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Tag Archive: green roofs

  1. End-of-the-Year Recap: A Look Back at 2016

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    With the holidays upon us, we at Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving Co., Inc. are taking the time to look back on the past year’s accomplishments. To recap some of our most important news, we’ve highlighted blog posts that detail recent achievements and outline our commitment to sustainable, environmentally friendly roofing solutions. Take a look below:

    Blog Highlights

    Our Commitment to Sustainability

    As an advocate of green roofing systems, we thought it was important to share our knowledge on responsible building practices in honor of Earth Day this past year. In April’s blog post, we discussed the benefits of green roofs, or “living roofs,” which are partly or completely covered with a waterproof membrane, a growing medium, and vegetation. Besides providing an aesthetically pleasing, elegant but modern design, these roofs reduce energy consumption and improve water efficiency.

    In another post, we delved into the benefits of white roofs — roofs constructed from white materials with reflective coatings. Common materials include polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO). These materials push back solar rays and help keep the roof — and therefore the interior of the structure — cooler during hot months.

    Keeping People Safe Across Industries

    At Knickerbocker, we’re serious about client safety and are committed to providing reliable, practical solutions for all types of industries. For instance, we have extensive experience providing school roof inspections, repairs, and installations; in our August post, we encouraged schools to contact us for a free consultation in order to prevent issues and safety hazards during the school year. And if things do go wrong, we have a 24/7 emergency service hotline to address issues around the clock.

    During National Safety Month in June, we outlined the steps we take to provide optimal fall protection. Utilizing the OSHA Fall Protection in Construction guidelines, we continually improve our safety procedures and invest in the highest-quality fall prevention and protection equipment. As a participant in National Safety Month and OSHA Stand Down, we conduct regular safety meeting, discuss job hazards with employees daily, and hold an annual safety training program for all workers.

    Looking to 2017

    As the year draws to a close, we at Knickerbocker are evaluating 2016’s successes, and, as always, are looking for new ways to improve our processes and better serve our clients. We hope everyone has a great holiday season and a happy new year. We’ll see you here in 2017!

    For the latest on roofing industry updates follow us on our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts!

  2. We Celebrate Responsible Building Practices in April!

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    In our last post we gave you the ins and outs of Earth Day and how it is a reminder to consider the environment in all decisions we make throughout our daily lives – sound familiar? Since it is finally April and Earth Day is fast approaching we are seizing the opportunity to tell you about additional roofing materials and systems that benefit the environment.

    Green roofs, also known as living roofs, are partly or completely covered with a waterproof membrane, a growing medium, and vegetation. They are an environmentally friendly roofing system that aims to reduce energy consumption and foster the idea of green cities. The addition of a green roof system helps to improve energy and water efficiency, while reducing pollution. Green roofs have a focus on water retention and also protect the roof from damaging solar rays.

    Because the system thrives on living plants, a direct result of the sun and rain, the roof becomes not only functional but aesthetically pleasing to the eye. These types of installations help keep buildings cool because the plants absorb the sun’s rays. This reaction leads to lower HVAC use in the summer. On steep sloped roofs, slate and tile are roofing materials that are natural products that can be recycled back into earthen material. These products have a lifespan of about 75-80 years. Green roofs are made up of long lasting materials that lead to lower replacement costs over the years, benefiting both you and the environment!

    We are true advocates of green roofing systems and have been involved in quite a few installations. There are many challenges involved in designing and building a green roofing system that is successful for both the environmental and the building sectors. Keep that in mind when choosing your roofing company… With our experience, we can take on wide variety of green roofing projects that help the environment and the community prosper.

  3. Common Myths About Roofing & The Facts That Dispel Them

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    President Abraham Lincoln once said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon… The great point is to bring them the real facts.” Lincoln’s theory holds true in regards to most circumstances, including roofs and roofing services. Facts can help to dispel common myths and concrete facts (no pun intended) will help you when it comes time to make the right decisions about your roof. Over the years, a lot has been said about roofing; both commercial and industrial roofing, and residential too. Because there is so much information out there, a lot of roofing myths tend to circulate. To clear up some of these common misconceptions, we’re presenting the roofing facts! Read on:

    Myth: You will save money by taking care of repairs after the damage is already done.
    Fact: You will save money by taking care of repairs before the roof leaks.
    What the experts say: A roof is the building’s first level of protection against the elements – rain, wind, sun, and snow. An article from the Chicago Tribune quoted an executive from the National Roofing Contractors Association stating, “No one thinks anything of the roof, until it leaks.” We recommend staying on top of your roof before it leaks because it can prevent further and larger damages that often times go unattended. By being proactive you can save money on some of those major repairs and expenses.

    Myth: Your roof does not need annual repair reviews.
    Fact: It is wise to survey the state of your roof (commercial, home, industrial, or institutional) regularly.
    What the experts say: At Knickerbocker, we recommend annual, or biannual, inspections to our customers. Why? Frequent examinations with written guidance reports and photos allow you to examine concern areas that should be addressed sooner than later. The per-project agreements that we offer grant ongoing roof inspections to ensure your roofs longevity and that it is properly maintained. Again, this will save you money on the inevitably big repairs you will need if you wait on inspections.

    Myth: Damaged shingled roofs have a quick fix. Simply cover the existing layer with new shingles.
    FACT: The above will NOT fix the problem, it will only create further damages in the future.
    What the experts say: Instead, old shingles should be entirely removed and replaced. Some building codes might say that the above myth is acceptable, but it is not a good idea! Head back to the article referenced above, “Think of shingles as the skin of an apple. Ever bite into that bright red skin only to get a mouthful of a soft, bruised, mushy interior? Underneath shingles is a layer of wood sheathing, usually plywood. Sheathing can rot because of leaks, inadequate attic ventilation or just age. The best way to inspect this critical layer is to strip away the old shingles.”

    Myth: Green roofs are a pricey rip off.
    FACT: Green roofs offer many advantages when properly installed.
    What the experts say: A recent blog from the Huffington Post commented, “Green building isn’t as difficult as you might think…” and we would agree with this statement, adding, when it’s done right. Just one of the huge advantages of a properly installed green roofing system is the prevention of leaks. At Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving, we apply our 125+ years of experience in the roofing and sheet metal industry to every green roofing installation we do. In recent years, we’ve completed many successful green roofing installations. Through our relationships with roofing manufacturers and sub-contractors, we’ve become a leader in constructing watertight green roof systems.

    As industrial leaders in the roofing industry, we remind you that these are only a few of the many myths that can lead to further damages or poorly functioning roofing systems. We would be happy to tell you more! For further information on the above, other myths, or general questions and information, give us a call at 708-339-7260 or email us at: sales@knickroof.com. We hope that you take the above information with you on your future roofing endeavors!

  4. Look Up! You’ll Find Examples of Our Work All Around the Chicago Area

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    It would take us hours, days, weeks, to tell you about all of the projects Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving has completed over the past 125+ years. So, for today’s blog we decided to save you the time and carefully selected a few of our favorite projects from recent years. Mind that if you’re ever in the Chicago area, you can simply “look up” and find examples of our work! Here’s a preview of what you’ll see:

    Steep Slope Roofing at the Historic Monroe Building in Chicago
    Make sure to sneak a peek of the roof at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street in Chicago! Knickerbocker completed the roofing and gutter fabrication and installation job at this historic site, located at 104 S. Michigan Avenue. According to the building’s historical website, the Monroe Building “set a new benchmark for Chicago office space” when it was built more than a century ago. Specializing in projects such as steep slope roofing allowed us to complete the complex project. With Michigan Avenue and Monroe Street filled with local congestion, we used a cantilevered scaffold system that was erected 200 feet above the intersection. The project demanded capabilities beyond any standard roofing installation to meet the historic requirements for the job. This included removal of the existing roof and installation of a custom-manufactured, two-tone, green glazed Ludowici tile with 20oz copper gutters and flashings. The end results were, and still are, stunning. The Illinois Landmark Association awarded the Monroe Building project “Renovation of the Year.” You can take a look at all of the details of this project by visiting our website.

    Architectural Sheet Metal at the Museum of Science and Industry
    At Knickerbocker, we offer roof and gutter fabrication and installation. You can see an in-person example of our architectural sheet metal fabrication at the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI, 5700 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago). The museum is a “hands-on” educational center with engineering exhibits and more. Before completing this project, MSI was in desperate need of a new roof. We shared the museum’s “hands-on” approach to work day-in and day-out on the installation. Replacements included a new in-laid gutter system that had to be coordinated with another contractor’s masonry repairs. Daily adjustments had to be made for precision and accuracy. Different size radius panels were required, and intricate soldering helped to secure water tightness on every seam of the roof. It was an intricate job, but everyone was happy with the end results! Read about this project on our website.

    Low Slope Roofing at the River City Condominiums
    Located on the Chicago River in the “South Loop” neighborhood, the River City Condominiums were designed by Bertrand Goldberg as a “city within a city.” The distinctive “S” shaped building called for installation of new insulation, coverboard and Sarnafil’s EnergySmart PVC roof membrane and flashings. And it wasn’t just one, but 19 different and odd-shaped roofs belonging to the condominium community. This was a complex job, with material needing to be, at times, double-, triple- and even quadruple-handled with cranes, hoists and extra manpower to reach the different roof areas of the serpentine-shaped, multi-level building. Knickerbocker safely managed the complexity of the project, from start to finish. Learn more about this unique effort by reading further details on our website.

    Green Roofing at the University of Chicago Medical Center
    We installed photovoltaic panels at the University of Chicago Medical Center, bringing the Medical Center all of the advantages of a green roofing installation. This project was a large, land-locked roof replacement with multiple levels, and was also logistically challenging. We staged the area with 7-story scaffolding, taking into consideration that the area also housed MRI equipment and other sensitive testing materials. After replacing the roof at the Medical Center, we installed 59 photovoltaic panels. You can find more details about our proud accomplishment here.

    Roof Maintenance Services Throughout the Area
    We believe the best way to extend the life of your roof is to maintain it. Here at Knickerbocker we offer customized maintenance and service plans to fit our customers’ needs and budgets. The roofs we maintain are all over the area; Chicago, and other areas of Illinois, not to mention Northwest Indiana and Southeast Wisconsin. See examples of our work near and far!

    Find these stories, and many more, on the Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving website. Or simply “look up” the next time you’re in the area.

  5. Celebrating Earth Day with a Green Roof and Knickerbocker

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    With Earth Day 2013 here, we thought it is the perfect time to dive deeper into climate change and the real value of green roofs. In case you are not aware, each April 22nd more than a billion people across the globe take part in Earth Day. It is an opportunity for everyone to acknowledge how special our planet is and how much we need to keep it happy and healthy.

    One way you can help start the healing process is with the installation of a green roof. A green roof is what it sounds like: a roof that is covered with living (usually green) flora and fauna. The greenery is planted over a waterproof membrane that protects the interior of the building. Beyond aesthetic beauty, green roofs also offer up a number of other benefits including:

    • Storm water management
    • Filtering of water into storm systems
    • Moderation of the urban heat island effect
    • Improved air quality
    • Fire retardation
    • Noise reduction

    As you might expect, installing and properly maintaining a proper green roof is a challenge. Because of the risk of water leakage, constant and thorough inspection is necessary. One way that Knickerbocker helps maintain your green roof is by installing EVFM or Electronic Field Vector Mapping. This added system can alert building owners about critical leaks in the membrane before they become a major issue, and a leak is located without digging up large areas of your greenery. By installing EVFM, Knickerbocker saves green roof owners time, money, and the frustration of trying to find a needle in a haystack. We also offer a full system warranty that includes the greenery along with the roofing materials and EVFM.

    This April 22nd, join Knickerbocker Roof and take some time out to salute Earth and make the effort to think of ways you can help make the world a better place for all of us to live and thrive—starting with your roof.

  6. Sustainability and Roofing

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    What does sustainability mean to the roofing industry? Seems like a simple question, but it’s not so simple to answer. Different roof types impact the environment in different ways. When sustainability in roofing first became relevant, the thought immediately jumped to green roofs, which provide rainwater management while protecting the underlying materials, insulating the building, and offering an appealing aesthetic. White roofs, which reflect heat off the building and reduce the ”urban heat island” effect, have caught on as energy cost cutters in certain climates. However, their reflectance may be wasting the suns rays and increasing heating costs during winter months in colder regions, and controversy exists over whether they are a help or a hindrance to global warming.

    Of paramount importance to sustainability, then, is durability. A roof with a long service life requires replacement less often, which reduces the need for construction materials, saves the energy used to produce them, and avoids having to send discarded material to landfills. It is necessary, then, to consider a roof’s life cycle when opting for sustainability—ensure the roof is built properly and made to last. Choosing environmentally-friendly products, such as those that are recyclable and/or made from recycled products, are a good option if the material demonstrates acceptable longevity. Using natural materials, such as slate and tile, gives you a roof with a useful life upwards of 75 years. Ballast roofing, which can be replaced without affecting a structure’s insulation, is another option to consider. Additionally, new international building codes are requiring higher levels of insulation, in order to essentially reduce heating and cooling costs.

    So, you can see that there are many effective choices for adding a sustainable element to any roof. And when you’re planning your next roofing project, Knickerbocker Roofing is ready to help you select the right strategy to meet your sustainability goals.

  7. Go Green…with a Garden Roof

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    Gardens and roofs. Have you ever thought of putting the two together? In current years, garden roofs have become extremely popular, especially in larger cities such as Chicago, and buildings have seen much value in them. Recently, there has been a lot of political support for garden roofs here in Chicago—due to the positive environmental benefits—and many of the larger buildings in downtown Chicago feature these garden roofs. As installers of these roofs, we understand the benefits and values of garden roofs, as well as the importance of having skilled contractors constructing these roofing systems on industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings.

    What are some of the benefits of having a garden on your roof? It’s a “green” initiative, meaning it has a positive environmental impact. Since the gardens help to protect the roof from the sun, the thermal impact on the roofing system is reduced and the roof’s viability is extended. Additionally, the garden roofs help to retain storm water, which is much needed when storms hit—the gardens hold onto the water longer, allowing the excess water to be put into the systems more slowly. The result? City sewer systems are impacted less by large storms.

    How do you make sure your building is a candidate for a garden roof? Typically, a garden should only be installed on a newer roofing system, and it should use light-weight materials, so that the load on the roofing structure is not severely impacted. The integrity of the roof is the most important factor. It is essential that you employ a skilled professional roofing contractor, as opposed to landscapers; roofing contractors know that the garden component is not the entire roof—they understand the various layers and logistics required in constructing these waterproof roofs.

    As roofing contractors in Chicago, we have installed a number of garden roofs throughout the city. For more information on garden roofing systems, see the CRCA’s video (we are mentioned at the end!).