Specialized Roofing

Roof systems are made up of a wide variety of materials, and the space can quite often serve to function as a work space or outdoor living space.  The movement for rooftop photovoltaics to generate electricity is becoming more popular, along with water harvesting, solar water heating, and the benefits of green (vegetative) roofing.  With rooftop access and use comes the requirement to provide safety in the form of fall protection systems.

Designing around the challenges of "non-standard" roof applications is something that PRC excels at, and we enthusiastically welcome opportunities to coordinate the processes and ensure that all systems work exceptionally well with one another. 

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Specialized Roofing Services

  • Specialized Roofing 
  • Specialized Roofing 
  • Specialized Roofing 
  • Specialized Roofing 
  • Specialized Roofing 
  • Specialized Roofing 
  • Specialized Roofing 
  • Specialized Roofing 
  • Specialized Roofing 

Skylights

Skylights are light-defining features that fill openings in a building envelope - mostly at roof level.  Skylights come in many forms that range from simple fixed units installed through a roof, to sloped glazing systems which are built in place and are more complex in design.  The majority of modern skylight products are intended to improve interior spaces by allowing natural daylight to cascade into a structure, and to offer occupants the ability to visually connect to the outside environment.  Advancements in skylight design include better thermal efficiency, enhanced daylighting with smaller units, and increased light with less heat gain.    

Professional Roof Consultants, Inc. has extensive experience with skylight assemblies, which originates from our successes with diagnosing moisture-intrusion problems on existing sloped glazing and fixed unit systems.  Our experience with such systems has aided our ability to provide design input and recommendations for successful skylight installation and long-term performance.  

Photovoltaics

Photovoltaic assemblies, also referred to as PV, are systems that generate electricity through conversion of solar radiation from the sun.  These types of assemblies have been around since the 1950's, and were mainly used in the space industry to provide power to spacecraft and satellites.  Today, photovoltaics are publicized as a sustainable energy source, and they are manufactured in a number of forms, including rigid and thin-film assemblies.  PV is often used on sides of buildings, installed in open fields, and even used as sun shades in parking lots and charging stations.  Rooftops have become a popular place to install PV systems due to the vast openness and "rentable" space that covers a building.   

The practice of installing PV on a rooftop requires a careful look on how it affects roof systems; both short term and long-term.  Rigid systems, which require a structural support system that typically anchors through the roof, usually require a substantial number of roof penetrations and roof-mounted equipment.  Thin-film systems are traditionally adhered to the roof membrane itself, and require strategic wire routing and anchorage, along with roof-mounted equipment.  Ballasted assemblies have been manufactured and installed successfully, but have their limitations.  All rooftop assemblies result in an increase in rooftop foot traffic to maintain the systems, putting more stresses on the roof system itself.  

PRC has broad experience providing design assistance and full-on design for PV systems that are installed on rooftops.  We will continue to to design appropriate solutions for roof-mounted PV systems, and to also assist with diagnosing failures on existing systems. 

Building Maintenance Equipment

Larger buildings quite often incorporate methods of maintaining the exterior of the building (i.e. window washing) by constructing and storing building maintenance equipment (BME) on the roof.  BME systems range from rail-driven motorized hoists and platforms to davit-mounted brackets that support work platforms.  Systems can support large motorized work platforms, or can simply be designed to support only the weight of one single worker using a bosun's chair.  

The systems that are installed on rooftops usually have a direct impact on a roof system through roof penetrations and the abuse that a roof can experience as it is used as a temporary work surface.  Understanding how each BME system is installed and how it will impact the building's roofing and flashing assembly is important in determining what type of roof should be installed and what type of protection should be considered.

PRC has designed a number of davit and rail-type systems for high-rise buildings located in the Pacific Northwest. In all cases that include BME design, PRC defines and applies appropriate design principles in order to determine suitable options that will not only provide a decent building maintenance experience, but a durable and functional roof system as well. 

Fall Protection

In accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), fall protection is required at roof areas where workers, or other personnel who happen to access the roof, are exposed to a hazard of falling a distance of more than 10 feet.  By law, providing fall protection and a means of attachment to the building is the responsibility of a contractor that is retained by the building owner (for the purpose of performing a maintenance task).  However, the responsibility to provide suitable anchor points is essentially handed down to the building owner as the owner is retaining a contractor to perform duties that fall under this regulatory requirement. 

There are two main types of fall protection: Fall Restraint – which is a method of keeping a person from going over the edge of a building (i.e. railing, or lanyard to prevent exposure to a fall). Fall Arrest – a method of keeping a person from descending to a point of impact once the person has gone over an edge (intentionally or inadvertently).  Structural requirements for fall arrest are far more stringent than fall restraint; the difference - railings that must support 400 pounds of resistance (fall restraint) verses a structural system that must support up to 5000 pounds of force (fall arrest).  

PRC's experience with fall protection systems is utilized for virtually every roof replacement project that we develop – it is our responsibility, as a minimum, to explore options for possible systems so that building owners can make educated decisions. Our experience in designing fall protection systems has led to the development of a unique fall protection certification process which has been implemented for a variety of clientele.    

Rooftop Decks and Access

The top of a building can provide one of the more spectacular views and atmospheres that the building can offer.  When designed properly, rooftop decks and terraces can provide an extraordinary space for occupants of the building to interact socially with one another, and within the surrounding environment.  Design of a rooftop space can incorporate a multitude of different material types, but should be accomplished by considering what the space will be constructed over.  

Professional Roof Consultants, Inc. has created various designs with regard to over-roof decks and terraces, and has incorporated our knowledge of proper roofing, waterproofing, and flashing practices to produce a visually-appealing finished product that will provide long-term and low maintenance system performance.

Green / Vegetated Roofs

While roof gardens have been around for quite some time, it has only been recently that owners, developers, and design professionals have aggressively attempted to incorporate 
"green" at the roof level to appease the many sustainable features that vegetated roofs can provide.  One of the key factors for rooftop gardens and vegetated roof systems is determining the amount of weight that the roof structure can support – when the system is at full capacity.  Once that is determined, an appropriate system can be designed.  

Vegetative overburden comes in many forms, including extensive, semi-intensive, and intensive plantings with growing medium (soil), as well as containerized plantings.  Extensive vegetated systems can be defined as "self-sustaining" in most environments, and are generally lighter in weight; they can range between 10 and 25 pounds per square foot, with some systems utilizing even lighter materials for reduced weight.  These types of systems are the most popular for rooftop applications, as the weight is usually closer to tolerance for roof structures.  Intensive systems utilize plantings that may require more maintenance and deeper soils, including grass lawns, shrubs, and trees.  These systems can weigh between 80 and150 pounds per square foot.  

The requirement for a vegetative roof may be driven by a number of factors which include controlling storm water runoff, contributing to the improvement of air quality and other environmental benefits, heat reduction, or purely for aesthetics.  While our services focus primarily on the elements that keep water out of the structure, PRC has experience with all types of vegetative systems and the process of inspecting, testing, and certifying the systems once in place.

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