Convention Center

Cool, Sustainable, & Watertight Roof for Convention Center in Reno, Nevada

by Marcus Dodson, publisher


The Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno, Nevada, boasts 600,000 sq.ft. of meeting space, making it the 39th largest convention center in the United States. The popular venue hosts numerous events year-round and needed to find a solution for its leaking roof.

Two sections of the campus were roofed with 150,000 sq.ft. of TPO that was failing and leaking. With some important upcoming shows and events, including the Van Gogh Multimedia Experience, venue leadership knew that even one severe thunderstorm could seriously disrupt these shows. With summer approaching, they did not have much time to find an answer to get their building secure and watertight, especially in these times of material shortages.

Benchmark Roof and Pavement Consultants, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was called in by the Convention Center to provide some options. Benchmark is a highly regarded firm with an excellent team of consultants. Benchmark then contacted Western Colloid to come up with an FM approved assembly specification and a plan. Roof repairs were not an option, and neither was tearing the roof off and replacing it. It was too risky to have an open roof and the replacement process was substantially more expensive with a much longer timeline.

Western Colloid products were chosen not only because they could be installed over the existing TPO roof, but because they could also deliver a warranted system for the convention center. The company’s products were also ideal for ensuring that occupants of the building would not be disturbed during the installation process. After the job walk and bidding process, D & D Roofing and Sheet Metal, Inc., Sparks, Nevada, was chosen for the project.

Time and speed were essential to beat the weather and adhere to the convention center’s timetable, so Western Colloid dedicated three members of its field technical team to work alongside the D & D crew to provide on-the-job training.

“The Reno Sparks Convention Center coating project was both intriguing and challenging,” said Albert Dutra, D & D Roofing. “Tasked with performing a 1,500-sq.ft. coating project during the heat of summer along with heavy thunderstorms, as well as the addition of multiple trades shows within the facility, seemed nearly impossible to achieve.”

The first step was applying the asphalt emulsion and polyester layers to put the building in the dry prior to the start of the Van Gogh Multimedia Experience in August. Even though most days the crew worked in 100º heat, they also experienced rain. That initial layer of protection kept the roof watertight, and the show went on.

“With a collaborative team effort between Western Colloid, Benchmark, and D & D Roofing, the project was able to finish on time and on budget while installing a high-quality roof coating system for the client,” explained Dutra. “The field and office technical expertise that was provided by Western Colloid was a major factor to the success of the project. We look forward to many more projects with this talented and successful team.” Western Colloid is known for its training and logistical support for the contractor.

Greg Hlavaty, president of Western Colloid said, “This project is a fine example of our company culture. When you use a Western Colloid product on a building, we support not just the coating system you purchased, but the contractor installing them. What better service can we give to a new customer than by giving their production team the training and insights to be more efficient in installing our products.”

The project was then completed with the energy-efficient surface application of Western Colloid’s ElastaHyde acrylic coating, giving the owners a renewable FM 4470 approved system. Needless to say, the project was a success and the Convention Center and its occupants are now dry and happy. The Benchmark, D & D, and Western Colloid teams can look back and be proud of the collaboration and workmanship it took to pull this project together.