Author Archives: CS Editor

PCRs now available for asphalt roofing

A new set of product category rules (PCR) for asphalt roofing will help manufacturers develop their own environmental product declarations (EPDs). Photo © BigStockPhoto/TinaBelle

A new set of product category rules (PCR) for asphalt roofing will help manufacturers develop their own environmental product declarations (EPDs). Photo © BigStockPhoto/TinaBelle

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) and its member companies have partnered with ASTM International to develop product category rules (PCR) for asphalt roofing in North America. The new free PCR will provide consistent methodologies for asphalt roofing manufacturers to measure and report the expected environmental impact of their products.

Asphalt roofing manufacturers can use these guidelines to review their own products and develop an environmental product declaration (EPD)—a verified document reporting the expected environmental performance of a material based on its expected lifecycle. An EPD uses the data collected through PCR guidelines to provide comparable environmental impact data for similar products.

“This PCR is a significant, universal resource for the asphalt roofing industry,” said ARMA executive vice president Reed Hitchcock. “It provides a way to collect, measure, and communicate data pertaining to expected product environmental impacts… and will give consumers and industry professionals new insight into asphalt roofing materials. Developing these guidelines helps further ARMA’s commitment to transparency and environmental sustainability.”

Titled “Asphalt Shingles, Built-up Asphalt Membrane Roofing, and Modified Bituminous Membrane Roofing,” the PCR covers asphalt shingles applied over underlayment, and low-slope roofing assemblies consisting of various combinations of factory-produced asphalt-saturated or coated base sheets, ply sheets, and cap sheets together with specified viscous asphalt coatings, adhesives and surfacings.

Report: Metal roofs can last life of building

Metal roofs are being lauded in a new study that suggests certain assemblies can achieve particularly long lives atop buildings. Photo © BigStockPhoto/PancakeTom

Metal roofs are being lauded in a new study that suggests certain assemblies can achieve particularly long lives atop buildings. Photo © BigStockPhoto/PancakeTom

The Metal Construction Association (MCA) has released new research findings showing certain metal roof systems can last at least 60 years, meaning they do not require replacement during a commercial building’s service life.

The study, sponsored by MCA and Zinc Aluminum Coaters (ZAC) Association, was conducted with oversight of three independent consulting firms that analyzed low-slope, unpainted aluminum-zinc (Al-Zn)-coated steel standing seam roofing in a wide range of environments across the United States. Common on low-rise commercial buildings (e.g. warehouses, schools, distribution centers, and shopping malls), this type of roof material is known by many trade names, including Galvalume and Zincalume.

The study incorporates the results of multiple field inspections and independent laboratory analyses of metallic panel corrosion of the roof panels. It includes assessment of all integral ancillary components, including sealants, impacting the roof’s service life.

The research team selected 14 building sites in five climate regions of various U.S. geographies, exhibiting a spectrum of climates related to heat and humidity including Hot-Dry, Hot-Humid, Cold-Dry, Cold-Humid, and Moderate-Arid. The precipitation acidity also varies considerably from one site to the next over this broad geography.

The research study concluded the expected service life of an unpainted 55 percent Al-Zn coated steel standing seam roof can be expected to be in excess of 60 years—a value equaling the assumed building service life as described in the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC’s) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) v4 rating program.

In the study, the steel panel roofs experienced corrosion rates that conservatively project service lives well beyond the service life of most buildings. The range depends on the climate and the local precipitation pH.

The study also confirmed these types of metal roofs resist corrosion even in ‘weak’ spots, such as sheared edges and panel profile bends. Inspections showed an absence of significant red rust after up to 35 years—this indicates exceptional corrosion resistance in areas susceptible to exhibiting the first signs of corrosion.

The study acknowledges all roof systems require a regular maintenance program (at least annually) to clean off debris and to inspect the roof’s condition to achieve the kind of service lives shown in this study. While low-slope steel standing seam assemblies were projected to last up to 60 years, ancillary components (e.g. fasteners) may need replacement during the roof life, but this represents significantly less than a fifth of a total replacement cost.

“This study… provides third-party, scientific data that backs up the long held stance that 55 percent Al-Zn-coated steel standing seam roofing systems are very durable, economic, and can be better for the environment,” said Scott Kriner, MCA’s technical director. Most non-metal roofing systems require one or more full replacements within a typical building’s 60-year service life, which is costly and can add to the solid waste stream in landfills.

“We are planning to conduct more studies on different types of metal roofing, and in some cases we expect similar or even better results in terms of roof service life,” he continued. “We think these studies will help motivate building owners and architects to specify metal roofing more often.”

The report was peer-reviewed by Morrison Hershfield laboratory in Canada.

Chicago roofing convention in January

The Chicago Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) is hosting its annual trade show in the suburb of Oakbrook Terrace. Photo © BigStockPhoto/rebelml

The Chicago Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) is hosting its annual trade show in the Windy City suburb of Oakbrook Terrace. Photo © BigStockPhoto/rebelml

The 32nd Annual Chicago Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) Trade Show & Seminars is coming to Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois next month.

From January 22 to 23, the event takes over the Drury Lane Conference Center with numerous free seminars and an expo hall of more than 130 exhibitors. The educational programming, titled, “Be Prepared: Change Continues” brings local, regional, and national industry leaders together to share insight on changes and factors affecting the roofing and waterproofing industry.

While a nominal fee is charged for contractors, manufacturers, and distributors to attend the Roofing and Waterproofing Industry Breakfast on Thursday, January 22, all other educational programming and the exhibitor floor entrance is free to consultants, specifiers, building owners and management, and code officials. Visit www.crca.org for a full schedule.

Improving school security with wireless locks

This is the North County Road Middle School’s exterior perimeter and entrance way. Photos courtesy Allegion

This is the North County Road Middle School’s exterior perimeter and entrance way. Photos courtesy Allegion

by April Dalton

A Long Island, New York, school district developed and implemented a comprehensive plan to upgrade security in their schools. Working with local architect Michael J. Guido, the key initiatives included redesigning the entrances to provide a single-point of entry for visitors and updating the hardware to provide better access control.

For Miller Place Union Free School District (UFSD), a major concern was the presence of exterior doors on most elementary and middle school classrooms. While primary access to the classrooms was through corridor doors, exterior doors were used for playground access and posed a potential security problem. Not only did unauthorized access need to be controlled, but the possibility of students wandering outside from the classroom undetected also had to be eliminated.

“A six-year-old could sneak out the back door into the woods, and the teacher might never know it,” Guido explained. “We put door position switches on those doors, combined with card readers, so the main office is notified any time an unauthorized door opening occurs.”

Proximity card readers at each exterior classroom door let a teacher open the door to take the class to the playground without triggering an alarm. To allow emergency egress, the doors are never locked from the inside, but opening a door without a card notifies the office immediately. More than 100 doors at the elementary and middle schools have been equipped this way.

Each interior classroom door from a hallway has been retrofitted with a wireless electronic lock with integrated reader. This electronic lock allows the principal to lock down all classrooms simultaneously in an emergency. This is faster and easier than relying on teachers to find their keys and lock each door independently. Since exterior classroom doors are always locked from the outside, the building can be secured completely in a matter of seconds. Electronic locks are also used on school entrance doors.

All visitors are required to sign in as a part of this school’s visitor management procedure.

The locks and card readers provide online, real-time access control. The locks combine all the components required at the door into one integrated design that incorporates:
● electrified lock;
● credential reader;
● request-to-exit switch;
● door position switch; and
● tamper guard.

As the locks are modular, they can be upgraded without taking the lock or hardware off the door. Most of the electronic locks are wireless, which simplified installation and reduced costs.

“Most of the buildings are 40 to 50 years old, so pulling wires to all the doors would have been difficult and expensive,” said plant facilities administrator Dennis Warsaw. “Using wireless locks made the difference between affording the whole job or just half of it.”

At a high school, a similar access control system was used, with a wireless lock or card reader and a door position switch on each door. This secures the building and prevents students from blocking a door open, or letting in a friend undetected. The school has one exterior corridor that students use between classes.

“The students would exit a door and enter one on the opposite side of a courtyard, so we had to build a corridor with a security vestibule,” said Guido. This prevents any unauthorized individuals from gaining access.

The wireless locks enable the access control software to maintain an audit trail of when cards were used and by whom. While this has not been an issue at Miller Place yet, it can provide information on the last person in a room if something is missing, a door is left open, or other security concerns need to be addressed. Unmarked proximity cards are used for the access credentials.

“We give them a card with nothing but a number, so if they lose it, anybody who finds it won’t know where they can use it,” said Warsaw.

Another issue was the need to create a controlled single-entry point for visitors. At most schools, a secure vestibule was created in close proximity to the office. Visitors must present identification before being allowed to enter. Upon entry, the visitor must present a driver’s license to be scanned. For future visits, the person’s information is maintained in a database, which makes it possible to verify identity. Other data can also be updated, such as custodial parent issues or security concerns that would affect granting or denying future access.

With the combination of electronic access control and building design modifications, security at Miller Place schools has been upgraded to provide greater peace of mind and confidence for parents, staff, and students.

Noblitt_April April Dalton-Noblitt is the director of vertical marketing for Allegion. She can be reached by e-mail at april.dalton-noblitt@allegion.com.

Additional thoughts on the NAFS short-form specification

In the December 2014 issue of The Construction Specifier, Dean Lewis wrote about the North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors, and Skylights’ (NAFS’) short-form specification. American Architectural Manufacturers Association/Window and Door Manufacturers Association/Canadian Standards Association (AAMA/WDMA/CSA) 101/I.S. 2/A440 serves as the basis for product certification as required by the International Building Code (IBC). Due to space constraints, two short ‘mini-articles’ were excluded from the final magazine’s layout. That information is now provided below.

ASTM and AAMA Standards
These are the ASTM standards and test methods cited in the 2011 edition of North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors, and Skylights (NAFS). (All are assumed to be most current revision level unless otherwise cited.):

  • ASTM E283, Standard Test Method for Determining Rate of Air Leakage Through Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, and Doors Under Specified Pressure Differences Across the Specimen;
  • ASTM E330, Standard Test Method for Structural Performance of Exterior Windows, Doors, Skylights, and Curtain Walls by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference;
  • ASTM E331, Standard Test Method for Water Penetration of Exterior Windows, Skylights, Doors, and Curtain Walls by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference;
  • ASTM E547, Standard Test Method for Water Penetration of Exterior Windows, Skylights, Doors, and Curtain Walls by Cyclic Static Air Pressure Difference;
  • ASTM E987, Standard Test Methods for Deglazing Force of Fenestration Products;
  • ASTM E2068, Standard Test Method for Determination of Operating Force of Sliding Windows and Doors;
  • ASTM F588, Standard Test Methods for Measuring the Forced Entry Resistance of Window Assemblies, Excluding Glazing Impact; and
  • ASTM F842, Standard Test Methods for Measuring the Forced Entry Resistance of Sliding Door Assemblies, Excluding Glazing Impact.

American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) polymeric profile standards include:

  • AAMA 303, Voluntary Specification for Rigid Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Exterior Profiles;
  • AAMA 304, Voluntary Specification for Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene (ABS) Exterior Profiles Capped with ASA or ASA/PVC Blends;
  • AAMA 305, Voluntary Specification for Fiber-reinforced Thermoset Profiles;
  • AAMA 308, Voluntary Specification for Cellular Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Exterior Profiles;
  • AAMA 309, Standard Specification for Classification of Rigid Thermoplastic/ Cellulosic Composite Materials;
  • AAMA 310, Voluntary Specification for Reinforced Thermoplastic Fenestration Exterior Profile Extrusions;
  • AAMA 311, Voluntary Specification for Rigid Thermoplastic Cellulosic Composite Fenestration Exterior Profiles; and
  • AAMA 313, Voluntary Specification for Molded Aliphatic Polyurethane Elastomer Frame Materials.

Design Pressure vs. Performance Grade
In the past, the terms ‘Design Pressure’ (DP) and ‘Performance Grade’ (PG) have been loosely used by some in the field. The specific definitions of these terms have been carefully confirmed with the publication of American Architectural Manufacturers Association/Window and Door Manufacturers Association/Canadian Standards Association (AAMA/WDMA/CSA) 101/I.S. 2/A440, North American Fenestration Standard/Specification for Windows, Doors, and Skylights (NAFS).

Design pressure
Design pressure is a rating identifying the load induced by wind and/or static snow a product is rated to withstand in its end-use application—this is not to be confused with performance grade or structural test pressure (STP). Loads induced by static snow are applicable only to unit skylights, roof windows, and tubular daylighting devices (TDDs).

Performance grade
Performance grade is a numeric designator that defines the performance of a product in accordance with this standard/specification—this is not to be confused with DP or STP. PG is achieved only on successful completion of all applicable tests specified in Clause 5.

Structural test pressure
Structural test pressure is the pressure differential applied to a window, door system, TDD, or unit skylight. In this standard/specification, the STP is 150 percent of DP for windows and doors and 200 percent of DP for TDDs and unit skylights. This is not to be confused with DP or PG.

In other words, DP and STP are strictly structural qualifications, irrespective of the results of any air leakage resistance testing or water penetration resistance testing. On the other hand, the PG of a product is limited by the lowest/least performance of its structural, air leakage resistance, or water penetration resistance test results; operating force and/or forced-entry resistance requirements may also apply.