In 2015 Publix turned to Advanced Roofing Inc. (ARI), a preferred contractor of Publix since 1992; to have a Moisture Survey performed by a Miami-Dade Approved Testing Laboratory of their distribution facility’s east side in Deerfield Beach, Florida. The 20-year-old, 194,217 square-feet, 50-feet-high JP Stevens’ roof was at the end of its service life, and temporary fixes were made over time including many patches. However, the roofing system was at risk of eventual failure that could potentially shut down the building, halting distribution at this critical branch of Publix’s operations. Following the moisture survey, ARI determined there was extensive water damage to the insulation and that it would need to be removed and replaced and then a new roof membrane installed.
Overcoming Project Challenges
The 14-person crew from ARI began work on the facility in February of 2015 utilizing a 45 mil FiberTite-SM Ketone Ethylene Ester (KEE) single-ply roofing membrane with perimeter and corner enhancements to meet enhanced uplift pressures. The old membrane was removed and new membrane installed over the existing insulation where it was not wet. In the wet areas, the insulation and cover boards were removed and replaced before the installation of the new membrane. Additionally, to meet South Florida’s High-Velocity Hurricane Zone requirement’s, Publix required our team to follow strict Factory Mutual requirements for an enhanced roof system installation. The Fibertite system was selected since it is a KEE membrane and it has higher puncture resistance than other single-ply roofing systems. Furthermore, the system was chosen because the facility heavy foot traffic and has ammonia lines running across the roof as making the Fibertite KEE system ideal for their needs.
The removal process of the wet insulation and the old roof required detailed planning and excellent communication between both ARI and Publix’s operations team to ensure no disruptions were made while working at the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week distribution facility that supplies food to the tri-county area of Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade.
To ensure the roof re-roofing production schedule was not hindered, ARI utilized many of its in-house divisions to coordinate deliveries of materials and trash removal around the trucking yard’s 24-hour operations. ARI’s Crane Division was brought in to help load materials and remove trash from the roof. While our Lightning Protection Division removed the existing Lightning Protection system as well as re-installed/ certified the system following the installation of the new roof membrane and new sheet metal coping cap. The lightning protection system disassembly and removal were significant challenges our team overcame during the project due to the system being secured to everything on the roof from the HVAC units to the perimeter copings, and throughout the general roofing membrane.
One of the main priority’s for ARI and the client was NOT to disrupt daily operations and to ensure safety standards were exceeded at the facility during the project as it is a full-time distribution center with over 220 truck bays and train rail running into the facility for ammonia deliveries. Ammonia is used to refrigerate the large coolers inside the warehouse that ensure freshness of all products Publix distributes. Extensive safety precautions were also used on this project to ensure a successful completion including training for ammonia, fall protection for skylight removal, fire, egress training, crane and rigging, and OSHA training as it’s a STAR Facility.
The Re-Roofing Project Results
Through excellent planning, communication and execution between Publix, the City of Deerfield Beach Inspectors, and ARI the project was completed on time and on budget without safety issues. According to Publix Super Market Director of Industrial Maintenance Chris Yates, “the roofing project at our main South Florida distribution warehouses went smoothly and stress-free because of Advanced Roofing experience and attention to details. “
Due to ARI’s outstanding performance on the project, Publix extended the project scope and contracted our team to re-roof the west side of the warehouse (174,680 s.f.) as well as, install a new roof on their Return Center building (48,413s.f.). In total, Advanced Roofing has installed a total of 417,310 square feet of new roofing systems for Publix at their Distribution facility in Deerfield Beach, Florida.