July 2006
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How would you roof these buildings?

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NRCA member roofing contractors reveal how they would roof two fictional buildings in different climates

by Krista Berns
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Energy-efficient roof systems are becoming increasingly present in the roofing industry. And there are various energy-efficient roof system options available. The approach to environmentally friendly roof projects could differ depending on the roofing contractor involved.

Professional Roofing presented NRCA member roofing contractors with parameters for two identical fictional buildings—one in a warm climate and one in a cold climate. The contractors were asked to choose how they would roof the buildings in an energy-efficient way and explain their decisions.

Following are the characteristics of the fictional buildings:

  • There are two identical buildings—one is located in a climate where cooling degree days (CDD) exceed heating degree days (HDD) by 2 to 1; the second is in a climate where HDDs exceed CDDs by 2 to 1.
  • The complex is a pharmaceutical company on a large tract of open land.
  • Energy and environmental issues are a high priority. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ (LEED) points are critical to achieve an overall building complex ultimate goal of Platinum-level certification.
  • The entry/reception area is a 1 1/2-story vaulted steep-slope steel deck with the bottom side of the deck exposed and 48-inch overhangs. The exterior walls are glass.
  • A four-story attached office area has a steel deck and 36-inch perimeter parapet walls.
  • A two-story laboratory area has a concrete deck and multiple penetrations and is located so the prevailing winds blow away from the lab area.
  • A three-story material and product storage, on-site fitness and recreation space has a concrete deck designed to support a green roof...


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