Missouri Home Gets a Fresh Appearance With Impact-Resistant Roof Upgrade

Photos: CertainTeed

Of the $723 million in property damage caused by hail in the United States annually, many of those losses take place in the “hail belt,” a center strip of the country that regularly receives more hail damage than most parts of the country.

Sibley, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City, sits squarely in the buckle of the hail belt. An impressive five-bedroom home built in Sibley had weathered several damaging storms, but unfortunately, the home’s wood shake roof could not stand the test of time.

When Chase Roscher, vice president of Zucca & Daughters & Sons Roofing Company, Inc., was approached by the homeowner, the home’s roof was failing and in need of total replacement.

“This particular roof was a wood shake roof and had bad hail damage,” says Roscher. He explained that while popular for its natural aesthetic, wood shake roofing can be difficult and expensive to maintain properly.

“Unlike asphalt roofing, wood shake roofing requires yearly maintenance and upkeep to avoid becoming a hazard,” said Roscher. Without diligent upkeep, he added, prolonged sun and water exposure can cause wood shake to break down, making it more vulnerable to mold, algae, fires and impact damage from hail and wind-blown debris.

When this Missouri home’s roof needed to be replaced, Zucca & Daughters & Sons Roofing installed Belmont IR shingles from CertainTeed.

In addition to needing an impact-resistant roof solution, the slope of the roof was an extremely steep 12/12 pitch. The roof would need a sturdy, reinforced shingle that would resist the forces of gravity. According to Roscher, the homeowner considered swapping out their aging wood roof with a slate roof. While slate can provide a long-lasting, sophisticated appearance, the weight and cost of the product are often prohibitive.

“Slate roofing will last longer, but it is so heavy that if your house isn’t built for it, you have to go in and do a lot of additional structural work to support it,” Roscher says. “It’s also extremely expensive compared to asphalt. For people looking for a higher-end appearance, the value proposition of an impact-resistant asphalt shingle really fits that need.”

Roscher suggested CertainTeed Belmont IR (Impact Resistant) shingles in the color Black Granite for the project. Emulating the appearance of slate, the product offered a natural-looking solution with the strength and durability of a reinforced, impact-resistant asphalt shingle. Eighty-five squares of the product were required for the project.

“We try to present Belmont to customers as an option,” says Roscher. “With this product, you’re spending less to get the same great look as slate with more functionality.”

Installing the product came with benefits for both the homeowner and the roofing contractor. The product offers Class 4 impact-resistance — the highest impact rating in the industry — allowing the homeowner to qualify for a premium discount on their home insurance and decreasing the chances of having to file a hail damage claim in the future.

For the roofing contractor, working with a familiar, lighter-weight asphalt product — as opposed to a heavier slate product — saved his crew time and improved the safety of the installation. That was especially important, given the steep pitch of the roof and three stories separating the eaves from the ground below.

“The homeowner was extremely happy, and the product gave the homeowner insurance savings and more value,” Roscher says. “That’s better for us and the homeowner.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Zucca & Daughters & Sons Roofing Company Inc., Blue Springs, Missouri, www.zuccaroofing.com

MATERIALS

Shingles: Belmont IR in Black Granite, CertainTeed, www.certainteed.com

Florida Keys Roofers Emerge as Leaders in Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Photos: Keys All Area Roofing

Sometime during the drive between Kissimmee and Key West in September 2017, Dion Watson and Deb Shirley realized life would never be the same.

Watson, owner of Keys All Area Roofing, and longtime partner Shirley were headed home from Central Florida after escaping the wrath of Hurricane Irma when the phone started ringing. For the next 380 miles, one caller after the other pleaded for help with their destroyed roofs.

Irma had ripped through the Keys as a Category 4 storm, leaving little untouched in its path. By the time Watson and Shirley reached Key West, they had fielded some 400 calls.

Work at Keys All Area went from a comfortable and steady pace of residential and commercial jobs to a breakneck frenzy of weathering the aftermath.

When the towers of the Faro Blanco condominiums were damaged Hurricane Irma, the condo association wanted the new roofs to retain the original character of the buildings and provide increased durability.

“I don’t even remember the first year after the hurricane,” Watson says. “My life is divided into before Irma and after Irma. It was crazy. We had almost 80 guys down here roofing seven days a week and couldn’t get it done.”

As one of the only female-owned roofing companies in Florida’s southernmost region, Keys All Area has crushed the stereotype that roofing is man’s work. Watson and Shirley don’t focus on being women in a male-dominated business, though; they focus on providing quality work.

The 18-person company has proven itself as a dedicated community partner, helping locals get back on their feet and ensuring that landmarks, like the Faro Blanco condo buildings in Marathon, remain intact.

In addition to working on private jobs (like the Faro Blanco buildings), Keys All Area has re-roofed hurricane-damaged homes in coordination with the Monroe County Long Term Recovery Group, the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. In October 2018, Keys All Area was recognized by the Marathon Chamber of Commerce with a Community Contribution Award.

All of this from two women who knew little about roofing just a few years ago.

Raising the Roof

Watson and Shirley moved to the Keys from Arkansas in 2006 to be closer to family, leaving behind their careers in human resources. In the Keys, Watson worked at a marina and became fast friends withDoug Richards of Tampa-based All Area Roofing & Waterproofing. With Richards’ encouragement, Watson learned the nuts and bolts of roofing, from quoting jobs to laying shingles, and opened a de-facto branch of All Area Roofing. Watson worked alongside the Tampa-based All Area crews, learning roofing one nail at a time.

Dion Watson and Deb Shirley of Keys All Area Roofing.

In early 2015, Watson and Richards purchased an established, reputable Keys-based roofing company, including the trucks, inventory and phone number, to bring new standards of excellence in roofing to the area. Keys All Area Roofing was born.

“I was on every job, from start to finish, and learned every day about the roofing industry,” Watson says. “My main goal was to bring mainland quality roofing to the Keys.”

Then came September 10, 2017, the day Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key, located about 145 miles south of Miami. Within hours, the 130-mph winds leveled 1,179 homes and damaged 2,977.

For Watson and Shirley, the catastrophic damage meant the roofing business was about to go into overdrive.

Life After Irma

Arriving in Key West, the women found their own home damaged — part of the porch roof was torn off, siding was missing and the backyard was decimated — but it was nothing like what happened to their neighbors. Roofs that were once the crowning glory of Key West bungalow homes now cluttered the streets.

Keys All Area Roofing installed 16,000 square feet of Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing’s aluminum VersaLoc panels.

In the weeks and months that followed, Keys All Area multiplied its staff to keep up with the demand. Shirley, an organizational whiz, quit her job in the aircraft-parts industry to become the Keys All Area director of operations, keeping the business running smoothly.

Watson and Shirley pushed back against roofing scammers by helping locals understand their options and make sense of the confusing regulations and codes in the rebuilding efforts. The women believe in honesty and quality work.

“Our quality is not going to change because it’s a residential three-square shed in the back of somebody’s yard,” Watson says. “Every job we do is like we’re doing a warranty job. Whether it’s a two-square job on a shed or a 100-square job in a shopping center, we do them the same way.”

The can-do approach, coupled with a commitment to the community, helped Keys All Area land one of its most complicated jobs yet — Faro Blanco Condominiums.

Two Buildings, Two Roofs

Compared to other buildings in the Keys, the Faro Blanco condos — twin five-story structures with octagon-shaped and flat roofs — fared well in the storm. Even so, many of the terracotta roof tiles were damaged beyond repair, so the condo association wanted new roofs that retained the original character with improved durability.

The residential buildings, located near the landmark Faro Blanco lighthouse, resort and marina, had to continue the area’s Mediterranean-style aesthetic. The choice: Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing’s 0.032 aluminum VersaLoc with 1.5-inch mechanically seamed panels in Terra Cotta for the highly visible mansards and Firestone UltraPly TPO with a tapered insulation system for the low-slope roof.

Teamwork at its Best

Even before the job began, Watson knew the constant ocean winds, surrounding landscape and continuous stream of residents and visitors into the buildings meant someone could easily get hurt.

The mansard and flat roofs also meant two teams needed to work simultaneously to get the job done on time. While an eight-person team was pulling tile from one roof, a 12-person team was removing the existing flat roof. An 80-foot telescoping forklift hoisted the more than 1,500 metal panels, and a boom lift ensured workers would be safe at the steep angles.

Watson says the work was made easier with Gulf Coast Supply’s assistance. Gulf Coast packaged the materials in reinforced crates so everything could be safely loaded onto the roofs and also helped with the tear-offs. The job was estimated to take 16 weeks, but the work was completed in 10 weeks, wrapping up in March of 2019.

The Gulf Coast Supply materials, style and color complement the original design and add improved structural integrity to the roof, according to Watson. While metal roofs are not mandatory in the Keys, they have become a standard for safety in storm-prone areas.

The high-velocity-wind clips and corrosion-free fasteners were used to ensure protection against the harsh elements (sun, sand and salt) that can cause rust and weathering. A polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) finish on the aluminum protects against harsh UV rays for long-lasting and vibrant color.

“It’s beautiful,” Watson says. “I would say Faro Blanco has been probably the biggest feather in my cap.”

Roofing in Paradise

In the coming months and years, Watson hopes to grow the company with a continued emphasis on customer service and support. Even though it’s been more than two years since Irma, there’s plenty more work.

“Irma recovery is ongoing with many people just now getting insurance money or assistance from nonprofits to get their roofs replaced,” Watson says. “Sadly, we still have a lot of work to do from the damage of Irma.”

About the author: Bo Copeland is the inside sales manager for Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing. Copeland has been lauded for his commitment to excellence in the roofing industry as the 2018 Earl Blank Memorial Service Heart Award recipient from the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA).

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Keys All Area Roofing, Key West and Marathon, Florida, https://keysallarearoofing.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System: 0.032 aluminum VersaLoc with 1.5-inch mechanically seamed panels in Terra Cotta, Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing, https://www.gulfcoastsupply.com/

Flat Roof System: 60-mil Firestone UltraPly TPO with a tapered insulation system, Firestone Building Products, https://www.firestonebpco.com

At The Star, Durable Roof Systems Safeguard Buildings at Multi-Use Facility

Photos: KPost Roofing & Waterproofing

About 13 years ago, the original Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Irving, Texas, needed a new roof coating. KPost Roofing & Waterproofing of Dallas won the job; not too much later a partnership was born, and multiple roofing projects were the result, include The Star in Frisco, Texas.

Founded in 2004 by Keith Post, Steve Little, and Jayne Williams, with a core group of 11 roofing professionals, KPost now employs more than 400 people, including more than 60 specialized crews. Primarily a commercial roofing company, a residential division was opened four years ago to increase reach and service area. With a dedicated focus on safety, quality, and value, the company has amassed a portfolio of 1,240-plus projects and 60,000 work orders valued at more than $541 million, including multiple highly visible projects in the last several years like the headquarter buildings for Liberty Mutual, Toyota, and Charles Schwab; the Irving Music Factory; the Omni Dallas; the Statler Hotel; Texas Rangers Globe Life Field; and many more.

A longtime partnership with the Dallas Cowboys meant that when the team’s new indoor practice facility/mixed-use development was going under construction, KPost stepped in.

The Star

The mixed-use facility known as The Star is located on 91 acres in Frisco, Texas, and includes the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and domed practice facility, the Baylor Scott and White Health Sports Performance and Healthcare Center, The Star District shopping area, the Ford Center (a state-of-the-art 510,000 square foot indoor athletic facility shared by the Dallas Cowboys, the City of Frisco, and area high schools), and the beautiful Omni Frisco, which is nestled in the southeast corner of the complex.

The Star in Frisco is a mixed-use complex that includes the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters, a domed practice facility, the Ford Center, and the Omni Frisco Hotel.

With a wide variety of building conditions throughout the complex, project architects selected roof assemblies that would meet the individual criteria of a high-rise hotel roof, a mid-level mixed-use space roof, and the domed roof of the Cowboys indoor practice facility. Various manufacturers and system assemblies were considered, and the use of a premium coverboard was always front of mind.

“The Omni Frisco roof levels 16 and 17 included a large amount of rooftop mechanical and lighting systems that require regular maintenance and a durable surface from which to work,” explains Chris Evans, chief estimator with KPost. “Additional details included the sheathing on the parapet walls and, of course the dome over the indoor practice facility.”

Evans’s job with KPost is that of leading the team with technical brainstorming and quality control in accomplishing project pricing and proposals.

“The use of a cover board was always part of the design,” continues Evans. “The architect opted for a single-ply roof at all roof areas. Single-ply roof membranes typically perform better when placed over a solid substrate. If not, there is an increased risk for premature wear, tear, and puncture. We needed to choose an option that would help the roof membrane perform to its full potential.”

Additionally, Frisco is located in the midst of the hail belt, which upped the ante for additional durability and protection against puncture.

Why Use a Cover Board?

Using a cover board is important for multiple reasons:

  • To preserve membrane integrity: Cover boards provide a smooth substrate to support the waterproofing membrane with the right balance of strength and flex.
  • To protect the insulation: Insulation compression causes material degradation, which lowers R-values. The polyiso insulation boards are typically the most expensive component in a commercial roof assembly, and critical in achieving target R-value. Cover boards are well-equipped for heavy loads and will protect the insulation and membrane beneath from being smashed by heavy equipment.
  • To increase durability: Puncture and impact resistance ensures product longevity. Impact resistance to foot traffic equals less maintenance, fewer repairs over time, and an extension of the life of the roofing assembly.
  • To provide weather protection: Wind and hail can wreak havoc on roofing assemblies, but a cover board helps maintain structural integrity during both the storm and the post-storm inspection.

The cover board is a team player; it not only protects the assembly and building from damage — it supports the performance of other assembly materials and the mechanical assets that call the roof home.

The Right Materials for the Project

Carlisle’s single-ply roofing membranes were chosen for the project, with Sure-Weld TPO specified for lower roof areas and Sure-Flex PVC for the dome roof. DensDeck Prime roof boards were incorporated in the submittals, with products provided by CSL Materials of Frisco. Evans and his team chose Georgia-Pacific’s DensDeck Prime Roof Board with EONIC Technology as the cover board for The Star — and offered multiple reasons why.

“It is clear that DensDeck and GP, along with their trade partners, are committed to testing a large amount of assembly types and material configurations. This commitment by GP has resulted in an ample amount of approved and tested assemblies, which allows us to find the right answer for pretty much any roof area,” says Evans.

“Fact is, DensDeck has become one of our key components used on most roof systems,” says Aileen Struble, senior estimator with KPost. “Between the testing, the ease of use, and the durability, DensDeck consistently offers the best protection.”

The most senior estimator on the KPost team, Struble has been with the company since the doors opened. She works on multi-system projects, including both new construction, remedial work and large historical renovations. She is KPost’s go-to estimator when faced with technically challenging and complicated projects, and she has received four ABC National Eagle Awards on her projects. An estimated 300,000 square feet of DensDeck Prime Roof Board was used on The Star.

When it came to the challenging logistics of the domed roof covering the indoor practice facility, the DensDeck Prime Roof Board passed with flying colors — literally, as the roof board was integral to the overall system, which was flown into place via helicopter.

“It’s all about consistency,” concludes Evans. “One of the greatest benefits with DensDeck is the fact that we receive the exact same product every single time we order it. This incredible level of consistency affords us the ability to deal with other challenges of construction because we know how DensDeck will behave under multiple conditions, and at the end of the day this consistency minimizes our overall risk. Partnering with consistency is necessary for success.”

“We like to call DensDeck the Goldilocks of the roof board industry: some options are too dense, and with some the dimensional stability just isn’t there,” says Struble. “GP and DensDeck has figured it out, because their roof board is just right.”

TEAM

General Contractor: Manhattan Construction Company, Dallas, Texas, www.manhattanconstructiongroup.com

Roofing Contractor: KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, Dallas, Texas, www.kpostcompany.com

MATERIALS

Roof Membranes: Sure-Weld TPO and Sure-Flex PVC, Carlisle SynTec, www.carlislesyntec.com

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

Re-Roofing a Planetarium Under the Stars

Photos: Versico

The James S. McDonnell Planetarium is a St. Louis icon. Located in Forest Park, a 1,300-acre public park, the planetarium is the main attraction at the Saint Louis Science Center, one of the few free nonprofit science museums in the country. It serves more than one million people each year. Opened in 1963, the planetarium features one of the world’s best opto-mechanical start projectors, which projects a 360-degree view of the constellations in the night sky onto its domed ceiling.

The giant, white structure is hard to miss, but its roof is hidden from view for those on the ground. The low-slope roof system and penthouse are nearly invisible behind a large, bowl-shaped parapet. The existing roof was saturated with moisture and was starting to develop leaks, and the planetarium’s dome-shaped screen and multimillion-dollar projection system could not get wet.

The Problems

Bade Roofing was just finishing up a re-roofing project at a Science Center warehouse when the company was called in to take a look at the planetarium roof. According to Dave Bade, president of Bade Roofing, and Drew Bade, the project manager, the company determined a total roof replacement was required. They also identified some key challenges.

A crane was used to lift material to the roof and remove debris.

The 4,000-square-foot roof is unusual; it’s perfectly round, yet slightly bowl-shaped, with round penthouse in the center. The unique shape would make it difficult to design a tapered insulation system, flashings, and terminations for the 30-year project. Another difficulty was posed by the concrete step-offs located under the existing roof. There were no dimensions on the original plans, so creating the tapered insulation layout would be especially tricky.

The schedule was also complicated, as the planetarium would remain open throughout the construction process, hosting daily educational presentations for schoolchildren, as well as special events and exhibits. Work couldn’t take place during business hours.

“We had to work at night, craning stuff up there with big lights,” says Dave Bade. “The good thing was the guys couldn’t fall because they couldn’t go anywhere; the roof had an eight-foot wall around it. The safety plan was easy, but the tapered design was tough.”

The Proposal

Bade Roofing decided to go with a SureMB 120TG Base Ply as a temporary roof to ensure the equipment inside the building would be protected throughout the tear-off and installation process. “It was a secondary line of defense that allowed us to remove the entire roof all at once and not have to rely on tie-ins from the old roof to the new one when the crew started and stopped each night,” Drew Bade says.

The existing roof of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium was removed and replaced with a fully adhered 90-mil EPDM system from Versico.

The temporary roof allowed the company to accurately measure the existing roof for the tapered insulation design. “This is another reason we decided to use the SureMB 120TG; it allowed us to really see what was going on with the tapered and make adjustments prior to ordering,” notes Drew Bade.

The roof specified for the final phase of the project was a 90-mil VersiGard EPDM fully adhered system manufactured by Versico. “The Science Center and the architect both have a history of using EPDM on their projects because they’ve had a lot of success with it,” says Drew Bade. “And with the uncommon design and shape of this roof, EPDM was perfect to mold into all the unique angles and it did a good job conforming to the many curves of the building. We used a 90-mil EPDM to get the 30-year warranty the Science Center wanted and for the overall longevity of the roof.”

The Process

Once the crane and light towers were in place, crews began the loading and tear-off process. Crews accessed the roof through a window of the penthouse, but material had to be lifted in place with the crane. The typical workday began at about 5 p.m., and crews worked until 2 or 3 o’clock the next morning.

“We started by priming the concrete deck with CAV-GRIP 3V,” says Drew. “Then we installed the SureMB 120 TG Base Ply.”

The insulation was adhered in Flexible DASH low-rise adhesive. Crews installed a base layer of 2-inch SecurShield polyiso, which has a special facer, followed by a layer of tapered SecurShield polyiso. The drainage areas needed exacting care. “The drains were down in a concrete sump,” says Dave Bade. “We put the drawing right on the roof and cut out each of those sections. It was like cutting a pie into 50 pieces.”

Crews then installed Securock cover board, followed by the 90-mil VersiGard EPDM. “The EPDM did a great job conforming to the building’s angles and curves,” says Drew Bade. “We adhered the EPDM with Versico’s standard Bonding Adhesive because it’s got a long track record and it works.”

Once the tapered insulation was in place, the membrane installation was pretty straightforward, although the circular roof area posed some challenges with the details. “The counter flashings and terminations were kind of tough because everything had to be pre-bent to that radius,” Dave Bade notes. “It wasn’t a tight radius, but everything had to be pre-formed to that exact radius so you could keep constant compression on that membrane.”

The Professionals

The new system qualified for a 30-year warranty. “One of the main benefits of a Versico system, from a contractor perspective, is the support from Versico’s tech reps,” says Drew Bade. “It’s second to none; they make sure the job’s done right and they’re there every step of the way.”

The work was meticulous, and Bade Roofing’s experienced crews took great care to get it right. “The artistic part of it is the roof itself. It’s a shame that no one will ever see it,” says Dave Bade. “We did the work at night, so no one even saw our trucks.”

It’s a satisfying accomplishment to re-roof an iconic structure, even if no one sees you do it. “We really wanted to do this job,” says Dave Bade. “It meant a lot to us because we try to do things that are out of the ordinary. After being in business for more than 60 years, you like project like this because you get to show off your talents. And the men like stuff like this; the ones who got to work on this project, it really meant a lot to them. They are true professionals.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Bade Roofing Co., Inc., St. Louis, Missouri, www.baderoofing.com

Architect: Thomas Roof Inc. Architects, Lake Ozark, Missouri, www.txrac.com

MATERIALS

Membrane: 90-mil VersiGard EPDM, Versico, www.versico.com

Insulation: SecurShield Polyiso, Versico

Base Ply: SureMB 120TG, Versico

Primer: CAV-GRIP 3V Low-VOC Adhesive/Primer, Versico

Cover Board: 1/2-inch Securock, USG, www.usg.com

Roof of Hong Kong’s Premier Yacht Club Gets a Major Facelift

Photos: Green Tech Insulation Systems (GTIS)

Set within a premier marina and home to some of the region’s largest luxury yachts, the Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club is an opulent leisure retreat for the who’s who of Hong Kong. Nestled along the South China Sea, the club offers stunning oceanfront views and an enviable set of amenities and attractions for its members and visitors.

But even the most picturesque and well-located of properties is subject to the elements. A subtropical region, Hong Kong’s weather pattern includes an annual typhoon season spanning May to November when periodic downpours, tropical storms, and heavy winds are more commonplace. In fact, this weather is directly responsible for the necessary, recently completed retrofit of the yacht and country club’s roof.

Prior to retrofit, the existing 38,000-square-foot roof was comprised of terracotta tile, including grout lines throughout. With both a flat deck and a pitched deck, none of the tile work was actually waterproof — far from ideal in moisture-laden Hong Kong. In 2018, after several years in operation, the lack of waterproofing had led to significant leaking throughout various portions of the roof. The club ownership recognized the necessity of restoring the roof to prevent additional costly structural damage. That’s when Green Tech Insulation Systems (GTIS) was called in.

Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club in Hong Kong underwent a complete roof restoration and then added solar panels as part of a complete energy overhaul.

A Hong Kong-based roofing and insulation contractor specializing in innovative sustainable solutions, GTIS was faced with some serious challenges. The new roof system obviously had to seal and waterproof the facility and GTIS recommended spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing to the club for its abilities to do both. Additionally, SPF is a lighter weight solution that may be applied directly overtop an existing roof, eliminating the costly and time-consuming removal of the older tile roof.

But the regional weather and rains complicated the installation itself. Either rain or extreme humidity was present during at least half of the installation timeline, making it difficult to dry out the substrate prior to application of the SPF roof. To ensure proper adhesion to the substrate, GTIS utilized Lapolla Thermo-Prime. The single-component, water-based acrylic primer promotes adhesion of spray foam roofing to a variety of substrates.

The roof also included interior gutters, many of which were experiencing moisture intrusion through cracks. For this issue, the four-person GTIS crew used a roof torch to dry out the concrete. The GTIS team also utilized silicone for the repair and refurbishment of these gutters.

The spray-applied Lapolla spray foam system was installed over the existing tile roof, and a custom color topcoat was applied to match the previous color.

GTIS spray-applied Lapolla FOAM-LOK 2800-4G, a spray foam system notable for integrating the earth-friendly Honeywell Solstice blowing agent, which eliminates ozone depletion impacts and dramatically decreases global warming potential over older spray foam roofing systems.

“Spray foam roofing is the right product to be deployed in Hong Kong because of its superb performance in the face of our regular and somewhat harsh weather patterns,” says Chris Brazendale, managing director of GTIS Asia Limited. “The combined ability to seal, waterproof, resist high winds and reduce energy demands are major selling points here.”

Robert Grant, Icynene-Lapolla’s field service representative based in Arizona, attended a portion of the installation to provide educational training to some of the newer GTIS crew installers.

“We pride ourselves on the resources we provide to our contractors and the training I provided onsite is a good example of this,” says Grant. “When weather caused delays on the project, I also got into full gear and laid down a good portion of the roof to help GTIS meet the project timeline.” Grant himself is also a trained installer.

Club management shared its appreciation of the installation timeline being met. “From start to finish we have been impressed with the GTIS team,” says Robert Kawai, general manager of the Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club. “The project completed quickly and work was done with minimal impact to the Club’s operations.”

Energy-Saving Strategy

The owners of Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club were looking for a complete energy solution for their upscale destination. In addition to the spray foam, which guarantees significant long-term energy bill savings, they also sought a renewable energy system. Once the roof retrofit and coatings were successfully applied and in place, the owners also engaged a solar contractor to install a robust photovoltaic system. Installation of the photovoltaics took place over a one-month timeframe.

“The Hong Kong government recently introduced an initiative to provide power directly back to the grid, which the owners of the club are participating in,” notes Brazendale. “Additionally, the longer-term plan will be to install batteries to capture the solar power and to offset energy demand at the facility. An added benefit of the batteries is assurance to the owners and managers of the facility that power will be accessible to the club, even if a storm or another event affects the grid.”

A key requirement of the client was to maintain and enhance the attractive appearance of this upscale facility. To that end, the GTIS and Lapolla teams worked with the club ownership to develop custom color coatings designed to match the original tile roof, and these were applied to the completed SPF roof. GTIS recommended Lapolla THERMO-FLEX 1000 elastomeric coating for the roof and GE Enduris 3500 silicone coating for the roof perimeter.

“The custom color topcoat really helped us retain the overall original appearance of the roofs, which was important to us” says Kawai.

In addition to providing a protective layer over the spray foam material which protects it from UV rays, debris and the elements, the coatings also stand up to the humidity present at the ocean-adjacent site. The coatings also protect against biological growth, which is key as roof surfaces under solar panels typically do not dry as quickly.

“The owners are extremely proud of the retrofit,” notes James Cooper, operations director of GTIS. “With regular care and maintenance, the new roof is expected to last for decades. This combined SPF and solar roofing system is a sustainable investment in the Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club that will provide valuable ROI for a significant number of years to come.”

“We are really looking forward to the benefits of a watertight roof and lower cooling costs and are so happy with the team and SPF and coatings products we selected for the club,” adds Kawai.

About the author: Doug Kramer is President & CEO of Icynene-Lapolla, a global manufacturer and supplier of spray polyurethane foam. The company’s products are recognized for optimizing energy efficiency and performance in the envelope. Doug Kramer may be reached at dkramer@icynene-lapolla.com.

TEAM

Installer: Green Tech Insulation Systems (GTIS), Hong Kong

MATERIALS

Spray Polyurethane Foam: Lapolla FOAM-LOK 2800-4G, Icynene-Lapolla, http://icynene-lapolla.com

Primer: Lapolla Thermo-Prime, Icynene-Lapolla

Roof Coating: Lapolla THERMO-FLEX 1000 elastomeric coating, Icynene-Lapolla

Roof Coating: GE Enduris 3500 silicone coating, GE Silicones, www.siliconeforbuilding.com

Sports Facility Highlights the Versatility of Insulated Metal Panels

Boston Sports Institute is a 130,000-square-foot multi-use recreation facility. The structure features three different colors of insulated metal panels on the walls. Photos: Metl-Span

Sports facilities are unique environments that face varying environmental conditions from both within and outside the structure. In evaluating building materials, client and builder seek proven solutions for meeting environmental requirements, codes and long-term durability without forsaking the art of design.

Enter the new Boston Sports Institute (BSI), a 130,000-square-foot multi-use recreation facility in Wellesley, Massachusetts, a suburb of Metro West Boston. A collegiate town and activities hub for surrounding residential communities, Wellesley lacked a professional-grade sports facility. Featuring two NHL ice arenas, a synthetic turf field, indoor track, repurposed 2012 Olympic trial pool, warm-up pool, sports rehabilitation area and strength training facility, this $23.3 million complex was completed in July 2019. Centered on a public-private partnership model between the town and the management company Edge Sports Group, BSI prioritizes ice and pool time for local schools who previously traveled to professional facilities. It is also rentable for private organizations and sports groups.

Barnes Buildings & Management Group installed approximately 58,000 square feet of insulated metal panels from Metl-Span.

“We were committed to using insulated metal panels from the earliest design stages, both for its performance and design flexibility,” states Kevin Provencher, AIA, LEED AP, Director of Architecture at the design builder, Dacon Corporation. “We have a lot of history with this type of product on a variety of building types. It is an effective solution for multi-use facilities with variable environmental requirements. Both ice rinks and natatoriums have high moisture loads, but the ice rink’s temperature will be maintained at 55 degrees Fahrenheit while the pools are at 82 degrees. It’s an ideal wall system for a facility with demanding environmental needs.”

Provencher notes insulated metal panels (IMPs) provide a total wall system that incorporates a continuous insulating layer with control layers for weather, air and vapor barriers. “It helps that we partnered with a quality metal building builder,” Provencher says. “Collaboration was key to this project’s success. Selecting the right details and sharing responsibility eases the burden on the designer.”

Barnes Buildings & Management Group Inc. of Weymouth, Massachusetts, a Metallic Building Company dealer, installed the insulated metal panels from Metl-Span as well as the engineered metal framing system. Tony Barnes oversaw the erection of the metal framing and challenging installation of 58,000 square feet of insulated metal panels. Tim Allison, the Vice President of Project Management at Barnes, oversaw project administration.

Barnes Buildings & Management Group installed approximately 58,000 square feet of insulated metal panels from Metl-Span.

“We have a mixture of panel types in multiple colors that run in two orientations,” Allison says. “When we have just one type of panel and one color, we simply unwrap the bundle and install continuously. With multiple colors, you must spread out bundles so we can access the panels in the order needed. With this site, we didn’t have much room, so it was tricky. We paid close attention to the drawings and details to ensure correct installation.”

Allison says Barnes Buildings erects a lot of structures using engineered metal framing systems and IMPs. He’s noticed an architectural trend is using mixed colors and panel orientation.

Metl-Span’s Smoke Gray, Polar White and Sandstone were installed to create an eye-catching aesthetic. “Our client wanted a strong visual impact on the north façade facing the state highway,” Provencher says. “When passing other commercial buildings commuters notice this vibrant design featuring vertical and horizontal panels. Tim Allison and Marty Barnes provided valuable input, influencing the final outcome.”

There are several unique details to BSI, including a parapet on the gable end of the building above the pool. It starts low at the eaves and grows to 3 feet at the peak to hide rooftop equipment. Barnes Buildings also installed an accent band near the top of the building, a single-skin metal panel that continues horizontally from the windows. The 7.2 Rib panel from Metl-Span is 36 inches wide with ribs that are 1-1/2 inches deep.

The roofing for more than 75 percent of the building is a double lock standing seam from Metallic in bare Galvalume. The roofing above the pool is a bare Galvalume insulated metal panel, Metl-Span’s CFR system. It starts approximately 35 feet from the roof peak, so the top section of roofing is standing seam. At the transition to where the IMPs are above the pool, the roofline drops 1 foot. The interior skin on the roofing and wall IMPs in the pool area are coated with Valspar’s Flurothane IV, a finish formulated to protect in exceptionally harsh environments where chemical corrosion protection is needed.

“It’s all things we’ve dealt with on other projects, but there’s a little bit of everything on this one,” Allison says. “It’s a special job and a visually appealing project. The IMPs are ideally suited for our New England climate. When used as walls and roofing, they provide excellent continuous insulation on any building.”

TEAM

Architect: PDA Inc., Natick, Massachusetts,

Design Builder: Dacon Corporation, Natick, Massachusetts, www.dacon1.com

IMP Installer: Barnes Buildings & Management Group, Weymouth, Massachusetts, www.barnesbuildings.com

MATERIALS

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

Roof Panels: CFR Insulated Metal Panels, Metl-Span

Metal Roof System: Double Lock Standing Seam, Metallic Building Company, www.metallic.com

Roofing a Resort in Paradise Took Great Design and Better Planning

Photos: Timbers Kauai

The Hawaiian Islands epitomize paradise with sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, warm days and balmy nights. Some are blessed to call the islands home, while others are lucky visitors. Both groups come together at Timbers Kauai — Ocean Club & Residences at Hokuala, an oceanfront destination nothing short of spectacular.

Opened in June 2018, Timbers Kauai exudes luxury island living. Located on Kauai’s picturesque southeast coast, the destination offers short- and long-term residents breathtaking unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and Hau’pu mountain range as well as immediate access to an unparalleled shoreline.

The design aesthetic of Timbers Kauai is inspired by the naturally distinct Hawaiian paradise surrounding it. All materials and finishes were deliberately selected for the richness and longevity they provide, from the cladding and windows, to roofing, luxe interior finishes and lush landscaping. Elements combine naturally, providing seamless easy connections between indoor and outdoor spaces.

“Key Hawaiian-inspired design elements were incorporated into the public indoor and outdoor spaces and main lobby,” says Gary Ross, director of architecture for Timbers Resorts. “Examples include the wave patterned fascia panels, nautical inspired backlit entry panels and the lobby’s Kappa inspired floor tile patterns.”

The Timbers Kauai features Hawaiian-inspired design elements throughout. Materials and finishes were selected for the richness and longevity they provide.

When considering roofing options for the resort, architects aimed for a durable, resilient material that complemented the sophisticated island design theme. They ultimately turned to Irvine, California-based Boral Roofing, specifying Saxony 900 Slate Appalachian Blend, a high-performance concrete roofing system with earthy stone hues replicating the natural look of real slate.

Since concrete tile is a high-quality, durable roofing solution that lasts much longer than some other competing roofing options, it is an ideal solution for the resort. The low maintenance tile also allows for localized repair areas should damage ever occur.

Sustainability is a major selling point of the concrete roof tile. Manufactured using naturally occurring and abundant geologic materials, the tile incorporates no chemical preservatives and is 100 percent recyclable at the end of its life on the roof. Concrete tile also provides the resort with substantial energy efficiency benefits, rendering significant reductions in the ongoing energy costs associated with heating and cooling the property as the seasons shift.

Fighting Unpredictable Weather

Another core consideration in the selection of the roof was storm resistance. The subtropical weather on Kauai can be trying for a roof. Hot, humid weather is common and torrential rainfall, fierce wind and hail occur as well. To protect the resort from these harsh weather variables, the architects sought a roofing material able to withstand the elements. Boral Roofing’s tile not only provided a complementary aesthetic, but also the weather resistance attributes required on Kauai.

Architects chose a high-performance concrete roofing system from Boral Roofing that replicates the look of natural slate.

 “We were able to specify a product that not only met the stringent wind and rain conditions of building in Hawaii, but also provided the style and elegance required of this project,” says Chris Ridings, partner at Poss Architecture + Planning of Aspen, the design firm retained by Timbers Resorts for the project.

Concrete roof tile also notably scores high in fire resistance. The Timbers Kauai roof is non-combustible, helping prevent ignition from occurring. The tile offers a Class A fire rating, the highest fire resistance rating for roofing.

Challenging Installation

Those involved in construction in Hawaii understand shipping can be a challenge. Many building materials must be delivered from the mainland. With most projects on strict timelines, delays in shipping can be troublesome and even costly. Thus, it is important that logistics, lead times, packaging, and fulfillment of orders are correct. With the roof installation, these factors came in to play.

Installation of the roof was led by Honolulu Roofing & Waterproofing, one of Hawaii’s first-established roofing companies. A project comprising three large buildings and 600 squares, the installation occurred over a three-month period. “We had to deal with adverse weather, primarily rain, but also hurricane warnings,” says Dan Jaeger, vice president. “Kauai didn’t end up getting hit with a hurricane, but because of the warnings, the materials already in transit had to return to their shipping origin and then be re-shipped. It took a bit longer than we would have liked.”

Despite weather delays, the Honolulu Roofing team completed the installation seamlessly once it got started. Jaeger points out that Boral Roofing was onsite during installation and contributed to the project’s success. “It’s really great to see a manufacturer present putting that level of effort into providing guidance during an installation,” Jaeger says.

The roof included all Boral components, but the attachment used for this project was the Polyfoam instant set adhesive, which is compatible with Boral Tile Seal underlayment.

Honolulu Roofing was able to install more than 580 squares of roof tile using one crew of eight men, with each member assigned a specific task on the roof, all overseen by Jaegar. He flew in daily from Honolulu before sunrise to make sure the job ran smoothly, even getting in a morning walk to the job site for exercise.

Honolulu Roofing also provided waterproofing for the low-slope portion of the project as it was critical that the roof tile installation tied into the low slope system properly. All told, the installation of the roof tile was completed ahead of schedule despite weather-related shipping delays.

Built to Entice and Endure

Timbers Kauai – Ocean Club & Residences at Hokuala is designed to offer an unparalleled experience for those who visit. Built from rich materials that last, the resort encourages luxury island living along a breathtaking stretch of coast. The island retreat offers residents and visitors alike a thoughtfully curated collection of services including access to a full-service restaurant with progressive approach to farm-fresh Hawaiian food, an oceanfront infinity-edge swimming pool, a separate ohana pool with a beach entry, and water features that form the heart of the resort. These are just a few of the onsite amenities set within the quality-crafted resort built of exceptional materials. No doubt, Timbers Kauai is designed to endure.

About the author: Ann Iten is the director of marketing for Boral Roofing, a manufacturer of durable and energy-efficient new and retrofit roofing systems. Visit Boral Roofing online at www.boralroof.com, and contact Ann at Ann.Iten@boral.com

TEAM

Architect: Poss Architecture + Planning, Aspen, Colorado, www.billposs.com, and Gary Ross, Director of Architecture, Timbers Resorts

Roofing Contractor: Honolulu Roofing & Waterproofing, Honolulu, Hawaii, www.honroof.com

MATERIALS

Concrete Roof Tile: Saxony 900 Slate Appalachian Blend, Boral Roofing, www.boralroof.com

Underlayment: Boral Tile Seal, Boral Roofing

Upstate Roofing and Painting and the Roofing Alliance Team Up to Help Ronald McDonald House Charities

CEO Bob Morgan challenged his team to raise enough money to have a room named after the entire Upstate team. They succeeded, and raised enough money to name a second room in memory of Bob’s parents, Robert and Deanna Morgan. Photo: Upstate Roofing and Painting

In April of 2017, the Roofing Alliance, with the focused efforts of Roofing Alliance members, NRCA members and staff, began working with Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) to create a partnership that would connect the roofing industry with the standalone Ronald McDonald Houses to provide ongoing roof maintenance. The Roofing Alliance is the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and at 169 members strong, it is a dedicated forum of roofing contractors, manufacturers, distributors, service providers and industry professionals. These roofing men and women promote and fund the advancement of roofing through research, education, technology and philanthropic initiatives to help shape the future of the industry.

A Roofing Alliance member since 2014, Bob Morgan, C.E.O. of Upstate Roofing and Painting, was very intrigued by the partnership with RMHC and was one of the first roofing companies in the country to adopt their local House, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, NY Inc. In fact, the roofing industry as a whole has enthusiastically embraced the efforts of RMHC to help families with critically ill or injured children stay together, near the hospitals providing them medical care. Ronald McDonald Houses provide private sleeping rooms, meals, and opportunities for families to interact as they go through difficult times. Through sponsorship funds and the adoption of the roofs of the 165 standalone Ronald McDonald Houses in the United States, the Roofing Alliance has brought together roofing professionals and companies who donate their time and talents to provide regular roof system inspections, maintenance and repairs.

After signing up in October of 2017, Morgan shared the initiative with his company’s team. Upstate’s roof inspectors went out to look at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, NY Inc. roof and performed an assessment. The House was broken up into several sections with steep sloped roofs that featured asphalt shingles. On their initial visit they performed a thorough inspection and provided a detailed report. (All contractors who adopt Houses share their inspection reports, maintenance work and any re-roofing with the Roofing Alliance, which maintains a national database with information on all of the Houses.) After the assessment, the Upstate team performed some pro-bono maintenance to ensure that there were no leaks.

Now knowing that the roof was in good shape, Morgan and his team started looking around for other opportunities to help the House. Upstate, founded in 1974, added commercial painting services for their clients in 2006 so they offered to “freshen up” a few rooms with a new coat of paint from time to time if needed.

With the help of Sherwin-Williams material donations, the Upstate team ended up re-painting the entire interior of the House. The combination of material and labor saved their Ronald McDonald House about $15,000 while providing a fresh look for all the rooms and common areas. Upstate was so committed that not only did they offer to donate the labor, they paid their painting team for their normal 40-hour week. Upstate’s teammates saw this and really took Morgan’s gift of giving back to heart.

Meeting a Challenge

Every March, Upstate Roofing and Painting has their annual kickoff for the upcoming season of work. It is a full day of safety training, award presentations, guest speakers and is capped off with a profit-sharing celebration. Morgan always recaps which charities the company donated to in the previous year. He lets the team know that it’s not just the company writing a check. It’s a result of everyone’s hard work that allows Upstate to be able to make those donations. At the spring 2018 meeting, Morgan really wanted to share the excitement he and many of his team had for their latest philanthropic effort with their local Ronald McDonald House. He reached out to fellow Roofing Alliance member, Charles Antis of Antis Roofing and Waterproofing out of Orange County, California, to talk about what his company had been doing with their philanthropic programs. Antis made a video of his team thanking the Upstate team for all their work and donations. The video was played on the big screen for all to see during the meeting. It was the inspiration that really got the Upstate team rocking.

Upstate Roofing and Painting adopted Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, NY Inc. as part of the Roofing Alliance’s effort to create partnerships between the roofing industry and standalone Ronald McDonald Houses to provide ongoing maintenance. Photo: Ronald McDonald House Charities

Upstate was already working with the United Way on an annual basis and remains very proud of the nonprofit, which was founded in Rochester by George Eastman, founder of Kodak. In 2018, when the Upstate employees found out that they could donate directly to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Rochester, NY Inc. through United Way, a challenge was initiated.

In 2019, representatives from R.M.H.C. and the United Way visited the Upstate employees and thanked them for all the work they had done and the pledges they had made to the House through United Way. After the guests departed, Morgan issued a challenge to his teammates that he and his wife Kim would personally match every dollar that they donated to the RMHC during the campaign. The goal was to raise $5,000 and have a room named after the entire Upstate team. The enthusiasm from everyone showed right away. Some even donated a second time to help increase the matched dollar amount. In total, over $13,000 was raised.

Morgan was amazed at the generosity of his team, but he was not surprised. “Our team has one of the toughest jobs on earth,” stated Morgan. “They work extremely hard, often in less than desirable conditions on a daily basis. For them to give their hard-earned dollars to a local charity speaks volumes to the character of our team.”

Because the naming rights for a room was set at $5,000, the House later named a second room in memory of Bob Morgan’s parents: Robert and Deanna Morgan. Deanna had passed away the day after Morgan challenged his team to donate.

Morgan’s dad owned a painting company at the time of his death after a battle with cancer 13 years ago (2006). Upstate hired a few key people from the painting company immediately in an effort to start offering painting services. Morgan’s brother Don was one of the hires in 2006 and serves an important role today in the business. “In construction we see the strength of family, and this is a beautiful example of how family continues to be the strength behind many companies,” said Morgan.

As a result of those hires in 2006, today Upstate is one of the most respected painting companies in the Rochester market with 35 painting teammates and growing. They offer commercial services for both interior and exterior painting, high-end office spaces, multi-family residences, hospitals and commercial roof coatings. Many of their contracts are a combination of roofing and painting working with general contractors. With all the success of their business, the true success is apparent in the culture of the company and the enthusiasm of all teammates. They know that the greatest strength of the company is the people who work there. They really care about what they do, and it shows.

To learn more about the Roofing Alliance and RHMC partnership, visit www.roofingalliance.net or contact Bennett Judson, the Roofing Alliance’s executive director, at bjudson@nrca.net.

About the Author:Heidi J. Ellsworth is partner and owner of RoofersCoffeeShop and HJE Consulting where she provides marketing and business strategies, initiatives for sales success and overall content development for companies and associations within the roofing industry. Along with Karen L Edwards, she has co-authored two books: “Sales and Marketing for Roofing Contractors” and “Building a Marketing Plan for Roofing Contractors.”

Southern California Couple Keeps Cool With New Roof System

Temperatures in Southern California soar during summer months. Homeowners in the region typically rely on traditional air conditioning units along with electric fans for air circulation to moderate indoor temperatures and keep their residences comfortable. Though these techniques help, they obviously increase energy consumption and bills.

The Vus, a professional couple in Santa Ana, California, were one household beholden to these excessive energy costs. The couple purchased their single-story California ranch style abode in 2014. After a few years of occupancy, their consistently high electricity bills prompted an investigation to determine the cause. The couple discovered the primary culprit: excessive use of air conditioning.

The roof system features Boral’s MetalSeal self-adhering underlayment and above-sheathing ventilation. Photos: Boral Roofing LLC

The couple’s research also surprised them when they found a secondary cause for their soaring energy bills. After a thorough review, the Vus realized that the energy consumption they attributed to their air conditioner was also directly linked to a poorly performing roof. The existing, aged asphalt shingle direct deck roof was susceptible to reaching extremely hot temperatures in peak summer months, and its resistance to heat transfer was extremely poor.

The decision was then made to install a new roof system to combat the heat and exorbitant energy costs accrued during Southern California’s hotter months.

“Knowing that our energy bills weren’t going to resolve themselves, as well as the fact that we were nearing the expiration date of our asphalt roof anyhow, we made the decision to completely re-roof our home with a high-performance system,” says Christopher Vu.

A Lightweight Cool Roof

After researching their roofing options, the Vus sought a lightweight durable solution that would prevent heat transfer, offer a longer lifespan than asphalt and, of course, dramatically reduce their monthly electricity bill. After rigorous research, they selected the Boral Steel Cool Roof System, selecting Boral Steel PINE-CREST Shake, a stone coated steel material. The new roof was installed by Western Roofing Systems of Anaheim, California.

The cool roof system is comprised of a series of components that work in concert to keep the home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, reducing overall energy consumption. The result is optimized energy efficiency.

The roof was topped with Boral Steel PINE-CREST Shake, a stone coated steel material.

The lightweight stone coated steel roofing panel is manufactured from Galvalume steel and is coated with stone granules applied to the steel with an acrylic polymer adhesive. The material offers a cost-effective solution whose lighter weight poses no structural load issues. With an aesthetic that mimics traditional shake, the roof complements adjacent homes in the Vus’ neighborhood, many of which feature actual shake roofing.

“The product is steel, so it’s sturdy but also looks nice and fits right into the neighborhood aesthetic,” says Vu.

The Vus utilized an alternative solution to the 30-pound felt underlayment commonly utilized in Southern California, choosing Boral’s MetalSeal high-performance water barrier. A self-adhered product that virtually eliminates the need for nails, the underlayment is resistant to puncturing, allowing roofers to stack panels on it during installation, saving numerous time-consuming trips up and down to load product.

“For many reasons, we were able to reduce the expense and safety risk of our installation with the use of this underlayment,” adds Vu. “It also provides great protection from wind and water.”

The Vus’ cool roof system takes advantage of above-sheathing ventilation. Elevated battens provide both a thermal barrier and ventilation. Hot air rises and creates a natural convection effect. This allows the heated air to be exhausted through ventilation, leading to continuous airflow across the roof deck. The result is a cooler attic and interiors.

“We are pleasantly surprised at how effective the system is in creating a cooler living space inside our home,” says Vu.

Curb appeal and energy efficiency aside, the cool roof system is also designed to offer protection from storms and severe climate events. The roof system offers Class-4 Hail Impact Resistance, a Hurricane Wind Performance Rating and a Class A Fire Rating. The above-sheathing ventilation also enables above-deck insulation and airflow that prevents ice dams (even though that condition is less likely to occur in Southern California).

The Vus have been pleased with their new cool roof system, not only because it increases their comfort and looks nice, but because the lower costs have been quite noticeable.

“On average, we are saving almost $60 per month on our energy bills,” Vu notes. “These savings make a real difference for us and we couldn’t be happier.”

About the author: Pete Croft is brand manager for Steel Roofing with Boral Roofing LLC.  For more information, visit Boral Roofing online at www.BoralRoof.com; contact Pete at Pete.Croft@boral.com.

At North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose, the Farm Is on Top of the Building

The Farm at Pike & Rose covers 17,000 square feet of rooftop space in North Bethesda, Maryland. Photos: Federal Realty Investment Trust

If today’s locavores are enthusiastic about locally grown food because it’s fresher than typical supermarket food and doesn’t need to be preserved and brought in by truck, they’ll be thrilled with the Farm at Pike & Rose. Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT) has taken local farming to a new level — to the rooftop access from thesixth floor of one of Pike & Rose’s buildings in North Bethesda, Maryland. Instead of seeing concrete and HVAC equipment on the nearby roof, you see row after row of carefully cultivated crops between furrows of rich soil. Here, on 17,000 square feet of sunny roof, lies the largest rooftop farm in the Mid-Atlantic region.

With its flexible, waterproof membrane, the roof was originally conceived as a green roof to be covered with seeded mats. It was designed to withstand and perform in submersed water conditions like no-slope decks, water features, pools, and vegetated roofs. In 2018, the original plantings were converted to an active urban farm, producing greens and vegetables that are served at restaurant tables 40 feet below and through Community Support Agriculture (CSA) boxes to some residents in the adjacent residences. FRIT brought in an outside expert to manage the new venture, Up Top Acres. The local farming company is committed to converting underutilized spaces into productive farmland and had already been operating farms on a number of DC area rooftops since 2014.

Up Top Acres, a local farming company, manages the rooftop farm. The company is committed to converting underutilized spaces into productive farmland.

Since the building’s roof was already engineered to support the weight of eight inches of soil and any precipitation that might fall on it as a green roof, it was not too difficult to replace the existing ground cover with productive crops. Experience taught Up Top Acres that access and storage were key concerns. Working with FRIT they identified an unused portion of the adjacent parking garage — accessible both by truck from the outside and by elevator from the farm — which was fenced off to house farm supplies and a refrigeration unit. On the roof, a secondary storage area holds tools for the day-to-day management of the farm. The original roof access hatch located within the projection room of the iPic movie theater was not a realistic pathway for daily garden visits, so a ladder from the adjacent sixth-floor landing of the Pallas apartment building and a hoist for heavy lifting were constructed to facilitate transporting supplies and the ongoing harvest.

This summer, farmers harvested a rainbow of goodness from the rooftop: lettuce, cucumbers, watermelons, berries, swiss chard, okra, peppers (Shishito, Lunchbox and Carmen varieties), microgreens, herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, sage, mint), lavender blossoms and edible flowers. All of the produce goes to customers within a few blocks of where it is grown. Remaining food and any farm shares that are not picked up are donated to the Manna Food Bank which serves the surrounding community.

Numerous Benefits

Operating a farm on the roof has distinct advantages from a wildlife perspective—it eliminates much of the danger from rodents as well as digging and foraging animals that are the bane of many ground-level farms — and it increases biodiversity within the city. The exposed area does attract birds, so fabric row covers are used to protect the most vulnerable and attractive crops. To ensure effective pollination, the farm features two beehives on site.

This summer, farmers harvested a wide variety of crops. All of the produce goes to local customers or is donated to the Manna Food Bank which serves the surrounding community.

An unexpected benefit has been the positive response from tenants in adjacent buildings who enjoy watching the steady growth of the crops and the deliberate care of the farmers at work. Operation disruptions have been prevented by the careful design for getting farmers and equipment up and harvested produce down to the garage staging area. Other positives include the reduced cost of not having to maintain the section of the roof being farmed, and a mutually beneficial arrangement for enlisting the farmers for maintenance on the rest of the building’s green roof — providing some side income for the farmers and reducing the hassle and traffic of working with another contractor.

To minimize risks, the developer checked with the roof manufacturer to make sure the new usage would not void any product warranties and included liability protection in its agreement with Up Top Acres. Since weather is unpredictable, a smart sprinkler system was installed to monitor rainfall and adjust irrigation in response to need. A separate meter was installed for the sprinklers to ensure that the building’s water costs are equitably divided. With input and support from the University of Maryland Extension service, the Pike & Rose rooftop garden has become a pilot program for sustainable urban agriculture and the lessons and best practices discovered by the farmers are being collected and transmitted to other groups who are interested in similar projects.

For the farmers who started Up Top Acres — three of whom are Washington, D.C. natives — the Pike & Rose rooftop garden is the crowning jewel in the network of farms they’ve established to bring local food and sustainability to the urban landscape where they grew up. For the rest of us, the transformation of this ocean of impermeable concrete into a living, thriving ecosystem in the middle of a bustling mixed-use development is a window into the possibilities for coupling the convenience of city life with the ecological stewardship and wholesome freshness of local, sustainable farming.

About the Author: Mickey Papillon, CRRP, CSM, is Vice President – Regional General Manager, Federal Realty Investment Trust. Federal Realty’s environmental practices are reflected in the way they develop and manage their properties: from their efforts to minimize and reduce environmental impact through energy management, waste reduction and resource-efficient buildings in transit-oriented locations, to investing in renewable energy sources, and creating places that promote health and well-being.

Green Roof Benefits in Rain or Shine

In the open country, large swaths of green — lawn, forests, and farms — convert the sun’s light to energy for plant growth and cool the area around them. In the city, where asphalt, concrete, and rooftops absorb the heat during the day and release it at night, an “urban heat island” effect that raises the temperature of the entire area can be created. These impermeable surfaces send storm water into gutters and streets, carrying pollutants and biological contaminants into waterways.

Cities often focus on the vital work of reforestation and setting aside conservation areas and parks to mitigate some of these problems. But there are many ideas for incorporating permeable surfaces and growing spaces into the built environment that can magnify the benefits of these programs. Research by scientists at the University of Cardiff in the UK found that implementing green roofs and walls can significantly lower temperatures—the hotter the city, the greater the cooling effect. During the hottest months in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for example, a network of green roofs would shave 9.1 Celsius or about 16 degrees Fahrenheit from the temperature. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a green roof also absorbs between 50-90 percent of the water and contaminants that would otherwise flow into storm drains.

Many states are embracing green construction codes that outline targets for reducing water and energy consumption, diverting debris from landfills, and mitigating heat island effects. For example, in Maryland, any development that affects more than 5,000 square feet of land triggers the state’s storm water performance standards that require developers to retain and treat 90 percent of the average annual rainfall. These policies, coupled with incentive programs that offer substantial rewards and tax credits for approved storm water management systems, have catapulted a number of area cities into the top 10 for number of green roof square feet, with Washington, DC coming in first. Green roofs also contribute to cleaner air quality and provide a building with natural insulation, decreasing heating and cooling costs.