Properties Magazine April 2017 : Page 61

Behind the Building Envelope Project Profile: Vocational Guidance Services Overcoming challenges to provide replacement roof at Cleveland facility By William T. Eberhard AIA, IIDA Eberhard Architects LLC V ocational Guidance Services has provided assessment and job training services to those in need for 126 years. Previous leadership deferred maintenance of its existing 125,000-square-foot facility at 2239 E. 55th St. in Cleveland. An architect’s assessment of the roof in 2010 identified the deteriorated con-dition of the three roof sections of the facility and recommended replacement at a cost estimated between $482,000 and $593,000. VGS began planning to raise money and engaged Eberhard Architects LLC to review the assessment and develop the roof replacement design and contract documents. Due to the non-profit agency’s struggles with major infrastructure maintenance, the criteria identified for evaluating alter-native roof systems included 1) initial cost, 2) life cycle cost, 3) ability to add solar, 4) warranty, 5) maintenance obli-gations and 6) “green” characteristics to assist with fundraising. Given the criteria and a poor maintenance history, VGS and the architect agreed that a ‘belt-and-suspenders’ approach of a multi-ply system with a 30-year warranty was appropriate. Initial discussions with prospec-tive donors revealed a willingness to support a green roof replacement. Although USGBC has no definition or rating system to establish a “green roof,” the characteristics that earn points in the LEED rating system guided decision-making. The type of insulation was determined by assessing comparative insulation values, embedded energy to produce the material and the nature of the material itself. Conventional rigid XPS and EPS insulations have high Global Warming Potential (GWP), 1430 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Spray foam in a 6” thickness has a GWP of 1030, which resulted in a decision to employ rigid mineral wool. The amount of insulation was deter-mined by a cost-benefit analysis to achieve green roof standards and appropriate energy savings potential, which resulted in an average thickness of 7.5” with R-42. Eberhard’s review of the initial assess-ment revealed that the original estimates did not adequately include the costs of removing the existing built-up roofs, the costs of new flashing, expansion joints and fascias, masonry repairs on rooftop penthouses and the cost of the removal and replacement of extensive rooftop HVAC equipment and piping. Additionally, the original estimates did not include the general conditions costs of replacement on an existing in-service building that had to be weathertight at the end of each workday. Eberhard specified a three-ply torch-applied roof system over mineral wool insulation with a bonded protection board to the top layer of insulation from proper adhesion of the wearing water-shedding surface to the substrate. The www.propertiesmag.com 61 Photo courtesy of Eberhard Architects LLC

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