Severe damage by Hurricane Wilma forced the Northeast Dade Branch Library in Aventura, Fla. to close in October 2005. The extreme wind and rain from the storm significantly damaged the library’s roof and exterior as well the furnishings and books inside. It took nearly a decade for the building to be demolished and replaced with a new $15 million facility that opened in 2015.

The new 26,482 square-foot library is twice the size of the building it replaced. It houses 22,260 books, 8,592 DVDs and CDs, and multiple computers, as well as a 100-seat auditorium. So when it came time to choose a roof for the new library, the building owner knew it needed a roofing system that was built to last. The project called for a durable, reliable roof that could protect the library’s valuable materials for years to come. The city of Aventura knew from experience how devastating a roof leak could be to this library, and wanted the building to be protected from high winds, heavy rain and other severe weather.

The building owner chose an asphalt roofing system for its durability and longevity. It’s common for commercial facilities to install a low-slope asphalt roof because it’s cost-efficient, provides superior performance, and can be designed to feature value-adding amenities such as solar photovoltaic panels or vegetative roofing. Because of its redundancies and reliability, an asphalt roofing system can provide added moisture protection and the security it brings to the building. Building owners can choose between a Built-Up Roofing system (BUR), a Modified Bitumen (MB) roofing system or a hybrid BUR/MB roofing system.

Precision Roofing Corp. in Hialeah, Fla., won the job to install a hybrid built-up/SBS-modified bitumen asphalt roofing system. Company Owner Julio Martinez has more than 20 years of experience installing asphalt roofing systems, and said he knew they could deliver a roof that would protect the building from harsh weather while meeting the project’s budget. This type of installation calls for many layers that work to keep the building water-resistant and provide protection against normal wear-and-tear.

Martinez’s team began by applying an asphalt primer to the concrete roof deck. The primer penetrates the concrete, creating a strong bond between the concrete deck and initial application of hot asphalt. The hybrid system called for tapered insulation to facilitate water drainage, three plies of GAF® GAFGLAS® Ply 4 Ply Sheet hot mopped with asphalt, and a Ruberoid® EnergyCap 30 Granule FR membrane. Granules were distributed at the seams to cover the asphalt bleedout. The project was completed in August 2015, providing the new library and its many books and patrons with multiple layers of water-resistant protection to ensure years of trouble-free operation.

When asked why he likes working with asphaltic product, Martinez responded, “We work with many roofing technologies, but I always have confidence in asphaltic roofing projects because they are designed and built to last.”

The new library building is a beautiful and modern structure that used eco-friendly construction and sustainable materials, making it the first “green” public library in the county. The project is in the process of becoming Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified. The roof installation itself has also gained national recognition.

In February, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) recognized the library as one of the top asphalt roofing projects in North America in 2015. ARMA’s annual Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study (QARC) Awards Program seeks out low- and steep-slope projects that demonstrate the beauty, affordability and reliability of asphalt roofing. Each year, gold, silver and bronze winners are chosen by a selection committee comprised of distinguished members of the roofing community, and receive cash prizes and national recognition.

The Northeast Dade Branch Library received the bronze award because its roofing system offered superior protection and beauty while meeting the project’s budget. It was chosen from numerous commercial and residential roofing projects that had recently been built the United States and Canada. Martinez is no stranger to the QARC Awards honors. In 2014, Precision Roofing received a Gold QARC Award for a reflective low-slope asphaltic roofing system installed on Doral City Hall in south Florida.

“Precision Roofing is committed to excellence and the entire company can be proud of this repeat recognition of quality work as the 2016 Bronze QARC Award recipient,” he said.

The 2017 QARC Awards program is now open and accepting submissions for both low- and steep-slope roofing projects that were completed in 2016. Roofing contractors can submit multiple projects, and there is no fee to enter. ARMA recently revised the QARC submission process to make it easier than ever to submit to the program. To be considered, contractors must provide photos and a description of each roofing project. QARC judges, consisting of industry roofing professionals, choose award-winning projects that demonstrate innovation, design and performance.

To learn more about the awards program and to submit a project, visit Projects must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2016.