The sheer size of a roof replacement at O'Hare International Airport made the job complex enough. Security requirements made it even tougher.
The sheer size of a roof replacement at O'Hare International Airport made the job complex enough. Security requirements made it even tougher.

R. Commercial Roofing Solutions of Schaumburg, Illinois, won the $5.68 million contract to replace the roof on O'Hare's international terminal. The original 400,000-square-foot roof consisted of concrete and metal decks, 12 inches of tapered and flat polyiso insulation, fiberboard, EPDM and ballast pavers.

The company removed all 470,000 ballast pavers, along with the roof membrane, all sheet metal, and the existing insulation before installing a USG Securock cover board, fully adhered 80-mil Sarnafil PVC white membrane, a new walkway system, and a LiveRoof vegetative roof. Four crews of 50 workers each were needed.

Safety was a key consideration. Measures included full tie-offs at the perimeter of the roof, weekly safety meetings, and back braces and gloves for workers during the removal of concrete pavers.

The job was big by any standard, but its location at the international terminal of one of the busiest airports in the world presented its own challenges. Getting materials to hard-to-reach areas, required truck escorts, and other security measures all made the job more complex.

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