Setting Sail

World-Class Roofing for World-Class Living on San Francisco Bay

by Melissa Hubbell, marketing communications manager, Duro-Last


Spanning more than 1,600 square miles of surface area and 400 miles of shoreline, the San Francisco Bay is a hub of activity for water enthusiasts. More than 40 marinas dot the coast and crisp white sails propelling vessels across the water are a common sight. The Alameda Marina, located along the historic Alameda/Oakland Estuary directly across from Coast Guard Island in San Francisco Bay, is a 42-acre complex boasting 530 wet berths as well as office, warehouse, and industrial space. As the charming small-town atmosphere of the city of Alameda continues to become an attractive escape from the explosive growth of nearby metropolises like Oakland and San Francisco, developers saw an opportunity to expand the marina space with a high-end living development.

Named The Launch, the project consisted of 360 multifamily units ranging from studios, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and eight separate work/live units. Johnstone Moyer Inc. from San Carlos, California, was selected to oversee the construction of the project, which broke ground in 2021. When it came time to select a partner to manage the roofing portion of the new build, they turned to Flaherty Brothers Construction out of Danville, California.

After evaluating the 120,000-sq.ft. roof and intricate details required to waterproof rooftop units and corners of the complex’s architectural design, the Flaherty Brothers team knew Duro-Last® was the best choice to tackle the project.

“This was all taking place during the height of material shortages and prolonged lead times,” explained David Flaherty, owner and president of Flaherty Brothers Construction. “We had to put our trust in a manufacturer that could provide material efficiently to keep us in line with the project’s timeline and within budget. Duro-Last really stepped up for us and made sure we had what we needed at every stage.”

Starting from the wood deck, the Flaherty Brothers crew adhered 1/4” tapered Duro-Guard® XPS insulation, creating positive drainage on the low-slope surface before installing 1/4” DEXcell® cover board to enhance durability. Duro-Guard ISO crickets were also utilized to direct water to rooftop drains. Duro-Last X™ 60 mil membrane rolls were then adhered to the surface to complete the roofing system. To address the details, the crew relied on custom-fabricated pipe boots and corners to ensure efficiency and waterproofing at critical transitions around rooftop units and parapet walls.

“Duro-Last’s accessories are a key benefit for us on projects like this where we’re utilizing upwards of 2,000 pipe boots and 3,000 corners,” said Flaherty. “They save us valuable time on the roof and help us keep costs in check.”

Despite the beautiful views, roofing a multi-level project on the bay did pose some unique challenges. Because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, severe storms throughout the bay are known to produce wind gusts reaching 80 to 90 mph. To help combat material movement and blow-off during installation, the Flaherty crew welded straps over the insulation and utilized weights on top of loose materials.

“When you’re right on the bay, there are typical requirements that you have to factor in like wind gusts and uplift pressures,” Flaherty said. “That’s why we selected the adhered installation to meet code requirements. During the installation process though, we also had to take extra precautions to ensure the bay and surrounding area wasn’t disrupted with debris blowing off the roof. Our crew did an excellent job making sure everything was waterproofed and secured before they left the job site each day.”

With a crew of 11, Flaherty Brothers finished the majority of the installation over five months at the beginning of 2022. After watching the project take shape and receiving Duro-Last’s 20-Year NDL Warranty for the roofing system, building owners knew they had made the right choice in their construction partners.

“The owners walked the roof with me personally and couldn’t have been happier,” Flaherty concluded. “They were blown away by the quality of the installation and the attention given to all of the details. They were actually so impressed they plan on using Duro-Last products on all of their projects moving forward. As for our crew, I’m very proud of how they managed this installation from start to finish. This is definitely a project we can hang our hat on.”