Surveillance, Security System Installed at Beau Rivage

When Beau Rivage Resort & Casino reopened in Biloxi, MS, more than a new surveillance and security system came online-the area’s economy also got a boost.

 

The reopened Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, MI, boasts 1,200 video surveillance cameras; an audio playback messaging system; and an emergency, call-station system.

Rebuilding lives after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina encompasses many aspects. Toward the top of the list is restoring the economy that was a victim of the disaster. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, now relocated in Biloxi, MS, is the largest gaming resort in the city. With its doors now reopened, it provides many jobs for the area’s residents.

Part of the reopening project was a video surveillance and security system supplied by North American Video (NAV), Brick, NJ. “Restoring the gaming industry to its pre-Katrina state is crucial to the economy of the city of Biloxi. The Beau Rivage will help stimulate the economy, put people back to work, and re-establish tourism in the area,” said Cynthia Freschi, president, NAV.

The video surveillance and security system includes more than 1,200 video-surveillance cameras integrated in an enterprise solution along with a new two new matrix-switching systems. NAV has also furnished and installed all alarms on the grounds; an audio playback messaging system; and a new emergency, call-station system for the parking garage. Also new to the system is a state-of-the-art, point-of-sale interface to the closed-circuit television system.

“NAV was an integral part of the team rebuilding Beau Rivage,” said Anne Mockler, director of surveillance, Beau Rivage. “It was a remarkable installation given the time frame. It took a tremendous amount of manpower from both NAV and Honeywell, Morristown, NJ, to get us where we needed to be to open. The support has been incredible.”…

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How to Build an Eco House

Building an eco-house does not mean to renounce comfort or to take a step back in the past. A house made with respect for the environment means health, wellbeing, financial independence and durability. A natural home means protecting nature, health and future.

Advantages of eco houses

Currently, more and more people are looking to move in a home that is friendly with the environment, because of the obvious advantages compared with classical houses. An eco-house is partially or integrally made from recyclable or natural materials, from the structure to walls and finishing. Even since the project phase, you have to consider the land type where you are building, the position of the sun throughout the day or the wind direction.

The most common material used is wood, but just because you are building a wooden house does not mean you are building an eco-home. In the last centuries, people preferred the ‘modern materials’ such as concrete, glass and iron. In the past years, building concepts tend to go back to origins, people preferring original and energy-efficient houses. Moreover, these are sometimes more resistant than traditional buildings.

Principles to consider when building an eco-house

An eco-house should improve the quality of interior air by its design. It is an important aspect, as it comes with effects on our health and mood. A green home must ensure a humidity of 30%-50% throughout the year, enough for the air not to feel dry, but also to avoid extreme humidity that helps the creation of molds.

Materials for building can even be found around the house. It is possible to use straws, bamboo or special type of argyle bricks, reducing the costs. As we are talking about natural materials, you can be sure you are preserving the health of everyone living in the house.

  1. Efficiency and ergonomic

The walls made of natural materials come with a high coefficient of thermal insulation. Such a house is warm during the winter and cold during the summer. Temperature is constant for a longer period, meaning you can save up to 75% of the costs to heat or cool the house.

  1. Resistant

Natural materials, contrary to the beliefs of some ‘specialists’, are more resistant to earthquakes and fire. The majority of materials used are flexible, or they simply don’t burn. If you are able to choose an optimal combination of such materials (like walls made of straws and covered with argyle), we can have a house resistant to all the common known disasters and accidents.

  1. Eco-friendly appliances

A green house isn’t complete without putting thought into the home and kitchen appliances that it will house. What’s the point in building a eco-friendly home and then using energy inefficient appliances or appliances that have a high carbon footprint? This footprint could be during use or in the manufacturing process. Carefully review energy ratings and manuals to ensure you buy only certified low energy use appliances like microwaves, fridge, etc.

  1. Cheap

As a green house is made of durable materials, the costs of building are covered in the long term. If we are able to find construction materials in nature, those will be cheaper and easier to build. Using solar or wind energy will save more money on the long term. Plus, considering the interest of more and more families for these types of constructions, it will be a lot easier to sell your home for a good price after a while.

 

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Windows Help Preserve Historic Campuses

Carefully designed windows can bring modern energy savings, while remaining true to historic campus character.

 

John Lewis, American Architectural Manufacturers

 

Despite the general downturn in construction that began in 2007, one of the comparatively healthier commercial window market segments in 2008 was the construction or renovation of educational facilities. This has been spurred by an increasing focus on the infrastructure, the availability of grant funds, and demographic trends. Specific to the fenestration industry, some window manufacturers have fared relatively well by specializing in the niche market of historic reproduction windows.

The decision to renovate an historic structure or build new is usually more than a simple cost-benefit analysis.

Renovate or rebuild?

The question arises when contemplating the modernization of educational facilities on a campus or in a community whether to build new or to renovate an older structure. In the case of historic buildings, the decision is often more complicated and involves more than a simple cost-benefit analysis.

Constance E. Beaumont, of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Washington, has said, “Too many schools are casually condemned by biases that favor new construction, by school facility assessments that reflect little expertise in the rehabilitation of older buildings, and by ignorance of basic techniques for helping older buildings meet modern codes and program requirements.

“Too often, ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act], fire safety, and other important requirements are used as an excuse to demolish a valued school when in fact these requirements frequently can be met at a reasonable cost,” she continued. “Too often, smaller, community-centered schools that have held neighborhoods together for decades are destroyed without competent evaluations of their potential for continued use through modernization.”

After World War II, school construction entered a period of fine workmanship and use of quality materials, with ornamental details in stone, terra cotta, and tile that characterized the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Preservation maximizes the use of these existing materials and infrastructure, reduces waste, and preserves historic character. Even in a new-construction situation, a building’s proximity to other historically significant structures is often the driving force behind design and component selection for the new construction.

Weighing the pros and cons takes historical preservation knowledge, experience, and creativity. Few building committees, boards of regents, trustees, or school-board members have the technical expertise to properly compare the merits of renovation with those of new construction. Many of the architects and planning firms they retain to advise them can be unfamiliar with renovation techniques, or may simply be biased in favor of new construction.

All cost factors may not be adequately assessed in a cursory or biased cost-benefit comparison. For example, as much as 25% of the cost of new construction lies in preparing the site, laying the building foundation, installing utilities, and creating road-work access. Another 25% goes toward the building structure-its framing, walls, and roof. With a historic building, those components are already in place. If the historic building is planned for demolition, there will be costs to demolish it, abate hazardous materials, and dispose of debris (often 4% to 5% of the overall replacement costs).

Challenges of historic renovation

Perhaps the biggest challenge is maintaining the integrity of historic buildings while incorporating energy-saving measures and meeting accessibility and fire-code compliance mandates. These are requirements that can often conflict.

Codes: While preserving a building’s historic aesthetics often dictates all other elements of the project, it must also meet applicable building codes regarding accessibility and fire safety.

However, building codes are generally written with new construction in mind and often rule out older building materials and methods, even though the latter may result in buildings as safe as those constructed with new materials and methods. Cost-benefit studies often rigidly interpret code compliance, incorrectly declaring a building unsafe or cost prohibitive to retrofit.

In truth, the codes have some flexibility and offer the potential for waivers. Historic designation could make the project eligible for alternative building-code requirements that facilitate upgrades and open the door to additional funding sources.

The 2006 ICC International Existing Building Code (IEBC) is an alternative that contains requirements for improving and upgrading existing buildings to conserve resources and building history, while achieving appropriate levels of safety.

The …

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Control Hospital Access with Care

Medical facilities such as hospitals and out-patient centers require more than the usual access-control and security systems.

 

Derek Trimble, Johnson Controls Inc.

 

Its difficult enough for facilities that must remain accessible to the public, such as museums, airports, and city halls, it is particularly challenging to concurrently maintain access and the level of security needed to protect the people, property, and assets contained in that building. It is fair to say that this challenge can be even more strenuous for hospitals and medical centers, where those who are most vulnerable are welcomed, housed, treated, and visited.

Hospitals and medical centers must provide access to many people, including visitors, patients, medical professionals, and support staff. However, access must be controlled by sophisticated systems to protect patients, patient information, pharmaceuticals, and medical professionals.

Because hospitals are considered by many to be a community resource, people want to easily enter a facility and come or go at their leisure and through any door.
On the other hand, the public is quick to criticize when a security incident occurs. Hospitals are not the sanctuary they once were considered, said Fred Roll, president and principal consultant with Roll Enterprises Inc., a healthcare security consulting and training firm in Morrison, CO.

Access control defined

Access control has traditionally been one of the most important elements of a hospitals security solution. Ideally, the phrase access control refers to controlling who goes where and when. This includes providing and limiting access to people, places, and things, as well as tracking and monitoring individuals and assets. It can be as simple as locking cabinets or as complex as a formal audit trail for card access into a pharmaceutical dispensary.

According to JCAHO (the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Oakbrook Terrace, IL), one element of performance by which a hospitals environment of care is measured is that the hospital controls access to and egress from security-sensitive areas, as determined by the hospital.

Roll advises his clients to think of the varying levels of security sensitivity as concentric rings with intensifying access-control efforts as the circles become more focused on security-sensitive areas. For example, the outside ring would start at the property perimeter, the next ring includes access points to the building, and the most concentrated ring involves the most sensitive areas, such as the nursery and pharmaceutical storage.

Employees and visitors

The original access-control device, the key-and-lock system, deters casual unauthorized access attempts but does not provide feedback, through an alarm for example, on these attempts. The advent of electronic access control allows monitoring of unauthorized access attempts. It also introduced a new class of keys that were not keys at all. The earliest key substitutes were insert devices, such as tokens, Holerith cards, and barium ferrite cards. Those were followed by swipe cards and numeric keypads. But insert/swipe cards and their readers are subject to wear and tear and require maintenance.

Unfortunately, some medical facilities are still using code locks as a level of protection, and they often do not follow protocols in changing the codes, said Roll. Most that use electronic access controls are still at the swipe card level of technology and are seriously looking to upgrade to proximity [technology].

Proximity cards use radio frequency (RF) technology. This contact-free solution reduces wear on cards and readers, and is more convenient for the staff.

Although not yet commonplace in hospitals and medical centers today, smart cards represent the state of the art in the evolution of the card. The chips in smart cards are capable of storing large amounts of data, performing calculations for encryption, or supporting an operating system on some of the more advanced cards.

Furthermore, data can be written to or read from smart cards on the fly. Thus a card used for access control could also hold additional information and carry other application-specific data.

The ability to incorporate many individual identifiers onto a single media makes this access control solution easier and more cost effective to administer, and provides a tighter degree of security. For example, hybrid solutions can handle a bar code for inventory control, a photo of the employee for identification, a dollar value for use in …

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No Noise, No Odor for Hospital Roofs

No Noise, No Odor for Hospital Roofs

Self-adhesive roofing membranes make hospital roof
replacement possible without disturbing patients.

 

Roofing a hospital involves special consideration for many reasons. Noise, odors, and safety are inherent concerns for a facility of this nature. Hospitals are also high-traffic, sensitive facilities that must remain functional throughout construction.

Using Polyglass Self Adhesive roofing membrane on the Flushing Hospital Medical Center in New York City, made it possible to replace the roof area above the maternity ward without generating the noise and/or odors that accompany installation of conventional roofing systems.

While the use of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in roofing has diminished, it is still a good part of the process. Because the smell of the roofing process makes its way through windows, ventilation, and mechanical systems, hospital building facilitators are looking for cleaner roofing systems for buildings with sensitive needs.

A prime example of a hospital that dealt with roofing odor issues was Flushing Hospital Medical Center, New York City. In need of a new roofing system, they had to consider not only VOCs and smell, but also noise. The maternity ward was located directly below the area that needed to be re-roofed. It was critical that the area be re-roofed, yet it had to be invisible and odorless to the tiny patients below.

The product of choice was a roofing membrane that, although somewhat new to the market, offers a strong alternative for special-needs facilities. The product is a self-adhesive roofing membrane that eliminates the VOCs associated with conventional roofing systems.

Self adhesive roofing membranes have met the need for sensitive buildings. They avoid the need for mechanical fastenings, which traditionally are the main cause of installation noise. They also do not use hot asphalt that can produce harmful odors, said John Martone, vice president of operation for L. Martone and Sons, Inc., Glen Cove, NY, the roofing contractor for Flushing Hospital.

The self-adhesive roofing membrane used on the Flushing hospital eliminated the need for mechanical fasteners and the noise that accompanies that type of installation. Reducing noise is critical in roofing applications involving special-needs buildings such as medical centers.

Across the continental U.S. and the Pacific Ocean, St. Francis Medical Center, located in Honolulu, encountered the same issues of finding a roofing system that would comply with the hospitals noise and odor restrictions.

Once we removed the existing roof, the project needed to be invisible, said Gui Akasaki, owner of Commercial Roofing and Waterproofing in Honolulu, and the roofing contractor of choice for St. Francis. Roof renovation for a hospital is a major event. We always recommend the use of self-adhesive membranes. The hospital does not want us to use a product that would smell. The self-adhesives eliminate odor along with noise, dust, and other logistical issues.

Known for its critical-care units and trauma center, the St. Francis Medical Center had specifiers, architects, and contractors working together to find a product that would be able to meet all of these requirements. We used Polyglass Self Adhesive roofing membranes, manufactured by Polyglass USA Inc., Fernley, NV. The self-adhesive technology of the membranes met every requirement the hospital established, Akasaki said. The hospital set the standards and we were able to design a roof system that would meet its needs.…

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Siding Puts Fresh Face On Military Base Conversion

In search of a siding product to remedy the warehouse problems, McClellan Park representatives contacted Advantage Building Products, Rancho Cordova, CA. “The condition of the siding was extremely bad,” said Mike Flanagan, Advantage president. “It got to the point where paint would barely adhere to the shingles, and the paint that did would crack and peel away quickly.”

According to Flanagan, the representatives were seeking a product that was appealing to the eye, durable, and, most important, maintenance-free, due to the hundreds of buildings they are responsible for maintaining at the business park.

“Based on their needs, it was easy for me to recommend [Columbus, OH-based] Crane Performance Siding’s CraneBoard solid-core siding as the best exterior siding product for the warehouses,” Flanagan said. “Having carried CraneBoard for more than six years, I’ve had the opportunity to view the success of the product. It has a proven track record of standing up to natural elements, such as the sun, wind, and rain, as well as abuse initiated by other factors.”

CraneBoard’s superior performance can be attributed to several factors, including the product’s ColorLife Fade Defense, an advanced color-protection formula using Florham Park, NJ-based BASF’s Luran S technology. Containing special pigments that reflect the sun and ensure minimal weathering or color distortion, the product’s colors remain fresh and true for the life of the siding. Its ability to endure the elements alleviates tasks such as scraping, painting, and staining.

Built with an insulated solid-core foam backing that strengthens panels, CraneBoard can handle manmade abuse as well. As a result of this construction, the product is 300% more impact resistant than typical vinyl siding-eliminating almost all possibility of unappealing dents. The foam backing also provides energy efficiency and noise reduction.

Through Dwayne Cody, Crane’s Western regional sales manager, Flanagan and McClellan Park management agreed to have Panther Corp., Jefferson, OR, outfit a total of six warehouses with CraneBoard Double 7 solid-core siding.

Panther used more than 600 squares of siding to encapsulate the six structures. Double 7 features a configuration of two, 7-in. boards on top of one another to match the profile and look of cedar, including a deep wood-grain texture and full shadow lines. Due to the product’s insulated foam backing, each board features a perfectly straight profile not found with typical vinyl siding.

The siding’s construction also eases the installation process. The product’s CraneSpan design allows manufacture of wider (than conventional) boards, which in turn increases the panel size. Compared with fiber cement, wood, and ordinary vinyl siding units, these panels cover more than twice the area.

“The wider boards and foam backing are very easy to install, especially on buildings with large, flat surface areas. CraneBoard goes up quickly and always provides a smooth, straight appearance,” said Keeton Epps, owner of Panther Corp.

Upon completion of the six warehouses, CraneBoard received nothing but rave reviews from McClellan Park representatives.…

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Rehabbed Building Gets “Green” Doors

The Univ. of Washington School of Medicine’s medical research and development facility is housed in a former utility building that was gutted and remodeled with wood-veneer doors from VT Industries.

 

 
Approximately 225 five-ply, wood-veneer doors from VT Industries were used in the renovation of the utility building that houses the Univ. of Washington School of Medicine’s new medical research and development facility.

When the Univ. of Washington (U of W) School of Medicine, Seattle, needed an off-campus medical research and development facility, it chose to renovate the former Washington Natural Gas utility building, which was known by those in the area as “The Blue Flame Building.”

The U of W’s School of Medicine, which is the only medical school within a five-state region and one of the country’s leading research and training institutions, was designed to be environmentally sound. Although the utility building’s shell remained in place, the building was gutted and renovated from the ground up. Builders Hardware & Supply Co., Seattle, became involved with this project because the architect and contractor had worked with Holstein, IA-based VT Industries Inc.’s area sales representative on previous projects.

While Doug Gerbing at Builders Hardware worked on the hardware specifications, VT’s Norm Jost worked with the medical research and development facility on its wood-door specifications. Martha Tackett, contract consultant, Builders Hardware, and VT Industries also worked together with Mike Matter, project manager, Turner Construction, Seattle, on the project. Builders Hardware provided the hardware, architectural wood doors, hollow metal doors, and frames for the entire project. The specification was written around the university’s desire to have an environmentally friendly project.

The majority of the wood doors throughout the project were non-rated and 20-min. units made with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) SmartWood certified stave core lumber. SmartWood is a sustainable forestry program administered by the Rainforest Alliance, New York, an international conservation organization. The project also consisted of 60- and 90-min. singles and pairs, depending on their exact application within the building. “With this project, the university was very willing to be environmentally friendly with what they chose for the project,” Tackett reported. “It has never actually gone for LEED certification and, because of the building type, we probably would not have quite gotten there. Instead, it as all about using strong principles and doing what everyone thought was the right thing,” Matter said.

All of the approximately 225 doors used in the project are five-ply, wood-veneer construction. For the building’s common areas, the veneer is plain sliced American Cherry with a clear factory finish. The majority of doors are installed in laboratory areas and are plain sliced White Maple veneer with a custom factory finish.

“My role as the wood door consultant was to estimate, detail, and manage the wood door part of the project,” Tackett explained. The project involved several architectural changes, finish, and size approvals that needed to be met.…

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Update Automated Power Systems On The Fly

Many facilities require reliable power-control systems to keep HVAC, lighting, and critical equipment running at all times. Replacing outdated control systems is not always the most effective approach.

 

Douglas H. Sandberg

 

Prime, emergency, and standby on-site power systems that are more than 10 years old may be outdated and even incapable of providing adequate power to automated systems and conventional power loads that must operate around the clock. Why is that, considering that engine-generator sets and power-transfer switching mechanisms are so durable? There are a number of reasons.

Foremost is that equipment controls become obsolete comparatively quickly. While engine-generator technology has remained fairly consistent, controls have evolved from bulky electromechanical relays to basic transistors and now to programmable logic controllers (PLCs).

Today’s controllers offer tremendous flexibility for designers, owners, and those who maintain them. The control logic remains pretty much the same as with relays, but changes and updates are made within a software program. There’s no need to add relays, timers, or to re-wire components. PLCs are faster, offer greater functionality, and are more precise and reliable than previous control technologies.

Exponential advances in control technology are the primary reason controls become obsolete relatively quickly. The result is an on-site power system that uses a mix of durable machinery (engine-generators, fuel systems, ventilation systems, and load banks) and controls that are subject to premature obsolescence.

This situation creates real problems for building managers, hospital engineers, consultants, and anyone else charged with maintaining life-sustaining infrastructures. It’s a dichotomy and raises a serious question: What can you do?

The first step is to understand the three basic control groups of an on-site power system:

  • Sensory inputs. These are sensors that monitor oil pressure, coolant and exhaust temperature, and fuel supply.
  • The brain. This is a central controller, such as a PLC, that acts on sensory inputs.
  • Active and passive outputs. An active output shuts down an engine when oil pressure drops below a pre-set limit. A passive output turns on an indicator light or sends an alert.

Besides engine-generators, two other systems are required for on-site, power-transfer switches and monitoring and control capabilities.

Automatic transfer switches
Automatic transfer switches also have experienced some of the same issues as engine generators. The switching mechanism has remained durable over many years, while advances in technology have greatly improved control technology. The transfer switch is the system that makes it possible to transfer loads from one power source to another. Without it, on-site power systems as we know them today would not exist.

There are four types of workhorse transfer switches: open transition, closed transition, delayed transition, and soft load.

The open-transition transfer switch breaks from one power source before it connects with another.

The closed-transition transfer switch also breaks from the utility, or normal, source when power fails before connecting to on-site power. When utility power returns, however, this transfer switch transfers loads back to utility power before it breaks the connection with on-site power. This ensures continuous power to critical loads.

The delayed-transition transfer switch delays load transfers to allow large electrical fields, associated with large inductive loads, to collapse before connecting with another power source. This limits potentially damaging in-rush current.

The soft-load transfer switch enables both normal and on-site active power sources to be simultaneously connected to loads. By paralleling the normal, or utility, source and the on-site power source, loads can be “walked” from one source to the other by increasing or decreasing engine-generator loading.

These transfer switches also are available with bypass isolation capability. A manual transfer switch is integrated with the automatic transfer switch, which allows the automatic transfer switch to be taken off line for maintenance while still protecting critical loads.

Monitoring and control capabilities
Advances in technology and computers, and the advent of the Internet, make it possible to be thousands of miles away, yet still monitor the operation of your critical system and, in some cases, control it as well. Controls may be managed with a PC, laptop, or PDA-type device.

Today, real-time monitoring, trending, and management of critical systems are realities from just about anywhere in the world. The ease of operation, flexibility, and functionality offered by current monitoring and control …

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Hospital Kitchen Gets A “Homey” Touch

At the heart of the kitchen is a Cambria peninsula-style kitchen table surrounded by perimeter countertops. Cambria’s Nottingham color, a choice from its popular Quarry Collection, is featured throughout the kitchen. It was selected because of its rich, radiant color, and blends beautifully with the entire kitchen design. Cambria donated nearly 100 sq. ft. of product and installation services for both the kitchen renovation and a bathroom update.

The children’s hospital and the DIY network were looking for a countertop manufacturer partner that offered a food-safe and easy-to-maintain product so families needn’t spend a lot of time cleaning or worrying about food-safety issues. Cambria fit the criteria because it is virtually non-absorbent and is certified for commercial use by the National Sanitation Foundation Int’l., Ann Arbor, MI. Additionally, no special maintenance is required and the countertops do not need sealing, buffing, or reconditioning.

The kitchen renovation project can be viewed one the…

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Avoid the Landfill by Recycling Vinyl Roofing

The time has come to establish a post-consumer, vinyl-roof recycling program in the U.S.

 

Carl De Leon, Vinyl Roofing Div., CFFA

 

Skyrocketing raw-material costs, higher landfill tipping fees, legislation to restrict disposal of construction materials-and an architectural community that demands the lightest environmental footprint that can be achieved-all are leading toward the mainstreaming of post-consumer recycling. In the not-too-distant future, specifiers will call for post-consumer content in a roof project. With its European counterparts blazing the trail, the North American vinyl (PVC) roofing industry has entered a new phase in its commitment to environmental sustainability through recycling.

Because thermoplastic single-ply vinyl membrane can be heated and reformed repeatedly over its lifespan, it has long been an industry best practice to recover production trimmings and scrap and recycle the material into new membrane. Well-run, properly equipped vinyl-membrane production plants are capable of converting virtually all of the raw material and components that go into making the membrane into the final installed roof system (or other applications).

The re-roofing of Boston’s Marriott Long Wharf hotel was a pilot project with an ideal recycling scenario. The project was close to the membrane manufacturer’s head office, and a local recycler had an established program for handling thermal insulation.

Typical post-industrial recycled products have included accessories such as roofing walkway pads, commercial-grade flooring, and concrete expansion joints. In addition, scrap can be reintroduced as a raw material into a subsequent membrane-manufacturing process. Some roofing manufacturers collect their customers’ scrap, as well as the general-purpose scrap of other vinyl fabricators, for reuse in production of new membranes.

Building on this track record, the member manufacturers of the Vinyl Roofing Div. of the Chemical Fabrics & Film Association (CFFA), Cleveland, have initiated a feasibility study to evaluate strategies for making post-consumer recycling workable on a broad scale, as it has been in Europe for many years.

Where it began
Vinyl roofs have been in use for more than 40 years in Europe, and roofing manufacturers there have been recycling retired roofs into other useful products since 1994. That was the year a consortium of companies funded the construction and operation of a facility in Germany to reclaim the growing volume of vinyl membranes at the end of their service lives, and return them to the original manufacturers.

Over the years, the material taken back has been used in a variety of applications, including as feedstock in the production of new roofing membranes. Typically incorporated into the back side of the sheet where potential color variations are not a factor, the recovered material can comprise 5% to 15% by weight of the finished product. Reports from the field indicate that, at 10+ years of age, the first membranes made with recycled post-consumer material are performing the same as membranes produced of virgin raw materials.

Today, RoofCollect, a European Single Ply Waterproofing Association (ESWA) program, (www.eswa.be), coordinates the recovery and processing of post-consumer vinyl roofing membranes. In conjunction with the European Commission, ESWA sets annual targets for post-consumer roof recycling. In 2006, 4.4 million lb. of roofing membrane were recycled due to the efforts of the association.

ESWA is now working with the recycler Interseroh (Cologne, Germany) to establish a pan-European collection system that would facilitate recycling in closer proximity to the job site. ESWA is also investigating strategies for incorporating higher percentages of recycled material into finished membranes.

Less is more
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, construction and demolition waste total an estimated 136 million tons annually. The vinyl roofing industry is committed to combining existing post-consumer recycling technologies with logistical expertise to limit its contribution to these numbers.

Post-consumer recycling of vinyl roof membranes in the U.S. began in 1999. Working in tandem with a vinyl membrane manufacturer, a Massachusetts recycling company produced a highway cold-patching material made from old vinyl roofing membranes and other recovered plastics. Today, state-of-the-art grinding equipment makes it possible to process roofing membrane and convert it into feedstock for new materials.

Only membranes that have been mechanically attached or loose laid have been reprocessed in North America. There is no experience as yet with membranes that have been adhered to insulation or to other substrates, but …

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