Award-Winning Re-Roofing Project Showcases Quality Workmanship

Photo: Duro-Last

Replacing the roof on an occupied building with multiple tenants means not only meeting the needs of the building owner but several other businesses as well. When the roof is high above a busy metro area, the job can be even more demanding, but when the failing roof on a CBRE Group high-rise in Cambridge, Massachusetts, needed to be replaced, Commonwealth Building Systems was up to the challenge.

Located near the Longfellow bridge across the Charles River from downtown Boston, the building houses a variety of business and retail tenants. RMX Northeast Inc., the consultant on the project, specified the use of a PVC roofing system from Duro-Last to replace the existing stone-ballasted system and invited local contractors to bid on the project. Commonwealth Building Systems of Rockland, Massachusetts was awarded the job.

Photo: Duro-Last

Commonwealth is a commercial roofing and sheet metal contractor that focuses on the Boston and Cambridge area. Daniel Hulverson, principal at Commonwealth Building Systems, knew the logistics on the project would be a challenge. Due to construction taking place on the Longfellow Bridge at the time of the project, traffic in the area was diverted around the building, and use of a crane was limited to Saturdays. The Commonwealth team commissioned the use of a 300-ton crane on two consecutive weekends to remove the stone ballast, pavers, and existing EPDM membrane from the 180-foot-tall, multi-level roof.

“The ballast removal was probably the hardest part of the project,” Hulverson recalls. “We couldn’t do any work doing the week because of the tenants for one, because of the noise, and the Longfellow Bridge was under construction at the time. It was actually closed, so traffic was pretty much a nightmare.”

R.K. Hydrovac was called in to remove the stone ballast. The crane was used to hoist the vacuum hoses to the roof. “It was quite an undertaking on their end,” Hulverson says. “We got the stone ballast off and got all of the stock up there on two consecutive weekends. Actually, after the first weekend we were able to get started roofing. We stockpiled all of the trash and got most of the trash off on the second weekend. We had a couple more crane days to get trash out at the end, so we had maybe four of five crane setups in all.”

A Custom Solution

The new roofing system was designed to stand up to the area’s high winds. Leaving the existing insulation in place, the Commonwealth crew covered each roof area with 2 additional inches of Duro-Guard ISO II insulation, which was mechanically attached. The upper roof was above a steel deck, and the lower roof covered a concrete deck, so different fasters were used, but the fastening patterns were identical.

After the existing ballasted EPDM system was removed, crews installed a thermoplastic roof system manufactured by Duro-Last. Photo: Duro-Last

After the insulation was in place, the Duro-Last PVC membrane was attached using the Duro-Bond induction welding system. The membrane is delivered custom fabricated to fit the site. “Duro-Last comes out and pre-measures the job with our assistance, and then the sheets are made,” Hulverson says. “They give you a map and tell you where the sheets go. They measure around all of the penetrations, and everything is pre-cut. It’s pretty cool how it comes out. The rolls are listed A, B, C, D, and so on, and you just kick out the rolls and weld them in place. The sheets are pre-welded at any laps, so it reduces the amount of welding you are doing on the job and saves time.”

The Duro-Bond system uses specially coated plates that are screwed down to the deck before the membrane is put in place. The membrane is adhered to the plates using an induction welder.

Work began on the upper level and moved down to the lower level. “We went from side to side, working our way toward where the crane setup was going to be,” Hulverson explains

The upper roof was constructed over a mechanical room, so crews could work any time without fear of disrupting the tenants. Work hours were restricted on the lower level because it covered occupied business space. “We had to switch to very early hours in the morning because of the noise,” Hulverson notes. “We were starting at three in the morning so we didn’t disrupt the tenants.”

Commonwealth’s dedication to quality workmanship on the project earned the company Duro-Last’s Edge-to-Edge & Deck-to-Sky Award. Photo: Duro-Last

Staging areas were moved as the project progressed to limit the possibility of damage to the completed sections of the roof. On the last day, the roof membrane was protected by tarps and plywood as the final loads of debris were removed.

The safety concerns were straightforward. “There was a parapet wall that was above 42 inches high around the whole perimeter of the building, so safety-wise, this job was fairly easy for us,” Hulverson says.

Custom-fabricated curbs and stacks were utilized to help reduce rooftop labor. “All of Duro-Last’s curbs and pipe seals come pre-made, and they are all listed on that diagram,” Hulverson says. “You just unfold them and weld them. The corners are already pre-done. It’s a very nice system.”

Commonwealth’s sheet metal division installed all of the edge metal, which was custom fabricated by EXCEPTIONAL Metals. “Again, Duro-Last measures everything along with our superintendent, and it’s all sent out prefabrication,” Hulverson says. “The pre-assembled wall cap was installed on top of the walls.”

During the last phase of the project, Walkway pads were welded down in high-traffic areas.

Luckily, weather wasn’t a key factor. “There were some challenging windy days, as there always are in Boston, but nothing I can really remember that slowed us down to the point we couldn’t work,” says Hulverson. “The weekend crane setups and the size of the crane were unusual, but other than that it was a pretty smooth job. And the views are beautiful — you’re looking across the Charles River into Boston, so it was pretty nice.”

Commonwealth’s dedication attention to detail on this project earned the company Duro-Last’s 2018 Edge-to-Edge & Deck-to-Sky Award, which was presented in 2019. “Duro-Last was impressed by the neatness of the job, especially the wall flashing,” Hulverson says. “They were impressed with our workmanship. If there were any challenges or changes, we just met them head on and moved forward, like we typically do. The customer is always first.”

Hulverson believes the key to ensuring quality workmanship is dedicated employees, from top to bottom. “Our foremen are well trained, as are our superintendents, and I actually look over the jobs in the field as one of four owners,” he says. “We make sure the quality and craftsmanship are done the right way.”

TEAM

Roof Consultant: RMX Northeast Inc., Milford, Massachusetts, www.rmxne.com

Roofing Contractor: Commonwealth Building Systems, Rockland, Massachusetts, www.commonwealthbuildingsystems.com

MATERIALS

PVC Membrane: Duro-Last, www.duro-last.com

Insulation: Duro-Guard ISO II, Duro-Last

Edge Metal: EXCEPTIONAL Metals, www.exceptionalmetals.com

Duro-Last Inc. Promotes New Regional Sales Manager

Duro-Last, Inc. announced the recent promotion of Brandon Schember to the position of Regional Sales Manager for the states of Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri. In this role, Brandon will oversee sales and business development, carrying out strategies and tactics that meet the overall business objectives of the territory.

Prior to this promotion, Brandon served as the Sales Development Coordinator for the same region, and was instrumental in the success of the territory by providing exceptional support and coordination of resources to authorized Duro-Last contractors and sales representatives in the field.

“Brandon has become a familiar face to not only the contractors that we work with, but throughout the industry as well,” said Duro-Last National Sales Manager Jason Dark. “His extensive customer service experience will no doubt enhance his ability to work with both internal and external customers, and grow the Duro-Last brand throughout the region.”

Brandon graduated from Northwood University with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management, and has been a valuable member of the Duro-Last Sales Department since June 2014.

For more information, visit www.duro-last.com.

Duro-Last Inc. Joins NRCA’s One Voice Initiative

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) has announced Duro-Last, Inc., Saginaw, Mich. has joined NRCA’s One Voice initiative, upgrading its associate membership to “partner member.”

In 2017, NRCA launched its One Voice initiative to unite the roofing industry and speak with one voice about matters critical to the roofing industry’s continued success.

To ensure all industry sectors are given an opportunity to participate, NRCA amended its bylaws to allow manufacturers, distributors, architects, engineers and consultants that choose to participate to become full members of the association, meaning they will be granted voting rights and eligible for leadership roles within the association. Previously, such rights were reserved only for contractor members.

“NRCA’s One Voice initiative offers a unique opportunity for the roofing industry to address the major issues we face. However, our work can only be accomplished with commitments from leaders from all sectors of this great industry,” says Reid Ribble, NRCA’s CEO. “Only together as a roofing community can we take this transformational approach to address our issues and concerns and achieve success in the future.”

Issues currently affecting the roofing industry include workforce development and certification; advancing the industry’s public policy agenda; building codes and insurance; and increasing professionalism throughout the industry.

“Duro-Last is committed to solving the challenges that face the roofing industry, but we recognize that it can’t be done alone,” says Tom Saeli, CEO of Duro-Last. “We are honored to join NRCA’s One Voice initiative and be a part of the solution that makes a lasting, positive impact on the future of the industry.”

For more information about NRCA and its One Voice initiative, go to www.nrca.net/onevoice.

 

Elastomeric Coating Line Offers High Reflectivity

Duro-Last introduces its line of Duro-Shield Coatings and MaterialsDuro-Last introduces its line of Duro-Shield Coatings and Materials, available in Duro-Shield 20, Duro-Shield 10 and Duro-Shield 5. Duro-Shield Roof Coatings are 100 percent elastomeric acrylic with a white finish that reflects the sun’s rays, which can lower heat buildup and reduce utility costs. Duro-Shield 20 offers 35 mils of coverage when dry and a 20-year limited warranty. Duro-Shield 10 features 24 mils of coverage when dry and a 10-year limited warranty. Duro-Shield 5 offers 20 mils of coverage when dry and a five-year limited warranty. Additional products in the Duro-Shield line include Duro-Shield Primer, Duro-Shield Brush Grade Mastic and Polyester Reinforcement Fabric.

Duro-Last Oregon Plant Receives Safety Certification

Duro-Last Inc. has announced a local award and national safety certification received by its Grants Pass, Ore., manufacturing facility.

In late January 2017, Duro-Last received the 2016 Business Excellence Award from the Grants Pass and Josephine County Chamber of Commerce, and the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Organization (OSHA) presented the Oregon facility with the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Site certification in November 2016.

According to Colene Martin, president/CEO of the Grants Pass and Josephine County Chamber of Commerce, “The Business Excellence Award is given to a chamber member who has a record of dependability, success and leadership. The criteria for selection include business character, business excellence, customer relations and community service. Duro-Last not only excels in these areas but also is known for their employee safety standards and the number of awards they have received for it over the years.”

The most recent safety award for the Duro-Last facility is OSHA’s VPP Star Site certification, which is the highest of three designations offered by the VPP.

The VPP promotes effective worksite-based safety and health, according to OSHA. This is for OSHA’s official recognition of efforts of employers and employees who have achieved exemplary occupational safety and health. The goal is to encourage private industry and federal agencies to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses through hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training and cooperation between management and workers. The VPP enlists worker involvement to achieve injury and illness rates that are below the National Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries.

Oregon OSHA Director Michael Wood presented the award at the Grants Pass facility.

“We are proud of the work we have done with OSHA, which has allowed us to learn the best practices of other VPP companies and has helped us understand the importance of continuous improvement in safety programs,” says Tim Hart, vice president of Western Operations for Duro-Last Inc. “We thank Oregon OSHA for recognizing the dedication our Grants Pass employees have to safety. Without our employees’ safety mindset, this recognition would not have been possible. We would also like to thank the Oregon VPP team for their encouragement and mentoring.”

This OSHA honor is not a one-time award, however. Retaining VPP Star Site status is an ongoing process, and continuous improvement is expected.

“Duro-Last was the first company in Oregon OSHA history to be awarded the VPP Star level on the first try. This is a milestone,” says Hart. “Usually a company gets the Merit status first, and then needs several more years to complete the application process for Star status. Our team decided to apply for the Star status directly. Our efforts took a little under two years because we had the cooperation and enthusiasm of the entire Duro-Last team.”

The Grants Pass facility will serve as a mentor to other organizations applying for OSHA VPP status. In 2016, Duro-Last was appointed to the Governor’s Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Panel. A graduate of OSHA’s Safety & Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP), Duro-Last is part of the Southern Oregon SHARP Alliance. Duro-Last also belongs to the Redwood Safety Committee, Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Inc. (SOREDI), and the Grants Pass and Josephine County Chamber of Commerce.

“Since the first Duro-Last roof was installed in the 1970s, the company has been on a growth path,” says Hart. “In 1985, Duro-Last expanded into Grants Pass, Ore. In 1987, we purchased 47,000-square-feet of manufacturing and 7,500-square-feet of office space at the North Valley Industrial Park. In 1996, we completed and opened a 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility. We expanded again in 2006, adding 35,000 more square feet of manufacturing space to accommodate EXCEPTIONAL Metals, a division of Duro-Last. Throughout it all, we’ve remained committed to safety, to quality and to being good neighbors to our communities.”

Duro-Last Single-Ply Roofing Membranes Earn Platinum Certification

Duro-Last announces that it has achieved platinum certification under the NSF American National Standard for Sustainable Roofing Membranes, NSF/ANSI 347. Certified by UL, this standard represents that Duro-Last manufactures a product that is third-party verified as sustainable, durable, and high performing. The certification applies to 40, 50 and 60 mil, white, tan, gray and dark gray as well as 50 mil terra cotta Duro-Last membranes.
 
“Duro-Last was excited to have most of our membrane product lines certified by this third-party standard,” says Jason Tunney, executive vice president and general counsel of Duro-Last. “But we wanted to take it to the next level and achieve the highest rating possible.”
 
NSF/ANSI 347 was written by NSF International and, according to their website, is based on life-cycle assessment principles. NSF/ANSI 347 employs a point system to evaluate roofing membranes against established prerequisite requirements, performance criteria and quantifiable metrics in five key areas:

  • Product design
  • Product manufacturing
  • Membrane durability
  • Corporate governance
  • Innovation

 
Obtaining this certification will help the Duro-Last membrane meet the market demand for products that comply with green building standards like the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes. Product specifiers and purchasers are under pressure to find products that meet their sustainability criteria, and having the NSF 347 certification can give them the peace of mind of specifying a third-party verified product.
 
This certification is one more step in Duro-Last’s commitment to sustainability and transparency, coming after the announcement of the publication of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for Duro-Tuff, Duro-Fleece and Duro-Last EV membranes. To read more about Duro-Last’s sustainability efforts, visit here.
 
“There’s talk in the roofing industry about being ‘green’ and sustainable,” says Katie Chapman, Duro-Last corporate sustainability specialist. “At Duro-Last we want to help people make informed decisions when purchasing roofing products.”
 
For more information regarding Duro-Last’s sustainability initiatives contact Katie Chapman at (800)248-0280 or kchapman@duro-last.com.

More Colors Available for 80-mil Membranes

Duro-Last Inc. is pleased to make Duro-Tuff and Duro-Fleece colors available for 80-mil membranes.

Duro-Last Inc. is pleased to make Duro-Tuff and Duro-Fleece colors available for 80-mil membranes.


As part of its commitment to serving its customers, Duro-Last Inc. is pleased to make Duro-Tuff and Duro-Fleece colors available in 80 mil. Colors available include blue, charcoal, copper, dark green, light gray, light tan, patina and white.