Shingle Roof Picked For OBCP Home To Save Money

OCEAN CITY – Following an extensive energy saving analysis for products to be used for the new beach patrol headquarters, the Mayor and City Council decided last month on a shingle roof and a mixture of LED lighting and high-efficiency fluorescent lighting.

During a recent Mayor and City Council work session, City Engineer Terry McGean presented research conducted per request of the council to have two Value Engineering alternates taken during the new Ocean City Beach Patrol headquarters bidding process to be further evaluated.

In September, McGean requested the council approve the At-Risk Construction Management Contract with Gillis Gilkerson for construction of the headquarters in the amount of $1,964,458 and to appropriate an additional $50,000 for additional IT equipment and owner contingency from fund balance.

While the beach patrol headquarters project was on the table, then-Councilwoman Margaret Pillas asked why the metal roof of the building has been changed to a shingle roof in the design. McGean responded a shingle roof was found to be more cost-efficient.

According to Pillas’s research, the heat of the building increased 20 percent with a shingle roof but decreases 50 percent with a metal roof. She added a metal roof is recyclable and shingles are not.

“What I understand from EPA is 11 million tons of asphalt is produced by this country a year and accounts for 80 percent of building material waste,” Pillas said at that time. “The council has sat up here and has been very proactive about recycling and energy. When you save on air conditioning during the summer, we will be getting our money back in the cost of the product … a metal roof is the way to go.”

Then-Councilman Brent Ashley also pointed out the plan now calls for all light fixtures to be florescent instead of LED that are considered more energy efficient.

McGean responded, the LED lights were pulled from the project to stay within budget, and suggested the council approve his requests at that time, and he can return with numbers regarding the difference between the two roof products for further discussion.

McGean returned to council after the total life cycle cost to use a standing seam metal roof versus an asphalt shingle roof and to use LED light fixtures versus high efficiency fluorescent (HEF) light fixtures were analyzed.

The combined energy savings and expected longer life of the metal roof still do not justify the additional cost for the metal roof versus shingles, according to McGean.

McGean explained to determine the initial construction cost it started with the asphalt shingle roof price of $19,200. To compare, Gillis Gilkerson obtained three metal roof prices for the project with the lowest being $72,800.

Next, it was found the estimated life for a metal roof is 50 years compared to an asphalt shingle roof being 30 years. To find the annual construction cost of each product, the construction cost was divided by the life expectancy. Therefore, the annual construction cost of a metal roof came to $1,456 and $640 for an asphalt shingle roof.

In determining the annual estimated energy savings of each product, McGean spoke with both the town’s energy consultant, CQI, and Energy Services Group, who is currently conducting the town’s Energy Performance Contract. To calculate, the firms started with the total annual estimated building energy cost of $15,000. Of that, $6,000 is attributable to annual HVAC energy costs. Of those annual HVAC energy costs, $1,800 is attributable to exterior finishes. Taking a conservative take of CQI’s estimated energy saving from the metal roof of 20 percent, the total energy saving of a metal roof came to $360 versus an asphalt shingle roof.

“Therefore the estimated annual cost with energy savings for the metal roof would be $1,096 per year, i.e. the construction cost less the energy savings, and with the asphalt shingles there is no energy savings compared to the metal roof, therefore its cost is still $640 per year. Again, the asphalt shingles under this scenario is the more cost effective,” McGean said. “I am not looking at the aesthetic value. Certainly there is that argument but purely from a monetarily economic analysis in this case the asphalt shingles are the better value.”

If this is the case, Ashley questioned why metal roofs have been installed on other city facilities, such as the Northside Park gym. McGean replied in most cases those facilities are prefabricated metal buildings.

“Is there any chance we can find this money in our budget?,” Councilman Doug Cymek asked, favoring the metal roof. “Aesthetically there is something to be said. All of our coastal architecture that we have adopted on our buildings looks the same.”

McGean replied money for a metal roof would have to be found elsewhere as there is not enough funding in the project budget. He pointed out an alternative to the esthetic of a metal roof would be a colored shingle, such as the red shingle roof on the Worcester Street Comfort Station.

Then-Councilman Joe Mitrecic made a motion to approve McGean’s recommendation to use shingles in place of a metal roof and high efficiency fluorescent fixtures in place of LED fixtures. The council voted 5-2 to approve with Ashley and Pillas in opposition.