Low Slope Roofing Systems

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Course Overview

If you design, install, commission, maintain or repair low slope roofing systems, this course will provide you with the tools and techniques to do your job correctly and avoid problems. Upon completing this course, you will be able to identify the best solutions to your roofing problems, whether you’re working on new construction, performing maintenance, or re-roofing.

Who Should Attend?

  • Contractors
  • Architects
  • Owners' representatives
  • Materials specifiers
  • Manufacturers
  • Building Envelope Commissioning Authorities
  • Anyone involved in roofing design, construction, maintenance, repair, and re-roofing

Course Outline

Day 1

50 Years of Developments in Roofing

  • Built-up roofing
  • Insulation board
  • Rooftop safety
  • Sprayed polyurethane foam
  • Metal decks

Introduction to Single-Ply Roofs

  • Background 
  • Material types
  • Material properties
  • Configurations and attachment
  • Flashing details
  • Performance
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Trends
  • Roof drain issues

Roof Decks and Wind Design

  • Roof deck design
  • Steel deck profiles
  • Lightweight concrete
  • Wind load calculations
  • ASCE 7 and FM Global

Moisture Mechancics

  • Introduction
  • Material moisture mechanics
  • Psychrometric chart
  • Design example
  • Hygrothermal modeling

Avoiding Moisture Problems

  • Introduction
  • Low slope roofs
  • Moisture surveys

Codes and Standards

  • Historical perspective 
  • International Code Council 
  • Standards organizations
  • Wind resistance and load
  • Residential and commercial 
  • Energy conservation 


Day 2

Built-up and Modified Bitumen

  • Built-up roof membrane
    • Components 
    • Terminology 
    • Ply configurations
    • Surfacings 
    • Flashings
    • Applications
    • Code compliance
  • Polymer-modified bitumen sheet membrane 
    • Components
    • Application methods
    • Membrane configurations
    • Surfacings
    • Flashings
    • Code compliance

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam

  • Background
  • Material properties
  • Major coating types
  • Application
  • Advantages
  • Problems

Vegetative Roofs

  • Definition and benefits
  • Membrane recommendations
  • Basic configurations
  • Construction details 
  • Code requirements
  • References

Re-roofing and Testing

  • Common threads
  • Recover, partial, and total replacement
  • Design and installation considerations
  • Realities

Ownership and Maintenance

  • Warranties
  • Roof asset management
  • Flashing and membrane distress
  • Repairs
  • Maintenance
  • Cost estimating


"My knowledge gained in this course will allow me to better diagnose and repair many issues I may not have been able to figure out otherwise."
—Richard, USAF, Hurlbert Field, Florida (November 2018)

"I was exposed to many different roof types, building, and material codes...As somebody new to the industry, this is a great introduction course."
—Shane, CentiMark Corp., Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (November 2018) 

"I really liked the variety of speakers, from consultants in design to contractors that deal with construction, to maintenance consulting -- very comprehensive."
—Colleen, Inspec, Inc., Chicago, Illinois (November 2017)

"I learned a lot about the industry, codes, and competing material that will help me during the day-to-day activities of my job."
—Kayla, Duro-Last, Inc., Saginaw, Michigan (November 2017)


Dane Bradford

Dane Bradford lives in Billings, Montana and is President of Bradford Roof Management, Inc., a 75 year-old commercial and industrial roof contracting and roof consulting firm. Dane received a Business Management degree from Montana State University in 1981 and has been active in the roofing industry since 1985. He has served on the faculty of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) education department, teaching roofing technology programs, as well as programs for the Air Force Institute of Technology. Dane participated in the NRCA Manual Update Committee from 1993-1996 during the writing of the 4th edition of the NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual. Dane is a former president of the Montana Roofing Contractors Association and served as president of NRCA in 2004-2005.

John Davis

John (retired) holds dual appointments at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, College of Engineering.  He is an associate faculty associate and program director in the Office of Engineering Professional Development and a research engineer at the Industrial Refrigeration Consortium (IRC).  He holds a BSME degree (Iowa State University) and MS degrees in Engineering (Purdue University) and Engineering Management (Northwestern University).  John’s professional interests include technical leadership, HVAC products and systems, DX refrigeration, industrial refrigeration, geothermal system design, thermal systems optimization, building science and building energy management.  John is a registered P.E. and a member of both ASHRAE and IIAR.

Matthew Dupuis

Matt Dupuis is a licensed Professional Engineer with more than 15 years of experience. His area of specialization lies within moisture movement, temperature modeling, solar reflectivity, research and failure analysis. He has worked in the United States and internationally. His experience includes waterproofing and steep roof assemblies, as well as developing and teaching BIM courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Civil Engineering Department. He has contributed to numerous publications and articles, in addition to presenting topics on roof temperatures and hygrothermal modeling at various roofing symposia, as well as the International Roofing Expo, MRCA, SPRI, and RCI.

Mark Graham

Mark Graham is an experienced project engineer with expertise in the investigation, design, and repair of roof and waterproofing systems. With NRCA, he is responsible for developing and maintaining his association’s technical documents including the NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual. Graham is also a contributing editor to Professional Roofing Magazine, as well as an active member of ASTM’s Roofing and Waterproofing, Thermal Insulation, Fire Standards, and Performance of Buildings Committees. Other memberships include ASHRAE, International Code Council and NFPA.

Mark Malkin

Mark P. Malkin, PE is a Program Director in the UW–Madison Department of Engineering Professional Development (EPD). He is a registered Professional Engineer with over 25 years of combined experience in university construction project management and HVAC systems design. His course offerings in the Facilities segment of EPD include HVAC and plumbing fundamentals, building and property maintenance code review, and design and operation of science labs, data centers, museums and libraries. Mark received his bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and his master's in Mechanical Engineering from UW–Madison.

David Tilsen

David J. Tilsen is the President of Tilsen Roofing Company, Inc., which provides contracting services on commercial, industrial, and institutional low-slope and residential steep slope roofs, while specializing in built-up, single ply, modified bitumen, metal, asphalt and wood shingle roofing and offers roof maintenance and roof management programs. Tilsen is a past vice president of the NRCA and a past president of the Wisconsin Roofing Contractors Association and the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association. He currently serves on the NRCA Technical Operations Committee.

Upcoming dates (1)

Nov. 30 - Dec. 1, 2021

Madison, WI
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Program Director

Mark Malkin

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