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Buchanan Elementary School in Grand Rapids, Michigan Wins Duro-Last® 2018 Sustainability Award

Duro-Last Sustainability Award
August 5, 2019

Originally opened in 1915 and reconstructed in 1962, the growing student population at the school created logistical challenges that the existing facility could no longer meet.

Utilizing bond funding through the Grand Rapids School District, portions of the existing structure were slated for renovation while construction for a new facility broke ground in May 2017. Versatile Roofing in Grand Rapids secured the bid for the roofing portion of the project and worked closely with the general contractor to plan out a system that would meet budget needs and capitalize on long-term savings opportunities.

“Schools across the country must operate and maintain their facilities on extremely limited resources,” said Dan Corrigan, vice president of Versatile Roofing Systems. “It was important to school officials at Buchanan Elementary that the roofing system stayed within a workable budget and was able to provide long-term sustainable solutions for their growing student population. We knew Duro-Last was the best option and we were able to value engineer a plan that saved substantial money from what was originally outlined.”

Plans called for a complete tear off of the roofing system on the existing structure’s renovation; however, Versatile Roofing performed core cuts and discovered that a tear off wasn’t necessary. After working with the architect to modify the plans, they were able to overlay the current roofing system by mechanically fastening Duro-Fleece membrane, eliminating the labor and disposal costs of removing the original materials. For the new construction portions of the project, they utilized Duro-Guard ISO insulation and installed Duro-Last 60 mil membrane using the Duro-Bond® system. Prefabricated curbs and stacks helped reduce rooftop labor costs even more and provided a secure, watertight finish.

In addition to the Duro-Last Roofing System featured throughout this project, the Versatile team also utilized 7,200 square feet of EXCEPTIONAL Metals CF Architectural insulated panels on portions of the exterior walls. A significant section of the metal panels required an angled installation along large classroom windows, creating a unique and modern aesthetic.

“The biggest challenge we faced on the roofing system for this project was the logistics,” explained Dan. “The space on the rooftop could get pretty tight in areas, so we could only load the materials that were going to be used for that day. However, the wall panels were challenging in a whole other way. The project called for portions of the panels to be installed at a slanted angle, but they were to meet up with window frames that were at right angles, so we had to plan carefully to get everything to match up how it was supposed to.”

Despite the logistical hurdles, the Versatile Roofing team completed their portion of the project within their timeline. Students and faculty were officially welcomed back to their new school for the 2018/2019 school year, and couldn’t be more excited about the overhaul their school received.

“Between the high reflectivity values with the white Duro-Last membranes and the enhanced R-values provided through the Duro-Guard insulation, school officials should start to see sustained decreases in their energy consumption and bills,” explained Dan. “Add to that the waste that we were able to eliminate from the project, the long-term serviceability of Duro-Last Roofing Systems, and the superior protection provided through their Duro-Last 20-Year NDL Warranty, the school has been very happy with the sustainability of their new roofing system.”

Contractor: Versatile Roofing

Project: Buchanan Elementary School

Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Square Feet: 62,500 membrane / 7,200 metal panels

Products: Duro-Last® 60 mil membrane, Duro-Fleece® 60 mil membrane, custom curbs, stacks;  Duro-Guard® ISO; EXCEPTIONAL® Metals CF Architectural insulated panels, pitch pans

Learn more about Duro-Last products. 



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