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No Noise, No Odor for Hospital Roofs

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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.