An Oceanfront Elementary School Poses Tough Problems, but a Coated Aluminum Standing-seam Roof Passes the Test

Elementary school students sometimes find themselves staring out the window, but few have a view to rival that of the students at Sullivan’s Island Elementary School in Sullivan’s Island, S.C. The school is located on oceanfront property, and when it was time for the original building to be rebuilt, the site posed numerous challenges.

The standing-seam roof is made up of 0.040-inch coated aluminum panels that are 18-inches wide.

The standing-seam roof is made up of 0.040-inch coated aluminum panels that are 18-inches wide.

The original school had been built in the 1950s. It had been designed for 350 students and built on grade. The new school would have to be elevated to conform to modern building codes and service 500 students. The structure would not only have to withstand high winds, severe weather and a salt-air environment, but it also would have to fit into its surroundings. Many residents feared the larger building would look out of place in the cozy beach community. It was architect Jerry English’s job to figure out a way to make it work.

English is a principal at Cummings & McCrady Architects, Charleston, S.C., the architect of record on the project. He worked with a talented team of construction professionals, including Ricky Simmons, general manager of Keating Roofing & Sheet Metal Co. Inc. in Charleston, to refine his vision and bring it to life. English and Simmons shared their insight on the project, and they both point to the building’s metal roof as a key element in the project’s success.

CHALLENGING DESIGN

Cummings & McCrady Architects handles a broad range of commercial, institutional, religious and historic work—new construction and renovation. The firm had done a lot of work with the Charleston County School District over the years, including a small library addition for the original Sullivan’s Island Elementary School after Hurricane Hugo passed through in 1989, and it was awarded the new construction project.

The building’s foundation system had to meet strict regulations regarding resistance to storm surge. The building is elevated on concrete piers, which were topped with a 6-inch reinforced concrete slab. Metal framing was constructed above the slab. “With our building, we had to raise the underside of the structure almost 7 feet above the grade,” English recalls. “What we did is we built it a little bit higher than that so the underside could be left open and used for playground.”

For English, coming up with a design that would reflect the character of the local community was the biggest challenge. To achieve that goal, he broke up the building into four sections and spread them across the site with the tallest sections in the center. “We have four linked segments that transition down on each end to the height of the adjacent residences,” he says.

The roof was also designed to blend in with the neighboring homes, many of which feature metal roofs. “The idea of pitched roofs with overhangs became a strong unifying element,” English explains.

English checked with several major metal roofing manufacturers to determine which products could withstand the harsh oceanfront environment and wind-uplift requirements. “Virtually every one of them would only warranty aluminum roofing,” he says. “The wind requirement and the resistance to the salt air were what drove us to a coated aluminum roof.”

The majority of the panels were factory-made, but the manufacturer supplied the rollforming machine and the operator to handle the onsite rollforming of the largest panels.

The majority of the panels were factory-made, but Petersen Aluminum supplied the rollforming machine and the operator to handle the onsite rollforming of the largest panels.

The standing-seam roof is made up of 0.040-inch coated aluminum panels that are 18-inches wide. Metal trusses give the roof system its shape. English tapped the resources of roof consultant ADC in Charleston and the metal roofing manufacturer to iron out all the details. English wanted to avoid any cross seams in the metal roofing, so he worked with Dave Landis, the manufacturer’s architectural/technical sales manager, to arrange for the longest panels to be formed onsite.

The roof also includes two decks that serve as outdoor teaching areas. These sections were covered with a two-ply modified bitumen roof system and protected with a multi-colored elevated concrete paver system.

Another standout feature is the school’s entry tower, which is topped by a freestanding hip roof featuring curved panels. This roof was constructed with panels that were 12-inches wide. “We found other examples on the island where the base of the roof flares a little bit as a traditional element, and with the closer seamed panels they were able to get those curves,” English says. “It’s a refinement that’s a little different than the rest of the roof, but it’s the proper scale and the fine detailing pulls it together and sets if off from the main roof forms that are behind it.”

PHOTOS: Petersen Aluminum Corp.

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CertainTeed Employees Roll Up Their Sleeves to Assist Homes for Our Troops

CertainTeed Corporation, along with employees from its Kansas City, Kansas, insulation plant and professional partners are rolling up their sleeves to assist Homes for Our Troops (HFOT). HFOT is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to building specially adapted, mortgage-free homes for severely injured Veterans. The latest team effort shows support and appreciation for a local Lee’s Summit, Missouri Veteran.
 
CertainTeed offers a portfolio of roofing, insulation, drywall, siding, housewrap and trim for builds across the U.S. CertainTeed’s involvement also extends to employees actively participating in HFOT local community events, as well as builder, distributor, and company contractor partners who assist with product delivery and installation.
 
Due to the proximity to the company’s insulation manufacturing facility in Kansas City, Kansas, local CertainTeed employees are able to do even more for Marine Sgt. Dustin Johns, taking action along with more than 150 people to assist with landscaping and other exterior beautification details during Volunteer Day. Several supporters, including long-time Kansas builder and HFOT partner Sallee Homes of Lee’s Summit, was on hand when the home was officially presented to the Johns family during the formal Key Ceremony.
 
A technician with the 2nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Company, Sgt. Johns was clearing an area of explosive hazards in Sangin Valley, Afghanistan on November 12, 2011 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED). The blast resulted in the amputation of both legs and two fingers on his right hand.
 
He was fitted with prosthetics for both legs, but learning to walk again is only one challenge of day-to-day life. Sgt. Johns’ mortgage-free home provided by HFOT is specially designed to accommodate his needs and is a crucial step in helping his family rebuild their lives.
 
“When we heard about Homes for Our Troops building a home so near our largest insulation manufacturing facility, our staff, both at the corporate and local level, were excited at the chance to do more than usual for the local hero,” said Greg Silvestri, president of CertainTeed Insulation. “Everyone who has touched this project, from our builder, distributor and contractor partners to the employees at the plant to our company sales territory managers, have expressed their thankfulness for being able to step in, and eagerness to participate in another build when the opportunity presents itself.”
 
In conjunction with CertainTeed, Insulate America has participated in a number of builds since becoming involved with HFOT in the past few years.
 
“We do charitable work within the communities that we serve. Whether that’s a check, or with some hands on work. It’s rewarding when you come to the home that is being built for one of our Veterans to see the impact and the community coming together,” said David Beam, president of Insulate America. “It’s a small token of appreciation for their sacrifice and our freedom.”

This was the first time A+ Insulation, an Insulate America member contractor from Edwardsville, Kansas, provided installation services for a HFOT build.

“I really had no idea the lengths Homes for Our Troops goes through to personally customize each home to benefit the life of each deserving Veteran. It’s amazing,” said Mike O’Hara, president of A+ Insulation. “And CertainTeed Sales Territory Manager John Larkin was wonderful to work with, making it easy to complete the insulation installation on schedule.”
 
Since its founding in 2004, HFOT has built more than 220 mortgage-free, specially adapted energy-efficient homes for Veterans severely injured in combat after September 11, 2001. Each four-bedroom, two-bath home is Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant, complete with roll-in showers, roll-under cooktops and sinks, and other standard accessibility items. Construction of a home takes six to seven months, with the cost of each build averaging $430,000.
 
To learn more about CertainTeed’s Homes for Our Troops partnership, visit www.certainteed.com/followtheproject.

Vivint Solar Inc. and Renovate America Collaborate to Offer Rooftop Solar to More Homeowners

Vivint Solar Inc. and Renovate America are collaborating to expand access to rooftop solar for homeowners. By offering Renovate America’s HERO program as its PACE financing option, Vivint Solar is enabling more homeowners to purchase solar systems and lower their utility bills.

Under this business agreement, homeowners will be able to use HERO financing to purchase Vivint Solar systems and pay for them over time through their local property taxes. Payments are made at a fixed interest rate for terms of five to 20 years, and the interest on the payments may be tax deductible. Since it is expected that the system will stay with the home and provide utility savings into the future, any remaining balance on the assessment may be able to transfer to a new homeowner at the time of sale.

The announcement of this relationship comes at the same time as the Federal Housing Administration’s recently issued federal policy guidance that endorses PACE financing.

“We are excited to work together with Renovate America to provide this solar financing product that will make solar available to a range of consumers, including those who either do not have the upfront capital for a solar energy system or for whom traditional loans, Power Purchase Agreements or Solar System Lease Agreements are not viable options,” said Vivint Solar Executive Vice President of Capital Markets, Thomas Plagemann. “We are pleased with the new FHA guidelines that open the door to wider acceptance of the PACE financing product throughout the United States.”

Since its launch at the end of 2011, HERO, which stands for Home Energy Renovation Opportunity, has financed more than $1.5 billion of improvements such as solar, energy-saving roofing, windows, and doors, more efficient HVAC systems, and building insulation. About a quarter of the home energy improvement projects – around 19,000 – have been rooftop solar installations.

“More than 67,000 homeowners have invested in the efficiency of their homes,” said Greg Memo, executive vice president of business development and product strategy at Renovate America. “Vivint Solar and Renovate America are able to provide more families the ability to go solar and lower their utility bills.”

Vivint Solar is rolling out the HERO Program throughout California, and both companies are working with state and local governments to expand this product offering nationwide.

Polyiso Wall Insulation Product Line Meets New Model Energy Codes

EnergyShield CGF Pro, glass faced polyiso insulation for commercial exterior walls, helps protect the integrity of the continuous insulation layer.

EnergyShield CGF Pro, glass faced polyiso insulation for commercial exterior walls, helps protect the integrity of the continuous insulation layer.

EnergyShield CGF Pro and EnergyShield Ply Pro are the newest members of the Atlas Roofing Corporation’s commercial polyiso wall insulation line.

EnergyShield CGF Pro, glass faced polyiso insulation for commercial exterior walls, helps protect the integrity of the continuous insulation layer by resisting jobsite damage, particularly in masonry, brick veneer and metal panel assemblies. Additionally, the product offers more vapor permeability than foil-faced insulation, has multiple NFPA fire tested assemblies and is engineered for incorporation into commercial wall assemblies.

EnergyShield Ply Pro is a Class A polyiso wall insulation bonded to plywood for commercial continuous wall insulation systems. The single component provides insulation, together with a fire-treated plywood substrate that can be mechanically fastened to various cladding systems, resulting in fast installations and labor savings. EnergyShield Ply Pro offers the highest R-value per inch of any rigid insulation.

“One of our key priorities is to make Polyiso products easy for designers and installers to use in commercial applications,” said Tom Robertson, EnergyShield bsiness unit manager. “These products are intended to bring design flexibility, R-value and NFPA fire tested assemblies advantages of Polyiso to a wider audience.”

EnergyShield CGF Pro and Ply Pro are available for ordering though an Atlas representative. The EnergyShield line of high performance insulation provides continuous insulation boards for all design, code and efficiency requirements. EnergyShield products are designed and manufactured in eight locations throughout the US and Canada by Atlas Roofing Corporation.

Dow Plans to Construct Extruded Polystyrene Manufacturing Facility

The Dow Chemical Company announces its plans to construct a manufacturing facility to be located in Burley, Idaho. The facility will be operated by Dow Building Solution (DBS), a business unit within Dow, and produce STYROFOAM Brand Extruded Polystyrene (XPS) Insulation – a thermal insulation solution facilitating sustainability and innovation in the building and construction industry since its discovery in 1941.

Building upon its 75 years of innovation, the STYROFOAM Brand Extruded Polystyrene Insulation facility will come on-line utilizing DOW BLUEDGE Polymeric Flame Retardant Technology – an invention that is transforming the market as the industry standard flame retardant for use in polystyrene foam insulation, as it meets the demands of global energy efficiency regulations and sustainable building design.

The construction of the XPS facility exemplifies Dow’s commitment to the DBS growth strategy and strengthens its ability to deliver sustainable insulation solutions to customers, especially in Western Canada and the United States. The facility also demonstrates Dow’s pledge to provide operations performance in natural resource efficiency, environment, health, and safety, as outlined in Dow’s 2025 Sustainability goals.

“The construction of this facility will allow us to respond to market demand and deliver sustainable building solutions to our customers,” said Tim Lacey, global business director for Dow Building Solutions. “The collaboration with the city of Burley has been critical to reach this agreement and we look forward to continue collaborating together into the future.”

“Dow’s decision to build in Burley speaks about the quality of our workforce, the business- friendliness of our state and communities, and the great diversity that we are developing in Idaho’s economy,” Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter said. “It’s always great to welcome a corporate citizen to Idaho, and I’m excited about the opportunities for existing Idaho businesses to help meet the supply chain needs of this new enterprise.”

“We are thrilled to have a company such as Dow locating in Burley” said Director of Economic Development, Doug Manning. “They are a leader in business and innovation, and the immediate and future economic impact on this community will be exceptional. It’s a ‘win’ for the City of Burley to have a Fortune 50 Company locating here. This has been a collaborative effort from the State, the City, Burley Development Authority, Southern Idaho Economic Development Organization, and other local entities. We are excited to have Dow as a new community partner. They have been wonderful to work with to make this project happen,” he said.

Groundbreaking on the 60,000 square feet project is expected to occur in 2016 with project completion targeted for the latter portion of 2017. Manufacturing of STYROFOAM XPS Insulation is expected to begin in early 2018. Construction of the project will employ approximately 80 workers during peak construction and create 21 full-time manufacturing jobs at the height of operation.

BASF Offers Expandable Polystyrene With Polymeric Flame Retardant Material

As a commitment to the efficiency, sustainability, and safety of its customers, BASF only offers its expandable polystyrene (EPS) with the polymeric flame retardant (PolyFR). Neopor Graphite-enhanced Polystyrene (GPS) provides the insulation industry with a raw material that combines high insulation quality, safety, ease of processing, and low weight, resulting in a contribution to global climate protection goals.

“Our customers look to BASF to provide high-quality materials,” said Luis Espada, business manager, Neopor Insulation North America. “The change to PolyFR in our products is an example of the commitment to continually enhancing our product portfolio.”

PolyFR also improves the environmental profile of the material, as confirmed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Relevant first tests show the same results and classification as legacy FR products, such as ASTM E84, UL S701, NFPA 286, and NFPA 285.

“Switching to PolyFR guarantees the supply of eco-efficient thermal insulation products for sustainable building and construction in the future,” said Giorgio Greening, BASF global business unit, Styrenic Foams. “Energy efficiency in the commercial and residential construction section is now a bigger challenge than ever for the entire value chain. As a raw material manufacturer, we want to supply our customers with quality materials with optimal properties.”

Neopor is a registered trademark of BASF SE.

Complete Cool Roof System Extends the Service Life of New and Existing Roofs

Rhino Linings released a complete cool roof system engineered to improve building energy efficiency while extending the service life of new and existing roofs.

Rhino Linings released a complete cool roof system engineered to improve building energy efficiency while extending the service life of new and existing roofs.

Rhino Linings Corp., a manufacturer and distributor of spray-on protective linings, coatings and foam, released a complete cool roof system engineered to improve building energy efficiency while extending the service life of new and existing roofs.

The DuraTite spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing system holds a UL 790 Class A fire rating and is designed to provide a lightweight insulation system over various roof constructions and configurations. Unlike traditional roofing methods, DuraTite SPF roofing system offers a high R-value for superior thermal insulation, covers complex geometrical shapes and protrusions and applies directly to existing substrates in new and retrofit applications.

In addition to DuraTite SPF roofing system’s high-performance, it also offers significant life-cycle cost savings. An SPF roofing system is seamless and requires little-to-no maintenance. Roofing topcoats, like DuraTite acrylic, silicone, urethane and polyurea coatings may be reapplied numerous times, increasing the life of the roof.

The complete system combines spray foam with a full range of acrylic, silicone, urethane and polyurea coatings for a total roofing system that insulates, seals and protects. Products in this system include:

  • Acrylic Coatings — DuraTite 1065 and DuraTite 1070 single component, acrylic roof coatings demonstrate excellent adhesion to polyurethane foam, concrete, masonry, primed metal, primed wood and primed asphalt roofs. When applied at 12 DFT (dry film thickness) and fully cured, DuraTite 1065 and 1070 exhibit exceptional weatherability and resistance.
  • Silicone Coatings — DuraTite 1380 and DuraTite 1395 are high-solid, single-component, silicone coatings with low VOCs and excellent chemical and abrasion resistance. When applied, DuraTite 1380 and 1395 form a breathable membrane, making it an ideal choice for new and recoat applications over metals, single-ply membranes, masonry block, concrete and spray polyurethane foam roofing systems where moisture may be present.
  • Urethane Coatings — DuraTite 1175 and DuraTite 1285 are high-solid, single-component urethane coatings that can be applied in a wide range of ambient temperatures and humidity levels. Both offer superior impact and crack resistance. DuraTite 1285 also offers enhanced UV stability.
  • Polyurea Coatings — DuraTite 2185 is a fast set, rapid cure, 100 percent solids, plural component aluminized polyurea spray-applied lining offers enhanced UV stability and remains flexible in cold temperatures. DuraTite 2185 demonstrates exceptional adhesion to spray polyurethane foam, concrete, bitumen and asphaltic roofing felts, steel, wood and most substrates in extreme cold and warm climates.
  • Spray Polyurethane Foam — DuraTite CC 2.5, DuraTite 2.8 and DuraTite 3.0 closed-cell polyurethane foam products’ lightweight, seamless construction ensures leak-proof performance and allows for value engineering labor and material cost savings.

DuraTite SPF roofing system guide specifications and five-, 10-, 15- and 20-year warranties are available for use on roof substrates, such as metal, built-up roof membrane, single ply, wood recoat and concrete.

CertainTeed Building Products Receive Top Ratings

Just in time for spring home improvement projects, CertainTeed building products are receiving a definitive thumbs up from building professionals through Builder magazine’s 2016 Brand Use Study. Based on input from more than 1,300 builders and general contractors, CertainTeed insulated and vinyl siding products were overall brand leaders for the 20th consecutive year. CertainTeed’s exterior mouldings and columns, synthetic and asphalt roofing shingles and photovoltaic roofing systems enjoyed a near-sweep of their respective categories. And CertainTeed insulation products received top ranking in brand familiarity among the building community.

“Builder magazine’s annual study represents the voice of building professionals and value they place on the various key products. We have a long-standing track record as a brand that building professionals trust for beautiful, innovative and sustainable materials,” says Mara Villanueva-Heras, vice president of Corporate Marketing for CertainTeed Corp. “We value their confidence and loyalty and appreciate their continued support. As a benchmark for the industry, it confirms that CertainTeed offers a credible, one-stop resource for builders looking to boost the curb appeal, energy efficiency and value to the homes they build.”

Each year, Builder magazine publishes its Brand Use Study to provide an in-depth look at the brands that builders, developers, and general contractors recognize and use most. Conducted by The Farnsworth Group, products were ranked by ‘Brand Familiarity,’ ‘Brand Used in Past Two Years,’ ‘Brand Used Most’ and ‘Quality Rating.’

For the 20th year in a row, CertainTeed vinyl siding and CedarBoards insulated siding were selected as the No. 1 choices across the board. A highly engineered alternative to wood siding, vinyl siding offered in more than 40 different colors and the widest selection of lap and vertical siding options. Molded from real cedar boards and backed with polystyrene insulation, CedarBoards insulated vinyl siding can increase overall thermal performance, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs. All CertainTeed siding products offer durability, ease-of-maintenance, and are backed by a lifetime, limited warranty.

In addition, this year CertainTeed exterior mouldings and columns were recognized as No. 1 in familiarity, brands used in the past two years and the brand used most. The product category includes low-maintenance EverNew vinyl porch post columns and Certa-Snap vinyl post wraps; as well as Restoration Millwork cellular PVC post wraps for easy, accurate installation around existing wood load bearing posts and long lasting curb appeal.

For the fifth year running, CertainTeed’s solar systems have been selected as industry leaders in the photovoltaic roofing system category. And in 2015 and 2016, the panels ranked No. 1 in all classifications. Apollo II features 60-watt monocrystalline PV panels that fully integrate with asphalt roofing shingles for a clean, seamless appearance. Apollo Tile II is also available for integration with flat, concrete tile roofs. Solstice, CertainTeed’s rack-mounted solar solution, utilizes 60-cell monocrystalline or polycrystalline panels with power ratings from 260 to 285 watts. All modules are made in the U.S. and backed by the industry’s most comprehensive roof and solar warranty.

CertainTeed offers a wide array of designer, luxury and traditional roofing shingle options with a variety of durable profiles, textures, colors and styles. For two consecutive years, the manufacturer ranked number one across the board in the Synthetic/Concrete/Clay Tile category for Symphony, a specially-engineered composite shingle manufactured to mimic the look and feel of natural slate—but in a lighter and more durable form that is a fraction of the price. And in the highly competitive asphalt shingle category, CertainTeed proudly ranked No. 1 in quality, brand familiarity, and as the brand used most in the past two years.

The company’s interior products also got a big nod this year, with insulation ranking No. 1 in brand familiarity. The comprehensive line of CertainTeed insulation products and equipment include time-tested and trusted fiberglass insulation batts and rolls, fiberglass blow-in insulation, polyurethane spray foam, innovative vapor retarder technology, and highly regarded HVAC products, as well as insulation blowing and foam application equipment. The high-performance product line helps contribute to a family’s complete indoor comfort through advanced thermal performance, moisture management to help prevent mold and mildew growth; air tightness to help reduce energy demand and costs; and acoustics by reducing sound transmission between rooms.

Using Engineered Geofoam for Garden Roofs

For most of the past century, the rooftops of commercial and institutional buildings have largely been places to locate unsightly mechanical systems. Architectural treatments, such as parapets and screens, provide visual relief from such equipment. Now, roofing professionals and building owners increasingly look at the roof as “found space”—a place to be planted and used, instead of hidden.

Facebook’s Frank Gehry-designed MPK 20 building sports a 9-acre green roof using EPS geofoam from Insulfoam.

Facebook’s Frank Gehry-designed MPK 20 building sports a 9-acre green roof using EPS geofoam from Insulfoam.

Throughout the U.S., garden roofs (or living roofs) are growing in popularity with more than 5.5 million square feet installed in 2014, according to Green Roofs for Healthy Cities. Most of that total was for private rather than public projects, indicating this is not just a government trend. In addition to providing attractive and usable open space, garden roofs offer environmental benefits, such as helping to slow and filter urban run-off.

Some of America’s largest companies have installed green roofs. Ford’s Dearborn, Mich., truck plant final assembly building sports one of the world’s largest living roofs at 454,000 square feet. In 2015, Facebook opened its MPK 20 office building in Menlo Park, Calif., with a 9-acre living roof featuring a 1/2-mile walking trail and more than 400 trees.

If you haven’t worked on a garden roof yet, it is likely only a matter of time until you do.

Addressing the Challenges of Garden Roofs

Weighing a fraction of soil, EPS geofoam fill creates ultra-lightweight landscaped features on Facebook’s garden roof.

Weighing a fraction of soil, EPS geofoam fill creates ultra-lightweight landscaped features on Facebook’s garden roof.


Adding plants and park-like amenities to a roof increases the complexity of the roofing assembly. Garden roofs present two primary challenges for roofing professionals to solve: minimizing the dead load and preventing moisture intrusion.

The project team for the Facebook MPK 20 building’s green roof met this two-fold need—and more—with expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam.

Weighing considerably less than soil, EPS geofoam is an ultra-lightweight engineered fill that can be used to create contoured landscape features, such as hills and valleys. The material weighs from 0.7 to 2.85 pounds per cubic foot, depending on the product type specified, compared to 110 to 120 pounds per cubic foot for soil.

Despite its low weight, EPS geofoam is designed for strength and has better load bearing capacity than most foundation soils. Geofoam’s compressive resistance ranges from approximately 2.2 psi to 18.6 psi (317 to 2,678 pounds per square foot) at a 1 percent deformation, depending on the product.

The garden roof on Facebook’s MPK 20 building provides ample open space and a half-mile walking trail for employees.

The garden roof on Facebook’s MPK 20 building provides ample open space and a 1/2-mile walking trail for employees.

EPS geofoam is also effective at addressing the second challenge of garden roofs: managing moisture absorption. The moisture performance of the various components in a green roof assembly is critical; retained water imposes additional loads on the roof and increases the risk of water damage to the roof assembly. EPS geofoam meeting ASTM D6817 standards works well here as it only absorbs 2 to 4 percent moisture by volume, even over long-term exposure, and it dries quickly. The moisture performance of EPS has been demonstrated in extensive in-situ applications and real-world testing, including research conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory. After burying EPS in wetted soil for nearly three years, the lab found that the material absorbed only 1.7 percent moisture by volume.

In addition to enabling lightweight, durable landscape features and helping to defend against water, EPS geofoam provides thermal insulation in garden roofs. Roofing professionals have used EPS insulation in roof assemblies for decades because it offers the highest R-value per dollar among rigid foam insulations.

Expect More Demand

Although green roofs currently account for a small portion of the billions of square feet of roofs in the U.S., expect to see more demand for them given their aesthetic and environmental benefits. High-performance materials, like EPS geofoam, can help provide a long-lasting, durable green roof assembly.

PHOTOS: Insulfoam

Concise Details and Coordination between Trades Will Lead to a Quality Long-term Solution for Roof Drains

PHOTO 1: Roof drains should be set into a sump receiver provided and installed by the plumbing contractor.

PHOTO 1: Roof drains should be set into a sump receiver provided and installed by the plumbing contractor.

The 2015 IECC roof thermal insulation codes have forced roof system designers to actually think through the roof system design rather than rely on generic manufacturers’ details or the old built-up roof detail that has been used in the office. Don’t laugh! I see it all the time. For the purpose of this article, I will deal with new construction so I can address the coordination of the interrelated disciplines: plumbing, steel and roof design. In roofing removal and replacement projects, the process and design elements would be similar but the existing roof deck and structural framing would be in place. The existing roof drain would need to be evaluated as to whether it could remain or needs to be replaced. My firm typically replaces 85 percent of all old roof drains for a variety of reasons.

The new 2015 IECC has made two distinctive changes to the 2012 IECC in regard to the thermal insulation requirements for low-slope roofs with the continuous insulation on the exterior side of the roof deck:

  • 1. It increased the minimum requirement of thermal R-value in each of the ASHRAE regions.
  • 2. It now requires that this minimum R-value be attained within 4 feet of the roof drain.

Item two is the game changer. If you consider that with tapered insulation you now need to meet the minimum near the drain, as opposed to an aver- age, the total insulation thickness can increase substantially.

PHOTO 2: Roof drains need to be secured to the roof deck with under-deck clamps so they cannot move.

PHOTO 2: Roof drains need to be secured to the roof deck with under-deck clamps so they cannot move.

THE ROOF DRAIN CHALLENGE

The challenge I see for designers is how to properly achieve a roof system design that will accommodate the new insulation thicknesses (without holding the drain off the roof deck, which I believe is below the designer’s standard of care), transition the roof membrane into the drain and coordinate with the related disciplines.

For the purpose of this tutorial, let’s make the following assumptions:

  • Steel roof deck, level, no slope
  • Internal roof drains
  • Vapor/air retarder required, placed on sheathing
  • Base layer and tapered insulation will be required
  • Cover board
  • Fully adhered 60-mil EPDM
  • ASHRAE Zone 5: Chicago area

FIGURE 1: Your detail should show the steel roof deck, steel angle framing coped to the structure, the metal sump receiver (manufactured by the roof drain manufacturer), roof drain and underdeck clamp to hold the roof drain to the roof deck.

FIGURE 1: Your detail should show the steel roof deck, steel angle framing coped to the structure, the metal sump receiver (manufactured by the roof drain manufacturer), roof drain and underdeck clamp to hold the roof drain to the roof deck.

Once the roof drain locations have been selected (for those new to this, the roof system designer should select the roof drain locations to best suit the tapered insulation layout), one should try to locate the roof drain in linear alignment to reduce tapered insulation offsets. The drain outlets should be of good size, 4-inch minimum, even if the plumbing engineer says they can be smaller. Don’t place them hundreds of feet apart. Once the roof drain location is selected, inform the plumbing and structural engineers.

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER COORDINATION
The first order of business would be to give the structural engineer a call and tell him the plumbing engineer will specify the roof drain sump pan and that the structural engineer should not specify an archaic, out-of-date sump pan for built-up roofs incorporating minimal insulation.

When located in the field of the roof, the roof drains should be at structural mid spans, not at columns. When a structural roof slope is used and sloped to an exterior roof edge, the roof drains should be located as close to walls as possible. Do not locate drains sever- al or more feet off the roof edge; it is just too difficult to back slope to them. Inform the structural engineer that the steel angles used to frame the opening need to be coped to the structure, not laid atop the structure. There’s no need to raise the roof deck right where all the water is to drain.

FIGURE 2: A threaded roof drain extension is required to make up the distance from deck up to the top of the insulation and must be screwed to a proper location (top of the insulation is recommended). To do so, the insulation below the drain will need to be slightly beveled. This is shown in the detail.

FIGURE 2: A threaded roof drain extension is required
to make up the distance from deck up to the top of the insulation and must be screwed to a proper location (top of the insulation is recommended). To do so, the insulation below the drain will need to be slightly beveled. This is shown in the detail.

PLUMBING COORDINATION
Now call the plumbing engineer and tell him you need a metal sump receiver (see Photo 1), underdeck clamp (see Photo 2), cast-iron roof drain with reversible collar, threaded extension ring capable of expanding upward 5 inches, and cast-iron roof drain clamping ring and dome.

Send the structural and plumbing engineer your schematic roof drain detail so they know exactly what you are thinking. Then suggest they place your detail on their drawings. Why? Because you cannot believe how much the plumbing roof-related details and architectural roof details often differ! Because details differ, the trade that works on the project first—plumbing— leaves the roofing contractor to deal with any inconsistencies.

Your detail at this point should show the steel roof deck, steel angle framing coped to the structure, the metal sump receiver (manufactured by the roof drain manufacturer), roof drain and underdeck clamp to hold the roof drain to the roof deck (see Figure 1).

PHOTOS AND ILLUSTRATIONS: HUTCHINSON DESIGN GROUP LLC

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