The Added Benefits of Green Roofs

Feb. 13, 2002
When Yale University’s School of Medicine needed a roof for its new, seven-story building in New Haven, CT, a coal tar roofing system was specified for its life expectancy of 30 to 40 years and low maintenance characteristics. Cary, NC-based Honeywell Commercial Roofing Systems was the successful bidder to apply its coal tar built-up membranes to the 75,500-square-foot roof. Unfortunately, roofers’ access to the site was limited; they could only set up their materials on the street. In order to get the hot bitumen up seven stories, a piping system was installed to pump the hot bitumen up and through the building.According to architect Payette & Associates, roofing consultant BPD Roof Consulting Inc., and contractor Tuckahoe Roofing & Sheet Metal, the roofing consisted of four plies of organic felt over a layer of ½-inch fiberboard and two layers of isocyanurate foam insulation. Crickets were used between drains to assist in drainage since the building structure was a slope. A separate part of the roof was also designed to be an environmental-friendly green roof. Here, Ernest Peterson Inc. applied 115 squares of coal tar waterproofing materials to the green plaza at the interior of the U-shaped building.Any material exposed to environmental and human abuse will need attention from time to time. Thus, coal tar membranes make most common roof repairs faster and easier – particularly if access to the roof is limited like it was for this roofing project. Additionally, green roofs help amend buildings to include living, moving matter. Green roofs create aesthetically pleasing and sustainable plant communities – a living landscape not only pleasing to the eye, but also pleasing to the environment.

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