Re-Roofing a Busy Hospital Poses Logistical Challenges

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

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

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

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

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

High Degree of Difficulty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tear-Off and Installation

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

Photos: Advanced Roofing Inc.

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

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

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

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

Minimizing Disruptions

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

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

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

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

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

TEAM

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

MATERIALS

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

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

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

Meticulous Preparation Sets Up Restoration Project for Success

Photos: Debby Amador, Roma Police Department

Officials at Roma High School in Roma, Texas, knew they needed a new roof. The tile roof on the main complex was more than 25 years old, and some components were clearly failing. They didn’t realize that many of the leaks and resulting wall deterioration were caused by other problems as well. Luckily, they reached out to design and construction professionals who did their homework, diagnosed all of the key problems, and developed a plan to fix them. The crowning touch of the building envelope restoration plan was a beautiful standing seam metal roof, and the success of the project is proof that hard work pays off not only in the classroom, but on top of it.

The Consultant

As its building envelope consultant, Roma Independent School District chose Amtech Solutions Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The full-service architectural, engineering, and building envelope consulting firm has been in business since 1982. Working out of the company’s Rio Grand Valley (RGV) office located in Pharr, Texas, Amtech Solutions inspected and evaluated the entire site and reviewed legacy documents to identify the underlying issues.

They found quite a few, notes Michael Hovar, AIA, RRO, LEED AP, a senior architect and the general manager of the company’s RGV office. “They thought all they had was a roofing problem,” he notes. “But we saw right away that not properly managing water off the roof was the cause of wall deterioration, which then became leaks into the building. Our experience with the entire envelope and all facets of design and construction really helped us on this one.”

Roma High School in Roma, Texas, underwent a three-phase building envelope restoration plan in 2016-2017. After the walls were repaired and restored, the roof and mechanical equipemt were replaced. Photos: Debby Amador, Roma Police Department

Amtech Solutions put together a presentation for the school board to detail what they discovered and the plan they proposed to remedy the situation. The company also worked with the school district to help develop a budget.
The restoration plan was split up into three phases. The first phase focused on restoring the walls and windows. The second phase encompassed roof replacement and installing new mechanical equipment. The third phase involved improving drainage, grading and other site repairs.

Amtech Solutions decided not to bid the project out to a general contractor, but rather to bid each phase separately. “We decided to split it up into stages and do it logically, starting with the walls first,” Hovar says. “For the walls, we got restoration contractors who specialize in wall restoration work.”

Restoration Services Inc. (RSI) of Houston, Texas handled the first phase in the summer, as the wall repairs would be louder and more disruptive to students. The roof replacement project was scheduled for the fall. “Once all of the stuff on the ground was done, that allowed us to do the re-roofing work throughout the school year, which also helped the price,” notes Hovar. “Our experience has always been that if we have good cooperation with the contractors and the school staff, at the end of the job they end up being best friends. And that’s exactly what happened. At the end of the job, they were sad to see the roofers go.”

Amtech Solutions convinced the school district the plan would work. “It took some coordination, communication and cooperation, and it took a motivated owner that was willing to do this and trust us,” Hovar says. “They looked to us for guidance, and we said, ‘We do this all the time. We do roofing projects throughout the year, occupied and unoccupied, and we do it in a way that respects what the occupant’s needs are.’”

When it came time to specify the roof system, school board members were divided; one faction wanted to install a new tile roof, and the other wanted to go with metal. “The interesting thing is, for the historical architecture of the area, both of those roofs are appropriate, so from the standpoint of historical significance, either one works,” Hovar says. “In the end, it was quite a bit more expensive to utilize tile than it was to utilize a metal roof.”

The Roof Systems

The decision was made to go with a standing seam metal roof from McElroy Metal on the vast majority of the complex, including the main roof, the gymnasium, and two freestanding structures — the art and industrial arts buildings — that had been added over the years. The main tile roof was removed and replaced with McElroy’s 138T Panel, a 16-inch-wide, 24-gauge panel in Brite Red. McElroy’s 238T Panel, a 24-inch-wide, 24-gauge panel, was specified for the gym, as well as the art and industrial arts buildings. In a cost-saving measure, the color on the gym roof was changes to Galvalume Plus. In all, more than 233,000 square feet of metal roofing was installed.

Before

“The reason we picked this roof system is we’ve had a lot of great experience with it,” Hovar says. “We love that panel because they can actually bring the roll former to the jobsite. That gives the roofing contractor a lot more options on how he can load the roof and sequence the job. The other beauty of this panel is that it has unlimited movement. The panels itself slides back and forth over a fixed clip. It also flashes like a dream.”

Low-slope roof areas adjacent to the gym were replaced with a two-ply modified bitumen system from Siplast. CPI Daylighting manufactured a new skylight for the atrium.

As part of the roofing phase, gutters and downspouts were added. “There was nothing controlling the water before on this project,” Hovar says. “We designed a gutter system with expansion joints as per SMACNA guidelines. The contractor made absolutely beautiful shop-welded aluminum downspout boots.”

The most crucial detail was a custom-made saddle that solved the problem of water infiltration at the transition between the roof and walls on the wings. “This ultimately simple solution addressed one of the major design flaws that plagued the facility from the first days of occupancy,” Hovar notes. “We modeled the three-dimensional design of those saddles, and the contractor welded them in his shop. He fabricated them out of .080 aluminum and they were seamless. The restoration contractor had already installed all of the through-wall flashing, so all the roofer had to do was put counterflashing in and do his work around it. He was able to fly without being slowed down by a mason on the job.”

The Roofing Contractor

The roofing phase of the project was handled by Rio Roofing, headquartered in Harlingen, Texas. The company primarily installs low-slope and metal roofs, and its focus is on large commercial and institutional projects. ““We do nearly 90 percent public bonded work,” notes Hedley Hichens, vice president of Rio Roofing. “We found out that whether it’s a small job or a big job, the paperwork is still the same, so we try to make it worthwhile.”

The company worked on the Roma High School project for about a year, wrapping up the roofing phase of the project in November 2017.

After the structure’s main roof was removed, the tile was replaced with a standing seam metal roof featuring McElroy’s 138T Panel in Brite Red. Photos: Debby Amador, Roma Police Department

The decision was made to tackle the wings on the main roof first. “During the pre-con meetings, we met with the principal and the superintendent and asked, ‘Which wings are the worst?’” Hichens notes. “There was one wing that was the most problematic, so we started with that area first.”

Rio Roofing began by tearing off the existing tile roof. “There were about 1,925 squares of concrete tile we had to remove,” Hichens notes. “We had crews on the roof tearing off tile, crews on the ground palletizing the tile and storing it in the parking lot.”

As crew members removed the old tile and felt, others followed behind and installed polyisocyanurate insulation and Polystick MTS, a waterproofing underlayment designed for high-temperature applications. “We did 40 or 50 squares a day, moving down the wing,” Hichens says. “We dried in the whole school. Then we came back with the 138 panel.”

On top of the gym and other buildings that received the 238T panel, the existing metal roofs were left in place. “We put flute fill on top of the old panels. Then we screwed down 3/8-inch Securock, primed it and put the Polyglass underlayment down on top of that,” Hichens explains. “That 24-inch panel is a great panel to work with because every time you put one down, you’re 2 feet closer to finishing.”

Installing the New Roofs

The school’s main roof covers a central hub with eight wings coming off of its octagonal skylight. Where the wings tie together, access was limited.

“It was a tight squeeze,” Hichens says. “Getting in there and getting out was difficult. I think our fork lift only cleared one of the walkways by 2 or 3 inches. It’s a big campus, but the layout was difficult at the school.”

Once the wings were dried in, sheet metal crews installed the edge metal and 4,000 linear feet of gutters. They also started forming the panels.

Typically, Rio Roofing lifts the roll former to the roof edge, but it was difficult to get a large lift next to the building, so in this case the roll former was left on the ground. It was moved from wing to wing as the job progressed. “We used a New Tech roll former on this project,” Hichens says, “We would put the roll former parallel to each wing and store the panels on the ground in each area.”

Panels were hemmed and notched using a Swenson Snap Table Pro and lifted to the roof with a fork lift and a special cradle. Crews used a hand seamer to set temporary seams and followed up with a robotic seamer from D.I. Roof Seamers. “The panels are easy to install,” Hichens says. “You get about four guys 10 feet apart to engage the panels and clips and you just keep going. At the end of the day crews put the seam caps on.”

On the low-slope areas, Rio Roofing installed approximately 47,000 square feet of the Siplast two-ply SBS modified system, which was torched down over new lightweight concrete. “For their size, the low-slope areas had a ton of mechanical equipment and ductwork up there,” notes Hichens. “There were a lot of key details.”

Rio Roofing custom-manufactured numerous curbs and details, including the saddles over problem areas at the walls. “We have a full welding shop,” Hichens notes. “We have a full machine shop. We make all of our own curbs here, so there is no lead time for ordering curbs, and we are sure they’ll fit.”

Teamwork

Work on the project has now moved on to a fourth phase: installing translucent panels over the swimming pool. Hovar believes teamwork was the key to the project’s success. “We had such a good contracting team, we did good field work to begin with, and we had an understanding owner,” he says. “Designing it wasn’t easy, but thankfully our experience helped. We just had a really good team to execute it, all the way around. That’s what makes for a great, project, right? When everybody is invested in a good outcome, they always support everybody else.”

Communication was also essential, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) helped keep everyone on the same page. “We modeled the project on our BIM software, and it helped everyone understand the scope and challenges. The BIM model allowed the owner see exactly what the project would look like, and it helped the contractor understand the staging and logistical challenges before the project was bid,” Hovar says. “There were no surprises.”

TEAM

Architect and Consultant: Amtech Solutions Inc., Pharr, Texas, www.amtechsls.com
Roofing Contractor: Rio Roofing, Harlingen Texas
Wall Restoration Contractor: RSI-Restoration Services Inc., Houston, Texas, www.rsi-restorationservices.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System
Metal Panels: 138T panel (16 inches wide, 24 gauge) and 238T Panel (24 inches wide, 24 gauge), McElroy Metal, www.mcelroymetal.com
Underlayment: Polystick MTS, Polyglass, www.polyglass.us
Cover Board: Securock, USG, www.usg.com
Skylight: CPI Daylighting, www.cpidaylighting.com

Low-Slope Roof System
Modified Bitumen Membrane: Paradiene SBS, Siplast, www.siplast.com

Create a Fire-rated Roof/Ceiling Assembly

USG Corp. has unveiled its USG Securock Brand Concrete Roof Deck Panel.

USG Corp. has unveiled its USG Securock Brand Concrete Roof Deck Panel.


USG Corp. has unveiled its USG Securock Brand Concrete Roof Deck Panel, a durable structural panel that can be combined with other noncombustible materials to create a one- and two-hour fire-rated roof/ceiling assembly. Designed with great uplift ratings and to carry gravity and lateral loads, USG Securock Concrete Roof Deck Panels are mechanically fastened to cold-formed steel joists or framing members, and roof membranes or insulation attach directly over the panels. The panel meets the criteria of ASTM E136-04 for use in all types of noncombustible construction.

Patch a Variety of Poured Roof Decks

SECUROCK Gypsum-Concrete Patch

SECUROCK Gypsum-Concrete Patch

SECUROCK Gypsum-Concrete Patch, formerly known as PYROFILL Gypsum Concrete, is a high-performing patch solution that delivers a professional finish on a variety of poured roof decks. It features more than 500 psi of compressive strength while its fast-setting properties enable foot traffic and fasteners within four hours of application.

  • Easy application to patch many different types of roof decks such as gypsum roof decks.
  • Mill-formulated and composed of specially calcined gypsum and wood chips or shavings.
  • Provides excellent fire performance – non-combustible in accordance with ASTM E136, and it’s fire rated and approved for use in UL Roof Deck Systems (P676, P503, P207, P229, P505, P507)
  • Manufactured to conform to ASTM C317, “Standard Specification for Gypsum Concrete”