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University of California, Davis Wins Sarnafil Sustainable Roofing Performance Award

Sarnafil Inc., a leading manufacturer of high quality thermoplastic, single ply roofing and waterproofing systems, has announced the winner of its 2005 Sarnafil Sustainable Roofing Performance Award.

The University of California, Davis, internationally recognized as a premier institution for teaching and research in plant sciences and agriculture, is recognized for its commitment to sustainability, demonstrated by its selection of a high quality, long lasting roofing system. A Sarnafil roof was installed in 1981 on Robbins Hall at UC Davis and still provides watertight and energy-saving protection.

With a 2005 appearance that belies its age, the roof is expected to last for years to come.

“The Robbins Hall roof is in great shape. It’s holding up really well,” said Steve Schmidt, roofing supervisor for facilities at UC Davis. “By the looks of the wear, the roof appears to be about seven or eight years old. It’s hard to believe this roof is over 20 years old. Other roofing membranes usually don’t last that long – by this time, we would have at least had to coat it to extend the life.”

The facilities department at UC Davis conducts roof inspections annually.

“Our inspection process is an ongoing program due to the number of buildings we have on campus.” added Schmidt. “I know we ha ven’t had any problems with the Sarnafil roof on the North section of Robbins Hall, though we have had problems with some of our other roofs that aren’t covered with Sarnafil.”

Research Documents Performance

The details surrounding the Robbins Hall roof surfaced in 2001 when Sarnafil launched a comprehensive study of its oldest roofs in North America. The study’s purpose: to document precisely the condition of these veteran roofs. Sarnafil and independent roofing experts collected membrane samples from 25 roofs installed between 1977 (25 years old at the time of testing) and 1986 (16 years old) that represent the full range of climate conditions in the U.S. and Canada. The average roof age was 20 years and all 25 roofs were still providing leak-free protection for their building owners.

ASTM 4434 Test Results

The samples, sent to the National Research Council of Canada (NRCC) Institute for Research in Construction, were tested according to the requirements of ASTM D-4434, Standard Specification for Polyvinyl Chloride Sheet Roofing. The properties of the samples were compared to the ASTM standards for new membrane. Remarkably, 94 percent of the samples met the minimum thickness standards, 97 percent met the requirement for linear dimension change and 100% of the seams remained intact following the seam-strength tests. This is truly an impressive performance for roofs of this age.

Robbins Hall Leads the Way

Robbins Hall is home to laboratory space for the plant pathology, nematology, weed science and vegetable crops departments. It also houses teaching laboratories for plant biology.

The roof for this building needed to meet the following criteria:

  • It had to have minimal maintenance costs
  • It had to reflect solar radiation to minimize building cooling costs
  • It had to have a long life cycle
  • And, of course, it needed to be high quality to protect the contents of the building’s laboratories

The Sarnafil roofing system that UC Davis chose in 1981 met these criteria and has been protecting these critical learning spaces ever since.

“By selecting a durable roof that has performed exceptionally well, UC Davis demonstrated its commitment to sustainability decades ago,” said Sarnafil President Brian Whelan. “When a long lasting, energy efficient roofing system is chosen, less energy is used, fewer raw materials are consumed, and less waste is generated. The specification of a Sarnafil roof results in the lowest lifecycle costs and the lowest to tal environmental impact. That’s why we felt the Robbins Hall roof deserved the 2005 Sarnafil Sustainable Roofing Performance Award.”

While gratifying, the National Research Council’s test results were no surprise to Sarnafil. Its record of proven performance is unmatched by any other thermoplastic roofing manufacturer. For over 40 years, the manufacturer has used the same basic formulation that has protected properties in every climate all over the world.

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