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Crews working on the re-roofing project of the Wells Fargo Arena set a goal of making 100 penetrations each night so crews could install solar panels during their shifts. A series of events combined to make the installations more challenging than originally planned and pushed the project close to the November completion deadline set by the utility.
One problem was that planners had underestimated the amount of time and materials needed to create the penetrations.
"It was a learning process, and we had issues with the material delivery," Ngo says. "We didn't anticipate how much material we'd need up there."
Crews also lost time to the weather. Arizona's monsoon season, which generally starts in July and can linger into September, brought rainstorms and dust storms and occasionally stopped work. The arena's location on campus also slowed the project.
"Logistically, the arena is located right by the major student parking area," Ngo says. "There's lots of student traffic all day long, and debris falls off. Getting to the roof was another challenge because we had to set up scaffolding and not expose it" for security and aesthetic reasons.
Roofing crews also needed to stop work when crews working inside coated the arena's basketball floor near the end of October.
"During that time, we couldn't do any roof work and have materials fall down on a newly coated floor," Ngo says. "We'd have to hold off three to four days to coat the floor, and even when finished, the floor still had dust falling down on it."
Contractors handled the installation of the new PVC roof and the solar panels, but in preparation for taking over post-installation inspection and maintenance of the systems, the university's carpentry staff often visited the job site to learn about the systems.
"I had three roofers be familiar with the project as it was ongoing," Backus says. "They would visit the project from time to time, and I'd go with them. They learned the type of roof system, and they're capable of repairing it, if necessary."
One of the main post-installation concerns that emerged was the appearance of splits in the membrane.
"The manufacturer was thinking it (occurred) because of the movement of the roof — expansion and contraction and size of the roof — that it split," Backus says. "They're pretty certain it has stopped. We were prepared for everything that we had come up. There was also some leaking around the perimeters and edges because there was some improper installation in some areas."
In the hopes of preventing further problems with the roofing systems, the carpentry shop performs preventive maintenance twice a year, a process that includes inspecting for leaks and performing basic cleaning.
"It gets dirty rather easily, so we hose it off and power wash it every six months or a year," Backus says. "We keep the drains clear, and we're good."
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