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Durability and airtightness will provide water protection for the roofing material

03 of November '22

SIKA's modern and environmentally friendly insulation
for logistics and industrial halls


Structures such as logistics and industrial halls should be durable and provide comfort. This means the need to include in the design appropriate solutions that meet the technological and operational criteria set for them and are environmentally friendly.

In the case of waterproofing, the prevailing trend so far is the introduction of economical solutions (in terms of capital expenditure), which means the use of synthetic roofing membranes with a thickness of 1.20 mm and an expected warranty period of 5 years. The result of such solutions is the incorporation of materials with reduced durability, which in turn results in the need to replace them after a certain (relatively short) period of use, and consequently increases operating costs and disposal costs. On the other hand:

When considering the long-term operation of a hall, it is in the investor's interest to design waterproofing that will not need to be replaced for 20 or more years. This, on the one hand, reduces operating costs and, on the other hand, the less frequent need for disposal which should be considered a very important environmental measure. We do not create additional costs associated with the removal of materials, and we can simply install another protection in its place.

- says Maciej Urbanek,
Roofing Business Development Manager at Sika Poland


This is why it is so important to design buildings that are sustainable in every way
. So what does a system that meets the technological and economic look like?

Trwałość i szczelność zapewni ochronę przed wodą pokrycia dachowego

Durability and airtightness will provide water protection for the roofing material

© SIKA

Durable thermal insulation requires an adequate vapor barrier

In industrial halls, roofs are usually trapezoidal sheet structures with layers of thermal insulation, vapor barrier and waterproofing. In heated facilities, in addition to properly selected thermal insulation, the proper selection and installation of a vapor barrier is very important. It is recommended to perform moisture and thermal calculations for the partition. The minimum requirements that should be met are the diffusion resistance of the vapor barrier, which must be higher than the diffusion resistance of the waterproofing.

The vapor barrier should be glued overlapping between successive sheets. This is a basic criterion that must be met - vapor through leaks can get into the waterproofing which can cause it to become permanently damp. In this case, moisture accumulating in the thermal insulation as a result of condensation causes a reduction in thermal resistance coefficients (R) and the insulation loses its properties year after year. As a result, more and more energy is needed to keep the temperature in the rooms at the right level, the cost of which has increased significantly.

- explains Maciej Urbanek

In our technological consciousness, vapor barrier is underestimated, underestimated and treated very superficially. Orders often expect the cheapest, thin and impermanent films. This is completely inconsistent with technical knowledge and science.

- convinces Maciej Borodzicz,
Manager of Key Roofing Projects at Sika Poland


Sika offers several types of vapor barriers
, and each of them, in addition to parameters such as thickness, density and type of material, is described by the diffusion resistance to water vapor (Sd / µ). And this one should always be greater than the diffusion resistance of the waterproofing - water vapor penetrates more slowly into the thermal insulation envelope and evaporates faster from it.

For example, if on the roof we have, for example, a triple layer of bitumen membrane with a total thickness of 10-12 mm, then its diffusion resistance is several times greater than that of a synthetic membrane with a thickness of 2 mm. And these parameters should always be correlated.

- explains Maciej Borodzicz


It is not worth saving on the vapor barrier
. On the market, the fastest growing prices of thermal insulation, and the most expensive element in the arrangement of layers is protected by the cheapest one. The right choice of a membrane slightly increases the cost, but ensures long-term protection of the thermal insulation.

Trwałość i szczelność zapewni ochronę przed wodą pokrycia dachowego

Durability and tightness will ensure protection against water of the roof covering

© SIKA

Durability and robustness are the basis

Low-thickness PVC membranes dominate the domestic market. These are materials soaked in plasticizers, which are gradually released, which is not without impact on the environment. At the same time, this process causes, loss of technical parameters over time. In Poland, the logistics market is dominated by PVC membranes with a minimum declared thickness of 1.2 mm (which is also often an overestimated value), Recently in our market we can see a trend change, resulting in the selection of solutions that will ensure increased durability, ensuring the longest "life" of membranes and other elements of the roof envelope. An example of such action are solutions from other European markets - for example, in Austria the thickness of the PVC membrane should be at least 1.80 mm. Synthetic membranes based on other chemical compounds are also used much more frequently there.

The solution to meet these trends is to use PVC membranes of greater thickness or products with a different chemical base. In the case of factory / logistics halls, we are dealing with flat roofs and most often with unventilated ceilings. Bituminous or synthetic coatings are used here.

Sika offers both solutions - but... we mostly encourage the use of single-coat plastic waterproofing films. These plastics are PVC, or polyvinyl chloride - the dominant material for more than 50 years - and FPO or TPO (flexible polyolefin, thermoplastic polyolefin), or polyolefins.

- reports Maciej Borodzicz

Trwałość i szczelność zapewni ochronę przed wodą pokrycia dachowego

Durability and airtightness will provide waterproofing protection for the roofing material

© SIKA

New trend in the market

In recent years, there has been an upward trend in the use of FPO-based membranes. These are products, launched by Sika and Sarnafil. FPO (polyolefin) membranes show greater durability compared to PVC, so they reduce investment and operating costs. They are guaranteed to last (according to the latest studies by independent institutes, up to 50 years). It is easy to calculate that with a 50-year operation of the hall in the first case may be necessary, there will be three to four renovations, using Sarnafil FPO - none.

Investors with an extensive portfolio of foreign facilities are aware of this. They compare the costs of investment, operation of the facility and choose more durable solutions. Unfortunately, those who execute objects sporadically do not have much experience and awareness

- states Maciej Borodzicz


And lower operating costs are worth slightly higher investment costs, which is worth subjecting to economic analysis.

Especially since membranes with a 15-year warranty are more expensive than "economic" ones by about PLN 10-15 per 1 m². With the cost of 1 m² significantly exceeding PLN 1000, the difference in membrane prices is negligible. The slight increase in the cost of the top layer of the roof translates into lower operating costs. These differences are currently becoming even more blurred due to a very significant increase in the cost of raw materials and manufacturing of waterproofing.

Trwałość i szczelność zapewni ochronę przed wodą pokrycia dachowego

Durability and airtightness will provide waterproofing protection for the roof covering

© SIKA

How does a roof increase thermal comfort?

Solutions that reduce hall heating also bring savings. With increasing summer temperatures, choosing membranes with a light color and high radiant reflectance (SRI) increases thermal comfort. With membranes, the reflectance rating (SRI) is important - the higher, the better. Such coverings absorb less energy than dark ones, and as a result, rooms do not need to be cooled intensively. Electricity bills can be reduced by up to 30%. We see this where white membranes have replaced dark ones. These are significant savings in the long term

- convinces Maciej Urbanek


Especially since cooling is more expensive than heating.

Sika, as part of its global operations, has conducted research in this area and provides software in which the efficiency of various solutions can be estimated. However, it should be noted that, depending on a number of factors, after analyzing a specific object, it is sometimes better to increase the thickness of thermal insulation instead of using a white membrane. Each such investment should be carefully thought out, designed with the appropriate solutions and their parameters. Everything according to the individual needs of the investor.

Photovoltaic panels on hall roofs

Flat roofs are even created for photovoltaic installations, but it is necessary to choose the right solution. A threat to the panels are strong winds, which can tear them off the roof along with the mounting. Sika has developed a method of attaching photovoltaic panels to the roof membrane without disturbing or damaging it, and Centroplan, a partner company, provides the panels, inverters, hardware and wiring, and know-how.

The innovative solution requires neither adding additional ballast to the roof, nor perforating the membrane to make support elements connected to the structure, resulting in a large amount of flashing. The use of the proposed systems reduces the use of additional ballast, while at the same time protecting the installation from rupture during high winds.

We would like to point out to investors and contractors that the use of a photovoltaic system on the roof requires the system supplier to provide "wind" calculations and confirm that its attachment is correct, durable and safe for use. The market is growing rapidly, unfortunately, the execution of calculations is a rarity. The result is a sizable number of roof defects, which we observe with concern. The installation system of panels should always be consulted with roofing suppliers.

It is possible to add weight to the frame with panels, but this increases the load on the roof and requires an adjustment in the static calculations and an increase in the load-bearing parameters of the structure for designed buildings. For existing facilities, changes are difficult to make and often impossible. In addition, despite the added load, there are known cases of displacement of panels, which act as sails in the wind

- says Maciej Borodzicz


He points out that the second method - mechanical installation through support elements combined with perforation of the membrane - is labor-intensive and subject to the risk of errors.

Our solution takes into account the dynamics of the wind and compensates its suction with the loading forces. The only load on the roof is the panel and frame - 12-18 kg/m². This is not much compared to ballast systems

- adds Maciej Borodzicz

Trwałość i szczelność zapewni ochronę przed wodą pokrycia dachowego

Durability and airtightness will provide water protection for the roofing material

© SIKA

Green roofs favor the environment

Another environmentally friendly solution is green roofs. They usually appear on areas above office areas, but lightweight systems can be installed on hall roofs. One of them is offered by Sika. Before installation, it is necessary to carry out wind calculations and measure the drainage capacity of the roof, taking into account its slope, the size of the catchment area, the number of drains and their placement. And choose a system, usually extensive, requiring no special treatment or maintenance.

Membranes for green roofs must be FLL approved (obtained after a 3-year test) to guarantee resistance to root overgrowth. They are also included in our offer

- informs Maciej Urbanek


The execution involves laying a drainage system on which a green roof with vegetation is placed. Sika offers a modular solution, fully equipped with a grid, instead of a substrate we propose with a light layer of mineral wool.

Toward a better quality of life

An increasingly important aspect of the modern world is the well-being of life. GDP indicators, until recently considered a measure of well-being, are not suitable for its determination. Continuous income growth is no longer an end in itself. The younger generation, in particular, expects balance in life, caring about relationships with people, as well as the fate of our planet. Climate change and environmental protection are important to them - they don't want to live in a polluted and overheated environment in the future. And one of the elements that reduce environmental interference are durable membranes, proper installation of vapor and waterproofing, as well as green and white roofs and photovoltaics on logistics and industrial halls. They regulate temperature, promote low retention, and reduceCO2 emissions.

For more information, visit the company's Sika Poland page on the PdA portal.

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