Roofing Design

Youngman Locke Engineers provide roofing design services to school districts, churches, public and private building owners and facility managers.  To see the process of a successful roofing project, look at this Guide or read below about how we approach roofing projects.

Roofing Project Approach and Design Philosophy
Our approach to investigation and design services for reroofing projects is as though we were to own and maintaining the roof for its life expectancy. Attention to detail is most important.  Excessive reliance on warranties is not a substitution for attention to installation workmanship and selection of good materials, for it is these items that create a quality, long lasting roof.

We provide services as the prime project consultant.  We not only focus on the proper roofing material selection, design and installation but, our expertise in structural engineering allows us to assess structural concerns of the roof deck, joints and/or beams immediately below the membrane.

Field Research and Data Gathering
Reroofing projects require gathering of field data to provide the basis for decisions making.  An inspection is required by Chapter 32 of the Uniform Building Code prior to reroofing.  This inspection must be by the building official or a qualified inspector.  Topics to be addressed by the inspector include ponding and corrective measures required, and the determination of whether or not the existing membrane must be removed. 

Our  approach is to visually inspect the drainage for conditions needing correction and to make test cuts in the existing roof membrane to:


Determine the number of roofing membranes existing on the deck, 


Inspect the condition of the deck and insulation for presence of moisture and any deterioration of the deck material,


Collect samples of the roofing membranes for asbestos content testing. 

Code requires that only one existing roof membrane may exist under a proposed membrane.  Use of infra-red moisture detection or other methods may be used on very large roofs.

Data Analysis
After the field research is complete, recommendations are made to the Owner regarding whether or not the existing membrane(s) must be removed, if existing insulation is wet and must be replaced, if deteriorated deck is found and extents, and examination of laboratory reports for asbestos content.  Solutions for eliminating ponding and poor drainage are designed in the office using measurements taken during the field data gathering.

Design Solutions and Roofing Details
Selection of alternative membranes is discussed with the Owner and decisions are made based on life cycle costs, initial costs, maintenance, warranties, available experienced local roofing contractors, and proven backup from manufacturer’s technical representatives.  We favor using proven membrane systems which we have seen perform, and are very cautious about recommending and approving unknown materials and manufacturers. 

Clear and complete plans, details and technical specification documents are prepared that address all conditions encountered on the roof. 

Construction Submittal Manuals\ Permanent Record of Project for Owner
Submittals, product and installation manuals are required from the roofing contractor and each is reviewed for content.  On the job, these manuals are important cohesive references to be used by the superintendent and inspector.  These manuals are the place where as-constructed field changes are noted for a record of the project.  One copy of this manual is furnished to the Owner for permanent record.

Observation of the Construction Work
We strongly recommend a close  working relationship between roofing consultant\designer and the contractor’s field personnel.  A preconstruction conference is an essential starting point for the project followed by periodic (at least once per week) visits to the site at pre-set times.  A record of observations and field changes should be kept by the designer’s representative.  Instructions on the replacement of deteriorated deck should be clearly understood by field personnel and a record kept of the replacement.  Final inspection of the work is the joint responsibility of the owner’s inspector, the contractor field supervisor and a manufacturers’ field representative if required by the warranty.