The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District received its nationwide Army Reserve mission and the Air Force Reserve mission in the 1990’s and, since then, countless facilities have been designed and constructed by the district. There are several subprograms that are centrally managed out of the Army Reserve Branch of the Louisville District Project Management Division, one of which is the National Roofing Program, also known as NRP.
“The NRP began as the National Roofing Initiative based on a mission to improve roofing facilities, minimize operational expenses, and maximize the quality of work life for our soldiers,” said Jeff Bayers, National Roofing Program Manager. “Due to the success of the project delivery team, the initiative was established as a program for the Army Reserve.”
The program began in 1997 and was brought to the Louisville District in 2005 for nation-wide roll out and execution.
“The NRP is a roof inspection and replacement program with the goal of minimizing roofing asset lifecycle cost through high quality design and construction,” said Bayers.
According to the team, the success of a roof’s performance over its expected lifespan depends upon using a qualified designer familiar with local conditions and engaging qualified contractors to construct the project using high quality materials and workmanship.
In the last 18 years, the National Roofing Program has executed approximately $200 million in reroofing approximately 900 buildings at nearly 300 U.S. Army Reserve facilities in 46 states, American Samoa and Puerto Rico. The NRP has installed 12 million square feet of roofs and has never had a roof failure, even during hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, Sandy and Rita.
“What really sets the national program apart is the NRP has developed robust guide specifications and details and implemented the use of Registered Roof Consultants during design and Registered Roof Observers during construction,” said Bayers. Additionally, the specifications include a requirement for a 20-year no-dollar-limit (NDL) systems warranty, the best the industry offers.
NRP roofs also reduce monthly energy use by increasing insulation requirements, and when appropriate, reduces the “heat island” effect.
“The NRP uses infrared thermal imaging technology in its inspection processes to examine moisture and other building envelope issues for solutions during construction,” Bayers said.
Other best practices and details of NRP include: NRP installs walk pads around all equipment to protect roof and direct traffic; they require stainless steel pipe supports and paints all gas lines; they require installation of ladder access where needed, which improves safety, reduces damage to roofs - a means to access each roof area aids in preventive maintenance. NRP also provides specific details for roof-to-wall transitions and curbs because 70 percent of roof leaks come from roof-to-wall transitions, according to Tim McCellan, Louisville District roofing program technical manager
“Another reason the program has been successful is due to the close integration between construction and engineering on the team,” McCellan said. “Construction representatives are active during the inspection and design phase, while engineering remains actively involved throughout the construction process.”
Louisville District’s construction division has the only two Registered Roofing Observers, also known as RROs, with Larry Drane and Jeff Cannady. The other members of the NRP team from construction division include James Allgeier, Mike Brooks, John Hearn, Dan Kornblum, Matt Hagewood, Cole Gehlhausen, Nick Bibelhauser, Joel Switzer and Jeremy Heinemann.
The NRP team is always looking for innovative ways to improve the program. Several Louisville District NRP team members, to include Bayers, McClellan, Sheryll Impellizzeri, Ryan Fagan, Andrew McCauley, and Bill Firisin, recently attended a workshop in Charleston, South Carolina to learn more about BUILDER, the Army’s building asset management system. The workshop covered the wide-ranging capabilities of the BUILDER environment and how it can be used for asset management and sustainment of existing system components of facilities. NRP is currently supporting a pilot program integrating approximately 80 roofing specific site investigations in BUILDER.
“Our planning and execution cost for running the program are very low amounting to less than 2.5 percent of construction execution,” said Bayers, who has been working with the program for 14 years. “My favorite part of the program is the success we have had delivering high-quality products to the Reserves knowing how appreciative they are, and the fact that operation and maintenance costs on the roofs are near zero.”
The NRP reduces energy use, is ecofriendly, eliminates maintenance, and most importantly, provides soldiers great facilities for battle focused training.