Case Studies | Atlas Roofing

Case Studies 

Polyiso Roof Insulation

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Steelcase North America uses ACUltra Technology to cover 650,000 square feet of roof space.

Case Studies - Steelcase

Most building owners would agree: when it comes to the design and engineering of a building envelope, the roofing system is a critical component. For Steelcase North America, a manufacturer of office/space systems, the roof on their new manufacturing plant in Dutton, Michigan, is a VERY big component. Covering 650,000 square feet of roof space, the Steelcase plant was a design/build project that specified a roofing system that could allow some heat to escape in order for the building to remain cool in summer and allow the snow to melt in the winter. The drainage of the roof was designed with a slightly angled “m” formation moving water to valleys where drains are located. The roof assembly consists of a steel deck with a loose laid ballasted roof system comprised of 2 layers of one and one half (1 1/2”) inch polyiso insulation covered with a Carlisle EPDM roofing membrane. Steelcase chose Atlas Roofing’s ACFoam®-II polyiso insulating board utilizing ACUltraTM Technology, a CFC- and HCFC-free product.

Atlas Roofing’s ACFoam®-II, featuring ACUltra® Technology, was a perfect choice for the Steelcase project. Its closed cell polyiso core is integrally connected to heavy black (non-asphaltic) felt facers and is available in a 25 psi formula. ACFoam®-II is a universally adaptable product exhibiting a perforated facer side for use with hot applied systems and a non-perforated side for single-ply systems. To develop an environmentally friendly product that handles just as well as traditional polyiso board is quite an accomplishment. The real test for the ACFoam®-II insulating board, however, was with the installers, the people who work with the product every day.

“We’ve been laying polyiso down for years,” said Tim Remy of Langerak Roof Systems, Inc., the installer of the ACFoam®-II for the Steelcase project. The Dutton plant was a fast track construction project, built in phases, and demanded more than a little coordination. Atlas Roofing was committed to helping Steelcase keep on schedule. “We were very happy with how quickly they were able to meet our demand. The supply was always on time. I don’t remember a time when the installation was hindered by delivery schedules. Everything came when we needed it, said Remy. “It was packaged well, it came to us in very good condition right down to the truck drivers who delivered it. We had no problem whatsoever.”

Case Studies - Steelcase

ACFoam®-II using new ACUltra® Technology met the challenge without sacrificing quality and workability. “It handled just as well as traditional polyisos,” said Remy, “the durability is the same as the polyiso we’ve used before, the facer holds well to the product, and the product proved to be dimensionally stable. It is a very friendly product to work with.”

ACFoam®-II with ACUltra® Technology retains the properties that have made Atlas Roofing’s polyiso insulating board so popular. ACUltra® Technology provides the same high R-values, fire performance ratings including UL 263, UL 790, UL 1256 and FM 4450/4470, code compliances for Flame Spread and Smoke Development and it still meets ASTM C 1289, all without an increase in the price tag.

ACFoam®-II insulating board using the new ACUltra® Technology appealed to Steelcase because it was the only thermally efficient foam plastic product available produced with HCFC-free blowing technology, resulting in a more environmentally friendly or greener product. In fact, environmentally friendly building materials and methods are so important to Steelcase that they are seeking accreditation from the United States Green Building Council [USGBC] and its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [LEED] Building Rating System. The LEED system serves as the construction industry’s definition of what constitutes a green building. Fortunately, Atlas ACUltra® Technology meets the LEED program’s requirement for a green building product.

Case Studies - Steelcase

“Steelcase has always been an environmentally friendly company,” says Roger Lamer, a Senior Facilities Engineer for Steelcase. The LEED program is self-administered and credits are awarded for achieving a number of objectives in the design and construction of a green building. Steelcase has dedicated one employee who’s only job is to work on the LEED requirements. “Our goal” says Lamer “is ultimately gold, but,” he laughs, “I think silver is more realistic.” Steelcase isn’t leaving anything to chance on its Dutton plant, addressing everything “from site design and location, to selection of the site,” notes Lamer.

Even the site itself will be developed with the green principle. “We have provided retention ponds at the front of our property where we can collect the storm runoff from our parking lots and use that for our irrigation system. It also becomes our sedimentation basin,” says Lamer. “If we actually had oil spills, solvent spills, that would be our containment.” Lamer adds, “ I believe we will be the first manufacturing facility to meet the LEED criteria.” No doubt, Atlas Roofing will help in achieving this goal.

Atlas Roofing is the leader in developing environmentally friendly rigid polyiso board insulation. When the developed countries of the world signed the 1987 Montreal Protocol, pledging to eliminate ozone-depleting chemicals from the environment, Atlas Roofing began to direct its R&D efforts toward meeting this objective. Atlas Roofing was the first company to develop and implement a blowing method for manufacturing polyiso insulation that replaced harmful CFCs with the more environmentally friendly HCFCs as the primary blowing agent.  But Atlas Roofing didn’t stop there.

Jim Thornsberry, a chemical engineer for Atlas Roofing and one of the creators of the chemistry behind the new blowing formulation for foam, describes it this way. “ACUltra® Technology uses hydrocarbons rather than fluorocarbons to blow polyisocyanurate board stock. Used in combination with other green building envelope components, ACUltra® Technology brings an entirely new opportunity to move the industry away from ODP [Ozone Depleting Potential] and GWP [Global Warming Potential] agents and get into a completely green mode of production.” By using hydrocarbons to replace HCFC 141b as the blowing agent, Atlas Roofing succeeded in creating a polyiso insulation that is entirely ozone friendly.”

“Atlas Roofing Corporation is a leader within the industry,” says Jared Blum, President of the Polyisocyanurate Manufacturers Association [PIMA]. “Other companies are following, making the transition out of HCFCs. We’re very pleased about that.” Blum notes that the industry as a whole has to acknowledge the transition to more environmentally friendly building materials. “There is a movement in this country toward sustainable development,” he says. These trends have not gone unnoticed by Steelcase.

Case Studies - Steelcase

“We at Atlas take our role as stewards of the environment very seriously,” smiles Ron Fredin, president of Atlas Roofing Corporation. “With the conversion of Atlas manufacturing plants to the ACUltra® Technology, we now offer the marketplace an environmentally friendly product. Whether you are a building owner, a contractor, an architect, a designer, or a homeowner, you have the option to select green products.”

It’s not hard to understand why Steelcase chose Atlas Roofing to meet their green building needs. Combine Atlas Roofing’s commitment to environmentally friendly building solutions, the high-performance of Atlas Roofing insulation and the superior workability of products such as ACFoam®-II, it’s no wonder Atlas Roofing and ACUltra® Technology are fast becoming synonymous with green building.

Project Information Project:
Steelcase North America
1120 36th Street, SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Fax: 616-247-2997

PIMA Polyiso-cyanurate Insulation
Manufacturers Association

Jared O. Blum - President
1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington D.C. 20004
Fax: 202-628-3856

Steelcase North America
Roger Lamer, P.E.
Senior Facilities Engineer
Facilities and Energy Services
Mailing Address: CS.3N.02
PO Box 1967
Grand Rapids, MI 49501-1967
Fax: 616-247-2997

Roofing Contractor:
Langerak Roof Systems, Inc.
Tim Remy
Safety Officer
4266 Corporate Exchange Drive
PO Box 85
Hudsonville, MI 49426-0085
Fax: 616-896-8690

Design/Build Contractor:
Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.
John Keelean, A.I.A.
Vice President
300 Ionia NW
Grand Rapids,
MI 49503-2595
Fax: 616-458-0770

URS Corporation
Bernard J. Wernette, AIA
Project Manager
3950 Sparks Drive, SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Fax: 616-574-8542

Products Featured:
ACUltra® Technology

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