Budgeting For Roof Maintenance

At Broward College in South Florida, roofing condition assessments drive planning for this building component.

By Sean Devaney
From the December 2019 Issue

roof maintenance
Located in South Florida, Broward College facilities are located across three full-service campuses and seven satellite centers. (Photo: Broward College)

All large institutions with many facilities to maintain often encounter the same budgetary decisions annually regarding roof maintenance—budgets are limited, and deferred maintenance is ever growing. Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL is no exception to the realities of these budget constraints. Broward College is an institution with three full-service campus locations and seven satellite centers.

As associate vice president of facilities collegewide maintenance at the college, my facilities inventory includes 66 buildings ranging in age from 50 plus to four years old (over 2.4 million square feet). With such a large institution to manage from a facilities perspective comes the responsibility of roof replacement, renovation, and major maintenance prioritization. How do one best manage annually allocated dollars in a fiscally responsible way? Start with a roofing condition assessment! Then, identify standard roofing as a long-term maintenance solution.

Campus-wide Roofing Assessment

Back in early 2013, Broward College District Facilities partnered with a roof management company, Roof Management Solutions, to perform a college-wide roofing condition assessment. It took approximately 12 months to complete the overall assessment. Each assessment report included a comprehensive photo documentation and condition overview.

The following criteria were provided for each roof: building number; campus location; site visit date; building square footage; roof type; overall condition; moisture penetration; roof rating (1 to 5); repairable, restorable, replacement recommended; and project cost estimate.

In addition to the roof condition assessment, District Facilities set out to evaluate the roofing systems that were in place. At the time, existing inventory roofing systems consisted of coal/tar BUR gravel, modified bitumen, coated modified bitumen, standing metal seam roof, metal roofing systems, concrete canopy, and rolled membrane installations.

Following several meetings with the facilities roofing consultant, roofing contractors, and several site visits to sister institutions, District Facilities incorporated the FiberTite XT 50 Mil roofing system into the design and construction college standards. Moving forward all roofing renovations, new construction (with limited exceptions) would be with this type of roofing installation.

This rolled membrane system provides a white reflective rooftop, moving heat back up into the atmosphere and away from the building. It’s a four-layer coated fabric membrane that is a puncture, chemical, and ponding water resistant. Also, it is a relevant system if LEED certification (LEED v4 1 Credit-heat island reduction) is in the design and construction standards for a facility, as is the requirement of Broward College design and construction standards.

The warranty for this system is for 20 years; with the proper annual maintenance, the roofing system will perform beyond 25 years. Testimonials to this were observed while visiting off-site locations, and sister institutions during our roofing standards selection process. The teams involved looked at roof installations from 18 years to 30 years old, and discussed with on-site facilities staff the maintenance history and performance.

Implementing A Roof Maintenance Plan

With the assessments complete, the district facilities team rolled out a plan for replacing/renovating the roofing systems most in need. The rating system of 1 to 5 (with 1 being the worst) provided a very clear path for addressing the most urgent needs. There were 19 roofs that fit in the category 1 to 2.5 rating, all poor condition.

roof maintenance
The South Campus bookstore at Broward College in Pembroke Pines, FL underwent a roof renovation as part of the condition assessment program. (Photo: Broward College)

Between the fiscal year, 2013 and 2019 district facilities replaced or renovated 28 roofing systems for $8.5 million, approximately $1.4 million annually. With this accomplishment, most of the college roofing systems are now in the category of 3 to 5 ratings.

Many of the roofs were complete roofing system replacements, from the deck up. Others included major renovations, and cool top coating applications over existing modified bitumen applications that warranted savings, and useful life extension of 10 to 15 years.

Moving forward, the condition assessment ratings drive the prioritization. There are, at times, some exceptions. For instance, if Facilities Planning, Design, and Construction Departments are moving into a complete building renovation, it makes sense to replace the roofing system if it is in less than good condition.

With our roofing condition assessment system approaching its seventh year, the facilities maintenance division is scheduling a follow-up roofing assessment for fiscal year 2020/2021. This is an ongoing process to stay ahead of the wear and tear, especially in a climate like ours in South Florida.

Process, And Planning For Roof Replacement

The roof replacements at Broward College are budgeted through capital improvement funds and managed by the Design and Construction division, with college facilities oversight from one of our several senior project managers.

Broward College
All facilities within the Broward College system have been brought into the unified roofing maintenance program. (Photo: Broward College)
  • The facilities roofing consultant prepares the roofing project scope of work—including the required permit test, wood nailer calculations, coping cap metal calculations, roof drainage survey and calculations, uplift calculations, and LWIC pull testing. Additionally, specification and contract documents, pre-construction meeting, project manual, roof plan, quality assurance inspections and project meetings, project administration, project photo documentation, final inspection, and punch list are provided.
  • Project is assigned to one of two college contracted roofing construction companies (Advanced Roofing and High Tech Roofing).
  • College code official oversight and inspections
  • Design and construction senior project manager oversight

In addition to the roof replacement scope of work, roof hatch with safety rails and ladder access are replaced per code and allow for servicing/safe access.

College-wide roofing conditions at Broward College are monitored through scheduled preventive maintenance checks, and through our computerized maintenance management system (Archibus) work orders are sent directly to the facilities contract services vendors as necessary. This approach not only provides for protecting roofing warranties but also creates an electronic service history of each roof throughout the system.

This project management process has worked well for Broward College. With the professional involvement of the roofing consultant, college code official (Calvin, Giordano & Associates, Inc.), and District Facilities-Design and Construction Senior Project Managers, the college is ensured to receive quality work and a roofing installation that will support the funding investment, and serve the facility for 20 to 30 years ahead. And, this contributes to successful teaching and learning outcomes by providing comfortable, safe, educational environments for students, faculty, and staff.

These are other areas that condition assessments drive/prioritize funding and project scheduling needs. These are—elevators, mechanical equipment, classroom renovations, irrigation systems, roadway and parking lot, storm drainage systems, fleet vehicles, small equipment, building envelope, building replacement Castaldi studies, renovation and remodels, site lighting, electrical systems, fire safety systems, and domestic water distribution systems.

In conclusion: Let condition assessments drive your budget and project schedules. At Broward College, the Facilities Management team (Planning and Budget, Design and Construction, Maintenance Operations) have years of experience proving it works, providing positive results to the college community.

Devaney is associate vice president of facilities collegewide maintenance at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Check out the Broward College Facilities Management Facebook Page.

Do you have a comment? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below or send an e-mail to the Editor at acosgrove@groupc.com.

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