Indianapolis, Indiana

Midland and Sika Roofing Team up on Bankers Life Fieldhouse Roof

The wettest May in a decade, unscheduled practices for an NBA team in the playoffs and a celebrity rapper making the roof shake during his sound check were just some of the challenges Midland Engineering Company, Inc., of South Bend, Indiana, faced when installing a new roof on Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That’s not including the barrel shaped roof, multiple slopes of 3/12, 5/12, and 9/12, and a location smack in the middle of downtown Indianapolis. Fortunately, due to great teamwork between the owner, architect, construction manager and Sika Roofing, the project was completed on time and without incident.

Capital Improvement Board of Managers
of Marion County, Indiana

Roofing Contractor
Midland Engineering Company, Inc.
South Bend, Indiana

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
Indianapolis, Indiana

Construction Manager
Indianapolis, Indiana

Roofing System
Adhered Roof using 60 mil Sarnafil G 410
membrane in Light Gray and Lead Gray

Project Size
153,900 square feet

Bankers Life Fieldhouse
A Roof With a Track Record

The arena is home to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, the WNBA’s Indiana Fever and host to many other events. So when its roof started failing, ownership wanted to find a roofing system that was dependable and could be installed without interrupting the facility’s operations and activities. Architect Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) of Indianapolis specified the Sarnafil Adhered System.

 “We like the Sarnafil membrane because of its track record with quality and performance over the decades,” said Logan Cook, associate III at WJE. “We also appreciate Sika Roofing’s responsiveness and technical support.”

“We’ve been working with Sika Roofing for 45 years, and have a very strong relationship with them,” remarked Ken Sage, vice president, business development at Midland. “The Sarnafil system is a high quality product and fits with our thinking.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse
“Like Fixing an Airplane While it is Flying”

The roofing project called for removing the existing roofing down to the deck, which included taking off two mechanically attached roofing membranes (one PVC and one EPDM), 1.5-inch polyisocyanurate and a gypsum cover board. Midland then installed a gypsum thermal barrier, Vapor Retarder SA 31, two layers of 2-inch polyisocyanurate, a gypsum cover board and then adhered the Sarnafil membrane. All of this was done on a very busy arena in the middle of the city. 

“We are in the middle of downtown and have basketball games, concerts, circuses and other events going on all the time,” said Tom Boyle, director of operations for the Capital Improvement Board of Managers of Marion County. “Working on the roof was like fixing an airplane while it’s flying!”

Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Safety, Security and Scaffolding

Safety – of both the roofers and the building’s patrons – was another concern. “Workers on the 5/12 and 9/12 slopes were always tied off, and we had a full-time safety officer who did weekly safety audits of the project,” Garber explained. Despite 50 workers putting in more than 25,000 man hours on the project, not a single injury occurred.

Scaffolding was designed to move both the crew and materials, with additional scaffolding installed above sidewalks when the crew was working on the roof perimeter. “We had to make sure the scaffolding was maintained and secured from the general public,” Garber continued.“We also hired security to watch the scaffolding during arena events.”

Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Winning With Teamwork

It was this teamwork, creative problem solving and professionalism that allowed Midland, AECOM Hunt, WJE and Sika Roofing to deliver a roof that looks aesthetically pleasing and offers long-term durability and performance.

“This project was a highlight for WJE,” Cook remarked. Schoettle said, “The roof is doing well and I would definitely use the Sarnafil system again.”

Boyle added, “The roof looks great and we’ve had many compliments on how it looks. It really pops up against the Indianapolis skyline.”

Sounds like another victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

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