Case Study

Space Needle

Originally built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the 605 feet tall Space Needle was designed to withstand earthquakes and extreme wind velocities of up to 200 miles per hour. As a historical landmark in Seattle, it welcomes over one million visitors each year.

About Nations Roof

Having worked with the Seattle Space Needle staff previously on interior electrical coating projects and a second story gift shop re-roofing project, our expertise was enlisted for a larger-scale, more prominent project. As a nationwide partner with key American manufacturers, we were able to negotiate a competitive price to complete the project. Known for our innovative roofing solutions and our impeccable craftsmanship, Nations Roof was well equipped to tackle the Space Needle project.

The Challenge

With a limited window of time available, the Space Needle was in dire need of a roof recoat. The new roofing coating system needed to include robust watertight elements to protect the structure from the most extreme rains and winds, while also providing a skid-resistant pedestrian walking surface since concerts, sporting events and VIP viewings are often held at the iconic landmark.

To adhere to stringent historical restoration guidelines, the new installation had to match – both in color and overall appearance – the existing structures and roofing elements. It also had to be the exact same color as the previous surface.

In addition, we were tasked with providing a primer that could successfully bond to the existing surface, which had failed and was causing leaks into the mechanical room directly below the roof surface.

The location of the Space Needle introduced a host of accessibility challenges that we had to navigate to complete the project. The work area was a small round area at the very top of the Space Needle. This space was only accessible by taking multiple flights of stairs that lead to a narrow hatch. All tools and materials had to be physically carried up the stairs and carefully maneuvered through the hatch opening, all while being harnessed and full PPE.

The Solution

Following an extensive research and planning phase, we decided the best option was to use the same coating product used on the New Orleans Saints’ Superdome. Quality, warranty protection and anti-skid properties were the perfect combination for what we needed.

To waterproof the entire roofing system, Sika’s EP Primer was used first, followed by 621 TC as a base coat, Reemat Premium as a reinforcing layer, and 621 TC as a top coat. An additional layer of 621 TC was applied and seeded with aggregate and back rolled for traction.

With a single component roofing product, our installers were able to work quickly and efficiently, installing the entire system under less than desirable conditions. The “moisture triggered” RoofPRO product ensured that the entire roofing structure was waterproof almost immediately after application. In an area like Seattle, this is critical since weather can be unpredictable and rain showers are common.

Sika’s single component system, which did not require the typical mixing and mix stations as other two-component systems, was something the Space Needle management felt set our single component product apart and made it the most feasible for the workspace restrictions.

The customized and innovative roofing system was fully reinforced and was accompanied with the installation of a compatible deck surface with texture supports for safety purposes. A primer designed to bond to the existing surface was added to prevent any roofing failures or leaks into the mechanical room, which sits directly below the roof surface.

With a dedicated Project Manager assigned to the Space Needle project, our all-female team worked methodically and completed the project well within the deadline. This project is a true testament to Nations Roof’s support of women in construction.

To learn more about our support of National Women in Roofing (NWIR), visit our careers page. 

To see a virtual tour of the completed roofing project and area, click here.

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