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When Service Works of Tampa, Florida received the contract for the second phase of the reroofing job on Tampa Airport Marriott, they knew they would be facing many challenges.  For one thing, the hotel is 100 yards from incoming planes.  They would also be doing much of the work outside of balconies of occupied rooms.  However, one challenge they were able to avoid was constructing new wooden nailers on the curved perimeters of the three different roof elevations, the tallest of which was eight stories high.

“All the edges on the three roofs were circular or serpentine -- there are no straight edges,” said Jeff Anderson, president of Service Works.   “If we had used wood nailers for the perimeter we would’ve had to build up very small segments of pressure-treated wood stacked in different and creative configurations.”

Fortunately, Jeff Evans, a senior consultant at Benchmark, Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the consultants on the project, remembering hearing about the radius EdgeBox Perimeter Blocking System from Hickman Engineered Systems, an OMG Roofing Products company.

EdgeBox is an engineered metal nailer system for low-sloped roof perimeters.   It is made of 20 gauge galvanized steel, is compatible with most commercial roofing systems, deck and insulation types, and each 10-foot section is pre-punched for fast installation.    It is available in a wide variety of height and width sizes to replace the most commonly used wood nailers.  The EdgeBox is also available with custom-made notches to conform to curved surfaces.

“I called Hickman during the bidding phase of this project in 2012 and asked if they had ever done a radius EdgeBox,” Evans stated.    “He replied that they never had, but there was no reason they couldn’t.  I asked Sutter Roofing, who did the first phase of the roofing project for two bids – one for the wood nailers as originally planned, and one for EdgeBox.  EdgeBox was $14,000 less than fabricating wood blocking ($14 / lf).”

“50 Percent Savings of Labor”

EdgeBox offered other advantages as well.  “It offers ease of installation, can easily be configured for curves, and the metal won’t deteriorate as with wooden perimeters,” Kevin Morris of ProRep, a waterproofing and roofing manufacturer’s representative in Florida, remarked.  “I thought this would be a perfect fit for this project.”

Service Works began the reroofing project by tearing off both a built-up roof with gravel and a sprayed polyurethane foam roof.   “Removing the PUF roof was like working with those very lightweight packaging peanuts,” Jr Garza, operations manager at Service Works said.   “At the request of the Marriott and the FAA we had to put up temporary fencing, like a snow fence, on the roof perimeter to contain the debris and avoid it being ingested by the jets.”   The debris was then bagged up and brought down through elevators.

Once the old roofs were removed, Service Works installed the new Radius EdgeBox perimeters.  “Instead of building wood forms we were able to easily contour the EdgeBox to fit the different shapes of the perimeters,” Garza stated.  “Even though it was our first EdgeBox installation it was very user friendly, and Morris and representatives from the company were available to help us.”

“Because it was so easy to use we saved at least 50 percent on labor for this part of the project,” Anderson added.  “There were 2,220 feet of perimeter, so I estimate we saved 280 hours of labor.”

Jeff Rhoads, another senior consultant at Benchmark, Inc., was impressed with the labor savings – and more.  “By eliminating the need to bring up lumber to the roof – in an area with lots of restrictions regarding space – and using only one piece of material, it did reduce installation time of the perimeter,” he said.  “But I also liked that it is made of steel.  Wood will draw in moisture and the fasteners might start corroding, but that won’t happen with EdgeBox.”

“I have never seen a system like this before, and was amazed at how thick it was,” commented Joe Hediger, director of engineering at the Tampa Airport Marriott.  “There are no parapet walls on this roof at all, but the EdgeBox provided a nice level perimeter and a nice pitch back to the roof drains.” 

The EdgeBox also has a retainer for lightweight concrete or rigid insulation, which allows for rapid flow and fill of lightweight concrete and eliminates thermal gap at the roof edge.   Anderson remarked, “When we poured the lightweight concrete it filled the cavity of EdgeBox, making it an integral part of the pour.”   Hediger noted how the EdgeBox held the concrete very well.  “There was no spillover whatsoever,” he stated.

All parties involved with this project stated they would use EdgeBox again.  “EdgeBox was perfect for this application, and worked out great,” Hediger said.  “I would certainly use it again.”

Anderson and Garza also were very pleased with the ease of installation and labor savings of EdgeBox.  “We saved about a week with EdgeBox, and it is ideal when working with curved perimeters,” Garza stated.

“Lots of places don’t want wood nailers in the building envelope because of the chance of corrosion or decay,” Rhoads remarked.  “I will definitely use EdgeBox again.”

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