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Bade Roofing: Company's Innovative Green Roof Brings Historic Downtown St. Louis Building into 21st Century


St. Louis, Mo. — Feb. 16, 2016 — Tenants in the redeveloped General American Building in downtown St. Louis have a new rooftop open space to enjoy with views of Busch Stadium, the Arch, and the Old Courthouse thanks to an innovative green roof installed by local commercial roofing specialist Bade Roofing Co.

Located at 700 Market St., the former General American Building ( known today as 700 Market) originally opened in 1979. The six-story structure is the only St. Louis building designed by acclaimed 20th century American architect Philip Johnson.

Bade Roofing, working with St. Louis-based general contractor Tarlton Corp. and real estate developer Koman Group, was challenged with creating a rooftop garden courtyard on the building's 5th floor and re-roofing its 6th floor. A green roof provides insulation, lowers the need for heating and cooling, and can help manage storm water.

"We were familiar with Bade Roofing's work from other downtown building projects. We had total confidence in Bade's ability to get the project done. Bade offered the most comprehensive solution to the roofing project," said Mark Venturella, vice president of design and construction, Koman Group. "The space is definitely being utilized and enjoyed by our tenants. Where else in downtown St. Louis can you look out your window onto a garden with views of the ballpark and the Arch?"

Bade crews began the complex 17,800 square foot, green roof project by first removing the existing paver ballast, 2 inches of EPS insulation, and a 2-ply SBS modified roof system down to the structural concrete deck. 

A new 115-mil, fleece back, loose-laid TPO roof system manufactured by Firestone Building Products, including flashing of green roof penetrations, was then installed.

Bade crews stacked three layers of loose-laid EPS insulation and a protection mat over the new TPO roof system, in preparation for a three-color concrete paver system, wood paver, and pre-planted "Green Bloc" vegetation trays and leveling pedestal system.

The outdoor space incorporates raised areas filled with growth medium, various trees and shrubs planted in planter boxes, a fescue lawn area, seating areas, lighting, watering system, and a gas fire pit. 

A 2-foot-wide buffer of landscape gravel was also installed around the roof's perimeter between the pavers and the parapet wall to aid with the courtyard's draining.

Subcontractors CMT Roofing, LLC (WMBE) and Green Roof Blocks helped in creating the green roof landscape. CMT supplied and installed the pedestal three-color paver system with Green Roof Blocks fabricating the vegetated planter trays set on the pedestals and installing the trees, shrubs, and sodded lawn area designed by HOK Planning Group.

One of the biggest challenges to Bade's crew was ensuring that the green roof was completely waterproof. Any leak could potentially damage tenant spaces below.

"Getting the roof watertight as quickly as possible during each phase of installation included conducting an intensive water test, which involved flooding the roof for 24 hours to test for water tightness," said David Bade, owner, Bade Roofing Company. "Insuring that the base roofing material was 100 percent watertight was critical on this project. Once the green roof and courtyard components are put in place, repairing a leak becomes incredibly difficult and expensive. Water tests were conducted and any weak areas in the system were quickly reinforced. After that, the roof could be flooded for an indefinite quantity of time and not be compromised.”  

Founded in 1954, Bade Roofing uses a highly trained union workforce to install roofing systems on major retail centers, grocery stores, hospitals, schools, warehouses, and office buildings. For more information, visit


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