Industrial roofing

Nations Roof of Ohio demonstrates safety skills on Alcoa

  • Photos courtesy of Nations Roof of Ohio LLC, Springboro.
  • Every morning, the Nations Roof of Ohio crew met for a “safety huddle.”
  • After tear-off, workers created temporary walkways using plywood.
  • New mechanically fastened polyisocyanurate insulation
  • Alcoa's new TPO membrane roof system

As the eighth-largest producer of aluminum, according to Statista, Pittsburgh-based Alcoa Corp. conducts operations in 10 countries. In addition to aluminum, the company is one of the largest producers of bauxite and alumina. In 2019, Alcoa was named the Aluminum Industry Leader in the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices.

In 2014, the company opened an aluminum-lithium aerospace plant in Lafayette, Ind. The $90 million advanced manufacturing facility is the largest of Alcoa’s three aluminum-lithium expansions and produces more than 44 million pounds of aluminum-lithium annually, making it the largest facility of its kind in the world. Materials produced in Lafayette are used to build aircraft such as the Airbus A380, Airbus A350, Boeing 787 and Gulfstream G650.

During 2016-17, Nations Roof of Ohio LLC, Springboro, installed a new 336,000-square-foot roof system on the manufacturing facility.

Safety prep

Before beginning work on the industrial, low-slope roofing project in September 2016, all Nations Roof of Ohio crew members were required to complete Alcoa’s safety training program. Personal protection equipment consisting of long-sleeve shirts, metatarsal boots, safety glasses, ear plugs and hard hats was required on the job site at all times.

To access the roof, workers removed three existing ladders and replaced them with new yellow roof access ladders. The crew also erected about 4,000 lineal feet of Turbo Rails around the roof’s perimeter.

“Alcoa and Nations Roof made safety a priority,” says Andrew Strauser, president of Nations Roof of Ohio. “As a result, workers had to be tied-off all the time. After we completed the tear-off, we created makeshift walking areas using plywood.”

In areas with low or no parapet walls, a perimeter-engineered guardrail system was used. In areas where perimeter wall details were not conducive to guardrail installation, workers were tied-off with personal fall-arrest systems.

Single-man fall carts were lifted to the roof via an aerial lift and used while working around the perimeter as needed.

“Our initial assessment concluded a single-man system was appropriate and the best solution given the concrete deck was in good condition,” Strauser says. “Two workers were tied-off to individual fall carts with safety harnesses and retractables as fall restraint. All other crew members remained inside the lines at all times.”

Ingot building

On the facility’s Ingot building, workers removed all loose gravel, existing EPDM membrane and flashing from the 248,880-square-foot roof area and disposed them in containers provided by Alcoa. Twenty-five vents were removed and replaced with new steel decking.

On the roof areas with wood and clay decks, workers adhered one layer of 1 1/2-inch-thick polyisocyanurate insulation followed by an adhered layer of 60-mil-thick, white TPO membrane. On the areas with steel decks, workers adhered one layer of 1 1/2-inch-thick polyisocyanurate insulation followed by mechanically fastening 60-mil-thick, white TPO membrane.

In addition, workers installed new 24-gauge steel edge metal at all roof edges.

Tube Mill

On the Tube Mill’s 82,650-square-foot roof area, workers removed the existing built-up roofing and mechanically fastened 1 1/2-inch-thick polyisocyanurate insulation to the steel deck. Workers then adhered 60-mil-thick TPO membrane and installed new 24-gauge steel edge metal at all roof edges.

Storeroom oil house

On the 4,800-square-foot storeroom oil house roof area, Nations Roof of Ohio workers removed the existing built-up roofing and metal deck and adhered one layer of 1 1/2-inch-thick polyisocyanurate insulation to the concrete deck. Next, workers adhered 60-mil-thick TPO membrane.

Safe and sound

In February 2017, Nations Roof of Ohio successfully completed its work on the Alcoa industrial facility with no safety incidents or accidents.

“The Alcoa project had stringent safety plan requirements,” Strauser says. “Coupled with Nations Roof of Ohio’s safety expertise, a comprehensive safety plan was developed and well-executed. Because of our meticulous preparation and comprehensive safety planning, the safety plan did not require changes.”

For demonstrating exceptional safety planning and execution on the Alcoa project, Nations Roof of Ohio was named a 2019 Gold Circle Awards finalist by the Roofing Alliance in the Safety Preparedness and Performance category.

Chrystine Elle Hanus is Professional Roofing's associate editor and NRCA's director of communications.

Project name: Alcoa Corp
Project location: Lafayette, Ind.
Project duration: Sept. 6, 2016–Feb. 2, 2017
Roof system type: TPO membrane
Roofing contractor: Nations Roof of Ohio LLC, Springboro
Roofing manufacturer: Johns Manville Roofing Systems, Denver



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