A Watertight Warehouse - Reroofing the 230,000 sq. ft. Eastport Industrial Park

Eastport Industrial park is a large warehousing facility on Houston’s east side. Developed by Trammell Crow and managed by C.B. Richard Ellis, this property is responsible for shipping, receiving and storing many kinds of products that consumers and businesses use every day. Hundreds of trucks and people come and go through this industrial park picking up and dropping off large loads daily. The activity rarely slows to a lull.

With a roof system dating back to 1980 when the facility was originally built, Building 4 on the Eastport campus gradually became the victim of leaks above its machinery and raw material storage. Inside this particular building, medical grade polymers such as polyethylene are packaged and housed. When manufactured, these plastics likely become medical devices and instruments that are critical to doctors and patients.

“After 27 years the expansion joint covers were shot and the flashing was deteriorating,” said Roof Consultant Steele Gray with The Moriarty Corporation. “The field of the roof developed blisters and holes and repairs were no longer effective.” When it came time to reroof the building, The Moriarty Corporation, looked for a proven, reputable contractor.

The $825,000 project called for a contractor that could effectively work amongst the heavy pedestrian and vehicular traffic without disrupting everyday business. Most importantly, the work had to be done safely to protect all that use the facility, so Chamberlin designed a plan of action to accomplish all of these goals and produce a watertight warehouse.

Project mobilization began in June 2007, but heavy rains during the summer delayed initial work. Building 4 is one of several buildings on the property that is roughly the size of four football fields combined; therefore, the tear-off portion of work had to be performed one section at a time. And if there was a good chance of rain, work was postponed to prevent possible water damage to the roof deck and warehouse contents.

Starting in the early morning hours, Chamberlin crews removed the old coal tar pitch roof. The morning is the optimum time to remove a roof of this nature to prevent the chemicals within from heating up and irritating the skin. Still, the workers safeguarded themselves from head to toe with protective clothing and face masks. Materials inside the warehouse were also fully covered and protected while work was taking place above, and a crew member was positioned below to keep an eye out for any possible hazards.

Upon tear off, portions of the Lightweight Insulating Concrete deck were found to be damaged. Water from leaks in the previous roofing system had seeped through and deteriorated the deck’s concrete. Chamberlin quickly repaired the areas and continued with their work as scheduled, installing a multi-layered Built-Up Roof (BUR) system with gravel surfacing. In addition, Chamberlin replaced all 96 skylights atop the warehouse as well as expansion joints and finished off the roof system with sheet metal flashing and edging that was custom fabricated in Chamberlin’s shop.

“Though this was a pretty standard reroofing project,” said Project Manager Randy Brashier, “it had a lot of safety concerns. Our project team with Superintendent Al Hall and Sheet Metal Superintendent Paul Cerda did an excellent job responding to issues and heading them off at the pass.”

 “I was highly satisfied with their workmanship,” said Gray. “Our safety issues were addressed rapidly and they worked well with the tenant. It’s clear the end product met the client’s expectations.”