Every year manufacturers are invited to showcase their products at the International Builders' Show, a great stop for anyone in the building industry. In 2022, while attending the show in Orlando, FL, visitors were able to take the opportunity to go offsite and visit the Lake Sheen Showcase Home, featuring top-performing products in the industry.
Building Tomorrow's Home
Located in the Doctor Phillips area of Central Florida, the showcase home lies just minutes from the Disney theme parks and is situated along the banks of the Butler chain of lakes. The Lake Sheen Showcase Home incorporates design and construction elements reminiscent of Florida's picturesque waterways. A pool on the second floor cascades over a first-floor living room in a beautiful 13-foot-tall waterfall. Expansive 12-foot-wide windows look out over the nearby lake and out onto a giant mango trees.
The interior of the home, designed by Rob Turner of CRT Studio, carries these ideas forward in a clean, focused execution of coastal and contemporary styles. High ceilings and large windows with clear sight lines throughout the house emphasize that the contemporary house is at home in its natural setting.
Hardwick General Contracting built the three-story, 7,461-square-foot home to Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) standards. FGBC's mission is "to lead and promote sustainability with environmental, economic, and social benefits through regional education and certification programs." Two of the FGBC requirements are directly related to the roofing system, including the energy efficiency of the home and the ability to mitigate damage from natural disasters.
Using a Flat Roof
Florida is just one area of the country now seeing more new homes with flat roofs, according to Greg Hardwick, owner of Hardwick General Contracting. "We first saw them gaining popularity in the mid-2000s, and we needed to find a product that was different from the standard tile or shingles that we were used to seeing here," explains Hardwick. "So, we had to come up with something that wasn't widely used for residential construction for these modern homes, and the answer to that question is TPO."
Hardwick notes that the GAF EverGuard® 60-mil TPO was a good fit for the home's roof because of its durability and reflectivity. "When you look at other roofing products that are out there, where you're trying to get a high solar reflective value, TPO is a great option," says Hardwick.
Hardwick goes on to say that GAF TPO has years of proven performance in the commercial sector, so it made sense to bring it over into the residential side of the industry. "We've now been using TPO since about 2008 on residential flat roofs to provide protection from weather elements, but you also benefit because the product can help meet reflectivity requirements of green certified construction."
Installing the Roof
The GAF EverGuard® 60-mil TPO roofing system was installed over a roof deck made up of spray foam insulation that was topped with an engineered wood panel that included a factory weather resistive barrier (WRB) and integrated seam tape system to provide additional protection. The roofing crew installed a layer of six-ounce Polymat over the OSB sheathing before mechanically fastening the 60-mil TPO membrane to the roof.
Prefabricated accessories, including inside/outside corners and pipe boots, made for a smooth and fast installation, says Hardwick. "That roof went on extremely fast, and I think a lot of those prefab materials really helped with that," he says. "They helped not only in speed but in the appearance as well. The house has huge, fixed windows that look out to the lake—but, as you're getting to the lake, you can see a significant portion of the roof. So, with these prefabricated pieces, it's very clean and professional looking."
Rendering by Green Apple Architecture