60-Second Case-HJAIA

60-second Case Study: Wind Uplift Control for Atlanta Control Tower

It’s always important that a roof doesn’t get pulled off a building during high winds. But it’s even more important when the roof is on an airport control tower and dozens of planes are in the air.

One of the projects we’ve recently completed for the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is re-roofing the airport control tower. This project needed to have the highest possible level of adhesion and attachment for wind uplift control when winds blow across the roof. While a typical number of fasteners during roof installation is five to eight fasteners for every 32 square feet of board, for the control tower we used one fastener for every square foot of board — or a minimum of four times more fasteners than usual. Like rivets on an airplane, more fasteners means stronger attachment.

And as if Mother Nature wanted to prove this point, we faced extreme wind conditions in Atlanta while we were installing the roof.

The storms with near hurricane-level winds were so strong that they blew apart some of the scaffolding that allows access to the roof — the wind even sheared off some bolts. We were able to complete the job on schedule by carefully planning how our crews would manage their work during the short windows of time between storms…and by running three continuous shifts for three days straight. It wasn’t a big job but it was definitely an exciting one. Hats off to our superintendents and crews for getting everything up and down safely and for coordinating all the work to take place during breaks in the storm, and to Firestone XR135 TPO membrane for its excellent, externally reinforced (fleece-backed) highly durable materials.

Our wind uplift control and fastening requirements are based on engineering tables developed by Factory Mutual (FM Approved Roofing).

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