Largest Roof in Chicago Completed

One of the largest roofing projects in the nation recently wrapped up in Chicago.  Re-roofing the 10.3-acre Jardine Water Filtration Plant—reportedly the world’s largest—is the biggest roofing project completed in Chicago in the past decade.  The two-year program included replacement of 712,000 board feet of insulation and installation of  a 448,000 sq. ft. of white PVC roofing membrane.   It replaced a 50-year-old graveled coal tar roof and will be far more resistant to wind and weather extremes, chemicals, UV light and bird deposits.

The Jardine plant processes more than one billion gallons of water per day, and provides drinking water for more than 5 million people.

“The Jardine plant is an engineering marvel, but after a half-century, it was time for a total makeover,” said John Cronin, president of Trinity Roofing Service, the Chicago-based contractor that performed the work.

John Doyle, president of Flex Membrane International Corp. in Leesport, Pa., which provided the membrane material, says it’s the most complex job the company has completed in its 25-year history, but is confident the material and workmanship will stand the test of time.    “The new Jardine plant roofing system will perform reliably for many decades,” Doyle says.  “We’ll come back in 50 years to see if it needs replacing.”

Penetron and WR Grace launch Partnership

In October, an agreement was announced that allows W.R. Grace to market, sell, and distribute Penetron’s crystalline concrete waterproofing additive in North America. The partnership gives Penetron exposure to a much bigger market, and fills a key product niche in Grace’s waterproofing line-up.

The Grace Construction Products division of W.R. Grace & Company already markets a wide range of specialty construction chemicals and materials, and recognized a growing demand for crystalline waterproofing solutions.

“Partnering with Grace enables Penetron to bring our innovative solutions to a wider customer base and better meet their specific construction challenges,” said Robert Revera, president and CEO of The Penetron Group. “This allows us to grow our leadership position in the crystalline technology arena and add value to the Grace line, while maintaining the high level of support our customers have come to expect from us.”


Henry Acquires West Development Co.

In September, Henry Company acquired West Development Group, based in LaGrange, Ohio.  WDG specialized in silicone and spray polyurethane foam roofing technologies for commercial and residential applications.

The acquisition of WDG reinforces Henry’s ability to deliver custom solutions for the benefit of the owner, occupant and environment. Silicone roof coatings create a seamless, flexible and durable protective barrier that serves as a reliable defense against all weather conditions, including harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays and severe tropical storms, as well as providing tenacious adhesion against high winds.

“We believe this acquisition will strengthen an already impressive portfolio of products and allow us to provide much needed solutions for our customers”, said Mike Kenny, CEO of Henry.


Sump Pump Manufacturer adds Capacity

Liberty Pumps, maker of high-end, energy-efficient sump pumps, announced a major expansion at their Bergen, NY headquarters.  In September, the company broke ground on a major building expansion that will add an additional 81,000 sq. ft. to its manufacturing and warehouse space, plus another 8,000 sq. ft. in its product research and development area.

Since its last expansion in 2008, Liberty has more than doubled its sales.

“This expansion will provide needed space for additional manufacturing cells along with supporting inventory – improving workflow and productivity. We want to make sure that as we grow, we continue to provide a high level of service to our customers.” states Randall Waldron, VP of sales and marketing.

“Expansion to the R & D facilities will support development of new product lines and improve the product time to market,” he continues.  The project also includes several pieces of new manufacturing equipment intended to improve efficiencies and further support the company’s “source and build in the U.S.” initiative. Construction is planned to be completed by February 2015.


ASTM Wind standards for roofs

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has partnered with ASTM International to develop the first Product Category Rules (PCR) for asphalt roofing in North America.

This free PCR is a valuable resource to the asphalt roofing industry because it provides ways for manufacturers to measure the environmental impact of their products. It also offers guidelines for the development of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).

This tool is an important development for all members of the building construction industry, because it will create globally consistent documentation of how asphalt roofing products impact the environment.

ARMA and several of its member companies participated in the development of this PCR, titled Asphalt Shingles, Built-Up Asphalt Membrane Roofing, and Modified Bituminous Membrane Roofing. The guidelines cover 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.

This new document can be accessed for free on ASTM International’s website (


Papers Sought For Polyurethane Conference

A call has been issued seeking technical papers to be presented at the 2015 Polyurethanes Technical Conference.

The conference will take place October 5-7, 2015 in Orlando, Fla.  Each year, the conference addresses the latest in breakthrough technologies.   Papers should address innovations and developments involving polyurethane chemistry, including new polyurethane products and applications; raw material or additive innovations; or breakthroughs in equipment design or operation.  Papers may also focus on issues associated with the manufacture, use, handling, transportation, and disposal of polyurethanes, as well as health, environmental, and product stewardship issues. Regulatory and legislative topics, code and standard developments are also welcome as paper and poster topics. Paper abstracts are due February 2, 2015.


RMCA Takes Political Action

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) is taking action to ensure lawmakers understand how their actions affect the commercial roofing industry.

In July of 2013, RCMA facilitated meetings with 70 different congressional offices to discuss roofing and the law, and since then, RMCA’s manufacturing members have continued discussions with politicians from their states and districts. This fall, a New Jersey roofing firm invited their representative to their headquarters.

U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ7) met with RCMA executive director John Ferraro, and Karnak Corp. president Sarah Jelin and discussed issues such as clarifying the Homeowner Energy Efficiency Tax Credit IRS 25C tax credit to include roof coatings; the Commercial Building Tax Deduction (IRC Sec. 179D); and concerns over the EPA’s proposal to lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone.


RCMA Merges with Reflective Roof Coatings

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) and the Reflective Roof Coatings Institute (RRCI) have merged.  The single association, effective January 2015, will continue to promote and expand the market for roof coatings through education, and technical advancement.

Bringing the two associations together will result in a stronger, more unified voice for initiatives  and better representation to the various legislative, regulatory, and building code development arenas. It will also create a more robust communications and marketing program for roof coatings, and will result in a more detailed and comprehensive industry shipment report which will be a huge benefit to members.

“RCMA is thrilled to merge with the Reflective Roof Coatings Institute,” said John Ferraro, RCMA executive director. “RRCI has been a leader on reflective roof coatings issues and we look forward to their members’ expertise within RCMA.”

The association will continue to be called the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association, with the existing logo and website, and will hold its annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana on February 22-23, 2014, in conjunction with the International Roofing Expo.