Environmentally Advanced Roofing System Tops Rohm and Haas Headquarters
Practicing what they preach has prompted specialty materials company Rohm and Haas to update the 40,000 square foot roof of their global headquarters in
"Elastomeric roof coatings are one of the main thrusts in our environmentally advanced portfolio," says Colin Gouveia, marketing director for Industrial and Construction, North America. "By helping to reduce the urban heat island effect by providing a cool, reflective surface, elastomeric coatings are a sustainable technology that demonstrates the way people need to think and act in regard to the environment. We are doing our part not only in providing these products to our customers, but also by applying them to our own buildings."
"This is critically important for a number of reasons," says Liz Robinson, executive director of Energy Coordinating Agency, a non-profit organization that specializes in energy conservation, education programs and policy work. "Our summers have gotten warmer and warmer, and that poses a health risk to the elderly, in particular. By using this roof coating technology, we reduce the indoor air temperature as well as the urban heat island effect, reducing energy costs and slowing the pace of global warming by increasing the reflectivity of the earth
The City of Philadelphia is currently seeking to increase standards for new and replacement roofs above the current state building code. The new Rohm and Haas roof coating exceeds the current state regulations and would meet the proposed city regulations, should they be adopted.
According to Javier Banos, marketing manager for the company
"The result is a cooler and longer-lasting roof, lower air temperatures and energy savings for the entire building," says Banos. "The lower roof of our building is EPDM [ethylene propylene diene monomer], a thick, rubber membrane-type black roof, and the upper roof is a traditional built-up (asphalt) roof with a smooth APP Mod-Bit Capsheet," explains Lou Velez, P.E., Rohm and Haas building manager. "We are coating both surfaces with two thick coats of elastomeric product to prevent ultraviolet degradation. That coating also adds an extra layer of impermeable material, so water runs off readily and not into the building structure where it could cause damage."
Rohm and Haas expects significant energy savings between May and October, based on the way the building
Not only does an elastomeric-coated roof save energy, but it reduces landfill waste and provides substantial savings in maintenance and replacement costs. Roof repair used to mean tearing off the aging roof and replacing it, but with proper maintenance, elastomeric-coated roofs can last much longer than traditional roofs. Such maintenance is limited to occasional cleaning with a hose or power washer and reapplication of the coating on average every 7 to 10 years.
The summer cooling offsets any heat gain by a black roof in winter more than tenfold, among other reasons because the potential for heat gain is so much lower during the winter when sunlight is much less intense than during the summer. The project will be completed by the end of October and will include monitoring devices that will enable Rohm and Haas to track energy savings.
"We occupy almost a whole block," says Banos. "That is significant. But any contribution is good. There are still a lot of black roofs around us. We are trying to make sure that we are doing what we can to lower our energy footprint."
Rohm and Haas has occupied the building at Sixth and Market streets since 1965, but over the past year, the company set out on a floor by floor renovation to revitalize their headquarters.
The contemporary concrete, steel and glass building was designed by the late Pietro Belluschi, a leading world architect who served as dean of MIT
For more information, visit the Elastomeric Roof Coatings website.
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