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National Roofing: Company Customizes Unique Roofing Solutions For Project Made from Shipping Containers



Albuquerque, N.M. — Dec. 17, 2015 — Creating elevated walk decks and roof assemblies for a development made from shipping containers took innovation, ingenuity, and skill. National Roofing met the challenge as the new Green Jeans Farmery opened to the public in Albuquerque in November.

The development opened with 12 businesses including a brewery, distillery, restaurants, a juice bar, a fitness studio, and a retail store.

“The first thing we realized getting into the project is that shipping containers aren’t designed to be buildings,” said Tom Johns, CEO, National Roofing. “While the concept of converting the container into a habitable space is an easy concept to grasp, the reality is a maze of building codes and challenging engineering.”

With this particular development, four decades of experience and the resources to navigate the complex issues proved to be the right combination. In addition to putting roofs on all the containers, they also had to create some of the roofs to be walk-out decks. The National Roofing team conceptualized, assisted design, installed, and waterproofed the pre-fabricated structural panels that ultimately became those decks.

Because no shipping container project had ever been built in Albuquerque and very few exist in the country, the building codes that exist don’t exactly match what the project is. For instance, shipping containers are not made with human habitation in mind; additionally, the structural elements of the containers are not intended to bear the loads associated with walk-out decks.

The National Roofing team created a custom Structural Insulated Panel (S.I.P) system that both worked to maintain the utilitarian look of the containers while providing needed insulation and roofing.

 “While we routinely interpret what other professionals think up, we had the unique opportunity to utilize our years of pragmatic construction experience to streamline the interior space constraints and build the decks economically and efficiently. Our solution allowed the developer better usable space and saved them money,” Johns added.

For the walk-out decks, National Roofing designed a custom and proprietary S.I.P panel system that distributed the heavy structural loads of the walk-out decks to the perimeter of the containers — enabling generous headroom on the interior of the containers that would have been compromised if structural elements had to be installed on the underside of the decks, inside the containers.

“Our team was able to marshal our considerable intellectual resources to pave a new path on this project, where there was no precedent for us to follow, meeting all Building Codes while applying the tenets of building science and pragmatic construction,” Johns said.

In total, National Roofing created 4,100 square feet of roof space and another 2,600 square feet in walk-out decks.

National Roofing hopes to grow its business with other shipping container developments throughout the U.S. and the world. For more information on National Roofing, go to

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