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Diplomat Resort

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Diplomat Resort

The Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa is located on the beach in Hollywood, Florida. This property offers many resources such as luxurious guest rooms, vast corporate meeting spaces, and banquet rooms, as well as, many restaurants and specialty shops. Advanced Roofing re-roofed over 170,000 square feet, including the hotel, convention center, and retail areas from May 2008- September 2009. The original roofs failed after only seven years due to hurricane damage, so Advanced was called to help perform testing, develop specifications with Consultant, Williamson and Associates, and design a roof system with higher wind uplift pressures.

Advanced’s Construction Manager, Josh Melgar, was onsite full-time to oversee multiple crews and quality control of several different types of Soprema roof systems that were installed. These systems included complete tear-offs with tapered insulation installed in Green Olybond adhesive and different recovery systems, which were determined based on the required wind uplift pressures, due to the location and elevations varying from 20’ to 422’.

In addition to the re-roof, Advanced’s Air Conditioning Division, Advanced Air Systems also replaced 2 smoke evacuation fans, in which they worked with the fire department to ensure life safety was maintained throughout the process. They also coated these new fans with Thermoguard to protect them from rusting, due to the harsh saltwater air. In addition, they did extensive repairs to other equipment that was deteriorated, to minimize water intrusion through these rusted units. They have a three-year plan to continue replacing and repairing units on the property. They also installed 20 motorized and gravity dampers on utility fans which fixed an ongoing problem the convention center had from inception. The ocean wind caused noise in the exhaust fan’s ductwork and disrupted conferences, but this was alleviated with the design of the new dampers.

One of the challenges associated with this project was the scheduling of the demolition and drilling work which caused noise disruptions. Due to the city’s noise ordinance, occupancy of the hotel, and the guest’s meetings, there were countless days when the crew was not able to make any noise. The hotel had to leave several floors unoccupied to allow this noisy work to take place. Between the conferences throughout the day and guests sleeping at night, there was not an opportune time, day or night, to schedule this work. Advanced worked very closely with Sharon Zamojski and David Martinez from Westin’s engineering staff, which coordinated with their sales team, convention service team, and their hotel bookings to find windows of opportunity where Advanced would be able to make noise. When the time frame was available, even if it was only for a few hours, Advanced would increase their manpower, by adding up to three extra crews and complete as much demolition as possible. Advanced worked any time they were given, including Sundays and Holidays (the crew even worked on Christmas Day), to get this job done on schedule.

Another challenge was the access route for certain roof areas. The hotel roofs, which were 36 floors high, had to have all materials loaded by hand, and demolition was bagged and carried down the same route. The pathway consisted of going through a roof hatch, then a narrow passageway and down ship stairs, and then into an elevator, switching to a different elevator and through the service halls of the hotel, and lastly across the parking garage to the staging area. The Presidential Suites, the most exclusive rooms in the hotel, were left unoccupied because the crews had to access the roof through the hallways that adjoined these rooms. The walls and carpet in these hallways were fully protected with plywood and blankets to prevent any damage that could have occurred when moving materials through them. In addition, due to a lack of space, the materials had to be stored in the parking garage and brought up as needed. The process of moving this material required a four-man team. They had to use a forklift to bring it across the parking garage, then place it in bins to transport, and use a pulley system to get the material into the work area.

The staging area was also tough because the hotel did not want to make the construction very visible to guests. Therefore, the Crane Division used a GCI Tower crane for the convention center roof, which would fit in the restricted staging area. This area was near the loading docks so Advanced worked around their busy receiving schedule when coordinating deliveries and dumpster removal to cause as little inconvenience as possible. On other areas, Advanced used a more mobile 23-ton crane. At times, they also rerouted the traffic pattern for valet, all while maintaining the safety of the pedestrians and guests.

Lastly, the biggest obstacle that was encountered was the discovery of a curing compound installed on the convention center concrete deck from the original construction. Advanced discovered this compound would not allow proper adhesion of the preliminary roof. They worked with the manufacturer and consultants and did numerous tests on different types of systems in order to select the one that would get the proper adhesion and necessary uplift. The system was then revised based on the existing condition to ensure the Westin Diplomat got the high wind-rated roof they wanted.

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