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

PVC System Is the Answer for U.S. Bank Stadium Roof

U.S. Bank Stadium is topped with a PVC roof system that display’s the company’s logo. Photo: Johns Manville

When discussions began about the new U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota, there was a request for an outdoor stadium. However, state and local government provided funding specifically for an indoor stadium that would be able to host major events like the professional football championship game and the college basketball championship game. As a result, a translucent roof and mobile front windows were designed to allow natural light to enter the stadium and to give fans a view of downtown Minneapolis. The mobile windows also allow fans to experience outdoor elements while providing protection from snow, rain and cold winter weather. The roof design was developed taking into consideration the budget and the region’s weather; it would be costly to make it retractable, and a sloped roof lends to a more secure option for snowy weather.

Challenging Task

Berwald Roofing Company Inc., headquartered in North St. Paul, Minnesota, installed an adhered PVC roof system manufactured by Johns Manville over the structure’s metal deck. In all, 280,000 square feet of grey 60-mil PVC were installed. The system also included a vapor barrier and two layers of 1.6-inch ENRGY 3, a rigid roof insulation board composed of a closed-cell polyisocyanurate foam core with fiberglass reinforced facers. Half-inch DensDeck Prime cover board from Georgia-Pacific was also installed.

The roofing portion of the project began in April 2015, with an aggressive completion deadline of November 1, 2015. The schedule and logistics on the project posed major hurdles. “Getting material 300 feet up to the roof was our biggest challenge,” says Berwald Roofing Senior Project Manager Steven Hegge. “A big part of that was scheduling time to share the cranes with the iron workers and general contractor.”

Another challenge was storing material during the installation due to the limited amount of space on the roof. “All the decking had to be installed as we went along, just before roof installation,” Hegge states. “We were on a very tight time schedule in this multiple-phase construction project.”

“The general contractor and Berwald Roofing have worked with Johns Manville on numerous stadium projects in the past and preferred to use JM PVC on this complicated stadium project,” notes Johns Manville sales rep Bob Deans. “This application is on a 3.75-inch to 12-inch slope on the north side of the building, which adds to the difficulty of installing a fully adhered PVC roof assembly.”

The Solution

Due to restricted loading space at the jobsite, materials arrived to Berwald’s yard directly from the manufacturer. They were then loaded on Berwald Roofing semi-trucks each day for delivery. Once they arrived at the site, they were immediately lifted to the roof via tower cranes and installed in the most efficient time frame, to meet the owners expected installation timeline.

The stadium seats approximately 65,000 people for most games. However, this space is built to be expandable to hold up to 73,000 attendees for special events such as the professional football championship game, which the stadium is scheduled to host on February 4, 2018, and for events like the college basketball championship game, which will be held there in 2019. U.S. Bank’s logo is prominently displayed on the rooftop. Charcoal grey 60-mil PVC membrane was cut to specification using a computerized cutter to create an exact replica of the U.S. Bank logo. Berwald Roofing then adhered the charcoal grey PVC on top of the grey 60 mil PVC membrane using JM PVC low-VOC membrane adhesive and then heat-welded the edges of material to finish the application of the logo.

TEAM

Architects: HKS Inc., www.hksinc.com; Studio Hive, www.studiohive.com; Studio Five; and Lawal Scott Erickson Architects Inc., http://lse-architects.com
General Contractor: Mortenson Construction, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.mortenson.com
Roofing Contractor: Berwald Roofing Company Inc., North St. Paul, Minnesota, https://berwaldroofing.com

MATERIALS

Roof System: 60-mil PVC, Johns Manville, www.jm.com/roofing
Vapor Barrier: Johns Manville
Insulation: ENRGY 3® Insulation, Johns Manville
Cover Board: DensDeck Prime, Georgia-Pacific, www.gp.com

Orlando Airport Project Necessitates Custom Fabrication, Precise Installation

 

Work on the first phase of the Orlando International Airport expansion project includes the South Airport Intermodal Terminal Facility and APM Complex, which features a standing seam metal roof

Architectural Sheet Metal Inc. has been in servicing the Orlando area for more than 23 years, specializing in commercial metal roofs and wall systems, primarily new construction. When Matthew Leonard, the company’s vice president, found out that the Orlando International Airport was proposing a new terminal project with a metal roof, he jumped at the chance to submit a bid.

He wanted to land the job because it would be the largest project the company has ever tackled, and one of its most prominent. He also wanted it for another reason—he knew he’d see it every time he drove to the airport. “For many years now, we’ve specialized in standing seam metal roofs. It’s our bread and butter,” he says. “We’ve done lots of schools, government building, military bases. It’s just something we enjoy doing. When this project came around, right here in our backyard, we knew we wanted to take it on. It’s larger than anything we’ve ever done, but it’s our specialty.”

The South Airport Intermodal Terminal Facility and APM Complex is a new construction project that coordinates mass transit for the airport, including regional rail systems and the Automated People Mover (APM). It’s part of the first phase of an ambitious $2 billion plan to almost double the size of the airport.

Architectural Sheet Metal installed the Berridge standing seam metal roof system, as well as internal aluminum gutters and a custom-fabricated aluminum bullnose that runs along the perimeter of the roof

The building encompasses approximately 200,000 square feet, and the structure is primarily covered with a standing seam metal roof. The scope of work for Architectural Sheet Metal included installing the metal roof system and internal aluminum gutters. It also included custom fabrication and installation of an aluminum bullnose that runs along the perimeter of the roof. “Every roof is radiused, and some sections have compound double raiduses,” Leonard notes. “The trickiest part of the project is probably the bullnose because all of the gable ends of the roof are radiused, and the large bullnose has to be welded on in 30-foot sections.”

Another tricky thing about the project is that the work was divided into two different contracts with two different construction managers. On one side of the building, which houses the monorail and parking garage, the project is overseen by Hensel Phelps, and on the other side, which handles the train lines, the construction is overseen by a Turner-Kiewit joint venture. The dividing point is a building expansion joint that runs across the middle of the roof. “We’re one of very few subcontractors out here that has a contract with both of the construction managers,” Leonard says. “They both have their own agendas, their own timelines, and their own completion dates, and it was a delicate balancing act working with the two of them.”

Installing the Roof

The roof system was designed to unify the elements of the structure and tie the building together. Some sections of the roof cover the building, while others serve as canopies, so there are two types of metal deck on the building. “The area we call the spine has a 3-inch-thick acoustical deck,” Leonard explains. “That was interesting because before we could put our 6 inches of polyiso on, we had to install batten insulation in the flutes. The acoustical decking is perforated, so you can see through it. That’s a little different, when you’re so high up. It spooked the guys at first to be able to see right through it.”

Crews dried in the entire roof with a waterproofing underlayment from MFM Building Products specifically designed for high-temperature applications.

The other sections were comprised of standard type B metal deck. Sections covering the interior were insulated, while canopy sections were covered with 5/8-inch DensDeck from Georgia-Pacific.

Crews from Architectural Sheet Metal dried in the entire roof with a peel-and-stick waterproofing underlayment from MFM Building Products specifically designed for high-temperature applications, MFM Ultra-HT. “It’s easy to install,” notes Leonard. “That’s our go-to underlayment for metal projects.”

After the underlayment was applied, the welded aluminum gutters were installed. “The longest piece was 78 feet,” says Leonard. “We fabricated the sections, water-tested them and shipped them out. We used a crane to lift them to the roof.”

The roof system was supplied by Berridge Manufacturing, and the 24-gauge galvalume metal panels were roll formed at the site. “Berridge has a ZEE-Lock double-lock standing seam panel,” Leonard says. “We own one of their portable roll formers, and we have it on site here. We pick it up with a crane, and lift it up to the edge of the roof, and we actually roll form our largest panels straight out to the roof. The guys just catch the panels as they come out of the roll former.”

Metal roof panels were roll formed at the site. For most roof sections, the roll former was hoisted by a crane, to the edge of the roof, and crew members stacked the panels as they come out of the roll former.

Panels were stacked in piles of 10 for installation. There were 12 different roof surfaces, so as the roll forming crew moved along, other crews would start installing the panels. “Every stack was tied down with strapping to ensure that it wasn’t susceptible to wind,” Leonard points out. “With a hurricane in the forecast, we were very careful about that.”

The panels in the spine area had a tighter radius, so those panels were formed on the ground using separate curving machine. Lining up the panels perfectly was critical. “With a radiused roof, it’s sometimes harder to find things to measure off to ensure your panels are straight. This panel is a left-to-right system. It’s a male-female overlay with a continuous clip that Berridge manufactures. The panels are hand-crimped together, and then you do the first and second stage of the double-lock panels with an electric seamer. You just turn it on and it goes up and over.”

Details, Details

Fall protection posts were installed during the framing process, which helped with safety planning but posed problems when it came to detailing. “It’s nice to have permanent fall protection points to tie into, as everyone had to be 100 percent tied off, but there are close to 200 fall protection posts on the project that we had to cut around and flash,” Leonard says. “I’ve never seen so many posts on a roof like that.”

The aluminum bullnose was constructed after precise measurements were taken at the site. After they were custom painted to match the roof, the 30-foot sections were lifted into place and installed.

Because the posts were tied into the structural steel and couldn’t be moved, the company designed and manufactured a welded aluminum flashing detail to ensure they all looked the same no matter where they landed in the panel profile. “We set up a welded aluminum flashing that should last forever, and it’s welded, so it shouldn’t leak. We try to go above and beyond in our flashing details.”

Leonard points to his company’s fabrication experience as a key to its strength. “We try to be more than just a roofing company,” he says. “We try to be a custom metal fabrication company that fabricates the panels to precise specifications determined by the site. We custom fabricate metal and then, as roofers, we install it. We like to have that double whammy. Not many people have that ability to do both.”

The company’s expertise came in handy on the bullnose. “The bullnose was originally bid as 22-gauge metal,” he says. “We looked at it and we didn’t like it. It’s a large, 9-inch radius, and we felt the thin, light-gauge metal would shake in the wind. Every 10 feet would be a lap joint with caulk, which would be susceptible to wind damage. We came up with the idea of using a welded piece of .080 aluminum. Once it was approved, we purchased a 100-ton press brake with a custom die to fabricate this bullnose.”

The bullnose was constructed from precise measurements taken at the site. “We took the radius off of the building and created jigs in our warehouse,” Leonard explains. “We welded pieces together in 30-foot sections, and we shipped them to a local painter who coated them with baked-on Kynar to match the roof.”

The bullnose was designed to hook into the gutter strap and wrap around onto the fascia, where it is screwed into the framing. In areas where there is no gutter, sections of the bullnose are equipped with a larger flange with an S-hook built into it to attach it to the roof. Corner pieces tie it all together.

Watching Out for Irma

Dealing with two different GCs was challenging, in part due to changes in the schedule. “Originally, we were supposed to finish one side first and then start the other side, but both phases of the project ended up starting around the same time,” says Leonard. “This doubled the manpower we needed on the job.”

Photos: Aerial Innovations

For changes like the bullnose, Architectural Sheet Metal had to make sure RFIs were submitted and approved by both sides. “Sometimes it was hard to keep track of who we submitted it to, but it worked to our benefit at times. Once it was approved by one side, it was easily approved by the other.”

The schedule had the crews working in hurricane season, and precautions were taken to make sure the job site was prepared for high winds. “When Hurricane Irma was approaching, I checked every single weather update every day until it made landfall,” Leonard recalls. “It hit on a Monday, and a full week ahead of that we were cleaning the roofs and preparing the gutters. We removed all debris on the jobsite because any trash on the roof could clog the downspouts. We added more and more men to the process throughout the week, and we shut the jobsite down on Wednesday. We took all of the material we had, stacked it, bundled it together, and we were able to move it all inside the building. We were pretty well complete on the Hensel-Phelps side, and Turner Kiewit brought in 40-foot Conex boxes for us to put our material in and secure it. They tried really hard to make sure the jobsite was secure.”

As the storm progressed, it deviated from the projected path, and no one could be certain which direction the winds might be coming from. “We just had to start battening everything down,” Leonard recalls.

Photos: Architectural Sheet Metal Inc.

Stacks of panels on the roof that were not yet installed were strapped every 2 feet on center. The entire state was in emergency mode, making things difficult. “For four or five days before the storm even hit, we couldn’t find water, rope and extension cords. Grocery stores were running out of supplies. Gas stations were running out of gas.”

After the storm passed, Leonard breathed a sigh of relief. The roof wasn’t damaged. The panels that had already been installed were in great shape, and the uninstalled panels weren’t harmed.

Elements like the weather are beyond anyone’s control, and Leonard notes his company tries to control as many variables as it can. “We have full control over the actual fabrication of the material and the quality of it,” he says. “When I call something in, I talk to our guy who works with me. Our company oversees it. Every morning I stop by the shop and follow up on the process on the way to the job site. We install it. I can make sure everything is OK.”

The project is nearing completion, and Leonard can’t wait to finish a landmark project he’ll see every time he makes a trip to the airport. “You can’t miss it,” he says. “It’s huge.”

TEAM

Architect: HKS Architects, Orlando, Florida, HKSinc.com
General Contractors: Hensel Phelps, Greeley, Colorado, HenselPhelps.com; and a joint venture between Turner Construction, Orlando, Florida, Turnerconstruction.com, and Kiewit, Sunrise, Florida, Kiewit.com
Metal Roofing Contractor: Architectural Sheet Metal Inc., Orlando, Florida, ASMfl.com

MATERIALS

Standing Seam Metal Roof: Berridge Zee-Lock Double-Lock, Zinc-Cote, Berridge Manufacturing, Berridge.com
Underlayment: MFM Ultra-HT Wind & Water Seal, MFM Building Products, MFMbp.com
Cover Board: DensDeck, Georgia-Pacific, Buildgp.com

Georgia-Pacific Introduces DensElement Project Map

Georgia-Pacific has introduced the DensElement Barrier System Project Map. This online, interactive map identifies the location of projects using DensElement, in addition to each project’s architect and general contractor.

The map showcases the growing number of job sites adopting DensElement Barrier System as their preferred sheathing solution across the United States. Using the project map, online visitors can explore projects by location, or project type (e.g., sports/recreation, education, healthcare, government/municipality, etc.).

This new tool creates a visual way for architects, engineers, contractors and building owners to gain perspective on the accelerating adoption of DensElement Barrier System on high-profile projects across the country. “DensElement is an innovative, proven solution progressive architects and contractors can rely on, and we want to share the successes that these customers are experiencing,” said Jason Peace, Senior Director of Marketing and Product Management for Georgia-Pacific Gypsum.

The DensElement Barrier System, with AquaKOR Technology, integrates the water-resistive and air barrier (WRB-AB) directly into its gypsum core, beneath the fiberglass mat to create a consistent, performance-tested WRB-AB. According to the manufacturer, the product eliminates the need for building wrap, fluid-applied membranes or peel-and-stick membranes. It’s faster to install and can be installed when it’s wet outside, saving time and labor. The all-in-one Dens brand system is finished with PROSOCO R-Guard FastFlash liquid flashing to fill and seal joints, fasteners, openings, penetrations and transitions. DensElement Barrier System is ABAA listed and WRB-AB approved, and has a customized MasterSpec® specification – 061656 Air and Water Resistive Sheathing Board.

For more information, visit DensElement.com/map.

Denver International Airport Is Reroofed with EPDM after a Hailstorm

The millions of passengers who pass through Denver International Airport each year no doubt have the usual list of things to review as they prepare for a flight: Checked baggage or carry-on? Buy some extra reading material or hope that the Wi-Fi on the plane is working? Grab
a quick bite before takeoff or take your chances with airline snacks?

The storm created concentric cracks at the point of hail impacts and, in most cases, the cracks ran completely through the original membrane.

The storm created concentric cracks at the point of hail impacts and, in most cases, the cracks ran completely through the original membrane.

Nick Lovato, a Denver-based roofing consultant, most likely runs through a similar checklist before each flight. But there’s one other important thing he does every time he walks through DIA. As he crosses the passenger bridge that connects the Jeppeson Terminal to Gate A, he always looks out at the terminal’s roof and notices with some pride that it is holding up well. Fifteen years ago, after a hailstorm shredded the original roof on Denver’s terminal building, his firm, CyberCon, Centennial, Colo., was brought in as part of the design team to assess the damage, assist in developing the specifications and oversee the installation of a new roof that would stand up to Denver’s sometimes unforgiving climate.

HAIL ALLEY

DIA, which opened in 1995, is located 23 miles northeast of the metropolitan Denver area, on the high mountain desert prairie of Colorado. Its location showcases its spectacular design incorporating peaked tent-like elements on its roof, meant to evoke the nearby Rocky Mountains or Native American dwellings or both. Unfortunately, this location also places the airport smack in the middle of what is known as “Hail Alley”, the area east of the Rockies centered in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. According to the Silver Spring, Md.- based National Weather Service, this area experiences an average of nine “hail days” a year. The reason this area gets so much hail is that the freezing point—the area of the atmosphere at 32 F or less—in the high plains is much closer to the ground. In other words, the hail doesn’t have time to thaw and melt before it hits the ground.

Not only are hail storms in this area relatively frequent, they also produce the largest hail in North America. The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, Greenwood Village, Colo., says the area experiences three to four hailstorms a year categorized as “catastrophic”, causing at least $25 million in damage. Crops, commercial buildings, housing, automobiles and even livestock are at risk.

Statistically, more hail falls in June in Colorado than during any other month, and the storm that damaged DIA’s roof followed this pattern. In June 2001, the hailstorm swept over the airport. The storm was classified as “moderate” but still caused extensive damage to the flat roofs over Jeppesen Terminal and the passenger bridge. (It’s important to note that the storm did not damage the renowned tent roofs.) The airport’s original roof, non-reinforced PVC single-ply membrane, was “shredded” by the storm and needed extensive repair. Lovato and his team at CyberCon assessed the damage and recommended changes in the roofing materials that would stand up to Colorado’s climate. Lovato also oversaw the short-term emergency re- pairs to the roof and the installation of the new roof.

The initial examination of the roof also revealed that the existing polystyrene rigid insulation, ranging in thickness from 4 to 14 inches, was salvageable, representing significant savings.

The initial examination of the roof also revealed that the existing polystyrene rigid insulation, ranging in thickness from 4 to 14 inches, was salvageable, representing significant savings.

Under any circumstances, this would have been a challenging task. The fact that the work was being done at one of the busiest airports in the world made the challenge even more complex. The airport was the site of round-the-clock operations with ongoing public activity, meaning that noise and odor issues needed to be addressed. Hundreds of airplanes would be landing and taking off while the work was ongoing. And three months after the storm damaged the roof in Denver, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, making security concerns paramount.

INSPECTION AND REROOFING

Lovato’s inspection of the hail damage revealed the extent of the problems with the airport roof. The original PVC membrane, installed in 1991, was showing signs of degradation and premature plasticizer loss prior to being pummeled by the June 2001 storm. The storm itself created concentric cracks at the point of hail impacts and, in most cases, the cracks ran completely through the membrane. In some instances, new cracks developed in the membranes that were not initially visible following the storm. The visible cracks were repaired immediately with EPDM primer and EPDM flashing tape until more extensive repairs could begin. Lovato notes that while nature caused the damage to DIA, nature was on the roofing team’s side when the repairs were being made: The reroofing project was performed during a drought, the driest in 50 years, minimizing worries about leaks into the terminal below and giving the construction teams almost endless sunny days to finish their job.

The initial examination of the roof also revealed that the existing polystyrene rigid insulation, ranging in thickness from 4 to 14 inches, was salvageable, representing significant savings. Although a single-ply, ballasted roof was considered and would have been an excellent choice in other locations, it was ruled out at the airport given that the original structure was not designed for the additional weight and substantial remediation at the roof edge perimeter possibly would have been required.

Lovato chose 90-mil black EPDM membrane for the new roof. “It’s the perfect roof for that facility. We wanted a roof that’s going to perform. EPDM survives the best out here, given our hailstorms,” he says. A single layer of 5/8-inch glass-faced gypsum board with a primed surface was installed over the existing polystyrene rigid insulation (secured with mechanical fasteners and metal plates) to provide a dense, hail-resistant substrate for the new membrane.

In some areas adjacent to the airport’s clerestory windows, the membrane received much more solar radiation than other areas of the roof.

In some areas adjacent to the airport’s clerestory windows, the membrane received much more solar radiation than other areas of the roof.

In some areas adjacent to the airport’s clerestory windows, the membrane received much more solar radiation than other areas of the roof. When ambient temperatures exceeded 100 F, some melting of the polystyrene rigid insulation occurred. “That section of the roof was getting double reflection,” Lovato points out. To reduce the impact of this reflection, the roof was covered with a high-albedo white coating, which prevented any further damage to the top layer of the polystyrene rigid insulation board and also met the aesthetic requirements of the building.

LONG-TERM SOLUTION

Lovato’s observations about the durability of EPDM are backed up by field experience and controlled scientific testing. In 2005, the EPDM Roofing Association, Washington, D.C., commissioned a study of the impact of hail on various roofing membranes. The study, conducted by Jim D. Koontz & Associates Inc., Hobbs, N.M., showed EPDM outperforms all other available membranes in terms of hail resistance. As would be expected, 90-mil membrane offers the highest resistance against punctures. But even thinner 45-mil membranes were affected only when impacted by a 3-inch diameter ice ball at 133.2 feet per second, more than 90 mph—extreme conditions that would rarely be experienced even in the harshest climates.

Lovato travels frequently, meaning he can informally inspect the DIA roof at regular intervals as he walks through the airport. He’s confident the EPDM roof is holding up well against the Denver weather extremes, and he’s optimistic about the future. With justified pride, Lovato says, “I would expect that roof to last 30-plus years.”

PHOTOS: CyberCon

Roof Materials

90-mil Non-reinforced EPDM: Firestone Building Products
Gypsum Board: 5/8-inch DensDeck Prime from Georgia-Pacific
Plates and Concrete Fasteners: Firestone Building Products
White Elastomeric Coating: AcryliTop from Firestone Building Products
Existing Polystyrene: Dow