Saipan International Airport, August 7, 2015. Less than a week after Typhoon Soudelor ravaged the island.

Western Building Group Retrofit Roof Installation Survives Category 4 Typhoon Soudelor in Saipan

In the late evening of August 2, 2015 super Typhoon Soudelor collided with the island of Saipan leaving a previously green and lush paradise stripped and broken. Typhoon Soudelor was one of several typhoons this season that crippled island services but Soudelor was the most intense to date. Clocking wind speeds of 120 to 156 mph, Soudelor stripped trees bare, flooded roads, destroyed homes and buildings and left the island without water and power. Witnesses of the typhoon tell of roofs torn off buildings, cars toppled, power line on the ground, trees uprooted and broken. One survivor, a local physician, talked with his neighbor who had an independent weather station located on high ground that recorded two gusts of 214 mph before the station was blown away.

Throughout the storm, thesaipan4_SMALL Saipan International Airport terminal and its roof system stood firm. In 2004, Western Building Group retrofit the airport with an engineered BEMO 305 standing seam roofing system. Western Building Group removed the failing tile roof and along with Bemo USA designed the sub-framing system to handle increased roof loads, provided additional insulation and installed the retrofit engineered roof system.

Although, Typhoon Soudelor has not been the only typhoon to hit the island since the installation of the roof system, it ranks as one of the most severe.

The BEMO 305 panels installed on the airport terminal buildings were made of .050 aluminum. Bemo USA manufactured custom panels that were milled and curved onsite to assure a lasting engineered solution. Each BEMO 305 panel was mounted with BEMO Hook Clips on 14 ga. Galvanized hat bars. Each Galvanized bar was fastened through ¼” Densdeck and 2” polyisocyanurate insulation into the wood deck below.

Western Building Group is located in Mesa, Arizona USA and is a world leader in the installation of standing seam metal roofing and wall systems. With projects that span the world, Western Building Group installations can be found on airports, sports complexes, distribution centers and transportation hubs around the globe. For more information please refer to www.westernbuildinggroup.com or contact Brett Gillespie at 480.397.1111.