For more than a decade, roof asset-management software has been available to help school and university facility managers optimize return on their roofing investments. Today's more sophisticated tools offer time-saving features such as:
Online filing of emergency leak reports, 24/7, with automatic paging of emergency contacts.
Internet-based, worldwide sharing of photos and other documentation of jobs-in-progress.
The ability to input punchlist data in real time using a handheld PDA or laptop computer.
Comprehensive warranty tracking and flagging, as expiration dates come due.
On the product side, too, the last 10 years have witnessed the development of innovative high-performance roofing materials capable of extending the anticipated service life of a roof to 30 years and longer. For situations where re-roofing is not financially feasible, today's advanced restoration materials can extend the life of mature or moderately damaged roofs significantly until funding becomes available.
Yet, despite the fact that it has probably never been easier to ensure long-term roofing performance, the 2003 Roof Longevity and Replacement Report, funded by the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, concluded that the average life expectancy of today's commercial low-slope roof is only 17 years.
What is needed is a radical change in the way organizations evaluate outcomes; more specifically, a shift from short-term pragmatic thinking, to long-term creative thinking.