Roberto Durán Arena in Panama Poses Re-Roofing Challenges

The roof on the Roberto Durán Arena was recently replaced with a 45-mil TPO system from Firestone Building Products. Photos: Firestone Building Products

The Roberto Durán Arena is one of the most iconic multipurpose sports coliseums in the Republic of Panama. Inaugurated in 1970, the arena was named in honor of one of Panama’s best-known athletes, boxer Roberto “Mano de Piedra” Durán, world champion in four weight classes in the 1980s. One of his most acclaimed achievements was winning the 1980 world welterweight title against one of the most important boxers of the era, Sugar Ray Leonard.

The Roberto Durán Arena hosts a wide range of sporting and entertainment events. The 86,000-square-foot building was remodeled in 2009, which is when the original roof was replaced by an insulated roofing panel and modified bitumen membrane system. This system proved to be no match for the high heat, humidity and heavy rainfall in Panama summers. In 2018, Pandeportes, which governs all sports stadiums in Panama, hired SINCO Panama, a certified Firestone Building Products contractor in the country, to fortify the roof and work on the Level 100, 400 and dome slabs to ensure the arena was able to withstand local weather.

Photos: Firestone Building Products

To fix the multiple leaks, the asphalt membrane in levels 100 and 400, was completely removed, and the slopes were repaired with lightweight concrete, which was covered with a protection geotextile. On top of all of that, crews mechanically attached a 45-mil Firestone UltraPly TPO membrane to provide a durable waterproofing system that met all building requirements. A similar process was completed on the dome, including perimeter metal drains.

The unique shape of the dome and the dilapidated state of the existing drainage system made this project a unique technical installation challenge for both Firestone Building Products and SINCO Panama. The team managed the changes needed by replacing the metal gutters and drains and covering them with the same TPO membrane throughout the interior to ensure a completely waterproof system.

The metal gutters and drains were replaced and covered with the same TPO membrane used on the roof to ensure a completely waterproof system. Photos: Firestone Building Products

The 86,000-square-foot re-roof was completed in two and a half months, with four weeks of work completed exclusively on the dome. The distinct curvature of the dome required the team to tailor-cut the TPO membrane to match the domed roof, leaving no wrinkles or loose membrane.

To ensure the most efficient and effective job possible, the technical department at Firestone Building Products and SINCO Panama first developed a 3D model to ensure the orientation of the membranes were as effective as possible, reducing waste and minimizing the number of joints in the membrane.

Beyond working with a uniquely shaped building requiring complex updates, the team also faced challenging weather conditions, including almost constant rain. Panama City, located North of the Equator, features a tropical climate including hot, muggy days with temperatures around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The work coincided with the rainy season, which yields up to 60 inches of rainfall.

To ensure the work was completed on time, the teams worked extended hours and on weekends to take advantage of the few dry days available. The height of the dome also posed a challenge, as the team faced difficulties during installation due to high winds, but the roofing system attachment was designed to withstand winds of up to 87 miles per hour and an uplift pressure of approximately 110 psf, which made the installation possible. 

The work of Firestone Building Products and SINCO Panama resulted in a new look for the coliseum and ensured the improved performance of the roof for years to come. Despite the challenges faced during the project, the teams completed the project without sacrificing quality, durability and resistance, all of which were key factors required by Pandeportes, the building owner.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: SINCO Panama

MATERIALS

Roof Membrane: UltraPly TPO, Firestone Building Products (FSBP), www.firestonebpco.com

Contractor Conquers Tough Weather, Tight Schedule

The roof on the new Goodman Logistics Center (the building on the right) encompasses more than 1 million square feet. The roof system installation met an aggressive timeline that spanned the winter months. Photo: Goodman Carlisle LLC

Goodman, an international commercial and industrial property group, approached Donald B. Smith Inc. of DBS Roofing in November 2017 to support the roofing of the company’s new Logistics Center in central Pennsylvania.

Founded in 1948, DBS Roofing is a second-generation, privately held company whose principles of quality and workmanship have earned the team countless awards. Among those honors include the Firestone Master Contractor recognition, the Baltimore Builder’s Exchange “Craftsman of the Year Award” and numerous industry publication recognitions for notable projects.

The Logistics Center roof was 1,010,000 square feet and was established on a very aggressive timeline that spanned through the tough Northeast winter months. The initial specifications of the job called for a mechanically fastened TPO roof system, which was going to be challenging with the size and timeline of the project. Additionally, the condensation levels in central Pennsylvania are not ideal for mechanically fastened solutions, as it would require applying a vapor barrier and foam around all perimeters, exceeding the original budget and schedule.

To save time and keep the project moving forward during the unfavorable winter conditions, DBS Roofing elected to use one of the company’s favorite “box world” solutions — Firestone Building Products (FSBP) UltraPly TPO SA with Secure Bond Technology.

Photo: Goodman Carlisle LLC

The TPO roofing system is comprised of a self-adhering membrane with factory applied, pressure sensitive adhesive and technology designed to ensure uniform adhesion coverage across the entire membrane. According to the manufacturer, the system can be installed in weather as cold as 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Commercial roofing in central Pennsylvania can be very challenging during the winter season, but Firestone UltraPly TPO SA allows our business to continue working through those conditions and prosper,” says Donnie Sanders, president of construction, DBS Roofing. “Being able to apply the Firestone TPO SA at 20 degrees resulted in a successful year for us.”

The Goodman Logistics Center roofing project began on November 1, 2017 and was completed on time March 1, 2018.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Donald B. Smith Roofing Inc., Hanover, Pennsylvania, www.dbsroofing.com
General Contractor: ARCO Design/Build Northeast, King Of Prussia, Pennsylvania, http://arcodbi.com

MATERIALS

Membrane: UltraPly TPO SA with Secure Bond Technology, Firestone Building Products, www.firestonebpco.com
Insulation: 2.5-inch ISO, Firestone Building Products

Self-Adhered TPO Membrane Offers Easy Installation With No VOCs

UltraPly TPO SA Firestone Building Products offers UltraPly TPO SA with Secure Bond Technology, a self-adhering membrane with a factory-applied, pressure-sensitive adhesive. Designed to be the next generation in fully adhered roof system application, Secure Bond Technology ensures adhesion coverage across the membrane, establishing one of the strongest bonds possible. According to the company, this advanced technology not only significantly improves installation speed over traditional fully adhered applications, but allows installation in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. With no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), UltraPly TPO SA with Secure Bond Technology is safe for the contractor, building occupants and the environment.