Project Manager: Avcon Construction
Location: North York, Toronto suburb
Building Type: Medical Complex/Retirement Residence
Construction: New Building Addition
A repeat client awarded us a roofing for a retirement residence project — an addition to low-rise long-term residence for patients with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The addition would, in effect, double the facility’s size, and its tiered design required careful planning.
Elite Roofing and the project team needed to resolve several challenging situations, and we managed to get through the process while limiting any issues with residents. Through pre-planning and close communication with all involved parties, this complex multi-tier medical facility will soon be ready to serve future residents and their families.
Key Challenges Installing the Retirement Residence Roofing
The existing building (Phase 1) of this suburban Toronto medical facility, built 13 years ago using a different roofing company, was already in use before beginning work on the addition (Phase 2).
Complex roofing projects always come with a distinct set of challenges. This project required particular expertise in communication, teamwork, project planning, and execution. Here are some of the challenges unique to this roofing job.
Identifying the Best Roofing Materials
The roofing on the existing building, installed by a different roofing company, was a single-ply TPO membrane. The client reviewed alternative roofing membranes with consideration given to the products’ overall performance, leading us to offer a desirable alternative.
Job Site Space Limitations
The relatively tight job site would require substantial pre-planning for material delivery, accessibility, and mobilization.
Based on our review of the plans, we had several planning and design concerns we needed to address in partnership with the project’s construction manager, architect, and engineering team to ensure completion and deliver a high quality product.
Solutions: Pre-planning and Problem-Solving
Elite, the construction manager, engineers, and the client’s team held several pre-start onsite meetings to address issues, find solutions, and ensure a smooth work process and on-time completion. Working together, we overcame the challenges of this complex project.
Together with the team, we agreed that the best choice of roof membrane for this project would be a 2-ply modified bitumen membrane. Given the flat substrate consisting of hollow-core concrete slabs, 2% fully tapered insulation (with 4% tapered crickets), extensive HVAC equipment and high traffic terrace areas, this choice made the most sense. This system assembly would accomplish the following:
- Stand up against the heavy mechanical rooftop equipment required for roof installation and continued foot traffic.
- Reduce slipping in wet weather and icy winter conditions, improving safety for roofers, HVAC, and other trades.
- 2-ply modified bitumen membrane offers multi ply redundancy, and therefore offers a better long term lifespan.
Limited Job Site Size
The job site was relatively tight and given the over 600 pieces of taper insulation delivered to site, lack of storage space on the roof for our material and HVAC and roofing equipment required for installation. Our mobilization approach was to complete our scope of work in stages. This limited the amount of material needed onsite and optimized the space for material delivery, accessibility, and mobilization.
Our 4-Stage Approach
- Install the fully adhered modified bitumen vapour retarder to make the structure water-tight from the start.
- Install all insulation layers and only the base sheet of the 2-ply modified bitumen membrane.
- Install the cap sheet, completing the roof membrane installation.
- After the exterior façade and windows are in place, we will return to measure and install metal copings, as needed.
Flat Surface for Tapered Insulation
Tapered insulation must be installed on a totally flat substrate surface for accurate installation and top performance, including drainage. However, the hollow-core concrete slabs form undulations where the slabs join together. We needed to determine how to best create an even surface.
The team agreed that the contractor would add a layer of thin set concrete. We would add some additional insulation in a limited number of areas to improve the substrate grade to near flat, compensating for the undulations. The resulting near flat surface allowed us to correctly install the fully tapered insulation. This ensured adequate water flow to the roof drains.
Height Requirements with Tapered Insulation
We noticed that the roof assembly thickness was too large to accommodate the door threshold onto the roof. It would jeopardize the proper fitting and performance of the over 600 individual pieces of the pre-manufactured tapered insulation. We brought our findings to the architect and engineer early, allowing them to modify plans before construction began and eliminating potential delays.
Low Impact on Day-to-Day Operations
This building expansion differed from typical new construction in that we needed to cause as little disruption as possible to avoid impacting day-to-day building operations. We altered our usual approach and installed the fully adhered vapour barrier first. This ensured a watertight connection to the existing building as quickly as possible.
Safety of Residents, Families, and Employees during the Retirement Residence Roofing Project
For the duration of this retirement residence roofing project, the safety of our own workers, patients, medical staff, other employees, and their families was paramount. We adhered to the staging area provided to us by the contractor as well as all site specific safety protocols.
The Elite Advantage: Accurate Planning Saves Time and Money for your Retirement Residence Roofing Project
Successful execution of a complex roofing for a retirement residence project starts with careful planning and the ability to resolve technical challenges by working closely with the entire project team. During the pre-planning stages through project completion, the Elite team anticipated and helped resolve problems that otherwise may have derailed the project with costly delays, execution difficulties, and additional costs.
We are committed to getting the best results for our clients. Working closely with all parties throughout the construction process allowed us to confidently move forward and meet all project milestones, on schedule.
Building Height: 44’
Total Roof Area: 11,480 sft
New Roof Area: 5,500 sft
Deck Substrate: Hollow core concrete slabs
Vapour Retarder: 95 gram / m2 modified bitumen base sheet.
Insulation: 6.0” ISO insulation (installed in 2 layers of 3.0” each); 2% premanufactured tapered ISO insulation complete with 4% crickets; 0.5” fiberboard coverboard
Membrane Type: 2-ply Modified bitumen membrane, with granular surfaced cap sheet
Flashings: 2-ply Modified bitumen membrane, with granular surfaced cap sheet
Metal copings: 24-gauge pre-painted steel copings