An avid gardener, our client’s beloved roof-top oasis had finally given way to old age. Our client had enjoyed a view of the Center City skyline from the roof deck outside her sun-filled third floor loft for a decade, but now she needed a complete solution, and quickly.The existing wooden frames of her glass panels were sun damaged, rotted, and leaked a little more with each new rainstorm. She had tried numerous times, working with a handyman and then a roofer but as the leaks persisted she turned to us for a wholistic approach. The biggest problem was that the windows were glass holes into her house, surrounded by a complex group of tired materials that were no longer working together to keep weather out.
A Design-Build Approach for an Aging Roof Deck
Our client was open to having a design conversation with us about planning for an effective and holistic solution that would work together rather than a series of independent, subcontracted activities. Often, the best first step is a simple repair, but she understood that sometimes an old house system (her roof, skylights, glass panels and masonry walls) can't continue to be patched up -even when the failure seems to be coming from just one of those systems. Further, hiring a handyman or single trade specialists such as a roofer, mason, window installer, engineer, would not provide the combined warranty and peace of mind that she needed.
As part of a larger project including a new roof system, skylights, a full deck redesign and structural assessment, we organized a series of decisions for her to make and subsequent steps for us to take to rebuild the system of aging roof components. We would call this an "assembly". A design-build approach was helpful in understanding the house as a whole and assessing the relationship of the materials that we selected for the replacement assembly and the methods we applied by directing various trade specialties.
The roof deck had a new life! We celebrated with a staff party on the deck, the skyline lit behind us.
For more details on this Philly rooftop deck, take a look at our portfolio page.