Water Company’s New Headquarters Feature Rooftop Patio Garden

Water Company’s New Headquarters Feature Rooftop Patio Garden

Commercial Roofing: EPDM & Patio Garden Roof System — Pennsylvania


When Pennsylvania American Water Company was moving their headquarters from Hershey to Mechanicsburg, some major renovations were needed. The company tore down most of an existing building and built a new three-story addition to accommodate their needs in their new location.

The new building’s 24,800 square-foot-roof was specified as a Versico Roofing Systems 90-mil fully adhered EPDM roof and would also feature two patio garden roofs of 2,700 square feet.

Houck Project Manager, Bob Norton, said that his company had a good relationship with Pennsylvania American Water Company. “We’ve completed many projects for them at numerous locations, including maintenance work. We knew this project was in the works, and we were excited to be invited to bid.”

When Houck was selected to perform the work, they met with the general contractor, developed their installation plans and held preinstallation meetings to ensure that the project would run smoothly.


Special Safety Considerations

The project was on a fast-track which meant coordinating with other trades working on the new construction. “Typically, when we install a roofing system, we would utilize a perimeter cable system for safety, but in this case, the walls weren’t even built yet,” said Norton. “They wanted the building watertight, so we had to use a combination of a PR600 mobile fall protection system, warning lines and safety anchors depending on which walls were finished and which ones weren’t.”

When all the walls were completed, the Houck team went back and finished the roof details on the main 24,800 square foot roof.

Patio Garden Roof

Pennsylvania American Water Company wanted to offer their employees an outdoor patio garden area to enjoy, so the new addition was designed with two of these areas using the Versico Pedestal Paver System and vegetative roof trays.

The installation presented a few challenges because the roof differed from what was shown in the elevations. This meant that the Houck team had to make some adjustments in the field to ensure that the finished roof was at the right height and properly aligned with the door.

“We installed a vapor barrier over the concrete deck of the patio garden area, then used tapered insulation to slope to the drain and topped that off with the 90-mil EPDM,” explained Norton. “We had to make some field alterations to adjust the height of the pavers – eliminating trip hazards and providing safer access from the door onto the patio. We used extruded insulation on top of the EPDM roof, plus adjustable pedestals to get the height we needed.”

Staying on Track

Despite preplanning, sometimes conditions on the job site are different than anticipated. The Houck team excels at making improvisations quickly and efficiently in order to ensure the project’s momentum. “When unexpected issues arise, sometimes you have to adjust on the fly,” said Norton. “We ran into a few details that required the involvement of the architect to redesign some of the wall treatments. It’s important to keep the project moving, but imperative to do the work right.”

The project completed on schedule and the team at Pennsylvania American Water Company is enjoying their unique outdoor space.

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