FROM THE EDITOR
IS A PROUD MEMBER OF: nBUILDINGS
Jesse H. Neal Award
Jesse H. Neal Award
2014, 2013, 2012,
2011, 2010, 2009
Best Publication and
Best How-to Article
BUILDINGS SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION RATES:
United States and its possessions: $70 for 1 year;
Canada, $85 (U. S. funds) for 1 year; all other foreign
countries, $125 surface mail for 1 year; $150 air mail
for one year. Extra and back copies (when available):
$8.00 each, shipping and handling included. Tear
sheets: $1.75 each. All orders must be PREPAID to:
BUILDINGS magazine, 615 Fifth St. SE, PO Box 1888,
Cedar Rapids, IA, 52406-1888. ATTN: Barb Schrafel,
800/553-8878, ext. 5017.
Copyright 2014 Stamats Communications.
For high-quality, customized
reprints, please contact
Stamats Marketing Services:
1-800-553-8878 ext. 5034
The Stamats headquarters
is a LEED Certified Silver
Volume 109 Number 2 BUILDINGS (ISSN 0007-3725) is published monthly by Stamats Communications 615 5th St. SE, PO Box 1888, Cedar Rapids, IA, 52406-1888;
(319) 364-6167. Periodicals Postage Paid at Cedar Rapids, IA, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: Buildings, PO Box 1888, Cedar Rapids, IA,
52406-1888. Publications mail agreement No. 41666041. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: PO Box 875, STN A, Windsor, ON, N9A 6P2.
A Publication of Stamats Buildings Media
VP, Group Publisher Tony Dellamaria
Chief Content Director Chris Olson
Senior Editor Janelle Penny
Senior Editor Jennie Morton
E-Content Editor Pete Campie
Art Director Elisa Geneser
Graphic Designer Evan Brownfield
For subscriptions, visit:
Buildings is a registered trademark owned by
Editorial Advisory Board
Christopher K. Ahoy President/CEO,
Performance Management Consulting
Steven R. Colvin Senior Vice President of
Property Management, Boston Properties LP
Michael Delev General Property Manager, Hines
Steve Fugarazzo Manager, Facilities Engineering,
Rod Stevens Principal Consultant,
Eric A. Woodroof Founder,
The Roof – Boring,
Commonplace and Complex
Roofs are supposed to perform their function quietly, out of sight and mind, without a whimper. But as this issue’s articles on roofing systems show, their impacts are complex
From our terrestrial point of view, it is easy to neglect the roof. We don’t interact with
it on a daily basis like we do with the windows and doors of the visible exterior walls. But
as noted in the article on green roof performance (page 34), most buildings in the U.S.
are under two stories and their roofs represent the largest area of their envelopes. Not
to mention the fact that more heat energy is lost through roofs than through doors and
windows. If all U.S. nonresidential buildings met the 2012 level of code-mandated roof
insulation, an estimated 700 trillion BTUs of energy would be saved, estimates the Center
for Environmental Innovation in Roofing.
Another element of environmental impact involves renewable energy production. If
25% of U.S. rooftops incorporated power from solar cells, the energy produced would
be 25 times greater than the 21 billion kilowatt hours of hydroelectric power produced
annually by the Grand Coulee Dam.
The roof is also a dangerous place, one frequented by personnel who may have little regard
for your roof’s integrity or their own safety. A landmine of hazards – ladders, drains, skylights,
equipment penetrations, tree branches and other debris – regularly causes injury and death.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 64 roofing contractors died in 2013 from falls, slips
and trips. Many more were injured or died who were not roofing contractors. As detailed in
our article on best practices for roof safety (page 28), a thicket of regulations describes the
building owner’s responsibility in such situations. Fortunately, there are resources and practices
to train personnel and enhance safety.
And the roof is a costly component representing a large chunk of the building owner’s
investment – but all too often its value is not continuously maximized. As pointed out in our
article on extending service life (page 22), much of the construction industry uses ASTM’s
minimum standards as the benchmark. But that is a low bar – the average 17-year service life
of commercial roofs is easily extended by 20% to 40% by applying good practices.
For those whose roof does not seem to be posing any problems at the moment, remember
that the time to maintain and repair the roof is when the sun is shining.
Chief Content Director