NASA Assembly Plant Roofs Recovered Dustin Brooks
NASA MAF B101&102 Roof Recovers
New Orleans, LA
B&W Contractors Inc.
80 mil TritoFlex 2K rubber membrane
30 mil TritoCryl 2K topcoat
108,000 square feet
NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans has quite a history. During WWII, the Michoud plantation was selected by the U.S. Government to build ships and planes. In 1943, the 1.8 million square foot manufacturing building, 108,000 square foot engineering building, and other smaller buildings were completed. Since then, tank engines, booster rockets, and all sorts of other mission critical assets for the military and NASA have been engineered and manufactured at this site.
The 108,000 sf engineering building completed in 1943, adjacent to the 1.8 million sf assembly plant, is still in use today and the existing flat roof systems on these two buildings were past their useful life and in need of replacement. The original design was to remove and replace the existing 2-ply aluminum-faced Modified Bitumen 240 mil membrane with new insulation and a new 60 mil TPO membrane. All bids for the roof replacement were way over budget and not feasible. Therefore, a thorough analysis of the roof assembly was completed to determine very sound decking and minor areas of wet insulation. NASA’s engineering teams decided these roofs were good candidates for a liquid-applied recover, rather than tear-off and replacement. However, the right liquid-applied membrane must be part of the design to ensure it would last at least 20 years in the harsh Gulf climate, which is prone to numerous hurricanes, tropical storms, and more. Additionally, there is extensive roof-top equipment and fan houses, which require continual access and foot traffic.
The roof projects were re-designed using a liquid-applied, thermoset rubber membrane directly over the existing Mod-Bit roof at a minimum of 80 dry mils, increasing the overall waterproofing thickness to 320 mils, compared to tearing it all off and downgrading to 60 mils at a much higher price tag. After making minor repairs and replacement of wet insulation, the TritoFlex 2K liquid roofing system was installed by a certified contractor. Triton’s TritoFlex 2K liquid rubber membrane has the highest wind uplift approvals in the industry and high flexibilty and durability. Additionally, the safe installation, being water-based and VOC-free, meant no disruption to the operations of the facilities, and the slip-resistant, textured surface upon completion meant a safe roof after installation.
After completion, these roofs have now withstood three different hurricanes. Two of those hurricanes littered the Triton roof surface with extensive debris, including steel and light poles. Only damage to the sacrificial, reflective TritoCryl 2K topcoat occurred, with no damage or perforation through the 80 mil TritoFlex membrane. During Hurricane Ida in 2021, portions of the large 1.8 million square foot assembly plant roof blew off, as the gypsum cover board facer delaminated from itself. Rather than use conventional blue tarps or TPO single-ply as a temporary membrane, TritoFlex 2K was sprayed immediately over the exposed, failed sections of roof to provide a seamless, instant waterproofing layer to stop further moisture damage in the building. The results were astounding. Please contact us for further details.