For many roofers and roofing companies, the hazards surrounding a commercial or industrial roof appear to be mostly physical. With trips and falls representing the clearest and most present danger for roofing contractors, many roofing companies have developed detailed and comprehensive plans both to prevent falls and to mitigate damage and liability if a fall occurs. By focusing so much of their effort on preventing falls, however, are roofing companies neglecting other dangers?
There are several different types of commercial roof coatings used today, including silicone, acrylic, aluminum, and polyurethane. They are sometimes referred to as restoration membranes because roof coatings are often applied over existing rooftop membranes, as opposed to being part of a new roof construction detail. They can also be used in partial applications to coat and re-coat parapet walls or portions of a roof.
While 15 years might seem like a long time, building owners know that this average life expectancy for roofing materials and RTUs can fly by quickly.
That’s especially true when your traditional built-up roof starts showing signs of water damage. Suddenly you’re left with a choice—maintain the rip-and-replace cycle or make an investment in rooftop retrofit projects.
The green building movement has exploded since the turn of the century, pushing the market close to the $100 billion mark.
Driving the standardization of this movement is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) rating system. According to the U.S. Green Building Council, “LEED buildings have faster lease-up rates and may qualify for a host of incentives like tax rebates and zoning allowances. Not to mention they retain higher property values.”
There are all a whole host of cutting edge technologies that are poised to transform the traditional architectural design and construction process, and in fact some of them are already doing so. Whether it be drones, wearable smart vests and helmets, GPS tracking, or 3d printers, it seems that a serious majority of architects will have affordable access to revolutionary new techniques in the not too distant future to both gather information and to communicate ideas in increasingly realistic and virtual ways through the increased use of these technologies.
Commercial roof surfaces can often be an intense complex of pipe networks, platforms, HVAC equipment, and increasingly, smart technology, that needs to be organized and strongly secured to the building rooftop as a vital part of proper building safety and function. Both in the past and even in the present, it is easy for building owners to feel either real or perceived financial pressures to cut corners or improvise some of this securing and organization by using relatively cheap and temporary means of supports to include impromptu wood blocks and scaffolding, concrete block and rope, and other loose materials. But all buildings are serious investments. The problem is that while temporarily effective, such measures often lead to greater costs and consequences rather quickly down the road.
There is a new technology on the scene in the roofing industry that has only started to scratch the surface in terms of the ways it can transform how roofing and construction work is performed, measured, and maintained. Spurred largely by the inception of Part 107 in August of 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration's Small UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) Rule (14 CFR part 107), commercial drone operators can now own and fly a drone without the complexity of obtaining a pilot’s license. And that has made all the difference.
Silicon is the second most abundant element in our Earth’s crust, making it a frequent component of many construction materials including soils, clays, sands, cements, mortars, stuccos, and stone. It is not inherently dangerous as pure silicon, however a particular molecule of silicon can be lethal when inhaled: silicon dioxide. Silicon dioxide, also called silica, or known as quartz, is the major constituent of sand and is highly toxic in dust form. Freely breathing in finely divided crystalline silica can in fact cause such fatal diseases as silicosis, lung cancer, and some autoimmune diseases in high enough concentrations. Three types of common construction practices, for example, including sandblasting, cementing, jackhammering and/or rock drilling all expose a construction worker to this unique breathable threat.
When designing a school building, all safety and security measures must be taken into account in order to protect the lives and property of its occupants. In addition to limiting access to the campus through doors or gates, integrating security checkpoints into the flow of traffic and installing bollards where necessary, there are more recondite means of ensuring the integrity of the building and the safety of its users.
The summer season has arrived, and with it come additional health hazards in your work environments. Each year, thousands of workers exposed to extreme heat and/or humid conditions die or become ill from heat stress and other heat related illnesses. For this reason, it is important to be mindful of the signs and symptoms of heat stress and protect your (and your colleagues') health this summer. This is especially important while working in extreme environments such as rooftops, where there is little to no shade available for workers.