Commercial Roof Industry Rating Systems Conklin Evaluation

Commercial Roof Industry Rating Systems Conklin Evaluation

Underwriters Laboratories (UL)

Underwriters Laboratories was founded in 1894 as a nonprofit independent organization testing for public safety. Specifically, the test method for Conklin roof systems is called “Tests for Fire Resistance of Roof Covering Materials” and is referenced as UL-790. This test is also utilized by the American Society for Testing and Materials and identified as ASTM E108.

Three classifications that define the fire resistance performance of a roof covering are Class A, B and C. These designations are derived from tests that measure the effect an externally-caused fire has on the roofing system. Class distinctions cover different levels of effectiveness against fires in roof-top equipment, sparks and flying embers from nearby burning buildings.

Class A roof coverings are effective against severe fire exposure. Under such exposures, roof coverings of this class are not readily flammable, afford a fairly high degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position and do not produce flying bands.

Class B roof coverings are effective against moderate fire exposures. Under such exposures, roof coverings of this class are not readily flammable, afford a moderate degree of fire protection to the roof deck, do not slip from position and are not expected to produce fling brands.

Class C roof coverings are effective against light fire exposure and afford a measurable degree of fire protection to the roof deck.

Three separate tests are conducted in the ratings:

The burning brand test measures the resistance of the roof coverings to penetration by flame. For each rating class, the brand size, the numbers of brands placed on the roof covering and the number of tests conducted differ.

The intermittent flame test subjects the samples to a cycling flame exposure. The test measures the roof covering’s ability to resist flame penetration and the reduction of this ability due to charring and cracking caused by the repeated application of flames. For each rating class, the flame temperature, duration and number of flame cycles varies.

The spread-of-flames test measures the surface burning characteristics of the roof covering. Samples are subjected to a flame and airflow test similar to the intermittent flame test, except that the flame is applied continuously.

Underwriters Laboratories published a book entitled “Roofing Materials and Systems Directory” containing descriptions of roof covering materials that comply with the various requirements of each class.

Another Underwriters Laboratories book is entitled “Fire Resistance Directory.” Internal fire resistance is the resistance or containment performance of roof-ceiling assemblies to the upward passage of heat and flame. Also measured is their resistance to collapse from the elevated temperatures of an internal fire. The test method used is ASTM E119, also known as UL 263. The Fire Resistance Directory contains the details of assemblies with their corresponding ratings.

Both the Building Materials Directory and the Fire Resistance Directory are recommended purchases for all contractors and should be consulted for exact method of application prior to applying any Conklin roof coating or roof system assembly. Copies can be obtained by directing your request to:

Underwriters Laboratories Inc.

333 Pfingsten Road

Northbrook, IL 60062-2096

Phone: (847) 272-8800

Fax: (847) 272-8129

Factory Mutual

One of the most profound influences on roofing was a disastrous event which occurred in 1953. A massive fire broke out at a General Motors plant in Michigan, causing six deaths and more than $50 million in property damage. The 34-acre GM plant had a steel roof deck covered with a layered built-up roof (BUR) topped with an aggregate material. An under-deck fire heated the steel deck and melted down the bituminous materials of the BUR. The release of combustible liquids and vapors from the bitumen was a strong contributing factor to the spread of the fire. The magnitude of the blaze prompted much fire research, leading to the formation of the Factory Mutual system.

Over the years, Factory Mutual has established four major tests for roof coverings. There include fire, wind, hail, and weather resistance. Of these four areas of research, Factory Mutual is best known for wind uplift tests, which examine the likelihood of a roof to blow off under certain conditions. Two common classifications pertain to these tests. One is the I-60 rating, and the second is the I-90 rating. Factory Manual Publication I-28, I-29 discusses specific information on heights of building, terrain and geography, and their effects on wind uplift.

For specific information on products carrying these ratings, Factory Mutual publishes the “Approval Guide.” Copies can be obtained by directing your request to:

FM Approvals

1151 Boston-Providence Turnpike

P.O. Box 9102

Norwood, MA 02062

Phone: (781) 762-4300

Fax: (781) 762-9375

International Code Council (ICC-ES)

ICC-ES came into being on February 1, 2003, when America’s four building product evaluation services officially combined their operations. The four “legacy” evaluation services that came together to form ICC-ES were the National Evaluation Service, Inc.; BOCAI Evaluation Services; ICBO Evaluation Service, Inc.; and SBCCI Public Service Testing and Evaluation Services, Inc. Through the legacy evaluation services, ICC-ES has a history that goes back more than seventy years.

ICC-ES is a nonprofit, public-benefit corporation that does technical evaluations of building products, components, methods, and materials. The evaluation process culminates with the issuance of technical reports that, because they directly address the issue of code compliance, are extremely useful to both regulatory agencies and building-product manufacturers. Agencies use evaluation reports to help determine code compliance and enforce building regulations; manufacturers use reports as evidence that their products (and this is especially important if the products are new and innovative) meet code requirements and warrant regulatory approval. ICC-ES evaluation reports are public documents, available free of charge on the Web, not only to building regulators and manufacturers, but also to contractors, specifiers, architects, engineers, and anyone else with an interest in the building industry. All of these people look to ICC-ES evaluation reports for evidence that products and systems are code-compliant.


ENERGY STAR is a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy in helping us all save money and protect the environment thought energy efficient products and practices. In 1992, the US Environmental Protection Agency introduced ENERGY STAR as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy-efficient products to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Computers and monitors were the first labeled products. Through 1995, EPA expanded the label to additional office equipment products and residential heating and cooling equipment. In 1996, EPA partnered with the US Department of Energy for particular product categories. The ENERGY STAR label is now on major appliances, office equipment, lighting, home electronics and more. EPA has also extended the label to cover new homes and commercial and industrial buildings.

Through its partnerships with more than 9,000 private and public sector organizations, ENERGY STAR delivers the technical information and tools that organizations and consumers need to choose energy-efficient solutions and best management practices. ENERGY STAR has successfully delivered energy and cost savings across the country, saving businesses, organizations, and consumers about $14 billion in 2006 alone. Over the past decade, ENERGY STAR has been a driving force behind the more widespread use of such technological innovations as LED traffic lights, efficient fluorescent lighting, power management systems for office equipment, and low standby energy use.

Recently, energy prices have become a hot news topic and a major concern for consumers. ENERGY STAR provides solutions. ENERGY STAR provides a trustworthy label on over fifty product categories (and thousands of models) for the home and office. These products deliver the same or better performance as comparable models while using less energy and saving money. ENERGY STAR also provides easy-to-use home and building assessment tools so that homeowners and building managers can start down the path to greater efficiency and cost savings.

Cool Roof Rating Council

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