Chicago, IL – McCormick Place in Chicago is the largest convention center in North America. Located right on the shore of Lake Michigan, McCormick Place holds annual conventions for the Chicago Auto Show, the National Restaurant Association, and many other events. To keep the convention center in good shape, Anderson and Shah Roofing is installing a Sika Sarnafil system on the center’s roof. The 528,000 square feet of roof is actually covered in paving stones, which must be moved to reach the roof underneath. We met with Sika’s Eric Hurst and Dave Wehrle, Vice president from Anderson and Shah, to learn about this unique project.
The roof of the convention center is a cable supported structure with paving stones to keep the steel cables in place. Because of this, Anderson and Shah is applying a Sika Sarnafil system in sections to retain the weight on the suspension. Each of the 85,000 paving stones, weighing 125 pounds apiece, must be moved to reach the steel deck underneath. Dave explained that the puzzle to move each stone only once was solved with the help of CAD software. When one section is complete, neighboring stones are moved onto the newly roofed area, which exposes another section to work on. On the final section, ATVs will be used to transport the stones from the first section to complete the process. Although perhaps unconventional, Anderson and Shah thought outside of the box to complete this process efficiently.
In order to keep the process moving, a Sika Technical Representative visits the site twice per week. Each section of the roof is checked before the pavers are placed on top. In addition to installing the Sika Sarnafil system, Anderson and Shah is cleaning each paver and replacing any damaged ones. While this may seem like a tedious process, the strategic approach and the incredible view of downtown Chicago has kept this project interesting. After all, how many installers have an excuse to bring an ATV up on a roof?