Project Scope: RSS Roofing Services & Solutions was tasked by the Department of Energy (DOE) with a re-roofing project on the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) located in Kentucky. The PGDP was originally constructed for use in the nation’s nuclear weapons program, the main focus of the plant being the studying and production of enriched uranium. About a decade later, the plant was repurposed for producing nuclear material pertaining to fuel use in commercial power plants. During this time, the owner of the plant was the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC).
In October 2014, the USEC decided to return the plant to the Department of Energy’s environmental management program. Once the plant was returned, the DOE had initial assessments performed and decided to make some rather radical improvements. Some of the improvements included environmental clean-up, removing contaminated soils and installing new materials around the buildings to ensure the safety of the plant and surrounding areas moving forward.
In July 2015, RSS Roofing Services & Solutions, a subcontractor to Fluor Paducah Deactivation Project during this job, was hired to begin repairing the roofs on five of the buildings included in the PGDP. The project that RSS undertook was complex and spanned across 79 acres (3.2 million square feet) of roofing area. The roofs of the five plant buildings needed to be resurfaced in order to ensure full safety of the site and meet the DOE’s expectations. Not only did RSS workers install a new roof system across five of the buildings at the plant, they installed brand new insulation throughout the targeted area as well.
RSS installed a Sarnafil RhinoBond roofing system on the top of each of the five buildings. The RhinoBond roofing system, carrying a 30-year warranty, was chosen for this particular project site due to the even load distribution, enhanced wind uplift resistance by using fewer plates and fasteners and reduction of membrane flutter. Once the membrane was installed, it was fused onto the plates with the use of a patented induction welding machine, ensuring a strong bond. The installation of this product reduces the dimension of the roof membrane and results in less waste. It took roughly 40 RSS workers to secure the new roofing material and fasten 4×8-foot insulation panels to the new roofing. In the process, RSS used 3,300 rolls of 10×100-foot roofing material and 102,000 sheets of insulation, requiring more than 800,000 fasteners that were manually drilled.
RSS crews safely completed this high-risk project in less than seven months during a full range of weather conditions. During most of the summer months, RSS worked overnight shifts when temperatures were cooler. Due to the workers dedication and round-the-clock work, RSS completed the project more than a year ahead of schedule and approximately $800,000 under budget.