Putting stimulus funds to work on roof repairs
In Louisville, Ky., city officials will use federal stimulus funds to pay for a green roof on a new transit maintenance and training hub facility. The transit hub project, valued at $5.5 million, will include the installation of solar panels. The city government, the Transit Authority of River City and the Louisville Metro Housing Authority recently presented plans for stimulus-funded projects worth a total of $20 million.
Phoenix, Ariz., is using federal stimulus monies to sealcoat the roof of a public housing complex with reflective white paint to protect the building from the sun and cut power costs. The sealcoat project is one of many capital improvements that will be completed using $4.3 million in housing grants that the city of Phoenix received from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The National Roofing Contractors Association, based in Rosemont, Ill., has a Q&A sheet on the economic stimulus legislation here. One of the sources mentioned in the sheet, the www.recovery.gov site, has information on application deadlines. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, for instance, will accept funding applications from public housing authorities from June 1 until August 18, 2009, for its Public Housing Transformation program as well as two other funding categories.
State and local government facility managers should investigate all available sources for roof repair funding, says Michael DeBrincat, director of corporate development at Building Technology Associates (BTA), a roof management and consulting specialist based in Oak Park, Mich. His company helps building owners and managers maximize asset preservation by reducing roofing defects, and by extending the useful life of their facilities.
The federal stimulus package can be a funding source that governments can turn to, DeBrincat says. “Obviously with economic stimulus being a big objective of the new administration, there are stimulus funds available and accessible right now for roof maintenance projects and roof capital replacements,” he says.
Working with the US Air Force in the early 1970s, BTA developed the model for its roof management system. It was based upon the philosophy of proactive maintenance –anticipating and correcting small or potential problems before they become big ones.
Over time, BTA has collected data on more than 1 billion square feet of roofs, including information such as roof type, materials, age, locations, effects of climate, and details on when, where and how failures occur. The data has been computerized and analyzed to create actuarial tables and deterioration curves that have improved the company’s ability to understand when, why, where and how roofs fail.
BTA relies on a proprietary tool called OASYS to prepare detailed plans to guide roof repair work and replacement.
A federal government client, using the company’s roof asset management tools, added $19.3 million in value to its roof portfolio through life-extending repairs, while reducing roof leaks and work interruptions, according to the company.