San Diego, California

Sarnafil and Sylvester Roofing Provide Non-Invasive Installation

Sometimes a roofing installation requires surgical precision. When the Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego needed a new roof on its Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Services (CAPS) building, they looked for a roofing system and contractor that could handle installation on the 23,500-square-foot roof under a myriad of specialized electrical and HVAC equipment and pipes. These systems had to remain operational throughout the entire installation, requiring detailed and exact planning on the part of the installer.

Rady Children’s Hospital

Roofing Contractor
Sylvester Roofing Company, Inc.
Escondido, California

Roofing System
Adhered EnergySmart Roof using 80 mil Sarnafil G 410
membrane in White (23,500 square feet) and
60 mil Sarnafil G 410 feltback membrane in Tan (4,000 square feet)

Project Size
27,500 square feet

Rady Children's Hospital
Rady Children's Hospital

“It was crucial that the installation of the roof occur without shutting down any of the mechanical equipment, making this a very complicated project,” remarked Melanie Stawnyczyj Marin, project manager at Rady Children’s Hospital. “It was like changing the transmission on a car while driving 90 miles per hour on the freeway.”

Not only was it important to select the right contractor for such a challenging installation, but it was also vital to select a roofing system that would last for many years and require little maintenance. “Once the new roof was on we didn’t want to have to touch it again,” Marin stated. The roofing system also had to be able to withstand a lot of foot traffic from trade people servicing the electrical and HVAC equipment.

A Cutting Edge Team

After consulting with an architect, Rady Children’s Hospital decided to go with the Sarnafil EnergySmart Roof 80 mil feltback membrane, installed by Sylvester Roofing Company, Inc., of Escondido, California. “The Sarnafil roofing system is the premium brand among PVC systems with a quality that surpasses their competitors,” said Anthony Zaffuto, CEO of Sylvester Roofing. “Sika Roofing also provides great design services support, which I knew would be very helpful with this project.”

Marin was pleased with this selection. “I’ve had prior experience with the Sarnafil roofing system, so I knew it would be a bullet-proof system,” she stated. “I also prefer companies like Sika which are involved during the installation and have authorized applicators, such as Sylvester Roofing. I have worked with Sylvester Roofing many times over the last 12 years and knew they would be a professional partner on this project.”

Bringing in the Right System

One of the first things Sylvester Roofing did was partner with an HVAC company to begin the tear off of the old roof, which had five inches of rock on top of multiple layers of asphaltic built-up roofing. “The HVAC company performed the delicate process of lifting the mechanical equipment up just high enough for our crew to get underneath the equipment and tear off and re-roof each section of roofing,” Zaffuto explained.

Rady Children's Hospital

"Sylvester Roofing and the mechanical contractor did an excellent job, especially since some of the equipment and conduits on the roof were quite fragile,” Marin said. “As a result, there was no interruption in the electrical or HVAC operation.”

Preventative Measures

Another challenge Sylvester Roofing faced was ensuring the safety of the patients and staff in the CAPS building. In addition to the typical concerns of noise, fumes and vibration that are posed with a roofing installation on an occupied building, it was imperative that no debris from the installation fall into an outdoor courtyard adjacent to the roof. “The area directly below the roof work was an inpatient psychiatric unit, so security for staff and patients and mindfulness of the roofing crew was of utmost importance.”

Rady Children's Hospital

To make sure debris did not enter the courtyard, a ‘bumper’ made out of sheet metal and roofing membrane was placed around the perimeter to keep things from falling off the roof, according to Zaffuto. The crew also had to keep track of screws, metal, tools and other items, and sweep the courtyard area on a regular basis.

Maintaining the watertight integrity of the roof was of vital concern. “To that end we removed anything that was incorrectly installed on the old roof, then fabricated mini vents out of the Sarnafil membrane and sheet metal and fit them into the gutters,” Zaffuto stated.

In addition to the CAPS building roof, Sylvester Roofing also installed a fully adhered Sarnafil 60 mil feltback membrane in Tan on the 4,000-square-foot roof over the administrative building.

Ambulatory Protection

After the roofs were installed on the two buildings, Sarnafil Crossgrip Walkway mats were rolled out on both roofs. “The Crossgrip Walkway is a premium product,” Zaffuto said.

“The maintenance crew loves the Crossgrip Walkways because they offer traction and are easily reconfigured,” Marin stated. “They are well worth the additional expense.”

No Unforeseen Complications

Despite all the complications faced during the roof installation, the project was executed “without a hitch,” Zaffuto said. “This was a very challenging job for the installation team and the design team, and the Sika representatives really helped us with establishing some specific details.”

Rady Children's Hospital

“Everyone involved did an excellent job,” Marin remarked. “The amount of effort and craftsmanship that Sylvester Roofing put into this job was incredible, and the roofing foreman was very conscientious about making sure the patients and staff faced little to no disruption from the installation.”

It was this professionalism and attention to detail that earned Sylvester Roofing second place in the Low Slope Category of Sika Sarnafil’s 2015 Project of the Year competition.

A Healthy Outlook

Today the roof is leak and problem free. “This was one of the coolest and hardest roofing projects I’ve ever been involved with” Marin said. “We’re very happy with both the Sarnafil roofing system and with Sylvester Roofing.”

“The Sarnafil system is a great product, and I’d definitely use it again,” Zaffuto stated. “In fact, we are planning to install a Sarnafil roof on the next reroofing phase at Rady Children’s Hospital. Fortunately, this roof doesn’t feature as much HVAC equipment!”

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