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

Recreation Center’s Innovative Roof and Wall Systems Provide Added Durability

Indian River County Intergenerational Recreation Center hosts recreational and competitive sporting events and other community activities. Photos: Borrelli + Partners

Indian River County Intergenerational Recreation Center was designed to be the hub of its community, a venue that hosts recreational and competitive sports and other activities, including educational, social and philanthropic events.

The new $10.4 million facility, branded by the county as the “iG Center” and often referred to as “Big Red,” consists of two adjoining main buildings: the two-story gymnasium and a long, single-story wing that houses various multi-purpose rooms, a concession area, a game room and a catering kitchen.

The site’s location near the oceanfront in Vero Beach, Florida, is susceptible to hurricanes and other extreme weather events, and making sure the complex would stand up to the elements was a key consideration for officials and residents in the county. This concern prompted a focus on the design of the building’s exterior envelope. In the end, a metal roof and metal wall panels were the key to meeting the building’s design goals.

Design Criteria

When county officials spoke with the architects at Borrelli + Partners, they had a strict set of criteria in mind for the building, including the ability to withstand high wind speeds and 100-year rainstorms. “They mandated a sloped roofing system,” notes Dan-Michael Trbovich of Borrelli + Partners. “They wanted a minimum 20-year warranty, and they said they were looking for a ‘50-year roof.’ This affected the roof design and the wall design.”

The new $10.4 million facility was designed to stand up to hurricanes, torrential rains and extreme fluctuations in temperature. Photos: Atlantic Roofing II of Vero Beach Inc.

A key goal of the team at Borrelli + Partners was to specify a watertight metal roof system that would also allow unlimited thermal movement to cope with extreme temperature fluctuations. They found what they were looking for in a standing seam metal roof and wall system manufactured by IMETCO.

The 37-acre site and open park setting also provided the opportunity to explore interesting aesthetic elements. The building would be highly visible, and goals included a dynamic exterior design that would allow the park and the building complement each other. In the end, the decision was made to go with bright red and white metal panels that would stand against the blue sky to create what Trbovich calls an “All-American design.”

In one of many daring design elements, sections of the red roof panels were folded over and brought down to the ground to serve as wall panels. A custom detail was devised to make the transition impervious to water penetration.

“Our criteria included a kneecap—a premanufactured fixture that would be put over the entire thing,” Trbovich says. “IMETCO was the only manufacturer we knew that offered that, and it was absolutely critical in the design.”

Areas in which the panels were turned over included the south-facing wall, which was no coincidence. “We wanted to make sure the south-facing wall didn’t get too much heat, so what you’re essentially doing is creating a vented roof decking system that protects the vertical surface on the south side,” notes Trbovich.

High summer temperatures and afternoon rains in Vero Beach can cause a lot of expansion and contraction, so HVAC and plumbing systems were rerouted to avoid the roof. “There is not a single roof penetration,” Trbovich says. “We wanted to make sure that roof would be able to move and slide. We wanted to make sure there were no contraction points that would hang it up, therefore we went with a design that would not allow roofing penetrations, whether it was a vent pipe, air duct or air-handling unit.”

Detailing was meticulous and consistent throughout, according to Trbovich. Flashing details were all designed to have a 6-inch overlap. “We went to extreme levels of detailing, whether it was in section cuts or in isometric cuts, to make sure that each and every one of those flashing details had that same 6-inch overlap. We required those be uniform across the facility on all corners, so that we essentially matched rake, eave jamb and corner flashing details.”

Installation Challenges

To ensure the details were correctly installed in the field, the architect and manufacturer worked closely during construction with the general contractor, KAST Construction, and the installer, Atlantic Roofing II of Vero Beach Inc.

The building’s exterior envelope features a metal roof system and metal wall panels manufactured by IMETCO. Photos: Borrelli + Partners

Atlantic Roofing IIapplied the standing seam roof system and metal wall panels, as well as a small single-ply roof on a flat section near the entryway. IMETCO Series 300 panels in Cardinal Red were installed on both the roof and walls, while white IMETCO Latitude panels were also installed on the walls.

The metal roof system was installed over the structure’s metal deck. It included 3 inches of polyiso insulation, 5/8-inch DensDeck and Aqua-Block 50 peel and stick, high-temperature underlayment.

The absence of penetrations simplified the metal roof installation, notes Steven Cottrell, project manager and chief estimator for Atlantic Roofing II. “The panels were rolled right on the site, and the longest ones up there are 168 feet long,” he says.

The roll former was stationed on the ground, and panels were lifted to the roof with a special cradle. “IMETCO brought out the metal and provided the machinery to roll them out, and the panels were placed onto giant spacer bars and loaded onto the roof,” Cottrell explains. “It was a bit of a challenge. We had 20 men up on the roof unloading them.”

The flat roof sections connecting the two buildings and the entryway were covered with a Seaman FiberTite KEE membrane, which was fully adhered over 3 inches of polyiso, tapered insulation and 5/8-inch DensDeck.

The roof system features a large internal gutter, which was lined with the same FiberTite roof system. Metal panels drop into the gutter and pick up on the other side, so it was crucial to ensure the area would be watertight and the panels would line up perfectly. “We worked closely with the architect and manufacturer on that,” notes Cottrell. “We used their eave detail and high eave detail, and it worked very well.”

Elegant Solutions

According to Cottrell, the roof and wall installations went smoothly and the roof is performing well — despite a hurricane and a 100-year rainstorm. “We’ve had no leaks, zero callbacks,” he says.

Photos: Borrelli + Partners

As the building was completed, Borrelli + Partners worked with the county to design the landscaping around the structure. “Our architects and interior designers work very closely with the landscape crew,” Trbovich notes. “We’re concerned about the physical space — external, internal, architectural and throughout. It’s a real holistic design approach, and you don’t see that with most architectural firms.”

The result is a project that Cottrell and Trbovich point to with pride. “It’s a unique structure,” says Cottrell. “It was a challenging project, but we rose to the challenge and banged it out. It’s like a little star for us on the fridge, if you know what I mean.”

For Trbovich, what stands out the most is the marriage of form and function in the many details. “While the building looks interesting with the awning and the striking form of the red standing seam roof, what’s crucially important is all the things we just talked about that are embedded in that design — the solutions themselves.”

TEAM

Architect: Borrelli + Partners, Orlando, Florida, www.borrelliarchitects.com
General Contractor: KAST Construction, West Palm Beach, Florida, www.kastbuild.com
Roof System and Wall System Installer: Atlantic Roofing II of Vero Beach Inc., Vero Beach, Florida, www.atlanticroofing2.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof Panels: Series 300 in Cardinal Red, IMETCO, www.imetco.com
Metal Wall Panels: Series 300 in Cardinal Red and Latitude in White, IMETCO
Underlayment: Aqua-Block 50, IMETCO
Cover Board: 5/8-inch DensDeck Prime, Georgia-Pacific, www.densdeck.com
Single-Ply Membrane: 50-mil FiberTite XT KEE, Seaman Corporation, www.fibertite.com

Prompt Response to Damage and a New Roof Help Restore Phoenix Library

The new roof atop the Burton Barr Library features a fully adhered Sarnafil PVC membrane. Photos: Star Roofing Inc.

At 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, a microburst over the roof of Burton Barr Library in Phoenix, Arizona, was strong enough to lift the membrane and the pavers meant to protect the structure during such extreme weather conditions. The structure, including the roof, is designed to remain mechanically stable and adapt as the stress on the building increases, but the severe wind event ultimately led to a broken sprinkler system.

The sprinkler system was installed under the roof system on the topside of the metal deck. Water rained down from the fifth floor and spread throughout the building. Upon initial evaluation, it was believed that approximately 50 percent of the building had water damage. At one point there were several inches of standing water on the first floor.

The structure and roof deck were determined to be sound. The immediate goals included temporarily protecting the roof area from any further rain, as the weatherproof membrane had been disturbed, and drying out the moisture inside the building.

Star Roofing Emergency Services was called by Brycon Construction Company, and a crew of Star roofers spent the weekend preforming roof repairs to get the roof in the dry and mitigate further interior damage.

Installing the New Roof

Star Roofing’s estimating and operations departments worked with Brycon Construction and the city of Phoenix to put together re-roof specification and budget pricing to install a new roof.

After it was damaged during a high-wind event, the existing roof system, including loose-laid membrane, insulation and interlocking pavers, was removed and recycled. Photos: Star Roofing Inc.

The existing roof system consisted of loose-laid EPDM over two layers of 4-inch polyiso insulation over a steel deck. Ballast consisted of 1 1/2-inch-thick interlocking pavers. Complete removal of the existing system was required. In all, 23 semi loads of insulation, 6 1/2 tons of membrane and 255 tons of concrete pavers were removed. Star Roofing recycled 100 percent of the pavers at Cemex USA in Phoenix, where the company grinds pavers and uses the material in making concrete. The EPDM and the roof insulation were also recycled through Nationwide Foam Recycling.

Access and the roof height provided challenges, especially in the roof removal process. The 34,000 pavers, each weighing 15 pounds, were placed in small trash bins. Pavers were removed 45 at a time, as this was the maximum weight per bin that Star’s crane could handle with the jib extended at the angle required to reach the building.

Safety is always the paramount concern, according to Jeff Klein, vice president of Star Roofing. “Challenges included exposed edges on the north and south roof deck and the removal of the ballast pavers with our crane due to the weight of the pavers themselves,” he notes. “To overcome these concerns, we limited the number of pavers removed at a time so as not to overstress the crane, and we made use of mobile fall protection carts and permanent safety tie-off davits.”

Additional work was required due to the replacement of the damaged sprinkler system. The sprinkler was installed above the roof deck and buried under the roofing system. Because of possible litigation, the sprinkler system piping had to be marked, disassembled and lowered to the ground. The system was then reassembled in the parking lot for inspection by the city of Phoenix and their consultants.

The new roof specified was a fully adhered Sarnafil PVC system. Crews from Star Roofing installed 5/8-inch DensDeck cover board, which was mechanically fastened with gray screws to match the underside of the exposed metal deck. Screws had to be kept in straight lines because of their visibility. A self-adhered vapor barrier was installed over the cover board. It was topped with one layer of 3-inch polyiso and two layers of 2 1/2-inch polyiso, all set in adhesive.

Photos: Star Roofing Inc.

A special installation method was required at the perimeter to protect against another high wind occurrence. Four layers of 5/8-inch DensDeck and two layers of 2 1/2-inch polyiso insulation, all secured with adhesive, were installed 18 feet in from of the roof edge.

The entire 43,000-square-foot roof area then received a Sarnafil 72 mil Fleeceback PVC membrane that was fully adhered. The system carries a 25-year warranty.

The project progressed smoothly, notes Klein. “That’s what we do every day — working collaboratively with many stakeholders to problem solve and design a system that meets the needs of the building, doing the job in a timely manner, and minimizing disturbance to daily business and other major construction underway.”

TEAM

General Contractor: Brycon Construction, Chandler, Arizona, www.brycon.com
Roofing Contractor: Star Roofing Inc., Phoenix, Arizona, http://starroofingaz.com

MATERIALS

Membrane: 72-mil Fleeceback PVC, Sika Sarnafil, https://usa.sarnafil.sika.com
Cover Board: DensDeck, Georgia-Pacific, www.densdeck.com

Roof System Helps School Stand Up to Severe North Atlantic Weather

Crews from North Shore Roofingdried in the entire roof system and then installed the two-ply modified roof system manufactured by IKO. Photos: IKO

The new Brookside Intermediate School in Portugal Cove-St. Philips, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada is a $24 million project. The two-story structure serves students in grades five through nine, and includes 31 classrooms, a gymnasium, and a commercial kitchen, as well as a library, science labs, a home economics room, a technology and fabrication lab, two music rooms, an art room and a computer lab.

The durability and sustainability of the roof and wall systems were crucial considerations during the specification process, as the building would have to perform well in the extreme weather conditions common in the easternmost province of Canada.

The roof system specified, a two-ply SBS modified bitumen application, is one Terry Casey knows like the back of his hand. Casey is the general manager of North Shore Roofing, Ltd., headquartered in Paradise, Newfoundland. Its parent company, Atlantic Roofers, Ltd., headquartered in Cocagne, New Brunswick, has been in business for 42 years. The Newfoundland branch was established in 1992, adopting the name of North Shore Roofing.

North Shore Roofing specializes in low-slope roof systems, both new construction and retrofit. “Primarily our business is two-ply modified bitumen systems, single-ply membranes — TPO, EPDM, PVC — and the occasional roof coating,” Casey notes. “We will travel all over the province, but our dominant market is the metropolitan St. John’s area.”

Brookside Intermediate School was one of a number of new construction projects initiated by the government in the past three years that the company has worked on. “This was a brand-new school put out to tender by the government of Newfoundland and Labrador,” Casey says. “We were the low bidder to Marco Services, who was the general contractor.”

Casey believes durability was a key consideration in the roof system specified, which has been a staple on government projects. “The government of Newfoundland has a standard roofing spec, and this is the system that was specified,” he says. “In this one, we chose to go with IKO.

The wall system incorporates IKO Enerfoil Insulation, which was utilized as the masonry cavity wall insulation due to its high R-value per inch and weather-resistant aluminum facers. Photos: IKO

The IKO two-ply modified roof system was primarily installed over a steel deck, which was topped with 1/2-inch DensDeck Prime cover board, a vapor barrier, tapered extruded polystyrene (EPS) insulation, 2 inches of IKOtherm polyisocyanurate insulation, and a 6-millimeter protective board. The two-ply IKO SBS modified system was then torched down. The TorchFlex TP-180-FF base sheet was torched to the protective board, and the TorchFlex TP-250 cap sheet was torched to the base sheet. “The EPS was adhered to the vapor barrier with IKO Millennium adhesive,” Casey explains. “The same adhesive was used to adhere the 2 inches of polyisocyanurate insulation to the EPS.”

One 12,000-square-foot section of the roof was covered with a concrete deck, which was designed to allow another story to be added to the building in case of future expansion. In this section a TorchFlex base sheet was installed to serve as a vapor barrier. North Shore also installed permanent fall arrest anchors — a feature Casey would like to see replicated more often. “I wish every project was like it,” he says.

IKO also supplied the wall systems on the project, which were installed by Reddick Brothers Masonry.

Smooth Installation

As sections of the deck were put in place, North Shore Roofing sprang into action. “We made the building watertight with the DensDeck and vapor barrier so that the general contractor could continue on with construction inside the building,” Casey says. “We did that over the entire roof area before we installed the rest of the system.”

Work began on the concrete section first, and as the spring weather improved, the roofing work began in earnest. “Once the vapor barrier was on, each section of the roof had a plan for the tapered insulation,” says Casey. “We put the pieces together like a puzzle so that the drainage was 2 percent slope to the roof drains to avoid any ponding water.”

The new Brookside Intermediate School in Portugal Cove-St. Philips, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is a $24 million project. The durability of the roof system was a key consideration, and the government specified a two-ply modified bitumen system. Photos: IKO

Tapered insulation was installed to meet the design for four-way positive drainage. Casey explains that staging the area properly can make installation much more efficient. “There’s a bit of skill involved in that your foreman has to know where and when each piece has to be put in place,” he notes. “Your materials have to be placed on the roof so you’re not chasing the product all over the place. You have to make sure everything is up on the roof in the right spot to maximize your labor on the job.”

After the rest of the insulation and protection board were in place, the base sheet was torched directly to the protection board. “The membrane sheets have to be sealed to the board you’re torching to as well as sealed to one another,” Casey says. “You want to make sure you have a good bleed out of bitumen to ensure the membranes have been bonded together to form one monolithic sheet, if you will.”

Once the base sheet is installed, all of the details are flashed, so North Shore crews made sure all of the penetrations were completed before installing the cap sheet. “Once all your base sheet is installed, any projections going through the roof — your exhaust fans, air conditioning units, plumbing stacks and fall arrest anchors — they are all installed before the cap sheet is installed. Once your finished cap sheet is on it should look like everything was all is place and ready to go. You don’t want to be doing patchwork afterward.”

When installing the gray cap sheet, care must be taken to make sure the application is aesthetically pleasing. With contrast between the black bitumen and the gray top sheet, the goal is to be consistent and clean with your bleed out. “There was uniformity in our bleed out, so when you’re looking over the laps, it looks like it’s one long, continuous sheet,” he says. “When you’re looking against the laps, you can see the bleed out, but as long as it’s a consistent bleed out, it looks very neat. The boys do a great job of doing that.”

The skill of the crew is the key to a successful torch application, according to Casey. “It’s got everything to do with experience,” he says. “With anybody that’s doing this for the first time, you’re going to have areas where there’s no bleed out, and areas where there’s too much bleed out. When you’re doing this consistently and you’re doing it well, you’ll typically have right around 1/4 inch.”

Before the cap sheet was installed, permanent roof anchors from Thaler Metals were installed. “There is a square plate with four bolts that go down through the roof, and there is another plate that goes on the underside of the deck,” Casey says.

Because the permanent anchors were installed near the end of the project, the safety plan featured safety rails and temporary anchor points. Crews installed the safety rails on top of the parapets and had the system inspected by OSHA. For areas in which the railings could not be installed, crews tied off to temporary, removable and reusable roof anchors, also manufactured by Thaler.

Penetrations were flashed at the base sheet stage and again at the cap sheet stage per the manufacturer’s specifications. “All of the manufacturers, including IKO, have specific detailing for many, many types of penetrations going through the roof,” Casey says.

The installation process, led by foreman Shawn Higdon, went very smoothly. The jobsite was easily accessible and the weather posed no big problems. “This one was pretty wide open,” Casey says. “It’s a fairly large school with multiple roof areas. There were very few times where somebody was in our way or we were waiting for somebody. Change orders for other trades created some minor problems, but nothing serious.”

Juggling crews as the work progressed was perhaps the toughest part of the project, according to Casey. “Labor is always a challenge,” he says. “We had to move people from one job to the next job because everything wasn’t ready for us at one time. Moving back and forth from project to project was probably the most challenging thing on that job.”

TEAM

Architect: Fougere Menchenton Architecture, St. John’s, Newfoundland, www.fougeremenchenton.ca
General Contractor: Marco Services, St. John’s, Newfoundland, www.marcogroup.ca
Roofing Contractor: North Shore Roofing, Ltd., Paradise, Newfoundland
Wall System Installer: Reddick Brothers Masonry, Church Point, Nova Scotia

MATERIALS

Roof System
Modified Bitumen Membrane: TorchFlex TP-180-FF base sheet, TorchFlex TP-250 cap sheet, IKO, www.iko.com
Protection Board: Protectoboard, IKO
Insulation: IKOtherm, IKO
Vapor Barrier: MVP Vapour Retarder, IKO
Adhesive: Millennium Adhesive, IKO
Cover Board: 1/2-inch DensDeck Prime, Georgia-Pacific, www.densdeck.com
Roof Anchors: Thaler Metal, www.thalermetal.com

Wall System
Vapor Barrier: AquaBarrier, IKO
Insulation: Enerfoil, IKO

Rooftop Decks Add Outdoor Living Space to Sacramento Town Homes

The three-story homes are built on narrow lots without a backyard, so the decision was made to offer a roof deck package to provide an area to enjoy the outdoors. Photo: The Grupe Company

More and more, builders, architects and designers are looking to the rooftop as an area for usable living space — especially in urban areas, where lots are narrow. For a new town home development in Sacramento, the idea to add rooftop decks emerged late in the design process, but it’s proved so popular the builders are not only glad they made the change — they are considering making it a standard feature in future projects.

Designed by Ellis Architects and built by The Grupe Company, the neighborhood is known as 20 PQR. “The project fronts on 20th street in mid-town Sacramento and runs from P Street down to R Street,” notes Ron Rugani, vice president and purchasing manager for Grupe. “Q Street runs down the middle of the project, so that’s how we came up with the name 20 PQR.”

The 32 town homes are arranged in four groups of eight. The three-story residences have two different floor plans, one with 1,750 square feet and the other 1,850 square feet. “It’s an interesting concept,” Rugani says. “They are really considered single-family homes. They have their own lot, and they are detached from the next unit. There is a 6-inch space between the units, and they don’t share a common wall. However, the way we trim out that space, on the top and sides, you would view the eight units as one building, but they are actually eight individual single-family detached town homes.”

The narrow lots left no room for a yard, so that’s what inspired the idea to create usable outdoor space on the roof. “If you can imagine the urban setting — the fronts of these units are right on the city sidewalk. All of the units have two-car garages in the back and are accessible through a common alley. But there is no outdoor living space, and so that’s essentially what’s driving these roof decks,” Rugani says. “The backyard is where people are going to have outdoor living in a typical single-family home, and the rooftop deck is where they are going to have outdoor living in a town-home setting.”

The low-slope roofs were designed with internal drains and parapet walls. A GAF TPO roof system was specified. When the decision was made to add the rooftop living area, Ellis Architects recommended installing rubber roof deck tiles from sofSURFACES on top of the TPO roof. “The architect steered us in this direction because they liked the product,” notes Rugani. “After the roofer installs his regular TPO roof, it gets inspected to make sure there are no leaks before the roof deck tiles are installed. It’s a really unique product. It allows water to go through to the TPO roof for drainage. It has an excellent warranty, and so we have a long-term warranty for the entire roof system.”

Applying the Roof System

The TPO roof system was installed by PetersenDean Roofing and Solar, Fremont, California. “We are a roofing subcontractor for Grupe on several projects in the Northern California area,” says Mark Vogel, president of PetersenDean’s Builder Division. “We have built a great relationship with them over the years.”

Photo: sofSURFACES

There was approximately 900 square feet of roof area on each structure. PetersenDean crews mechanically attached the 60-mil GAF EverGuard TPO membrane over quarter-inch Georgia-Pacific DensDeck roof board and rigid insulation. “It is a flat roof with low slope conditions,” Vogel says. “This is absolutely a great system for this type of work.”

The parapet walls greatly simplified the safety plan, but safety is never taken for granted, according to Vogel. “We have 22 safety engineers nationwide, with 14 in California,” he says. “Safety is our biggest concern, and we invest to ensure we send everyone home at night. Our workers are considered our most valuable asset and we strive to maintain a world-class safety culture. Having a skilled and talented workforce that truly cares about safety drives everything that we do.”

Everything on the project went smoothly, notes Vogel. “It was not tough to coordinate the work with the other trades,” he says “It is what we do, and there is no one better. We are a full-service roofing contractor and solar power installer. We handle estimating, design, permitting, and installation for roofing and solar roofing systems for all our clients and this project is a great example of this.”

Installing the Roof Tiles

The deck area on each roof encompassed approximately 700 square feet. The interlocking duraSTRONG tiles are made from recycled rubber and are ideal for outdoor rooftops, walkways and patio projects, notes Chris Chartrand, director of marketing for sofSURFACES. “This space was ideal for our product as the rooftops are flat and have proper slope with a contained edge,” Chartrand says. “The design allows for efficient drainage of surface water.”

The low-slope roofs were covered with a TPO roof system manufactured by GAF, and the deck areas were topped with interlocking rubber paving tiles from sofSURFACES. Photo: sofSURFACES

The tiles were applied by a manufacturer-certified installer, Leonard’s Construction of Fontana, California. “Coordinating delivery and installation of our product within Grupe’s required timelines was a fairly easy task, as we were the last phase of the project,” notes Chartrand.

Paulo Carrillo, installation supervisor, typically installs the product in gyms and playground areas, but recently he’s found himself doing a lot of work on terraces and rooftops. After the roof system was completed on the homes at 20 PQR, a second sheet of TPO membrane was installed as a protective barrier. “We chalked our lines on that,” Carrillo notes. “We measure out the whole rooftop and chalk it off into a 2-foot-by-2-foot grid. Every other square is a keystone — those are the tiles that we put in first that hold everything in line.”

After the keystones are glued in place, the crews cut pieces to fit along the perimeter and then begin to add tiles in strategic lines. After those tiles cure, tiles are laid in opposite directions, both horizontally and diagonally. “We do it step by step,” Carrillo notes. “When we put the final squares in at the end, they are all interlocked together. After we do the final step, we glue each seam, so everything is 100 percent glued.”

The tiles all interlock, and compression allows for expansion and contraction. “Every tile is 24-1/8 inches, but they go into a 24-inch space,” Carrillo explains. “They are all compressed. With any perimeter cuts, we add another 1/8 of an inch to get our compression.”

Stacking the Deck

According to Rugani, Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the 20 PQR have been completed and are sold out, while Phase 3 and Phase 4 are currently under construction.

The interlocking duraSTRONG tiles are made from recycled rubber. They are designed for use on rooftops, walkways and patio projects, as well as gyms and playground areas. Photo: sofSURFACES

Originally the roof deck area was offered as an option, but it’s proved so desirable all of the units in the last phase are being built with decks. “It’s been an interesting dynamic,” says Rugani. “When we started, we weren’t sure how many people would want this option. For the first phase, we had to spec those, so, we said, let’s build six of the eight with the roof deck. It started to gain in popularity, and the price didn’t seem to be an issue, so in the last phase, we said, let’s build them all. It’s become very popular.”

Based on the success of the roof decks at 20 PQR, Grupe is exploring roof deck options for other projects in development. “We are building a mid-rise apartment complex just a few blocks away, and we said from the get-go in that project that we are going to have some type of roof deck for outdoor living space for the tenants,” Rugani says. “For that project we did develop a rooftop deck, and I believe that is going to be the M.O. moving forward in any project we do. Otherwise there might be no place for tenants to gather on site and have some outdoor living space. It makes perfect sense to go to the roof. So, yes, I see this as a trend, especially in urban settings.”

In the 20 PQR project, the homes were not originally designed with roof decks, and the decision made to add them later meant a lot of extra time and work for engineers and architects. “A lot of people might walk away from that and say it is too much work,” Rugani says. “We said, this is something we need to do, and it’s going to benefit the people who buy it. We were happy in the end that we spent the time and effort to do it.”

TEAM

Architect: Ellis Architects, Sacramento, California, www.ellis-architects.com
General Contractor: The Grupe Company, Stockton, California, www.grupe.com
Roof System Installer: PetersenDean Inc., Fremont, California, www.petersendean.com
Rubber Paving Tile Installer: Leonard’s Construction, Fontana, California

MATERIALS

Rubber Paving Tiles: duraSTRONG, sofSURFACES, Petrolia, Ontario, Canada, www.sofsurfaces.com
Roof Membrane: 60-mil TPO, GAF, www.GAF.com
Cover Board: DensDeck, Georgia-Pacific, www.densdeck.com

Hospital Pedestrian Overpass Poses Logistical and Safety Challenges

The elevated pedestrian walkway at the BJC Healthcare/Washington University Medical Center complex connects the parking garages to buildings in the medical campus. It is approximately 1,200 feet long. Photo Paric Corporation and KAI Design & Build.

“The more complicated and complex the project, the more it is up our alley,” says Drew Bade, project manager for Bade Roofing Company in St. Louis, Missouri.

The company’s recent work roofing the new 1,200-foot-long elevated pedestrian walkway at the BJC Healthcare/Washington University Medical Center complex in St. Louis certainly qualifies as complex. The fully enclosed walkway connects the parking garages to buildings in the medical campus. Constructed atop 14 concrete pillars at an elevation of approximately 40 feet over busy roadways, the 13-foot-wide structure posed obvious logistical and safety challenges.

Bade Roofing’s union-affiliated workforce focuses on commercial projects, and the lion’s share of the company’s work is in the re-roofing arena. But for this new construction project, designed and executed through a joint venture between KAI Design & Build and Paric Corporation as part of a long-term project to update the medical campus, Drew Bade knew his company was the right candidate for the roofing portion of the job. The successful roofing installation proved him right. “We teamed up with Paric and KAI and made this thing happen,” says Bade.

The Roof System

The heated and air-conditioned walkway features carpeting, LED lighting, security intercoms, windows and metal wall panels. It also features a durable roof system. “It’s a walkway, but this thing was built like a tank,” notes Bade.

The walkway was constructed atop 14 concrete piers that elevate it over busy roadways. Photo Paric Corporation and KAI Design & Build.

The roof is a Firestone TPO system that includes R-20 polyiso insulation and a half-inch DensDeck cover board from Georgia-Pacific. The 60-mil UltraPly TPO membrane was attached using Firestone’s InvisiWeld induction welding system. The base of the system is the walkway’s 18-gauge steel deck, which features interior drains, scuppers and downspouts. Tapered insulation was used to provide proper drainage.

To make the project’s logistics even more complicated, work was scheduled on the fly as different areas of the walkway were completed. “There were some areas that weren’t built yet when we started to put this roof on,” Bade recalls. “It was a fluid situation. It was a challenge just to keep up with the changes, and we had to bounce around a lot. We couldn’t just start at one end and roof our way over to the other end. We had to hop around and handle what was finished at the time, tying the sections in together as they were completed.”

The short parapet walls were capped with edge metal after the roof was installed. “In some spots, after the roof was put on, it was more like a drip edge than a parapet,” Bade says. “At the highest, it was about 8 inches. We installed edge metal that tied into the metal wall panels they used on the sides of the bridge. It was all integrated together.”

Loading components proved tricky. “Getting material to each section and moving it around was a challenge in itself,” Bade explains. “We had to coordinate certain time frames that we could get our crane into an area to drop the material off. Because of how the safety systems were set up and how narrow this bridge was, you couldn’t really transport material along it very far. The crane essentially had to put the material right where it was going to go for that day.”

Loading the roof was usually done first thing in the morning, as use of the crane could mean blocking off roads or going into gated areas. “We’d try to beat all of the other trades in there,” Bade says.

The Safety Plan

The key to executing the project was finding the right safety plan. Initially the team explored the use of a

The Beamguard lifeline system from Guardian Fall Protection was installed in the center of the roof deck by workers in a boom lift. Photo Bade Roofing Company.

temporary guardrail system, but it proved infeasible due to the short parapet walls. “We use temporary guardrails on almost 100 percent of our projects, but the engineer came back and said the parapet walls weren’t strong enough to support a guardrail system,” Bade recalls.

The company looked for other options. “We looked at a special system that is more commonly used on road bridges during construction,” he says. “It uses a cable that runs between stanchions, and crew members can clip off to the cable.”

The system chosen was the Beamguard lifeline stanchion system from Guardian Fall Protection. The posts were attached to the steel I-beams every 30 feet. “We had to cut the metal deck out and clamp the posts to the I-beams,” Bade explains.

Crew members’ personal fall arrest systems were connected to the lifeline, but only two workers could tie off to the cable in between the stanchions. “We were tied off 100 percent of the time,” Bade says. “Safety was a huge issue for everyone on this project. There were no warnings. Everyone knew that if someone wasn’t tied off, they’d immediately be thrown off the job.”

The stanchions for the lifeline system were attached to the steel I-beams under the roof deck. Photo Bade Roofing Company.

The cable system posed some limitations on crew movement, which affected the delivery of materials. “With the cable system, you could only go so far because only two people could be tied off to a 30-foot section at a time. Essentially you had two guys walking 30 feet to hand insulation boards to the next two guys. It was kind of like a chain gang, moving material down each section of the roof.”

Ensuring the safety of pedestrians and vehicles below was also crucial. “There was a sidewalk area in the parking garage that was fully functional during the project, as there was a walkway constructed of scaffolding that offered overhead protection,” Bade notes.

However, other areas of sidewalk and roads had to be closed in order to complete work on some sections. “It depended where you were working that day,” Bade says. “Some areas of sidewalk had to be closed, and sometimes we had to redirect traffic. If you were working in areas without scaffolding, you would have to have two guys on the ground with flag lines directing traffic and blocking people off.”

One crucial section over a busy road posed some additional challenges. The three-lane road could only be shut down on one weekend. All of the trades had to complete their work that weekend, so the roofing installation had to be completed in just one day. “We did a 120-foot stretch of the roof that crossed this main road, and we did it all on a Saturday. It was the only opportunity we had. Otherwise we would’ve had to pay to shut the road down lane-by-lane, as we went. We were lucky that we were able to get in there on that one day and finish the whole length.”

The roofing installation was completed in sections as they were constructed after the 18-gauge steel deck was in place. Photo Bade Roofing Company.

Communication between all of the companies involved in the project was essential, notes Bade. “The foremen for every trade met every morning before work started. All of the contractors on the project had their meeting every week to plan and go over everything,” he says. “There were multiple forms you had to fill out every morning. The paperwork on this project was flying like you wouldn’t believe.”

After the work was completed in each section, the safety system had to be disassembled and removed. The last chore completed on each portion of the roof was to fill in the patches of roofing material where the stanchions had been. Workers completed these last steps tied off to a snorkel lift.

Despite the logistical hurdles, the project went smoothly and feedback has been positive, notes Bade. “It ended up being a great project for us,” he says. “It turned out really nice.”

It’s just another tough project now in the rear-view mirror. “The coordination, the safety, and the complexity of the actual roof system itself — not that it was necessarily a difficult roof to install, but given where it was, and how difficult it was to access — it all shows how dedicated and skilled our company is,” Bade concludes. “I don’t think there are a lot of companies out there that could do this project.”

TEAM

Architect: KAI Design & Build, St. Louis, www.kai-db.com
General Contractor: Joint venture between KAI Design & Build and Paric Corporation, St. Louis, www.paric.com
Roofing Contractor: Bade Roofing Company, St. Louis, www.baderoofing.com

MATERIALS

Membrane: 60-mil UltraPly TPO, Firestone Building Products, www.firestonebpco.com
Cover Board: DensDeck, Georgia-Pacific, www.densdeck.com

During Hospital Expansion, Contractor Protects Patients – and the Environment

The recent expansion of Pella Regional Health Center included adding a new third floor to the hospital. Photos The Duerson Corporation.

It’s not often a roofing contractor installs a new roof on a building before removing the old one, but that was just one of the wrinkles encountered by The Duerson Corporation during the recent expansion of Pella Regional Health Center in Pella, Iowa. The project involved adding a new third floor to the existing two-story hospital without disrupting the care of the patients below.

Protecting patients and meeting the needs of the hospital were the top priorities on the project, but another key focus was sustainability. Thanks to the initiative of The Duerson Corporation and Duro-Last, the roof system manufacturer on the project, almost all of the components on the existing roof were recycled, including the membrane, insulation, screws and plates.

The Game Plan

Based in Altoona, Iowa, The Duerson Corporation has been in business since 1986, specializing in commercial and industrial roofing, both new construction and retrofit. Kirk Duer, the company’s president, and Tanner Duer, head of business development, shared their insights on the Pella Regional Health Center Project with Roofing.

The Duro-Last roofing system included a vapor barrier, polyiso insulation, a cover board, and 50-mil white PVC membrane. Details included custom-fabricated curb flashings, walkway pads, and edge metal. Photos The Duerson Corporation.

They note that the goal on every project is to meet the client’s needs. “The hospital is a good example of that,” Kirk notes. “We took care of some maintenance and leak issues in the beginning, and then as time went on and trust was established, we did some re-roofing projects for them. Then they did this addition. It all flowed very well together.”

In a nutshell, the expansion plan involved erecting the steel for the new third floor, adding the roof deck, and installing the new roof system. The existing roof was left in place during this phase of construction, as the hospital was still active. After the walls were completed, the old roof system could be removed and recycled, and finally the interior work could be completed.

The first step involved erecting the steel for the new third floor. Kirk credits the hospital administrators for detailed planning before the project even got underway. That was the reason the existing roof was home to multiple 2-foot-by-2-foot boxes, complete with curbs and flashing.

Kirk Duer (left) and Tanner Duer of The Duerson Corporation in Altoona, Iowa, made sustainability a key focus of their business after they started recycling PVC membrane as part of Duro-Last’s Roof Take Back Program. Photos The Duerson Corporation.

“Those boxes covered the steel from the I-beams that were coming out of the roof, ready to receive that third floor,” Kirk notes. “When those boxes were removed, they just took their new steel and went up. It’s one of the more unique things I’ve ever seen in my history in the industry.”

As the steel went up, flashing the newly exposed I-beams was the first phase of the roofing work. “In the very beginning, once the general contractor removed those boxes, we added membrane and insulation around the I-beams and made sure they were watertight while the steelworkers erected their steel,” Kirk notes. “It was critical to keep it watertight because they still had patients right beneath us.”

Installing the New Roof

The new roof system covered an area of 27,600 square feet, bordered on one side by a long, curved parapet. The roof was installed over a structurally sloped steel deck with internal drains. “The first thing we did was install a vapor barrier over the entire deck,” Tanner notes.

The system consisted of Duro-Guard polyiso insulation with an R-value of 30, DensDeck cover board, and 50-mil Duro-Last white PVC membrane. Details included custom-fabricated curb flashings, Roof Trak III walkway pads, and coping and edge metal from Exceptional Metals.

Hospital administrators wanted a warranty from one source, notes Kirk. “Duro-Last refers to it as edge to edge, deck to sky,” he says. “Every component is supplied by Duro-Last and warranted by them for a full-system warranty. This particular administrator is adamant that this is what he wanted, and that’s what we delivered for them.”

Weather was not an issue, but the crews had to be ready to move quickly in the event of emergencies. “Work took place in September and October, which is about the most beautiful time of the year for us,” says Tanner. “The only unusual thing was that we had to have walkie-talkies on us at all times so they could alert us whenever a helicopter was coming in. Plant ops would notify us when a helicopter was coming in, and basically anything we had in the air we had to move down to the ground. We obviously wanted to make sure Pella Regional was not going to have a problem with us when a patient was flying in.”

After the metal roof deck was in place, crews installed a vapor barrier. Photos The Duerson Corporation.

The roofing installation was pretty straightforward, notes Kirk. There was one area on the lower roof that was an exception, as the new construction blocked access to the drains. “Originally the roof sloped in one direction, but because of the design of the new part of the building, we had to change the slope,” he says. “We had to turn everything around so water would flow in the other direction.”

On this section, the existing roof was torn off and removed, and tapered insulation was used to provide the proper slope. It was installed on a concrete deck over a working section of the hospital, so the installation was a bit tricky. “Rather than starting at the drain, which would be the easiest thing to do, we had to start at the furthest point away,” Kirk notes. “We were adding so much insulation, we didn’t want to create a bathtub, if you will. We had to start at the high point and work our way downhill so when we got to the drain, we’d have the correct elevation.”

Recycling the Old One

Once the third floor was closed in for the winter, it was time to remove the existing roof. “That was the fun part,” Tanner says.

The old roof was removed through a window. “We had an opening that was approximately 5 feet wide and 4 feet

The new roof system covers 27,600 square feet of the new third floor in an area bordered on one side by a long, curved parapet. Photos The Duerson Corporation.

tall,” Tanner recalls. “We took a fork lift with a BOXhaul on it and basically went up to the outside of the window and stuck it in there as far as we could without damaging any of the structure and started removing the material.”

No gas-powered vehicles were allowed to operate in the interior space. The fasteners had to be unscrewed and separated by hand. “When we removed the material, we tried to cut along the seams so we could see the screws and plates,” notes Tanner. “We sorted those out, and in the end we had more than 1,000 pounds of screws and plates we took back to our shop to be recycled.”

The existing membrane was cut up into 5-foot strips. Sections were rolled up and bundled for removal using a portable bander. Once the BOXhaul was full, it was taken to a flatbed trailer. “We completely filled the 20-foot trailer with old material to be recycled,” Tanner says. “In the end, there was 7,200 pounds of Duro-Last membrane that we recycled.”

The membrane was recycled as part of Duro-Last’s Roof Take Back Program. The company recycles the membrane, using it to construct products including walkway pads. “We’re lucky enough to have a Duro-Last plant in our state, and I actually took that load of material to be recycled to Sigourney one day,” Tanner says. “When I got there, they took a fork lift out there and unloaded it for me.”

The expanded polystyrene insulation was also removed and recycled. It was taken to Insulfoam, the original manufacturer. “The insulation necessitated a few more trips because it was so bulky,” Tanner says. “We kept an empty tractor trailer on site. In the end, we filled up three of those with approximately 120,000 board-feet of insulation that we took off of that project.”

The membrane that once covered the existing roof was cut into strips and rolled up for transport to the plant for recycling. Photos The Duerson Corporation.

The Duerson Corporation recycles as much material as it can throughout the year, including scrap metal and PVC membrane, which is stored in Duro-Last approved containers until there is enough to be transported to the plant.

“I thank Katie Chapman at Duro-Last for getting this program up and running and making us aware of it,” says Kirk. “Otherwise, that material would’ve just ended up in a landfill.”

Participating in the membrane recycling program was an eye-opener for everyone at the company. “One thing leads to another,” Kirk says. “We started recycling the roof membrane, and then you realize that there are other things you should think about. What do we do with the insulation? What do we do with the screws and plates? We started looking for ways to recycle everything, and pretty soon a full-blown sustainability program is born. It really does change the way you think once you buy into the system.”

The New Floor of the Hospital

After the general contractor removed the old vapor barrier with a floor scraper, the new third floor section was converted into a brand-new, pristine Obstetrics and Gynecology unit. The difference between the construction site and state-of-the-art hospital wing is striking.

The third floor of the hospital now houses a brand-new Obstetrics and Gynecology unit. Photos The Duerson Corporation.

“What we knew as the concrete roof deck was also designed to serve as the finished floor of the hospital,” Kirk says. “The new O.B. unit is just beautiful. If you look at that you can’t even imagine, unless you’ve been through the whole process, that the area with carpet and tile you’re looking at months ago used to be the roof.”

Safety for the roofing crews is always a priority at The Duerson Corporation, but safety precautions on this project also included ensuring the safety and security of the people in the hospital. “It was critical that we were always aware of the patients underneath us,” Kirk notes. “We had to be very mindful about the positioning of our generators, for example, so the exhaust wouldn’t be sucked into the fresh air intakes.”

Tanner points out that a checklist is prepared for each project to make sure everyone is aware of the client’s needs. This is especially important in health care projects like this one. “If someone goes out to take care of a leak call, for instance, we make sure they know everything they need to know to keep the client happy,” Tanner says. “With a health center, you have to take extra precautions. This can include items like making sure when you’re walking across the open roof that you don’t look into a patient’s room.”

“We’ve learned a great deal from working with Pella Regional Health Center in terms of just how mindful of everything we need to be,” Kirk says. “We recognize each of our clients, even though they all have a roof over their head, they all do something different for a living. In reality, everybody in any trade needs to recognize what your client does and what you need to do to be mindful of that.”

It takes communication to understand clients’ needs and build long-term relationships with customers. “We’ve got clients that we’ve serviced for 26 years,” Kirk says. “We’re all here to serve other people. In our case, it’s in roofing. Whether it’s a hospital or a convenience store, we’re serving them, and it all starts with that relationship.”

TEAM

Architect: Shive Hattery Architecture & Engineering, West Des Moines, Iowa, www.shive-hattery.com
General Contractor: Graham Construction, Des Moines, Iowa, www.grahamconstruction.com
Roofing Contractor: The Duerson Corporation, Altoona, Iowa, www.duersoncorporation.com

MATERIALS

Membrane: 50-mil Duro-Last white PVC membrane, Duro-Last, www.durolast.com
Insulation: Duro-Guard Polyiso, Duro-Last
Vapor Barrier: Duro-Last Vapor Barrier, Duro-Last
Coping: Coping and 2-piece edge metal, EXCEPTIONAL Metals, www.exceptionalmetals.com
Cover Board: DensDeck, Georgia-Pacific, www.densdeck.com

Communication Is Crucial When You’re Working on Top of the Village Hall

Lincolnshire Village Hall houses city offices and a police station. The structure’s roof and gutter systems were recently replaced by All American Exterior Solutions. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

The Lincolnshire Village Hall, located in Lincolnshire, Illinois, houses city departments and the offices of elected officials, as well as the Lincolnshire Police Station. When its natural cedar shake roof and inlaid gutter system began to fail, city officials looked for a solution that would provide the desired aesthetics but last longer and require less maintenance.

Dale Pole of All American Exterior Solutions, a full-service union roofing contractor headquartered in Lake Zurich, Illinois, thought he had the answer. Pole, a 32-year industry veteran who is now the company’s vice president of operations, dropped off samples of a synthetic shake roofing tile manufactured by DaVinci Roofscapes and asked if city officials wanted to give it a try.

All American was awarded the job in 2016. The scope of work consisted of a complete re-roof of the complex, including the steep-slope roof system on the hall and tower. The project also included five sections of flat roofing and replacement of the copper gutter system. The job was complex, but All American was up to the challenge. The company worked in conjunction with Illinois Roof Consulting Associates, located in McHenry, Illinois.

The Steep-Slope System

The building’s signature feature is the observatory tower over the main entrance, which extends approximately 45 feet in the air. The main roof features a pitch change at the rear of the building, where the roof goes from 4:12 to 12:12. All

The complex is located right next to a large pond and bordered by mature trees, so the jobsite limited access to sections of the roof. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

American installed approximately 23,000 square feet of the DaVinci product, Bellaforté Shake in Tahoe, a blend of four colors. The company also fabricated the new gutter system out of 20-ounce lead-coated copper with soldered seams. Approximately 600 feet of new gutters were installed.

Work began in late spring, and the 23-year-old existing roof was torn off in sections. GAF Weather Watch Water & Ice Shield was applied as a leak barrier, followed by Proof Synthetic Underlayment from ABC Supply. “We couldn’t install the tiles until the inlaid gutter was in place, so we used a synthetic underlayment to keep everything watertight during the tear-off process,” says Pole.

Gutters were installed in an 8-inch-by-8-inch trough. “There was a course or two of the DaVinci, and then the inlaid gutters were set into the roof, and the roof starts again,” notes Pole. “The trough area was also layered with ice and water shield before the copper gutters were put in.”

Transitions and flashings were also made of copper. “Everything on this job was 20-ounce lead-coated copper,” notes Pole. “All of the valleys, transition flashing, and the gutters were all lead-coated copper.”

The DaVinci synthetic shake tiles were easy to install, according to Pole. “They are nailed in place,” he says. “You can use stainless steel nails or hot-dip galvanized nails. In this case, we used 1-1/2-inch stainless steel ring shank nails.”

Low-Slope Areas

The low-slope roofs were covered with a GAF two-ply modified bitumen system. Michael McCory, project manager, headed up the crews on the five low-slope sections, which totaled approximately 2,700 square feet.

The observatory tower over the main entrance features a walk-out area with a modified bitumen roof system. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

The low-slope sections had different substrates. Two balconies had concrete decks, while two canopies and an area over the garage had wooden decks. Some of the flat roofs had paver systems, which had to be removed and replaced after the new system was installed.

Half-inch DensDeck Prime cover board from Georgia-Pacific was installed over the wood and concrete decks. The GAF mod bit system consisted of a Ruberoid 20 base sheet and Ruberoid Granular FR cap sheet in white. “It was applied in a cold-process adhesive,” says McCory. “No torches were used. A manufacturer’s inspection was part of the process for a 20-year warranty.”

The upper level of the tower features a small walk-out balcony. “That was probably the most difficult area,” notes McCory. “It was covered with pavers and difficult to reach. We had to remove the pavers and store them in the stairwell during the installation.”

A Challenging Jobsite

Logistics at the jobsite posed a few problems. “The hardest part was the observatory tower by the front entry,” Pole recalls, noting an 80-foot man lift was used to remove the existing cedar and install the synthetic shake. “On the tower, it was all lift work. For other parts of the project, workers on both the steep-slope and the low-slope portions of the roof were tied off at all times.”

Crews installed 23,000 square feet of Bellaforte Shake by DaVinci Roofscapes on the building’s main roof. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

The building is bordered by mature trees and a large pond, limiting roof access. “On the west side of the structure, the pond comes right up against the building,” Pole says. “We had to use a lift that could stretch over that pond to get that end of the roof.”

An Equipter mechanized debris hauler was used to get around narrow grassy areas near the building. “We used an Equipter, which is like a gas-powered, mobile dumpster, to drive around the building and enter the courtyard for our debris,” Pole says. “We have two of those pieces of equipment, which we use on a lot of our jobs to get the shingles out. They don’t damage lawns and help protect the landscaping.”

The building was occupied during the installation, so care had to be taken to ensure business was not disrupted and passers-by would be safe. “The village offices were open for business while we were working, and the police station was open as well,” notes McCory. “The tower and front entryway had to be completed on the weekend, as that was the only walkway for the public to get in.”

The police station had several doors, so crews had to coordinate with officers while replacing the roof on that section and let them know where they were setting up the crane. The courtyard area was also restricted at times.

“We obviously had to keep everything neat and organized and make sure we cleaned up every day to make sure nothing would bother the people working in the building and the residents who came in to the village hall to get permits or whatever the case may be,” McCory says. “You don’t want police cars getting flat tires.”

Communication is the key to meeting customers’ needs, especially with an occupied building. “Whoever the building owner is, I give him my cell number and make sure I have his,” Pole notes. “I try to stay in contact with them and let them know if anything is changing. I ask them if they have any questions or issues, or if their schedule is changing. On this project, they said it was like we were never even there, and that’s what we like to hear.”

Feedback from the city has been positive, according to Pole. “They are very happy with it,” he says. “The system has the look they wanted. It looks like shake, they had a lot of colors to choose from, and they won’t have the maintenance issues that they did with the cedar. And it will last a lot longer. They will save a whole roof replacement phase in the life of the DaVinci product.”

Pole believes his company’s diverse portfolio gives it an edge. “We’re one of very few union companies that have their own shinglers, flat roofing crews, and sheet metal workers in house. We also do waterproofing, metal wall panels and insulation,” he says.

“This project shows our strength — we can do it all.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: All American Exterior Solutions, Lake Zurich, Illinois, www.aaexs.com
Roof Consultant: Illinois Roof Consulting Associates, McHenry, Illinois, www.irca.com

MATERIALS

Steep-Slope Roof System
Synthetic Shake: Bellaforté Shake in Tahoe, DaVinci Roofscapes, www.DaVinciRoofscapes.com
Underlayment: Proof Synthetic Underlayment, ABC Supply Co. Inc., www.ABCsupply.com
Leak Barrier: Weather Watch Water & Ice Shield, GAF, www.GAF.com

Low-Slope Roof System
Modified Bitumen Base Sheet: Ruberoid 20, GAF
Modified Bitumen Cap Sheet: Ruberoid Granular FR, GAF
Cover Board: DensDeck Prime, Georgia-Pacific, www.DensDeck.com

Roof Board Offers Enhanced Water Resistance

DensDeck Prime Roof Board with EONIC TechnologyGeorgia-Pacific Gypsum unveils DensDeck Prime Roof Board with EONIC Technology, which offers enhanced water resistance and increased vertical pull strength. According to the manufacturer, DensDeck Prime Roof Boards with EONIC Technology have manufacturing specifications that include a surface water absorption rate of 1 gram, and a total water absorption rate of 5 percent.

According to the company, in independent testing of total water absorption, alternative coated glass mat gypsum roof boards absorbed 76 percent more water more water than 1⁄2-inch DensDeck Prime Roof Boards with EONIC Technology, while 1⁄2-inch gypsum fiber boards absorbed 132 percent more. In independent testing of surface water absorption, 1⁄2-inch gypsum fiber absorbed 2.3 times more water than the new formulation, while alternative coated glass mat gypsum roof boards absorbed 4 times more water.

Finally, in vertical pull strength tests, DensDeck Prime Roof Boards with EONIC Technology were found to be 74 percent stronger than 1⁄2-inch gypsum fiber boards on the face, and 14 percent stronger on the back, notes the manufacturer. When compared to alternative coated glass mat gypsum boards, DensDeck Prime Roof Board is 2.5 times greater strength on the face, and 7 times more strength on the back.

For more information, visit www.densdeck.com.

New NHL Practice Facility and Community Center Sports Vegetative Roof

The American Hydrotech Extensive Garden Roof Assembly was installed on two sections of the roof. The system was topped with pre-grown mats featuring mature sedum plants. Photo: American Hydrotech Inc.

The Chicago Blackhawks have captured the hearts of the city of Chicago along with three Stanley Cups in the last decade. The Blackhawks routinely lead the league in attendance at the United Center, and fans were excited when the team announced it would build a new 125,000-square-foot training facility and community center in downtown Chicago.

Completed earlier this year, the MB Arena features two NHL-sized ice rinks and other amenities including a fitness center, dining options, and spaces that can be rented for outings and events. The facility is the practice site for the Blackhawks and also hosts youth hockey, adult hockey leagues and public skating.

When plans for the project were unveiled, architects and planners mandated the facility meet or exceed all green and sustainable standards for the city. Chicago has been a leader in promoting vegetative roofs to help control storm water runoff, and this new construction project was no exception. The arena includes the construction of 24,000 square feet of green roof systems to complement the structure’s 68,000-square-foot main roof. A 60-mil TPO system manufactured by Carlilse SynTec was specified for the upper roof assembly, and plans called for an American Hydrotech Extensive Garden Roof Assembly to be placed on two lower sections of the roof.

The Garden Roof Assembly

Architect HOK worked with American Hydrotech during the design stage to select roofing components and plants that were optimized for the climate conditions and the building’s structural limitations.

According to Dennis Yanez, national marketing manager, American Hydrotech, and Kevin Serena, garden roofing technical sales coordinator for the central region, the structure’s metal deck necessitated a lightweight system.

The 125,000-square-foot facility 24,000 square feet of green roof systems that complement the structure’s 68,000-square-foot main roof. Photo: Chicago Blackhawks.

“Our 4-inch extensive garden roof system was ideal for this project,” says Yanez. “Since part of this project had a metal deck, there are more structural capacity concerns than with a concrete deck, so we were able to put together a lightweight, built-in-place system.”

The assembly consists of a hot-applied rubberized asphalt membrane, MM6125, which is applied to the roofing substrate to form a monolithic coating. It is topped with a root barrier and Dow Styrofoam insulation. The system also incorporates Hydrotech’s Gardendrain GR15, a molded polyethylene panel designed to retain water, filter fabric, lightweight growing media, and mature plants.

The plants are installed in the form of the InstaGreen Sedum Carpet, a pre-grown mat that comes in 25-square-foot rolls. It contains between nine and 15 different types of sedum and provides instant coverage when it is installed.

Key benefits of the system include reducing the urban heat island effect, purifying the air, and limiting storm water runoff, notes Yanez. “The Extensive Garden Roof Assembly is able to capture more than 1.5 inches of water on the roof, which plays a major role in storm water management,” he says.

The system also protects the membrane from ultraviolet (UV) degradation and damage from wind-blown debris. “Most importantly, for us, a garden roof is just another version of a PMR, or protected membrane roofing,” says Yanez. “Because the membrane is always in a PMR application, with Dow insulation over it, whatever ballast — whether it’s gravel ballast, or architectural pavers, or the garden roof assembly — is in place makes it literally impossible for the membrane to get damaged. It also mitigates the climate swings, keeping the membrane at a more constant temperature year-round.”

This system has a proven track record, according to Yanez. “We’ve been doing this going back 50 years on parking decks under regular topsoil, where weight wasn’t a concern,” he points out. “This is just a more modern version of that, but we’re putting it on the 4th, or the 14th, or the 99th floor.”

The Roofing Installation

All American Exterior Solutions, Lake Zurich, Illinois, is an approved applicator for both key manufacturers. The union contractor installed the Carlisle TPO system on the building’s main roof and the Hydrotech green roofs on the two lower roof levels.

Willie Hedrick, division manager at All American Exterior Solutions, notes that the TPO roof was installed first. “The deck was acoustic, so first we had to lay strips insulation in the flutes over the entire main roof,” he says.

The lightweight growth media was lifted to the roof in 2-yard totes. Photo: Christy Webber Landscapes.

Areas that housed mechanical equipment were reinforced with two layers of 5/8-inch DensDeck from Georgia-Pacific. Two layers of 2.6-inch insulation were then installed, followed by the 60-mil TPO, which was mechanically attached using the RhinoBond system from OMG Roofing Products. The attachment system uses induction welding technology to attach the membrane to the fasteners and plates that secure the insulation — without penetrating the membrane.

The main roof was originally designed as fully adhered system, but work began in January, and the temperature constraints ruled out some adhesives. “Once we made the switch to RhinoBond, we were able to install the membrane even though we did it during the winter,” Hedrick says.

Most of the TPO roof was surrounded by high parapet walls, and in other areas the safety perimeters were marked with flags. “At a few points at the highest points of the main roof we had to put up some the flags, and if you were outside of the flags you had to be tied off,” notes Hedrick. “The mid-roofs had short parapet walls, and on those roofs, we set up flags and had 100 percent fall protection outside the safety perimeter. For the lower green roof, we put guardrails up on the parapet to eliminate the fall hazard.”

The Garden Roofs

After the TPO sections were installed, work began on the extensive garden roof assemblies. The mid-roof had a metal deck, so the first step was to screw down 5/8-inch USG Securock cover board and strip in the seams. “At that point, we installed the liquid-applied membrane and the protection board,” Hedrick says.

The second green roof was installed over a concrete deck, so the application was a bit different. The membrane was applied directly to the concrete. A late change was made in the configuration of the lower green roof to take advantage of the space. “The owner decided to add a terrace to the lower green roof so people could walk out and see the roof and views of the city,” Hedrick recalls.

Before the growing media and plants were added, electronic field vector mapping (EFVM) was conducted by International Leak Detection to determine if there were any voids in the membrane. “You’ve got to confirm everything is 100 percent watertight before we start setting the components down,” Hedrick says. “We usually do the test and start putting the components down the next day to minimize exposure. The subcontractor we worked with to do the landscaping, Christy Webber, performed well. Since some of the components are loose laid, we worked with them to put down enough soil to hold everything in place. We worked hand-in-hand getting the all of the components and soil in.”

The Landscape Work

Jim Waldschmidt, project manager for Christy Webber Landscapes, Chicago, oversaw the installation of the lightweight growing media and sedum mats on the roof. Christy Webber is a full-service union landscaping company, and Waldschmidt notes that roofing work is a small but growing share of the company’s business. “We work with a few different commercial roofers,” he says. “This year we’ve done maybe 10 commercial projects.”

After the growing media was evenly spread out, the sedum mats were laid into place by crews from Christy Webber Landscapes. Photo: Christy Webber Landscapes.

Logistics at the site made for an easy delivery and setup — an unusual situation in downtown Chicago. “We were able to deliver the soil almost a week before we were scheduled to go out there, so we had everything on site and knew we wouldn’t have to worry about waiting,” Waldschmidt notes. “We just had to bring in a crane and lift up the soil bags. We had a pretty easy installation compared to other green roofs we’ve done.”

Growing media was lifted to the roof in 2-yard tote bags, which were cut open to disperse the contents. Three days after the growing media was in place, Christy Webber crews returned to install the sedum mats. “The sedum mats are delivered on pallets almost like the way a roll of sod would be delivered,” says Waldschmidt. “We just had to set the pallets on the roof, pull off the sedum mats and unroll them.”

A temporary irrigation system was set up to help the plants get established in the hot July temperatures. “Everything looks great now,” Waldschmidt says. “All of the sedum up there is thriving.”

Growth Sector

In this high-profile project, with a high-profile owner, making sure the system was error-free was critical, notes Serena. “Chicago is definitely the leader in vegetative roofs, and has been for more than 10 years,” he says. “This is another prime example. There was never a question whether this building would have a green roof on it. It’s a credit to Chicago, and it is a credit to the Chicago Blackhawks.”

Hedrick is proud to be part of the green roof movement. “I like the challenge, and I like the diversity,” he says. “When the Blackhawks went to the Stanley Cup championship and the blimp was hovering over the arena, I could see a couple of my projects on TV. It reminded me of all the time, effort, attention to detail, and collaborative hard work that it took to produce the final product. We’re turning typically unusable roof areas into useful space for amenities.”

The key driver of green roofs is storm water management, notes Yanez, but turning rooftops into useful space is another key benefit. “We’re seeing more and more city incentives for storm water management,” he says. “In urban areas, people are also taking advantage of existing space with green roofs. It’s a growing industry — pun intended.”

TEAM

Architect: HOK, Chicago, www.HOK.com
General Contractor: James McHugh Construction, Chicago, www.McHughConstruction.com
Roofing Contractor: All American Exterior Solutions, Lake Zurich, Illinois, www.AAEXS.com
Landscape Contractor: Christy Webber Landscapes, Chicago, www.ChristyWebber.com

MATERIALS

Garden Roof System:
Cover Board: Securock Gypsum-Fiber Roof Board, USG, www.USG.com
Membrane: MM6125 hot rubberized asphalt membrane, American Hydrotech Inc., www.HydrotechUSA.com
Protection Sheet: Hydroflex 30, American Hydrotech Inc.
Root Barrier: Root Stop, American Hydrotech Inc.
Insulation: DOW Styrofoam, DOW Chemical, www.Dow.com
Drain Board: Gardendrain GR15, American Hydrotech Inc.
Filter Fabric: System Filter fabric, American Hydrotech Inc.
Growing Media: LiteTop Engineered Growing Media, American Hydrotech Inc.
Plants: InstaGreen Sedum Carpet, American Hydrotech Inc.

TPO Roof System:
Membrane: 60-mil TPO, Carlisle SynTec, www.CarlisleSyntec.com
Cover Board: DenDeck, Georgia-Pacific, www.BuildGP.com
Attachment System: RhinoBond, OMG Roofing Products, www.OMGroofing.com