Nearly eight years after the voters of Seattle, WA, passed a levy to expand the size and scope of the Van Asselt Community Center, the renovated building, located at 2820 S. Myrtle Street, was officially opened to the public in February 2007. Passed in 1999, the Community Center Levy provided a $3.9 million construction budget that would create a more enjoyable and user-friendly center for the citizens of Seattle. The levy proposed adding additional play areas, restrooms, locker rooms, new staff offices and a welcoming reception area to the existing building, which was last updated in 1976.
As prescribed in the Community Center Levy, the funding flowed into the Parks and Recreation Department's budget over the life of the levy, which put the construction process on hold for a number of years until all of the money was received. But, in 2006 renovations began and by February 2007 the project was complete.
Dan Johnson, senior project capitol coordinator for the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department, managed the construction project for the city. According to Johnson, renovating the building to the original design was difficult due to the fact that the levy was not put into action until seven years after it was passed.
"We were working with 1999 dollars in 2006 and 2007, which meant that our money did not go as far as it was originally intended to," commented Johnson. "We loved the design, so we had to work very hard to find quality, cost-effective materials that would give us our desired results without going over budget."
One of the more intensive and demanding aspects of the project was finding an adequate roofing material for the new, 9,800-square-foot addition. The project called for a self-adhesive, modified bitumen roofing material that the city had often used in the past. However, the specified material was quite costly, leading everyone to search for an alternative.
After considering a number of options, the project's roofing contractor, SQI Inc. from Seattle, decided on PolyKool®, a highly reflective, modified bitumen roofing membrane manufactured by Polyglass® USA. Part of Polyglass' KOOL ROOF SOLUTIONS product's line, PolyKool is an APP-based, modified bitumen membrane that utilizes Polyglass' patented, dual-compound ADESO® self-adhesive technology.
PolyKool membranes consist of a true APP compound on the top layer and an aggressive self adhesive on the bottom layer. They are manufactured with a high-performance, fiberglass-reinforced polyester mat that guarantees high dimensional stability and long-term durability. PolyKool membranes are finished with a patent-pending white film laminate on the top surface except at side laps which have a patented SEALLAP® feature, and the feature a split release film on the bottom surface.
According to John Fortune, project superintendent for SQI, PolyKool is a far more superior product than the originally specified material. Plus, it was more economical than the original material, which helped keep the entire project on budget.
"We are very familiar with Polyglass' entire line of self-adhesive roof systems, so we know how well they perform and how easy they are to install," said Fortune. "When we saw the original specification, we knew PolyKool was a better system so we put in a substitution request to the project's architect and they accepted."
Submitted by SQI's Chief Estimator, Damien Coronado, the substitution request went to the desks of Denise Dana and Ron Wright from Ron Wright and Associates, the architectural firm in charge of redesigning the Van Asselt Community Center. After comparing the originally specified roofing material to PolyKool, both architects agreed that Polyglass' product was the better, more appropriate material for the job.
"After we received the substitution request we got together and discussed the pros and cons of both materials," said Dana. "After a full discussion it was obvious that the Polyglass product was a more cost-effective solution that offered increased durability and performance."
According to Johnson, the city needed a long-lasting, low-maintenance roofing material for a couple of reasons. "Our maintenance personnel have a lot of buildings to take care of throughout the entire city and we needed something that wasn't going to require a lot of their time or attention. Also, we are not roofing professionals, so we wanted something that required minimal upkeep," he said. "We were a little hesitant to go with the Polyglass product at first because we were familiar with the originally specified material. However, after SQI explained the benefits of Polyglass' PolyKool KOOL ROOF SOLUTIONS product line we realized that it met all of our needs at a much lower cost."
Possibly more important than its durability, performance and cost effectiveness, PolyKool offered the city something else it was looking for - reflectivity and reduced energy costs. A revolutionary cool roof modified bitumen membrane, PolyKool features a reflectivity rating of 0.70 and an emissivity rating of 0.80. It also meets all current and proposed energy performance standards, including those administered by ENERGY STAR®, the CRRC (Cool Roof Rating Council) and California's Title 24. All of these energy-efficient features were important for the publicly funded building that runs on a limited budget.
"We expected an efficient roof system, and the PolyKool product gave us what we were looking for," commented Johnson. "Its excellent reflectivity is a long-term benefit that will help us keep our energy costs in check for years to come."
Before SQI could install the PolyKool roof system, the general construction of the community center had to be completed. M.J. Takisaki, headquartered in Seattle, was the general contractor for the expansion project and they began the job by adding nearly 10,000 square feet of space to the building.
Takisaki built the addition with concrete masonry units, or CMU's, in a natural finish that matched the existing gymnasium, the only part of the original community center that remained intact. After they erected the exterior frame, which included beautiful, two-story glass entryways on the north and south sides of the building, SQI began the roofing portion of the project.
Working under strict timelines and the constant threat of rain, SQI roofed all of the building's five rooftops in less than one week. They began by mechanically fastening a layer of 3.4-inch, R-21.1 polyiso insulation to the building's plywood roof deck. When all of the insulation was installed, SQI installed Polyglass' self-adhesive ELASTOFLEX® SAV base sheet and then moved on to the PolyKool application.
To install the PolyKool, SQI simply rolled out the sheets, peeled off the poly film backing and adhered the membranes. To ensure the highest level of performance, SQI overlapped the ends of each membrane by four inches and applied a uniform bead of Polyglass' KOOLLokTM seam treatment. KOOLLok is a hybrid seaming and sealing treatment, specifically developed for use with the PolyKool systems. KOOLLok helps enhance the reflective and emissive properties of the PolyKool system, while ensuring quality seams and end laps.
Like all of Polyglass' SA self-adhesive membranes with ADESO Technology, PolyKool features SEALLAP, the company's patented lapping system that is unique to the roofing industry. SealLap is a technology that enhances sealing at the side seams of membranes. Working in conjunction with the KOOLLok, SealLap creates a unique seaming system that allows the PolyKool membranes to bond instantaneously to each other. This helps increase the performance and durability of the finished roofing system, while reducing installation times.
After the PolyKool membranes were installed, SQI immediately rolled them with a 100-pound roller to help activate the adhesive. They completed the installation by hot air welding all of the end laps.
"SQI did an amazing job getting this building in the dry as quickly as they did," commented Charles Hardy, project manager for M.J. Takisaki. "Everyone was pleased with the work they did and they really helped us keep the project on schedule by getting it covered so promptly."
The roof system may have been installed quickly, but its 20-year total system warranty guarantees that it will provide years of protection. "When the citizens of Seattle passed the Community Center Levy in 1999 they were looking for a better facility with more space," said Johnson. "This project gave them exactly what they wanted and the Polyglass roof system will ensure that it stays that way for a long time."
Author Bio: Tony Matter is a freelance writer for the construction industry.