Kids, Energy, Education, and Cool Roofing!

“Energy” and “schoolchildren” are terms that can possibly be used interchangeably, as the latter often seem to be personifications of the former. That was certainly the case on December 1, as I was privileged to witness the groundbreaking festivities for the “Safari” – the initial facility to be built in the Green Schoolhouse series. The ceremony was held at the Roadrunner Elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona.

The kids were clearly enthusiastic about this landmark construction project, and the visit from the “dignitaries” representing the companies that are participating in the project. They sang a song called, “It’s easy to be green,” and provided tours of their current facility. They were also moving around a lot to keep warm in the chilly, 45-degree temperature. I didn’t have a lot of sympathy, as my original flight to Phoenix was cancelled due to a blizzard in mid-Michigan.

In this case, another connection between energy and kids applies. These school buildings are being constructed to achieve LEED platinum status – which means energy savings and a whole lot of other environmental benefits for the students. In the case of the Safari design, the energy savings – at least in part – are being delivered by the highly-reflective Duro-Last® Cool Zone® roofing system.

Duro-Last is proud to be a part of this initiative, as we have long been roofing industry leaders when it comes to sustainability. In this specific case, it gives us the opportunity to keep those students’ energy moving in a safe, sustainable direction!


Groundbreaking for the “Safari” Roadrunner Elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona

The Green Schoolhouse Series

Between 1950 and 2000, there was an unprecedented student population boom and school districts erected thousands of portable classrooms.

There are now more than 300,000 trailer-like portables in use at K-12 schools across the nation, many of which have been in place for 30 to 40 years. They have served well beyond their expected lifespan.

Funded entirely through corporate partnerships, in-kind donations, and charitable contributions, the Green Schoolhouse Series is a unique collaboration bringing together corporations, foundations, school districts, municipalities, communities, media outlets, and volunteers to build high-performance, environmentally sustainable, LEED-Platinum designed Green Schoolhouses at Title 1, low-income public schools. Every Green Schoolhouse replaces four to ten aging portables with a permanent, multipurpose facility, ranging in size from 6,000 to 15,000 square feet.

Duro-Last is proud to be a partner with the Green Schoolhouse Series in the inaugural project, the Safari Schoolhouse, built at Roadrunner Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. Duro-Last will be contributing roofing materials to assist in building a healthy, high-performance school.

Ground breaking on this first school is scheduled for the end of November and Duro-Last Marketing Communications Director, Fred Sitter, will be there. Watch in the coming weeks for a follow up article with photos from the event.

Flying into Saginaw? Keep Your Eyes Peeled!

Some months ago, we featured a rooftop lettering project installed by Ed Rutherford Roofing of Palmyra, Missouri, at Lindenwood University. Since then, we have produced lettering and logos for several other jobs around the country, but the roof on our own HQ location remained unbranded. I am pleased to report that we in Saginaw are no longer the unshod cobbler’s children, as the photo here will confirm. A logo pattern made from our gray membrane was recently heat welded to the Duro-Last roof on the building. The lettering, made by Duro-Last sister company Tri-City Vinyl, measures 102 feet high by 240 feet wide.

Duro-Last’s ability to do this kind of project is unique in the roofing industry. If you have a building near an airport and you would like to promote your business to the jet set, give our sales department a call at 800-248-0280.

International Roofing Expo – Best one Yet!

It looks as though things just might be finally turning around. The Duro-Last® booth at the 2011 International Roofing Expo was non-stop all three days. Attendance was up 18% compared to last year and we could really see a difference, primarily because of our hands-on welding contest for visitors and the comprehensive array of new products that were introduced.

About 50 people competed in the welding contest, and anyone who could weld a roof stack in less than 90 seconds was awarded a Duro-Last t-shirt. This was intended to demonstrate how Duro-Last’s pre-fabrication approach to producing roofing systems results in labor-savings for contractors. The winning time was 57 seconds to completely install a 3″ round stack.

Roofing contractor participating in the Roofers Challenge.

New products that were introduced included; standing seam roofing panels, Duro-Fleece™ System, new color terra cotta, Duro-Bond™ Inductive Weld Roofing System, and separation slip sheets.

Standing Seam Metal Roofing System

One of our biggest announcement was the addition of standing seam metal roofing panels, produced by EXCEPTIONAL® Metals. With five profiles and over 30 metal colors and finishes, Duro-Last’s standing seam roofing options will enhance the appearance of any sloped roof design. Profiles are available for architectural, structural, and flush wall/soffit panel standing seam applications.

Duro-Fleece™ System

The Duro-Fleece™ System combines Duro-Last’s proven thermoplastic membrane and five-and-a-half-ounce fleece material that’s bound to the underside of the membrane during manufacturing. The fleece offers enhanced adhesion characteristics between the membrane and the substrate. For some applications, it can also act as a separation barrier. The Duro-Fleece System can be applied using Duro-Last’s water-based WBII adhesive or a new product: the two-part bead-applied Duro-Fleece™ Adhesive.

New Color Terra Cotta

Duro-Last announced the addition of a new terra cotta color to our membrane offerings. Like the other standard Duro-Last membranes, the terra cotta material is a proprietary thermoplastic formulation that provides exceptional flexibility, resistance to U.V. radiation, and flame retardance.

Duro-Bond™ Inductive Weld Roofing System

This is a mechanically-attached installation option that uses non-penetrating technology. Induction welding bonds the Duro-Last membrane to a specially-coated fastening plate beneath the roof membrane, which also fastens insulation and recovery board materials to the roof deck. With the Duro-Bond system, contractors have the choice of using plates and welding tools made by OMG (the RhinoBond® Induction Fastening System) or FRS (the Centrix® Induction Bonding System).

Separation Slip Sheets

Duro-Last is offering two new separation slip sheets for use with the Duro-Last roofing system. Both sheets are chemical-resistant and have excellent weatherability. They are highly resistant to mildew and because they are made of inert organic materials, they do not provide nutritive value to plants, animals, or microorganisms. The Duro-Blue™ and Duro-Weave™ slip sheets may be used as a separation layer between the Duro-Last roof membrane and incompatible materials.

The 2012 International Roofing Expo will be held at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida, February 22-24.

Would you like to share your IRE experience? Send us a comment and we may post it on the blog!

Featured Project: Lindenwood University Commons

Installation by Duro-Last Elite Contractor Ed Rutherford Roofing Includes School Logo on Roof

Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, is putting the finishing touches on its new University Commons building, scheduled to open in 2011. The Duro-Last roofing system on the building was installed by Elite Duro-Last contractor Ed Rutherford Roofing of Palmyra, Missouri, which had previously installed roofs on other Lindenwood facilities.

The roof, totaling about 46,000 square feet, was installed with 60-mil white Duro-Last roofing membrane and was applied using both mechanically-attached and fully-adhered methods. The fully-adhered section was installed over the gymnasium – Rutherford wasn’t allowed to use any fasteners on that portion of the roof deck. Other roof system components included a sound barrier, tapered polyiso insulation, and DensDeck® roof board.

The most unique feature of the project was the application of the Lindenwood University logo to the rooftop. The school wanted the campus to be identified from the air, as it’s near the local airport. The architect on the project originally specified the logo to be painted on the Duro-Last membrane. But during construction, Rutherford approached Duro-Last with the idea of making letters out of Duro-Last material, which could be applied to the roof using standard single-ply membrane heat-welding equipment and methods.

After considering several color and material options for the letters, the project team decided to use the Duro-Last Rock-Ply™ membrane. It has a roofing ballast pattern printed onto it, and a special polymer coating to help protect the finish from marring, fading, and dirt accumulation.

Together, the Rock-Ply letters spelling “Lindenwood” are 200 feet long and 20½ feet wide. They were created by Duro-Last sister company, Tri-City Vinyl, in Saginaw, Michigan, using special CAD-driven design and membrane cutting equipment. The pattern was produced in sections to make it easy for the Rutherford installers to align it and weld the pieces to the deck membrane.

Ed Rutherford Roofing has been an authorized Duro-Last contractor since 1993. We’re proud to be able to provide them and all our customers “one-stop shopping” services for all their roofing needs, even in highly-unique situations such as the Lindenwood roofing project.

Lindenwood aerial
Aerial shot of the Lindenwood University Commons roof, installed by Ed Rutherford Roofing of Palmyra, Missouri.
lindenwood letter installation
An Ed Rutherford Roofing technician applies the Lindenwood University logo to the installed Duro-Last roofing system membrane.
roll of rock ply membrane
Duro-Last Rock-Ply membrane.

Featured Project: A New Roof for Leaky SoCal School

In late 2009, during a time when Southern California had received more rain than over the previous four years, the roof on St. Mary’s and All Angels School in Aliso Viejo began to fail and the school was forced to deal with ongoing leaks into classrooms.

Joe Daniels, owner of D7 Consulting, Inc., in Newport Beach and who has a son attending St. Mary’s, was asked to advise the school on a course of action. The staff at D7 has over a hundred years of combined experience in the roofing and waterproofing industry.

D7 reviewed the condition of the roof and determined that a new roof system was in order. The original 2-ply and gravel built-up system had leaks in the flashings and field that persisted even after attempts at repairs were made.

In addition to the leaky roof itself, the St. Mary’s project presented other challenges that the roofing contractor would need to deal with.

One important issue was timing. The leak problem had reached this critical stage just a few weeks prior to the school’s Christmas break. The leadership at St. Mary’s would have to make a quick decision on a new roof that could be delivered prior to, then installed during the short break – a two-three-week window.

The roof would need to be installed quickly, and incorporate a number of flashings for HVAC curbs and other penetrations. The installation would take place during the rainy season and would need to be kept dry to prevent damage to the interior of the building.

Another issue was that most manufacturers would require a tear-off of the existing built-up roof. Not only would this disrupt normal building operations, but would also add to the cost of the project and possibly delay its completion.

Authorized Duro-Last contractor Bligh Pacific Roof Company of Sante Fe Springs, California, was able to install the roofing system during the school’s Christmas break. The roof for St. Mary’s was prefabricated in Duro-Last’s Grants Pass, Oregon, location and included not only the deck membrane sheets but flashings for several HVAC curbs and over 100 other penetrations. The potential installation time was reduced by several days.

“Other roofing products would have required us to do a lot of on-site workmanship to create all the flashings from rolled membrane materials,” Bligh Pacific owner Jay Bligh said. “Because the Duro-Last flashings were made to order at the factory, we could get through those job details really quickly and reduce the total number of construction days that would be necessary. The prefabricated deck sheets and flashings will also help ensure that those areas of the roof will remain watertight for years to come.”

Also, the Duro-Last solution did not involve a complete tear-off of the existing roof, as required by other systems, saving St. Mary’s on the overall cost of the project. The gravel surface was vacuumed off, and the Duro-Last system was installed over the old built-up roof.

Another benefit for St. Mary’s will be energy cost savings. The white Duro-Last membrane exceeds California’s Title 24 building code requirements for roofing system reflectivity and emissivity, which will help the school reduce its energy consumption.

Aerial shot of the completed Duro-Last roofing system for St. Mary's.
A Bligh Pacific technician completes the installation of a Duro-Last custom-fabricated flashing for a St. Mary's skylight.

Largest Duro-Last Installation in Canada

For many commercial roofing systems, the challenges of Ontario’s winters mean “wait until spring” for installation, because they cannot effectively be installed in sub-freezing temperatures or during weeks of lake-effect snow storms.

This situation was confronting Olympia Tile & Stone, a Toronto-based manufacturer and distributor of ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tiles.

Olympia’s main office and flagship showroom facility was covered with an aging and deteriorating roofing system, and leaks had begun to occur, disrupting business operations.

Olympia needed an immediate fix. A built-up roof (BUR) was on the building, and initially, the company wanted to replace it with another BUR.

Guycan Aluminum, Ltd. was the roofing contractor called in to do the job. As project plans moved forward, it became clear that a winter installation would be necessary. According to Guycan Marketing and Sales Manager Sean Claveria, “with a built-up system, we would have needed to postpone the project until spring when the snow and ice melts. Olympia Tile could not afford to wait because the current roof wouldn’t withstand another winter season. Leaks were already causing damage to their product inventory.”

Guycan and Olympia began to consider alternatives, and the single-ply Duro-Last roofing system was discussed. Guycan is an authorized Duro-Last contractor.

Alber Crimi, Olympia’s Facility manager, had heard about Duro-Last from a former colleague. “After his recommendation, we started comparing the cost of the Duro-Last system with the built-up option,” said Crimi. “Once we included the value of Duro-Last’s 15-year warranty and the fact that our maintenance problems would be gone, it became an easy choice.”

Guycan began the project in November of 2008 and despite challenging weather conditions, including cold temperatures, high winds and record snowfall; Guycan was able to install the new 50-mil Duro-Last roofing system in 28 working days.

“The Duro-Last membrane stayed flexible and easy to work with throughout the whole installation process,” said Claveria. “And because the system was manufactured in Duro-Last’s factory to fit the roof, we were able to install the Olympia project relatively quickly.”

The job was completed in February 2009 and, at 12,000 square meters (130,000 square feet), is the largest Duro-Last installation in Canada.

Winter weather in Ontario clearly presents many roofing challenges, but “we’re able to overcome them with the Duro-Last system,” concluded Claveria. “It’s a great year-round solution for our customers.”

During Installation
Completed Project

Project of the Month: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) District Office, Bay City, Michigan


The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) District Office in Bay City, Michigan recently chose to install the Duro-Last® roofing system on its facility in order to meet high-quality sustainability standards and to qualify for LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

An environmentally-conscious organization, the DEQ had authorized contractor Buchinger Roofing, Inc. of Reese, Michigan install about 27,600 square feet of the Duro-Last membrane on its building.

The white roofing system helped the facility meet LEED requirements in several ways. Its high reflectivity and emissivity qualities can help reduce the energy required for cooling the building. The building’s roofing system 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.

The Duro-Last roofing system also 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 material from the previous building was recycled, and paving material was crushed and used as on-site fill.

The DEQ District Office implemented “green” features including more than 28 skylights on the rooftop; a ground-mounted solar panel (10-kilowatt) array; and a wind turbine. The solar panel array and wind turbine installations are expected to be installed later this year. Both are anticipated to produce 30% of the building’s electrical load.

With so many skylights, the DEQ needed a high-quality, leak-proof roofing system that could be easily installed around penetrations and provide worry-free protection. In addition to deck sheets, Duro-Last prefabricates curbs and flashings in a controlled factory environment to fit these rooftop penetrations precisely.

“The skylights bring in natural light to the building, which will help reduce our electricity costs,” said Tim Diebolt, Chief, Office of Business Services at the DEQ. “There are a lot of holes (penetrations) in that roof, so the fact that the Duro-Last roofing system is made to fit these areas gives me confidence that there will be no leaks.”

The ‘green’ benefits from the Duro-Last roofing system along with other sustainable initiatives for this building should prove very valuable to the DEQ. Plus, with acquired LEED certification, this organization can lower its operating costs and increase its asset values; conserve energy and water; provide a healthier and safer working environment for employees; possibly qualify for tax rebates and incentives; and demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.

Project of the Month: Beacon House, Marquette, Michigan

Duro-Last Roofing®, Inc. recently donated over 4,500 square feet of roofing membrane to Beacon House in Marquette, Michigan. Beacon House is an independent organization that provides lodging and other support services in a “home-like” environment for patients, their caregivers, and family members traveling to Marquette County for medical treatment.

Beacon House was contacted by Trevor Wagester, Associate Sales Representative for Duro-Last, when he heard about what the Beacon House is calling their “Extreme Makeover” campaign, and their need for a new roof. “Beacon House is sustained solely by the generosity of businesses, foundations, and guest donations,” he said. “We hope that others will follow in helping Beacon House with the many improvements that they need.”

Four roofing contractors in Michigan came together to help with the cause. Local Roofing of L’Anse, Lake State Roofing, Inc. of Iron Mountain, and Great Lakes Roofing of Sault Sainte Marie all donated their time to help install the roof. Pellow Roofing and Sales of Marquette coordinated the ordering of the roof, removed the rock ballast, and provided the crane as well as the labor for the installation and addition roofing materials. All of the roof installers worked together as a team with the single goal of getting the roof installed.

“Our prayers have literally been answered,” said Marcy Griffen, Executive Director for Beacon House. “We will no longer need to worry about our roof leaking when the big storms of the Upper Peninsula roll in. We are so grateful to Duro-Last and all the roofing companies coming together to help us.”

The highly-reflective white membrane will deliver energy cost savings to the Beacon House as well as provide the facility with a virtually maintenance-free, leak-proof roofing system. Backed by a 15-year full warranty, the Beacon House doesn’t have to worry about anything but caring for patients and their family members.

Project of the Month: Merrick, Inc., Vadnais Heights, Minnesota

The Duro-Last roofing system has been installed on the Merrick, Inc. building in Vadnais Heights, Minnesota. The project was completed at the end of August 2008 and is the largest solar electric application in the state, with 525 solar panels installed that are expected to produce 130,000 kilowatts of electricity a year. Beneath the solar electric system, the building is protected by over 50,000 square feet of Duro-Last’s single-ply PVC roofing system.

Merrick’s prefabricated roofing system was manufactured at Duro-Last’s Sigourney, Iowa, facility and installed by authorized contractor Four Seasons Energy Efficient Roofing, Inc. of Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. “Duro-Last’s white membrane was the ideal system for this installation because it is solar-ready. It’s easy to install, and because it’s prefabricated, I can be confident that Merrick won’t have to worry about leaks underneath the solar system,” said Darrell Schaapveld, owner of Four Seasons.

The Duro-Last roofing system is an excellent sustainability choice. The white membrane’s high reflectivity benefits the building in rooftop areas where sunlight is not being collected by the solar panels. Because every Duro-Last roof is factory-prefabricated, less on-site waste is produced during installation.

The Duro-Last-plus-solar roofing assembly complements the buildings many other sustainable building features. Among them: a geothermal energy system under the parking lot, powered by the rooftop solar panels, will provide both heating and cooling; every room will have occupancy sensors to control electrical usage; the building will have energy-efficient insulation and windows throughout, maximizing natural light.

According to Duro-Last Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Steve Ruth, “This installation reinforces our leadership in the sustainable roofing market. The Duro-Last roofing system is increasingly being installed throughout the United States as the waterproofing membrane of choice for solar, vegetative, and other ‘green’ building applications.”