Re-Roof of Busy Post Office Facility Becomes Award-Winning Project

Crews from Roofing Solutions replaced the 300,000-square-foot roof on the United States Post Office General Mail Facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Photos: Sam Barnes

The United States Post Office General Mail Facility in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, manages mail for the entire Greater Baton Rouge area. When the roof on the 300,000-square-foot building was nearing the end of its useful life, it was clear the roof replacement project would pose some big challenges. It was a given that the new roof system must prove durable and reliable to protect the mail delivery system that businesses and individuals rely on every day. It was also critical that the re-roofing work would not interfere with mail processing at the facility, which operates around the clock.

Architect Crump Wilson and Wharry Engineering specified an asphalt roofing system for the project — a two-ply modified bitumen system manufactured by SOPREMA. All parties agreed that asphalt was the best roofing solution for the facility due to its longevity, durability, and long-term dependability.

Roofing Solutions, LLC, headquartered in Prairieville, Louisiana, was invited to bid on the project. “We were the successful low bidder,” says Tupac de la Cruz, the company’s founder and operations manager. “When we started working on the planning and phasing, we realized the job was going to be an undertaking because, number one, it was a big-size job, and number two, the facility works 24-7.”

Completing the project without interrupting operations would be the biggest challenge on the project. Crews could not interfere with traffic flow and mail deliveries, and would have to protect people and sensitive machinery inside.

“Before beginning the re-roof project, we were given a full tour of the facility,” de la Cruz says. “It was an eye-opening experience to see the equipment, systems, and personnel that manage the mail delivery process from start to finish. You had to coordinate with the facility manager, the transportation manager, and multiple stakeholders to make sure that you did not interrupt all of the conveyor lines sorting all of the mail coming in and out of that facility every day.”

Working in Sections

The deck was exposed to the interior, increasing the risk of dust falling onto the equipment, so Roofing Solutions crews installed a 6-mm protective film using a Spyder lift. “We installed special sheathing underneath the deck to protect the conveyor systems and all of the equipment,” noted de la Cruz. “We also had to protect the workers and make sure that there was no noise, no dust, or any disruptions from anything to do with the roof replacement.”

Sunbelt Vacuum Service was contracted to remove the rooftop gravel. Then the old built-up plies were then cut up and removed by hand. “We had a metal deck, and we couldn’t put any heavy equipment on it,” de la Cruz recalls.

Work proceeded in sections to ensure everything remained watertight. “You had to cover everything you’d demo the same day,” de la Cruz says. “In the summertime in Louisiana, it can rain almost every afternoon.”

The new roof system included two layers of mechanically attached polyiso insulation, which was topped with SOPRABOARD, an asphaltic cover board, which was adhered with COLPLY adhesive. The two ply system was comprised of a base play and a cap sheet Designers chose SOPREMA’s Solar Granule cap sheet membrane, which provides the benefit of high reflectivity. Torches were not allowed on the project, so the membrane was set in cold adhesive. “Because we could not use any torches, all of the laps for modified bitumen cap had to be sheet welded with a robot like you were doing single-ply,” notes de la Cruz.

The roof system specified for the project was a two-ply modified bitumen system topped with SOPREMA’s Solar Granule cap sheet membrane.

Most of the roof area was clear sailing, but access at the jobsite was limited due to the busy transportation routes. “It was a nice, wide roof,” says del la Cruz. “The hardest part was getting the material from one end of the roof to the other, because we only had access at one point. No motorized vehicles were allowed up there, but we were able to use carts to move material from one end to the other.”

The roof features four large raised sections framed with clerestory windows, and the multiple levels sometimes made moving material difficult. “In some cases, you had to bring the material across one level, bring it up to another level and back down again,” says de la Cruz.

The existing skylights were replaced with new single-slope skylights manufactured by KalWall.

Safety and Security

The safety plan utilized mix of guardrails, perimeter flagging, and safety monitors, depending on the configuration of each section. “We also had to have a flagging man on the bottom to make sure we were not interfering with the 18-wheelers coming in and out with their packages,” de la Cruz says. “The project extended over Thanksgiving and Christmas, and you couldn’t imagine the amount of trucking that goes through that facility during Christmas.”

Making sure everyone was on the same page was crucial. Weekly planning meetings were supplemented with daily huddles. “We met with the facility manager every morning to make sure we let him know where we’d be and what we were going to do that day,” de la Cruz explains, “Every afternoon, we’d let him know what the plan for the next day was so they could plan ahead. It was a very proactive approach.”

The crew, which included 20 men during the peak of the project, usually accomplished 3,000 to 3,500 square feet of demo and roof replacement per day. The project was completed in seven months — three months ahead of schedule.

The project was recognized by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association as the Silver Award winner in the 2020 ARMA Excellence In Asphalt Roofing Awards program, which recognizes industry professionals for their high-performing steep-slope and low-slope asphalt roofing projects across North America.

“We had such pride in completing that project because it was so large and we had zero injuries, no issues, and the client was very happy. We decided to submit it, and we got the award,” says de la Cruz.

“We finished the project about three months ahead of schedule, and we were able to complete the job with no interruptions to the facility. We knew if we could do that, in the end it would be a successful project.”

For more information about submitting a project for the Excellence in Asphalt Roofing Awards, visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

TEAM

Architect: Crump Wilson, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, www.crumpwilsonarchitects.com

Roof Consultant: Wharry Engineering, Garland, Texas, www.wharry.com

Roofing Contractor: Roofing Solutions LLC, Prairieville, Louisiana, www.roofingsolutionsla.com

MATERIALS

Membrane: SG Solar Granule Cap Sheet, SOPREMA, www.soprema.us

Cover Board: SOPRABOARD, SOPREMA

Skylights: Kalwall, www.kalwall.com

SOPREMA Grants $20,000 in Scholarships During Its Fifth Award Year

SOPREMA Inc. has selected four outstanding students to receive scholarships to pursue undergraduate or graduate degrees in a building envelope field. Each of the 2020–2021 recipients received $5,000 to cover school expenses in the coming academic year.

“SOPREMA is proud to award these scholarships, especially as we celebrate the fifth anniversary of our scholarship program,” said Jennifer Kramer, SOPREMA’s senior content strategist and the scholarship program manager. “By presenting scholarships to these deserving students, we’re continuing the investment in the next generation and pledging our commitment to the sustained success and growth of the industry.”

The SOPREMA Scholarship assists students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture, engineering, construction management or similar building envelope fields at accredited four-year colleges or universities. Scholarship winners are selected based on academic record, demonstrated leadership and participation in school and community activities, honors, work experience, an essay and an online recommendation. Financial need is not considered.

According to the company, demand for the SOPREMA scholarship grew exponentially this year. “We adjusted our marketing and outreach to help attract more applicants, and we saw earlier and greater interest from across the U.S.,” Kramer said. “Application submissions grew by nearly 7,000 percent this year! We had applicants from all 50 states, which is the first time we’ve seen this since the start of our program in 2016.”

SOPREMA 2020-2021 Scholarship recipients include: 

Dudley Moore of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is a graduate student at the University of Alabama studying mechanical engineering who will graduate in December 2021. A McNair Research Scholar and National Society of Black Engineers Volunteer of the Year recipient, Moore completed his third internship this summer as a heat transfer associate for Solar Turbines. He wants to develop energy solutions to address the demands of growing populations.

Alex Sewell of Salisbury, Maryland, is a freshman at the University of Maryland (UMD): School of Engineering and Honors College who is studying mechanical engineering. He will graduate in May 2024. He was active in the “Project Lead the Way Engineering Advanced Placement Program” in high school and received the UMD Banneker/Key Scholar Award, Regan Leadership Medal. He is already a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of American Military Engineers.

Rhett Tinklenberg of Harrisburg, South Dakota, is a sophomore studying construction management at the South Dakota State University Fishback Honors College. He will graduate in May 2023. He serves as the secretary of the Construction Management Club and vice president of finance of the South Dakota Alpha chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon. He works for a custom home builder in Sioux Falls and looks forward to constructing new buildings with new technology and innovative materials.

William Welch of Burbank, California, is a senior at the University of California – Los Angeles studying mechanical engineering. He will graduate in June 2021. A Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society inductee, Welch earned second-place honors at the 2020 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. He’s also a UCLA Northrop Grumman award recipient who wants to contribute to the development and distribution of renewable energy technologies while integrating sustainable energies into everyday lives through wind and solar energy generation.

For more information, visit www.soprema.us

Convoy Supply Appoints New President

Convoy Supply announced the appointment of Martin Côté as president of the company, replacing Alma Garnett.

“We wish to thank Ms. Garnett for her leadership during these past years as Convoy Supply became part of the SOPREMA Group of companies in 2012,” the company said in a statement. “Mr. Côté comes to this position with more than 20 years of experience in the construction industry, most recently as Deputy Director of Convoy Supply, and after serving as Vice-President for the North American RESISTO, a division of SOPREMA. He contributed extensively to creating and establishing RESISTO as a brand, and the division grew exponentially during his tenure. Mr. Côté brings a high level of expertise, energy, enthusiasm, and knowledge of the construction industry to Convoy Supply.”

According to the company, his mandate will be to support the growth and operational optimization of Convoy Supply across Canada and the United States, and provide the highest level of service to the company’s customers and suppliers.

Established in 1972, Convoy Supply is an independent wholesale construction materials distributor in North America with 44 locations spanning six provinces and four states. For more information, visit convoy-supply.com.

SOPREMA Offers Upcoming Roofing Webinars

SOPREMA, Inc. announced that the company is sponsoring three upcoming AIA-approved webinars on topics facing the industry today. 

JUNE 16 @ 2PM

The Building Envelope Campaign: Creating More Energy-Efficient Buildings

Did you know that the building envelope is one of the most overlooked areas of available energy savings in commercial buildings? The Building Envelope Campaign, which launched June 10, 2020, has been developed by the Building Envelope Technology Research Team, a part of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Better Buildings Program, to help building owners and managers create more energy-efficient buildings by targeting the building envelope thermal performance, determining available energy savings and providing technical support. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

JUNE 30 @ 2PM

Low-Slope Roofing: The Latest ASCE 7 Wind Design Requirements

Join SOPREMA’s own Darren Perry as he focuses on commercial low-slope roofing wind design, and covers fundamental building codes and standards related to wind design. His presentation will include a detailed review of ASCE 7, “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings & Other Structures.” LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

JULY 28 @ 2PM

Single-Ply Roof Systems: Not All Things Are Created Equal

Are you interested in the technology, history and benefits of single-ply roof systems, with a core focus on EPDM, PVC and TPO? Hear from SOPREMA’s own Eric Younkin, as he reviews the anatomy of the single-ply membrane, its life cycle impacts and so much more. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

For more information about SOPREMA, visit https://soprema.us

A Talented Team Meets the Needs of New Children’s Hospital

Key priorities for the roof on the new Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital included durability, resilience and low maintenance. Photos: Roofing Solutions LLC

Roofing is a rewarding job; it is worthwhile to know someone or something is safer thanks to your work and craftsmanship. Every day across North America, roofing systems are helping keep people, possessions and businesses safe. In 2017, a mission to help heal the children of Louisiana began at the groundbreaking ceremony for Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.

When the hospital opens in the fall of 2019, it will join a statewide network providing families greater access to physicians trained to care for children in more than 25 specialties. The new hospital will also join the Children’s Miracle Network, a nonprofit group that relies on donations, community support and fundraising partners. Comprised of 170 hospitals in the United States and Canada, the group treats more than 22,000 children a day, and 1 in 10 children in North America are treated by the network each year.

To help protect such an important building, a high-quality roofing system was mandatory. So, the local professionals from Roofing Solutions LLC were enlisted to identify a roofing system that matched the building owner’s requirements: durability, resilience and low maintenance.

Designing the Roofing System

“We were invited to participate in the designing process, and it quickly became more than just a project,” says Tupac de la Cruz, the founder and operations manager of Roofing Solutions LLC. “Due to the nature of the building, we needed roofing materials that possessed exceptional strength and a low-maintenance factor to avoid possibly loud disturbances from upkeep.”

The roof system incorporates designs that reflect the diverse ecosystem of the Louisiana bayou. The theme is carried over to the internal design elements, with each floor evoking the area’s woodlands, marshes and coasts. Photos: Roofing Solutions LLC

The system also needed to support extensive foot traffic and aesthetic customizations, according to de la Cruz. Portions of the roof were colored and decorated to reflect the diverse ecosystem of the Louisiana bayou, helping make the view more comforting. This matched internal design elements too, where each floor is designed to spotlight vibrant ecosystems from throughout Louisiana — including woodlands, marshes and coasts — along with animals indigenous to each region.

“The lower section’s roof is visible from many of the rooms above. By decorating it, we hoped to create a fun surface that would provide the children a greater sense of ease and calm,” notes de la Cruz. “From a professional standpoint, ‘resilient’ became a distinct qualification in the material selection process.”

After conversing with the building owner and HKS Architects, Roofing Solutions LLC decided to install 924,000 square feet of styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) modified bitumen for its proven performance, durability, lifecycle value, resilience and low maintenance.

“When we compared the options, modified bitumen was the best choice for the type of application and the performance the owner was looking for,” says Lauren Reynolds, the business development manager for Roofing Solutions LLC. “Modified bitumen has stood the test of time and proven its capabilities — especially in terms of strength and function — so the decision was made to install an asphalt roofing system.”

Installing the Membranes

The roof system was manufactured by SOPREMA. SOPRA-ISO+ polyisocyanurate foam insulation and a 1/4-inch SOPRABOARD cover board were mechanically fastened to the prepared structural steel deck. The insulation’s closed cell structure is bonded to inorganic, coated glass mat facers on the top and underside. The semi-rigid cover board is composed of a mineral-fortified, asphaltic core formed between two fiberglass reinforcing piles designed to enhance the strength and impact resistance of the system and help protect the insulation below.

Roofing Solutions LLC installed 924,000 square feet of modified bitumen roof system. Photos: Roofing Solutions LLC

For the base ply of this multi-ply system, a layer of ELASTOPHENE FLAM 2.2 SBS-modified bitumen was heat welded to the cover board. The base membrane is reinforced with a high-quality, random glass fiber mat and is surfaced with polyolefin burn-off film to optimize welding. The asphaltic cap sheet used was ELASTOPHENE FLAM LS FR GR, a fire-retardant membrane that’s surfaced with ceramic coated granules.

For the flashings, SOPRALENE FLAM 180 was used due to its dimensionally stable, non-woven polyester mat that adds toughness and durability. The flashing cap sheet selected, SOPRALAST 50 TV ALU, incorporates a high strength glass scrim and the topside is surfaced with a reflective aluminum foil, which is designed to improve UV resistance.

“We felt an asphalt roofing installation would provide the best long-term value and reliability,” de la Cruz says. “We worked closely with the architect and general contractor to ensure a proper application of these high-quality materials.”

While Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital’s roof is complete, the entire project will not be finished until the fall. When the hospital officially opens, it will begin helping children from across the state heal.

Recognized for Asphalt Roofing Excellence

For its displays of craftsmanship, Roofing Solutions LLC was honored at the International Roofing Expo by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) through its Excellence in Asphalt Roofing awards program. The free-to-enter program recognizes outstanding steep and low-slope asphalt roofing projects and contractors from across North America.

“Excellence in Asphalt Roofing allows us to recognize contractors who use asphalt roofing systems to make a difference in their communities,” says ARMA’s Executive Vice President Reed Hitchcock. “Asphalt roofing’s aesthetics, durability and reliability provide peace of mind to building and homeowners alike. We are truly proud that asphalt roofing played an important role in establishing Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital.”

Submissions are now open for the 2020 Excellence in Asphalt Roofing awards program. To submit your project or to learn more about asphalt roofing systems, visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

About the Author: Chadwick Collins is ARMA’s Director of Technical Services. For more information, visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

TEAM

Architect: HKS Architects, Dallas, Texas, www.hksinc.com

Roofing Contractor: Roofing Solutions LLC, Prairieville, Louisiana, http://roofingsolutionsla.com

MATERIALS

Insulation: SOPRA-ISO+, SOPREMA, https://soprema.us

Cover Board: 1/4-inch SOPRABOARD, SOPREMA

Base Ply: ELASTOPHENE FLAM 2.2 SBS, SOPREMA

Cap Sheet: ELASTOPHENE FLAM LS FR GR, SOPREMA

Base Flashing: SOPRALENE FLAM 180, SOPREMA

Flashing Cap Sheet: SOPRALAST 50 TV ALU, SOPREMA

ARMA Elects New President

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has announced the election of Tim Kersey, vice president and general manager for Soprema Inc., as the association’s president for the 2019 term. ARMA represents North American asphalt roofing manufacturers, as well as raw material suppliers, and serves to promote the long-term sustainability of the asphalt roofing industry. An active member with the association since the late 1980s, Kersey brings to the president’s role his rich roofing industry knowledge, proven leadership capabilities and a passion for communicating the benefit of asphalt roofing products to the building industry and the public.

Kersey has served multiple terms as the chairman of ARMA’s Low-Slope Roofing Committee, a role in which he was regularly involved, helping to craft technical publications and codes standards and supporting activities for low-slope asphalt roofing applications. He joined the ARMA board of directors when he joined the SOPREMA executive team in 2012, and he has served on the board ever since. Due to his experience with the organization, Kersey was elected by his peers to the Executive Committee, ARMA’s governing body, and served as the treasurer/secretary for two years. He began his term as president on January 1, 2019.

The ARMA president is responsible for facilitating the board of directors’ activities and setting the agenda for the organization. In 2019, Kersey plans to continue the organization’s momentum in driving awareness of the benefits of asphalt roofing in the residential space while also bolstering communications around the advantages of asphalt roofing in the low-slope/commercial market. Industry members can expect to see expanding interactions between asphalt shingle and low-slope roofing manufacturers, broadening public dissemination of ARMA’s statistical industry reports, more external-facing communications from ARMA and a general emphasis on increasing asphalt roofing representation in industry conversations.

“I have had the pleasure of working with Tim since 2003 when I started with ARMA,” said Reed Hitchcock, ARMA’s executive vice president. “He has a breadth of technical knowledge and executive experience, and he also brings a great combination of fresh perspective and insight into the association’s history that we look forward to engaging further as he takes the reins as president.”

For more information, visit www.asphaltroofing.org

Modified Bitumen Membrane Meets All North American Reflectivity Codes and Standards

SOPREMA unveils a new-generation of SOPRALENE SG and ELASTOPHENE SG modified bitumen cap sheets enhanced with 3M Highly Reflective Granules. These new-generation SG cap sheets build upon the success of SOPREMA’s reflective roofing products currently on the market. New SOPREMA SG granulate-surfaced cap sheets are improved with 3M Highly Reflective Granules, bringing improved durability and an even brighter white appearance to the market. Moving forward, the new 3M ultrareflective granule will be integrated into SOPREMA SG products to create solutions that provide the solar reflective index (SRI) ratings needed to comprehensively meet the highest U.S. and Canadian reflectivity requirements while providing the proven protection factor of multi-ply SBS-modified bitumen systems.

Testing of SOPRALENE SG and ELASTOPHENE SG membranes enhanced with 3M Highly Reflective Granules has shown an initial solar reflectance rating of 0.65, an aged reflectance of 0.62, a thermal emittance of 0.91 both initially and after aging, an initial SRI of 80, and an aged SRI of 75. The new lightweight cap sheets also feature robust opacity, protecting the asphaltic layer and extending the life span of the rooftop. According to the manufacturer, the products require minimal maintenance and will be widely available, providing environmentally sustainable solutions for building owners across the country.

For more information, visit www.soprema.us.

SOPREMA and 3M Partner for Product Development

Building owners, architects, roofing consultants and contractors now have a new go-to means of addressing reflectivity codes across North America thanks to a joint effort between SOPREMA and 3M. SOPREMA—has worked in conjunction with 3M—a science-driven company at the forefront of innovation in a multitude of industries—to incorporate brand-new highly reflective white granules for use with SOPREMA’s SBS-modified bitumen roof membrane product line. The result is new-generation SOPRALENE SG and ELASTOPHENE SG modified bitumen cap sheets enhanced with 3M Highly Reflective Granules.

These new-generation SG cap sheets build upon the success of SOPREMA’s reflective roofing products currently on the market. New SOPREMA SG granulate-surfaced cap sheets are improved with 3M Highly Reflective Granules, bringing improved durability and an even brighter white appearance to the market. Moving forward, the new 3M ultrareflective granule will be integrated into SOPREMA SG products to create solutions that provide the solar reflective index (SRI) ratings needed to comprehensively meet the highest U.S. and Canadian reflectivity requirements while providing the proven protection factor of multi-ply SBS-modified bitumen systems.

“We are pleased to be the first to provide this technology: a bright, reflective system without sacrificing multilayer bituminous waterproofing performance,” said Matt Davis, product manager for roof membranes at SOPREMA. “Our new SG products are not only durable and maintain their reflectance over the life of the products, but are also lighter weight for easier handling and application for the installer.”

“SOPREMA has been a strong customer for some time, and we were pleased to work with them on this innovative endeavor.  We’re proud to provide building owners with a reliable solution that is compliant with reflectivity regulations and helps reduce urban heat island effects,” said Amy McLaughlin, business director and general manager, 3M Industrial Mineral Products Division. “SOPREMA’s R&D team provided valuable insights on market and manufacturing needs and helped us conduct large-scale trials during the development of 3M Highly Reflective Granules. As a result of 3M working closely with the customer to create a solution that meets a specific market need, 3M’s new highly reflective granules exceed expectations during and after manufacturing and enable cap sheets to have high solar reflectivity levels years after installation.”

Testing of SOPRALENE SG and ELASTOPHENE SG membranes enhanced with 3M Highly Reflective Granules has shown an initial solar reflectance rating of 0.65, an aged reflectance of 0.62, a thermal emittance of 0.91 both initially and after aging, an initial SRI of 80, and an aged SRI of 75. The new lightweight cap sheets also feature robust opacity, protecting the asphaltic layer and extending the life span of the rooftop. The products require minimal maintenance and will be widely available, providing environmentally sustainable solutions for building owners across the country.

For more information, visit www.soprema.us

Contractor Overcomes Challenging Logistics to Re-Roof 16-Story Westin Savannah

The Westin Savannah site posed logistical challenges, as it is bordered by the Savannah River, a canal and the Savannah Convention Center. Photo: SOPREMA

Were you to visit Savannah, Georgia, the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa would be tough to miss. This landmark property, known for its 18-hole PGA golf course, secluded beach access and on-site spa, is the tallest building in the city at 16 stories. The aura of luxury surrounding the building was threatened, however, when Hurricane Matthew moved through the region, inundating the city with rainwater and causing the aging Westin Savannah roof to fail. With leaks resulting in the closure of a major portion of the hotel’s upper floor, it was clear the building owners would need to move quickly to restore a waterproof seal atop their building.

The job would not be easy. The Westin Savannah is surrounded by the Savannah River on one side, a canal on another and the Savannah Convention Center on a third. The only feasible area left to stage and load the roofing material onto a crane was the front parking loop and valet area — an area that would typically be avoided with any other roofing project. “We only had one spot where we could set up, and that was the biggest challenge,” says Larry Hoffman, the superintendent who oversaw the installation of the roof at the Westin Savannah on behalf of Whitco Roofing, the Westin’s chosen contractor. “We were very limited with regard to any mobility around that hotel, not to mention the fact that we had to get materials onto a roof that was 270 feet from the ground.” 

Envisioning an Approach

The Whitco Roofing team also had to deal with challenging application conditions, given that the roof had many penetrations due to the presence of air conditioning units, towers, exhaust vents, lighting, walkways, ladders, staircases and other equipment. Special care would have to be given to the installation of the flashing to ensure no opportunities for leak formation remained after the roofing job was done. Recognizing that the use of a liquid flashing material was the best bet to keep the roofing layer monolithic despite all the penetrations, the Whitco Roofing team set about selecting the right compatible materials for the job.

SOPREMA’s SENTINEL P150 60-mil PVC-based roofing membrane was selected for the projectbecause we wanted a durable roofing product that was compatible with a liquid flashing material for difficult base flashings encountered during this project,” explains Henri Brickey, director of business development for Whitco Roofing. “We recommended the SOPREMA PVC membrane for several reasons, the first of which is the superior chemical and UV resistance PVC offers over TPO. Since we also intended to wrap the large quantity of concrete and metal support column bases with SOPREMA’s ALSAN RS 230 Flash polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) liquid resin, we made sure the PVC membrane was compatible and that we could include those areas under the roof’s warranty.” 

The Installation Commences

The complex coordination required for a successful roofing installation began on the ground. One week’s worth of material was staged at a time, then a crane was brought in to upload materials to the roof on the same day trash was being downloaded from the old roof tear-off process. All debris had to be carefully bagged and secured with tarps to avoid pollution in the nearby Savannah River, and the delivery and removal of four dumpsters at a time had to be carefully coordinated so that no dumpster was left on the premises overnight, blocking entry to the building. “You had to be out of there by five o’clock with everything, and it had to be done in a particular sequence, further complicating matters,” explains Hoffman.

On the rooftop, existing asphalt-based roofing materials were stripped down to the concrete deck. SOPREMA SOPRA-ISO3.5-inch polyisocyanurate insulation was adhered using SOPREMA DUOTACK 365 foam adhesive to provide improved R-value to the building. Next, the PVC membrane was bonded onto the insulation, providing both a reliable waterproofing layer and a reflective white finish that would help diminish heat absorption compared to the older materials. The liquid resin coating was then applied to prevent water intrusion at all exposed concrete column bases — extending up and coating metal base plates — and at vertical flashing points where air handling units tied into the building’s walls. New tapered crickets were also installed between drains, improving the overall flow of water on the roof and reducing the opportunity for ponding water.

Safety and Communications Prioritized

Throughout the project, OSHA guidelines had to be followed carefully on the rooftop and on the ground to ensure both workers and bystanders entering and exiting the hotel were safe. Flagging and ground guides were used around the staging area, and strict adherence to timelines for deliveries and mobilizations were also critical to the safe execution of the project. The Whitco Roofing team worked closely with the hotel management throughout the process to prevent interference with hotel operations and to minimize risks to guests. 

The building now benefits from a superior roofing membrane that is Energy Star-compliant, upgraded insulation, a strong foam adhesive that helps resist uplift pressure during storms and a monolithic waterproofing layer thanks to the liquid flashing installed around all penetrations. “SOPREMA’s single-ply membranes have a reputation for strength and durability,” notes Brickey, “and especially with the inclusion of the liquid flashing system to deal with difficult flashing details, we were able to provide a long-lasting, warranted waterproofing solution for the Westin.”

In all, more than 14,000 square feet of roofing material was replaced over the course of roughly a month by a large team of installers. In part because the hotel staff was so pleased with the way the job was planned, managed and executed, Whitco Roofing was brought back to install a new roof on a lower section of the building as well. That project was recently completed, positioning the Westin Savannah to resist the elements while serving as a relaxing getaway for the foreseeable future.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Whitco Roofing, Atlanta, Georgia, www.whitcoroofing.com

MATERIALS

Roof Membrane: SENTINEL P150 PVC, SOPREMA, www.soprema.us

Insulation: SOPRA-ISO, SOPREMA

Adhesive: DUOTACK 365, SOPREMA

Liquid Flashing: ALSAN RS 230 Flash, SOPREMA

SOPREMA Renews Scholarship Offer for Building Envelope Students in 2019

SOPREMA announced the renewal of the company’s annual scholarship program for students pursuing a degree in architecture, engineering, construction management or another field related to the building envelope. Since the 2016–2017 school year, SOPREMA has awarded 19 students with financial backing, and the company once again intends to offer up to four grants of $5,000 to students for the 2019–2020 academic year. 

The program is open to high school seniors and graduates, as well as current post-secondary undergraduate and graduate students seeking a degree in one of the aforementioned disciplines. Applicants must be planning to enroll in full-time undergraduate or graduate study at an accredited four-year college or university for the entire 2019–2020 academic year. The deadline for application submissions will be March 29, 2019.

“Our company is known for the value we place on education and a relentless pursuit of technological advancement, so we are pleased to once again do our part to help empower bright minds to enter and shine within our field,” said Sara Jonas, marketing manager, SOPREMA. “We are committed to the continual success of our industry, and that starts by encouraging sharp students to become the building envelope innovators of tomorrow.”

The program is administered by Scholarship Management Services, a division of Scholarship America, the nation’s largest designer and manager of scholarship and tuition reimbursement programs for corporations, foundations, associations and individuals. For more information on the SOPREMA scholarship program, please reach out to soprema@scholarshipamerica.org.

For more information, visit www.soprema.us.