Greenbuild 2008

You could say that some vendors were “green” with envy after they saw the rooftop garden and photovoltaic installation photos that were displayed at the Duro-Last booth during the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, which took place in Boston, November 18-20.

More than 27,000 attendees visited the 700+ exhibitors that filled the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center with a sea of green booths and “sustainability” displays.

According to Drew Ballensky, General Manager at the Duro-Last Sigourney, Iowa Plant, there was a tremendous amount of interest at the Duro-Last booth. Much interest was from rooftop garden manufacturers looking for a waterproofing system to use under their vegetative systems.

“Duro-Last is increasingly becoming the roofing choice under rooftop gardens and solar applications,” he said.

“The high level of interest at the show in vegetative and solar systems drew many people to the DL booth. These visitors were interested in a sustainable membrane system that would complement an investment in environmentally-friendly rooftop garden and PV applications. The Duro-Last Cool Zone® roofing system is a great fit in these situations.”

Other booth visitors were attracted because of the Cool Zone system’s high reflectivity and emissivity levels, which can help building owners save money on cooling costs.

As another successful Greenbuild Expo comes to a close, we look forward to the 2009 event, which will take place November 11-13 in Phoenix, Arizona. Undoubtedly, the interest in green construction and sustainable building practices will continue to grow, and Duro-Last is excited to be a key part of this important trend.

The PVC Advantage

PVC roofing membranes are superior roofing materials for many reasons:

Vinyl is inherently flame resistant

  • Most vinyl membranes will not support a flame when the fire source is removed.
  • High flame resistance can make it easier for PVC roofing systems to attain Class-A fire ratings than for other roofing systems.
  • Combustion, especially incomplete combustion, is a source of many environmental toxins (backyard refuse burning and residential wood burning are two major sources).
  • A roof membrane that doesn’t burn is less likely than a flammable roofing material to emit potentially harmful substances.

PVC membranes are flexible

  • Most PVC membranes are very flexible and can be easily customized to accommodate rooftop variances.
  • Some vinyl roofing systems are custom-made (prefabricated) to fit each building. Customization can reduce the potential for scrap and waste at the job site.

Vinyl membranes are lighter in weight than other roofing systems

  • Vinyl roof membranes typically add very little weight to an existing structure.
  • In a re-roof situation, a PVC roof can often go directly over the existing system. This avoids costly tear-offs, meaning no asphalts, felts or other old roof materials go into landfills.

PVC membranes are heat-weldable

  • PVC membranes can be heat-welded, which produces the strongest and most reliable seams. Reducing the potential for leaks to occur also reduces the possibility for interior dampness and subsequent mold to develop.
  • Some vinyl membranes use two-way venting, which allows the roofing system to “breathe” and can reduce the potential for trapped moisture.

Vinyl roofs can be highly reflective

  • Some vinyl roofs are highly reflective, keeping buildings cooler, reducing energy demand, and helping mitigate urban heat island effects. Cooler cities reduce dependence on limited natural resources.

PVC is highly-resistant to most chemicals

  • Most PVC membranes will provide long-term service in the harsh environments experienced on rooftops.
  • Many vinyl roofs are still functioning after more than 30 years of service. A longer-lasting roof means less frequent roof replacements over the life of a building. A building lasting 100 years may go through 8-10 “Type-X” roofs, but only 3-4 vinyl roofs.

Vinyl is easily recycled

  • During the production of some PVC roofing systems, there is virtually no waste because fabrication scrap is reground and re-used in the roofing system or other building components.
  • Unlike many other roofing materials, vinyl membranes can be recycled at the end of their lives on the rooftop.

When selecting a roofing system, remember that PVC membranes are your best choice.

Faces of Duro-Last: Scott D. Franklin

Scott D. Franklin - National Architectural Services
Scott D. Franklin - National Architectural Services

Scott D. Franklin joined the Duro-Last sales team in June of 2008, focusing on National Architectural Services. He is responsible for developing opportunities with architectural firms for Duro-Last contractors and sales representatives, and assisting architects in creating CAD drawings and specifications in order to specify the Duro-Last roofing system for their projects. He works closely with both the TXMAS (Texas) and CMAS (California) state purchasing programs, which qualify manufacturers such as Duro-Last to be specified for school and municipality roofing projects.

“Through former positions, I have a lot of contacts in the TXMAS and CMAS programs, which will hopefully open some doors for Duro-Last,” said Scott.

As a matter of fact, Scott is in the process of earning a contracting license in California in order to help Duro-Last get specified on more educational and governmental roofing projects. He is also partnering with Duro-Last Vice President of Western Operations, Tim Hart, to develop more roofing opportunities in the Los Angeles area.

“I really enjoy doing what I do best – working with people to find solutions to their problems,” he noted.

Scott and Tim are also trying to organize a formal catastrophe-response program that would help businesses that have Duro-Last roofs receive immediate assistance following any major disaster that affects their roof. He has worked extensively with the U.S. Navy and Wal-Mart Corporation on their respective programs.

Scott was formerly self-employed as a Roof Consultant in Celina, Texas. He also worked as a consultant/expert witness at Four T Partnership/Forensic Investigation & Consulting in Dallas as well as in sales at Owens Corning in Los Angeles.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Harding University.

Scott resides in Celina with his wife, Holly, and their two sons, Tanner, a sophomore in high school, and Trevor, a sixth grader. His two older sons, Tyler, 20, and Troy, 18, attend the University of North Texas in Denton.

So what does Scott enjoy about working at Duro-Last?

“The great thing about Duro-Last is, we have already done the hard part and developed long-lasting relationships with our contractors,” he said. “Plus, Duro-Last has been in the roofing business for a long time and figured out what’s important – consistency and credibility.”

“There are huge opportunities for Duro-Last with architects, specifiers, and roofing consultants, and I am looking forward to helping our sales team build those relationships,” he concluded.


Project of the Month: Consumers Energy Training Facility, Marshall, Michigan

The Consumers Energy Training Facility in Marshall, Michigan is protected by nearly 30,000 square feet of Duro-Last’s single-ply PVC roofing system.

The white Duro-Last roofing system has helped this facility meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® requirements in several ways. Its high reflectivity and emissivity qualities can help reduce the energy required for cooling buildings. The roofing system for Consumers Energy was manufactured at the Duro-Last facility in Saginaw, Michigan, which lowers transportation mileage and costs. Duro-Last’s custom prefabrication reduces on-site waste produced during the installation; scrap that is produced may be returned to Duro-Last for recycling into other construction products (Duro-Last also recycles manufacturing scrap). Unlike other roofing materials, the Duro-Last membrane is also recyclable at the end of its useful roofing life.

Authorized Duro-Last contractor Superior Services RSH, Inc. of Lansing, Michigan performed the Consumers Energy installation. Pumford Construction of Saginaw, Michigan was the Design Build Contractor on the project, with In-House Architect, Brian Swedorski, AIA, LEED AP, being responsible for the building design.

“Consumers Energy’s choice in using the Duro-Last roofing system makes a strong environmental statement, and we’re proud to be an important part of it,” said Steve Ruth, Vice President of Sales at Duro-Last. “The fact that the Duro-Last roofing system has been installed on the training facility reinforces their commitment to saving energy and promoting an environmentally-friendly facility.”

The Duro-Last roofing system complements many other sustainable building features that were incorporated into the training facility’s design such as low-water plumbing fixtures; skylights in 75% of the occupied space; recycled denim insulation; a state-of-the-art air filtration system; and a computerized lighting system to control electrical usage. Furthermore, much of the materialfrom the previous building was recycled, and paving material was crushed and used as on-site fill.

“It’s amazing to see all the sustainable features that were integrated into the training facility’s design by Pumford Construction,” said Dave Bradke, Director of Sales at Superior Services. “It’s also nice to see the Duro-Last roofing system getting more attention for its energy-efficient qualities. As our society continues to lean towards products that do not negatively affect our earth, I’m sure more building owners will choose Duro-Last to protect their facilities and the environment.”


No “Greenwashing” With AIA

The American Institute of Architects recognizes that sustainable design has become an integral part of the design community. Beginning January 1, 2009 the AIA will require all members to complete four hours of sustainable design training. The four sustainable design hours will be included as part of the eight hour health, safety and welfare (HSW) requirement.

To qualify as sustainable design learning units, course content must meet four thresholds:

1. It must address the AIA definition of sustainability.

2. It must be a structured (third party) program (i.e. no self-study).

3. At least 75% of program content must qualify as HSW.

4. Its primary purpose must address at least one of the AIA Committee on the

Environment Top Measures of Sustainable Design and Performance Metrics.

Because we have always tried to offer training that addresses current and future needs of the industry, Duro-Last already offers three courses that meet the AIA requirements.

The AIA is also concerned with “greenwashing” – the overuse of words such as “green” or “sustainable.” So, after January 1, 2009 new or on-going programs will require pre-approval by AIA in order to use these and similar words in the title of a program.

When the AIA provides additional guidelines, be assured that Duro-Last will make the proper modifications to program titles and will appropriately register our on-going programs so that our architectural customers can receive proper credit.

Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Roofing System: Quality

You must consider many factors when your roof needs to be replaced or when you are constructing a building that requires a new roof: Price. Quality of the product being installed. Prefabrication. Installation disruptions. Ease of maintenance. Performance. Environmental impact. Life-cycle costs, and so on. It is crucial to review all of these aspects in order to make the wisest roofing choice and get the best long-term value for your investment.

This is the second in a series of posts that will discuss the issues involved in purchasing a roofing system.

Quality of the product being installed

Obviously, every building owner wants high-quality materials used on his/her building. When choosing a roofing system, it is very important to research the resources that are used to manufacture the finished product.

Most roofing manufacturers include product information on their web sites, where you can research the materials used in the production of their roofing systems. This knowledge can affect other valuable decision-making options.

For example, the makeup of a thermoplastic single-ply roofing system helps to create its reflective qualities, which impact how much a building owner can save on energy costs. Remember: the higher the reflectivity and emissivity qualities of the roofing membrane, the more you will likely save on energy costs during the summer months.

Additionally, the composition of the roofing system will determine how durable it will be as well as its ability to resist fire, chemicals, punctures, high winds, and weather extremes.

Many of these properties will be important, depending on the geographical location of your building. For instance, buildings in some parts of the United States experience “thermal shock” due to wide temperature extremes. Some roofing systems are more flexible than others, and are capable of expanding and contracting with temperature changes without jeopardizing the performance of the roofing system.

Some single-ply roofing manufacturers promote the idea that when it comes to performance, “thicker” means “better.” However, roofing system performance is based on several factors, including product composition, reinforcement, and thickness. Evaluate these criteria before you select your new roofing system:

Film formulation determines the flexibility of the membrane and its ability to resist crazing and cracking over time and to protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Membrane thickness provides protection from water, snow, and ice.

Reinforcement provided by the scrim layer is the source of the membrane’s strength. The scrim protects against natural elements such as wind and hail, and from human activities that can cause punctures and tears. Reinforcement also gives dimensional stability to the membrane and strength against building movement.

Beside the product itself, a high-quality roofing system application is dependent on the experience and skills of the crew installing it. You can have the best roofing system available, but if the crew is inexperienced, rushed, or not detail-oriented, that system could be installed incorrectly and potential problems could arise. Before making a new roofing system investment, thoroughly investigate the contractor and crew who will be installing it.

Lastly, the quality of the roofing product itself is important, but so is the support you receive from the manufacturer. Some manufacturers stand behind their systems with strong warranties that may, for example, include coverage against ponding water and consequential damages. Solid warranty protection is a must when purchasing a roofing system, and is an indication of the confidence the manufacturer has in the quality of its roofing product.

In our third installment of Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Roofing System, we will discuss the benefits of “prefabrication” in a roofing system.