Duro-Light skylights transformed the atrium space in the Draeger Medical Systems building.
The building that Draeger Medical Systems calls home in the northern Boston suburbs is in a high-end, landscaped office park that also contains tech firms, wealth-management companies, and other manufacturers.
Draeger is a tenant in the building, which is owned and managed by real estate services company, CB Richard Ellis (CBRE). It’s a large, modern, two-story facility, typical of those built in the area in the 1980s and 90s, and Draeger has office space and manufacturing operations in the building.
The facility’s 60,000-sq.-ft. ballasted EPDM roof had reached the end of its life and needed to be replaced as a part of good building maintenance. Skylights had broken down and leaked over time, so it was determined that they would also need to be replaced.
Gary Gobbi, CBRE engineering/project manager, retained RMX Northeast, Milford, MA, a building-envelope consulting and engineering company, to help manage the project. As part of their evaluation of various systems to replace the old roof, the two considered another EPDM system, but the cost came in over budget.
Gobbi and RMX representatives then called in US Roofing of Peabody, MA, which proposed a Duro-Last single-ply roofing system. US Roofing had previously worked successfully with RMX on other commercial roofing projects in the area, including several for CBRE. Duro-Last Roofing is located in Saginaw, MI.
The product list for the new roof included Duro-Last’s prefabricated 50-mil roofing system (mechanically attached); straight and radius versions of two-piece metal compression edge details made by Duro-Last division, Exceptional Metals; and Duro-Guard 1-in. ISO insulation and crickets for water diversion.Large aluminum skylight curbs–some 45 ft. long–were produced in advance. They were installed over and around the existing curbs and then flashed by the contractor with one-piece prefabricated curb flashings.
According to Michael Murray of US Roofing, the biggest challenge on the project was dealing with the weather. “The job was completed in six months, which was longer than we expected, due to the unusually harsh winter—one of the coldest in our history. Fortunately, the Duro-Last membrane is flexible and weldable even in very cold temperatures, so we were able to install it securely, even in those difficult conditions.”
The company’s PVC membrane remains weldable over its lifetime on the roof—15 to 20 years or more. “That’s an important feature in the event that we need to make a membrane repair or another alteration to the roof system down the road,” Murray said.
The rooftop has a lot of equipment and penetrations on it, including skylights, stanchions for mechanical screens, HVAC units, pipes, and pitch boxes. With other commercial roofing systems, flashings for those penetrations would need to be hand-produced on the rooftop by the installer. Given the harsh weather during the installation, that could have been a major problem and led to future leaks. “But,” said Murray, “because Duro-Last factory-prefabricates flashings, we were able to make quick work of that part of the installation. It helped overcome some of the weather issues we ran into.”
“This was a true Duro-Last Edge-to-Edge & Deck-to-Sky roofing solution,” said company sales representative, Scott Bieber. “The project made use of roofing products and components from just about every category of materials that Duro-Last offers, including the skylights.”Bubble-type skylights were replaced with barrel-vaulted custom Duro-Light skylights along with the roof replacement.
The building’s old, leaky bubble-type skylights were replaced with barrel-vaulted custom Duro-Light skylights in two colors. The removal of the old skylights meant that the interior lobby of the building would be exposed to the weather, so the installation had to be coordinated with the facilities staff in the building as well as the roofing and skylight teams.
To minimize the disruption of Draeger’s daily operation, US Roofing workers installed one skylight at a time. Large aluminum skylight curbs–some 45 ft. long–were produced in advance. They were installed over and around the existing curbs and then flashed by the contractor with one-piece prefabricated curb flashings. Then the new Duro-Light units were assembled and installed on site.
This was one of the largest Duro-Light skylight installations to date and, according to Gobbi, “The skylights have transformed the atrium space within the building because of the improvement in daylighting. It’s a much more aesthetic and productive environment.”
“Using Duro-Last as the single-source supplier for virtually all the roofing components really helped smooth the process out,” continued Gobbi. “And having used Duro-Last before, I was confident in the reliability of the materials. But I was particularly pleased with the teamwork we saw on this project. There were several players and organizations involved and everyone worked together to ensure that this client’s roof would be installed with quality and with minimal disruption.”
— Find information on Duro-Last roofs.
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