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New City Hall Roofing Has Sustainability Features


PORTSMOUTH - The City of Portsmouth is replacing 17,000 square feet of flat roofing at the Municipal Complex with products designed to double the lifespan and insulation value, which will reduce taxpayer costs, and plans to recycle as much as the removed material as possible.

Some of the flat-roofed areas at the City Hall buildings have been prone to damaging leaks for the past few years, particularly over the City Council chambers and Police Department. The $265,000 roofing project will replace seven flat roofs with a modified bitumen system that has a 30-year unconditional guarantee and uses recycled materials in some of the products. The R-value, or resistance to heat value, will double with the new roofing, saving energy costs.

The City also plans to replace flat roofs at the Connie Bean and Spinnaker Point Recreation Centers with the same roofing system, which claims a low level of VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, during installation.

“We have attempted to incorporate as many sustainable features as possible,” said City Manager John Bohenko. “We also believe installing a 30-year roof at today’s price will cost less than half of what the price would be to install two rubber roofs with 15-year guaranteed lifespans during the same time period, because inflation will impact the cost of materials and installation.”

Workers stripped the City Hall rubber roof, guaranteed for 15 years but stretched to 20, and removed 50 cubic yards of river stone used to reduce heat from the sun as ballast holding down the roofing in high winds. The rocks, as well as some of the removed insulation, will be used in other City projects. The remainder of the insulation will be reused below the new system that uses a half-inch of a fiberboard material, two layers of bitumen, two layers of membrane that include recycled tires, and a flood coating with 3/8ths of an inch of embedded pea stone. The bitumen is applied cold to reduce the fumes.

The gabled portions of the Municipal Complex have slate roofing and do not need to be replaced.

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Posted September 4, 2008