Case Study by RSS: WUSM

Project: Washington University School of Medicine Clinical Sciences Research Building Location: St. Louis, Missouri Roofing Contractor: RSS Roofing Services & Solutions Duration: One month Man Hours: 1,643

Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., is consistently ranked among the top 10 medical schools in the country. The school’s faculty physicians see patients at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

The Medical Campus was founded in 1891 and has since expanded its facilities to cover nearly 17 city blocks (approximately 164 acres). The Medical Campus is home to several buildings that house laboratories for research including the Clinical Sciences Research Building, which was constructed in the mid-1980s. In the late 1990s, the school had outgrown the original research building and needed to expand.  The faculty and staff decided to expand the facilities and build the North Tower Addition. The addition currently includes laboratory space where scientists in anesthesiology, immunobiology and cardiovascular research, among other areas, carry out their work.

By the summer of 2015, the cooling tower roof on the North Tower Addition was in need of repairs. In order to ensure the faculty’s continued operation in the laboratories and research facilities, the roof needed to be fixed. RSS Roofing Services & Solutions was hired to complete the reroofing process.  During the renovation, RSS removed approximately 4,000 sq. ft. of concrete pavers, roof membrane and saturated tapered insulation to expose the structure’s concrete deck. As many of these roof items would be reused, RSS was responsible for field-verifying reusable components and properly disposing of damaged components.

After removing the existing roofing materials, RSS installed new tapered insulation, 80 mil Versico PVC white membrane and reinstalled the concrete pavers. After the RSS workers reinstalled the concrete pavers, there was still an issue involving water that would pool on the roof in various areas. To fix this issue, workers installed a new roof drain to improve drainage.

There was one stumbling block that the workers noticed when first assessing how the job on the North Tower Addition would be completed.  Getting the materials to the roof would prove to be a challenge because access to the 12th floor cooling tower was limited. The way that the RSS workers addressed the issue was by bringing all material in carts through the loading dock, up an elevator and through a penthouse door.

Dealing with the waste materials is always an issue when handling a roofing job of any size. Workers made sure that all waste materials were transported out of the building in large wheeled bins, similar to the way that they had originally taken the materials to the roof to begin with.

The project, which carries a 20-year warranty, was designed by HKW Architects. The roof and sheet metal man hours totaled 1,643 and included working Monday through Saturday. But due to the dedication of the five man team, RSS was able to complete the project on budget and in one month.

This was originally published in Midwest Roofer Magazine.

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