Lab Live: Low-Slope Roofing

Lab Live: Low-Slope Roofing


Building owners with low-slope roofing systems need to monitor these assemblies as they age to minimize leaks and assess remaining service life. To understand current performance and help plan for future decisions, engineers and material scientists often partner to evaluate new and existing roofing materials to assess their composition or determine potential causes of failure. In this “Lab Live” session, we explore low-slope roofing systems and common assessment approaches used in the field. Through a series of discussions and demonstrations, we will share nondestructive testing methods using drones and infrared scanning technologies, moisture content testing for roofing insulation, and assessment techniques for unknown coatings and materials. We will also discuss new research and testing methods in development and future trends in the industry.


After attending this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Understand key considerations for low-slope roofing design, construction, and maintenance.
  • Discuss nondestructive testing methods, including thermal imaging and drone-deployed assessment tools.
  • Understand how other testing methods—like moisture content testing for built-up roofing systems and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) methods for unknown roof coatings—help to assess roof assembly performance.
  • Recognize current research and new technologies available in the AEC industry.


To understand material performance in the field or determine the causes of underlying building conditions, engineers and material scientists often look to applied science and research methods to improve design and construction processes and probe known issues or problems. By combining technical knowledge with expertise in testing and materials science, these teams can help solve their clients’ most challenging problems by understanding why they occurred in the first place. In Simpson Gumpertz & Heger’s (SGH) virtual “Lab Live” series, we will demonstrate these testing and discovery methods in real time in our Applied Science & Research Center to focus on common and challenging material problems. In these dynamic sessions, we hope to spark discussions that lead to creative ideas and improved collaboration.

Participants will earn 1.5 AIA CES Learning Unit (LU/HSW) for attending the live webinar. Registration is free. Please note that space is limited – email events@sgh.com to join our waitlist if the session is closed when you register. 

About the Speaker

Kenneth Klein
Kenneth Klein | Senior Principal

Ken Klein has extensive experience designing and investigating commercial, institutional, and residential buildings. His work addresses issues related to the integrity of curtain walls, roofs, plaza decks, and below-grade systems on a wide range of structures from residential and high-rise buildings to buildings of historic significance. Ken has consulted with architects, contractors, and building owners to analyze and repair water intrusion problems and construction defects. Well-known in the industry, he has frequently presented to groups of attorneys, contractors, architects, and other design professionals regarding building enclosure design and remediation. He is presently the Technical Advisor for the Western States Roofing Contractors Association.

Masaki Minato
Masaki Minato | Senior Project Consultant - Chemist

Masaki Minato has industrial experience as a commercial development chemist in the field of adhesives. His experiences include research in acrylic polymerization and stabilization and formulation of specific properties, including metal adhesion and bond durability. He has also reformulated existing products to improve them and developed new products.

David Niles
David Niles | Applied Science & Research Technician III

David Niles specializes in the testing of roofing, waterproofing, and concrete materials using standard and non-standard procedures. His testing experience with low-slope roofing materials and systems includes bituminous, PVC, CSPE, EPDM, and neoprene materials to evaluate workmanship, identify materials used in construction, and determine material properties. David also performs construction monitoring of roofing and waterproofing systems.

Travis  St. Louis
Travis St. Louis | Associate Principal

Travis St. Louis designs, investigates, and rehabilitates building enclosures on residential, commercial, and institutional facilities. He serves as SGH’s Roofing and Waterproofing Practice Area leader, specializing in contemporary facade and window systems as well as roofing, green and amenity roofs, and below-grade waterproofing. Travis works with architects and design-build contractors during early project stages to balance performance, cost, and construction objectives. He combines his field and design experience with excellent communication skills to work with diverse project teams to execute projects from design development through substantial completion.