TORONTO, Ontario, September 1, 2011 – Following two major fatal fires in Toronto-area assisted living facilities, the regional fire marshal recommended that all high-rise assisted living facilities be retrofitted with fire sprinkler systems. Considering the safety of their residents, St. Hilda's Towers, an independent, non-profit assisted living residence located in the Dufferin-Eglington district of Metropolitan Toronto, decided to provide fire sprinklers in every apartment and all the public areas in the complex.
The first two buildings, Dufferin and Vaughan Towers, were opened in 1977 and 1982, respectively. Dufferin Towers has 15 floors and Vaughan Towers has 17 floors. The 344 units include bachelor apartments and 15 one-bedroom residences for couples. The "Towers" was designed to give its residents a feeling of independence, and management has always sought to respect their residents' privacy.
J. Brian Borrowdale, administrator of the Towers, researched his options for installing a fire sprinkler system in the two-building high-rise facility. The retrofit needed to have limited intrusion on the lives of tenants, be completed on deadline, and any related repairs or modifications had to be completed quickly and quietly.
"While safety of our residents was our primary goal, we were concerned that a fire sprinkler system installation would raise our operating costs by thousands of dollars," said Borrowdale. "And, we were afraid that the installation might interfere with the privacy of our residents."
C&H Fire Suppression Systems won the contract and recommended BlazeMaster® CPVC for the retrofit installation.
Michael Heller, manager of C&H Fire Suppression Systems, explained, "We knew from experience that BlazeMaster® CPVC pipe would cause the least intrusion on the lives of the Towers residents because it is much easier to install and requires only a limited evacuation of the inhabitants during the retrofit."
According to Heller, when steel fire sprinkler systems are installed, the inhabitants of an entire floor must be evacuated. Also, messy cutting oil or pipe dope can damage carpeting in the residents' apartments.
C&H Fire Suppression Systems has been using BlazeMaster® CPVC for fire sprinkler system installations since 1986. They believe CPVC installations are easier than steel because CPVC pipe is lightweight and more flexible, it can be installed in places nearly impossible to install steel pipe, no torches or heavy equipment are needed, and it is easy to design into any type of building.
Compared to the design process for steel fire sprinkler systems, engineers for the St. Hilda's retrofit did not have to survey the job in advance because BlazeMaster® CPVC design changes are made on site during the installation. The engineers simply needed to specify the placement of the fire sprinkler heads. By eliminating the typically two week, two man surveying process, BlazeMaster® CPVC pipe provided a 20% cost savings over steel systems in design alone.
Fast, Easy Installation
IPEX Inc., Toronto, Ontario, supplied C&H Fire Suppression Systems Inc. with the BlazeMaster® - licensed materials required for the Towers installation. As a manufacturer and supplier of BlazeMaster® CPVC pipe, IPEX Inc. has helped facilitate architects and consulting engineers' specification of BlazeMaster® CPVC fire sprinkler systems in light hazard construction and retrofits. Since design changes were made on site, the installation crew was able to work without difficulty or re-engineering to allow a cleaner, quieter retrofit with less disruption of the facility. BlazeMaster® CPVC pipe could be cut on site to exact measurements, and fittings could be glued in the tight places where wrenches necessary for making metal pipe adjustments would not fit.
The installation was completed floor-by-floor, and residents didn't have to leave their apartments. A six-man crew completed the retrofit. In total, the Towers installation utilized over 30,000 ft. of BlazeMaster® CPVC pipe and 2,000 sprinklers.
CPVC offers added benefits compared to metal systems including life performance and reduced maintenance. BlazeMaster® Fire Sprinkler Systems offer long-term reliability due to its corrosion resistance, low flame spread, low smoke emission levels and a UL life expectancy of 50 years with a safety factor of 2.
In just three months, the St. Hilda's Towers fire sprinkler system retrofit was complete. According to Borrowdale, the crew was very respectful of the senior residents, and the job was completed as quickly as possible, without much disruption. A third building has since been constructed at St. Hilda's Towers. Plans are underway to retrofit a BlazeMaster® Fire Sprinkler System.
"Our residents count on us for helping keep them healthy and safe," said Borrowdale. "Knowing that we are all protected by fire sprinklers gives us peace of mind."
ST. JOSEPH, Mo., September 1, 2011 – For the City of St. Joseph, Mo., vinyl siding is the preferred exterior cladding option, when restoring weatherworn homes for owners on a fixed income. Vinyl is a competitively priced siding and provides the look of traditional wood siding without needing periodic maintenance. However, the City occasionally runs into snags when one of these homes borders a historic district. Agencies like the Missouri State Historic Preservation office typically insist on the use of traditional building materials, such as wood and slate.
"Anything that adjoins a historic district comes under their scrutiny," says Don DePriest, construction activities manager for the St. Joseph Office of Planning and Community Development. "So, if there's a project we're doing that could affect a neighboring historic district, we do all we can to preserve the district's historical integrity."
One such project came up in 2008, when the City granted approval to an elderly homeowner for a home restoration loan and noticed that her house bordered the St. Joseph Park and Parkway System. The City's general contractor, Superior Exteriors of Northwest Missouri, suggested using CertainTeed® Wolverine Restoration Smooth vinyl siding to re-side the home. The product had proven success in several historic home re-siding projects and provided the desired wood clapboard-style look for the small, 1920s-era home. After reviewing a presentation by the City and CertainTeed, the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office gave the project team the go-ahead. Superior Exteriors began work with a crew of five in May 2009. The first step was removing the home's existing siding, which had deteriorated and posed a potential health hazard. When the crew installed 16 squares of Triple 3-inch Wolverine Restoration Smooth™ clapboard siding in Sterling Gray over the home's exterior, and 3 squares of Cedar Impressions® 6-1/4-inch Half Round polymer shingles in Colonial White in the gables. In addition, they replaced the front porch's black metal posts and rails with fiberglass Doric columns and installed Restoration Millwork® vinyl trimboards along the perimeter of the porch roof. The Restoration Millwork trimboards made a normally difficult job easy.
"Working with a half-round porch is usually quite a challenge because it's difficult getting some trimboards to curve with the porch," says Mark Puckett, co-owner of Superior Exteriors. "The Restoration Millwork trimboards contoured easily around the front porch and made that part of the job much simpler."
"The Restoration Smooth siding gave the appearance of smooth painted cedar siding to the home," Puckett says. "It has more of a satin finish, so it looks a lot like the paints used in the early 1900s. It looks great on the house."
RICHMOND, Va., September 1, 2011 – An assisted living facility in Richmond's West End has a new name and an updated look, thanks to a renovation that included installation of vinyl plank, vinyl wallcoverings, window treatments, and vinyl-backed carpet. Ginter Hall was built in the 1980s with very little capital reserved for renovations and updates. The new project owners knew they needed a fresh marketable look that would provide a comfortable setting for existing and incoming residents. The facility is now known as the Lynmoore, described on its web site as "an exceptional community of care," with "specialized professional assistance in a warm, personalized, and nurturing environment where the independence and dignity of all residents are respected and preserved."
"The Lynmoore residents and staff are enjoying the new design changes," Lynmoore Executive Director Natalie Kent said. "The entire feel of our home has changed with reduced noise level, increased warmth, and new smaller scaled spaces for privacy and family time." New vinyl products have reinvigorated the look and appeal of the entrance, dining room, elevator lounge, corridors, and the library that was formerly a bookkeeping office.
The interiors use carpet tile with recycled vinyl backing, and vinyl plank with recycled content to provide the warmth of wood, and the required durability. Once the existing vinyl composition tile was stripped of wax, both the new carpet and plank were laid over the existing flooring materials. This eliminated the cost of removal, and the related disposal fees.
"[The residents] love the bedroom window treatments, [as it] reminds them of what they were around growing up," Kent noted. Vinyl wallcovering with recycled content was used to replace the old wallcovering that had been "painted" numerous times, and had left the substrate in rough condition when the wallcovering was removed. Vinyl wall protection and upholstery were used throughout the facility, along with appropriate fabrics.
The addition of indirect lighting and upholstered panels with vinyl bead board for division of space created a homier, more comfortable setting for both residents and visitors of the new and improved Lynmoore facility. The renovation was completed in March of 2009. Kent concluded, "We love our new design and consider it an essential investment in meeting the ongoing demand of our aging population." For more information, go to www.lynmoore.com.
NAPLES, Fla., September 1, 2011 –There is nothing quite like a Florida Hurricane to test the stamina of a roofing system. In October of 2005, when the people of Naples, Florida found themselves staring Hurricane Wilma right in the Eye, those at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts held their breath. Just a few months earlier they had finished installing a new roof on the center.
A Category 5 hurricane, Wilma set historical records as she forged her path from the Caribbean to the U.S. She blew through Naples at 120 mph and caused over $20 billion in damages in the U.S., ranking her among the top three most costly U.S. storms. Wilma became known as the most intense storm ever to travel the Atlantic Basin.
Luck is involved in beating a storm like that, but it also requires wisdom. Decision makers at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts - a landmark building in Naples – had considered potential tropical disasters like Wilma when they selected a FiberTite mechanically attached roofing system for their facility. The FiberTite roof replaced an old smooth modified system that was hot mopped over a nailed base sheet. The decision to choose FiberTite stemmed from a desire to work with a roofing manufacturer to custom design a system that would withstand the rigors of the southwest Florida climate. Among other top priorities were the system's ability to resist serious wind uplift; energy savings in the face of Florida's intense heat; and, a proven track record of beating Florida's storms.
The Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts is home to the Philharmonic Orchestra and the Naples Museum of Art. The Center hosts more than 400 cultural events each year, including opera, dance, classical and popular music and Broadway musicals and seats 1,400 guests. The Center also houses four museum-quality art galleries where world-class painting, sculpture, drawing and other art forms are displayed.
After Hurricane Wilma, Alex Peña, building superintendent for the Center, walked the roof. "A barrel tile roof on a bank located directly across the street was almost completely destroyed, but our FiberTite roof looked great. There was no damage at all."
Since introduced on rooftops in Florida back in 1979, over 99% of FiberTite roofing systems ever installed across the U.S. are still protecting.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, September 1, 2011 – Once the last medals were awarded and the 2010 Winter Olympic Games came to a close, a major vinyl recycling effort took off, a team effort of the Vinyl Council of Canada, 3M Canada Company, and Mannington Commercial Flooring.
3M Canada Company was the official supplier of building and vehicle vinyl wraps for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. About 200,000 square feet of vinyl graphics were used on Olympic buildings such as the Richmond Olympic Oval and the Pacific Coliseum, outdoor venue grandstands, 4,600 vehicles, 500 buses, and eight resurfacing machines.
To support their sustainability objectives, 3M Canada looked for ways to reclaim the wraps after use, as a material stream for recycled products. The Vinyl Council of Canada, a Council of the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, worked closely with 3M Canada to help them in their recycling efforts, and introduced them to Mannington Commercial, a vinyl flooring company with a long track record of vinyl recycling projects.
Mannington tested the recycling of the 3M vinyl wraps as a raw material for its floor products, and the testing yielded positive results, so an agreement was made. All of 3M's vinyl graphic material from the 2010 Olympics has been diverted from landfill and is being remanufactured into Mannington high-recycled content flooring.
"Through the Canadian Plastics Industry Association, we learned about Mannington's precedent for recycling mixed waste similar to our graphic materials into flooring," says Richard Chartrand, Vice President, Display and Graphics Business, 3M Canada. "Most recycling facilities would quickly turn away from the colorful, irregular shaped lumps that the graphics result in after use, but Mannington was up for the challenge."
Dave Kitts, Mannington Vice President – Environment, said, "One of the simplest ways to conserve resources is to reuse what you can. We've found second lives for many flooring products and were intrigued by the opportunity presented by 3M Canada."
Mannington is recycling the graphics into Premium Tile, a product popular in commercial healthcare, education, and retail applications. The Premium Tile product already contains post-consumer waste streams including drywall and vinyl tile reclaimed from renovation sites, and is certified as an Environmentally Preferable Product, meeting the rigorous requirements of NSF-332-2007 certification.
First, the graphic materials were peeled manually from windows, vehicles, and walls piece-by-piece, and heated to soften the pressure-sensitive adhesive and reduce the pull-off force needed. The material was then balled up, placed in clear collection bags, loaded on truck trailers, and driven to Mannington's Salem, N.J. manufacturing facility.
There the material is ground into fine pieces, evaluated for color, and measured and added to a limestone mixture, then blended and heated to desired consistency and sent through large rollers to form long sheets. The sheets are then broken up and combined with other color-controlled lots. Then the final mixture is blended, reheated, and rolled out to yield sheets of desired patterns, and stamped to create 12"by 12" flooring tiles, which are packaged and ready for sale.
"We have been looking for waste streams to increase the amount of post-consumer content that we can use in our products," says John Emmons, Director of Commercial Manufacturing at Mannington. "The arrangement was not only a great way to support this 3M Canada initiative; it also made very good business sense."
3M Canada's Chartrand noted 3M's graphics created "a dramatic visual impact at the 2010 Winter Games, and our partnership with Mannington will help limit our environmental impact after the Games end. 3M considers this recycling program a significant step in the right direction for creating a positive environmental shift in our industry."
Marion Axmith, the Director General of the Vinyl Council of Canada, noted, "The vinyl industry can be proud that our industry has contributed to greening of the 2010 Olympic Games, thanks to the efforts of 3M Canada Company, Mannington, and the Vinyl Council of Canada.
STATEN ISLAND, New York, September 1, 2011 –Savo Brothers, Inc., a Staten Island, New York, real estate developer, changed its approach to fencing with the construction of Sailor's Key, a luxury townhome community on Staten Island's Eastern Shore. In previous developments, as is the case with many residential builders, Savo Brothers did not provide fences for its homes, leaving fence options in the hands of the homeowners.
"We'd let the homeowners choose what kind of fence they wanted, or if they even wanted a fence at all," says Michael Savo, President of Savo Brothers, Inc. "That didn't work out because you'd see too many different styles of fences from different manufacturers all throughout the community. There was no uniformity."
With Sailor's Key, Savo Brothers decided to provide the same fence product throughout the 90-townhome community to provide the uniformity and a clean look. They hired Gateway Fence, Inc., of Staten Island, a fence contractor with whom they have a long-standing relationship, to help select a fence product and install it.
Preferring the low-maintenance and durability of vinyl fencing, they chose Bufftech™ Chesterfield™ by CertainTeed, with the product's new CertaGrain™ texture option, in Natural Clay. CertaGrain gives Chesterfield a realistic wood-grain texture allowing the vinyl fence product to authentically emulate traditional wood fencing.
The construction of the development was divided into three phases. With Phase One complete, Gateway Fence began installing the first round of fencing for 48 of the townhomes in September with a crew including Gateway Fence, Inc. President Steve Borruso and two assistants. The crew set fence posts along the perimeter, 34 inches deep, securing each hollow post with two steel rebars inside and filling them up halfway with cement. Gateposts were also secured by two rebars, but were filled up 3/4 of the way with cement. Borruso was impressed with the extra strength of the Bufftech gate pieces.
"The gates are great," he says. "The aluminum C-channel internal frame really gives the gates a lot of strength."
Once the posts were set, Borruso and crew put in the rails of the fences. The precision cut of the Buffech pieces, and pickets cut on a slight angle for sloped ground, make installation go a lot more smoothly than with other fence materials.
GREENWICH, Conn., September 1, 2011 – When the town of Greenwich, Connecticut was looking for a new roof for its Glenville Elementary School, one top priority was that the roof be environmentally responsible.
"We wanted a 'green' roof not only because of the benefits it offers to the environment, but also because it would help us qualify for an environmental grant," said Frank Mazza, chairman of the Glenville School Building Committee. "We have another school with a geothermal system, but soon realized that wouldn't work on this building. Then Turner Construction of Milford, Connecticut came up with the idea of a photovoltaic solar roof."
The Building Committee and Turner Construction originally selected a thin film photovoltaic solar system, but there were several challenges with installing that system on this particular roof. The first obstacle was that Connecticut state requirements call for roofs to have a slope of one-half-inch per foot. "We needed to meet this requirement without affecting the existing parapet heights," stated Jorge Orfao, project manager for Silktown Roofing, Inc. of Manchester, Connecticut. Orfao said the solution was to quadrant the roof with dividers, add extra drains and keep the tapered insulation to reasonable heights. "That was great news for the drainage issues – bad news for a 'thin film' photovoltaic system," he remarked. That's because the addition of the drains and dividers reduced the usable space for that type of solar system.
Added Jeff Mattson, senior project manager at Turner Construction, "The altered slope meant the new roof would be choppy."
A High Powered Solution
Fortunately, after consulting with Sika Sarnafil representatives, Silktown Roofing was able to come up with another solution: Install a Sika Sarnafil EnergySmart Roof reflective membrane ("one of the best membranes out there," Orfao stated), and then add 97.5 kW Solyndra photovoltaic modules with their raised mount support.
"The raised mount support of the Solyndra system raises the solar modules roughly 11 inches off the roof and helped level the many contours of the adjoining tapered roof," Orfao explained. "And, unlike other conventional crystalline installations, the Solyndra system does not require ballast, which means we were able to stay within the structural loading limits of the existing building."
Another advantage of the Solyndra system is that its tubular design uses the light reflected off the white Sika Sarnafil membrane and coverts it into energy. "Instead of just being a staging platform for a photovoltaic system, the roof membrane becomes an active contributor to energy production," Orfao stated.
According to Elliot Isban, CEO of American Solar & Alternative Power of Stamford, Connecticut, a preferred integrator of solar roofing for Sika Sarnafil, the reflected light from the Sika Sarnafil white membrane is expected to contribute significantly to the power produced by the solar system.
Because there is space between the solar tubes, "snow can go through it, settle on the roof, and also be used for its reflectivity," Isban stated. "It can also withstand 130 mph wind gusts. It's what makes the Solyndra system unique and leading edge."
Isban pointed out this is the first Solyndra installation in Connecticut. "I commend the town of Greenwich for having the foresight to install this type of solar roof," he said. "It is very forward-thinking on their part."
An Installation Curve
Due to the configuration of the roof, the installation of the new solar roof had several challenges. "The school did not have an open layout to work with – there were trapezoidal courtyards and multi-levels to deal with," Orfao explained. "Even after repeated field measurements and multiple drawing revisions, the installation was extremely difficult."
"Because of the different roof pitches and various mechanicals that were already in place, we had to lay the array of the solar modules in fragmented sections," Isban added. "This made it very complicated."
In addition, much of the installation was done in the winter. "We had to work in subzero temperatures with snow and inclement weather, "Isban stated.
Fortunately, Sika Sarnafil representatives were on-hand to provide guidance and support as needed. "The Sika Sarnafil representatives helped with the detail work, and always answered our questions quickly," Orfao said. Added Mattson, "Sika Sarnafil provided good customer service when we were putting this all together."
Mazza said Silktown Roofing's work was also to be commended. "The quality of Silktown's work was very good, "he said. "They did a terrific job in getting the roof down in the wintry weather conditions."
It was this dedication that helped Silktown Roofing to not only meet its project deadline, but also to win Second Place in Sika Sarnafil's 2009 Contractor Project of the Year, Sustainability Category.
A Shining Example
Today the roof is performing well and generating an average of 98 kilowatts of DC power, which is converted into 70-75 watts of AC power for the school. "It is doing what is it designed to do and functioning quite well," Mazza stated. "It's a very good, efficient system, and I would definitely use this system again."
The solar roof is also going to serve as a learning tool to the school. "We installed a data acquisition system to monitor the system and create a data log history," said Isban. "The school plans to use this data system for students in various classrooms to educate them of the benefits of green, clean technology in the roof over their heads."
Mattson added, "This is a trouble-free roofing system that works out great for the client's needs and the site conditions."
"The roof is performing excellently, and is a good example of the symbiotic relationship between the Sika Sarnafil reflective membrane and the Solyndra modules," Orfao stated. "I look forward to using both products together again."
Sounds like a relationship that reflects well on all parties involved.
TACOMA, Wash., September 1, 2011 – Since 1887, Fern Hill Elementary School in Tacoma Wash., had always been a staple of the community. Even after it was rebuilt in 1911, residents of the community made sure it still embodied the rich history that had become so much a part of the school and the city.
In 2005, the State of Washington passed legislation that requires any new public buildings and any renovated buildings to use high-performance methods that save money and improve school performance through economic, community and environmental goals. This legislation, The Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol, also requires that all public buildings must be designed, constructed and certified to at least meet LEED Silver standards.
The Washington Sustainable Schools Protocol came at the same time Fern Hill Elementary School had decided to renovate its 93-year-old structure, so the Tacoma School District decided that its new school needed to be built with sustainability as its driving force. In order to do that, the district needed to work with architects and manufacturers who shared the vision of a healthy and safe environment. When it came time to choose a floorcovering for the new school, the school district stayed with Powerbond from C&A, a Tandus brand, which had been proven not only to be a durable and dependable, but it met the environmental requirements needed as well.
In 1922, C&A developed a fully operational carpet reclamation and recycling program. The Infinity Initiative encourages customers to recycle their vinyl-backed carpet, such as Powerbond, through its closed-loop recycling process, and recycles any post-consumer vinyl-backed carpet–regardless of original manufacturer–into 100 percent recycled content backing for new floorcoverings. C&A also instituted a "buy-back" program offering customers financial incentives to return and recycle their old floorcoverings.
"My 36 years of experience with Powerbond carpets has been great," said Ken Price, director of building and grounds, Tacoma School District. "This product has a 25-year warranty for a reason. We in the Tacoma School District have had this product in our classrooms for over 30 years without a problem."
Fern Hill not only participated in C&A's buy-back program, but school representatives, students and the building design team traveled to Dalton, Ga., to watch the recycling process happen. The students were able to see the carpet from their old building recycled into new product. Once C&A's Powerbond was installed in the newly renovated Fern Hill Elementary School, the closed loop process was complete.
"The decision to preserve the historic structure and incorporate sustainable strategies was community driven and supported," said Peter Wall, director of planning and construction, Tacoma School District. "The Tandus Corporation's sustainability initiative, as manifested in its carpet recycling program, paralleled the community's and district's goals, and resulted in a 'value added' for present, as well as future generations."
With the new school now open, Fern Hill Elementary School is celebrating school and community history with a sense of pride knowing their building not only meets the state's Sustainability Protocol, but also supports the community's vision for an environmentally responsible, healthy facility for its children to learn.
A Collaborative Sustainable Effort
At Fern Hill, the design process included a collaborative in-depth outreach program between the designers and the community, which was vital for the project's success. Through an open dialogue during these meetings a design transpired that called for tearing down a les historic addition built in 1925. In doing this, it was possible to preserve a part of the original structure, which was important to many in the Fern Hill community.
CHICAGO, Ill., September 1, 2011 – Twelve-stories above Chicago's busy financial district sits an island of greenery snuggled amid a sea of boiling-hot tar roofs. Most striking is the comparison between this island and its adjacent neighbor, the Cook County Building, with its black asphalt top. When summer temperatures in the Windy City reach 90 degrees, City Hall's green roof reflects the temperature outside, while its neighbor's roof can reach nearly 160 degrees.
"You can feel a difference between the two buildings in the summer," said Kevin Laberge, environmental engineer with the City of Chicago's Department of Environment (DOE). "It's such a stark contrast. One roof is big, empty and unused, while the other is providing habitat for wildlife, reducing temperatures and retaining storm water."
After experiencing a number of heat-related deaths in 1995 and 1996, Chicago was chosen to participate in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Urban Heat Island Initiative, a program aimed at reducing urban air temperatures across the country. The idea is simple: A city is made up of thousands of buildings packed into a small space. Each building's roof absorbs heat from the sun, increasing the demands on air-conditioning units and driving up energy costs, which in turn creates more pollution and leaves the city feeling hot. On an average summer day, a city like Chicago can actually be 10 degrees warmer than its suburban neighbors.
City Hall was chosen as the first municipal building in the city to be crowned green because of the unique structural capabilities of its roof. "The building, which opened in 1911, was originally intended to have additional floors that were never built," said Tom Vukovich, city architect with the Department of General Services. Because the structure has a floor-load capacity and not a roof-load capacity, Vukovich said, it is able to support heavier vegetation and even trees.
City Hall is already reaping the environmental and economic benefits of its green roof. Most notably, it saves the City of Chicago almost $10,000 annually in energy costs.
During summer and winter months, the roof exhibits superior insulation properties, requiring as much as 30% less from City Hall's heating and air-conditioning systems over the last four years.
Additionally, the green roof reduces storm water runoff by absorbing as much as 75% of the rainwater that falls on it, lightening the load of Chicago's sewer system. Improved air quality and a reduction in noise pollution by as much as 40 decibels as compared to a traditional flat roof are also typical to green roofs like City Hall's.
Finally, vegetated roofs extend their own life by moderating temperature swings that can lead to additional wear and tear typical to a climate like Chicago's. Where the average building's roof may last 20 years, green roofs can endure up to 50.
"City Hall's green roof gave us [the city] a focus on sustainability in Chicago," said Laberge. "There are so many benefits associated with green roofing; storm water retention, energy savings and the creation of green space in an area that is often overlooked as being useful. All of these benefits are applicable to making Chicago a healthier and nicer place to live."
The $1.5 million, 38,800 square foot Chicago City Hall Green Roof project began in 1998 with a year of planning, designing, contracting and bidding. Construction started in April 2000 and was completed a year later.
City Hall's exiting BUR system was in place with a gravel surface, but in order to complete the green roof, contractor Bennett & Brosseau needed an odor-free waterproofing system that would work with the future landscaping.
"We needed a manufacturer that had some experience with green roofs before," said Jim Brosseau, owner of Bennett & Brosseau, Romeoville, Ill. "We needed a system that wasn't dependent on adhesives and asphalts. Sika Sarnafil understood that."
Bennett & Brosseau chose Sika Sarnafil's Loose-Laid Waterproofing System for the job. Extruded polystyrene insulation was laid on top of City Hall's concrete roof deck, followed by a separator sheet and then finally came the roof membrane itself.
Bennett & Brosseau's team put it to the test. Leaving two inches of water on the membrane for 48 hours assured them that there were no leaks.
On top, the team laid another protection layer followed by additional insulation. Then a filter fabric, growth medium, some concrete pavers and an erosion blanket to keep the soil in one place. Finally, over 20,000 plants of more than 100 species were planted on top.
"This roof was the ideal situation for the product [Sika Sarnafil Loose-Laid System]," said George Patterson, project manager with Bennett & Brosseau.
The City of Chicago Seconds the Notion
"We felt most comfortable with the Sarnafil® membrane and its ability to work well with the green roof," said Vukovich. "The membrane had the flexibility that we were looking for, especially going over the roof deck and clay tile arches. Sika Sarnafil understood the construction methodology of the then 90-year-old building."
Because City Hall's green roof has proven so successful, the City of Chicago has established its own Green Roof Initiative, which has planted more than 80 vegetated roofs in the City, including most notably those on the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum and the Chicago Center for Green Technology.
Both, we might add, are clad with Sika Sarnafil waterproofing systems.
SHANGHAI, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, September 1, 2011 – Dazhong, one of the main taxi companies in Shanghai, is installing vinyl seats for its passengers which the taxi company claims is a greener, more durable, and safer alternative to its existing seat covers.
The white cloth seat covers that have been used in thousands of Shanghai taxis are difficult to keep clean. With cabdrivers facing fines for grimy seat covers, they sometimes need to return to the taxi depot repeatedly every day to change seat covers.
Dazhong officials stated dark-colored vinyl seats are more environmentally friendly because they save water used for frequently washing and whitening the cloth seat covers. A survey of cabdrivers estimates 18,000 tons of water and 715 pounds of cleanser are used each month to wash cloth seat covers of more than 40,000 Shanghai cabs.
The new vinyl seats improve safety, as passengers no longer struggle to locate seat belts often hidden under the cloth covers. Riders also find the seats more comfortable.
The new seats are also more durable, passing official abrasion tests conducted by the taxi company. Informal testing of the seats, by deliberately scratching them with a key, have only incurred light dents that can be wiped out.
To address critics of the vinyl seats about potential harm from possible offgassing, the Dazhong Taxi Company has stated the new seats have passed tests by the city's environmental protection department.
Over the next couple of years, all of Dazhong's taxis in Shanghai will be using the vinyl seat covers, with taxis in Hangzhou making the switch and Beijing taxi companies also considering the upgrade.
FOMBELL, Penn., September 1, 2011 – The decision to use PVC windows and doors by Veka was a natural in that we manufacture the high quality vinyl extrusions for windows and doors that fabricators want. Based on the analysis and technical support documentation in comparing PVC to the traditional aluminum solution we know that PVC offers a clear advantage in regards to the thermal properties, better energy efficiency (U-Values), low solar heat gain and better sound control (Noise).
Our North American headquarters facility offered us the perfect opportunity to install and real world test our proprietary vinyl formulation for windows and doors in a variety of weather conditions. Phase one has been flawlessly performing since 1987 and phase two since 1995. We see no reason why we cannot expect to have another 20 years of service from this installation.
VEKA Inc. is a division of VEKA AG one of the world's largest extruder of vinyl lineals for the residential and commercial window and door industry. In addition we extrude fence, deck and handrail extrusions for fabricators and builders in the outdoor living products sector. VEKA employs more than 3,000 skilled personnel serving customers globally from 25 plants worldwide, with over 40 years of leadership in helping fabricators deploy technologically advanced materials for residential and commercial building applications.
CINCINNATI, Ohio, September 1, 2011 – Situated on the campus of the University of Cincinnati, the Kingsgate Marriott accentuates its interiors with the red and black colors of the school's fighting Bearcats. But the 206-room IACC certified Conference Hotel has gone green with its latest renovation of corridors and elevator lobbies. Through a first-of-its kind program called Second-Look®, the hotel reclaimed 2,100 yards of wallcovering and purchased 3,000 yards of recycled wallcovering. "Recycling wallcovering was just the right thing to do," said Susan Graves, Kingsgate Marriott general manager. "It's part of Green Marriott, our program that looks for ways to reduce, reuse and recycle."
The hotel removed vinyl wallcoverings from six floors using typical procedures, but placed the material in reclamation bins rather than dumpsters. These were shipped to the Second-Look program to be recycled into new wallcoverings by Louisville-based LSI Wallcovering. Marriott also worked with their distributor, D.L. Couch of New Castle, Indiana, to facilitate the process. Introduced in early 2007, Second-Look won sustainability awards at three international design shows and received Editor's Choice awards from Architectural Record and Interiors & Sources magazines.
"The Second-Look program gave us everything we needed," Graves added. "We needed vinyl wallcovering for its durability and performance. We wanted to recycle for its green benefits."
Marriott specified new vinyl wallcovering from the Second-Look program that includes 20% recycled content and 10% post-consumer. The textured pattern is standard to the recycled program, but was custom-colored to coordinate with the new wool carpeting. The Type II, 20-ounce wallcovering is expected to last for 10 years or longer and can be recycled again through the Second-Look program.
"We pride ourselves on providing the ultimate learning environment," Graves explained. "Located on a college campus, we provide an educational experience for school, business and community events. But this renovation has been a learning experience for us. It taught us that doing the right thing for the environment doesn't have to be hard."