Project of the Month: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) District Office, Bay City, Michigan


The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) District Office in Bay City, Michigan recently chose to install the Duro-Last® roofing system on its facility in order to meet high-quality sustainability standards and to qualify for LEED® certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

An environmentally-conscious organization, the DEQ had authorized contractor Buchinger Roofing, Inc. of Reese, Michigan install about 27,600 square feet of the Duro-Last membrane on its building.

The white roofing system helped the facility meet LEED requirements in several ways. Its high reflectivity and emissivity qualities can help reduce the energy required for cooling the building. The building’s roofing system was manufactured at the Duro-Last facility in Saginaw, Michigan, which lowers transportation mileage and costs. Duro-Last’s custom prefabrication reduces on-site waste produced during the installation; scrap that is produced may be returned to Duro-Last for recycling into other construction products.

The Duro-Last roofing system also complements many other sustainable building features that were incorporated into the training facility’s design such as low-water plumbing fixtures; skylights in 75% of the occupied space; recycled denim insulation; a state-of-the-art air filtration system; and a computerized lighting system to control electrical usage. Furthermore, much of the material from the previous building was recycled, and paving material was crushed and used as on-site fill.

The DEQ District Office implemented “green” features including more than 28 skylights on the rooftop; a ground-mounted solar panel (10-kilowatt) array; and a wind turbine. The solar panel array and wind turbine installations are expected to be installed later this year. Both are anticipated to produce 30% of the building’s electrical load.

With so many skylights, the DEQ needed a high-quality, leak-proof roofing system that could be easily installed around penetrations and provide worry-free protection. In addition to deck sheets, Duro-Last prefabricates curbs and flashings in a controlled factory environment to fit these rooftop penetrations precisely.

“The skylights bring in natural light to the building, which will help reduce our electricity costs,” said Tim Diebolt, Chief, Office of Business Services at the DEQ. “There are a lot of holes (penetrations) in that roof, so the fact that the Duro-Last roofing system is made to fit these areas gives me confidence that there will be no leaks.”

The ‘green’ benefits from the Duro-Last roofing system along with other sustainable initiatives for this building should prove very valuable to the DEQ. Plus, with acquired LEED certification, this organization can lower its operating costs and increase its asset values; conserve energy and water; provide a healthier and safer working environment for employees; possibly qualify for tax rebates and incentives; and demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship and social responsibility.