Case Studies

Pioneer Roofing

Pushing the Limits of Traditional Roofing Solutions

Traditional roofing is one thing, but Pioneer Roofing (Pioneer) has made a name for itself by making quick work of even the most complex roofing projects. Pioneer has a propensity for adopting revolutionary roofing products long before the products become commonplace, which has helped the Pioneer team build long-term relationships with building owners, general contractors, facility managers and consultants of all varieties.

The company takes a holistic approach to every roofing project, leveraging over 45 years of industry experience and a familiarity with a broad range of roofing products to find the best possible solution given a client’s unique needs.

The Wisconsin-based company was founded in 1966 and today boasts a team of between 65 and 75 professionals, all of whom take pride in setting the standard for superior roofing service and on-site safety. Pioneer has grown from a rural roofing contractor into a single-source roofing specialist for industrial and commercial roofing, waterproofing and sheet metal solutions.

The Pioneer team provides its expertise on traditional built-up roofs and modified bitumen roofing systems, as well as single-ply roofing systems, spray polyurethane foam, Energy Star-compliant roofing systems and deck coatings in addition to the gamut of hot-applied, cold-applied and membrane waterproofing products.

Not All Roofs are Created Equal

The company has extensive experience in working with a variety of niche roofing products, including metal roofing systems. Metal roofing systems are preferred by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and have gained popularity within the food service industry, as well as for all manner of sustainability-oriented systems.

“Our focus is in specialty systems and service,” expands John Boettcher, president of Pioneer. “We started working with energy-efficient systems as early as the 1970s, but we continue to look for new specialties that build upon that track record.” Pioneer even adopted a recycling program to ensure as much waste is diverted from landfills as possible, even before the program counted toward the LEED rating system.

Pioneer’s keen eyes singled out vegetative roofing systems as the product of choice as the solutions gained popularity in major metropolitan areas, but before the systems really gained a foothold in the Wisconsin market. As a result Pioneer has one of the most extensive portfolios of vegetative roofing projects of any local roofing contractor, giving the team the ability to work with customers in a consulting capacityPioneer Roofing.

“We just want to be the best at all aspects of green roofing from installation to design and specifications, with our recommendations always made from our own experience,” adds Boettcher.

The team has such extensive knowledge in vegetative roofing systems that Pioneer includes all landscaping services and engineered soil products as part of a single-source roofing supplier package. Pioneer recently provided its single-source package to the Madison Children’s Museum in Madison, Wis. Local architectural firm Kubala Washatko Architects Inc. provided a design that repurposed the museum’s existing building on Madison’s historic Capitol Square to provide three times as much space as the existing building with an additional two floors of space to accommodate future expansions.

“The Madison Children’s Museum was particularly challenging because it was designed as a hands-on interactive museum experience with a water feature and a fish pond so you don’t necessarily realize you’re on the roof,” expands Boettcher. In total Pioneer installed 6,000- square foot interactive vegetative roof to serve as a play garden, along with 2,500 square feet of energy-efficient reflective roofing and 1,500 square feet of standing seam metal roofing.

Roofing for Today and Tomorrow

Pioneer opted to use Carlisle Coatings & Waterproofing’s CCW 500 waterproofing system using a base of inverted tapered polystyrene, which enabled Pioneer to achieve optimal sloping for water seepage and still keep a cost-effective flat roof surface. The company also provided a hot rubberized asphalt roofing membrane and installed an additional tri-level drainage system complete with a conduct electronic field vector mapping system for early, accurate leak detection.

The project also called for the inclusion of as many plants native to Wisconsin as possible, which has become a growing focus for Pioneer. “It’s a double challenge because we have to find species that will survive on a roof that are also native to the state,” states Boettcher.

Pioneer is still fine-tuning the process as the company recently had to replace plantings on one of its roofs located closer to Lake Superior that couldn’t survive the area’s cold temperatures, despite being a native species and one Pioneer has found to be suitable for vegetative roofs elsewhere in the state.

Pioneer has already begun work on another vegetative roof using all-native plant species for the University of Wisconsin in Madison, for which it previously built a 32,000-square foot vegetative roof. “We’re working really closely with the local greenhouses to be sure we can get the right kinds of plants enough of them to ensure the plants have enough time to establish roots before winter,” says Boettcher.

In the next few years Boettcher plans to continue building Pioneer’s reputation in vegetative roofing, while maintaining the company’s foothold in more traditional roofing markets as well. As new roofing products prove suitable to Wisconsin’s climate, Pioneer Roofing will continue to develop prime sustainable roofing solutions for clients across the state, proving vegetative roofing and energy-efficient roofing systems can be both cost-effective and beautiful.

Published on: March 15, 2013

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