North Texas Daily

Roofing consultant works on new Union

Roofing consultant works on new Union

Roofing consultant works on new Union
November 25
00:20 2014

Alana Holt / Contributing Writer

Sitting in an orange-cushioned chair in a construction office trailer, Brad Glaesmann, with a smile framed by a short, white goatee, recalls his proudest accomplishment as receiving his architecture license when he was 27 years old.

Glaesmann, now 47, has more than 20 years of experience as an architect. He works with Armko Industries and is the roofing consultant of UNT’s new University Union, where he makes sure there are no problems with the layout of the roof and that the roof is weatherproof.

“Things that have to last are weatherproofing systems,” Glaesmann said. “Armko has been in business for 30 years, and they’ve never replaced a roof they put down.”

Glaesmann, dressed in a neon orange vest, hardhat and “designer” protective glasses, walked through the construction site. He pointed out the metal-framed areas that will soon be a food court, meditation room and theater entrance, by August 2015. 

He continued along the dusty cement floor pointing out the textured fireproof substance sprayed onto the ceilings and the long steel beams covered in signatures from the Topping Off Ceremony. Then, he climbed a wooden ladder to the roof of the Union where he does his job.

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Four construction workers prepare to weld pieces of steel to the Union’s roof  that are being lowered by a crane. 

“Most of the problems don’t happen in the middle of the roof; they happen at all the junctures where you have penetrations coming through the roof,” Glaesmann said. “(The problem) could be the edge conditions where you have either a flat edge rolling off the side or a parapet condition. It’s always where the roof meets in terms and hits something else where problems can occur.”

Glaesmann walked around what is currently an unfinished rooftop. He said it took roofers a week to put the asphalt down and then the base layer that covers 5 inches of insulation. A white membrane will top them off.

“Roofing is not a fun job,” Glaesmann said. “It’s one of the toughest jobs out there.”

With the help of the weatherproofing roof system, the Union will maintain cool air, Glaesmann said.

To earn a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum certification, the building project had to meet certain requirements such as being energy efficient and built with environmentally friendly products, Glaesmann said.

Glaesmann waved his hand toward a lower section of roof to the right of what will be an entryway, but is currently a cinder block doorway defaced by bright orange and red graffiti. This section is the future rooftop garden that is to be complete with an irrigation system and speakers.

Glaesmann continued with the tour, and descended down the building’s interior into one of the construction office trailers. After settling into a chair and taking off his protective gear, he shared stories about past projects.

Before Armko, Glaesmann worked at about seven different companies, one being Brinker International, which owns Chili’s. He was also an architect for Saltgrass, Inc.

“I’ve done a lot of corporate architecture; I’ve done a lot of restaurant architecture,” Glaesmann said. “And with Armko…we specialize in the building envelope, the roofing, waterproofing and the bigger private jobs.”

After graduating from Texas A&M University in 1990 with his architecture degree, 23-year-old Glaesmann was sent to Alexandria, Va., to work on programming for the Pentagon.

Programming for the Pentagon required designing a building where several thousand people could work with new technology and move around each other efficiently, Glaesmann said.

“We need all these things to happen. We need a plan,” Glaesmann said. “So, as (an) architect, we put together a program that meets all of their criteria.”

UNT System Construction Manager Jay Henson has worked with Glaesmann during the Union construction. As a manager, Henson handles UNT’s long-term construction projects and daily construction activities.  Henson said he is currently working with Glaesmann on Rawlins Hall.

“(Glaesmann) is very knowledgeable,” Henson said. “He always brings solutions for problems.”

Most of the work Glaesmann does is in north Texas but on occasion, his job will take him out-of-state, as with the work for the Pentagon. In addition to the new student Union, he is part of another project re-roofing the Hyde Hotel in Washington, D.C. He and other architects are the designers for the roof system the hotel needs.

“It’s an old building,” Glaesmann said. “It doesn’t have enough insulation. The roof is falling apart. It’s not draining well, which is usually a big problem. So we have to think, ‘What’s wrong with it? What can we do to fix it?’”

Glaesmann said he has a thirst for knowledge that makes him a goal-reaching, problem-solving architect.

“I’ve just always liked creating and drawing and building,” Glaesmann said.

Glaesmann said he enjoys working as a roofing consultant. Before he became a roofing consultant, he worked other jobs – all relating to architecture and construction.

“Focusing in on something new that I haven’t worked before – that keeps it interesting,” Glaesmann said. “I don’t like doing the same thing over and over.”

Although he looks at change in a positive light, Glaesmann said he hasn’t had much time to think about a future change in his career.

“I could see myself continuing to do this because there is still a lot of information to learn and things are always changing,” Glaesmann said. 

Featured Image: Brad Glaesmann stands atop the roof of the Union where a rooftop garden is being built. – Photo by Alana Holt – Contributing Writer

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