Mission-critical facilities house operations that when interrupted, can prove disastrous to an organization’s future. Limited market research is available to determine what roof types are best suited to meet the unique demands of these buildings. The purpose of this research was to evaluate different roof materials and to observe trends relative to their lifecycle costs and roof professional’s assessment in use with mission-critical facilities. The objectives of the study were to determine the average annual lifecycle costs for the sampled roof materials, to determine the roofing professionals’ preferred mission-critical facility roof materials, and to priority rank the sampled roof materials for use with mission-critical facilities A pilot study was conducted to assess variables in evaluating different roof materials and their use with mission-critical facilities. Additionally, a survey was administered to roofing professionals across the United States to obtain lifecycle cost information for various roof materials as well as ratings for those materials for use with mission-critical facilities. The research found that single-ply roofs, with the exception of 60 Mil TPO, had lower annual lifecycle costs than built-up roofs due to their having lower install and removal costs, as well as having increasing life expectancies over the years. The metal roof selection was also shown to have a low annual lifecycle cost due to having the longest estimated lifespan. Built-up and metal roofs were rated highest by roofing professionals for their use with mission-critical facilities, suggesting a prioritization of risk reduction versus cost savings. When the lifecycle cost data was applied to the roof material ratings, the data showed that built-up roofs presented themselves as good values for mission-critical facilities; however, 90 Mil EPDM and 24-gauge metal roofs could be considered as viable cost savings alternatives.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





mission-critical, facility, data center, critical infrastructure, roof system, lifecycle



Included in

Engineering Commons