Modified Bitumen Goes to the Movies

Multi-Layer Membrane Redundancy Stars in Katy, Texas

by the marketing team, Polyglass U.S.A., Inc.


From Western Roofing Nov/Dec ’15


There’s no substitute for watching movies in a theater. Americans have been going to movie theaters for over a century. Although today it is easier to watch a movie on a phone, laptop, or TV, there really is no way to recreate the experience of disconnecting from the world, watching a film on the big screen, feeling the vibration from the bass in the surround sound, smelling the buttery aroma of popcorn, and taking an emotional journey with strangers who shared the same thought to see the film. The actual movie-going experience has evolved over time. From drive-ins, to theaters, to full-service entertainment venues, the overall experience has changed. What hasn’t changed is the presence of the concession stand. A relatively recent movie theater trend is offering a full-service dining-like experience, complete with a full bar option. The owners of the Alamo Drafthouse embraced that trend and in 1997 opened their first location in Austin, Texas. As they reference on their website, founders Tim and Karrie League were driven by a simple passion for watching movies and enjoying good food and beer.

Since the original location debuted its first film, Alamo Drafthouses have opened in more than ten cities nationally, with more expansion on the horizon. One of those locations is in Katy, Texas, a suburb of Houston. The theater is home to state-of-the-art projection equipment in seven screening rooms and features a full-service kitchen and bar for guests to enjoy dinner at the movies.

When the cinema’s roof started to fail, it was critical to replace it with a system that would protect the expensive equipment, ensure that customers still enjoy the movie-going experience they expect, and provide long-term performance. To meet those needs, the facility management team reached out to FSR Services, a Houston-based roofing contractor for commercial and residential projects in the state of Texas. “When choosing the replacement roof system, we had to be in line with the customer. The quality of the materials selected for the roof needed to be consistent and reliable,” stated Stephen Seibert, president of FSR Services.

The project was just shy of 30,000 sq.ft. with a built up tar and gravel roof. Completion time was a critical element to the job as the holiday movie season was fast approaching. The FSR Services team had to tear off the existing roof down to the metal deck, disconnecting and removing HVAC units, gas lines, drain lines, and electric conduit. Selecting the replacement system was an easy one. “We chose to install the Polyglass© Stick 1/Torch 1 System because it’s a good, quality system, and Polyglass requires a high standard of installation procedures,” commented Seibert. “The Polyglass commitment to excellence is in line with our core beliefs of providing quality workmanship, personalized service, and a safe working environment.”

The Polyglass Stick 1/Torch 1 System features an APP or SBS modified self-adhered base sheet and a heat-welded APP cap sheet. Designed to provide multi-layer membrane redundancy, and perform in extreme weather conditions, the Stick 1/Torch 1 System has grown in popularity. Modified bitumen roof systems have a proven track record of superior waterproofing characteristics in climates with fluctuating temperatures when installed on multiple surfaces. Modified bitumen membranes provide high tensile strength roof systems, which also deliver long-term resistance to UV degradation.

Following the roof tear off, 3 1/2” polyisocyanurate insulation was mechanically fastened to the deck using FM approved fasteners and plates. A layer of Polyflex® SA Base Sheet, a self-adhered APP base sheet with a mineral surface, was installed, followed by a layer of Polyflex G torch-applied APP granulated cap sheet in white. All penetrations, curbs, parapets, and drains were flashed. New lead flashing, pitch pans, and standard vents were supplied and installed; 24-gauge galvanized metal was installed on counter flashing and edging, as well as 22-gauge galvanized box gutters and downspouts.

“We had a short window to complete the job,” Seibert stated. “The Polyflex self-adhered base sheet was fast and easy to apply and provided an ideal surface for heat-welding the Polyflex cap sheet.” Polyflex SA Base Sheet has an aggressive self-adhesive bottom surface and is specifically designed for use as a base or interply layer for torch-applied cap sheets when installed as part of a multi-ply roof system. The team at FSR Services was able to complete the job on time and before the opening of the holiday movie season. Cinephiles and those simply looking for a place to kick back, drink a beer, and watch a flick can once again be entertained on the larger-than-life screen without worrying about a roof leak. And the Alamo Drafthouse can continue the American tradition of providing movie theater moments.

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