Georgia Highlands College

The Project:
Georgia Highlands College is a multi-campus state college and member of the University System of Georgia. GHC serves over 6,000 students across five campuses: Rome, Cartersville, Marietta, Dallas, and Douglasville. Offering over 30 areas of study with associates, bachelor’s, and online degree options, Georgia Highlands is known for providing quality education at an exceptional value.

The Challenge:
Confronted with growing enrollment, Georgia Highlands invested $22.5 million to construct a new academic building specifically designed to strengthen its STEAM-based degree programs. The new 52,000 square-foot facility, located in Cartersville, houses state-of-the-art science and computer labs and art studios.

With almost $2.6 million spent on equipment alone, Georgia Highlands sought long-term watertight performance to safeguard its investment. The school needed a durable roof that could weather the hot, humid conditions and severe weather outbursts prone to Georgia. In addition, the roofing system also had to comply
with local reflectivity requirements and improve thermal efficiency.

The Solution:
Georgia Highlands first received two layers of Derbiboard, our high performance polyiso insulation board. Besides improving thermal efficiency, Derbiboard provides a clean, strong base for roofing systems. Next, a 1/2” coverboard was installed to provide an additional layer of protection, fire resistance and increased wind uplift values. Each layer was applied using Derbibond, a low-rise foam adhesive. This provided safer working conditions, reduced job site noise, and less disruption to building occupants.

Like all DERBIGUM systems, a minimum of two membrane layers were installed using Derbibase Ultra (120 mils) and Derbicolor P-FR-CR (161 mils). Besides adding a full layer of waterproofing, system redundancy doubles the protection against punctures and leaks. Both membranes are reinforced with polyester and fiberglass mat for greater tensile strength and dimensional stability. To top it off, Derbicolor P-FR-CR’s brilliant white granule surfacing provided an extra layer of defense against heat, UV rays, and rooftop traffic.

The only hurdle encountered on this project was managing that formidable Georgia red clay. Being new construction, this was an active job site with multiple trades working simultaneously. As a result, the base ply became dirty due to construction dust and clay tracked in by workers. To rectify this, our DAC, Crabapple Roofing, power washed the roof to remove the caked-on soot then applied an asphalt primer to improve inner-ply adhesion between the base and cap sheet. Thanks to the diligence and expertise of our DAC, Georgia Highland’s new roof construction was a success.