Perhaps the most obvious function of a building is to keep out the rain. The roof is the first line of defense in that effort.
Numerous roofing systems are capable of excluding water reliably – so reliably that manufacturers offer 20 year “no dollar limit” warranties.
Which roofing system is best? There’s no simple answer. The decision depends on the square footage of the area to be covered, pitch to drain, environmental exposure, intensity of traffic, overburden, number of penetrations, logistics of installation, required longevity, and, of course, the owner’s budget. (On some of our projects, we’ve used multiple systems, to capitalize on the strengths of each.)
But roofs can do more than simply keep out the rain.
Roofs can be white (solar reflective), green (vegetated), or blue (capable of supporting ponded water).
Properly designed, a roof can keep the building dry, conserve energy, support cleaner air, provide recreational space, and manage wastewater. Improperly designed or installed, a roof can fail at all of its missions.
That’s why precise detailing is critical. That’s the reason that SUPERSTRUCTURES’ construction documents contain sheet after sheet of clearly delineated roofing details – to anticipate and solve problematic conditions before they become change orders, or worse, leaks into occupied spaces.