On Saturday, July 15, 2017, a microburst (an intense downdraft of air during a thunderstorm) lifted the EPDM membrane and pavers off the roof of five-story Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix. Although the building and roof were designed to remain mechanically stable and adapt to structural stress, a sprinkler system on the roof system's metal deck broke, releasing 50 to 60 gallons of water per minute throughout the building.
During an initial evaluation of the building that had been inspired by architect Buckminster Fuller, half the building was estimated to have water damage and more than 6,000 books were destroyed. At one point, there were several inches of standing water on the building's first floor.
The immediate goal for building administrators was to temporarily repair the roof system to protect the building's interior from further rain. That's when the project's general contractor, Rio Rancho, N.M.-based BRYCON Construction Co.'s Arizona Division, contacted Star Roofing Inc., Phoenix, for help.