“What If”: A Review of Case Studies to Aid in Low-Slope Roof System Selection

Tuesday May 7, 1:15pm – 2:15pm

It’s just a roof, right? And buildings or designs never change. Not quite. Roofing plays an important role in protecting the building from the elements as well as insulating to preserve occupant comfort.  With a wide variety of roof systems used on commercial buildings, selecting low-slope roofing assemblies can be complicated.  Starting with four unique roofing case studies to review design team considerations and decisions, we will ask the infamous question “What if?”. You will leave this interactive session with a better understanding of best practices in low-slope roof system design and selection, including ways to establish air tightness, reduce moisture intrusion, and lower the overall risk of failure to ensure you are able to appropriately evaluate design change requests on your next project.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand how design parameters, such as building and rooftop use, as well as climate and building location influence roof design decisions.
  2. Recognize the basic components of low-slope roofing including different insulations, coverboards, and membrane types.
  3. Differentiate between attachment methods of roofing systems including insulations and membrane attachment options.
  4. Utilize case studies to understand how decisions made during the design process can impact the performance of the roof.
Level of content:

Kristin Westover, P.E., LEED AP O+M


Kristin Westover, P.E., LEED AP O+M, is a Technical Manager of Specialty Installations for low-slope commercial roofing systems at GAF. She specializes in cold storage roofing assemblies where she provides insight, education, and best practices as it relates to cold storage roofing. Kristin is part of the Building and Roofing Science Team where she works with designers on all types of low-slope roofing projects to review project design considerations so designers can make informed roof assembly decisions.

Andrea Wagner Watts, LEED Green Associate

GAF, Arlington VA

Andrea Wagner Watts is the Building Science Education Manager for GAF, engaging with industry professionals to provide guidance, technical support and education for roof and wall assemblies. With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, Andrea strives to improve the overall performance of the building enclosures through application innovation, product development and building science research. Andrea has published on building science, assembly interfaces, durability and resilience and holds multiple patents. She serves as an executive board member of ABAA, is the co-chair of their Technical Committee and chairs the ASTM E06 Task Group on air barriers.