is a special case of impact resistance. Here, FM 4431, “Approval Standard for Skylights,” is often the governing standard.

Thermal Stress

Differential thermal expansion between framing and glazing, as well as between exposed and shaded areas of a given lite, must be accommodated through appropriate glass bite dimensions and selection of proper sealant, as well as glass type. For most orientations, the temperature that sloped glass may reach is usually higher than for vertical glazing due to the sun’s radiation being oriented more directly to the glass surface. Consequently, thermal stresses created in the glass most often require heat treated glass (heat-strengthened or fully tempered).

Edge Strength

Both the design of the skylight system and the integration into the structure of the building take careful consideration to ensure water is controlled and drained away properly. It is imperative in all glazing systems that water infiltration and condensation be drained or weeped away from edges of the glass and away from the skylight system.

The quality of the glass cutting and the edge finish are critical variables. For example, good quality, clean cut glass edges have an average strength of about 4650 psi (32 MPa) and a predicted failure of 1 percent at about 2,400 psi (16 MPa). For very poorly cut, nipped or damaged edges, the average strength may be in the range of 1,200-1,500 psi (8-10 MPa).

Frame Deflection Limits

A supported glass edge should have an edge deflection limited by the framing member to no greater than L/175 where “L” is the length of the glass edge and the deflection is determined by the displacement of the framing member along the edge.

Water Drainage

It is imperative in all glazing systems that water infiltration and condensation be drained or weeped away from the edges of the glass. This is to prevent detrimental freezing of the water or deleterious effects of moisture on edge seals of insulating glass, or possible debonding of interlayer material in laminated glass. The framing system must always drain the water from the lowest point of the glazing channel and the lowest point of the framing system.

All these design considerations and more, as well as guidance in applying them, are detailed in AAMA GDSG-1, Glass Design Guide for Sloped Glazing and Skylights, published by the Fenestration and Glass Industry Alliance (FGIA). Other published FGIA resources include the following.

  • AAMA SDGS-1-89, “Structural Design Guidelines for Aluminum Framed Skylights”
  • AAMA TIR-A7-11, “Sloped Glazing Guidelines”
  • AAMA TIR-A11-15, “Maximum Allowable Deflection of Framing Systems for Building Cladding Components at Design Wind Loads”
  • IGMA TB-3001, “Guidelines for Sloped Glazing”

All are available at aamanet.org/store.

About the author: Glenn Ferris is the Fenestration and Glass Industry Alliance’s (FGIA’s) Fenestration Standards Specialist. He began his career with the association in 2018. He has extensive experience in the fenestration industry dating back to 1992. Ferris is a liaison for many councils, committees and study/work/task groups guiding them in the completion of the scope of each group.

Carefully Engineered Metal Roof System Now Protects Cancer Center

Garland’s R-Mer Loc standing seam metal roof system provides the health center with proven watertight performance. The panels lock into one another, allowing for quick and easy installation. Photos: The Garland Company, Inc.

The original standing seam metal roof over the Cancer Center at CHI St. Joseph Health in Bryan, Texas, was peppered with white repair material at the seams, in the valleys, at transitions and around penetrations. At flashings or other complex details, sealants and single-ply membranes had been used to stop water intrusion. But the repairs, which appeared to have been done numerous times over the years, didn’t work. The roof continued to leak into the cancer treatment center, making it all the more critical to find a permanent solution.

Physicians Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust company, purchased the facility in 2016, and part of the purchase agreement required the real estate company to fix various issues within two years. The roof was given the highest priority. The building was constructed in 1996 and it had been added onto at one point, with the original roof tied into the new roof — creating additional waterproofing challenges. At the time of purchase, the original standing seam roof was only 20 years old, well under its expected service life.

A building envelope expert conducted a thorough inspection of the roof and deemed it beyond repair due to its faulty design and poor installation that had led to years of water intrusion. The roof was removed down to the wooden deck, revealing even more issues of rotted wood and wet insulation. Problem areas were cut out and replaced to provide a solid foundation for the new roof.

The design of the new roof system was carefully and meticulously engineered to ensure complete watertight protection of the more than 25,000-square-foot facility. The roof system as installed by TeamCraft Roofing, located in Garner, North Carolina. With the roof’s numerous slopes, hips, and valleys, it was critical that even the smallest details be given the utmost attention. As an indication of the complexity of this building, there were 292 different Garland R-Mer Loc metal panel sizes manufactured for the roof — each one designed to fit seamlessly next to the other to create a watertight seal.

In addition to its strength and proven performance, R-Mer Loc panels, as the name suggests, lock into one another, allowing for quick and easy installation. The integral standing seam design of R-Mer Loc provides excellent spanning capability as well as architectural appeal. The heavy-duty, 18-gauge one-piece concealed clip design accommodates thermal movement and its internal gutter/anti-siphon feature helps protect against the elements.

Prior to the installation of the metal panels, an ice and water shield underlayment was applied to the deck to provide an additional layer of watertight protection. The panels, once sorted and organized, were lifted to the roof by a crane. The facility remained operational throughout the installation, which took about three months to complete.

Garland is a full-service manufacturer, meaning in addition to the materials provided for the project, its local representative assisted with budgets, writing specifications, contractor selection, scheduling and project oversight. These services proved beneficial to Physicians Realty Trust, as its project manager was based in Colorado and relied heavily on Garland to manage the project.

“Projects like these are extremely complex when they involve a practicing clinic with typical weekday office hours,” says Ryan Yetzer, LEED GA and Capital Projects Manager with Physicians Realty Trust. “Thankfully, the Garland team and our highly-skilled onsite contractor closely monitored the project from start to finish. As a result, the installation ran very smoothly and our healthcare providers are pleased with the results.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: TeamCraft Roofing, Garner, North Carolina, https://tcrfg.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System: R-Mer Loc, The Garland Company, Inc., www.garlandco.com

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Features a Striking Standing Seam Metal Roof

The roof of Shirley Ryan AbilityLab incorporates striking V-shaped sections of standing seam metal panels and a tapered EPDM system. Photos: AJBROWNIMAGING.COM

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab provides rehabilitation services to help patients recovering from severe conditions including traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, strokes, and cancer. The organization’s new 25,000-square-foot outpatient facility in Burr Ridge, Illinois, features a unique, uplifting roof design incorporating angled, V-shaped sections of standing seam metal roofing.

The low points in the center of each section and other low-slope areas are covered with an EPDM roof system. At the building’s perimeter, the roof and walls frame clerestory windows that allow natural light to flood the interior.

It took a talented team of construction professionals to execute the design conceived by architects in HDR Inc.’s Chicago branch. Willie Hedrick, Division Manager of All American Exterior Solutions, Lake Zurich, Illinois, notes that he and his team worked closely with the architect and the general contractor, Krusinski Construction of Oak Brook, Illinois, at each phase of the roof installation process.

“Initially the architect had specified a very nice but very expensive Terne-coated stainless steel panel,” notes Hedrick. “The project had budget issues, so we offered the Petersen prefinished steel panel as a value engineering option. The mechanically seamed Tite-Loc panel could handle the low-slope application and also came in a variety of colors. We also offered a 20-year watertight and finish warranty. For approval, we built a mockup for the architect and owner to review and also provided several references for completed projects around the Chicagoland area that they could visit to see finished examples of the proposed panel and color.”

Three different sections of the facility sport the Petersen’s V-shaped PAC-CLAD metal roof, with the wedges on each side sloping down to a valley in the center. Within the valley, the Carlisle SynTec EPDM roof system was installed over tapered insulation to ensure water would flow properly to the roof drains.

“The EPDM was an appropriate selection on the balance of the roof,” Hedrick says. “The workability of EPDM with tight, intricate details worked well throughout the project but especially within the gutter troughs between metal panel wedges.”

After the building’s metal deck was topped with half-inch DensDeck Prime and a self-adhered vapor barrier, crews from All American Exterior Solutions installed tapered polyisocyanurate insulation and 5/8-inch DensDeck Prime cover board. They then fully adhered 8,600 square feet of 60-mil EPDM.

All American then installed 21,500 square feet of 24-gauge steel PAC-CLAD Tite-Loc standing seam panels. The metal panels were installed over Carlisle WIP 300 HT underlayment, which topped 5/8-inch fire-rated plywood and 7 inches of polyisocyanurate insulation. Finishing touches included 3,800 square feet of Petersen .032 aluminum PAC 750 soffit panels and PAC 2000 prefinished Kynar column covers.

Installation Challenges

The weather was a concern, as the roof installation began in November and typical Midwest winter weather was looming. “The metal roof would be a time-consuming installation, so initially we focused on getting the building watertight for the GC by installing the EPDM roof and the metal roof underlayment, including insulation and plywood,” Hedrick explains. “The WIP 300HT allows for a 180-day exposure time to UV, so it gave us ample time to install the metal roof while ensuring watertightness in the space being finished below.”

Communication between all of the trades involved on the project helped ensure everything went smoothly. “There were trade coordination meetings with both the carpenter and the plumber,” Hedrick explains. “With the carpenter, we had to coordinate blocking heights to accommodate the tapered insulation. Also, due to the limited height to work within the gutter troughs and because the deck came down to a true V in the valley, we did an in-place mockup with the plumber to see how low the drain bowl could physically be set. Based on that elevation, we ordered custom EPS tapered edge panels to offset the V shape and provide a flat base to begin our tapered insulation system.”

Other details needed to be refined, including roof-to-wall transitions. “We worked with the GC and other trades to modify the detail for superior performance,” notes Hedrick.

Safety was always top of mind on the project. “Fall protection was the biggest safety concern,” Hedrick says. “We set up warning lines 6 feet from the edge creating a controlled access zone. Any work outside of the warning lines required workers to have 100 percent fall protection. All of the fascia and rake trim pieces were installed from an aerial lift.”

The installation was a complicated one, but All-American Exterior Solutions was up to the challenge. “We take pride in our ability to offer a range of products with a quality installation,” Hedrick says. “Our experience with multiple systems and manufacturers gives us the knowledge to be able to advise the design team on an appropriate product based on performance expectations balanced with budget.”

“Personally, I enjoyed the complexity and challenge that came with this project,” Hedrick concludes. “By no means is it a typical application; it required some critical and ‘outside the box’ thinking. I also enjoyed the collaborative nature a project like this requires. It was really a team approach between All American Exterior Solutions, the architects, the general contractor, and the other trades. The final product really shows that.”

TEAM

Architect: HDR Inc., Chicago, Illinois, www.hdrinc.com

General Contractor: Krusinski Construction Company, Oak Brook, Illinois, www.krusinski.com

Roofing Contractor: All American Exterior Solutions, Lake Zurich, Illinois, www.aaexs.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof: PAC-CLAD Tite-Loc Plus Panels, Petersen, www.pac-clad.com

EPDM Roof: 60-mil EPDM, Carlisle SynTec, www.carlislesyntec.com

Underlayment: CCW WIP 300, Carlisle WIP Products, www.carlislewipproducts.com

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

Creating a Homelike Environment at Flatrock Manor

Flatrock Manor’s main roof features a mechanically fastened TPO system from Mule-Hide Products Co. Photos: Mule-Hide Products Co.

Flatrock Manor owner and chief executive officer Nicholas Burnett saw tremendous potential in the shuttered building. It was the right size. It was designed for providing health care, serving first as a hospital and later as a hospice. It was situated on 10 acres of scenic property complete with a nature trail, a gazebo and a pond that is home to swans, geese, ducks and painted turtles. Its exterior included beautiful Mid-century modern details.

Burnett had long been seeking an opportunity in Goodrich, Michigan, to open a new location for Flatrock Manor, a group of foster care centers in Mid-Michigan for adults with special developmental and behavioral needs. The empty building would fit the bill. But first, it would need some TLC and a more homelike atmosphere.

Tri-County Roofing of Flushing, Michigan, and Sedgewick + Ferweda Architects of Flint, Michigan, helped make that happen. A new TPO roofing system was installed to fix long-standing leaks and provide durable, low-maintenance performance. The additions of a mansard roof and gabled accents gave the building’s exterior a more residential aesthetic while retaining its distinctive architectural details.

The new facility opened in December 2019 and is now home to 30 residents.

Preserving the Look

The building is a fixture in Goodrich, a 1,900-resident suburb of Flint. Built in the early 1960s, the facility was originally a 53-bed, full-service hospital. In 1997 it became a hospice. That facility closed in 2013 and the building remained vacant until Flatrock Manor purchased it.

The exterior of the original 18,000-square-foot building embraced the Mid-century modern style popular in the era. Subsequent additions that brought the facility to 23,000 square feet followed suit for a cohesive look.

The building, shown here before renovation work began, was originally a full-service hospital. It was purchased by Flatrock Manor to serve as a foster care center for adults with special developmental and behavioral needs.

The existing roofing system was quintessential Mid-century modern. The built-up roof was surrounded by a slim, 1-foot-high parapet wall with an aluminum cap. A gabled front canopy shielded patients and visitors from the elements while arriving at or leaving the hospital.

While the exterior’s design perfectly suited a hospital, it was too institutional for a facility that would be its residents’ long-term home.

Happily, the task of adapting the building for its new purpose fell to Sedgewick + Ferweda Architects, the same firm that designed the original hospital nearly 60 years earlier. The team embraced the challenge of striking the right balance between preserving architecturally significant features and meeting regulatory guidelines governing the design of long-term care communities.

“Initially we tried to glorify the Mid-century style of the building,” says Michael Murphy, project manager with Sedgewick + Ferweda Architects. “We completed several elevation studies to incorporate some modern ways of dealing with the parapet. Ultimately, we had to go back to the drawing board to achieve a more residential look.”

The gabled roof above the canopy at the main entrance was the starting point from which other design elements took their cue. A mansard roof was incorporated around the building. To balance the main entrance, a gabled canopy was added at a second entryway on the building’s front. Twenty accent gables were spaced out along the building’s entire exterior and gables were added above rear and side entrances.

“We played with the value of scale when incorporating the mansard roof with the horizontal façade of the building,” Murphy says. “We made it more substantial, so it doesn’t look like a short little mansard roof that has been pushed onto the building.”

Owens Corning TrueDefinition Duration Designer shingles in Merlot were chosen for the mansard roof and gables, bringing added warmth to the façade. They were complemented by fascia and soffits from Quality Aluminum Products in Cranberry. Cultured stone in a sandy shade was added on the gable walls and around the windows to accent the original terra cotta-toned brick walls.

A Roof to Perform for the Long Haul

The building’s existing roofing system — ballasted EPDM on top of a built-up roof with fiberglass insulation — was leaking and the EPDM membrane was “in horrible shape,” according to Tim McKnight, president of Tri-County Roofing. “We found nothing but saturated insulation,” he adds. “The only reason that more water hadn’t gotten into the building’s interior was because the asphalt on the BUR roofing system kept it out.”

Both the EPDM and BUR systems would need to be torn off.

During the re-roofing process, a mansard roof was added to give the building a more residential appearance.

The steel 22-gauge B deck remained in good condition and original plans called for it to be retained, but requirements for the new HVAC system and ductwork meant that it, too, needed to be removed and replaced. Mother Nature chose to not make the process easy. Facing a month of frequent rain, the Tri-County Roofing crew worked as quickly as possible and did their best to keep the building’s interior dry; for example, tearing off the existing roof bit by bit around the edges to make space for the carpenters to frame in the new mansard roof before beginning work on the rest of the roof.

In selecting the new roofing system, longevity and hassle-free performance were the top considerations.

“The client wanted something that would last 20 years with no issues,” McKnight says, noting that such performance would require withstanding the broad spectrum of Mid-Michigan’s weather, which ranges from warm, sunny summers to cold, snowy winters.

The client’s original preference was to install a new EPDM system, but McKnight recommended a mechanically fastened TPO system for its durability, easy maintenance and cost effectiveness. A system featuring a white, 60-mil membrane from Mule-Hide Products Co. was specified.

Ensuring Positive Drainage

A new 22-gauge steel B deck was installed. It was dead level to accommodate the building’s plumbing system, which made getting the insulation right essential. Tapered expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation is designed specifically for such applications, making it the ideal choice for this project.

The building’s existing drainage system — in which water flows from the roof to storm drains in the basement — did not change in the renovations. The Tapered Solutions team at ABC Supply Co. worked from drawings to design a take-off that would provide positive drainage. Even the best drawings are not 100 percent reflective of the reality on the roof, however, so the Tri-County Roofing installation crew inevitably encountered instances where the insulation was slightly off-center from the sump or the real-life walls were not quite where they were shown on the plans. In those cases, the crew fabricated pieces of EPS or polyiso insulation on the jobsite to achieve the proper drainage.

Completing the Installation

The TPO membrane was mechanically attached for a fast, cost-effective installation. “We were able to achieve the 20-year warranty the client wanted without the added labor and materials costs of a fully adhered system,” McKnight explains.

New roof hatches also were installed, providing safer, easier access to the roof — both during the reroofing project and for ongoing maintenance of the roof and rooftop equipment.

For the teams at both Tri-County Roofing and Sedgewick + Ferweda Architects, the most rewarding part of the project was learning about the residents who will live at Flatrock Manor and helping provide them with a comfortable home.

“It was cool to learn about what Flatrock Manor does for people with special needs and see how they’re helping families and meeting needs that you forget are out there,” McKnight says.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Tri-County Roofing, Flushing, Michigan, www.tricountyroofingofmidmichigan.com

Architect: Sedgewick + Ferweda Architects, Flint, Michigan, www.architectsinmichigan.com

Roofing Insulation Take-Off: Tapered Solutions (ABC Supply Co.), www.abcsupply.com/services/tapered-solutions

Roofing Materials Distributor: ABC Supply Co. Inc., www.abcsupply.com

MATERIALS

Roof Membrane: 60-mil white TPO, Mule-Hide Products Co., www.mulehide.com

Shingles: TrueDefinition Duration Designer shingles, Owens Corning, www.owenscorning.com/roofing

Soffits and Fascia: Quality Aluminum Products, www.qualityaluminum.com

SPF System Solves Problems for Arizona Homeowners

Overson Roofing specified a spray polyurethane foam re-roof for this Scottsdale residence to eliminate ponding issues and reduce energy costs. Photos: Overson Roofing LLC

Pat Overson has been running roofing companies since 1982. He currently co-owns Overson Roofing LLC in Mesa, Arizona, a company he founded along with his son Brett in 2005. Approximately 85 percent of the company’s work is residential, most of it re-roofing. A large chunk of that work — Overson estimates 20 percent — involves spray polyurethane foam (SPF), which is common on houses in Arizona.

“With the heat we have out here, it really helps insulate your home as well as provide good roof over your house,” Overson says. “It is the only roof out there that provides an insulation factor somewhere around R-7, which is close to about 4 inches of fiberglass insulation.”

Overson Roofing strives to recommend the best roof system for each project. Overson often finds himself recommending spray foam for existing low-slope roofs, especially those with drainage issues. He pointed to a recently completed residential project as an example. The 3,100-square-foot home in Scottsdale had a three-ply hot tar built-up roof. The homeowners noticed ponding problems, and they were also looking for ways to make their home more energy efficient. Overson felt the house was a great candidate for a Lapolla spray polyurethane foam roofing system with an elastomeric coating. The white elastomeric coating protects the SPF from ultraviolet rays and provides reflectivity to minimize temperatures on the roof.

“Sometimes customers ask us for a foam roof, and we evaluate it and make sure that it would be a good roof for their project,” he notes. “Often we recommend a foam roof when there are drainage problems because it’s a very easy system to help modify or enhance the drainage on a roof that has ponding problems. In this case, the homeowners were also very interested in the insulation factor, and they were looking to save money on electric costs and make it more economical to heat and cool.”

Roof Removal and Installation

The first step was preparing the house for the roof removal, which was done by a separate tear-off crew. The work area was covered with tarps, and the roof system was removed and taken away in a trailer. Magnets are used as part of the clean-up process to ensure nails and other debris are not left behind.

The Lapolla SPF was applied in two layers, each a half an inch thick. The system was topped with an elastomeric coating.

The substrate was then cleaned and primed before the SPF system was applied with a sprayer. When the two-part system is applied, parts A and B combine to form a closed-cell roofing system. “The result is a monolithic roof,” Overson says. “Foam roofs usually don’t have leak problems because there are no seams, and that’s a big advantage. It will also seal to almost everything. It will seal to metal, it will seal to wood, it will seal to stucco, and it will seal to almost every type of roof system.”

The keys to a successful project include proper substrate preparation and being aware of weather constraints. “It has to be, as we call it, ‘clean, dry and tight,’” Overson says. “It has to be a clean roof surface. It has to be dry — foam doesn’t adhere to any kind of moisture or water at all. And it has to be tight, which means there can’t be any bubbles or blisters in the systems you’re going over.”

After the roof is removed, the surface must be cleaned with brooms or blowers. Then the area must be secured and taped off to ensure the foam won’t be sprayed anywhere it’s not required. For example, windows and walls might need to be covered.

“It’s almost like you are a painter up there,” notes Overson. “You often have to do extensive tarping and taping. You also have to make sure it’s not windy. You don’t want winds in excess of 5 or 10 miles per hour. Preparing the area is very important step. You don’t want any overspray.”

The spray foam is applied in two layers. “You spray it on a half-inch think the first lift, and you have a second lift, also a half an inch,” Overson says. “It dries pretty quickly — often in a few minutes — so you can put on the second layer almost immediately. Similarly, after the second coat dries, you can apply the coating. We used an elastomeric coating in this project, while others might call for a polyurethane, silicone, or acrylic coating.”

In coping with different types of substrates, the skill and experience of the applicator can be crucial. “It’s an art as much as a skill,” he says. “You have to have the right rhythm and the right touch. We have really skilled applicators, and they do a great job. The techniques vary, but you are just trying to get an even surface, an even spray.”

In this case, the application was designed to eliminate drainage problems. In low areas, crews added another inch of insulation and created the proper slope toward the scuppers. “You can feather it in, and that’s where the skill of the applicator really shows,” he says. “It’s exciting that you can help people with these issues. You can’t do this with other products.”

As part of the safety plan, applicators wear white body suits that cover their skin and clothing, as well as goggles and protective breathing equipment. Proper fall protection plans must be in place for each project.

Benefits for Homeowners

Feedback from the owners has been positive, according to Overson. “We were able to enhance the drainage quite a bit and eliminate all of the ponding and drainage issues they had,” he says. “They were happy about that, and they also were excited to find out how much they saved on their monthly bills. They haven’t gone through a full cooling season yet, but many of our homeowners stay in touch with us over the years, and some find they are saving $40 to $50 a month on their electric bills.”

Overson summed up the project this way: “Around here, we say roofs have to do two things: they have to not leak and look good. And we achieved both of those things on this project. This is a nice-looking roof. It’s white, and it will reflect the sun, and that’s a big factor here in Arizona. We take pride in our jobs, our crews take pride in their jobs, and we know it’s not going to leak. The customer was very happy, and if the customer is happy, we are happy.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Overson Roofing LLC, Mesa, Arizona, www.oversonroofing.com

MATERIALS

Roof System: Lapolla Spray Polyurethane Foam and Elastomeric Coating, Icynene-Lapolla, www.lapolla.com

Planning Ahead Sets Up Warehouse Re-Roofing Project for Success

Citizens Service Center is the primary document storage facility for El Paso County, Colorado. When the roof had to be replaced, protecting the interior of the facility was critical. Photos: Exterior Solutions Group

The most crucial decisions on a project are often made before work even begins. According to Ken Flickinger Jr., president of Exterior Solutions Group, that was the case with the recent Citizens Service Center re-roofing project in Colorado Springs. Owned and managed by El Paso County, the building is the primary document storage facility for the county. The building’s historic documents — some dating back to the 1800s — were under threat of damage due to an active roof leak. The existing roof also had extensive hail damage, so the roof replacement project was put out for bid.

With offices in Colorado, Iowa and Oklahoma, Exterior Solutions Group does all types of roofing work, but its focus is primarily on commercial roofing, both re-roofing and new construction. Flickinger, who heads up the location in Parker, Colorado, was definitely intrigued by the project.

The scope of work involved removing old HVAC equipment on the roof, which would be done by a separate party in coordination with the roofing contractor. The HVAC equipment was obsolete; it had been replaced and relocated a few years earlier. “It was an interesting project because there was equipment everywhere on this roof,” he says. “It looked like an automotive manufacturing plant. For us, we like those types of projects. We like ones that are a bit out of the ordinary and require a little bit higher level of project management. So, that’s what drew us to bidding the job.”

Tim Hicks, the salesperson at Exterior Solutions who sold the job, explains that the original spec called for white EPDM, with TPO as an accepted alternate. “Oddly enough, they didn’t require you to do the base bid to bid the alternate,” he notes. “We chose to just bid the TPO. We ended up being the low bidder on that, and that’s how we got the project.”

After obsolete HVAC equipment was removed, crews from Exterior Solutions Group installed a TPO system from Johns Manville.

The logistics of the removal and roof replacement would be complicated, and it became obvious that access to the roof would also be an issue, as it was a high-security building. “This is a multi-story building, and the amount of security we would have to go through to enter the building and get up to the roof hatch would’ve created all kinds of problems,” Hicks explains. “So, we suggested putting a stair tower up and giving us complete access from the outside. We’d never have to enter the building. They had never even considered that option, but as we walked them through it and said, ‘This is how we’d like to set the job up,’ they replied, ‘We love it.’”

The next step involved coordinating equipment removal with the HVAC contractor. Again, a suggestion from Exterior Solutions helped increase efficiency and cut costs. The HVAC contractor’s original plan called for roofing crews to take out the roof system around the HVAC units, allowing HVAC crews to cut out sections of the steel decking below the equipment. The deck sections would have to be replaced before temporary roofs could be installed to keep the building watertight. The team at Exterior Solutions pointed out that there was no need to remove the decking. Instead, the equipment supports could be cut off as close to the deck as possible, and the ends of the supports could be buried in the insulation of the new roof system.

Equipment Removal

In the end, that’s the plan they executed. A fire watch was set up inside the building as equipment was removed. Crews from Exterior Solutions removed the existing roof to give the HVAC crews access. “We basically created a hole in the roof for them so they could see what they were doing,” Hicks explains. “We would slice the existing TPO back and take out the insulation. They would put down welding blankets in the area and then use cutting torches to cut the I-beam and L-beam steel supports off. Our roofers were on site to make sure supports were cut down to the proper length. As soon as the supports were cut off, we basically filled the hole.”

The deck was left intact, making it much faster and easier to patch the existing roof. It was critical to ensure the roof was weathertight every night to protect the documents inside the building. “We put the insulation back, we replaced the membrane, and we used an Eternabond product or welded a small cover strip around it, depending on the size of the hole,” notes Hicks.

The HVAC equipment was taken off the roof with a crane. Once the equipment was removed from one side of the roof, crews began installing the new system.

Roof Installation

With the equipment gone, the rest was clear sailing. “In all honesty, the roof was easy,” Flickinger says.

The existing roof system was torn off down to the deck and a TPO system from Johns Manville was installed. New polyiso insulation was topped with a fully tapered system to ensure proper drainage. After DensDeck cover board was installed, the 60-mil TPO membrane was adhered into place.

“We worked from one side to the other,” Hicks says. “The high point of the roof with the tapered system was in the center, and water is pushed to both sides where there are internal drains and overflow scuppers. We started at the low point and roofed up the hill to the center on one side, and then turned around and did the exact same thing on the other side.”

Details were minimal — just a few penetrations and a curb around the roof hatch. The edge metal installed was the Anchor-Tite system manufactured by Metal-Era. “We offered an upgrade on the metal edge,” notes Hicks. “Instead of a shop-fabricated metal edge, we recommended Anchor-Tite all the way around. After all, the area is subject to high winds. We felt that was a better way to go.”

The TPO system installed was ideal for the project, according to Flickinger. “I’ve been a thermoplastic guy my entire career,” he says. “I’m a big believer in heat-welded seams. We thought the heat-welded seams and adhered walls offered a better approach. We think it’s a very good-looking roof, and with the addition of a cover board — which the original roof didn’t have — it would definitely improve its hail performance.”

Hicks credits the manufacturer for assistance on the project. “Manville was very supportive,” he says. “They were local, and their technical support is excellent. We thought that for a project like this, to have a partner who was right there with you was important.”

The project was completed in less than a month, and Flickinger believes the key to executing the job efficiently was the decision to set up the stair tower. “That was the suggestion of our project manager,” says Flickinger. “Our company likes using stair towers, especially when we’re talking about long ladder runs. For us, it’s partly about safety for our own people, but because the building was secured, and as they talked to us about the steps we would have to take on a daily basis to just get access to the roof, we realized it was just going to kill us on production. We were going to waste so may man-hours on a weekly basis just getting to and from the roof. That was one of the driving factors that got the owner to agree to the stair tower, and we got a change order for it.”

The cost of the change order was minimal compared to the time and money it saved. “We have some really bright people,” says Flickinger. “They are all really good at looking at something and seeing if there is a better way. One of our strengths is we are really good at creative solutions, whether it’s something as simple as avoiding the grief of going through a secured building or taking a step back and asking, ‘Why cut holes in the deck? Why can’t we just cut these supports off above the deck because we are burying them in 6 inches of insulation anyway?’”

“The other piece for us is that we focus on the safety side of it, not only for our own people, but also the site safety and the safety of the people inside the building,” Flickinger continues. “We are very aware of that as we set our jobs up and decide where to set our materials and those types of things.”

The last component of a successful project is top-quality workmanship. “We focus on doing it right the first time,” Flickinger says. “Getting that customer satisfaction, not only at the end of the job with a great roof, but also during the project by trying to minimize the pain that an owner typically goes through in a roofing project, that’s one of our strengths that this project demonstrates.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Exterior Solutions Group, Parker, Colorado, www.exteriorsolutionsgroup.com

MATERIALS

Roof Membrane: 60-mil TPO, Johns Manville, www.jm.com

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

Edge Metal: Anchor-Tite, Metal-Era, www.metalera.com

Helping Make a Little Girl’s Dream Come True

Isabella Tadlock recently received a Hero Arm, a lightweight bionic hand. Through the Helping Our Own Program, the Roofing Alliance donated $5,000 to the Tadlock family to help with expenses that were not covered by insurance.

A $5,000 donation to the Tadlock family will help their daughter get the second hand she needs to climb the monkey bars and ride a bike.

This past holiday season, the Roofing Alliance helped to make a little girl’s dream come true. They donated $5,000 to the Tadlock family to help pay for their daughter’s new Hero Arm and related medical expenses.

Dale Tadlock, the president of Tadlock Roofing in Tallahassee, Florida, wrote in an email about his daughter’s unique story and her holiday wish. He starts with, “I would like to tell you a story. It is about a special little girl. It didn’t start out to be happy ever after, but it will be.” Isabella came into the world eleven years ago with multiple birth defects. Her birth parents were unable to care for her, so they gave her to the Children’s Home Society.

“This tiny baby would have a lot to overcome because she had a gaping cleft in her lip and palate. Her tiny right leg was turned in; the doctors called it clubbed. And then there was the problem with her hands. Her left arm was shorter than her right with a little nub on the end. And her right hand, well, it didn’t have any fingers at all,” Dale explains.

He and his wife had been wanting to adopt a girl for five years. When they heard about Isabella, they knew she was the special little girl they had been waiting for. Dale shares, “We brought her home to three sisters and two brothers who couldn’t wait to shower her with love and show her how special she really is.”

Throughout her eleven years, Isabella has had ten surgeries and nine casts. The Tadlocks were able to find a doctor who created fingers on her right hand by taking bones out of her toes. These bones were placed in her right hand, as well as pins and rods that had to be turned and cleaned three times a day. She now has three fingers and a thumb on her right hand. While the fingers don’t look or bend like her brothers and sisters do, they work!

However, Isabella became self-conscious about her hands and began to hide them because they weren’t like her friends. Dale says, “It is heartbreaking to watch a school production when all the other children wave their hands in the air, but never Isabella.”

To be more like her friends and do the things she’s been dreaming of, Isabella needs a second hand. This hand will give her the ability to ride a bike, tie her shoes, hold a brush while she dries her hair, and most importantly, climb on the monkey bars, which is “something that she has always wanted to do,” according to Dale.

Luckily, they found a solution. Isabella was approved for a Hero Arm, which is a lightweight bionic hand with a posable wrist and thumb. It has customizable plates to fit each person’s unique style and personality. While it is the most affordable bionic hand available, it still costs approximately $20,000. The Tadlock’s insurance agreed to cover $8,900 of the hand, but they still needed $11,100 to pay for the rest.

Tadlock Roofing gives so much to the community in Tallahassee and the roofing community as a whole. Earlier this year, Tadlock was recognized by Leon County Schools for donating $2,000 and 2,000 food items to the high school’s food bank. The company also helped facilitate free roof replacements for those in dire need, such as an Army veteran whose numerous medical bills inhibited him from replacing his 20-year-old roof.

Tadlock Roofing is the first privately owned business to join with Florida State University, Florida A&M University, and the Children’s Home Society to support the first Leon County Schools Community Partnership program in Tallahassee. In 2018, Tadlock was the title sponsor for Children’s Home Society Gala helping raise over $80,000 for that organization. During “Giving Tuesday,” Tadlock Roofing committed matching funds up to $10,000 each year for the last three years for Boystown, an organization that provides healing and hope to children and families who find themselves facing adversity. Tadlock Roofing has adopted the roof of the Ronald McDonald House of Tallahassee.

The Roofing Alliance recognizes everything Tadlock Roofing has done and wanted to help. Through the Helping Our Own Program, The Roofing Alliance donated $5,000 to the Tadlock family for Isabella’s arm. While the Roofing Alliance originally worked to help advance the roofing industry by funding technical, educational, and safety-related studies, it has since expanded its outreach to encompass so much more. The Roofing Alliance’s outreach also helps “fund efforts dedicated to good works and charitable giving.” The Roofing Alliance recognizes that sometimes there are circumstances outside of people’s control that impact them significantly, and they want to do what they can to take care of their own by easing the financial burden.

Through this generous donation, the Tadlock family is so much closer to raising all the money they need for Isabella’s Hero Arm. Soon Isabella will be climbing on the monkey bars and waving her hands in the next school production.

For more information about the Roofing Alliance, visit www.roofingalliance.net.

About the author: Lauren White is a reporter for RoofersCoffeeShop and a freelance writer covering the roofing industry.

IMPs Are Key to Construction of New Warehouse at Manufacturing Complex

The new warehouse at the Komatsu manufacturing complex in Longview, Texas, features insulated metal panels from Metl-Span in both the roof and wall systems. Photos: LMCurbs

When a warehouse at the Komatsu manufacturing complex in Longview, Texas, sustained extensive tornado damage, the company decided to build a new, state-of-the-art warehouse in its place.

Komatsu turned to a trusted business partner, Transet Co., a Longview-based design-build contractor, to demolish the old structure and construct its 81,438-square-foot replacement. The new warehouse features insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span in both the roof and wall systems, as well as a permanent rooftop walkway system from LMCurbs, which was installed to facilitate ongoing maintenance of the rooftop HVAC units.

According to Dale Pickard, project manager for Transet Co., the IMPs not only made for smooth construction, but they helped the warehouse meet building envelope energy requirements.

Challenges on the project included a tight schedule, unseasonably rainy weather and accommodating nearby manufacturing facilities that were continuously operational.

The LMCurbs Roofwalk System was installed to facilitate ongoing maintenance of the rooftop HVAC units and protect the roof.

The scope of work included the removal of the previous structure and subgrade remediation. After the footings and slab were in place, the Pre-Engineered Metal Building (PEMB) was erected. The system was supplied by Houston-based Mid-West Steel Building Co. and erected by Cannon Steel Erection Co., located in Tyler, Texas.

After the metal frame and roof purlins were in place, Cannon Steel Erection installed the IMPs to complete the wall and roof systems. “You basically go in sequence from left to right with the IMP roofing panels,” Pickard explains. “You just start at one end, work to the other end, and then come back and install the panels on the other side. It’s basically a straight line process from one end to the other.”

The roofing panels were 42 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches thick and incorporated a standing seam. “The panels attach at the purlin with a concealed fastener clip,” says Pickard. “The IMP has a finished skin on the upper and lower sides.”

The seams were hand crimped and then mechanically seamed. At the eave, a gutter system was installed after the roof and wall panels were tied in together.

Workers on the roof were tied off with personal fall arrest systems and retractable lifelines attached to non-penetrating temporary anchor points. “All facets of construction safety were of paramount importance to Transet Co.,” Pickard states. “Safety was and is the first order of business for everybody.”

Completing the Roof Installation

The roof system features Kingspan skylights, which were installed using custom curbs supplied by LMCurbs, headquartered in Longview, Texas. LMCurbs also supplied curbs for the HVAC units, as well as the rooftop walkway system.

The LMCurbs Roofwalk System was installed using H90 clamps from S-5!

The walkway was installed after all of the HVAC equipment was in place and the roof system was completed. The LMCurbs Roofwalk System was designed to provide a safe way to access HVAC equipment while protecting the roof. “It’s basically a roof access area for the maintenance personnel to enter,” Pickard says. “It’s a railed walkway gated at one corner of the building for access, and it goes to each one of the rooftop units (RTUs). In all, there is more than 1,400 linear feet of walkway.”

The system was mounted using S-5! H90 clamps. “There were no penetrations in the roof,” Pickard points out. “It’s a durable system that will protect the owner’s investment in the roof.”

According to Aaron Combs, product manager at LMCurbs, the project was one of the first to use the company’s redesigned LMCurbs Roofwalk System with upgraded handrails. “It was designed to be both a better looking, more professional end product for the building owner, and a more user-friendly system for the installers in the field,” Combs says. “The new handrail assembly utilizes Speed-Rail fitting by Hollaender and is now down to four pieces — from 28— so the number of man-hours needed to install the system is drastically reduced. It also streamlined the warehousing and distribution process because the redesigned support plates eliminated multiple manufacturing processes. With this redesign and stackable plates, we are able to maintain better stocking levels and provide our customers with a faster shipping timeframe.”

Field installations often present unique and unforeseen obstacles. On this project, when the location of some HVAC units was adjusted from the initial layout, Combs was ready to help ensure the walkway would be installed correctly. “We are always available to offer advice and technical support, and that can be especially important with a first-time installer,” Combs says. “They can contact us any time and we can help walk them through it and assist with any issues that might arise.”

Work began in April 2019 and wrapped up February 2020. “We had a wet start, which made soil remediation difficult,” notes Pickard. “In the latter part of our project, we had an extremely wet January and February, and that presented challenges in erection and finish out. Despite the bad weather, the building came together ahead of schedule.”

Coordinating all phases of the project at an active manufacturing campus also posed some logistical hurdles. “The existing plant, of course, was in operation the entire time,” recalls Pickard. “The site where the new warehouse was being built was where the old warehouse facility was, and the existing loading dock had to remain in operation until they were in the new building. That encroached on the footprint of the new facility.”

Final touches included new loading docks, interior offices and restrooms. “This project shows our ability to deliver an outcome that meets the client’s needs from design to finished product — safely, under budget, and ahead of schedule,” notes Pickard.

“It demonstrates our ability to provide a first-class warehouse facility for the owner. We’ve been doing it a long time. Our company has been in business for 38 years. We are a safety-oriented company with vast experience in most phases of commercial, industrial, and institutional construction, and we are there for our customers.”

TEAM

Design Builder: Transet Co., Longview, Texas, www.transetco.com

Engineer: Johnson & Pace Inc.,Longview, Texas, www.johnsonpace.com

Steel Erector: Cannon Steel Erection Co., Tyler, Texas, www.cannonsteel.com

PEMB Supplier: Mid-West Steel Building Co., Houston, Texas, www.mid-weststeel.com

Rooftop Curb and Walkway Supplier: LMCurbs, Longview, Texas, www.lmcurbs.com

MATERIALS

Roof and Wall Panels: Insulated Metal Panels, Metl-Span, www.metlspan.com

Rooftop Curbs: LMCurbs, www.lmcurbs.com

Rooftop Walkway: LMCurbs Roofwalk System

Rooftop Walkway Clamps: H90 Clamps, S-5!, www.s-5.com

Skylights: Kingspan, www.kingspanlightandair.us

Sensitive Re-Roofing Project Necessitates Durable System, Flawless Execution

The 250,000-square-foot Pepper River data center project would pose challenges including a tight schedule and difficult weather conditions. Utah Tile and Roofing Inc.

Utah Tile and Roofing Inc. prides itself in its ability to tackle difficult projects. When Okland Construction approached the company to help prepare budgets for a bid on a roof replacement on a building that would become a data processing center, they immediately knew this one would fit the bill.

Founded in 1948 in Price, Utah, Utah Tile and Roofing (UTR) relocated to Salt Lake City in 1966. The company handles all types of commercial roofing projects, as well as waterproofing, sheet metal, and wall panels. The current owners are Paul and Andrew Seppi, who took over from their father, founder Herman Seppi, in 1977. According to J.C. Hill, vice president, the company continues to build a reputation for craftsmanship as it works on some of Utah’s iconic buildings. “We’ve done a lot of high-end work here in the state of Utah,” Hill says. “A lot of the architectural gems here locally have our fingerprints all over them. The higher-end, more difficult work is where we’ve found our niche.”

The Aligned Energy data facility known as Pepper River in West Jordan, Utah, would also have its challenges, including a tight schedule and difficult weather conditions. Approximately 250,000 square feet of existing roof would have to be removed and replaced, but the sensitive nature of the building would require not only a durable temporary roof to keep everything dry during construction, but a resilient, long-lasting finished roof to protect the equipment below. The answer was a hybrid roof system from Sika with a vapor barrier set in hot asphalt. It would be topped with insulation, a cover board, and an 80-mil Sarnafil PVC membrane.

The design for the roof system was developed by UTR in conjunction with the architect, roof consultant, general contractor, and the manufacturer. “The vapor barrier would be set in hot asphalt as a temporary roof. The insulation and the tapered insulation would also set in hot asphalt,” Hill says. “That gave them some redundancy, which is a term those tech guys like.”

Roof Removal

The building’s original gravel-surfaced built-up roof had been covered over at some point with a mechanically attached white TPO roof on one side and a mechanically attached black EPDM roof on the other.

“We had to keep the building watertight as we tore it off,” says Hill. “We put the temporary roof down and crews would do a nightly seal to keep everything watertight as they progressed across the building.”

The existing roof systems included the building’s original gravel-surfaced built-up roof. It was cut into sections and pried off the metal deck.

Work was done in sections, beginning on one half the roof and then finishing up on the other. The expansion joint in the center of the building was the dividing line.

The safety plan included a perimeter flag system, and those outside the warning line were tied off 100 percent of the time. A scaffold stair tower was built to provide safe access to and from the roof.

Debris from the tear-off was removed using chutes and dumpsters. First the roof membrane was sliced up into manageable sections, rolled up, and deposited into a dumpster, along with the cover board. Then the built-up roof was cut into 3-foot-by-3-foot squares and pried off the metal deck.

The deck was swept clean of debris and inspected. Some of the decking had to be replaced, including sections where skylights were eliminated. A 5/8-inch DensDeck cover board was then screwed down to the metal deck. The vapor barrier sheets were unrolled and allowed to relax in the hot sun, and then set in hot asphalt. “We were able to do about 2,000 or 2,500 square feet a day with the tear-off and dry in,” notes Hill.

One unusual obstacle was a Canadian goose that had set up her nest in the expansion joint. “We had to leave that section undisturbed while she was waiting for her chicks to hatch,” says Hill. “Actually, there was a pretty good-size section of the roof in the middle that we weren’t able to address until she left. Luckily there was plenty of roof to work in, and we didn’t want to disrupt her. Even after she left with her chicks, she would come back and chase the guys around every once in a while.”

After the temporary roof was installed, the existing parapet walls were raised. The durable temporary roof allowed carpenters other trades to work on the roof without excessive fear of damage. After the trades completed their work, the finished roof system was installed right over the temporary roof.

The PVC System

First a layer of polyiso insulation was set in hot asphalt. Next the tapered insulation layer was also set in hot asphalt, followed by another layer of insulation to achieve R-30. Half-inch DensDeck Prime was then set in low-rise adhesive and the white PVC membrane was fully adhered.

To provide the durability the project needed, a hybrid roof system from Sika was specified. It included a vapor barrier set in hot asphalt and an 80-mil Sarnafil PVC roof system.

“We actually had two crews for that phase: a hot crew and a single ply crew,” Hill states. “The hot crew would be laying the insulation out in front, and then the single-ply crew would lay the cover board in the low-rise foam and start fully adhering that membrane down. It took a coordinated effort with the guys we had out there to make sure that there was no asphalt contamination of the PVC membrane and that white roof remained clean.”

As work continued on the second half of the roof, cold weather set in. Due to the temperature limitations of the membrane adhesive, the decision was made to switch to a self-adhered membrane. “We were having production issues with the cold weather, and we went back to Sarnafil and they recommended putting the SA down,” notes Hill. “It was the first time we had ever installed the self-adhered membrane. It saved our production, and we were able to install nearly as much as we were doing in the better weather days.”

The last steps on the project included installing edge metal. “We did a Sarnafil high-wind edge detail with their clad metal and a pre-finished metal fascia plate over the top,” says Hill. “It gave the building a nice finishing touch from the ground and also from the roof side.”

Meeting the Challenges

The biggest challenge on the first phase of the project was the tight schedule. “We had to get that first phase operational so they could get the data hall up and running,” says Hill. “We had to get the first section dried in so the trades — electricians, drywallers, painters, and tech guys — could get in there and do their work.”

Work began in April of 2019 and wrapped up in December of the same year. After the first phase was completed, the weather posed the greatest difficulties. “The winter was quite heavy,” Hill says. “We had to remove snow quite often to be able to go back to work.”

In the last phase of the project, cold weather and heavy snow affected the schedule.

Hill credits the teamwork between all of the principals and the excellent craftsmanship of job foreman Rudolfo Garcia and his crew for the success of the project. He also cites durability of the temporary roof and the extra protection the hybrid system provides as critical components in the design. “With carpenters and steel guys working over that temporary roof, the typical peel-and-stick vapor barriers simply wouldn’t have been durable enough,” he says. “This building has to remain dry. That temporary roof with a cap sheet over the top of it could have been a completed system, so it gave them the backup that they needed. If there ever is a problem on the top layer with that single ply, there is still that temporary roof underneath to keep them dry.”

Utah Tile and Roofing received first place in the 2019 Sika Sarnafil Project of the Year Awards in the Low-Slope Re-Roof category. “The award is a testament to how good our guys in the field are,” Hill says. “Because we have such good field mechanics, we are able to take on these tougher projects that take more critical thinking and more experience. They are the best at what they do, the engine that drives this thing. They are the ones that make it happen.”

TEAM

Architect: HKS Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, www.hksinc.com

General Contractor: Okland Construction, Salt Lake City, Utah, www.okland.com

Roofing Contractor: Utah Tile and Roofing Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, www.utahtileandroofing.com

MATERIALS

Roof Membrane: Sarnafil G410 80-mil PVC, Sika, https://usa.sika.com/sarnafil/

Insulation: Sarnatherm ISO, Sika

Vapor Barrier: HA-87 SBS Ply Sheet, Sika

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

Persistence Pays Off for Roofer

After the Muirfield Design Control Committee agreed to allow the installation of DaVinci synthetic slate and shake in their community, Great Roofing and Restoration re-roofed this home in late 2019 with shake composite. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

Determined. Resilient. Stubborn. Those words could easily describe Ryan Lephart. Whether it’s a single home project or the challenge of securing roofing for a community, Lephart digs in for perfection.

One of Lephart’s longest quests was to secure approval to install composite roofing on homes in the Muirfield Village community in Dublin, Ohio. It took nine years, but his patience and diligent efforts paid off.

“Acceptance of new products comes slowly to some people,” says Lephart, director of business development for Great Roofing and Restoration. “This is a planned community. In the past it has only accepted real slate and shake roofing materials. Now we’ve finally gotten a toehold. We’ve gained approval for composite materials in Muirfield. As a result, we’ve installed our first DaVinci Multi-Width Shake roof there.”

Developing Muirfield

The Muirfield concept was started in 1968. That’s when golfer Jack Nicklaus teamed up with design and building professionals in Ohio. His goal was to convert unspoiled land into a world-renown golf club and living area.

The family-friendly community of Muirfield now boasts nearly 2,400 families. A winding complex of tree-lined streets includes condos, patio homes and single-family homes. And, two Jack Nicklaus golf courses.

Fast-forward about 40 years. That’s when Lephart started lobbying for composite roofing tiles at Muirfield.

The Wenners chose DaVinci synthetic shake for their residence in Findlay, Ohio.

Many of the original shake and slate roofs at Muirfield have deteriorated over time. The Design Control Committee for the development does not allow roof repairs — only roof replacements.

“Design standards are very high at Muirfield,” says Lephart, a licensed general contractor. “For nine years I presented the DaVinci product option because of its high aesthetic and performance values. Recently I met with their board again. New, more progressive people are now on the board. I brought in six boxes of DaVinci tiles and laid them out on the tables. I wanted people to see and feel the quality of the products.”

Thanks to Lephart’s persistence, the Muirfield Design Control Committee finally agreed to allow the installation of DaVinci Multi-Width Shake and DaVinci Multi-Width Slate in their community. Lephart re-roofed his first DaVinci home at Muirfield in late 2019.

“We had a beautiful shake composite in a Chesapeake color installed on a home on Aryshire Drive,” says Lephart. “We see this as a starting point in this community. With the DaVinci product now being an option for homeowners to choose for roof replacements, we believe residents will select the product for its beauty and durability.”

 “We’re confident that we’ll be re-roofing up to 10 houses in this community in 2020,” he continues. “That gets the ball rolling for future composite re-roofing projects in Muirfield.”

Single Home Attention

Lephart and the team at Great Roofing and Restoration put as much attention and effort into single family re-roofing projects as they do into multi-family communities. One example of this is homeowner Steve Wenner, a resident of Findlay, Ohio.

Amid constant worry that his real cedar shingles were blowing off in wind storms, Wenner decided to take action. He began investigating composite roofing options.

“My wife and I liked the DaVinci roofs we saw locally,” says Wenner. “We contacted several roofers and the DaVinci corporate headquarters. They gave us locations throughout northwest Ohio where we could see the composite roofing installed.”

So, the Wenners went on a mini-road trip. They spent an entire day driving around looking at dozens of roofs. And they liked what they saw.

The next step in replacing the 1991 cedar shake shingles on their home came in making the color decision. Wenner did what many homeowners do in the same situation. He took a ladder out and placed the samples on the roof. His wife Nancy stood back and evaluated the color options.

“When Nancy kept coming back to the Mountain blend color I knew we had our choice,” says Wenner. “The combination of the three shades of Mountain tones really complements the other elements of our home exterior.”

After receiving several bids for the project, the Wenners decided they liked the personal attention offered by Lephart and his company. “Selecting Great Roofing and Restoration was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” says Wenner. “That roofing crew has an exceptional work ethic. They took care of our property at all times and worked from sun up to sun down. I just can’t say enough good things about working with Great Roofing.”

According to Lephart, the Wenner home was a dream project. “Helping the Wenners gain a low-maintenance, top-quality DaVinci roof means they’ll have years of worry-free enjoyment,” says Lephart. “Demand for composite slate and shake shingles is up in all our locations. From Ohio to Colorado, people want impact- and fire-resistant roofing. They want roofing with a strong warranty and incredibly appealing looks. Basically, they want everything that DaVinci has to offer them in a roofing product.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Great Roofing and Restoration, Cleveland, Ohio, www.greatroofing.com

MATERIALS

Composite Shingles: Multi-Width Shake and Multi-Width Slate, DaVinci Roofscapes, www.davinciroofscapes.com