Case Study

Marriott Orlando World Center Resort

When Nations Roof®, a leading US commercial roofing company was selected to work on one of Florida’s most extensive and best-known hotels, Marriott’s Orlando World Center Resort, it would be a project that would put Nations Roof®’s expertise to the test. The $3.5 million project required the utmost in safety, planning, quality materials, knowledge, and daily communication and execution meetings with the client.

Marriott’s Orlando World Center opened in 1986 as the state’s largest hotel. With 28 stories, a 9-story atrium in the lobby, 450,000 square feet of available meeting space, 10 restaurants, six luxury swimming pools, and 2,008 guest rooms, it is Marriott’s second largest grossing hotel in the US. The last thing they or their guests need is any sort of distraction on a roofing project.

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The Project and the Bid

The primary objective of the job was to re-roof approximately 80% of the hotel with no interruption to hotel services, lost revenue from rooms out of service or inconveniencing guests. The old roofs were nearly at the end of its lifecycle and had long ago exceeded the warranty period. The client wanted to be proactive in addressing the aging roof before issues started to arise. There is very little margin for error on such a high profile property. To be considered for a project of this magnitude, the successful contractor must meet specific criteria and be in an elite class. It would be too much risk otherwise for a large company like Host Marriott to pick a lesser contractor. There were multiple bidders, but only Nations Roof® was able to meet the project completions schedule, stringent safety, expertise, and quality standards set by Marriott.

Nations Roof® is Awarded the Job

Having already performed more than $75 million of work for Marriott during the past three decades, Larry Morgan, President of Nations Roof® Sales and Marketing, maintained a close business relationship with the Director of Facilities for Marriott’s Orlando World Center Resort. Nations Roof® was selected for their unparalleled safety record, the ability to get the needed teams in place quickly, and their unmatched expertise in all aspects of commercial roofing. Getting the job completed within the specified timeframe was critical; the longer the project ran, the higher risk for incidents to occur, and the potential for the hotel’s guests to be inconvenienced.

Challenges and Solutions

Nations Roof® was chosen especially for their experience with Siplast cold and hot asphalt systems, and all-around expertise. Scoped initially as a two-year project, Marriott decided to condense the schedule considerably from a two year project to getting it completed in a single year. That meant all the different phases of work would become one massive project. To take advantage of equipment and contractors already available, Marriott decided to replace some large mechanical equipment at the same time the roof was being replaced. Nations Roof® cranes were used to not only lift materials up onto the roof but also to lift the weighty units. This required stringent coordination between multiple sub-contractors to ensure there were no hiccups on placing people, materials, or equipment on the roof and putting them in harms way.

Project Specifics

This wasn’t your garden variety commercial roofing project. In addition to the sheer amount of square footage of roof that needed to be replaced and varying roofing materials, several other factors made this a particularly challenging project. There were twenty-two roofs and eight different elevations that had to be completed in 180 days, all with no interruption to the hotel’s regular operations. With the hotel having a year-round occupancy rate of 98%, there was never going to be a good time to get the work done.

Nine different cranes were used throughout the project, including a 200 ft crane to access the 17th story. Nations Roof® set up different staging areas for the cranes to hoist up materials. The cranes had to be discreetly positioned around the hotel grounds to avoid creating an eyesore for the hotel guests. Each crane was individually configured based on the elevation of the specific roof section it was being used on. When roof access was cut-off or limited, it sometimes required going through a hotel room that would be occupied the next day. And so, time was of the essence to get everything up to a roof section before a guest checked in.

Severe and unpredictable weather conditions like sudden thundershowers meant the Nations Roof® team had to be prepared to close the roof at a moment’s notice. A radar service kept them abreast of weather patterns so they could plan accordingly. Extreme heat and humidity were also a factor, often making it uncomfortable for work crews on the roof, requiring extra diligence on hydration stations and break times. Marriott’s noise ordinance restricted noise before 9am and enforced a tools down policy by 6pm each night, calling for significant coordination and project oversight to get everyone and everything ready for work at 9 am sharp, and off the roof, quiet as a mouse by 6 pm.

Safety Requirements

Nations Roof® has an award-winning safety record, and the Marriott World Center Resort was no exception.

  • Nations Roof® developed a safety plan that was submitted and approved by the client at the beginning of the project
  • Safety guidelines were developed based on each area of the roof and adhered to by the Nations Roof® project crews
  • Daily safety toolbox meetings were held to review and assign roofers and all contractors for that day. This was the “master” schedule that detailed who would be where on the roof
  • Nations Roof® ensured there was complete adherence to the work assignments based on the “master” schedule—having as many as 40 roofing technicians on the roof each day plus other tradesmen, compliance was essential
  • A third-party safety company was hired to perform unannounced site inspections with a process in place that allowed for immediate resolution by Nations Roof® of any issues that were identified
  • Detailed, daily compliance with Marriott’s safety plan, including crane placement
  • Nations Roof® and the client were in constant communication which meant there were no surprises

Only Nations Roof® could accomplish a project of this nature all while following stringent safety regulations and completing the work in the compressed timeframe that Marriott’s Orlando World Center Resort needed. That’s why Nations Roof® continues to be the number one commercial roofer across the US.

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